What's The Best Smartphone To Buy
The very best phones offer great cameras, the kind of performance you need to multitask and enough battery life to last the whole day. And we have our own web surfing battery test to put company's "all-day" endurance claims to the test.
what's the best smartphone to buy
Other highlights for the Galaxy S23 Ultra include smarter OneUI 5.1 features, including Bixby Text call for screening calls for you. And the display is now flatter for easier S Pen use, though we still don't think the panel needs to be curved. Note that there are complaints about S Pen Bluetooth connectivity issues, but hopefully that will be fixed with an update. Although we'd like to see faster charging overall the Samsung S23 Ultra is the best Android phone yet and easily one of the best phones overall.
Other highlights of the iPhone 14 Pro Max include a powerful A16 Bionic processor that smokes most Android phones and a powerful new 48MP camera that gives you the choice of brighter images or sharper resolution in ProRAW. See our ProRAW photo shoot to see the results. And the new Action Mode for video is super smooth and compelling. The best part is the battery life, as we saw over 13 hours in our testing, making this a total beast and worth the premium.
Video is another strong point for the iPhone 14 Pro, as you get a super smooth Action mode along with a sharper 4K Cinematic Mode. Add in a very clever replacement for the notch with Dynamic Island and an always-on display and you have one of the best phones you can buy. We just wish Apple offered faster charging, which likely won't happen until the iPhone 15 Pro.
With 5x optical zoom, the Pixel 6 Pro can pull off some fancy zoom tricks in combination with the enhanced Super Res Zoom. But we think the colors are a bit dull on the telephoto shots, certainly less vibrant than the iPhone 14 Pro in our testing. Regardless, the Pixel 7 Pro is the Android phone to get if you want the best cameras.
The iPhone SE (2022) offers a lot and is one of the best phones under $500. It trades blows with the Pixel 5a, meaning that iPhone buyers on a budget have two great options to look at. (The other being the $499 LTE-only iPhone 11.)
The main reason to get the Galaxy S22 is because you hate paying full price for phones. And at $699, the Galaxy S22 still has a lot to offer since just a few months ago, it was one of the best phones in Samsung's lineup.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 takes the best foldable phone and makes it better in multiple ways. For one, Samsung and Google made it much easier to multitask by adding a taskbar, and you can now drag and drop content between more apps when you're running them side by side.
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 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.
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.
Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Mark SpoonauerSocial Links NavigationMark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.
The Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Pro impressed us with excellent performance from their processors and the cameras. But if you aren't after the best iPhone around, you still have plenty of smartphone choices, including the Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. They both offer everything you could want, from high-end performance to superb cameras.
There are a number of other great smartphones with eye-catching features, such as Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 4, which has a foldable screen. These can be quite expensive, but if your cash doesn't stretch that far, worry not. More and more affordable phones, such as the new Pixel 6A, pack great specs, high-speed 5G connectivity and more-approachable prices.
Most of the phones below are available unlocked and should be compatible with the big four US wireless carriers, unless otherwise specified. Many of the best phones of 2022 remain available below, but we review and update this list regularly and will keep you posted as we test new models in the year ahead. For more info, read our guide to help find the best phone for your needs and take a look at our tips on how to buy a new Apple iPhone or Android phone and where to snag the best phone deals.
As Apple's top phone it doesn't come cheap -- especially if you want the larger Max model -- but if you're looking for the best all-round performance in an iPhone, then the 14 Pro is the phone to get.
The $700 OnePlus 11 is a powerful phone that's well equipped to handle gaming, video streaming and other common tasks. In typical OnePlus fashion, this phone is also cheaper than the $800 Galaxy S23 and $900 Pixel 7 Pro. The cameras aren't the best, but they're fine for casual photographers that just want to capture their next vacation or a night out. What sets the OnePlus 11 apart from many of its rivals is its blazing fast 100-watt fast charging, which can replenish the battery in just 25 minutes. (The US version only supports 80-watt charging, but that's still an improvement over the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 45-watt charging). Overall, the OnePlus 11 is ideal for those who want a powerful phone that charges quickly and won't break the bank. Read our full review of the OnePlus 11.
The Pixel 6A is Google's newest midrange phone, replacing the Pixel 5A as the $449 device in its lineup. CNET's Lisa Eadicicco called it the "best Android phone under $500" in her Pixel 6A review, noting that it keeps the same Tensor chip seen in the $599 Pixel 6 and many of its features.
Samsung's $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the most portable and fun phone CNET's Patrick Holland reviewed last year. It inherits the best parts of the Z Flip 3, like its pocketable flip phone-inspired design and Flex Mode, which makes it easier to use the phone when it's propped open halfway. The Z Flip 4 also has a new image sensor, which improves image quality compared to the Flip 3, along with a bigger battery and newer processor.
Typically, the more you pay, the better quality you'll get, with the most advanced features being reserved for the most expensive flagships. But unless you're a committed photographer, then most recent smartphones will be able to take good-enough shots of your kids at the beach to share with family and friends, so don't think you need to spend a fortune to get a usable camera.
There's a vast array of case options for almost every phone on the market, so which one is best really comes down to what you need it for. Many cases are simply there for the style. They might be made of luxury materials like leather or fabric, or simply come with some fancy design that you'll enjoy having in your pocket all the time.
And while these cases will certainly help keep light scratches and scuffs off your phone, you should look toward more specialized rugged cases if you want to take your smartphone on a rough-and-tumble adventure into the outdoors.
Battery life has always been a difficult topic in smartphones. As phones get more powerful they get more power-hungry, but keeping them slim enough to slide into a pocket means little room for a battery. Long gone are the days of getting a month out of a single charge.
Most of today's smartphones -- even those at the top end -- should usually be able to deliver a full day of mixed use out of a charge. That means you should have a bit of juice left at the end of your day, but you should expect to give it a full charge when you plug it in next to your bed at night.
Pretty much every phone you can buy today is a smartphone. Smartphones let you do more than just make calls; they connect to the internet for web browsing, you can download apps and games, and they typically have cameras capable of taking -- and displaying -- photos and videos. In short, they're just what we know of today as a "phone," and everything on this list qualifies as a smartphone. 041b061a72