Last updated: May 18, 2023 (Changelog)
If you are after the very best on the smartphone market, you've come to the right section of this buyer's guide.
The highest of high-end phones are in this category. The latest Galaxy and iPhone are the default choices at this level, but big names out of China have their own takes too, of course. Both Xiaomi and Oppo can offer you no-compromise handsets with build and features to match or even beat Apple and Samsung. Foldables can be found here too.
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 930.00||$ 936.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 958.00||$ 990.00|
The Galaxy S23 Ultra takes its rightful spot as our top pick in the Best flagship category - it's an unmatched package that includes pretty much everything you could think of wanting in a smartphone.
If we had to start with the things you can't get here, we'd have to mention that it doesn't bend in half - there's another Galaxy that takes care of that. Naysayers will also point out that it charges too slowly, but that's relative - it's notably better in this respect than iPhone or Pixel competitors, which is arguably what matters. Maybe the Ultra's worst offence is that it's not all that different than last year's model.
That said, the S23 Ultra offers a couple of incremental upgrades here or there, while keeping the basics that already made the S22 Ultra superb. Small tweaks in the design bring meaningful improvement to handling, while the new 200MP camera is more than just a megapixel increase over the old 108MP unit.
The new camera is just one in a set of five and together they deliver possibly the most capable camera system in a smartphone overall. The S Pen may not have brought any new features, but existing ones are plenty and it's not like there's any stylus-wielding competition. The spectacular display and excellent battery life round up a top-class showing when it comes to the fundamentals too.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 1,041.00||$ 1,099.99|
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 1,097.00||$ 1,199.99|
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's best iPhone in 2022. It has a ProMotion 120Hz display, now with an Always-on option, a redesigned notch that’s now a feature called Dynamic Island, and a more prominent camera upgrade with a 48MP sensor for the main camera with 2x lossless zoom, a better ultrawide camera, and an improved selfie one with autofocus.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max offers amazing dust and water resistance, plus its Ceramic Shield is incredibly crack proof. Of course, the latest iPhone is unmatched when it comes to performance. If you are an iPhone type of person, the 14 Pro Max is a no-brainer. If you are after the best flagship - that's also this iPhone 14 Pro Max but you should be willing to give Apple iOS a chance. It's not bad, it's just different.
All of these apply to the regular Pro, in fact. It's up to you to decide which size suits you best. No matter the hardware differences, you will still get the same experience. Got to love Apple for that.Read full review
|512GB 12GB RAM||$ 1,299.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||£ 1,099.00||€ 1,269.52|
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is a flagship that's so easy to love. Its ceramic design is beautiful and we do appreciate the ingress protection. Then there is one of the best displays in the industry - a 1440p OLED with 10-bit color depth, dynamic 120Hz refresh, and Dolby Vision support.
Then there is the most current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with class-leading performance. The Xiaomi 13 Pro has excellent thermal handling and offers great sustained performance, and will not become hot no matter what. We can also praise the battery life and, of course, the charging speed. Kudos for including the 120W charger in the box, too, as this has become a rare thing lately. We also liked the speakers' loudness and quality.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is also shaping as one of the best cameraphones in 2023 with a class-leading primary camera with superb photo and video quality and 2x lossless zoom. Then there is the incredibly powerful telephoto and telemacro camera, which excels across the board, too, and its closeups and portraits are very impressive. We can also praise the ultrawide balanced performance.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is not a perfect smartphone. First - there is no grip. It is impossible to use the 13 Pro without a case, as you would probably drop it in the first few hours. And then there is the dated selfie camera that's unworthy of a flagship, let alone a cameraphone. Despite these, the Xiaomi 13 Pro delivers on every promise and every important aspect, and it is one of the most beautiful, powerful, and skillful devices we've used. It is jam-packed with cutting-edge smartphone and imaging technology, and it's worth every penny.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 887.00||$ 569.00|
Another year, another great Find – the Find X5 Pro continues a lineage of compelling flagship Oppos in the high-end segment. The Find X5 Pro model looks like the Find X3 Pro, but has lost the unique microscope camera. Still, it offers excellent hardware and performance where it matters.
The only downside is that the telephoto camera only offers 2x zoom but you get excellent photo and video quality with special features like the custom MariSilicon X image chip and the 5-axis OIS.
Outside this concern, the Oppo Find X5 Pro delivers across the board – it has a great OLED, the latest and fastest hardware, a large battery with good endurance and incredibly fast wired and wireless charging. And, of course, the high-end ceramic back which you can carry around without fear of scratches.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 800.00||$ 1,373.00|
|512GB 12GB RAM||$ 900.00||$ 1,338.00|
The Galaxy Z Fold4 is our current top pick for the best flagship for many reasons. It is among the view smartphones right now that has the wow factor and unique looks. Sure, there are other foldables, but the Fold is the only one that’s available everywhere and is jam-packed with features.
The Galaxy Z Fold4 offers Samsung’s best displays and chipset, some of the best cameras, and it even supports S-Pen if that’s your thing. And being a foldable tablet surely puts it ahead of the competition for its versatility and usability.
Indeed, those who are after productivity are unlikely to find a superior package than the Fold4 - in smartphone or smartphone-like form, that is. The combination of the new Android for large screens, Samsung's proprietary One UI add-ons, and the stylus support, is simply unrivaled.
The Fold4 all-round excellence continue with its speakers, battery life, connectivity. In fact. The only things that fail to impress on this Fold4 are the charging speed and the still present screen crease.
Ultimately though, these are small enough as to be largely immaterial and Galaxy Z Fold4 is the best flagship right now.Read full review
The iQOO 9 Pro is a brilliant smartphone currently sold in India and China. It offers plenty of cool stuff like gimbal stabilization, LTPO 2.0 E5 AMOLED, 120W fast charging, 3D ultrasonic fingerprint reader, and even the BMW Motorsport branding.
The camera on the back, even if it won’t impress with its zooming capabilities, offers outstanding photo and video quality, and impresses with video stabilization.
In addition to the screen, battery life, performance, and camera, we also liked the iQOO 9 Pro speakers and the fast 120W wired charging.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||€ 1,019.00|
The vivo X90 Pro turned out to be an excellent smartphone and an impressive cameraphone with few if any, caveats. It has a likable and grippy design, and it is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. The X90 Pro also impresses with an excellent AMOLED with great color accuracy and high brightness. The HDR10+ support is recognized by all popular streaming apps, too.
Then there is the new Dimensity 9200 chipset, which scored slightly behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, but it is still impressive by being the second-best silicon on the market right now. The vivo X90 Pro is well-equipped to handle whatever you throw at it, though running GPU benchmarks may heat it up to an unpleasantly hot degree.
We were satisfied with the vivo X90 Pro battery life and impressed by its 120W fast charging. The stereo speakers turned out pretty good, too. But what was outstanding across the board was the rear camera photo and video quality. The partnership between Vivo and Zeiss has produced one of the best and most consistent image-processing outputs we've seen. All photos and videos we took with the rear cameras are simply stunning. There is no doubt that this alone is enough to rank the vivo X90 Pro among the best cameraphones in the world.
The selfie is still behind the curve as it uses a Quad-Bayer sensor and doesn't even offer 4K video capturing at the time of writing. The zoom options are limited to 2x, which is another aspect that doesn't sit well in light of what the competition is doing.
All things considered, however, the vivo X90 Pro is an exemplary flagship smartphone that delivers on every promise and offers impressive imaging skills. It's not insanely expansive, too. And it sure gets our unreserved recommendation.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 1,517.79|
|512GB 12GB RAM||£ 949.99||€ 999.00|
The Honor Magic5 Pro is an incredibly powerful smartphone featuring a top-notch display, speakers, chipset, cameras, and charging options on the market, all wrapped into a beautiful and unique IP68-rated body.
The Magic5 Pro easily aced our display and battery tests, and it was pretty fast to charge. We also found its speakers to be loud enough and its performance to be flagship worthy. And the camera experience was as premium as it can be these days - the photo quality is excellent with natural-looking and balanced output across the board. The same can be said for the video experience, although we've seen a few zoomed videos of higher quality on other flagships..
The Honor Magic5 Pro is not perfect, though it did come close. The phone has a slippery design, and the 2x digital zoom isn't as lossless as on some other phones (we mean when compared to those with 1" main cameras). The zoomed videos aren't on par, too, and there is no 8K option. Weirdly, all 4K videos are limited to 15 minutes, which is far from ideal for video creators, too. Finally, the GPU throttles a lot when running in peak performance, which is a thing you should have in mind if you consider competitive gaming.
But even with these setbacks, the Honor Magic5 Pro is a solid offer with flagship specs and quality top to bottom. And we do recommend this phone to everyone who is not a video creator - it literally has everything and it's not the most expensive offer on the market.Read full review
We're not quite in a position to recommend a Find N2, given its China-only official release, but we figured it deserved a mention here on account of its uniqueness. The second generation Oppo foldable maintains all that set the original one apart and builds on that, resulting in an overall superior product.
The displays retain the size and proportions of the Find N - possibly the best package for the most people, only now they get a brightness boost and extra smoothness on the cover. The phone's gotten appreciably lighter, has better cameras and performance and the speedy charging couldn't hurt.
A couple of tough decisions had to be made to reach the lightness goals and the wireless charging fell victim, which is a bummer. The relocation of the volume rocker gives us pause as does the speaker arrangement, but that's mostly nitpicking.
Ultimately, the one dealbreaking issue for us is not an issue with the phone itself - it's the fact that we can't really have one, not officially, and not with the software we're used to using. Let's keep our fingers crossed then that the Find N3 will finally make it out of China and then it will certainly be higher up this list.Read full review
|512GB 12GB RAM||£ 2,499.00||€ 2,199.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 2,599.99|
The Huawei Mate X3 is an exquisite device through and through. The hardware up on offer here represents some of the most advanced foldable designs there are. Huawei has crafted an incredibly thin device that folds perfectly closed with no air gap and unfolds to a very flat state with a minimal crease.
Despite its thin and light body, the Mate X3 still manages to fit in a lot of high-end hardware, including two big displays, a pretty large 4,800 mAh battery with wireless charging and a pair of excellent stereo speakers. There is even an IR blaster on board, so you know that Huawei is not holding back any punches in the hardware department.
This attention to detail extends to the excellent camera setup as well. The main 50MP camera on the Mate X3 is quite versatile and produces all-around great photos and videos. We found ourselves particularly impressed by the telephoto camera on the Mate X3. It captures very clean and sharp photos and equally impressive videos.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect device, and the truly exquisite hardware of the Mate X3 gets overshadowed by Huawei's continued lack of Google Play Services. That's arguably the biggest drawback the Mate X3 has, though the list also includes things like imperfect high refresh rate handling and choppy sustained performance.
As usual, it all boils down to personal choice. Undoubtedly, the Mate X3 is an exquisite hardware package through and through, with very few drawbacks in that department. Software is the main pain point of the Mate X3 for prospective buyers. If that's something you can live with, then it definitely deserves a recommendation.Read full review
May 18, 2023: Added the Huawei Mate X3.
March 20, 2023: Added Galaxy S23 Ultra (new top) and Oppo Find N2.
March 13, 2023: Replaced the Xiaomi 12 Pro with the Xiaomi 13 Pro. Replaced the Honor Magic4 Pro with the Honor Magic5 Pro. Added the vivo X90 Pro. Removed the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra.
October 21, 2022: Replaced the Galaxy S22 Ultra with Galaxy Z Fold4 (new top). Added Honor Magic4 Pro and the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. Replaced the iPhone 13 Pro Max with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Removed the vivo X80 Pro, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Pixel 6 Pro.
June 29, 2022: Replaced the Galaxy S21 Ultra with Galaxy S22 Ultra (new top). Replaced the Oppo Find X3 Pro with the Find X5 Pro. Replaced the vivo X70 Pro+ with the vivo X80 Pro. Replaced the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra with the Xiaomi 12 Pro. Added iQOO 9 Pro. Removed the Huawei Mate X2.
Nov 5, 2021: Added Google Pixel 6 Pro.
Oct 20, 2021: Replaced the Galaxy S21 Ultra with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max as our Editors' choice. Also replaced the vivo X60 Pro+ with the vivo X70 Pro+, the Galaxy Z Fold2 with the Galaxy Z Fold3. Removed the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.
May 11, 2021: Replaced the Galaxy Note20 Ultra with the S21 Ultra as our Editors' choice. Also replaced the Oppo Find X2 Pro with the Find X3 Pro, the Mi 10 Pro with the Mi 11 Ultra. Added the vivo X60 Pro+ and the Huawei Mate X2 as niche choices, and removed the Zenfone 7 Pro, OnePlus 8 Pro and the Mate 40 Pro.
Nov 23, 2020: Replaced the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max with 12 Pro Max.
wow! everyone knows flagship models now! what a research.
What about 1+ and pixel phones
where is oneplus 11 ?
Log in I forgot my password Sign up