Buyer’s guide: Best smartphone

As 2023 approaches, we anticipate seeing a ton of fantastic new phones. We've already included two outstanding new entries for early doors from Samsung and OnePlus.

The world’s top best mobile phones

As 2023 approaches, we anticipate seeing a ton of fantastic new phones. We’ve already included two outstanding new entries for early doors from Samsung and OnePlus.

Luckily, 2022 brought us some real beauties, and in this post, we’ve listed the top ones alongside the newest phones. Our definitive list of the top ten phones contains everything you could possibly want, whether you’re searching for performance, photographic prowess, or value. You’ll be surprised by some of the pricing.

The best phone on this list won’t be the best phone for everyone, so look at all ten. The best phone for you is out there; it depends on your priorities, which may include the camera, battery life, design, specifications, pricing, and a variety of other factors.

Naturally, Apple and Samsung are represented here, but if you look beyond them to Android rivals like OnePlus, Google, Oppo, and Xiaomi, you might find your perfect travel companion. It’s important to know that each of these phones performs admirably; they simply do it slightly differently. Better phones are available to anyone due to healthy competition.

The best top smartphone of 2023

1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Everything on a phone

Galaxy-S23-UltraProduct-ImageGreenFrontLI

Pros

  • Attractive premium product
  • Very long battery life
  • High-quality cameras
  • Impressively fast

Cons

  • 45W charging slowly
  • overly expensive product

Rating: 3.5 out of 4.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the phone to have if you want the most features available. It’s a big, pricey phone, but it has every feature a 2023 smartphone could possibly need, including three excellent cameras, a battery life that lasts well over a day, a performance that matches any rival phone, and, of course, the now-iconic S-Pen stylus that’s hidden inside the phone for when you need it.

It’s one of the few phones with a squared-off body and screen on the market, but its excellent build quality and neatly tapered corners and screen make it comfortable to carry. With this design, you have the best screen of any phone, which is outstanding for watching films and ideal for any app you can think of.

If you want somewhat saturated colours that pop out more than they do in real life, the 200Mp primary camera is great. This is not to imply that they appear unnatural, however, as they have exceptional quality and the versatility of ultrawide, two independent 3x, and 10 optical telephoto lenses. It’s unfortunate that the Sealife camera performs poorly in low light.

Read our complete article: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

2. iPhone 14 Pro – The best and latest iPhone

apple-iphone-14-pro-max-256-gb-deep-purple-6-gb-ram

Rating: 4 out of 4.

It’s a happy surprise that the iPhone 14 Pro is such an improvement over the iPhone 13 considering how little the standard iPhone 14 updates the iPhone 13. Even while some of the changes are superficial, it’s difficult to ignore them when Dynamic Island debuts with such a drastic visual overhaul.

Apple’s world-famous screen notch has been reduced to a pill-shaped and circular shape below the top bezel, but the empty space has been filled with black pixels. Animations have been used to have notifications and app updates originate from the space, giving a purpose to the cutouts now present for cameras on most phone screens. It is incredibly ingenious and allows you to always see the weather, timers, music playing, and other information at the top of the screen without opening an app.

The phone’s cameras are also very impressive, with the first 48Mp sensor on an iPhone that enables 2x zoom cropping in addition to the 3x telephoto lens and a competent ultrawide. Meanwhile, Apple has finally released an always-on display that does nothing more than dim your lock screen and, gratifyingly, does not, at least according to our testing, have an impact on battery life. Compared to the 13 Pro, it isn’t a significant upgrade, but if your phone is three or four years old, this one will feel like it’s from another planet.

Read our complete article: iPhone 14 Pro

3. Google Pixel 7 – Most consumers should choose Google-Pixe-7-128gb-5G

Pros

  • Value for the money
  • amazing 90Hz screen
  • fantastic cameras
  • simple-to-use software

Cons

  • slow charging speed
  • Basic face unlocking

Rating: 4 out of 4.

Best Pixel phone ever, loaded with premium features, and available for the utterly astounding price of $599, £599, or €649.

A beautiful 6.3-inch 90Hz OLED display, brilliant and customizable Android 13 software, a premium glass finish with wireless charging and incredibly good primary and ultrawide cameras on the back are all included for less money than any iPhone 14 or Galaxy S23 model. The 50Mp sensor plus Google’s top-notch picture processing make the main camera the greatest point-and-shoot phone camera on the market, producing breathtaking images no matter what you point it at.

Additionally, you get fun software features like Magic Eraser to remove unwanted people or objects from your photos as well as other Pixel-only features like call screening and a call holding feature to avoid waiting on hold for a long time with businesses. However, some of these call benefits are available only to US residents.

If you want a larger screen, longer battery life, and an additional optical telephoto zoom lens, you may get the Pixel 7 Pro.

Read our complete article: Google Pixel 7

4. Google Pixel 6a – The highest value for money Phone in an Android

Google-Pixel-6a-5G

Pros

  • wonderful performance
  • long-lasting battery
  • excellent camera

Cons

  • 60Hz Display
  • charging slowly
  • easily damages the back plastic

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Even though the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro feature larger, better screens and improved cameras, most people should opt for the $649/£399/€459 6a because it offers greater value.

At the asking price, you receive the same Google Tensor chip as the iPhone 6 and 6 Pro, giving you performance on par with flagship models. This A-series Pixel is fast; older models were not.

See also  Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Efficient Review

The only features you receive are a 60Hz refresh rate screen, slow 18W charging, and a plastic back that readily scratches. Moreover, there isn’t the 50Mp main camera found in the Pixel 6, but rather a 12.2Mp camera similar to the Pixel 5.

Other than that, this is a great price for a device that offers three years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates, which is near to the entire Pixel experience.

Read our complete article: Google Pixel 6a

5. OnePlus 11 – The best flagship

OnePlus-11-Mobile-Phone

Pros

  • fantastic screen
  • quickly performing
  • affordable price
  • powerful cameras
  • software support for five years

Cons

  • avoiding wireless charging
  • Not completely waterproof

Rating: 4 out of 4.

The OnePlus 11 offers the perfect balance, offering a fully-featured premium smartphone at an affordable price. The only things it lacks for $699/£729/€849 are wireless charging and full waterproofing (we are more annoyed about the latter than the former).

If you can do without those extras, you’ll have a phone with all the other features you could possibly need really quick performance, a fantastic display, powerful cameras, including a very good main 50MP lens, and four years of Android upgrades and five years of security patches. In the world of Android, only Samsung and Fairphone can match that (iPhones get the longest software support at more than five years).

Unlike other large phones, the OnePlus 11 is thin and sleek despite having a 6.7-inch screen. You can choose between a glossy green model and a matte, nearly silk-like black model with back glass. This means that although it gets no fingerprints, it is one of the slickest phones available.

This is a terrific phone at a price that ensures you’ll get your money’s worth if you can make it survive five years, as long as you don’t mind the slightly laboured newer version of OxygenOS that frequently modifies Android for change’s sake.

Read our complete article: Oneplus 11

6. iPhone 14 – excellent all-arounder

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Pros

  • long-lasting battery
  • wonderful performance
  • excellent dual cameras
  • superior build quality

Cons

  • 60Hz display
  • Slow charging
  • No RAW photography

Rating: 4 out of 4.

Even though the iPhone 14 is essentially an iPhone 13 with a new moniker, it is cheaper and not as good as the iPhone 14 Pro. The only notable improvements over the 13 are a barely noticeable upgrade to the main camera and the incredibly impressive Action Mode for stabilizing videos.

The basic line is, don’t upgrade from an iPhone 13; otherwise, this is the most popular iPhone at the moment. It also has vehicle crash detection, which you will hopefully never need. Although it lacks a telephoto lens, it boasts amazing performance, a long battery life, and excellent cameras.

Like always with Apple, iOS is a very solid operating system with the highest build quality in the industry. A repair may be made at any Apple Store, and you’ll receive software updates for around five years. The iPhone 14 Plus has a bigger screen and more battery life, but we like this smaller model more.

Read our complete article: iPhone 14

7. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – Best Flip Smartphone

Galaxy-Z-Flip-4

Rating: 4 out of 4.

Samsung has designed the Z Flip 4 an all-day phone with the same primary and ultrawide cameras as the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus in order to solve the Z Flip 3’s shortcomings with poor battery life and average camera performance for the price.

This means that for a price comparable to a flagship slab smartphone, this is the best foldable phone currently available. We are unable to test the Flip’s durability, but Samsung claims it will survive for at least 200,000 open and shut actions or nearly five years of ordinary use. Durability concerns over the display’s durability and the crease in it still exist.

Because of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset’s increased energy efficiency and better battery life, you no longer need to recharge the Flip every two hours. Although 256GB storage may be preferable for a little extra money, 8GB RAM is more than sufficient. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is another feature we adore.

This is essentially an S22 that folds down to half its size and has a better processor. It’s captivating and simply one of the best phones.

Read our complete article: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

8. Asus Zenfone 9 – The most compact premium Androidasus zenfone 9

Pros

  • Unique, small-scale design
  • excellent battery life
  • Strong specifications
  • excellent photography in low light

Cons

  • Heat-related problems
  • Only two promised Android upgrades
  • no support for mmWave

Rating: 4 out of 4.

This phone is for you if you want a genuinely tiny Android device with flagship-level specs. It has better cameras, a better chipset, and an astonishingly long battery life for a phone of its size than the Google Pixel 6a, which is more expensive and smaller. Kudos to Asus.

The rear is not made of glass but rather of a plastic mix that has a little paper-like appearance. There is no wireless charging available here, but you might like the stronger build of your phone.

This phone punches above its weight with excellent low-light images and solid video because of its 50Mp primary sensor, which is really good and even features gimbal stabilization. We were amazed by how much Asus managed to fit into such a little phone, however, we did notice that the handset occasionally gets a little warm.

You’ll enjoy the tiny Zenfone 9, one of the few really portable smartphones available if you don’t mind that and the fact that Asus only promises to update the software for two years.

Read our complete article: Asus Zenfone 9

Your 2023 buying guide for the top smartphones

The following factors should be taken into account while selecting a phone: build quality and design, usability, features, performance, and cost.

A flagship phone in 2023 will typically start at roughly $700/£700 but may occasionally cost over $1,000/£1,000. In the UK, the typical cost of a contract phone is between £30 and £50 per month, but you can spend much more if you want an expensive phone and a lot of mobile data.

More frequently than in the UK and Europe, very good contract phone bargains may be found in the US.

It’s important to note that while this list features the top smartphones currently on the market, flagships aren’t necessarily included (even though they do feature heavily here). There are some entries that overlap with our mid-range and low-cost phone charts as well, but they earned their spot here based on the features and quality they provide in relation to their cost.

The best deal for a phone is typically to buy it all together, but we understand that in the real world, budgets don’t always allow for such large one-time expenditures. If you can, you’ll obviously need a phone, a SIM card, and a plan. Check out our top SIM-only offers if you don’t already have one.

pratik patil
pratik patil

Technology and innovation that includes the word "smart" are things that Pratik Patil strongly supports. This fuels his passion for writing about everything the technology sector has to offer.

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