Despite some of the logistical difficulties posed by the pandemic over the past year, phone manufacturers have continued to roll-out their major phone releases, without too much change to the annual release schedule we’ve come to expect.
In 2020, we saw a strong set of devices touch down on our shores and 2021 has already gotten off to a fantastic start as far phones go, with Samsung releasing a trio of impressive devices with the Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra.
If you’re currently scoping out your next device or are simply curious about the upcoming mobile phones that will drop during 2021, we’ve identified the mobile devices we’re most excited to see.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Don't expect Samsung to make a ton of design changes with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 - after last year’s model, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 improved many of the issues that plagued Samsung’s debut foldable effort from 2019.
Perhaps the spiciest rumour is that this year’s device will include an S Pen slot for the first time, which could signal the end of Samsung’s renowned Galaxy Note series – having stylus support makes a lot of sense based on the size of the screen once it’s folded out and would be a much-welcomed inclusion.
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Additional rumours suggest Samsung is looking to release an additional, more affordable Galaxy Z Model to support the flagship option, which would align with the strategy we saw from Samsung last year with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
While there hasn’t been a ton of confirmed information on what the more affordable Z Fold 3 device might look like, based on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE series, we’d expect the device to perhaps leave out S Pen support and include some downgraded specs and design elements.
Expect the Z Fold 3 to be announced sometime in the second half of 2021.
Update - LG has sadly pulled the pin on their mobile business unit, meaning their much anticipated rollable phone (seen in the video above) will no longer see the life of day.
Pour one out for LG who certainly delivered some of the more intriguing phone concepts over the years.
iPhone 13 range
No list would be complete without the inclusion of an iPhone of some sort and you could easily argue that Apple’s yearly flagship announcement will always be the hottest calendar event in the mobile phone world.
Some of the most talked-about rumours for the iPhone 13 will be music to the ears of Apple fans, with a 120Hz display on the cards for the Pro and Pro Max models and a much welcomed under-display Touch ID system potentially on the cards.
Other rumours suggest a 1TB storage option and a portless version across at least one of the models, which could signal the death of wired charging for future iPhones.
Expect Apple to announce their family of iPhone 13 devices in September 2021.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
The aforementioned Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t the only foldable device Samsung has up its sleeve after their debut Z Flip device from 2020 was a real success in most people’s eyes
While it may seem odd to jump from the Z Flip to the Z Flip 3, Samsung is looking to bring the Flip series in line with their Foldable line, meaning this years’ model will be known as the Z Flip 3.
While we don’t have a whole lot of information on the Z Flip 3, early rumours suggest the phone will include improved camera performance, a larger battery, and an increased screen size on the outside of the device, which would be a solid group of upgrades.
There’s also an additional, more-affordable Z Flip 3 on the cards which would align with the strategy we’ve seen with Samsung’s other flagship mobile devices as of late.
While there’s no official release date for the Z Flip 3 as of yet, we expect the device to arrive sometime in the second half of 2021.
Google’s Phones (Pixel 5a & Pixel 6)
Google shifted its strategy in 2020, deciding to focus their efforts on the mid-range market, with three separate devices (Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and the Pixel 5) all being released over the course of a few months.
The approach was well-received, with the company focusing on affordable price points, its signature smartphone photography and best-in-class Android support.
Google's next Pixel phone will likely be the Pixel 5a, with is expected to arrive sometime in June.
The Pixel 6 will likely follow in the footsteps of the Pixel 5a and as of now one of the core changes is the potential inclusion of a centered hole-punch for its selfie camera, with could include 4K-support for selfie videos.
We were big fans of Google’s stripped back approach in 2020 and are excited to see how both these devices fare once they’re released.