HomeTop StoriesFinest smartphones of 2022 | CNN Underscored Gadgetfee

Finest smartphones of 2022 | CNN Underscored Gadgetfee

Smartphones are on the heart of our digital lives — they’re what we use to speak with family members, deal with essential enterprise, binge on TikToks and every little thing in between. And because you’ll probably use your telephone greater than another gadget you personal, choosing the right one to final you thru years of use is essential.

However with new telephones popping out seemingly each month, it may be exhausting to determine which one is definitely best for you. That’s why we’re at all times testing the newest flagships from the likes of Apple, Google, Samsung and extra to be sure you get the very best smartphone on your wants.

Finest smartphone general

Apple’s iPhone 13 has a contemporary construct with an immersive show, with the very best efficiency and the most effective cameras of all of the telephones we have ever examined.

With its newest slate of smartphones, Apple constructed on our earlier general winner, the iPhone 12, in all the precise methods. The iPhone 13 boasts upgrades to the options we deem most essential with regards to selecting a smartphone — the show, processing energy and digicam capabilities.

On the subject of photograph capturing, the iPhone 13 leads the category at this value level (for a nominal improve, you’ll must spend extra on the iPhone 13 Professional or Professional Max). The telephone’s twin cameras — a 12-megapixel vast and a 12-megapixel ultrawide — together with Apple’s processing methods work collectively to ship a photograph that works 9 occasions out of 10. And that’s extra reliable efficiency than another telephone — Galaxy S21 included — can ship.

The essential enchancment this 12 months is in low-light efficiency, because of bigger sensors that seize extra gentle, so even photographs taken in dim circumstances seem brighter and provide minimal to no grain. Sometimes, a photograph taken in low-light scenes introduces extra noise and grain, which reduces the standard of a photograph — an issue we discovered with most different smartphones’ cameras, however not with the iPhone 13.

3-iphone 13 underscored review

Jacob Krol/CNN

The iPhone 13, geared up with Apple’s newest cellular processor, the A15 Bionic, additionally shone in efficiency, as FaceTime calls, looking the online, posting on social media, taking part in video games and even doing work all occurred promptly and with out hiccups. With massive exports in Pixelmator, the iPhone was three to 5 seconds sooner than iPhone 11, and an iMovie render of a 4K file was performed about 10 seconds sooner. Efficiency is on par with the Samsung Galaxy S21 throughout the board, although the iPhone was faster with focusing, capturing and processing a photograph or video.

Battery life is improved considerably over the iPhone 12. On a full cost, the iPhone 13 lasted for 14 hours and quarter-hour in our battery take a look at, an hour and 45 minutes longer than the iPhone 12.

For many who both need to go smaller or spend much less, the iPhone 13 Mini has the very same function set — and comparable battery life — in a smaller housing with a 5.4-inch show for $699.

Finest Android smartphone

In case you want Android, the Galaxy S22 (or the bigger S22+) are the way in which to go. These telephones provide lovely shows, lengthy battery life, very good cameras and a number of the greatest efficiency we have ever gotten out of a smartphone. Plus these telephones look nice, with a glass-and-metal construct that is available in 4 engaging colours.

Finest price range smartphone

In case you’re trying to spend lower than $500, it does not get higher than the Google Pixel 6a. This slick telephone has the identical speedy Google Tensor processor because the costlier Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional, delivers all-day battery life and will get you a clear Android expertise with no annoying bloatware.

iPhone 13
Galaxy S22 Bora Purple
Google Pixel 6A product shot

6.1 inches, 2532 x 1170 Tremendous Retina XDR

6.1 inches, 2340 x 1080 AMOLED

6.1 inches, 1080 x 2400 OLED

Refresh fee





Apple A15 Bionic

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Google Tensor






128GB / 256GB / 512GB

128GB / 256GB



12-megapixel vast and ultrawide cameras (again), 12-megapixel TrueDepth digicam (entrance)

50-megapixel vast, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10-megapixel telephoto (again); 10-megapixel (entrance)

12.2-megapixel vast digicam, 12-megapixel ultrawide (again); 8-megapixel (entrance)

Dimension and weight

5.78 x 2.82 x 0.3 inches, 6.14 ounces

5.7 x 2.7 x 0.29 inches, 5.92 ounces

6 x 2.6 x 0.35 inches, 6.3 ounces





Foldable smartphones are choosing up steam. It’s presently a distinct segment market, however the folding way forward for telephones is thrilling. The brand new type issue permits for breakthroughs to occur in engineering and creates new experiences for us to make use of. A single machine may be capable of sort out your communication wants and be a pill. From a way of life perspective, a compact machine just like the Z Flip could make your use of know-how extra intentional.

If we have been to select one proper now, it could the Z Flip 3 5G. We’ve referred to as it the very best foldable available on the market, and it’s comparatively inexpensive, particularly with a trade-in. It goes from compact with a tiny 1.1-inch display screen to a big 6.7-inch display screen when unfolded. It additionally launched at $999, which remains to be dear however less expensive than the $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold 3. The hinge feels nice and has further options to make sure particles or supplies gained’t get caught below the show. The telephone contains a reliable set of cameras, particularly a large and ultrawide lens, with the entire modes you possibly can need.

As you’d count on, when testing a smartphone, we bodily swap over to that machine for a time period. It turns into our every day driver, with our SIM card inside, the apps we use and our contacts. That’s our real-world testing — utilizing it for telephone calls, texting with mates, capturing reminiscences, taking part in video games, chilling out with music, studying the information and taking in content material.

Moreover, we pay shut consideration to 4 particular areas. When evaluating a telephone’s construct, we analyze and take a look at the design. Does it really feel good within the hand? Is it straightforward to carry, or is it a slippery mess? We additionally think about what forms of ports a telephone has and, after all, verify for a headphone jack. As telephones have been getting bigger and bigger, dimension is taken under consideration.

Efficiency covers so much — from the show to software program and even connectivity, with extra in between. To standardize the efficiency, we used benchmarks on every smartphone, and these are the identical exams we run on gadgets in particular person evaluations. A proprietary battery take a look at and Geekbench 5 are the callouts. With connectivity, we examined each mobile and Wi-Fi in quite a lot of conditions.

With cameras, we tried to make use of them as you’ll. Capturing household at night time and in the course of the day, testing the all-important Portrait Modes and simply basic capturing. We shook our fingers to check stabilization, tracked shutter occasions and noticed how lengthy it took to seize a photograph.

Battery life was a class of its personal to establish full run occasions, charging occasions and simply how a lot use every telephone might present. The CNN Underscored battery take a look at consists of a 4K video on a loop that runs till the machine powers off. We make sure the brightness is about to 50% and switch off connectivity through airplane mode.

Our greatest price range iPhone choose, the iPhone SE delivers a complete lot for $429. You get the identical highly effective A15 Bionic processor discovered within the iPhone 13 sequence, in addition to 5G help and a fairly good digicam for the worth. In case you’re married to the Apple ecosystem and on a price range, it’s a no brainer. However for everybody else, we expect the Pixel 6a’s superior cameras, design and battery life give it the sting.

If in case you have the cash to spend and need an extra-large display screen, an included stylus and the very best digicam on a Galaxy telephone, the Galaxy S22 Extremely is a good possibility. Nevertheless, we expect the cheaper S22 and S22+ (which have the identical quick processor and many of the similar options) are the higher choose for most individuals.

The OnePlus 10 Professional is a worthy various to the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 6 Professional, sporting an ideal show, a pretty design and particularly quick charging speeds. Nevertheless, its efficiency and cameras can’t fairly sustain with our prime picks.

Because the smaller model of our general choose, the iPhone 13 Mini merely shrinks the display screen to five.4 inches and packs a smaller battery inside. It nonetheless meets the identical excessive efficiency marks and lasts a full day. In order for you a smaller iPhone, that is the way in which to go. Until you’re brief on pocket house, we advocate the usual iPhone 13, as the additional display screen actual property makes it extra usable and the keyboard feels a lot much less cramped.

At $200 greater than the iPhone 13, the 13 Professional options an extra digicam for close-ups and the power to take macro photographs, and it ups the refresh fee on the show to an ordinary 120Hz. In case you’re actually into images, we expect the leap is price it for extra particulars, colours and readability in all photographs captured on the machine. Apart from these enhancements, it’s equivalent to the iPhone 13, making Apple’s normal iPhone the higher alternative for many.

The iPhone 13 Professional Max is Apple’s largest telephone with a 6.7-inch show. Just like the 13 Professional, it contains a high-refresh-rate show and a triple-camera system with LiDAR. In case you’re utilizing the telephone as your main digicam, there’s a case to be made right here particularly for the enhancements with readability. And though it boasts the longest battery life among the many new iPhones, except you recognize you’d use the digicam options, we’d nonetheless advocate the usual iPhone 13, because it performs simply as effectively in on a regular basis conditions.

The iPhone 12 was our earlier general choose and a 12 months later it’s nonetheless a superb possibility. It boasts a twin digicam principal system with a 6.1-inch OLED display screen that impresses with vibrancy.

The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini are equivalent aside from the display screen dimension, and that’s actually excellent news. With a 5.42-inch display screen, the iPhone 12 Mini is the compact telephone with no compromises. It has the identical digicam setup because the 12, and meaning terrific photographs regardless of the capturing circumstances. It runs iOS 14 simply as effectively and actually is a good alternative for individuals with smaller fingers.

Just like the Professional iPhone fashions, the S21 Extremely goals to degree up the expertise with a bigger display screen, really high-end aluminum construct and 6 cameras. Efficiency in our testing was actually on par with the S21 as a complete. Sure, the machine has extra RAM, however except working massive exports or utilizing the machine for video modifying, the bottom RAM within the S21 is simply positive. The opposite boosts are within the digicam division. The twin telephoto lens, nevertheless, which permits for 10x optical zoom, was a recreation changer in our testing. We have been capable of seize pictures from afar with a surprising quantity of readability for a smartphone; it’s a definite enchancment on the 3X optical zoom, plus software program processing on the common S21. In case you don’t must get these lengthy photographs, although, the usual Galaxy S21 is cheaper and practically as feature-filled.

Arriving 9 months after the unique S20, the Galaxy S20 Fan Version received virtually every little thing proper. A $699 mash-up of Samsung applied sciences held collectively in a polycarbonate plastic construct, it delivers a triple-camera setup on the again with help for Area Zoom. It may possibly take good photographs and seize easy video, nevertheless it takes a bit of extra work than our greatest general choose. The 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED show on the entrance delivers a 120 Hz refresh fee. We want all telephones, together with the iPhone 12, supplied the sooner refresh fee. Finally, although, the iPhone 12 is simply $100 extra, and the Pixel 4a 5G is less expensive.

There’s so much to love in regards to the Galaxy Z Flip 3, from a smoother hinge that makes opening and shutting extra seamless to a bigger cowl display screen that’s lastly extra useful than gimmick. Now you can actively see notifications, management playback and even monitor exercise all from the entrance display screen. The principle inner show is greater than the S21’s (it’s nearer in dimension to Samsung’s bigger S21+) with a 6.7-inch show that contains a excessive refresh fee. And it’s powered by the identical processor because the Galaxy S21 together with the identical vast and ultrawide lenses. That stated, we nonetheless don’t see a compelling argument for a folding telephone but, however if you happen to’re offered on the folding future, we’d advocate this one for it’s S21-like function set.

Samsung’s newest mixture telephone and pill is actually spectacular — it’s additionally $1,799, which is a ton to pay for a telephone. The software program expertise right here is extra desktop-like, with options for multitasking with any software, and the Z Fold 3 provides high-refresh-rate shows, a sooner processor and a substantial enchancment within the general construct. Choosing a Galaxy Z Fold 3 allows you to do extra with only one machine, however there are some limitations with Android. There are additionally long-term sturdiness issues with a foldable. Until you’re an early adopter, decide for the standard non-folding smartphone.

The primary Pixel of 2020 struck a very nice chord. At $349, it delivers a extremely stable expertise with an OLED display screen, a fingerprint sensor on the again and one digicam lens on the again. It’s an ideal 4G LTE-capable telephone for its value, however in 2020 we’re additionally targeted on longevity, and for a bit of bit extra the Pixel 4a 5G will get you a extra future-proof machine.

The Pixel 5, at simply $699, is the high-end Pixel for 2020. Nevertheless it doesn’t actually impress greater than the Pixel 4a 5G — it has a barely extra refined design and helps reverse wi-fi charging. Until you’re a Pixel die-hard who desires a enjoyable colour, the variations are minimal and the 4a 5G is the way in which to go.

Motorola’s reentry into the flagship house was a combined one. The costlier Edge+ is a Verizon unique, and that’s simply no enjoyable. The Motorola Edge is a modest flagship with a show that stretches to the very edge (get the identify now?), actually spanning the precise and left sides. It didn’t add a lot precise use circumstances, although, and at $699 it fell to our then price range choose within the Pixel 4a 5G. Nevertheless, now that it’s dropping under $300 throughout gross sales, it’s a worthy possibility for these on a good price range.

Our expertise with the primary technology of the Razr was nostalgia-fueled however in the end not a superb foldable expertise. The second gen retains the enduring design and a hinge you can bodily really feel. However the truth that it feels extra sturdy doesn’t get away from feeling the show fold and listening to it creak. We do just like the bigger show on the entrance over that of the tiny one on the Z Flip, although. And Motorola making it obtainable unlocked, as an alternative of locked to Verizon, is a good transfer.

OnePlus is understood for offering flagship specs and options at a value that undercuts its opponents, and the $749 OnePlus 8T isn’t any totally different. It contains the newest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 865, 5G connectivity, a giant battery and 4 rear-facing cameras, together with a macro lens for these photographs the place you want to get actually near your topic. All OnePlus telephones are powered by Android and run OnePlus’ proprietary Oxygen OS on prime of it. The 6.55-inch show even has a 120 Hz refresh fee, however in the end the OnePlus 8T fell brief from certainly one of our prime picks as a result of unreliable digicam efficiency. Oh, and the truth that Samsung undercut OnePlus by releasing the Galaxy S20 FE that almost matches its specs however prices $50 much less.

The OnePlus 8 Professional was launched in early 2020 and stays within the OnePlus lineup as a higher-end possibility for OnePlus followers. It’s usually priced at $899, which is uncharted territory for an organization identified for its low-end costs on high-end telephones. We reviewed the 8 Professional shortly after it launched and located it to be a unbelievable Android telephone, with a stellar show and robust efficiency with long-lasting battery life. The unlocked OnePlus 8 Professional lacks help for mmWave 5G networks, sure to be a downside for some. The cameras are good however not on the identical degree because the iPhone 12, and at this value it must be pretty much as good or higher to get a prime choose.

Microsoft’s reentry into the smartphone house was a singular one. The $1,299 Floor Duo doesn’t have a folding display screen, however slightly two separate screens which are related by a stellar hinge. The design purposely doesn’t function any display screen on the entrance, and it’s meant that will help you use your telephone with intention. And whereas the {hardware} is nice, the software program expertise left us wanting much more. Android as a complete isn’t prepared for the two-screen revolution, and it was actually buggy when it got here to sending functions to the correct sides of the show. Nonetheless, we have now excessive hopes for model two.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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