Hottest phone deals in 2022: Samsung S21 FE, S22 and more
New year, new phone? The S21 FE has just been unveiled, so here are our tips on how to get the latest tech and save.
We're only 5 days into the new year and already Samsung is creating buzz around its budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and the latest Galaxy S22 range, which we expect to be announced in February.
If Samsung doesn't hit your sweet spot, here's a cheat sheet for when to expect all the biggest phones of 2022 and how to get the best deals that could save you hundreds of dollars.
What will be the biggest phone launches this year?
While we don't have a crystal ball here at Finder, there are lots of rumours and annual releases you can set your watch by.
The phones you can be sure of
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. The more affordable sibling to the Galaxy S21 range, out 30 January from $999.
- OnePlus 10 Pro. An affordable flagship, launching in China this month with worldwide release TBA.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 range. Expected to include the "Note"ification of the Ultra portion of the line (giving it a stylus like the Samsung Note phones of old). Set to be announced in February.
- Oppo Find X4. Oppo's new flagship line should be available around the end of March.
- Google Pixel 6a. The more affordable version of last year's Google flagship should be released around July.
- Samsung Galaxy Fold 4. Anticipated to be the best foldable phone ever after the Fold 3 made so many improvements. Set to be released August/September.
- Samsung Galaxy Flip 4. The Flip 3 was released alongside the Fold last year and became a hit among influencers, so it's likely to get a spec bump around August/September too.
- Apple iPhone 14. Expect an announcement in September with plenty of leaks beforehand.
- Google Pixel 7. Likely to launch in October.
Possible phone launches
- iPhone SE 3. It's been rumoured for a while to be coming soon, possibly with 5G, but it's debatable whether this affordable update to the 2020 iPhone SE will be out in 2023, or April 2022.
- TCL. The prolific electronics manufacturer recently pledged to make 5G affordable for all while announcing a US-only 5G phone. Expect an affordable TCL 5G phone mid-year (its model last year was available for under $300).
Here's how to score the best phone deal
Now that you have your eyes on some shiny new tech, how do you get the most bang for your buck?
If you want the latest and greatest, it's always wise to keep an eye out during the pre-sale period.
Depending on what's available, that could mean a free $150 gift thrown your way in the shape of headphones or even a TV.
- Example: The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is available for pre-order now from Samsung's website directly, and those who order before 30 January get a free pair of Galaxy Buds 2.
Samsung pretty much always throws in a pair of free headphones with its pre-order sale, with increasingly fancy headphones to suit the price tag of the phone. You can expect a similar (but probably better) deal for the Galaxy S22 when that's announced next month.
Similarly, Google tends to throw in Pixel Buds or Google Nest Audio as freebies.
And if you're lucky, TCL could give away free TVs with its phones once again this year.
Some telcos, like Telstra, will also offer monthly plan discounts, which can save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the plan. This is especially key for iPhone launches, and can end up being much better value than a freebie.
This discount tends to be on the highest data plan available from the provider, so consider whether you actually need what's on offer.
Alternatively, older models could be available for a discounted price when its new version launches. If you're perfectly happy with slightly older tech, just wait for the new phone to come out and you could get its predecessor for cheaper.
- Keep in mind: Make sure to double check that the discount on the old model is worth it in comparison to the pre-order offers on the new one. Sometimes the new phone ends up being around the same during that brief, glorious window.
Trade in your old phone
If you have an older phone that you don't need anymore, you can trade it in for a discount on most new phones too. The amount will depend on which provider you trade-in with.
- Example: Telstra will give you up to $1,000 for your old iPhone 12 Pro Max 512 GB if it's in good working order, while an iPhone XR can get you up to $325. A Samsung Galaxy Note S20 5G 256GB is worth up to $600.
It won't be as much as you would get if you sold it on Facebook, Gumtree or eBay, but it will be significantly less effort for guaranteed money, rather than having to deal with people messaging you "is this still available" and then offering you $5.
Plus, that trade in value also stacks with the freebies and discounts offered by telcos, giving you an even better deal.
Make sure you're getting the best deal on your plan
Just remember that the phone is only part of what you're going to pay for. You also need a good value mobile plan to make your dollar go as far as possible.