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The best phones deliver value and performance that stands out in every area. They are also some of the most expensive out there. But, based on our research, you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money on a smartphone to get the best experience.
With all the different smartphones on the market, picking the best phone that meets your needs and budget can be a complicated and time-consuming decision — whether it’s Apple or Google-based Android phones such as Samsung and OnePlus.
This smartphone guide focuses on the best handsets you can buy right now, including our budget pick for the best cheap phone under $400, $500, and under $600.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Buy at Samsung
- iPhone 13 Pro Max: Buy at Amazon
- Google Pixel 6 Pro: Buy at Amazon
- OnePlus 10 Pro 5G: Buy at Amazon
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: Buy at Samsung
- OnePlus 9 Pro 5G: Buy at Amazon
- Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus: Buy at Samsung
- Amazon: Biggest discounts on most phone brands, including Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, TCL, and more
- Samsung: Black Friday record-low prices across high-end Galaxy phones with savings of up to $800 off
- OnePlus: Save up to $300 off on select OnePlus smartphones models
The best phones 2023
This guide is a work in progress involving more best phones, so you can always check back for the full list – but for now, we’ve put together the 9 best options that offer exceptionally good value.
Best smartphone 2023
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is without a doubt the best smartphone on the market right now. It’s a high-end smartphone that offers a number of features that are sure to appeal to users who are looking for a phone that can do it all. The phone has a large 6.8-inch display, a powerful 108MP rear camera, and a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery.
The S22 Ultra 8K also boasts plenty of features that are perfect for anyone who wants to take their photography or videography to the next level. With an impressive 108MP camera, 8K video recording, and a bright display, this phone has everything you need to capture amazing photos and videos.
The phone is also equipped with an S Pen, which allows users to edit photos and videos with pinpoint accuracy. Additionally, the long-lasting battery and fast charging make it easy to keep this phone powered up, even when you’re using it for extended periods of time. And finally, the premium design and craftsmanship make this phone a joy to use and show off.
The only downside to the Galaxy S22 Ultra is that it does not have a microSD slot for expanding the storage.
Wireless Carrier: Unlocked for all Carriers | Operating System: Android 12 | Cellular Technology: 5G, 4G LTE | Memory Storage RAM: 8GB/12GB | Connectivity Technology: USB | Screen Size: 6.8 Inches | Wireless network technology: GSM, CDMA, LTE | Weight: 228g | Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Front camera: 40MP | Rear camera: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Best iPhone for 2023
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is still the best iPhone from Apple. It has everything you will ever need in a phone, including amazing performance that packs a 120Hz refresh rate display, no mobile device on the market today can match such an incredible performance, plus the superb battery life that can last more than 12 hours at a stretch without needing a charge.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max camera is one of the impressive features that truly puts it as the best iPhone and above any class of smartphone at the moment, thanks to the improved larger sensors and a new photographic feature that allows you to style and tweak your pics. You get an ultra-wide camera for close-ups and the ability to take macro shots, thanks to the new macro mode feature.
If you love photography and looking for a phone to use as your primary camera, getting the iPhone 13 Pro Max is definitely worth it. With the triple-camera LiDAR system, you get more details, stunning colors, and clarity in all shots.
Price for the iPhone 13 Pro Max start at $1,099 for 128GB of storage and up to $1,199 for 256GB. You can get the 512GB for $1,399, while the colossal 1TB option will set you back at $1,599.
At base price, the iPhone 13 Pro Max cost $300 more than the iPhone 13, and $100 more than iPhone 13 Pro, which are more affordable options with almost the same features at a cheaper price – especially the iPhone 13, that is if you don’t need a 120Hz display or telephoto lens.
Storage: 128, 256, 512, 1TB | Screen size: 6.7 inches | Resolution (ppi): 2778 x 1284 (458) | Adaptive refresh: Up to 120Hz | Battery life: 12 hours | Processor: A15 Bionic | Rear cameras: Pro 12MP (Telephoto, Wide, Ultra Wide) | Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth | Zoom: 3x optical / 15x digital | Colors: Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue, Silver | Weight: 8.5 ounces | Size: 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches | Water resistance: IP68
The best top-tier pixel phone from Google
The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the newest and most advanced Pixel phone yet. It comes with a variety of new and improved features that make it the smartest and fastest Pixel phone yet. It has a powerful processor, an advanced camera system, fast charging, and a modern and intuitive interface. One of the most notable new features is the Google Tensor processor, which is the first processor designed by Google specifically for the Pixel. This processor takes performance to a whole new level.
The Pixel 6 Pro features an advanced camera system with wide and ultrawide lenses, 4x optical zoom, and the main sensor that captures 150% more light. This makes it perfect for taking high-quality photos and videos. The Pixel 6 Pro also comes with a variety of professional tools, such as the Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode, that keep your photos sharp, accurate, and focused.
Additionally, the Pixel 6 Pro features a fast-charging all-day battery that adapts to your usage and saves power for the apps you use the most. Finally, the Pixel 6 Pro comes with the next gen Titan M2 chip, 5 years of security updates, and the most hardware layers of any phone, making it one of the most secure and safe phones on the market.
Wireless Carrier: Unlocked for all Carriers | Operating System: Android 12, upgradable to Android 13 | Cellular Technology: 5G, 4G LTE | Memory Storage Capacity: 128 GB | Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Screen Size: 6.7 Inches | Wireless network technology: GSM, LTE | Dimensions: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm (6.45 x 2.99 x 0.35 in) | Weight: 210 g (7.41 oz) | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~512 ppi density) | USB: Type-C 3.1 | Battery: Li-Ion 5003 mAh, non-removable; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min; Fast wireless charging 23W
Best OnePlus phone
The OnePlus 10 Pro is a powerful and versatile 5G-compatible phone that is perfect for mobile gaming enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts alike. It’s a high-end phone with some impressive specs. It has a 6.7-inch screen, a Snapdragon 8 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. It also has 5G support and a 5,000mAh battery.
In terms of cameras, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a 48MP rear camera, a 50MP rear camera, and an 8MP front camera. The camera setup is impressive, and it’s clear that OnePlus is serious about photography with this phone. The phone is also very lightweight and has a sleek design. It’s a great option for anyone who is looking for a high-end phone with great features.
Additionally, the 10 Pro comes with a fast-charging 65W SuperVOOC charger and a 50W wireless charger, making it a great choice for those who need a reliable and powerful phone that can charge quickly.
Weight: 200.5g | Dimensions: 163 x 73.9 x 8.55mm | OS: Android 12 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 3216 X 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 8 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP | Front Camera: 32MP | Wireless Carrier: Unlocked | Cellular Technology: 5G, 4G LTE | Connectivity Technology: USB | SIM card slot count: Single SIM
One of the best Android phones
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the best Android smartphone in the world right now. The Galaxy S21 Ultra vision is to level up the experience as the best Samsung phone. The 5G device comes with a superior larger screen and a truly platinum design with five cameras, including a 108MP sensor, dual telephoto lenses, 100x zoom and 40MP selfies, plus incredible battery life of over 11 hours.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is a performance beast that’s easier to unlock using the larger fingerprint sensor. It comes with a great 6.8-inch display, 120Hz refresh rate, and sharp WQHD resolution. You also get the S Pen support, even though you’ll need to purchase the stylus and a case to hold it separately.
While the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a great smartphone, it’s quite expensive for the average consumer, you also don’t get a microSD card slot for expandable storage or a charger.
The base-level 128GB storage with 12GB of RAM may not be enough for you, especially if you’re keen on taking lots of 8K 24fps or 4K 60fps video, meaning you’ll want to go for the 256GB of storage (12GB RAM), or higher at 256GB of storage (16GB of RAM).
Apart from the notable steep price, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy right now, unless you prefer smaller phones.
Weight: 227g | RAM: 12GB / 16GB | Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm | Resolution: QHD (3200 x 1440) | Display size: 6.8-inch | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Pixel density: 515ppi | Chipset: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100 | Rear cameras: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP | Front camera: 40MP | Video: 8K 30 fps/4K 60 fps | Wireless: 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, UWB | Size: 6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches
One of the best OnePlus phones
OnePlus 9 Pro takes the 6th spot in our ranking of the best phones in 2023, deservedly for many reasons. It’s one of the best Android phones on the market right now, with premium quality and features.
The 9 Pro is a top-of-the-range flagship phone from OnePlus, 5G-ready, and designed to compete with other top-tier handsets. It has a 6.7-inch screen that spreads all through the edges in a narrow body – seamlessly elegant with a fluid display that sets the refresh rate to 120Hz QHD. Scrolling through the web on the OnePlus 9 Pro is so smooth and makes browsing enjoyable.
Another outstanding feature of the OnePlus 9 Pro is its proprietary charging technology. Unlike Samsung, Apple, and other top-end smartphone manufacturers, the OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a new 65-watt wired charger included in the box, that can speed up charging the phone very quickly. There’s also support for 50-watt wireless charging. The 4,500mAh battery is large and, on a full charge, can last through a full day with typical use. However, OnePlus phones have never lived up to expectations when it comes to battery life, but the 9 Pro will reliably see you through a full day on a full charge with moderately heavy usage.
While the battery life isn’t the best in class, OnePlus did made one notable improvement in its camera. The camera department has been OnePlus main con with previous releases. But it did impress this time by teaming up with legendary camera brand Hasselblad to improve its camera results and position the 9 Pro camera as a heads-up competitor to the very best Apple and Samsung has to offer.
The 9 Pro is the best and most expensive smartphone OnePlus has ever made. It definitely fits the bill, if you are looking to buy a premium phone with great power.
Screen: 6.7-inch display | Resolution: QHD (3216×1400) | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Pixel density: 525ppi | RAM: 8GB / 12GB | Storage: 128GB / 256GB | Chipset: Snapdragon 888 | Battery: 4,500mAh | Front camera: 16MP | Rear cameras: 48MP + 8MP + 50MP + 2MP | Weight: 197g | Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7 mm | Operating system: Android 11 / OxygenOS
Best Android phone under $600
The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 FE are some of the best Android phones you can buy right now. It’s got great performance, fantastic design, and impressive features, including 5G and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
Both the S20 and S20 Plus have a great battery life with a 4,000mAh and 4,500mAh capacity respectively, enough to go through a day without recharging. Both phones come with the Infinity-O AMOLED displays with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, excellent for smooth interaction and gaming.
Both devices have 64MP ultrawide telephoto cameras that really shine with 3x optical zoom, providing a lot of flexibility when taking photos. Though, not quite as good as the S21 Ultra or 13 Pro Max cameras, but good enough for creating excellent photos and videos.
The only difference between the S20 and S20 Plus is the screen; the S20 has a 6.2-inch screen while the S20 Plus has a massive 6.7-inch screen, which looks gorgeous.
RAM: 12GB | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | Storage: 128/512GB | Operating system: Android 10 | Screen: 6.7-inch | Weight: 6.56 ounces | Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP
Best cheap iPhone
Apple’s iPhone 12 still remains one of the best all-round iPhones that most people should buy. It’s basically the iPhone12 pro repacked at a more affordable price. The iPhone 12 Pro’s over-and-above material design and photo/video capturing capability is the major difference between both phones, which may not be necessary for most buyers.
Furthermore, the iPhone 12 is an excellent improvement on last year’s iPhone 11 – from the new OLED display to the magnetic MagSafe feature that allows for faster and easy connection to other mobile accessories. There is also the iPhone 12 mini, which is the smaller version of the iPhone 12.
The iPhone 12 is budget-friendly and relatively cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro. You also get the fast A14 Bionic processor, impressive dual rear cameras, and 5G connectivity. The iPhone 12 is an incredible all-around device for the price, making it fully deserving of its place on this list.
RAM: 16GB – 4GB | CPU: A14 Bionic | Storage: 4GB/128GB/256GB | Operating system: iOS 14 | Screen: 5.4-inch / 6.1-inch | Weight: 5.78 ounces | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4) | Front camera: 12MP (ƒ/2.2) | Battery life: 8hrs:25mins (5G), 10hrs:23mins (LTE)
Best budget phone under $500
The iPhone SE 2020 is the best phone under $400, striking the balance of design, impressive battery life, and great speed. It’s not the best from the range of iPhones but offers the best value for people who want to stick with the iPhone brand without spending a lot of money.
It has a 4.7-inch LCD screen that Apple used on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, but the SE’s stand-out feature is its processor, Apple’s A13 Bionic (the same on iPhone 11), and an excellent camera. Old-school iPhone users will also value the return of TouchID and the home button.
The iPhone SE 2020 is a great choice for a phone under $500 if you’re on a budget and don’t want to make a switch to Android.
RAM: 3GB | CPU: A13 Bionic | Storage: 4GB/128GB/256GB | Operating system: iOS 13 | Screen: 4.7-inch | Weight: 5.22 ounces | Rear camera: 12MP (f/1.8) | Front camera: 7MP (f/2.2) | Wireless charging: Yes (Qi)
Best new phones coming in 2022 & 2023
Below are 4 of the best upcoming phones coming out this year:
The Galaxy A23 5G is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers fast 5G connectivity and a 120Hz full HD display. It is available in black, blue, and peach colors, with prices starting at $299.99. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 695 processor and comes with Android 12 running Samsung’s One UI 4.1, and a 5,000mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. You get a choice of either 128GB or 64GB for storage with memory available in 8GB, 6GB, or 4GB. If you need more memory, there’s also an expandable microSD card slot.
The Galaxy A23 5G is a great option for those who want a fast and powerful phone without spending a lot of money. It has a large display, a good processor, and plenty of storage and memory. The camera system is also impressive for a phone in this price range. The only downside is that the US release is only available in black at the moment, but hopefully, Samsung will release more color options in the future.
The wait is almost over for the new iPhone 14, which is set to be unveiled on September 7. In the meantime, rumors and leaks have given us a pretty good idea of what to expect from Apple’s latest flagship smartphone.
The standard iPhone 14 will reportedly feature a 6.1-inch display, just like the iPhone 13. However, there are some improvements in store, including a faster A14 Bionic chip and an upgraded main camera. The iPhone 14 Max (or iPhone 14 Plus) is said to sport a larger 6.7-inch display, while the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are said to feature a redesigned display with smaller bezels and a new cutout design.
Other rumored features for the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max include an improved main camera, an always-on display, and a new A16 Bionic chip.
Assuming all goes according to plan, Apple will officially unveil the new iPhone 14 on September 7. So, stay tuned for more information in the coming days.
It’s official – Sony has announced its latest smartphone, the Xperia 5 IV is scheduled to ship on October 27th. We’re excited to see what Sony has in store with the new Xperia 5 IV. The Xperia 5 IV includes a 24mm-equivalent standard wide, 16mm-equiv ultrawide, and 60mm-equiv telephoto on the rear panel. It also comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 6.1-inch 1080p OLED with 120Hz refresh rate and a tall 21:9 form factor, and a 5,000mAh battery (wireless charging). Plus, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The company has been killing it lately with its flagship smartphones, such as the Sony Xperia 1 IV, and we’re hoping that the new compact model will be just as impressive. The Xperia 5 IV will retail for $1,000.
The Razr 2022 is a great phone for anyone looking for a sleek and powerful device. The phone has a great design and is packed with features, and specs, such as the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, and a price point that puts it in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The new generation features a brand new camera system with three rear cameras and a front-facing camera. The Razr 2022 is available in two colors: black and white. The price point for the Razr 2022 translate from Chinese Yuan to $890 for the 8GB RAM/128GB, $965 for the 8GB RAM/256GB, and $1,083 for the 12GB RAM/512GB. However, the phone is only available in China at the moment, but a global release is expected.