The Best Phones in 2022 (updated April) - PhoneArena

The Best Phones in 2022 (updated April)

The Best Phones in 2022 (updated April)
We have officially entered the second quarter of 2022 and, for the most part, we won't be seeing new smartphone launches any time soon. In other words, it's a good time to buy with confidence, as no new refreshes will be rolling out.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 series came in strong and resurrected the good old Note in the form of a Galaxy S22 Ultra. Apple's iPhone 13 series are absolutely fantastic and your last chance to get your hands on a mini, as rumors say that there will be no iPhone 14 mini — apparently, demand is low. OnePlus also entered its 2022 contender in the ring just recently.

So, let's take a loom — from great Android phones to the latest iPhones, plus a few different options for those who don't want to settle, we walk you through the very best handsets available on the market right now, with all of their pros and cons. 

Also read:



Best phones of 2022




Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
9.3

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max


The Good

  • Amazing battery life
  • Super bright display with great colors
  • Fastest performance of any phone
  • Improved camera
  • Best video quality of any phone

The Bad

  • Lacks fast charging
  • Size is a bit extreme and it is a heavy phone
  • Cinematic Mode needs some more polish
  • No USB-C makes life more complicated

If money is no object and you want an iPhone, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best one you can get. It features one of the best displays in its class: its 6.7-inch screen has excellent pixel density and color calibration, and super-high 1200 nit (1000 for typical content) brightness, making it easy to discern outdoors. It also has a 120 Hz refresh rate provided by an LTPO panel that can drop as low as 10 Hz to conserve battery. It all works to make iOS that much more buttery, responsive, and satisfying to use. The cherry on top (or what drives all of this underneath) is the Apple A15 Bionic inside — easily the fastest processor in a smartphone right now.

The camera has also improved, like every year, and this time around we have a bigger sensor and new features like the new Cinematic Mode and the new Photographic Styles. Apart from the professional-looking 4K video footage and the crazy-fast chip to process it, the iPhone 13 Pro Max uses the “sensor-shift” stabilization from the 2020 iPhone 12 Pro Max, improving clarity in low light pictures and clips.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has grown a bit in size and weight, but for good reason. Its battery life is phenomenal, easily netting us 2 days of casual use without breaking a sweat.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with the familiar iOS interface and access to the beautiful Apple ecosystem, coupled with the typical software update cycle for Apple devices (5 years and counting!), making sure the phone will remain relevant even after years of use.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
8.8

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra


The Good

  • S Pen in a flagship, great for creatives
  • Industry-leading screen quality
  • Faster charging than before
  • 10X zoom camera is improved significantly
  • Video recording gets smoother stabilization
  • 4 years of major software updates!

The Bad

  • Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
  • You get less RAM than last year
  • No microSD card slot, no headphone jack
  • Loudspeaker quality could be better
  • Jittery swiping, microstutter with gesture nav in One UI

Equipped with an updated next-gen Dynamic OLED screen, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can hit a record 1750nits of peak brightness. It's a modern LTPO OLED that can actively go between 1 Hz and 120 Hz to conserve battery but still show you smooth animations when needed.

If you thought that the camera system in the Galaxy S21 Ultra was good, just wait! The Galaxy S22 Ultra takes things further, or should we say brings them closer - thanks to the two dedicated zoom cameras you get the longest, cleanest zoom on a phone. That and updated night mode photography makes it a true contender for best camera phone in 2022. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also comes equipped with the latest and most powerful chip by Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. 

The S22 Ultra is sporting the same 5000mAh battery piece as the S21 Ultra, and the same 1440p resolution. We expect the same stellar battery life, considering the new Snapdragon chip should be more energy-efficient on paper and that the screen can drop to a slightly lower refresh, when needed.

Google Pixel 6 Pro 


Google Pixel 6 Pro
9.0

Google Pixel 6 Pro


The Good

  • Superb design
  • Sharp OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Good battery life
  • Great performance
  • Versatile camera setup
  • Great image quality
  • Loud and rich speakers
  • Wireless charging on board

The Bad

  • Slow fingerprint sensor
  • Android 12 has some quirks

Google nails phone-making with the Pixel 6 Pro which we rank in the top three phone camera kits, displays, and battery endurance rankings among flagship phones for a price significantly below its competitors. 

The individually calibrated Pixel 6 Pro camera set is now up with the best of them in wide and ultrawide camera quality, while the periscope zoom rivals the S21 Ultra quality at each zoom level, even 10+ ones. 

Google also managed to beat Samsung at its own display quality game by introducing when of the most color-balanced and accurate phone screens out there. The cherry on the top of our Pixel 6 Pro review is its long-lasting battery that is only rivaled by the more expensive Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
9.0

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3


The Good

  • Solid build and feel, stable hinge
  • Excellent screens in and out
  • Both displays are 120 Hz
  • Improved software experience for multitasking
  • Smooth performance
  • Good speakers

The Bad

  • Folded, the phone is awkwardly thick and tall
  • S Pen is a separate purchase, which means most will miss out
  • Still has visible crease

Samsung created the foldable phone market, and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has become its most zealous missionaire by exemplifying the biggest promise of foldables, to have one huge display available when you most need it.

The Z Fold 3 will lift your street cred up with breathtaking foldable design, a durable build, cool color combos, and a unique S Pen stylus support that is hard to replicate. Moreover, Samsung managed to push the Z Fold 3 price point further towards the mainstream despite its futuristic design.


Sony Xperia Pro-I


Sony decided that the normal Xperia Pro wasn't Pro enough

Sony Xperia PRO-I
8.0

Sony Xperia PRO-I


The Good

  • Sharp and accurate 4K 120Hz OLED display
  • Distinctive industrial design
  • Remarkable camera versatility
  • Superb video-recording capabilities
  • Natural, not overly processed photos and videos
  • Loud and clear stereo speakers
  • Plenty of storage plus microSD card support
  • Outstanding flagship-grade performance
  • User-friendly hardware features

The Bad

  • High price
  • Shutter button is too sensitive
  • Only 30W fast charging
  • Mushy haptic feedback
  • No biometric alternative to the fingerprint scanner
  • White balance discrepancies between the different cameras
  • Camera interface doesn't rotate

Sony rounded off the end of the year by releasing the crazy camera phone — the Sony Xperia Pro-I. The selling point here is a massive 1.0-type Exmor RS sensor in the main camera, coupled with a variable aperture of F2.0 / F4.0. It comes with three different pro apps loaded in — from full manual controls for photo mode to a full movie-making suite that can capture 4K video at up to 120 FPS.

But it's a phone for heavy enthusiasts — Sony is selling the Xperia Pro-I for $1,800. The good news is that it comes with 512 GB of storage by default, to hold all of your high-quality pictures and clips.


Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate


The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is loaded up to the brim with insane specs

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate
9.0

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate


The Good

  • Amazing speakers
  • Super-smooth AMOLED screen
  • Long battery life and 65W charging
  • Highly customizable
  • AirTriggers
  • Optional ROG gaming accessories
  • Striking, stylish design

The Bad

  • Limited availability
Gaming phones are a bit of a meme, but it’s nice to see Asus fully embracing it. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has an aggressive-looking design, a tiny screen on the back whose sole purpose is to display custom logos, and 4 hardware pressure point buttons for enhanced gaming. It wouldn’t be a “gaming phone” if it didn’t have absolutely silly specs, too, and the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate delivers. 18 GB of RAM on a smartphone? 144 Hz screen? External cooler that you need to connect to the phone via a proprietary port? Yes, yes, and how else would you have it?

It’s a niche phone, absolutely, but it’s hard to keep it away from a “best” selection. After all, it is probably the (or among the) most powerful Android phones out on the market right now. Even if you don’t need all the power — you definitely get the bragging rights.

If the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is a bit too much for you, go for the non-Ultimate version. It’s just as good, it just cuts back on all of that overhead that you may or may not need.


OnePlus 10 Pro


The latest-and-greatest OnePlus phone is adequate in just about everything it does

OnePlus 10 Pro
8.5

OnePlus 10 Pro


The Good

  • Great performance with good thermal management
  • Gorgeous display
  • Nice haptics and lovely sound
  • Premium design
  • Versatile camera
  • You get a charger in the box

The Bad

  • Sometimes bleak image colors
  • Color temperature inconsistencies between the different lenses
  • No auto Night Mode

With a price matching the Google Pixel 6 Pro, the OnePlus 10 Pro is an alternative take on that "clean Android" experience. OnePlus did not switch to Oppo's Color OS, but did borrow some of its features for Oxygen OS 12.

What does that all mean? It's a snappy phone with a few extra quirky quality of life features that we happen to love. Its camera is not the best, but it's certainly above average. Its design is unique and recognizable, its screen is spectacular, and its haptics are on point. Our one gripe with the OnePlus 10 Pro is its battery life — we wonder if an update down the line might fix that. Keep an eye out!

Read more: OnePlus 10 Pro review

OnePlus 9


We found the OnePlus 9 sporting a display quality way out of its price league, adding to its fast-charging and camera quality virtues. 

OnePlus 9
9.0

OnePlus 9


The Good

  • Pretty, functional design, solid build
  • Beautiful screen
  • Fast performance
  • No-nonsense user interface

The Bad

  • Camera was a bit of a letdown
  • Speakers are shrill

The OnePlus 9 is still up for sale and you can nab one for $599. That's the same price as the cheaper Google Pixel 6. And, we have to say, the OnePlus 9 still holds up. It will not beat the Pixel in the camera department, but it won't lose by a whole lot, too. Its hardware is a bit older than the Pixel's, but it's still powerful and contemporary.

In fact, at its current price point, the OnePlus 9 is an absolute bargain.

Read more: OnePlus 9 review

Apple iPhone 13 mini


Apple iPhone 13 mini
9.0

Apple iPhone 13 mini


The Good

  • Compact, light, comfortable to carry
  • Bright and accurate screen
  • Great camera system
  • Fast performance
  • 128 GB base storage

The Bad

  • 60 Hz screen
  • Small screen is not for powerusers - feels cramped
  • Battery life is OK, but still the worst in the lineup

The Apple iPhone 12 mini was pretty good and all, but it kind of lacked in the battery department. The 13 series remedied that issue. So the iPhone 13 mini has the same powerful processor as the 13 Pro, but is a tiny little phone that stays out of the way most of the time. And, for $700, it's pretty hard to beat — a 5.4-inch display is OLED with excellent colors and brightness, a thin and compact body, superb performance, and pretty respectable cameras.

If you tend to two-thumb type on your phone often, the 13 mini is probably not your cup of tea. If you want a phone that can fit any pocket and can bring the power and performance if you happen to need it throughout your day — that's the contender right here.

Read more: Apple iPhone 13 mini review

Google Pixel 6


Google Pixel 6
9.0

Google Pixel 6


The Good

  • Great price to value
  • Good-looking OLED screen with 90 Hz refresh
  • Great camera
  • Android 12 runs fast and smooth
  • Smart features and exclusive Assistant functions

The Bad

  • Speakers are thin-ish
  • Android 12 needs some polish in presentation
  • Tensor chip is smart but not a super-performer

The Google Pixel 6 is short of a few bells and whistles that the Pro has, but it's still powered by the Tensor chip. This means, you get all that on-device speech recognition, the Google Assistant smarts, and the awesome main camera performance that the Pixel 6 Pro has.

Now, the Pixel 6 cuts back on the selfie camera and has absolutely no optical zoom camera. Also, its design is a bit flatter and doesn't look as pristine or futuristic as the Pixel 6 Pro. But, at the end of the day, it starts at $600 and it's a lot of phone for that price!


Samsung Galaxy A52


Samsung really pulled out all the stops when upgrading its midrange Galaxy A series with the A52 5G.

Samsung Galaxy A52
9.0

Samsung Galaxy A52


The Good

  • Beautiful, big, 90 Hz AMOLED screen
  • Good camera, OIS helps a lot
  • Stereo speakers sound good
  • Heyyy, headphone jack

The Bad

  • All around plastic
  • A bit bulky
  • Performance can have a few hiccups

The Galaxy A52 comes with a 90 Hz Super AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, which can sound quite nice, and a camera that's quite the performer. The main sensor has an optical image stabilizer-equipped module, which is rare to see on midrange phones. It comes in a few fun, fresh colors. On top of providing a core smartphone experience, it is also ready to welcome you to the Samsung ecosystem with the full featureset of the Samsung SmartThings app being available out of the box.


Motorola One 5G Ace


Motorola has always been the smartphone fans' sweetheart, and the One 5G Ace whiffs of nostalgia as a phone of utmost value.

Motorola One 5G Ace
8.4

Motorola One 5G Ace


The Good

  • Great value for a 5G phone
  • Snappy performance
  • Good camera quality
  • Excellent battery life

The Bad

  • Macro lens doesn’t add much value
  • Build could be sturdier

Motorola has proven it can really churn out solid phones at amazing prices. The Moto One 5G Ace stays true to this formula and aims to bring 5G to the masses. It still has its signature snappy performance, competent camera, and great battery that Moto phones are known for. Its screen may not be a jewel, but for $350, the Moto One 5G Ace offers quite a bit of value.


Apple iPhone SE (2022)


Apple iPhone SE (2022)
8.0

Apple iPhone SE (2022)


The Good

  • Affordable price
  • Light, thin and compact
  • iPhone with a button classic vibe
  • 5G connectivity with C-band support
  • Super fast processor
  • Camera is great for day shots, video

The Bad

  • Feels dated
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • Screen feels too small for a modern phone
  • Battery life is improved, but still below average
  • Camera lacks night mode, has no ultra-wide lens
  • Only 64GB base storage

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) reiterates the design of the iPhone SE 2 before it and the iPhone 8 before that. Apple just updated the line with the latest Apple A15 silicon — the same chip that powers the iPhone 13 line. So, the iPhone SE (2022) is an affordable but hot device, with a powerful heart inside. The camera wasn't updated much, but the new processor allows for enhanced image processing, Apple's Deep Fusion (improved details and dynamics) as well as the new Photographic Styles. And, of course, the SE is now 5G capable.

All of that for $429 and you can understand while many users will be tempted by the new SE. The only thing we are worried about is how the battery will hold. The SE (2020) wasn't that great in the department, but Apple claimed new battery improvements. So, we will see.
 
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