The best smartphones in 2022
The best smartphone in 2022 isn't just 'the latest iPhone' or 'the latest Galaxy' and there are loads of brands with impressive handsets you should consider. After all, with top-of-the-line handsets costing over $1,000 / £1,000, it pays to know your options, and which fantastic handset could save you some cash.
With so much choice though, how can we be sure this is a masterfully curated list? We've teamed up with smartphone testers who have extensively reviewed every single phone covered in order to shortlist the best of the best.
If you're after a champion camera phone, you'll want to pick up a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or an iPhone 13 Pro. If your budget doesn't stretch that far, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a lower-cost alternative. And you can also check out our round-up of the best camera phones too, which goes into more detail when it comes to imaging.
For a creative powerhouse, try Samsung's latest Galaxy Note 12 Ultra, with its amazing screen, super versatile cameras, and S Pen support – a pocketable sketch pad. Colour enthusiasts might like the OPPO Find X3 Pro, a beautifully designed phone with a full-path 10-bit colour management system for end-to-end billion colour capture, storage, and viewing.
Before picking up any phone, remember to check that the best iPhone apps and best Android apps for creatives are available. If you're jumping from an iPhone to Android, for example, the stellar Good Notes won't be an option on Google's mobile OS.
Once you've cross-checked your must-have apps and know which OS you need though, our list of top creative phones should help you figure out which is the right device for your personal life, productivity, work, and everything in between.
The best smartphones available now
(Image credit: Future)
01. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra The best do-it-all smartphone Specifications Release date: February 2022 Weight: 228g Dimensions: 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9mm OS: Android 12 Screen size: 6.8-inch Resolution: 1440x3088 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US) / Exynos 2200 (UK) RAM: 6GB, 12GB Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB Battery: 5,000Ah Rear camera: 108MP (wide, f/1.8) + 10MP (periscope, 10x optical zoom, f/4.9) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.4) + 12MP (ultra-wide, 120-degree, f/2.2) Front camera: 40MP (wide, f/2.2) 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) Reasons to buy + Brilliant pen tech + Excellent camera zoom Reasons to avoid - Big and bulky
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra does everything you need it to do. It's big, bright, bold, beautiful benchmark of a screen will dazzle you while watching your favourite content. And with S Pen support (S Pen sold separately), not to mention the most versatile camera system available, it’s also a creative suite unto itself, allowing you to shoot 8K video and snap pics with its 108MP stills camera and 10x zoom.
It's hard to find fault with the Galaxy S22 Ultra – trust us, we tried, for a long time. But the impressive cameras, fantastic-looking screen and powerful processor all impressed us in equal measure. The price is the only major consideration, as the Ultra has a price that's... well, ultra. But with fewer shortcomings than possibly any flagship phone on the market, Samsung is once again back on top. Want to know more? Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.
(Image credit: Apple)
02. iPhone 13 Pro Max The best iPhone ever Specifications Release date: September 2021 Weight: 240g Dimensions: 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.7mm OS: iOS 15 Screen size: 6.7-inch Resolution: 1284 x 2778 CPU: Hexa-core (2x3.23 GHz Avalanche + 4x1.82 GHz Blizzard) RAM: 6GB Storage: 128GB/256GB/1TB Battery: 4352 mAh Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP Front camera: 12MP Today's Best Deals View at John Lewis (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Superb camera + Great battery life Reasons to avoid - Very expensive - Bulky
It’s eye-wateringly expensive, but there’s no denying that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best, most feature-packed iPhone Apple has ever made. If you can handle the size of its 6.7-inch screen, you’ll be treated to an incredibly powerful processor, 6GB RAM, one of the best smartphone cameras in the world, and all with incredible battery life to boot.
All of this is wrapped up in Apple’s tried and tested minimal design, powered by the smooth and slick iOS 15. If you can handle its larger size (and larger price tag) then you’ll be more than content with Apple’s latest and greatest handset. Sure, we found the phone quite big to hold – and maybe a little uncomfortable too – but that's flagship phones for you. And the cameras, processor and software experience all make it easy to overlook the design.
(Image credit: One Plus)
03. OnePlus 9 Pro The best sub-£1,000 camera phone Specifications Release date: March 2021 Weight: 197 g Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7 mm OS: Android 11 Screen size: 6.5-inch Resolution: 1440 x 3216 CPU: Snapdragon 888 RAM: 8GB/12GB Storage: 128/256GB Battery: 4,500mAh Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP Front camera: 16MP Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Impressive camera + Sharp, smooth screen Reasons to avoid - Good, not great battery life - Mediocre zoom on camera
The OnePlus 9 Pro is the first flagship from the Chinese phone maker to feature Hasselblad camera tuning, in addition to elements within the Pro mode that mimic the legendary camera icon's interface.
The phone's specs are flagship across-the-board too, with Snapdragon 888-power matched with 8GB RAM, and a stunning Dynamic AMOLED screen matched with a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and punchy visuals.
Loaded up with a 48MP main camera featuring a custom Sony sensor, the tuning applied to photos taken on the OnePlus 9 Pro is a huge improvement over previous OnePlus phones, especially in challenging lighting. In fact, we'd go so far as to call it one of the best cameras around, especially if you're not a fan of editing your snaps. Take a photo, and eight times out of 10, it's Instagram-ready.
Add to the mix an ultra-high-resolution ultra-wide camera, which captures expansive landscapes at 50MP resolution, and shoots close-up pictures thanks to autofocus (something seldom seen on ultra-wide cameras), and photography is definitely one of the 9 Pro's fortés.
Also mightily impressive is the OnePlus 9 Pro's charging speeds. It powers up in around 30 minutes thanks to lightning-fast 65W charging. Even wirelessly, the 9 Pro charges quickly when matched with the official Warp Charge 50 Wireless Charger, and with a 4,500 mAh battery, you should get a full day out of it without any issues.
Perhaps the thing that most impressed us about the OnePlus 9 Pro, though, is that it undercuts most of its contemporary flagships by a fair amount, which means it deserves a high position on this list.
(Image credit: Apple)
04. iPhone 12 and 12 Mini The best bang for buck iPhone Specifications Release date: October 2020 Weight: 164 g Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm OS: iOS 14 Screen size: 6.1-inch Resolution: 1170 x 2532 CPU: A14 Bionic RAM: 4GB Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB Battery: 2,815mAh Rear camera: 12MP+12MP Front camera: 12MP Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Beautiful display + Solid camera Reasons to avoid - Battery life could be better - Base storage low
The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch display and has the same 5G support as Apple’s other new iPhones, along with very good (but not the absolute best) camera performance. The OLED screen is a joy to behold, and the MagSafe feature is an intriguing addition to Apple’s arsenal.
For anyone with smaller hands or skinnier jeans, the iPhone 12 mini is the only compact flagship worth considering. With its 5.4-inch screen size, top tier power and class-leading camera for such a compact contender, despite costing a fair whack, it’s worth every penny.
While the more expensive Pro models have swankier cameras, they’re noticeably pricier, making the 12 and 12 mini the best bang for buck option in the latest iPhone range lineup if you don’t need an optical zoom. Be prepared for no included charger to avoid a shock when unboxing, and you’ll have years of happy use ahead of you.
We found these phones the two iPhones 'for the rest of us' - they don't have flashy triple-camera arrays or huge screens, but the software is easy-to-use due to being the popular iOS, and the bodies are nice and small, so easy to use one-handed.
Find out more in our iPhone 12 mini review.
(Image credit: Ben Brady)
05. Oppo Find X5 Pro The best smartphone for an incredible camera Specifications Release date: March 2022 Weight: 218g (Ceramic) / 195g (Leather) Dimensions: 163.7 x 73.9 x 8.5mm OS: Android 12, ColorOS 12.1 Screen size: 6.7-inch Resolution: 1440 x 3216 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm) RAM: 8GB / 12GB Storage: 256GB / 512GB Battery: 5,000mAh Rear camera: 50MP + 50MP + 13MP Front camera: 32MP Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Unique, sleek design + Stunning display + Excellent camera Reasons to avoid - Expensive - Poor zoom on camera
Oppo made waves with its excellent Find X2 Pro and Find X3 Pro. The Find X5 Pro carries forward the premium, high-end positioning of its predecessor, and again offers fantastic cameras, although it ditches the X3 Pro's party trick, which was its dedicated microscopic macro camera.
The ceramic back makes for a very elegant design, and the camera bump is lovely and smooth. It feels wonderful to hold, the rear panel mapped with 2000UV points for an incredibly nuanced curve. The display is stunning and battery life is also impressive – we got over a day of use out of a single charge when we reviewed it, and charging was super fast.
But we found the highlights were the cameras. You get 50MP sensor on both the main and ultra-wide cameras, producing high-resolution photos with beautiful depth and lots of detail. See our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review for more details.
(Image credit: Samsung)
06. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra The best smartphone for creative superstars Specifications Weight: 208g Dimensions: 164.8mm x 77.2mm x 8.1mm OS: Android 10 Screen size: 6.9-inch Resolution: 1440 x 3088 CPU: Snapdragon 865+ RAM: 12GB Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB Battery: 4,500mAh Rear camera: 108MP + 12MP + 12MP Front camera: 10MP Today's Best Deals View at Samsung UK (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Superb camera + Incredible screen Reasons to avoid - Expensive - Slower charging
The Note 20 Ultra is one of the best smartphones money can buy for creative people looking to scribble, draw, make notes and be productive on the move. Aside from its great camera setup and gorgeous large AMOLED display, its party trick – the removable S Pen stylus – offers tons of flexibility.
From handwriting notes (which can be straightened and converted to text) to creating fancy drawings with improved pressure sensitivity, Samsung’s stylus takes an already great phone and makes it truly amazing.
We found ourselves using the S Pen more than we expected, as it was useful for sketching, taking notes and writing notes. In fact, the stylus became a normal part of our experience for most apps, as we found useful tricks here and there for gaming, streaming media and social media.
With a stunning build, super-powerful specs, and a versatile camera setup capable of shooting 8K video, it’s one of the best phones money can buy, particularly if you make use of its swanky stylus.
(Image credit: Google)
07. Google Pixel 5 Solid camera with great software and editing smarts Specifications Release date: October 2020 Weight: 151g Dimensions: 144.7mm x 70.4mm x 8mm OS: Android 11 Screen size: 6-inch Resolution: 2340 x 1080 CPU: Snapdragon 765G RAM: 8GB Storage: 128GB Battery: 4000mAh Rear camera: 16MP + 12MP Front camera: 8MP Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Carphone Warehouse (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Fantastic camera software + Handsome, minimal design Reasons to avoid - No telephoto camera - Night shots could be better
The Google Pixel 5 isn’t a phone that blows you away with fancy multiple lenses. It keeps things simple with a 12.2MP main camera and a 16MP ultra-wide one, with no dedicated zoom lens.
Power-wise, things are middling too, with a Snapdragon 765G processor, and 8GB of RAM. On paper, then, the Pixel 5 isn’t up there with the most powerful, feature-packed phone in the word, but its price fairly reflects that.
What it does do, is offer a pure up to date Android experience in a smart minimal package, with solid well-lit camera performance and powerful image editing tools for tweaking on the move, with a battery that will comfortably last you through the day.
If you want to keep up with the latest Android features for the next few years and aren’t fussed about night or zoom photography, this could very well be the best handset for you. And if, like us, you enjoy using 'stock' Android, as Google intended, you'll find this a great choice. The software is nice and clean, with no bloatware or dubious extra features, so using the phone felt like a breath of fresh air.
(Image credit: Future / Basil Kronfli)
08. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 The best folding smartphone Specifications Release date: August 2021 Weight: 271g Dimensions: Folded: 67.1 x 158.2 x 16mm (hinge side); Unfolded: 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4 OS: Android 11, One UI 3.0 Screen size: 7.6-inch / Cover display: 6.23-inch Resolution: 2208 x 1768 / Cover display: 2268 x 832 CPU: Snapdragon 888 RAM: 12GB Storage: 256GB/512GB Battery: 4,400mAh Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP Front camera: 10MP 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) Reasons to buy + Powerful + Beautiful design Reasons to avoid - Very expensive - Cameras could be better
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the best folding smartphone to date, with a beautiful design, a robust hinge mechanism, and best of all Wacom pen support. When we reviewed the device, we concluded that Samsung had finally done it, creating a water-resistant folding phone with pen support opening huge creative potential thanks to the much large screen area.
Unfortunately, the cameras still lag behind and are definitely not a reason to buy this. There's also the matter of the eye-watering price tag. Foldable phones are worth playing around with, whether it's by buying one or just heading into a Samsung store to try one out. Everyone's comfort with the form factor will vary, and you'll only work out if you truly like it by folding a phone a few times. See our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review for more details.
(Image credit: OnePlus)
09. OnePlus 9 The best value flagship Specifications Release date: March 2021 Weight: 197 g Dimensions: 160 x 72.4 x 8.7 mm OS: Android 11 Screen size: 6.55-inch Resolution: 1080 x 2400 CPU: Snapdragon 888 RAM: 8GB/12GB Storage: 128GB/256GB Battery: 4,500mAh Rear camera: 48MP + 48MP + 8MP Front camera: 16MP Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Beautiful, smooth screen + Fast wired charging Reasons to avoid - No expandable storage - No zoom camera
While it may not be a class-leading flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 9 balances premium features with value wonderfully, making it a fantastic, affordable all-rounder that delivers plenty of power, a striking display, and Hasselblad tuned images, just like the 9 Pro.
As with last year's OnePlus 8 Pro, the OnePlus 9 sports a 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED which is vibrant, deep, and smooth. With a host of colour calibration modes, as well as support for HDR10+ content, it feels like a flagship experience. Combined with Sony's second-generation 48MP camera sensor, an IMX689, it has the same primary camera hardware as OPPO's excellent Find X2 Pro, a significantly pricier smartphone.
Loaded up with up to 256GB storage and 12 RAM, as well as a mighty Snapdragon 888 processor (as found in the Pro) – video edits, 4K capture and even rip-roaring 3D gaming won't be too much for the OnePlus 9. Additionally, with the latest version of Oxygen OS, the brand's trademark take on Android, the UI is both considered, and comprehensive.
For the first time on a non-Pro mode, OnePlus also adds wireless charging to the phone's spec roster, adding Samsung Galaxy S-grade convenience. Having said that, its wired charging speeds outperform any Samsung phone out there, powering up the device fully in around 30 minutes.
(Image credit: Samsung)
10. Samsung Galaxy S20 (& Plus) Excellent across the board Specifications Release: February 2020 Screen size: 6.2-inches Screen type: AMOLED Resolution: 1440 x 3200 pixels Sharpness: 563 pixels-per-inch Certification: HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 6, 120Hz Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm Weight: 163g Rear camera: 12MP (wide + OIS) + 64MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + ToF sensor (on Plus only) Front camera: 10MP (wide) Maximum video resolution: 8K, 30fps Storage: 128GB Memory card slot: Yes Battery: 4000mAh Today's Best Deals View at (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at AO - Mobile Phones Direct (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Amazing screen + Brilliant camera Reasons to avoid - Busy interface - Dull design
The Samsung Galaxy S20 might not be the best equipped of the S20-series, but it's still one of the most popular. Why? Because it packs an impressive set of features and a sharp, crisp screen into a super-manageable size. Plus, it costs a heck of a lot less than its bigger sibling, the S20 Ultra.
The device comes complete with three rear cameras, which includes a 64MP 3x zoom telephoto camera to help you capture shots from an impressive distance. The main camera is lower resolution at 12MP, but its nighttime performance is a big step up when compared to last year’s Galaxy S10. Combined with an ultra-wide camera and up to 8K video recording, the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus cover all bases without breaking the bank like the S20 Ultra does.
Water and dust resistant, like the iPhone 11 Pro, the S20 also supports wireless charging. Unlike its Apple rival though, you can add storage via an SD card. No doubt about it, one of the best smartphones money can buy right now.
Best Android phones 2022
The best Android phones give you the ultimate choice. Regardless of your budget, you can find a handset to fit your needs, all the way from $1,800 to under $500. You get to pick what features matter the most to you. Don't need a high refresh rate display or telephoto lens? Save some cash.
Premium Android flagship phones start at $599, offering the sharpest and brightest displays, the most advanced photography, and cutting edge features like reverse wireless charging and screens that can refresh at 120Hz. 5G has also come to more affordable options, like the Pixel 6a, OnePlus Nord N20 and Galaxy A53, so it's nice to see more Android phones able to take advantage of faster download speeds.
Read on to find the best Android phone for your needs and budget. And whichever you buy, be sure to also look at our list of the 25 best apps for your new Android Phone.
The best Android phones you can buy today
(Image credit: Future)
1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra The best Android phone you can buy Specifications Display: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED (3088 x 1440) Android version: 12, One UI 4.1 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 RAM: 8GB, 12GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No Rear cameras: 108MP (f/2.2) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) 10x telephoto, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto Front camera: 40MP (f/2.2) Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:50 (adaptive), 10:18 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Samsung (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Faster S Pen built in + Super bright display + Cameras offer better low light performance Reasons to avoid - Costs more than $1,000 - Shorter battery life than S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the new king of Android phones. It’s got almost anything you could ever want in a phone, including a built-in S Pen stylus. It’s got powerful cameras, the top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, plenty of storage options, and a jaw-droppingly gorgeous display.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra still stumbles in the battery life department, more so than its predecessor. While the phone went for 10 hours and 18 minutes in the Tom’s Guide battery life test, that result was in the 60Hz refresh rate mode. In the 120Hz adaptive mode, the Galaxy S22 Ultra only lasted for 8 hours and 50 minutes, well below some competitors like the iPhone 13 Pro Max (which also features an 120Hz adaptive refresh rate).
But if you’re firmly in the Android camp, there’s no better phone than the Galaxy S22 Ultra right now. You’ll just have to pay $1,199 for the privilege.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
2. Google Pixel 7 Pro The best flagship value Specifications Display: 6.7-inch OLED (3120 x 1440; 10-120Hz) CPU: Tensor G2 RAM: 12GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.85) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 48MP (f/3.5) with 5x optical zoom Front camera: 10.8MP (f/2.2) Weight: 7.3 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 6:31 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at AT&T Mobility (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Incredible cameras + Brighter display + More powerful chipset + Awesome new Tensor features Reasons to avoid - Bad battery life
The Pixel 7 Pro is a refinement over the excellent Pixel 6 Pro from last year. It sports an upgraded Tensor G2 processor, a brighter display, and 5x optical zoom. It’s a great phone with plenty of smarts and useful features.
Where it lags behind the Galaxy S22, however, is battery life. The Pixel 7 Pro performed horribly in our in-house battery life test, over three hours less than the 10-hour average we want to see from smartphones. But the cameras make up for it, with the Pixel 7 Pro offering the best pictures on an Android phone.
And for $899, it’s hard to beat the Pixel 7 Pro, especially since the Galaxy S22 Ultra is $300 more. That S Pen and impressive optical zoom better be worth it, otherwise, Google has the upper hand on value.
Read our full Pixel 7 Pro review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
3. OnePlus 10 Pro Another great value Specifications Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3216 x 1440) Android version: 12, OxygenOS 12.1 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 RAM: 8GB, 12GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Rear cameras: 48MP (f/1.8) main, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 8MP (f/2.4) 3.3x telephoto Front camera: 32MP (f/2.2) Weight: 7 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:52 (120Hz), 12:39 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Excellent battery life + Beautiful new design + Best OnePlus cameras to date + Costs less than its predecessor Reasons to avoid - Telephoto is just 8MP
When talking about the best Android phones, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a close second. It’s a beautifully-designed device with a big 6.7-inch AMOLED display and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. It has the brawn to match its eye-catching body, too, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.
But that’s not all. The OnePlus 10 Pro easily outpaces the Galaxy S22 Ultra in our battery life test at nearly 12 hours in the adaptive 120Hz mode. And with the 65W charging, you can easily top off in no time at all.
The OnePlus 10 Pro also mostly keeps pace when it comes to cameras. Photos often come out nice, though we’ve noticed a slight yellow tinge in certain scenarios. There are a lot of new software features that challenge Samsung’s impressive suite on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Even so, the Pixel 6 Pro is still the better camera phone. But when it comes down to it, the OnePlus 10 Pro is the better handset.
Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
4. Google Pixel 6a The best Android value Specifications Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2400 x 1080) Android version: 12 CPU: Tensor RAM: 6GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No Rear cameras: 12.2MP main (f/1.7), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2) Front camera: 8MP (f/2.0) Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 6:29 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Verizon Wireless (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Excellent cameras, especially for the price + Bright display + Tensor-powered AI features Reasons to avoid - Poor results on our battery test - Noticeably cheap materials
Android phone fans looking for a bargain have more choices than ever. Our pick is the Pixel 6a over the Samsung Galaxy A53. While the latter is not without its strengths — see below for more on those — the Pixel 6a’s cameras win the day, as you’d expect from a Google phone.
Thanks in large part to Google’s strengths in computational photography, the Pixel 6a produces outstanding pictures, especially for a phone that costs less than $500. And the 6a is powered by the same Tensor chip found in the Pixel 6, so those AI-powered software features like on-device translation and smart photo editing are part of your budget Google phone as well.
We wish the battery life were better, and Google could learn a thing from Samsung’s generous software update policy, but if you don’t have big bucks to spend on a great phone, the Pixel 6a is where you should put your money.
Read our full Google Pixel 6a review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
5. Samsung Galaxy A53 Samsung’s best cheap phone Specifications Display: 6.5-inch OLED (2400 x 1080) Android version: 12 with One UI 4.1 CPU: Exynos 1280 RAM: 6GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes Rear camera: 64MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 5MP macro (f/2.4), 5MP depth (f/2.4) Front camera: 32MP (f/2.2) Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:49 (120Hz), 10:38 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Samsung (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Good display with 120Hz refresh rate + Expandable storage up to 1TB + Nice design and build quality + Excellent software support Reasons to avoid - Mediocre performance
As we wait for Google to reshuffle its Pixel A offerings, the Galaxy A53 is the device to turn to if you want the best Android phone for less than $500. This midrange Samsung handset delivers solid features at a very reasonable $449.
Despite that low price, the Galaxy A53 offers a 120Hz refresh rate for its 6.5-inch display. You’ll also get a capable Exynos 1280 chipset and decent wide and ultrawide cameras. (We could do without the macro and depth sensors cluttering up the back of the phone.)
The Galaxy A53 matches the average smartphone when it comes to battery life, and you can eke out even more battery life by switching to a 60Hz refresh rate if you prefer. But it’s that price tag that may be the A53’s best feature — costing the same as Google’s Pixel 5a, this is another great low-cost Android option.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
6. Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Best affordable big-screen Samsung flagship Specifications Display: 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2340 x 1080) Android version: 12, One UI 4.1 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 RAM: 8GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Rear cameras: 50MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2); 10MP telephoto (f/2.4) with 3x optical zoom Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2) Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:46 (adaptive), 9:57 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Newegg (opens in new tab) View at Samsung (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Beautiful and very bright display + Powerful performance + Faster 45W charging + Strong telephoto camera Reasons to avoid - Battery life barely better than last year
Although we think it’s the epitome of an iterative upgrade, the Galaxy S22 Plus is nonetheless a great Android phone. From the beautiful and bright display to the beefy performance and improved cameras, the middle child of the Galaxy S22 family is a beast.
If you liked the design of the Galaxy S21 last year, then you’ll find a lot to love with the Galaxy S22 Plus. It’s a refinement of Samsung’s new design language. But this phone didn’t wow us with its results in our battery life test. In fact, the Galaxy S22 Plus barely outperforms its predecessor.
For $999, the Galaxy S22 Plus faces stiff competition, but if you want the big screen Galaxy experience and don’t want to spring for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Plus is the next best option.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
7. Google Pixel 7 Google’s most affordable flagship Specifications Display: 6.3-inch OLED (2400 x 1080; 90Hz) CPU: Tensor G2 RAM: 8GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.85) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide Front camera: 10.8MP (f/2.2) Weight: 7.3 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 7:03 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Verizon Wireless (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Terrific cameras + Costs less than $600 + Tensor G2 is a big step forward Reasons to avoid - Underwhelming battery life - Performance lags behind other flagships
While the Pixel 7 Pro is certainly affordable relative to other Android flagships, it’s possible to experience Tensor G2-powered features for even less. The Pixel 7 starts at just $599 — $200 less than the Galaxy S22 — but offers many of the same capabilities as Google’s pricier handset.
The call management, dictation and transcription features powered by Tensor are available on the Pixel 7, as are the computational photography features that make Google’s devices such standouts among camera phones. You won’t get a telephoto lens with the Pixel 7 Pro, but with features like Super Res Zoom eliminating the noise from digital zoom shots, you won’t really mind.
We wish the Pixel 7 delivered battery life, but everything else about the phone — from its polished design to its bright display — improves upon the Pixels that came before it.
Read our full Google Pixel 7 review .
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
8. Asus Zenfone 9 The best small Android phone Specifications Display: 5.9-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080) Android version: 12, ZenUI 9 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 RAM: 8GB, 16GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.9) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide Front camera: 12MP (f/2.45) Weight: 6 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:13 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Newegg (opens in new tab) View at Newegg (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Great battery life + Excellent performance + Good cameras overall + Great value Reasons to avoid - Photos can be a bit warm
Some of us here love small phones, and so does Asus. The Zenfone 9 is the latest handset from the Taiwanese phone maker and boy is it a good one. It packs in a Snapdragon 9 Plus Gen 1, a 4,300 mAh battery, and 8GB or 16GB of RAM into a body with a 5.9-inch display.
With its horsepower, stellar battery life, and good cameras, the Zenfone 9 is the phone to get if you want a smaller device. We love how easy it is to one-hand it, or how little pocket space it takes up. Asus’ ZenUI software is also really nice, offering a stock Android-like experience with some extra features thrown in to enhance things.
Starting at $799, the Zenfone 9 puts other phones like the Galaxy S22 on blast. Samsung still has some advantages, such as with the display, but Asus did a bang up job with the Zenfone 9.
Read our full Asus Zenfone 9 review .
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9. OnePlus 10T A faster processor in a less expensive Android phone Specifications Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2412 x 1080) Android version: 12 with OxygenOS 12.1 CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 RAM: 8GB, 16GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Rear cameras: 50MP main (f/1.8), 8MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 2MP macro Front camera: 16MP (f/2.5) Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:59 (120Hz), 11:22 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Super-speed charging + Strong performance + Good battery life Reasons to avoid - Weaker cameras than the OnePlus 10 Pro - No wireless charging
The OnePlus 10T gives you the chance to enjoy the improved performance of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor for less, as the latest from OnePlus starts at $649. If you opt for the version packed with 16GB of RAM, you only have to pay $749. That's a pretty low price for a phone that delivers the kind of performance that will satisfy mobile gamers in particular.
There are trade-offs for the OnePlus 10T's lower cost, especially when compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro. The 10T lacks a telephoto lens, and its cameras don't feature the Hasselblad features that have improved the picture-taking capabilities of recent OnePlus models. Still, the battery life on the OnePlus 10T is very strong, and the phone fully charges in 20 minutes. Even if the OnePlus 10 Pro is a better Android phone, there's still a lot to like about the OnePlus 10T.
Read our full OnePlus 10T review.
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10. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Making big strides over yesteryear Specifications Display: 6.7-inch FHD AMOLED (2640 x 1080) inner, 1.9-inch AMOLED (260 x 512) cover CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 RAM: 8GB Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No Rear cameras: 12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide Front camera: 10MP (f/2.4) Weight: 6.5 ounces Battery life: 8:33 (Adaptive), 8:57 (60Hz) Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Samsung (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Much better battery life + Great performance + Same $999 price Reasons to avoid - Minimal camera upgrades - Display crease still prominent
We came away from our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review mostly impressed. Not only is the new foldable’s design ever so slightly sleeker, the battery life has vastly improved over the Galaxy Z Flip 3 last year. In our custom battery life test, the Flip 4 went for considerably longer than its predecessor.
The folding 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display is beautiful, even though the display crease remains very noticeable. The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 allows the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to chew through any task, even intensive gaming. And its increased power efficiency is likely helping the handset’s better battery life.
The cameras are a mixed bag. On the one hand, the new night mode is fantastic; but on the other, the daytime photos are less than exciting with Samsung’s characteristic oversaturated look. If the Galaxy Z Flip 4 put out the same photos as the Galaxy S22, we’d be a lot happier.
Even so, the $999 Galaxy Z Flip 4 is certainly worth your while if you want to jump into the world of foldables. You’ll make some compromises over similarly-priced phones, but the novelty might be worth it to you.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review .
How to choose the best Android phone for you
The first place to start when shopping for the best Android phone for you is your budget. And there are essentially a few tiers. The cheapest Android phones cost under $200 and offer mostly the basics for using apps, taking pictures and staying connected. We chart the best cheap phones under $300, though honestly, you'll make a lot of compromises to get a phone priced that low.
As you move up to under $450, you'll find more compelling handsets, touting better processors, higher-grade materials and more camera lenses. Progress into the $700-and-up range, and the best phones offer flagship-caliber performance along with cutting-edge computational photography and special features.
The most premium Android phones offer foldable designs, though there's talk a new round of devices from Samsung could make foldables more mainstream — that is, make the prices more affordable.
iPhone users looking to switch to Android have lots of choices, as we've outlined above. It's also easier to move platforms, as the Switch to Android app for iOS now supports all Android 12 phones.
How we test the best Android phones
Every smartphone Tom’s Guide evaluates is tested for several days in real-world use cases and benchmarked with a gamut of performance-measuring apps. In terms of performance, we used Geekbench 5 to measure overall speed and 3DMark Wild Life to measure graphics performance.
We also use our own video editing test in the Adobe Premiere Rush app to see how long it takes to transcode a clip, which we run on both Android phones and iPhone to compare performance. (This test is not always available for all phones we test due to app compatibility issues.)
Performance benchmarks Geekbench 5 (single-core / multicore) 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (FPS) Galaxy S22 Ultra 1240 / 3392 57 Pixel 7 Pro 1060 / 3046 40 OnePlus 10 Pro 995 / 3482 61 Pixel 6a 1057 / 2918 42 Galaxy A53 745 / 1888 14 Galaxy S22 Plus 1214 / 3361 60 Pixel 7 1054 / 3021 40 Zenfone 9 1190 / 4069 58 OnePlus 10T 1025 / 3476 66 Galaxy Z Flip 4 1291 / 4015 67
To measure the quality of a phone's display, we perform lab tests to determine the brightness of the panel (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.
Display benchmarks sRGB (%) DCI-P3 (%) Delta-E Galaxy S22 Ultra 138 98 0.25 Pixel 7 Pro 105 74 0.28 OnePlus 10 Pro 174 (Vivid) / 119 (Natural) 123 (Vivid) / 84 (Natural) 0.32 (Vivid) / 0.23 (Natural) Pixel 6a 131 (Adaptive) / 111 (Natural) 93 (Adaptive) / 79 (Natural) 0.25 (Adaptive) / 0.2 (Natural) Galaxy A53 204 (Vivid) / 123 (Natural) 145 (Vivid) / 87 (Natural) 0.32 (Vivid) / 0.31 (Natural) Galaxy S22 Plus 212 (Vivid) / 128 (Natural) 150 (Vivid) / 91 (Natural) 0.35 (Vivid) / 0.23 (Natural) Pixel 7 109 77 0.28 Zenfone 9 157 (Optimal) / 184 (Natural) 111 (Optimal) / 130 (Natural) 0.28 (Optimal) / 0.3 (Natural) OnePlus 10T 179.6 127.2 0.31 Galaxy Z Flip 4 187 (Vivid) / 110 (Natural) 132 (Vivid) / 78 (Natural) 0.36 (Vivid) / 0.24 (Natural)
One of the most important tests we run is the Tom's Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G (or 4G if the phone doesn't have 5G support) at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.
Battery life benchmark Battery life (Hrs:Mins) Galaxy S22 Ultra 9:50 (Adaptive) / 10:15 (60Hz) Pixel 7 Pro 8:04 (Adaptive) / 7:55 (60Hz) OnePlus 10 Pro 11:52 (Adaptive) / 12:40 (60Hz) Pixel 6a 6:29 Galaxy A53 9:49 (120Hz) / 10:38 (60Hz) Galaxy S22 Plus 9:27 (Adaptive) / 10:27 (60Hz) Pixel 7 7:17 (Adaptive) / 7:30 (60Hz) Zenfone 9 13:13 (adaptive), 12:52 (120Hz), OnePlus 10T 10:59 (120Hz), 11:22 (60Hz) Galaxy Z Flip 4 8:38 (Adaptive), 8:57 (60Hz)
Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.
For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.
The Best T-Mobile Phones for 2022
The carrier's new mid-band 5G network now covers more than 210 million people, according to T-Mobile. You'll need a new 5G phone to take advantage of the network, though, and that's where this list comes in. If you're shopping on your own, make sure that your phone supports LTE frequency bands 12 and 71, and 5G band n41, for the best T-Mobile coverage.
For the first time ever, T-Mobile is America's Fastest Mobile Network . Our 2021 drive tests took us to 30 cities and traveled 10,000 miles, and we found that T-Mobile's mid-band 5G network is the only 5G that makes a difference right now. If you haven't gotten on the T-Mobile 5G train, it is definitely time to jump on board.
Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)
Our Experts Have Tested 43 Products in the Mobile Phones Category This Year
Apple iPhone 13 Best All-Around iPhone 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: Apple's iPhone 13 delivers the best blend of performance, camera quality, and battery life at the right price for most people. PROS Long battery life
Long battery life Fast, smooth performance
Fast, smooth performance Camera makes it easy for anyone to take good photos CONS Not much of an upgrade over the iPhone 12 Read Our Apple iPhone 13 Review Available at Amazon See It (Opens in a new window)
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G Best Affordable Phone 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G's excellent battery life and impressive design are a winning combination for budget-phone shoppers, but AT&T customers will want to buy it directly from the carrier PROS Handsome design
Handsome design Durable Gorilla Glass 5 display
Durable Gorilla Glass 5 display Capable cameras
Capable cameras Long battery life
Long battery life Impressive performance for the price
Impressive performance for the price Excellent software upgrade policy CONS Low-resolution display
Low-resolution display Mediocre speaker
Mediocre speaker Back panel scratches easily Sold By List Price Price Samsung $279.99 $204.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Samsung Galaxy A32 5G Review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Best Folding Phone 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G's giant screen gives it productivity powers no other phone can match. PROS Unique folding form factor
Unique folding form factor Enhanced durability and waterproofing
Enhanced durability and waterproofing S Pen support CONS Very heavy
Very heavy Very expensive
Very expensive Cameras could be better Sold By List Price Price Amazon $1,799.99 $1,049.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Verizon $1,799.99 $1,799.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Review
Nokia 6300 4G Best Inexpensive Dual-SIM Phone 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: This dual-SIM quasi-smartphone is a great companion for adventures on the town or around the world. PROS Dual SIMs
Dual SIMs Broad carrier support for 4G and Wi-Fi calling
Broad carrier support for 4G and Wi-Fi calling Speech-to-text support
Speech-to-text support Native WhatsApp client CONS No popular US streaming music services
No popular US streaming music services Poor group text support
Poor group text support KaiOS is slow Sold By List Price Price Amazon $69.99 $69.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Nokia 6300 4G Review
Sonim XP3plus Best Voice Phone 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Sonim sets the bar for premium voice phones with the XP3plus, a flip you can rely on for years. PROS Very durable
Very durable 3-year warranty
3-year warranty Excellent voice quality
Excellent voice quality Speedy UI CONS Mediocre cameras
Mediocre cameras Poor contact/calendar syncing Sold By List Price Price T-Mobile $210.00 $210.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Sonim XP3plus Review
Buying Guide: The Best T-Mobile Phones for 2022
The Best 5G Phones for T-Mobile
T-Mobile uses the whole menu of 5G frequencies—low, middle, and high—but mid-band is where the sweet spot is. T-Mobile's low-band 5G network has great coverage but not much effect on performance; its high-band network hasn't expanded much beyond its initial few cities. On the other hand, mid-band is available in most major and midsize cities, and it has considerably better performance than 4G. In 2021 T-Mobile also introduced Magenta Max, the first nationwide unlimited data plan with no deprioritization for heavy users.
Focusing on mid-band right now is key. All 5G phones currently sold by T-Mobile have mid-band, so you can just choose a phone you like and not worry too much. To that end, we're only featuring 5G-capable smartphones in this T-Mobile roundup now. There are enough of them, and it's worth investing at this point.
For more, see our list of the best 5G phones.
What Is 5G? What Is 5G?
The Best Voice Phones for T-Mobile
The new Sonim XP3plus on T-Mobile is a rugged, reliable, and high-quality flip phone that we highly recommend. But it's expensive; if you're looking to spend under $100, the unlocked, dual-SIM Nokia 6300 4G is a good deal.
T-Mobile isn't the only option out there, of course. Take a look at our lists for the best phones on AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and see our Readers' Choice awards for the top mobile carriers.
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