We’ve already had more phones than we can count release in the early goings of 2021. There’s no shortage of powerful smartphones to go around, from Samsung’s Galaxy S21 family to the flagship OnePlus 9 trio. Now, it’s time to look at what comes next. Here are the best upcoming Android phones for Summer 2021 and beyond.
See also: The best Android phones
Best upcoming Android phones:
- Google Pixel 5a 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3
- Huawei P50 series
- Nokia 10
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
- Cheaper folding phones
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best upcoming Android phones regularly.
1. Google Pixel 5a 5G
We flat-out loved Google’s affordable Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G last year, and now it’s time for the sequel. If there’s one thing we can count on in an “a” series Pixel phone, we know the 5a 5G will have a solid camera and come at a great price.
See also: Google Pixel 5a: All the rumors so far
Google has already confirmed its annual Google I/O event for May 2021, where we fully expect to see the new Pixel Buds A launch. The company released its Pixel 3a at a previous iteration of I/O, so it seems fair to expect another round. As far as specs for this upcoming Android phone go, we can expect Google to stay in its “a” series lane. That means wireless charging and an IP rating are unlikely, but 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage are on the table.
We can’t say for sure which chipset will make its way onto the Pixel 5a 5G, but early signs point towards the Snapdragon 765G of the Pixel 5. We’re also expecting a dual rear camera setup, much like the Pixel 4a 5G.
Google launched its original Pixel 3a in May of 2019 before the global pandemic delayed the Pixel 4a a few months to August 2020. As a result, it’s tough to guess when the next entry-level Pixel phone will drop.
- Launch ETA: Summer 2021
2. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3
Samsung’s folding phone game improved significantly from the first generation to the second, so why shouldn’t the third be even better? Recent leaks suggest that the next foldable pair will release sometime towards the end of Summer 2021.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 made key changes in its second generation, growing the outer display and ditching the corner cutout. Some of the leaks that we’ve seen so far suggest that the Z Fold 3 will pack three rear cameras and make a move to an under-display selfie camera. It’s also tipped to offer 25W fast charging, but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Over on the Flip side (see what we did there), we have quite a bit more information. The third-generation foldable is suggested to offer a more squared-off design with two rear-facing 12MP cameras. Samsung’s cameras also lie right next to a much larger rear display. It should be much easier to check notifications and read full messages. The phone may come in a matte finish, and we’re expecting Gorilla Glass Victus for added durability.
The leaks we’ve seen suggest that Samsung is gearing up for an end-of-summer release. This would slot in where we usually see the Galaxy Note series launch, so it may be a crowded year for the Korean OEM.
- Launch ETA: August 2021
3. Huawei P50 series
We weren’t expecting to see Huawei’s upcoming flagship Android phones until a few months into 2021, and so far, that has proven true. They are international devices of mystery at this point, and we’ve already had possible release dates delayed a few times. At least we don’t expect Huawei to pull any stunts with the naming structure.
We know that the next devices in the Huawei P series will probably sport a Kirin 9,000 SoC and will likely focus on image processing. Once again, many of these specs are rumored, but the P50 handsets could ship with Harmony OS onboard, further cementing Huawei’s independence from Google’s app suite.
We’ve now seen further images and renders of the P50 leak, most recently in April 2021. They point to a much larger camera bump than the one found on the P40, possibly with a huge one-inch sensor. The previous Huawei P40 has a Chinese launch in March of 2020, followed by an international rollout in June, but we don’t know what to expect this year.
- Launch ETA: Mid 2021
4. Nokia 10
Nokia is working on the successor to 2019’s 9 PureView. The phone was originally expected to launch as the Nokia 9.2 or 9.3 PureView, though we’re not quite sure at this point. It may become the Nokia 10 to clean up the naming convention.
It’s expected to be a flagship device, though we now have questions about whether or not Nokia will move for the Snapdragon 888 chipset. However, we do expect an under-display selfie camera. It may be among the first phones to sport this feature, allowing for a full-screen experience without using a pop-up camera module.
We hope to see improvements when it comes to the camera. Although the Nokia 9 PureView had five sensors at the back, it wasn’t the best for photography. Rumors have it that Nokia will go with a more traditional normal/wide/telephoto camera layout this time around and improve its software. You can check out all the latest rumors surrounding the phone at the link.
The release date of Nokia’s upcoming Android phone hasn’t been announced yet, but the late 2020 rumors seem to have been a bit premature for the launch date.
- Launch ETA: Mid 2021
5. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) blew us away as our favorite phone of the year for its blend of value and performance. Now, we have some pretty solid expectations for the sequel, and it’s become one of our favorite Android phones to look forward to.
However, the biggest challenge facing the Galaxy S21 FE is the simple existence of the Galaxy S21. It’s barely more expensive than the original S20 FE, so it’s tough to see how Samsung will raise its game. We expect the new Galaxy S21 FE to be styled after the Galaxy S21, much like last year’s model. It’s been tough to nail down any specs related to the upcoming device, but we can’t imagine that Samsung will scale anything back this year.
We have heard that the Galaxy S21 FE may not get the same battery as the Galaxy S21 Plus, instead opting for a 4,500mAh cell. This would put it right between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, but only time will tell. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE may launch in August alongside the next Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip devices.
- Launch ETA: August 2021
6. Cheaper folding phones
The last Android phone we’re looking forward to right now is a cheaper folding option. It’s not necessarily one specific device, but we’re really hoping that prices come down in the future. We’ve already heard talk of a cheaper Galaxy Z Fold E, and Oppo is apparently planning to get in on the clamshell design, too.
See also: The best foldable phones you can get
One of the biggest problems is that folding phones just cost too much money. They’re unique and bound to turn heads, but your wallet will certainly feel the pain. It’s tough to pin down a release date as this is more of an upcoming category, but we’ll be sure to add devices in this section throughout the rest of 2021.