What Kind Of Phone Should I Buy
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What's the best phone in 2023 It may seem like a simple question, but it's anything but. Smartphones are so good these days, and while it's great having so many excellent options to choose from, it also means that finding the perfect one for you can be a challenge.
That's why we're here to help. Below, you'll find our picks for the best phones you can buy right now. Whether you're a longtime iPhone fan, are a diehard Android user, or you're open to any smartphone, we think you'll find something on this list that'll suit you perfectly.
If you can afford it, the iPhone 14 Pro is absolutely the best iOS smartphone around right now. Apple has done it again, improving on the iPhone 13 Pro with a range of tweaks and upgrades, ensuring the iPhone 14 Pro is a must-buy. With top-notch performance, a stunning display, versatile cameras, and some exciting new additions, the iPhone 14 Pro is a triumph for Apple.
Where the iPhone 14 Pro falters slightly is battery life. Though it settles down once it gets to know your usage habits, don't expect the battery to see you through two days, and prepare to carry a battery pack or make plans for top-up charging with heavy use. There's no charger in the box, just a USB Type-C to Lightning cable, and with a 29W charger, you should see the battery reach full in around an hour. That's consistent with Samsung's flagships, but a far cry from the fast charging on offer from some other brands.
The phone's cameras are excellent too, and even the subtle enhancements on offer make a noticeable difference. The 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12MP telephoto lenses are still there, with a 48MP main this time around, ensuring plenty of detail and strong color accuracy. You can also shoot video in up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps).
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro is a must if you want the best from Apple, though it doesn't come cheap. Prices start from $999, but you can also find it on almost every major U.S. carrier. It's truly the best smartphone you can currently buy.
It's safe to say it's a gorgeous phone, with soft curves around the edges and a flat top and bottom. The S Pen has a dock at the bottom, and the massive 6.8-inch Super Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is broken only by a simple punch-hole for the selfie camera. Unlike most of the competition, the rear camera module isn't separated from the rest of the back, and it gives the device a clean design language of its own. The color choices are as subtle or stylish as you want them to be, and it's all backed up with Gorilla Glass Victus 2, Samsung's Armor Aluminum, and an IP68-rating for dust and water resistance.
We've seen the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in other phones, like the OnePlus 11 below, but the processor goes up to a new level in the S23 Ultra. It's the "Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy" now, which basically means it's been overclocked and optimized for Samsung's devices. Does that make a difference As it turns out, yes. We couldn't do much to faze this processor, and it handled everything we threw at it. Add in the generous amounts of RAM and storage, and you have a performance powerhouse that should last for years.
The camera is another incremental upgrade, and the hardware improvements are largely confined to upgrading the main lens to 200MP. This makes a difference to image quality (and the S23 Ultra produces exceptional pictures), but the biggest wow factor comes from the improved zoom. Like the S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra has a 3x telephoto lens and a 10x periscope telephoto lens, and both have been improved. The 30x digital zoom has really been upgraded though, and it's moving from being a "fun, but underwhelming" feature to something that actually creates good images. It's quite astounding, and there's no other smartphone that offers this level of zoom photography.
The battery is solid and can last two days with moderate use. Even more intensive use will see it last a full day with some change at the end. It's impressive endurance. Charging tops out at 45W, which should refill your battery in about an hour, though there's no charger in the box, so you'll need to buy your own. There's also support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging too.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,200, with 256GB of storage, so it'll cost you quite a lot of money. However, with some exceptional cameras, stupendous processing power, and two days of battery life, it's fair to say this is a phone that can easily last you for many years before needing to be replaced.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an incredible phone in so many ways, but not far behind it is the OnePlus 11. This is a successor to the OnePlus 10T, a phone that left us feeling worried and uncertain about OnePlus's future. But OnePlus clearly listened to feedback on the 10T, because the OnePlus 11 is so excellent in so many ways.
Packing a gorgeous 6.5-inch 120Hz display, up to 8GB of RAM, a Samsung Exynos 1280 processor, and up to 256GB of onboard storage, it's easy to be impressed by the Galaxy A53. It's also one of the few phones still offering a MicroSD card slot, and the massive 5,000mAh battery should easily see you through two days of use, provided you're not a hardcore gamer. The phone takes around 80 minutes to fully charge with the 25W fast charger (not included).
It's true that the performance can be sluggish, the overly-saturated camera colors aren't for everyone, there's no wireless charging, and it's not the best device for gaming enthusiasts. But for anyone looking for a reliable phone that won't break the bank, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is the ideal budget buy.
The Pixel 7's glass and metal body looks a lot like the Pixel 6 at first glance, though there's no two-tone finish to the rear this time, and the horizontal rear camera bar is aluminum, with both the front and back of the phone protected by tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The 6.3-inch OLED display is a hair smaller than its predecessor's 6.4-inch screen, and the 90Hz refresh rate is a little disappointing amongst a sea of 120Hz displays. With that said, the screen looks great and you'll likely only notice the difference with heavy multitasking or while playing the latest games.
We've included the Pixel 6a on the strength of its camera, but don't think that means the rest of the phone is weak. The Google Pixel 6a is an extremely strong smartphone for the price, with a flagship processor, compact design, and years of updates. But it's the camera that really makes it stand out from the crowd.
At first glance, you'd expect the cameras to be a bit of a letdown. The Pixel 6a uses a pair of 12MP lenses: a main lens and an ultrawide lens. That's much lower than the megapixel counts in most competing smartphones, but don't rely just on the paper stats. The Pixel 6a takes well-balanced but vibrant shots in a range of lighting, and expertly uses HDR to capture more challenging scenarios, like direct sunlight. The Night Sight mode isn't as good as in more expensive Pixel phones, but it's still good, especially at this price.
As mentioned, the rest of the phone is impressive too. The Pixel 6a uses the same Tensor chip found in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, so it has flagship-level performance and shouldn't balk from any of the latest 3D games. It does run hot under load though, so keep an eye on that. Battery life doesn't shine as much, being largely limited to a single day. Chraging is also fairly slow at just 18W.
With a starting price of $449, it's also extremely well-priced. If you're looking for an excellent camera phone, but don't want to pay flagship prices, then the Pixel 6a is one of the best options around.
In our review, the phone's battery endurance impressed. Once it settles into your usage habits, you can expect the 4,323mAh battery to easily see you through a day of heavy use. In practice, we saw over seven hours of screen time which included 40 minutes of YouTube, 1 hour and 20 mins of Twitter, over 30 minutes of browsing on Safari, plus dozens of other apps. With more regular use you can easily expect the battery to see you through two days on a single charge. Again, there's no charger in the box here, and charging speeds peak at 29W.
Finding a truly small phone today feels like hunting for a needle in a haystack, but the iPhone SE (2022) is really, truly small, with its tiny 4.7-inch Liquid Retina display with 60Hz refresh rate. Sadly, the design feels a bit dated, cribbing the iPhone 8's design, with chunky bezels and a Home button with integrated Touch ID.
Though a lot of Android phones are on the bigger side these days, those who want a non-folding Android phone that's still small and compact should check out the Samsung Galaxy S23. It's the latest for Samsung's flagship Galaxy S series of phones, and the base model is perfect for small phone fans. Thanks to the materials used, the S23 is not only small, but it is super lightweight and comfortable enough to use with just one hand.
You'll find a gorgeous 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X FHD+ display on the S23, which looks sharp and crisp with a density of 425ppi. Colors look rich and vibrant, and blacks are deep and pure. The 120Hz refresh rate makes scrolling and animations incredibly smooth, and the 1,750-nit outdoor peak brightness means you can use your phone without an issue while out in direct sunlight.
The Galaxy S23 has a 3,900mAh battery and supports USB-C fast charging, but only up to 25W. Still, that's pretty fast, as you can get 50% charge in just 30 minutes with the appropriate charger (sold separately). It takes a little over an hour to go from zero to 100%, which is really not that bad. A single full charge should get you through an entire day, if not more, depending on your use. Wireless charging caps out at 15W and you also get 4.5W reverse wireless charging, in case you need to charge up your wireless earbuds in a pinch.
The main reason most people want a foldable is, of course, those dual screens. This time around the Z Fold 4 is not quite as tall, or as slim as the Z Fold 3, so it feels more comfortable to hold, particularly one-handed. The outer display is a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen, with a massive 7.6-inch display inside. It's like hiding a tablet screen inside your smartphone, and both screens boast a 120Hz refresh rate too. 59ce067264