Best upcoming phones 2023: all the top new smartphones
From affordable flagships to folding smartphones, there'll be no shortage of exciting upcoming phone launches over the next few months
Like to follow every smartphone launch like a hawk? Your diary must have been busy over the last twelve months. From affordable blowers and fresh flagships to folding phones, there’s been a whole host of shiny new handsets. But you’re presumably here to stay on top of what’s around the corner – so here’s our guide to the best upcoming phones for 2023.
We’ve rounded up the confirmed releases, probable launches and rumoured reveals for 2023 below, so you can keep your smartphone knowledge well ahead of the curve. We’ve also summarised the major smartphone announcements from last year, with links to our reviews of the big hitters.
We’ll keep this list regularly updated, too. Here are all the best upcoming phones we expect to see in 2023.
The best upcoming phones 2023
Apple iPhone 15
There aren’t many solid rumours surrounding the iPhone 15. Due to launch in September 2023 as Apple’s launches and release dates are, mercifully, very consistent). We’d love to see the fancy Dynamic Island notch make its way down to the base iPhone 15 models. We’d also love to see 8K video recording (because why not), along with a periscope zoom camera to better match the lossless 10x optical zoom offered by the formidable Galaxy S22 Ultra.
On that note, we could see the launch of an iPhone 15 Ultra instead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, if the latest rumours are to be believed. Time will tell which ones prove to be true. In the meantime, the iPhone 14 Pro Max remains top dog in Apple world.
Google Pixel Fold
What about the elusive Pixel Fold? Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear a whole range of answers. Some thought the Pixel 6 would be bendable. Others predicted a separate Pixel Fold device would launch by the end of 2021. Now, the latest info indicates that Google won’t launch the Fold at all – at least, not in its current form.
Does that mean we won’t see a folding Pixel phone in 2022? Not necessarily. More likely, it means that Google has canned its first attempt at a foldable. That would certainly fit with industry intel that claims Google won’t launch a foldable in the first half of 2022.
What will the spec sheet of Google’s foldable have in store? That’s even less certain. Although if it follows the mould set by the Pixel 6 and carried on by the Pixel 7 Pro, you can expect a neat, premium design with a vanilla Android interface that’s optimised for a folding setup.
Nothing Phone 2
Transparent tech specialist Nothing made a splash with its first smartphone last year, courtesy of some eye-catching glyph lighting and capable mid-range hardware at a very attractive price. It largely focused on Europe and India, however, instead of the ultra-tough US market. That looks set to change for the Phone 2, which has been confirmed to be in the works.
Nothing founder Carl Pei also took to the stage at Mobile World Congress to confirm the new handset would use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 CPU – although he didn’t say if it would be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 currently doing the rounds, or a new generation version yet to be announced. The former seems more likely, given the firm is targeting a 2023 release.
We know little else about the handset, other than that it’ll be targeting a more high-end price point, with the build quality, materials and internal components to match. The glyph lighting will almost certainly make a reappearance, and we should expect cameras that take the fight to similarly-priced rivals.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Given that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best folding phone Samsung has ever made, it would be a shame for them to end it there. And they more than likely won’t. That’s why we’re excited to see what the Z Fold 5 has in store. There are very few rumours around at the moment. But we’d like to see an even slimmer design, faster charging, and a built-in S-Pen to take advantage of drawing and doodling on its expansive unfolded display.
Don’t fancy waiting until July or August for an all-new Samsung foldable? The current version is still a tasty device:
Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony’s phone division has been fairly quiet so far in 2023, but the rumour mill suggests a fifth-gen flagship isn’t too far away. Leaked renders suggest the Xperia 1 V’s styling will largely match last year’s Xperia 1 IV, with most of the changes being made under the hood. That phone had a rather toasty CPU that hampered performance and its ability to record 4K video, so expect a more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU this time around.
Photography will almost certainly be the focus, but it’s unknown right now whether Sony will use the 1-inch sensor it co-developed with Xiaomi, or stick to a smaller sized unit. The only hardware sneak peek doing the rounds right now suggests the time-of-flight and RGB IR sensors are gone, leaving a trio of lenses. Expect a capable telephoto and ultrawide pairing, plus a very in-depth camera app that’ll please professionals. With no launch date confirmed, though, you might be better snapping up an Xperia 1 IV instead:
Best upcoming phones: 2023’s biggest smartphone releases so far
This latest ‘flagship killer’ was among the first gaggle of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones, and brought back the alert slider – which had gone AWOL on the previous-gen OnePlus 10T. It also packs in a trio of Hasselblad-badged rear cameras, high resolution AMOLED display, and rapid wired charging. Even more impressive is that OnePlus has managed to keep the price down, retaining its “value champion” appeal with fans.
It has tried book-style foldables a few times, but the Find N2 Flip is Oppo’s first attempt at a clamshell. Not that you’d know it: the design and build quality are impeccable, beating Samsung to the punch at a device that folds shut completely with no visible gap between halves. Battery life is excellent, it’s a powerful performer, and takes a great photo. Plus its outer screen is as big as you’ll find on any flip phone. It also undercuts the Galaxy Z Flip 4 by some margin, making it our choice of clamshell phone right now.
The more mainstream versions of Samsung’s latest flagship phone line give a choice of screen sizes. the 6.1in Galaxy S23 also makes do with a smaller battery and slower charging, but keeps the same trio of rear cameras as the 6.6in Galaxy S23+. Both follow closely in the footsteps of the S22 series, with a new CPU being the biggest hardware upgrade. Design changes are also pretty minor.
It doesn’t look a whole lot different from the previous generation, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra is packing an all-new, 200MP main camera at the rear that promises exceptional daylight image quality and much-improved low-light performance. It’s a powerhouse, with S-Pen digital stylus for note-taking and the latest Snapdragon CPU.
A business-focused blower that isn’t going on general sale might be pretty niche, but Moto reckons its latest will find a lot of love in the corporate world. Specs would have been top-tier last year, and its camera setup is shared with the mid-range Moto Edge 30 Fusion, but it’s the bespoke additions to Android that make it easier for IT departments to remotely access them that could help it find a home.
Vivo isn’t a big name in the UK, but it has been doing impressive things on the photography front with partner Zeiss for years now. The X90 Pro is the first we’ll see in Blighty with a 1-inch main camera sensor, which dwarfs the ones found on most other smartphones. Power comes from a MediaTek Dimensity chip, which is able to comfortably compete with the best Qualcomm has to offer.
They were revealed early on Xiaomi’s home turf, but eventually both the Xiaomi 13 and its bigger brother got a European debut at the MWC show in February. The more mainstream model has a flat AMOLED screen set inside an aluminium frame, while the higher-end 13 Pro gets curved glass and more rounded styling. Both are powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPUs, pack plenty of RAM and ample storage, but it’s the Pro that photographers will be most interested in. As well as a 50MP zoom lens and 50MP ultrawide, the 50MP main snapper has a 1-inch sensor for dreamy bokeh blur and impeccable low light performance. 120W wired charging and wireless top-ups are also on-board.
Best upcoming phones: Last year’s biggest phone reviews
Wondering how this year’s smartphones compare to what came before? Below is a round up of our biggest smartphone reviews from 2022. Click the link to read each review in full.
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max: Apple revamps its flagship phone in many meaningful ways – but it comes at a significant price
- Apple iPhone 14: Apple’s latest non-Pro iPhone is superb – it’s just that it’s strikingly similar to last year’s effort.
- Asus ROG Phone 6: With its imperious power and some specialised accessories thrown in, can the latest chunky Asus set a new standard for gaming phones?
- Asus Zenfone 9: With superb specs and smaller dimensions than most modern mobiles, this a powerhouse that’s easier to pocket.
- Google Pixel 6a: Another wallet-friendly stunner. Good luck getting better performance for less.
- Google Pixel 7: Gives up a few luxuries versus its bigger brother, but the price is right and its camera credentials are still top notch.
- Google Pixel 7 Pro: Superb cameras and lustworthy hardware make this the obvious choice for well-heeled Google fans
- Honor 70: A streamlined smartphone that sacrifices flagship flourishes in favour of slender styling and a stellar screen.
- Huawei Mate 50 Pro: Astonishingly good cameras and killer hardware, but the usual 2022 Huawei caveats
- Huawei P50 Pro: despite a great camera and sleek design, no Google and no 5G make this one a tough sell.
- Huawei Mate Xs 2: a skinny fold-out flagship that’s Google-free but desirable all the same.
- IQOO Neo 6: this India-only affordable flagship gets plenty right, apart from the secondary cameras.
- Motorola Moto G82: Offering mid-tier performance at a bargain price, this is a keenly priced reminder that Moto knows how to make a brilliant budget phone.
- Motorola Edge 30: Slim dimensions and high refresh rates make the Motorola Edge 30 a joy to live with, especially at its discounted price.
- Motorola Edge 30 Fusion: Outstandingly good value handset that does everything to a high standard, even if it’s not quite the best at any one thing.
- Motorola Edge 30 Ultra: Impressive hardware and effortless style look good on this top-tier Moto handset.
- Motorola Razr 2022: First-rate foldable that improves significantly over Moto’s original efforts
- Nokia G60 5G: Extensive support and recycled materials bode well for this affordable Finnish phone.
- Nokia X30 5G: Spearheading Nokia’s sustainable Circular subscription drive, the X30 is an eco-minded mobile that feels every bit the modern mid-ranger.
- Nothing Phone 1: Unique styling and clever lighting put a refreshing twist on the affordable phone formula
- OnePlus Nord 2T 5G: Does the new Nord continue the trend of top-notch mid-range phones, or is it a middling update?
- OnePlus 10T: A solid sub-flagship in a crowded market, provided you don’t need best-in-class camera skills.
- Oppo Find N: a responsive flagship that shows folding phones can be pocketable.
- Oppo Find X5 Pro: a slick design, punchy screen, formidable camera and power in spades…this is one of the best smartphones we’ve used to date.
- Oppo Reno 8: Standout styling and lots of storage for this affordable flagship
- Oppo Reno 8 Pro: With bold styling, ample storage and a promising main camera, there’s a lot to love about the Oppo Reno 8 Pro on first impression.
- Poco F4 GT: a gamer-friendly phone with a low profile and a fair price tag.
- Poco X4 Pro 5G: a well-rounded package with solid battery life and a stellar screen.
- Realme GT 2 Pro: a winning package of flagship specs and impressive value.
- Realme GT Neo 3 150W: a feature-packed phone with world-first 150W fast-charging.
- Realme 9: a great value smartphone for everyday use, provided you don’t need 5G.
- Realme 9 Pro Plus: there are better mid-range all-rounders, but few with the same flagship camera specs.
- Redmi Note 11: a capable handset at a decent price, let down at times by sluggish performance.
- Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: a good phone at a good price, unless you’re a gamer.
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: potential aplenty, undermined by laggy, sluggish performance.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: a more affordable Galaxy mobile which doesn’t scrimp on camera specs.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: a reliably good phone, with a great screen, premium design and nippy internals.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: not cheap, but easily the most fully-featured smartphone you can buy.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: Tweaking the weak points of its predecessor, first impressions suggest the Z Flip 4 is every bit the everyman clamshell foldable.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: A slicker, more streamlined folding phone that majors on productivity.
- Sony Xperia 1 IV: unapologetically premium, Sony’s no-compromise flagship is cleverer than ever.
- Sony Xperia 5 IV: A multi-lens shooter that makes Sony’s camera smarts available to more creators.
- Sony Xperia 10 IV: The most affordable version of Sony’s “does it all” smartphone ticks plenty of boxes
- Sony Xperia Pro-I: an impressive camera phone that’s made niche by its high price.
- Vivo V21 5G: a decent mid-range phone with a turbocharged selfie camera.
- Vivo V25 Pro: Colour-changing glass adds character to a capable mid-tier smartphone that’s otherwise par for the course.
- Vivo X80 Pro: a photography-first flagship that’s less polished on the software side.
- Xiaomi 12 Pro: a refreshingly gimmick-free flagship, although performance hiccups hold it back
- Xiaomi 12 Lite: iPhone-esque looks and a capable camera make for a desirable mid-ranger
- Xiaomi 12s Ultra: A quirky, China-only handset with class-leading Leica camera hardware.
- Xiaomi 12T Pro: A massive 200MP camera and plenty of power, at a very tempting price