In 2023, numerous new smartphones are expected to hit the market, including some great devices from Samsung and OnePlus. Fortunately, 2022 brought us some remarkable phones, and we have ranked the ten best devices along with the latest models in this article. Our definitive list caters to people's preferences, whether it is performance, camera capabilities, design, specifications, price, and more. In fact, some of the prices may pleasantly surprise you.
Keep in mind that the top phone on our list may not be the perfect choice for everyone, so make sure to check out all ten. The best phone for you depends on what you value the most. Samsung and Apple are featured on this list, but also consider looking further afield to Android competitors such as OnePlus, Google, Oppo, and Xiaomi, as they might have your ideal pocket partner. Trust us, all these phones deliver, but each has a different set of features, and that is a good thing because good competition means better phones for everyone!
1. Google Pixel 7 – Best for most people
We believe that the Google Pixel 7 is the best phone for most people. It is the best Pixel phone yet, and it has tons of premium features for an incredible price of $599/£599/€649. You get a lovely 6.3in 90Hz OLED display, bright and customizable Android 13 software, a premium glass finish with wireless charging, and amazingly good main and ultra-wide cameras on the back. That main camera is the best point-and-shoot phone camera on the market, with stunning photos no matter what you point it at, thanks to the 50Mp sensor and Google’s top-level photo processing. You also get fun software tricks like Magic Eraser to rub out unwanted people or objects from your photos, and other Pixel-exclusive things such as call screening and a call holding feature so you don't have to sit on hold for ages with businesses, though several of these call perks are US-only. You could also choose the Pixel 7 Pro if you want a bigger screen, better battery life, and an extra optical telephoto zoom lens.
2. iPhone 14 Pro – Best iPhone
The iPhone 14 Pro is the best iPhone available. It has a Dynamic Island that is genuinely great and the first iPhone with an always-on display. It also has phenomenal cameras and a 120Hz display. However, it has the same battery life as the 13 Pro and no fast charging. While the regular iPhone 14 is only a minor update over the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 Pro is a huge leap over its predecessor. Some of the change is only skin deep, but when such a visual overhaul as the Dynamic Island makes its debut, it’s hard not to notice. Apple has shrunk its famous screen notch into a pill and circular shape below the top bezel but filled in the blank space with black pixels, and then used animations to have notifications and updates from apps originate from the space, creating a use for the cut-outs now seen for cameras on most phone screens. The phone’s cameras are also exceptionally good, with the first 48Mp sensor on an iPhone allowing for 2x zoom cropping in addition to the 3x telephoto lens and a capable ultra-wide. Apple has also finally introduced an always-on display that simply dims your lock screen and pleasingly doesn’t affect battery life, in our testing at least. It’s not a huge upgrade on the 13 Pro, but if your phone is three or four years old, this iPhone will feel lightyears into the future.
3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - The Phone with Everything
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the phone to beat in 2023, with all the features you could want in a smartphone. It boasts incredibly fast performance, exceptional triple cameras, a long-lasting battery, and the unique S-Pen stylus, all wrapped up in a lovely premium package.
The squared-off body and screen design provides the best screen of any phone, perfect for any app and superb for watching videos. However, the selfie camera does suffer in low light conditions.
4. Google Pixel 6a - Best Value Android
The Google Pixel 6a may not have the biggest or best screen or camera, but it offers the most value at an affordable price. It comes with the Google Tensor chip for flagship-level performance, long battery life, and an impressive camera. However, it only has a 60Hz display, slow 18W charging, and a plastic back that easily scratches.
The Pixel 6a offers a close-to-full Pixel experience with three years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates, making it the best value Android phone on the market.
5. OnePlus 11 – The Best Value Flagship Phone for 2023
OnePlus strikes the perfect balance with its OnePlus 11 smartphone, which offers a feature-rich premium experience at an unbeatable price point of $699/£729/€849. While it lacks wireless charging and full waterproofing, the phone excels in all other areas, including lightning-fast performance, an outstanding display, strong cameras (including a 50MP main lens), and extended software support for four years of Android updates and five years of security updates. Samsung and Fairphone are the only other Android brands that offer such long-term support.
Despite its 6.7-inch screen, the OnePlus 11 is remarkably slim and sleek. You can choose between a glossy green or a matte black finish that repels fingerprints but makes it one of the slipperiest phones on the market. The only potential downside is the sometimes labored OxygenOS, which tries to reinvent Android without necessarily improving it. Nonetheless, the OnePlus 11 offers exceptional value for money and is an excellent long-term investment.
6. iPhone 14 – The Ultimate All-Rounder for 2023
The iPhone 14 may not be as impressive as the iPhone 14 Pro, but it costs less and has everything you need in a premium smartphone. Although it's essentially an iPhone 13 with a new name, it boasts slightly improved camera features and an impressive video stabilization mode called Action Mode. It also offers car crash detection, a potentially life-saving feature.
If you already have an iPhone 13, there's no urgent need to upgrade to the iPhone 14, but for everyone else, this is the go-to iPhone for 2023. It offers excellent battery life, top-notch performance, and superb cameras (even without a telephoto lens). As usual, Apple's build quality is second to none, and iOS is one of the most stable and secure mobile operating systems. With up to five years of software support and the convenience of Apple Stores for repairs, the iPhone 14 is a solid investment. If you prefer a larger screen and more battery life, consider the iPhone 14 Plus, but for most people, the standard iPhone 14 is the perfect choice.
7. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 - Best Foldable Phone
Samsung has improved on the Z Flip 3's battery life and camera performance issues, making the Z Flip 4 an all-day phone that rivals the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus. At a similar price point to flagship slab smartphones, the Z Flip 4 boasts the same main and ultrawide cameras as its counterparts.
Although concerns over display durability and the crease in it persist, Samsung assures that the Flip will last for at least 200,000 open and close motions, equivalent to roughly five years of average use. The improved battery can be attributed to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which boasts improved energy efficiency, allowing for longer use without the need to recharge halfway through the day.
With 8GB RAM, the Z Flip 4 is more than capable, but investing in 256GB storage may be worth considering. Additionally, the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is a convenient feature. Essentially, this phone is an S22 with a better processor that folds down to half its size, making it one of the best phones available today.
8. Motorola Moto G62 - Best Budget Phone
The Moto G62 is an affordable handset that competes with phones that cost significantly more. At under £200, it provides all the basics, including a solid 120Hz screen, uncomplicated Android software, and a robust two-day battery life. Unlike other low-cost phones, the Moto G62's chipset boasts a processor strong enough to handle normal everyday phone tasks.
The 50Mp main camera is a nice feature, but without stabilisation tech, steady hands are necessary for taking pictures. The ultrawide and macro lenses are not remarkable, but a camera that takes sharp, vivid images in daylight is all you need at this price point.
With built-in 5G, the Moto G62 is an excellent choice for those who want to use new networks for the next few years. Motorola doesn't sell this phone in the US, but it sells a range of comparable Moto phones for about $200.
9. Vivo X80 Pro - Outstanding Camera
Vivo has outdone itself with the X80 Pro, which boasts a camera that rivals those of the best Apple, Samsung, and Google phones. Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, the X80 Pro has four rear lenses, including a highly capable 50Mp sensor. Every lens benefits from Vivo's V1+ image processing chip, and the telephoto lens has gimbal stabilisation to enhance clarity in zoom shots. The low-light photography is superb, and the video modes have cinema-wide aspect ratios and a film-like grain, making it a pocket-sized powerhouse camera.
The X80 Pro's 6.78in AMOLED screen is a big one, but it has a 120Hz LTPO with a variable refresh rate and QHD+ resolution. The lack of Gorilla Glass for front and back scratch and crack protection and the irritating software are minor drawbacks. Overall, the X80 Pro is another stride forward for Vivo and an excellent choice for those who desire a premium camera on the back of their phone.
10. Asus Zenfone 9 – Smallest premium Android
If you're in the market for a small Android phone with top-notch specs, the Asus Zenfone 9 should be at the top of your list. It's even more premium and compact than the Google Pixel 6a, yet boasts a superior chipset, fantastic battery life, and impressive cameras with gimbal stabilization for stable videos and excellent low-light photos. While the back of the phone is made of a plastic composite that feels like textured paper and doesn't offer wireless charging, it makes up for it with its durability. Despite running slightly hot at times and only being promised software updates for two years, the Zenfone 9 packs a punch in a tiny package and is one of the few remaining truly pocketable smartphones on the market.
When shopping for a phone, it's essential to consider its build quality, design, ease of use, features, performance, and value. While this list mainly focuses on the best flagship smartphones available, some mid-range and budget phones still make the cut based on their capabilities and quality relative to their price. Purchasing an unlocked phone outright usually provides the best value, but if that's not feasible, check out the best SIM-only deals to find the right plan for you.
For those wondering whether to choose an iPhone or Android phone, it's worth noting that while Android dominates the market, Apple's iOS platform offers one of the best app stores. Transferring contacts and select data from one OS to another is relatively easy, but paid-for apps and specific app data like WhatsApp backups may not transfer over. If possible, buying an unlocked phone is preferable to buying a phone on contract since it allows you to switch carriers easily and isn't tied to any particular mobile operator. Just make sure to get the right size SIM card and ensure that the phone and plan you choose are 5G-enabled if you want to access 5G networks.