Best phones 2022: the very best smartphones to buy right now
There are stacks of phone options to choose from in 2022, so where do you even begin? Let our expert best smartphones guide show you the way to your ideal mobile phone handset.
In this guide, we dissect the top handsets from both Apple (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab) camps, many of them high-end flagships, but some selected for their balance of price to features (if you want budget options, check out our best cheap phones (opens in new tab) guide instead).
Given that our phones act as our do-everything devices – camera, navigation, comms, entertainment, gaming – it’s important to really consider the priority features that matter to you when picking your ideal phone. And if these options are all too big, then take a look at our best compact phones guide for smaller handsets.
Below, we've rounded up the best smartphones for 2022, including models from Apple, Samsung, OnePlus and many more.
Which is the best phone in 2022? The top 3
The best premium Apple phone is the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The best iPhone for our money, it delivers super cameras, drops the notch, and is undoubtedly the top-tier Apple device.
The best premium Android phone is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. A gorgeous design, superb cameras, even an integrated S Pen stylus for added versatility, Android phones don't get any more sophisticated than this.
The best phone for most people is the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Great features but at a cut of the price, plus a distinctive design and accomplished cameras, Google's 2022 flagship is a super handset without a massive price tag.
(Image credit: Future)
1. iPhone 14 Pro Max The best Apple phone you can buy Specifications Weight: 240g Dimensions: 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm Screen size: 6.7 inches Resolution: 1290 x 2796 pixels (460 ppi) CPU: Apple A16 Bionic RAM: 6GB Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB Battery: 4323 mAh Rear camera: 48MP main + 12MP 2x & 3x + 12MP ultrawide Front camera: 12MP Reasons to buy + 48MP camera is the best yet + Dynamic Island rather than notch + New always-on display Reasons to avoid - Most expensive option - Always-on display costs battery - Still no USB-C or fast charging Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab)
If you're looking for an Apple phone then this one is the best-of-best in the range. Introduced late 2022, the 14 Pro Max among the first iPhones to remove the notch in favour of Dynamic Island, while adding an always-on display and other top-notch features such as upgraded cameras.
As we said in our review: "The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the ultimate iPhone and boasts three killer features that make it worth the upgrade. The new 48MP camera is truly impressive, the always-on display is really useful and the Dynamic Island is not only a feat of hardware and software collaboration but actually adds to the user experience."
These new features can cost the battery life a bit, however, which is why we think this Pro Max, with its 6.7-inch screen and larger battery capacity, is the more savvy pick over the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro this time around. Sure, it's pricey, but it sure is punchy and worth all your hard-earned cash as the ultimate Apple phone investment.
Read our full iPhone 14 Pro review to see if Apple's top handset is the right match for you
(Image credit: Future)
2. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra The best flagship Android phone right now Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm / 229g OS: Android 13 Screen: 6.8 inches, 3200 x 1440 pixels CPU: Exynos 2100, 12GB/16GB RAM Storage: 256GB/512GB Battery: 5,000mAh, 45W fast charging Rear camera: Quad: 108MP, 10MP, 10MP, 12MP Front camera: 40MP Reasons to buy + Seriously powerful hardware + Versatile camera with AI features + S Pen stylus comes in a handy slot Reasons to avoid - It's pricey - No microSD card slot - S Pen stylus won't be for all Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at John Lewis (opens in new tab)
Samsung rules the roost when it comes to premium Android phones, the Galaxy S22 Ultra being the pinnacle of its range, featuring a gorgeous design, subtly curved display, even a built-in S Pen stylus to add greater versatility to the software experience.
Around the back are a quartet of cameras, arranged in exposed lenses as part of this design, that really deliver quality through wide-angle to various zoom steps. It's super easy to use and the results speak volumes.
All this does cost a fair chunk of change, of course, but we think it's worth every penny – even if you're unlikely to use the built-in S Pen.
Want to know more? Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review for the full breakdown about this top-end Android phone
The Google Pixel 7 Pro delivers the best Android experience for most people (Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
3. Google Pixel 7 Pro The best phone for most people Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm / 212g Screen size: 6.7-inch, 1440 x 3120 resolution, 120Hz CPU: Google Tensor G2, 8GB/12GB RAM Storage: 128GB / 256GB Battery: 5000mAh, 30W charging Rear camera: Triple: 50MP + 48MP + 12MP Front camera: 10.8MP Reasons to buy + Great camera experience + Bold and distinctive design + Savvily priced Reasons to avoid - Not the fastest charging tech - Aluminium finish scuffs too easily Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at John Lewis (opens in new tab)
Google's 2022 flagship, the Pixel 7 Pro, features astounding cameras that are easy to use and deliver great results in all conditions. There's Google's own second-gen processor on board, too, called Tensor G2, which is super fast and crunches through tasks with ease.
Above all else, however, it's the design that's distinctive and a real breath of fresh air. Sure, the aluminium finish does scuff too easily and should be hardier, but given the overall price of this device it undercuts the super-priced flagships and that will make it an ideal phone for most people (who aren't looking for iPhone anyway).
Like the idea of Google's flagship being more affordable than most? Read our full Google Pixel 7 Pro review to learn more
Best phones 2022: The best of the rest
The OnePlus costs a cut less cash than the priciest flagships (Image credit: Future)
4. OnePlus 10 Pro A great Android phone without a massive price Specifications Dimensions: 163 × 73.9 × 8.55mm / 201g OS: OxygenOS / Android 12 Screen size: 6.7 inches, 3216 x 1440p pixels CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB/12GB RAM Storage: 128GB/256GB Battery: 5,000mAh, 80W fast-charging Rear camera: Triple: 48MP + 8MP + 50MP Front camera: 32MP Reasons to buy + 6.7-inch QHD+, 120Hz display + Powerful efficient performance + Seriously fast charging Reasons to avoid - Other phones have a better battery life - Camera can be a bit inconsistent Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at Fonehouse (opens in new tab)
OnePlus has risen through the ranks year on year, offering serious spec for a not-so-serious price point. It's that balance of features to price that make the OnePlus 10 Pro so appealing and, for many, it'll be an ideal and more affordable phone choice.
It's the stunning 6.7-inch screen here that we found to be the best feature – especially thanks to its 120Hz fast refresh rate and high-res 10-bit colour depth quality – for great quality gaming and entertainment experiences.
Another feature we really love about this phone is just how fast you can charge it up – it only took us about 30 minutes to take it from empty to full. That’s game-changing – and it's a good job given that the battery life is otherwise just okay.
Check out our full OnePlus 10 Pro review to read why we think it's the best Android phone for most people
Superb design and great cameras from this Oppo handset (Image credit: Future)
5. Oppo Find X5 Pro The best Android phone design Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 163.7 x 73.9 x 8.5mm / 218g OS: ColorOS 12.1 based on Android 12 Screen size: 6.7 inches, 3216 x 1440 pixels CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB RAM Storage: 256GB Battery: 5,000mAh, 80W fast-charging Rear camera: Triple: 50MP + 50MP + 13MP Front camera: 32MP Reasons to buy + Stunning QHD+ screen with 120Hz refresh + Long-lasting battery and fast-charging + Impressive camera system Reasons to avoid - No microSD card slot or headphone jack - Expensive Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab)
The Find X5 Pro is an ideal alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, delivering a gorgeous design finished in ceramic and a really impressive camera system. And just like the OnePlus further up this page, there's ultra-fast charging too.
If you’re big on photography then the Find X5 Pro is a real stunner, its dual 50MP main/wide cameras and 13MP telephoto camera are able to take super pictures – helped along by Oppo's own processing hardware that helps it stand apart from the crowd. It's the cameras that are a real big win here.
Read our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review to get a better look at this stylish handset and its super cameras
(Image credit: Future)
6. iPhone 14 Plus A more affordable iPhone with a big screen Specifications Weight: 203g Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.8mm Screen size: 6.7-inches Resolution: 1284 x 2778 pixels CPU: Apple A15 Bionic RAM: 6GB Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB Battery: 4323mAh Rear camera: 12MP main + 12MP ultrawide Front camera: 12MP Reasons to buy + Great big screen + Easy-to-use and capable cameras system + Last-gen power but it's still highly capable Reasons to avoid - Not everyone wants a 6.7-inch screen - No always-on display - Still has a notch Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The all-new 'Plus' model in the range has ousted the standard iPhone 14 from our list because we think the Plus's bigger screen, at 6.7-inches, is better for most people – and the bigger scale means greater battery life too.
If you don't want the camera upgrade of the Pro Max, but do want the physical screen size, then we find the Plus to be a really great balance. Not to mention, of course, that the Plus saves you cash compared to the higher-end iPhone 14 models. And that, for many, will make it an ideally positioned and more financially suitable option.
Check out our full iPhone 14 Plus review to see if Apple's newest entry to its series is a winner for you
A fantastic premium Android phone (Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
7. Motorola Edge 30 Ultra A fantastic high-res camera option Specifications Dimensions: 161.8 x 73.5 x 8.4mm / 199g Screen size: 6.67-inch, 1080 x 2400 resolution, 144Hz CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB/12GB RAM Storage: 128GB / 256GB Battery: 4610mAh, 120W fast-charging Rear camera: Triple: 200MP + 50MP + 12MP Front camera: 60MP Reasons to buy + Fast charging at 120W is super quick + Display has subtle curvature + Powerful processor runs super smooth Reasons to avoid - Battery life isn't great per charge - Not everyone will want a curved screen Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Carphone Warehouse (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The first ever phone to use a 200-megapixel camera, which paired with stacks of power on tap from its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, plus its curved-edge screen, gives this phone distinctive appeal. It'll make for a solid Samsung Galaxy S22 alternative for many given the very fair asking price too.
However, the battery life is so-so – but if you're near to a plug that's inconsequential as the 125W charging is blisteringly fast (and a plug is included in the box) – and that curve-edge screen won't suit all users' wants. You won't find this handset over in the States either, which is almost baffling given how accomplished a piece of kit it is.
Read our full Moto Edge 30 Ultra review to see why this high-res camera option is a great Android option
Super for entertainment: Xiaomi's 12 Pro has a brilliant screen (Image credit: Future)
8. Xiaomi 12 Pro One of the best screens in an Android phone Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2mm / 180g OS: MIUI 13 based on Android 12 Screen size: 6.73 inches, 1440 x 3200 pixels CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12GB RAM Storage: 128GB/256GB Battery: 4,600mAh Rear camera: Triple: 50MP + 50MP + 50MP Front camera: 32MP Reasons to buy + Superb screen for entertainment + Strong triple rear cameras Reasons to avoid - Battery life fairly weak - Some software quirks Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Carphone Warehouse (opens in new tab) View at AO - Mobile Phones Direct (opens in new tab)
If you're power hungry then the Xiaomi 12 Pro is ideal. It packs the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, just like a number of the 2022 flagships on this list – but in our tests it actually performed better than most of those! Smooth, fast and reliable: it's well suited to everything from gaming to photo editing.
More than the high-end performance, though, we've been massively impressed by the screen, which offers heaps of resolution and brightness (including HDR10+ support), making it an ideal match for gaming and streaming. Everything looks exceptional.
There are some downsides though: the battery life only scrapes through a day – but at least you can recharge it in only 20 minutes thanks to 120W charging – while the cameras have limits, as there's no jaw-dropping zoom like you'll find in, say, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Fancy taking the underdog a walk? Read our full Xiaomi 12 Pro review to learn more about this impressive Android flagship
A great smaller-scale Android flagship (Image credit: Future)
9. Samsung Galaxy S22 The best small-scale Android flagship phone Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 70.6 x 146 x 7.6mm / 168g OS: Android 12 Screen: 6.1-inches, 2400 x 1080 pixels CPU: Exynos 2200, 8GB RAM Storage: 128GB/256GB Rear cameras: Triple: 12MP + 50MP + 10MP Front camera: 10MP Battery: 3,700mAh, 25W charging Reasons to buy + Stunning Dynamic AMOLED 2X display + Loads of new AI-based camera features + Powerful hardware Reasons to avoid - Not that different to the S21 - S22 Plus and S22 Ultra exist Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Studio (opens in new tab) Check Amazon (opens in new tab)
If the physical scale of the Ultra – not to mention the built-in stylus, curved screen, and additional expense – isn't appealing, but you're fixed on buying a pocketable yet near-perfect Android flagship, then the Galaxy S22 is a great choice.
It's not wildly different to the earlier Samsung Galaxy S21 model, but that's no matter, as it still delivers a great dollop of style, a super 6.1-inch display, plus a versatile cameras arrangement.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review to see if this modest sized Android flagship is the right choice for you
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This rising brand delivers stacks of spec for a smaller price, making it the best for lower budgets (Image credit: Future)
10. Realme GT 2 Pro The best affordable yet powerful Android phone Specifications Dimensions & Weight: 163.2 x 74.7 x 8.2mm / 186g OS: Realme UI 3.0 over Android 12 Screen: 6.7 inches, 1440 x 3216 resolution CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB/12GB RAM Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB Battery: 5,000mAh, 65W fast-charging Rear cameras: Triple: 50MP + 50MP + 3MP Front cameras: 32MP Reasons to buy + Incredible performance for the price + Unique eco-conscious design Reasons to avoid - Camera could be improved - Not all will love the design and logos Today's Best Deals View at Laptops Direct (opens in new tab) View at Chitter Chatter (opens in new tab) Check Amazon (opens in new tab)
All about performance without the typical price, the Realme GT 2 Pro delivers flagship-level specs, including really fast charging, the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform, and a great screen.
Another unique feature of the Realme GT 2 Pro is the design: its back is designed to look and feel like paper. While it won't be for everyone, we think it's great to see something different to the norm – especially in the green finish of our review sample, as pictured – and there's eco-conscious materials sourcing in the production process too.
Check out our full Realme GT 2 Pro review to see if this affordable yet high-spec handset is the Android phone for you
There is plenty to consider when buying the best phone for you. (Image credit: Samsung)
How to choose the best phone for you
Choosing the right phone is no easy task, as there are so many on the market and, truth be told, many of them are very similar. There are some core questions you should ask yourself before pulling the trigger on a smartphone upgrade, though.
Firstly, you need to establish if you're going to buy the phone SIM free (as in buy the phone outright upfront) or on contract. Both these options have their own strengths and weaknesses.
For example, buying a phone outright, and especially if it is a premium handset, can cost a lot of money, so you need to be able to swallow that. Once the phone is bought, though, then it is yours and you can go about getting one of the best SIM only deals, which offer better allowances for less money.
On contract purchases are great in the sense that they often put the phone in your hand for comparatively very little money or even for nothing, but then you need to pay for the phone over the period of your contract, which is tied to a network SIM plan that, most of the time, doesn't offer as good allowances or value as a SIM only one.
Next up you should ask yourself what you budget is, and what you're primarily going to be using the phone for. If you're a gamer then you're going to need to ensure you have a phone with good gaming functionality, while if you're a creative then you could benefit from a phone with digital stylus support. Equally, if you love taking photos then you need to prioritise a phone with a great camera system, while if you're a massive streamer then bagging a phone with a large screen is smart. If you're a busy working professional who travels a lot, then you'll want a phone with a large battery.
Once you've identified your needs and budget you can start to get more granular with your sorting. Next up we'd suggest identifying which OS and phone platform is right for you. The two main ones are Apple's iOS, which runs on all the maker's iPhones, as well as Android. iOS tends to be better for people who don't have too much technical knowledge and just want a streamlined, heavily guided usage experience, while Android is more open and complex.
Finally, once OS is decided start to add or take away features that you need or don't. For example, reverse wireless charging is really neat, but not every user will need it or use it, while phones that comes with huge amounts of RAM or storage may be useful for enthusiasts, but would go unused by many others. 5G connectivity is great and it is the future, but if you live in an area where there is no 5G coverage then do you really need a 5G phone?
These are just a few of the things we recommend people consider before buying a new phone, but we feel that providing each person does their research well (something this buying guide can help with), there's an ideal mobile for everyone.
How we test the best phones
There's a lot to consider when reviewing one of today's best phones, and for T3 we have a detailed five-stage process that each new device goes through.
Firstly, we judge the phone from a build quality and fit and finish point of view, as well as how comprehensive its package is. This stage is very much ascertaining how a phone feels in the hand, how robust it looks and what extras it does or doesn't come with. If a phone has a cheap plastic backplate and a spongy screen then we'll find out and let you know.
Next up we review the phone from a setup and hardware point of view. This stage sees us set up the phone as we would if it were our own, as well as examine exactly what hardware it comes with, such as its processor, RAM, storage and GPU, among other things. The goal here is to see how accessible setup is and what, on paper, your money is buying you.
Thirdly, we then move onto the phone's software and highlight features. So, for example, on Android we test out how good the phone maker's user interface skin is, as each one if definitely not made equal. Or, for example, if testing a new Galaxy Note phone, we'll absolutely test out its digital stylus. We also test features like biometric security, fingerprint readers and reverse wireless charging.
Our forth stage of testing is dedicated purely to the phone's camera system, as truth be told they are one of the most important parts of a phone today and a primary reason why people choose one model over another. This stage involved taking photographs with the phone and testing out each of its main shooting modes, as well as analysing what video capabilities are on offer, too.
Lastly, we then consider each phone from a purely experiential point of view – as in, how is it like to use on a daily basis? This is a really important part of our testing as it strips away all the technical jargon and components and is just intended to reveal how good it is use. This procedure takes one to two weeks and often also encompasses battery testing.
Only then, when all five of these phone review procedures are complete, do we award a score to a phone, with 5 stars been the highest rank a product can get.
10 Best Phones For Business In 2022 ~ Best Smartphones For Professionals
To help you find the best phones for business, we spent several hours researching and analyzing a wide variety of over 25 different smartphones. During our research, we identified the top features for business smartphones as reliable performance, powerful processors, and top-notch design quality. We recommend purchasing a phone that offers a good combination of all three of these considerations. We also recommend looking for additional functionality such as stylus compatibility, water resistance, and extra-long battery life. With these additional features, you’ll have a powerful, mobile device in your pocket that will help you achieve all of your business goals and tasks on the go.
With all of these considerations in mind, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max was an easy choice for the best phone for business award. Keep reading below to learn more about this best smartphone and the other options we ranked.
Top 10 Best Phones for Business
#1 Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Phone for Business
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the latest offering from smartphone-powerhouse Apple, and it’s apparent how much has been improved over previous generations. An incredibly powerful A14 Bionic chipset powers the phone and its user-friendly software, comprehensive camera, and 5G network capabilities.
Pros Excellent and durable display
Improved, long-lasting battery life
5G network connectivity Cons Camera bump is large
Doesn’t include charging brick
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most powerful, largest, and highest-performing iPhone to date, which makes it the perfect choice for power business users. For starters, the phone is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, even in spite of its large, 6.7-inch display. Of course, you may find one-handed use harder than usual with such a large size, but most business users will be using two hands anyway. The OLED display is brighter and more colorful than many of the other best business cell phones and features an extra-durable Ceramic Shield glass that’s more resistant to drops and shattering.
Related: Looking for a perfect device to gift your child? Well, consider the best phones for kids.
When it comes to performance, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is hard to beat. The phone features the snappy A14 Bionic processor, which is the fastest Apple processor yet. This chipset is paired with 6GB of RAM for even better overall performance. You’ll be able to multitask, game, and watch videos with ease. You’ll also get much better battery life with the 12 Pro Max, even while using 5G network capabilities making it one of the best 5G phones on the list. Plus, the powerful smartphone features wireless charging via MagSafe accessories, which is a really nice touch. If you need the most reliable, comprehensive business mobile phone solution, you can’t go wrong with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.
#2 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Phone for Business
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: An extra-large display, powerful processor, and high-tech stylus are the hallmarks of this business smartphone. It’s also designed incredibly well with a long-lasting battery and durable form factor.
Pros Fast Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset
Easier operation with S Pen stylus
5G network connectivity Cons Large rear camera bump
Heavier than other smartphones
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is every business person’s dream when it comes to mobile technology. This is the best phone for small business because of its sheer power and efficiency. You can virtually run your entire business straight from this smartphone with ease. This is due in part to the Note 20 Ultra’s powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. With it, you can multitask with ease and run resource-heavy applications like word processors and spreadsheet software. Plus, with the included S Pen stylus, you’ll be able to do all these things much more efficiently.
The overall design of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is something worth mentioning as well. This is one of the largest business phones you can buy, making it a contender for the best large screen phone on our list. It features a 6.9-inch display that can be unwieldy at times, especially when you consider the overall weight of the phone, too. However, this large screen size can also improve your overall work efficiency by giving you more room for multitasking. The screen features a 496 PPI pixel density, 3088 x 1440 resolution, and bezel-less design. Plus, with 120Hz of motion handling, you’ll get a buttery smooth experience through and through. The Note 20 Ultra is also an incredibly durable mobile phone with IP68 water resistance and tough Gorilla Glass for the display.
#3 Google Pixel 5 Phone for Business
Award: BEST SIMPLIFIED USER INTERFACE
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for one of the best Android phones for business, you’ll find it here. This simple, streamlined business smartphone is durable and offers smooth overall performance with an excellent camera to boot.
Pros Display features 90Hz refresh rate
Versatile reverse wireless charging functionality
Simple, streamlined design Cons Processor isn’t the fastest
Max 128GB of storage
The Google Pixel 5 is the newest iteration of the popular and affordable Pixel flagship phone lineup. It improves upon a lot of previous generations’ downfalls, making it an excellent choice for business owners and corporate employees alike. For starters, the Pixel 5 features a stripped-down user interface and version of the Android operating system. Without all the bloatware and extra software, the Google Pixel 5 business phone offers a buttery-smooth experience, even for power users, and in spite of its somewhat lower-performing Snapdragon 765G processor.
To complement its simplified operating system, the Google Pixel 5 also offers a simplified form factor and design. This is perfect for business users who don’t want or need all of the extra fluff and pomp this is commonly present on modern flagship phones. The Pixel features extra durability with Gorilla Glass 6 and IP68 certification, which is a nice plus for traveling business people. In other areas, Google Pixel 5 also offers one of the best smartphone cameras and reverse wireless charging capabilities, so you can charge other devices using just your smartphone. Plus, the business phone includes a 90Hz display, which looks good no matter what you’re doing. If you travel internationally for business, you might also want to look at our best dual sim phones buying guide as well.
#4 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Phone for Business
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This business smartphone provides a comprehensive and premium solution for business executives and casual users alike. With a premium build quality and powerful internal processor, this phone can handle anything you throw at it.
Pros 120Hz display is bright and colorful
Reliable, fast performance
Extra-fast 5G network speeds Cons Variable battery life
A bit heavier than comparable options
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best smartphone for business executives because of its premium design quality and form factor, along with its powerful internal components. While executives may not need all of the multitasking and power-user functions that this phone offers, they can rest assured that the phone will do everything they need and more. It features a powerful Samsung Exynos 990 octa-core processor that keeps everything running smoothly. You’ll also get an extra-large 5000 mAh battery that will typically last you all day. However, be aware that the Galaxy S20 Ultra can experience occasional bouts of unreliable battery performance depending on which features you’re currently using. This is rare enough to not be too annoying, but keep this in mind as you travel. You may want to pack one of the best portable chargers with you.
The best part about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is its design quality. On top of performing like a high-end smartphone, it also looks the part. The premium design features a large, 6.9-inch display with incredible quality. With a 3200 x 1440 pixel resolution and a 511 PPI pixel density, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better phone screen on the smartphone market. Plus, it features an amazing 120Hz refresh rate so you get an extra-smooth experience as you’re working on your smartphone. You’ll also get a durable build quality with IP68 certification and tough Gorilla Glass. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a little heavier than comparable smartphones but is still portable enough to carry around with ease.
#5 OnePlus 8 Pro Phone for Business
Award: BEST DISPLAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re interested in a high-quality display on your business phone, then this is the option for you. This premium smartphone features a 120Hz refresh rate, high-resolution quality, and overall reliable performance with its powerful internal chipset.
Pros 120Hz refresh rate Large battery with fast charging
Capable of 5G network speeds Cons No expandable storage
Middling camera zoom performance
This is the best smartphone for business professionals who want excellent display quality for working on presentations and watching movies or TV shows. The OnePlus 8 Pro features one of the best display screens we’ve ever seen. This smartphone’s display features QHD+ resolution at 3168 x 1440 pixels with HDR10+ support for brighter and more vivid colors. Plus, with an amazing 120Hz refresh rate everything from business presentations to video games will look smooth and crisp.
You’ll also get good performance from the phone’s internal Snapdragon 865 processor. This isn’t the highest-end processor in smartphones today, but it’s more than enough for all of your work needs. You’ll also get an extra-durable form factor with the OnePlus 8 Pro. It features IP68 water resistance, which is the first time for an OnePlus phone. You’ll also get a pretty good camera on the OnePlus 8Pro, but be aware that it doesn’t have the best zoom functionality. We were impressed that this smartphone offered fast wireless charging, as well as the option to charge your other devices with reverse wireless charging. This function converts your OnePlus 8 Pro into a wireless charging pad, which is incredibly helpful when you have no other charging options for your portable devices. It’s a great option for anyone looking for the best waterproof phones for their business.
#6 Apple iPhone SE Phone for Business
We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a budget but still need reliable, powerful performance, then this is the business phone for you. The phone gives you Apple’s fast A13 Bionic processor, incredibly user-friendly operating system, and stunning camera quality, all on a wallet-friendly budget.
Pros Compact and portable design
Powerful A13 Bionic processor Cons Lower battery life than other iPhones
No expandable storage options
No headphone jack
The Apple iPhone SE brings all of Apple’s refinement and attention to detail into an extra-compact and extra-affordable package. If you’re on a budget but still in the market for a business phone, this is a great option. As with all iPhones, you’ll get access to Apple’s user-friendly and smooth operating system iOS. This enables you to perform all of your business tasks without a worry about lagging and freezing. Plus, if your business uses other Apple devices like MacBooks and iPads, then you’ll be able to connect seamlessly to that entire ecosystem.
The Apple iPhone SE is also designed with attention to every detail. It features a smaller, 4.7-inch Retina display. It’s an OLED screen that’s bright and colorful, with sharp details that make mobile apps, videos, and games look good. This budget device is powered by Apple’s incredibly A13 Bionic processor, which creates an even better user experience for business people. You’ll even get a high-quality camera array. It’s only a single-lens setup, but it still produces clear images and even 4K video. Plus, the camera on this affordable phone even features the new Night Mode functionality, which takes excellent low-light shots, making it one of the best low-light camera phones on our list.
#7 Caterpillar Cat S61 Phone for Business
Award: BEST RUGGED DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a contractor or builder who needs access to a smartphone and all of the functionality it provides, then this is the best option for you. It offers an incredibly rugged design with IP69 certification, a rubberized outer casing, and a tough Gorilla Glass display.
Pros IP69 water and dust resistance
Dual SIM card capabilities
Strong and reliable processor performance Cons Camera isn’t the greatest
Smaller screen size at 5.2 inches
The Caterpillar Cat S61 is the best work phone for builders because of its extra-rugged design that can withstand exposure to water, drops from tall heights, and bumps and bruises of all kinds. This phone features a truly impressive IP69 water resistance certification, making it the only phone to withstand exposure to high-pressure water blasts without getting damaged. You’ll also notice that the overall outer casing of the Cat S61 smartphone is built for endurance and durability. It’s made from tough rubberized plastic and polycarbonate plastic. Plus, the display is made from Gorilla Glass 5 for added durability.
We were also impressed by the Caterpillar smartphone’s overall performance, especially considering its smaller screen size and slower internal Snapdragon 660 processor. The phone works well for most apps but might struggle a little with games if that’s important to you. The display features full HD resolution and high brightness, which is good for work outside. The Cat S61’s camera is also built specifically for construction and building. It features a FLIR thermal camera and a laser-assisted measuring option. You’ll also get dual-SIM capability here, in case you need to keep two separate lists of contacts or use the phone overseas. It’s by far the best rugged smartphone on our list.
#8 Huawei P30 Pro Phone for Business
Award: BEST AESTHETICS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This excellent phone for business features a slick, appealing design that looks good in any situation. The slim design also packs a lot of functionality and features, including a stellar camera, snappy internal chipset, and beautiful display quality.
Pros Infinity display with slim bezel
Fast, responsive fingerprint sensor
Quad-lens camera takes great photos Cons UI is a little clunky
No 4K display resolution
The Huawei P30 Pro business smartphone is one of the most well-designed options we feature in this buying guide. As soon as you pull it free from your pocket, you’ll be sure to turn some heads. It features an excellent infinity display with nearly nonexistent bezels. The display notch is minimal and doesn’t get in the way of the overall operation. The display is also made from Corning Gorilla Glass for added scratch and shatter resistance. We were also really impressed by the P30’s gradient coloring, which is unique and appealing.
The Huawei’s performance is another great aspect of this phone. With a responsive Kirin 980 processor, you’ll be able to use all of your work applications without lagging or freezing up. The processor also powers the EMUI user interface, which is generally smooth, but could use some refinement to compete with Android and iOS phones. The Huawei P30 Pro also features an excellent onboard camera setup. With four different lenses in total, you’ll be able to capture 4K videos and high-quality still images with ease. The camera’s best feature is the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) functionality, which makes images and videos sharper and more detailed, even when you have shaky hands. If you’re in the market for the best Chinese smartphones, this is a great choice.
#9 BlackBerry Key2 LE Phone for Business
Award: BEST FOR TYPING
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you prefer to use your phone for business with a physical keyboard, then you’ve come to the right place. This option’s keyboard functions extremely well and it provides extra-secure software to keep all of your important documents and data safe.
Pros Excellent physical keyboard operation
Phone is more secure than other options
Slim design is lightweight, portable Cons Battery life could use some work
Camera isn’t the best
You may have thought the days of the BlackBerry were done, but the BlackBerry Key2 LE demonstrates otherwise. This is a return to form for BlackBerry, with some improved features and functionalities to consider. Of course, the biggest selling point for this business smartphone is its physical keyboard. This is a QWERTZ keyboard with buttons that are easy to press. For power users, this keyboard is a game-changer. It increases overall efficiency when it comes to typing up documents, sending text messages, drafting emails, and making phone calls.
You won’t have to worry about the BlackBerry’s overall performance either, in spite of its older processor. The software and user interface work well in tandem, and you’ll hardly ever run into lagging or freezing. The Key2 LE also offers extra security protection, featuring BlackBerry’s tried-and-true approach to data protection, making it one of the most secure phones on the list. You’ll get a helpful Locker app that keeps all of your files and data safely stored. All in all, the BlackBerry Key2 LE performs well for an affordable business phone. If you need a physical keyboard to increase your overall productivity, you can’t go wrong with this option.
#10 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Phone for Business
Award: BEST PHABLET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need the convenience of a smartphone, but the optional size and performance of a table, then this is the business phone for you. With an incredibly unique, foldable display, tablet-mode apps, and impressive multitasking functionality, this business smartphone is an excellent choice.
Pros Huge, high-quality folding display
Apps feature tablet configuration
Also functions when folded up Cons Bulkier and heavier by nature
No water resistance certification
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers an incredibly unique approach to business smartphone technology. Without beating around the bush, this business phone is a foldable option with a dual-display design that measures in at a whopping eight inches of display size. This is especially helpful for power users since it is essentially both a tablet and a smartphone in one. When closed, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 also provides a third cover screen so you can access your apps and notifications on the go without having to open the entire device. Of course, this is pretty cutting-edge tech, so you should expect to pay a pretty penny for it.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 also features impressive internal components and snappy overall performance. This mostly thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, which is one of the fastest on the market today. This processor is welcome news for power business users, especially since the phablet can use apps in tablet mode for more extensive efficiency. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 also offers intense multitasking capabilities. If you want to write an email and work on a Microsoft Word document at the same time, the Z Fold 2 can do it. Be aware that this business phone is quite a bit larger, heavier, and bulkier than other phones. As such, it may be harder to use while you’re on the go. Plus, you won’t get any water resistance here, which is an unfortunate downside. Still, it’s a great alternative to buying the best tablets as you get a lot of all-in-one features with this phone.
How We Decided
The best phones for business offer a ton of different standard features and functionalities to consider. The purpose of our research and ranking is to find the most important of those features and highlight them in our reviews. For starters, the business phone you buy should be focused 100% on productivity and multitasking. This means getting a phone with a powerful chipset that can handle processor-heavy application usage, including multitasking with two or more apps and even gaming. We awarded bonus points to smartphones for business with additional tools and features that improve productivity. This includes things like styluses, Bluetooth keyboards, and extra-large display sizes.
Next, we ranked each phone based on its build quality and form factor. Since it’s likely you’re spending more on a high-quality business phone, you’ll want to be sure it will last you a long time. We gave phones bonus points if they included specific durability features like IP ratings for water and dust resistance, as well as extra-tough glass for the display screen. You should also look for things like metal bodies, which add stability and durability to the phone.
Finally, we considered advanced features like many hours of battery life, 5G high-speed internet connection, wireless charging, power share, and more. The more of these features the phone had, the more points we gave. If the phone provides a comprehensive solution to fulfill all of your business needs, we were much more likely to recommend it.
Best Phones for Business Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
Best Cell Phones of 2022
Staying connected in today’s fast-paced digital landscape is easier than ever. A smartphone-style cell phone continues to be the most convenient, efficient, and often cheapest way to get important things done at technologically advanced levels that rival even the best laptops. From texting and taking photos to checking email and playing video games, our cell phones can keep us plugged into as much of the rest of the world as we desire.
The type of cell phone we use to stay connected is deeply personal and depends on individual wants and needs for features such as professional-quality cameras, long battery life, size and weight, display quality, video capacity, and more. Cost is also a top factor, as well as preferences for things like sleek design, expandable storage, Touch ID, or an S Pen stylus.
To help you choose the best smartphone that matches your particular requirements, we evaluated the most popular features of 22 cell phones and rated the Best Cell Phones of 2022. We also offer the Best Android Phones of 2022, the Best Samsung Phones of 2022, and our comparison of iPhone vs. Android Smartphones.
Our Best Cell Phones of 2022 Rating
Compare the Best Cell Phones of 2022
Best Cell Phones of 2022 in Detail
To help narrow down the right cell phone for you, below is a list of our top-rated cell phones of 2022. Follow the links for complete reviews of each cell phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 » Buy at Samsung Best Cell Phone of 2022 4.1 U.S. News Rating Base Price $959.99 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance No Water Resistance 1.5 meter for 30 min
Pros: Rare option for fans of foldable smartphones
Fits easily into a pocket
Props open for hands-free viewing Cons: Short battery life
Screen is narrower than on most phones
The Samsung Galaxy Flip3 ties for No. 1 with the Samsung Galaxy Fold3 in our Best Cell Phones of 2022 rating and also ties for No. 1 with the Fold3 in both the Best Android Cell Phones of 2022 and the Best Samsung Cell Phones of 2022. Available starting at $959.99 for 128 GB of storage, this Android phone is lauded by professional reviewers as one of the few affordable foldable smartphones that offers the same or better features compared to its candybar-shaped competitors. Part of Samsung’s third generation of folding phones and supported by a powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, the Flip3 offers unique features, including a hinge that can hold the phone propped open for hands-free viewing or tripod-style photography. An exterior screen makes it possible to do simple tasks, such as checking the calendar, without opening the phone. Professional reviewers mention that if your usage is intensive (say, watching movies or gaming regularly), then pack a backup external battery because the phone’s 3,300 mAh capacity doesn’t last long.
Read more in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 review.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 » Buy at Samsung Best Cell Phone of 2022 4.1 U.S. News Rating Base Price $1,799.99 Storage 256 GB, 512 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance No Water Resistance 1.5 meter for 30 min
Pros: Feels more like a small tablet
Rare foldable cell phone
Split-screen functionality Cons: Priciest phone in our rating
Short battery life
Bulky and heavy
The Samsung Galaxy Fold3 ties for No. 1 with the Samsung Galaxy Flip3 in our Best Cell Phones of 2022 rating. It also ties for No. 1 with the Flip3 in both our Best Android Cell Phones of 2022 and the Best Samsung Cell Phones of 2022 ratings. Ideal for those who want a tablet experience in a foldable phone, the Fold3 is part of Samsung’s third generation of folding phones.
The cost may be prohibitive for some at $1,799.99 for the minimum option of 256 GB in storage (512 GB is also available for an additional cost), but the 7.6-inch display when the phone is open makes it appealing for those looking for split-screen capabilities. Called a Multi-Active Window, the screen allows for things like checking email while looking at the calendar simultaneously. Note that the S Pen must be purchased separately, and the size of this cell phone increases if the S Pen holder is added. Pro reviewers point out that the battery is small for the size of the phone and the number of apps it needs to run. Although Samsung hasn’t released battery life data, reviewers also mention that the battery lasted only 8 hours from a full charge, compared to 10 to 28 hours for the other phones in our rating.
Read more in our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra » Buy at Samsung Best Samsung Camera of 2022 4.0 U.S. News Rating Base Price $1,199.99 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.5 meters for 30 min
Pros: Built-in S Pen included
Bright display good for outdoor viewing
Adaptive refresh rate from 1-120 Hz Cons: Heavy and awkward to hold
One of the pricier options in our rating
Matte black finish vulnerable to scratches
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ties for No. 3 with the Apple iPhone 13 in our rating. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also places No. 3 in both our Best Android Phones of 2022 and our Best Samsung Phones of 2022 ratings. In addition, it's our pick for the Best Samsung camera, with its four rear and one front camera (the most cameras of any phone in our rating), as well as its low-light capacity, Cinematic and Pro Mode features, and 120-degree field of view. At $1,199.99, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is more expensive than the iPhone 13, but it has several features unique to this Samsung S Series phone. For example, where some Samsung phones require the S Pen to be purchased separately, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a slot for it in the phone, and the S Pen is included in the box. Also, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s adaptive refresh rate ranges from 1 to 120 Hz, which means that it adjusts the screen refresh rate from one image per second up to 120 images per second, which saves on battery life. Professional reviewers mention that the S22 Ultra is heavy at 8.04 ounces and harder to hold than the average slab-style phone and that the matte black finish scratches easily.
Read more in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.
Apple iPhone 13 » Buy at Amazon 4.0 U.S. News Rating Base Price $829.00 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 6.0 meters for 30 min
Pros: Long battery life
1 terabyte (TB) storage option available
Versatile and features-packed camera system Cons: Pricey
Lacks a USB-C port
The Apple iPhone 13 ties for No. 3 with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in our rating. At $829 for 128 GB, the cost of an iPhone 13 is in the middle of our rating. It comes with the A15 Bionic chip that professional reviewers point to as powerful and efficient. The battery reaches a 50% charge in 30 minutes, and Apple reports that the battery life can accommodate 19 hours of video playback. The proprietary Lightning port that is the only plug option may be a downside for those looking to use a USB-C port for headphones or other accessories. The low refresh rate – images refresh at 60 Hz, which is significantly lower than most of the other phones in our rating – and lack of a telephoto lens could also be a deal-breaker for those who stream a lot of video or are looking to take the kind of pics that can be taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Read more in our Apple iPhone 13 review.
Google Pixel 5a » Buy at Amazon Best Value Cell Phone of 2022 3.9 U.S. News Rating Base Price $449.00 Storage 128 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.0 meter for 30 min
Rare headset jack Cons: No wireless charging
Only one storage option, 128 GB
Only one color choice, Mostly Black
The Google Pixel 5a cell phone ties for No. 5 in our rating and ties for No. 4 in our Best Android Phones of 2022. It also is one of the two least-expensive phones in our rating at $449.00 and comes with quite a few features for that price, including a Full-HD organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen, a rare headset jack (the only one offered by the phones in our rating), and a camera system comprising two rear cameras and one in the front. The phone achieves a 43% charge in 30 minutes, and it's water-resistant (to 1 meter for 30 minutes) and dust-resistant. However, the 60 Hz refresh rate is among the lowest in our rating, which may be a deal-breaker for video-streaming enthusiasts.
Read more in our Google Pixel 5a review.
OnePlus 10 Pro » Buy at Amazon 3.9 U.S. News Rating Base Price $899.00 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.0 meter for 30 min
Pros: 150-degree ultrawide camera
Efficient performance Cons: Telephoto lens less powerful
Some carriers don’t offer 5G
512 GB storage option unavailable in U.S.
The OnePlus 10 Pro ties for fifth place in our rating and ties for No. 4 in our rating of the Best Android Phones of 2022. An updated design, high display resolution (3216 x 1440 pixels), and new cameras are among the key features. In particular, the 150-degree ultrawide camera on the phone’s rear is ideal for capturing landscapes. However, the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 8 MP telephoto lens is less powerful than others in our rating. Because of the cameras and the efficient processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the same chip used in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – pro reviewers say that the base price of $899 for 128 GB of storage makes the OnePlus 10 Pro one of the more affordable phones on the market. Note that some carriers of the OnePlus 10 Pro don't offer a 5G option, and only the 128 and 256 GB storage options are available in the U.S.
Read more in our OnePlus 10 Pro review.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max » Buy at Amazon Best iPhone Camera of 2022 3.8 U.S. News Rating Base Price $1,099.00 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 6.0 meters for 30 min
Pros: Long battery life
1 terabyte (TB) storage option available
Versatile and features-packed camera system Cons: Pricey
Lacks a USB-C port
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max ties for No. 7 in our rating, and it also has our Best iPhone Camera of 2022. It’s the first iPhone with a telephoto lens on the rear, as well as the first iPhone to offer a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanner, which enables users to take macro photographs and Night Mode portraits. The phone also offers low-light and depth-of-field options, and both photos and video can be shot with bokeh-style blurred backgrounds. In addition, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life by far of the phones in our rating at 28 hours of video playback (versus 10 to 20 hours of video playback on other phones). It's water resistant to 6 meters for 30 minutes and dust-resistant, too. Users must use the proprietary Lightning port to connect compatible accessories, as there is no USB-C port. And at $1,099.00 for the 128 GB base model (storage options go up to 1 TB) and weighing 8.46 ounces, it’s one of the pricier and heavier phones out there.
Read more in our Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max review.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus » Buy at Samsung 3.8 U.S. News Rating Base Price $1,049.99 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.5 meters for 30 min
Pros: Four-camera system
Pro Mode for video and photo editing
Bright display Cons: Below-average battery life
256 GB is highest storage option
No S Pen integration
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus ties for No. 7 in our rating with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max. The S22 Plus also places No. 6 in our Best Android Cell Phones of 2022 and No. 4 in our Best Samsung Phones of 2022. The four-camera system comprises three rear and one front camera, with a 120-degree field of view and ultrawide and telephoto lenses. The camera system also features Pro and Cinematic modes and editing capacity for videos and shoots up to 8K resolution for video. The S22 Plus costs $1,049.99, which puts it in the middle range for phones in our rating, but dedicated Samsung users may find it’s warranted based on the camera features. Battery life at up to 10 hours of video playback is below average for the phones in our rating, most of which offer between 15 and 20 hours of video playback. If you download a lot of photos and video, note that this phone’s storage capacity is limited to 128 GB and 256 GB options only, and this phone is not compatible with the S Pen.
Read more in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.
Apple iPhone SE (2022) » Buy at Amazon 3.7 U.S. News Rating Base Price $429.00 Storage 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.0 meter for 30 min
Proficient A15 Bionic processor
Compact, pocket-friendly size Cons: Base price comes with little storage
No Face ID
Only one camera
The Apple iPhone SE (2022) places No. 9 in our rating. The base model costs $429.00, making it the cheapest phone in our rating, but that price gets you only 64 GB of storage. Users get the same A15 Bionic chip processor used in Apple’s most recent phones, which professional reviewers say translates into smooth and powerful performance. The one rear-facing camera features a wide lens, but there are no ultrawide or telephoto lenses, nor can users shoot in Night Mode. The Touch Pad and home button may be preferable to those who dislike using Face ID. The phone’s size, with a 4.7-inch touch screen and weighing only 5.09 ounces, could be attractive to those who still like to slip their phone into a pocket or small purse.
Read more in our Apple iPhone SE (2022) review.
Google Pixel 6 Pro » Buy at Amazon Best Android Camera of 2022 3.6 U.S. News Rating Base Price $899.00 Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 5G Capability Yes Dust Resistance Yes Water Resistance 1.5 meters for 30 min
Pros: Camera performs well in low light
Adjustable refresh rate saves battery life Cons: Fingerprint sensor can be unpredictable
Camera bar on back prohibits phone from lying flat
S Pen not included
The Google Pixel 6 Pro places No. 10 in our rating and No. 7 in our Best Android Phones of 2022. At $899, the Pixel 6 Pro costs about twice as much as the other Google phone in our rating, the Pixel 5a, which ties for No. 5. The Pixel 6 Pro has more features but also a few drawbacks. For example, professional reviewers note that the fingerprint sensor can be touchy. However, they generally say the design is attractive with curved sides and a glass back. Reviewers also praise this phone's photo-editing capability. The Pixel 6 Pro is S Pen-compatible, but the stylus must be purchased separately. Reviewers also mention that the unusual camera bar on the back of the phone makes it stand out but keeps it from lying flat. The camera itself performs well in low light and offers a proficient telephoto lens. Google asserts that the phone sports fast processing speeds via its newer Tensor processor that was designed by the company specifically for its Pixel phones. The refresh rate is 120 Hz, but it will lower to 10 Hz when using less-intensive features to save battery life.
Read more in our Google Pixel 6 Pro review.
Best Samsung Phones of 2022
Cell phones are just one of the many electronic products produced by Samsung, which started as a grocery store in South Korea in 1938 and began manufacturing black-and-white televisions in the 1970s. Since then, its product line has grown to include computers, home theaters, monitors, watches, and tablets, as well as its line of Android-based smartphones. Four models place in our rating: the Samsung Galaxy Flip3 and the Samsung Galaxy Fold3 tie for No. 1, while the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ties for No. 3 with the Apple iPhone 13, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus ties for No. 7 with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max. Part of the company’s Galaxy Z series, the Flip3 and Fold3 are notable because they are foldable and both operate more like a tablet, with large displays that allow the user to take notes with an S Pen stylus. The Galaxy S22 Ultra and S22 Pro are from Samsung’s S series of slab-style smartphones. The Samsung phones in our rating range in price from $959.99 to $1,799.99.
Read more in our Best Samsung Phones of 2022.
Best Android Phones of 2022
The Android operating system (OS) for mobile devices has been around since 2003. It wasn’t until 2005, when Google bought the company, that Android adapted an older, open-source operating system known as the Linux kernel and began selling the system to other manufacturers. It’s the open-source quality that appeals to many Android users, because it allows for customization of apps and features in a way that can’t be done via the closed-source operating systems of Apple iPhones. Google began making its own smartphones just a couple of years later but didn’t begin manufacturing the Pixel line – which also includes tablets and laptops – until 2016. Out of the 10 phones in the Best Cell Phones of 2022, seven are Android phones. Two Pixel phones place in our rating: the Google Pixel 5a, which ties for No. 5 with the OnePlus Pro 10, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro, which places No. 10. Also making our ratings are four Samsung phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, which tie for Best Overall Cell Phones of 2022, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra that ties for No. 3 with the Apple iPhone 13, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus that ties for No. 7 with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Read more in our Best Android Phones of 2022.
Types of Cell Phones: How to Choose the Best Smartphone for You
Which smartphone is the best for you is based entirely on your usage and your preferences, as their capabilities vary widely. The types of hardware and software loaded onto a given phone depend on the brand, whether the operating system is Apple’s iOS or Android, and how new the model is.
All of the phones in our rating offer 5G capability (the fifth generation of technology for broadband cellular networks), and all of them are available unlocked, which means that the software is configured to allow a user to choose what cellular network to contract with without any restrictions. It also means that the user can switch out the SIM card (handy when traveling) and more easily sell the phone. A locked phone is permanently tied to a particular carrier or contract.
Here are some key differences between hardware options for iOS and Android smartphones to help you choose the best cell phone for you based on your desires and needs.
Design: In addition to the look and feel of a smartphone – which can include materials such as glass or metal, color choices, and whether the screen or case is dust- or water-resistant – features such as what buttons, ports, and jacks are included and where they are positioned can significantly affect day-to-day use. Overall phone and screen sizes also matter, especially for users who prefer a flip or foldable phone and those who want to be able to manipulate the phone one-handed. Apple’s iPhones are relatively uniform in terms of design across the models, but the design of Android phones varies among manufacturers.
Performance: The processor is king when it comes to the performance of any given smartphone. A variety of factors affects how efficient and powerful a processor’s overall performance is, including the amount of random-access memory (RAM), battery life, and internal storage capacity. All but one of the Android cell phones in our rating, the Google Pixel 6 Pro (which uses Google’s newer Tensor processor), use a version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. The most powerful of the Snapdragons is the 8+ Gen 1, which is used in two of the phones in our rating: the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The iPhones in our rating use the proprietary A15 Bionic microchip, which is used in all of the most current iPhones being released as well.
Display: A cell phone’s brightness and clarity depend in large part on the type of display used. Four of the phones in our rating (the Apple iPhone 13, the iPhone SE 2022, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra) rely on some type of Full High Definition (FHD) display. FHD is based on resolution that can then be enhanced further using other technologies, such as Retina (used on several Apple phones) or Edge Quad, which offers more pixels than a standard FHD (used on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra). The rest of the phones in our rating (including the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 6 Pro) employ a form of OLED or active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) technology, which translates into the pixels being individually lit and results in cleaner, smoother visuals.
A lot of attention is also paid to a smartphone’s refresh rate, which refers to the number of times per second that a new image is displayed, known as Hertz (Hz). The phones in our rating offer refresh rates from 60 Hz to 120 Hz. Some, such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, offer variable refresh rates (also known as “adaptive”), which means that the phone has the capability to raise or lower the refresh rate on demand depending on what applications are being used, a feature that is known to conserve battery life.
Cameras and video: The general consensus is the more cameras on a smartphone, the better, but the types of lenses included can also play a part, particularly in low-light settings. The phones in our rating all feature one camera located on the front, but the rear options vary from one camera to four. Basic lens offerings include a standard main camera and a wide-angle camera, but some offer a third telephoto or “macro” camera for close-up, detailed shots, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra even provides a second telephoto lens on top of its first telephoto lens, along with a wide-angle and an ultra-wide angle lens. Because it has only one rear camera, the iPhone SE (2022) struggles with low-light conditions.
When it comes to video, most of the phones in our rating shoot at the 4K resolution level, the equivalent of 3840 pixels (which is twice the sharpness of High Definition). A few, including the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra, shoot in 8K as well, which equals 7,680 pixels, appealing to those who are looking to shoot pro-quality video. All but the Apple iPhone SE (2022) offer Cinematic Mode, which improves the depth of field and allows for blurring and focusing effects, and most also offer video-editing capabilities right on the phone.
Battery: Some of the companies in our rating do not release battery charging speeds for all of their phones – Samsung, in particular – but of the ones that do, the average is a 50% charge in 30 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is even faster at 50% charge in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, battery life is expressed in video-playback times, or the number of hours a phone holds its battery charge while video is being streamed continuously. The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life in our rating, with a reported 28 hours of video playback, followed by the Google Pixel 6 Pro at 20 hours and the Apple iPhone 13 at 19 hours. The OnePlus 10 Pro and Apple iPhone SE (2022) both report 15 hours, while the Google Pixel 5a and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus feature the shortest life in our rating at 10 hours of playback.
Authentication: The very nature of a smartphone means that the display is a touchscreen, and the fingerprint scanner has long been a popular way to gain access via the home button or by tapping somewhere on the screen face. Many phones now also offer facial-recognition authentication, and some iPhones even have the ability to add recognition when you’re wearing a mask. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3, Galaxy Z Fold3, S22 Ultra, and S22 Plus, as well as Google’s Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 Pro, all provide either in-display or hardware button fingerprint-unlock technology.
Connectivity: Only one phone in our rating, the Google Pixel 5a, offers a headphone jack, which is becoming an increasing rarity in the smartphone universe. Apple’s iPhones all sport only the proprietary Lightning connecting ports and cables to charge and sync phones, although users can also use Bluetooth to connect audio and other devices to their iPhone. For users who prioritize more interchangeable and universal connectivity, Androids might be a better choice, because they use USB-C cables for charging and to connect wired USB-C headphones.
How Much Does a Cell Phone Cost?
Prices for a new smartphone made by lesser-known manufacturers can start at $40 for a bare-bones phone with basic features and few bells and whistles. The phones in our rating, though, start at $429.00 for the Apple iPhone SE (2022) and $449.00 for the Google Pixel 5a (both at 128 GB of storage) and go up from there, culminating in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 foldable phone that functions like a tablet and costs $1,799.99 for the base model of 256 GB of storage. Most of the phones in our rating, however, hover in the $800-$1,100 range, with a wide variety of included features that factor in the cost.
In general, paying more for a cell phone will get you a state-of-the-art processor, more storage, a better screen, and a better camera system.
How Much Storage Capacity Do I Need in My Cell Phone?
First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between storage and memory. Memory is expressed in RAM, or random access memory, which refers to the short-term storage of things like the operating system, the apps that are in use while the phone is on (making it possible for you to toggle between them), and related data.
Storage, on the other hand, is long term and comprises things that remain stored, such as photos, video, mail and attachments, audio, books, and other files. That’s why what you plan to use the phone for will determine how much storage, measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB), that you will need.
Some of the phones in our rating offer all of the main storage options: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. A few offer only two storage options, either 128 GB and 256 GB (such as the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3) or 256 GB and 512 GB (the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3). The iPhone SE (2022) can store from 64 GB to 256 GB.
Which storage size you choose will depend on how many photos and videos you want to store, along with the number of apps you download to the phone. One stored photo takes up about 5 megabytes (MB), and there are 1,000 MB in 1 GB. So, for example, Samsung advises that the occasional photographer probably needs only about 1 GB of a phone’s storage capacity for around 200 photos, while a more prolific photo-taker will want closer to 30 GB for up to 6,000 photos.
Shooting and downloading videos will eat up even more storage – on average, about 5 GB for every 30 minutes of video. Apps also contribute to storage use, with a typical app needing between 40 MB and 1 GB. Samsung recommends that heavy-use gamers who typically download 200 or more apps should plan for at least 50 GB of storage for those alone.
The other thing to know about storage is that once you begin to max out your capacity, your phone will slow down considerably. Phone manufacturers offer recommendations for freeing up storage capacity when this happens – for instance, Apple suggests buying space in its iCloud Drive for extra room, and iPhones automatically delete parts of apps that aren’t needed or unused files to increase storage space – but ultimately, it’s likely that you will need to delete photos or video to have a meaningful impact.
What Should You Look for in a Smartphone’s Camera?
Considering that the majority of photos are now taken on a smartphone, it’s no surprise that the camera is often one of the top considerations when it comes to buying a smartphone. Which camera system will be right for you will depend on how critical photo quality is to you, how much time and effort you want to put into manipulating the camera settings (or not), and whether you want to edit your videos.
Here are some features to evaluate when comparing the cameras of the phones in our rating.
Number of cameras: For the most part, the more cameras on a smartphone, the better. The phones in our rating all feature one camera located on the front, but the rear options vary from one camera to four. More cameras loosely equates to better-quality photos because more light and more angles are being taken in, which is why the lenses are so important to a cellphone’s camera system.
Quality and types of lenses: Basic lens offerings include a standard main camera and a wide-angle camera, but some offer a third telephoto, or “macro” camera with a telephoto lens for close-up, detailed shots that can be taken from farther away. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra even provides a second telephoto lens that adds extra depth of field to the shot. The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, Google Pixel 6 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus all come with one telephoto lens.
Field of view: Also known as angle of view, field of view (FOV) refers to the angular extent of the scene as imaged by a camera and is expressed as a number of degrees. For example, the highest FOV of the phones in our rating is the 150 degrees on the OnePlus 10 Pro. The rest of the phones in our rating average 120 degrees of field of view, with the Google Pixel 6 Pro offering only 114 degrees, which results in less of the scene being represented in the shot.
Shooting video: Most of the phones in our rating shoot at the 4K resolution level, the equivalent of 3840 pixels (which is twice the sharpness of High Definition). A few, including the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra, shoot in 8K, as well, which equals 7,680 pixels, appealing to those who are looking to shoot pro-quality video. All but the Apple iPhone SE (2022) offer Cinematic Mode, which improves the depth of field and allows for blurring and focusing effects, and most also offer video-editing capabilities right on the phone.
Pro mode for video: Pro mode is just what it sounds like – a professional-level ability to manually adjust things, such as shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and ISO (sensitivity to light), on a camera system. Half of the phones in our rating, including all four Samsung phones and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, offer a pro mode.
What Matters Most in a Smartphone Screen?
The three most critical components of a smartphone screen are display brightness, display size, and refresh rate. Compare the options within each category when deciding which smartphone is right for you.
Display technology is based on two primary types: LCD (liquid crystal display), which is backlit, and OLED (organic light-emitting diode), in which each individual pixel emits its own light. LCD screens can create high-definition images that offer accurate colors, but OLED can produce deeper blacks due to the lack of a backlight. The brightness of the display is important because it affects how easily the screen can be read or viewed, which is important for gamers and users who stream video.
Some companies have begun to enhance LCD and OLED, resulting in modifications that can improve upon the original. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and Fold3 phones use Dynamic AMOLED, which the company claims results in a more cinema-like viewing experience. This type of display is also supposed to reduce blue light to lessen eye strain and sleep quality. The Google Pixel 6 Pro employs low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) in its OLED display, which allows the screen to operate at variable refresh rates and use less battery.
Display size can correlate to a smartphone’s functionality and affect display resolution. Higher display resolutions create crisper, cleaner images. The OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra have the best display resolution of the phones in our Best Cell Phones of 2022, both with screens measuring just over 6.5 inches.
Two of the phones in our rating, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, have displays that can be split in two because of their ability to fold. This split-screen functionality allows these two phones to offer displays that are more like those of a tablet, with the capacity to use Samsung’s proprietary S Pen stylus to take notes that can be translated to text or use two apps at once.
Finally, the display’s refresh rate refers to how quickly and how frequently light moves across the screen, measured in the number of times per second the image is updated. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the screen’s user experience will be, which can be important for gaming and other highly visually oriented activities, such as streaming video.
How Long Does a Cell Phone Last?
Experts say that 2-3 years is the average lifespan of a smartphone, although some report that many phones can last up to five or six years. However, speed, battery life, and performance may begin to diminish after the second year. In addition, these timeframes don’t take into account the potential for a phone to physically break from being dropped, dunked, or otherwise mishandled. Warranties from third-party retailers may vary.
All of the phones in our rating come with a one-year warranty, the specifics of which vary by brand.
Apple covers manufacturing issues only for one year, providing a 90-day guarantee for any services or replacement parts provided. More complete coverage that includes loss, theft, and damage beyond manufacturer’s defects requires a paid subscription to an AppleCare+ plan.
Google offers a one-year warranty on cell phones purchased directly from Google or from third-party retailers for damage or defects that are not caused by the user. If the phone was dropped, lost, or stolen, it is not covered under the warranty. You can return a phone to Google for a refund within 15 calendar days from when you receive it.
OnePlus covers workmanship or manufacturing defects, a limited warranty that can be extended for a full year after its expiration date for $39 for a OnePlus 10 Pro, or consumers can pay $169 for OnePlus Care coverage that covers two years of accidental damage to the phone, including damage caused by drops, crash, breakage, or liquid.
Samsung offers a limited one-year warranty on phones that begins with the date of purchase. Warranties don't cover damages caused by the consumer such as accidents, misuse, improper storage and ordinary wear and tear. For purchases placed on or their Shop App, customers have 15 days to request a return and then 15 days to print and mail the return shipping label.
Our 360 Methodology for Evaluating Cell Phones