The Best Phones to buy in 2024 - our top 10 list

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The Best Phones in 2024
Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our contemporary world and of us, ingrained in our daily routines and essential to our existence as individuals. As Elon Musk once said, we're already modern cyborgs, we just lack the interface. Whether it enhances our social standing or serves as a literal lifesaver, a smartphone plays a significant role in our lives.

As we embark on the journey into 2024, the smartphone arena continues its dynamic and ever-evolving nature. The swift evolution implies that a flagship phone from just the previous year might now find itself transformed into a commonplace mid-range option. With an abundance of options at your fingertips, the task of choosing the best smartphone tailored to your specific needs can be quite a daunting one. Fear not, for we are here to guide you through it and simplify the process!

Best phones of 2024 at a glance

  1. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max - The best iPhone available right now, boasting the latest and fastest chipset, three main cameras, and the new Dynamic Island feature. 
  2. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra - The best Android phone you can get right now. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has it all - fast processor, bright and vivid AMOLED screen, and something other flagships lack - a stylus. Plus, with its S24 series, Samsung has officially entered the era of AI.
  3. Google Pixel 8 Pro - The flagship Android with the purest Google experience. If you want to get your new "feature drops" before anyone else and you want to dip your toes into the wonderful world of AI directly on your smartphone, the Pixel 8 Pro is your best option.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 - Simply the best foldable phone out there. If you want to hop on the foldable train, there's nothing better on the market, at the moment. Not only is the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a multitasking machine, but you can also use it with a stylus!
  5. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 - The best flip phone at the moment. The Galaxy Z Flip series is another take on the foldable idea, folding a regular phone in half rather than unfolding a phone into a tablet. If you miss the compact phones of the past, the Z Flip series may be the right one for you.
  6. Asus Zenfone 10 - The best compact Android phone on the market, if you don't want to fold your display in half. The Asus Zenfone 10 is specifically designed to be one-hand operation friendly, and also comes with a flagship processor, great battery life, and one of the best optical stabilization systems in the business.
  7. Sony Xperia 1 V - The only phone series with a variable zoom camera. The Xperia 1 V is for serious photography enthusiasts. It basically has the first and only truly variable camera system on the smartphone market carries over the last couple of generations. Plus, you're getting Sony's creator-focused Pro apps, namely - Photography Pro, Video Pro, Music Pro, and Cinema Pro.
  8. OnePlus 12 - Back to the flagship-killer roots of OnePlus. Could it be that the OnePlus 12 might be one of the "no-flaw" phones of 2024?
  9. Google Pixel 7a - The best budget Android flagship is a Pixel. You're getting all software tricks that Google holds up its sleeve, great camera algorithms, and a rather distinctive design for not a lot of money.
  10. Apple iPhone 13 mini - The best compact iPhone is also the best compact phone of them all, and the last iPhone mini (at least for now). With its 5.4-inch display, the iPhone 13 mini is unbeatable when it comes to size. Your pockets will thank you for that choice.

Honorable mentions:


  • Xiaomi 14 Ultra - The 1-inch Chinese camera phone goes global. There's a powerful quadruple camera system onboard and even a camera grip accessory to transform this phone into a real point-and-shoot camera.
  • Honor Magic 6 RSR Porsche Edition - The Galaxy S24 Ultra competitor from the Far East. Full of innovations (such as the lithium-silicon battery onboard, unscratchable back) and great cutting edge tech.
  • OnePlus Open - The first attempt of the company at the foldable smartphone. Also, one of the best foldable debuts on the market.
  • Google Pixel Fold - Google's attempt to make a competitive foldable phone. Not a bad one, too.
  • Sony Xperia Pro-I- A pro camera in a smartphone, the Xperia Pro-I takes a 1-inch sensor from one of the company's most successful compact cameras (RX-100) and slaps it on a smartphone. The usual Sony Pro-grade creator apps are also onboard. If you're serious about your photography, this one's for you.
  • Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate - The best gaming phone, period. Asus has a great pedigree when it comes to mobile gaming (and gaming in general), and if you enjoy your Fortnite and want to take it everywhere with your, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is your best choice.
  • Samsung Galaxy A55 5G - The best midrange phone. Sometimes you don't have to cough up a lot of money to get the best smartphone experience, and the Galaxy A55 is a perfect example. This midrange phone has a great design, a beautiful 120Hz AMOLED display, and a price tag that will make you smile.

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The above list is just a quick summary of the best phones you can get at the moment. If you want the deep dive, the whole experience, if you like to weigh in pros and cons, get every available information, you should keep on reading. You can always check out each and every review if you want to go even deeper and find every little bit of information about each model.

In this article, we will explore what constitutes the "best smartphone" and provide some tips on how to choose the perfect one for you. There are some key smartphone features that are very important for the user experience, and even though "best" is a subjective thing to some extent, these features are the ones to look for when buying a smartphone.
 
  • Display: We consume the world mainly through our eyes, and the bigger and better the display of a smartphone, the better viewing experience we would get. We live in the AMOLED era now, and another buzzy new metric is the refresh rate of the display. Modern flagships sport at least a 120Hz display refresh rate, which makes things very smooth, especially when you scroll through text and websites.
  • Camera: If the display is how we consume the information on our smartphones, the camera is essentially a device for capturing memories. The number of megapixels is not the only thing to think about. The aperture, image stabilization, and processing technology all play a role in the quality of the camera.
  • Battery life: Even the best smartphone in the world is worthless if the battery runs out. A long-lasting battery is essential for those who use their phone frequently. The battery life of a phone varies depending on the model and usage patterns, but the bigger the battery, the better, as Winnie the Pooh often says.
  • Performance: The performance of a smartphone is a composite factor that depends on its processor, RAM, and storage capacity. A powerful processor, ample RAM, and plenty of storage will ensure a smooth and seamless user experience, but you shouldn't forget about the actual software on top of that and the optimization that's going on. A clean and well-optimized smartphone OS could offset more modest hardware inside.
  • Design and Build Quality: The design and build quality of a smartphone is always an important factor that can determine its durability and aesthetic appeal. A well-built phone with a sleek design will not only look good but also last longer. Different protection ratings also fall into this category, such as the IP dust and water resistance rating, and the tempered glass on the front and back, mainly manufactured by Gorilla Glass.
  • Software support: This might seem unimportant but getting five years of software updated versus only two or three could potentially save you a lot of trouble and also money. When you pay premium money for a premium phone, you expect it to last. We shouldn't overlook this aspect and even though most manufacturers now strive to offer longer support cycles, there are some clear winners and losers here.

Now that we have looked at the key features to consider when choosing the best smartphone, let's see what's the best phone to buy in 2023.

Also read:

About the legacy rating: PhoneArena has introduced a new scoring system where we use the full range of 1-10 in order to rate devices more accurately and fairly, all the while battling the "Review score inflation" phenomenon. Scores of newer phones might seem low. We're working on updating our ratings of older devices to migrate them to the new rating system.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The best iPhone available right now
PhoneArena Rating: 8.7/10

If you're looking for the best phone and you don't have a preference between iOS and Android, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is the your only option at the moment (at least until the next Galaxy flagship family launches). This model checks all the boxes, and except for the somewhat higher price, it doesn't have any real drawbacks.

Apple decided to change things around a bit with the Pro lineup this year, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max now comes with a titanium frame! The phone also features the next-gen A17 Pro chipset, poised to climb on the top of every mobile benchmark. Another big change is the newly developed Tetraprism camera system. It more or less exploits the same concept as a periscope zoom lens but uses one prism to bounce light around and offer longer focal length, in the case of the iPhone 15 Pro Max it is 120mm or 5x optical zoom.

Of course, this year marks the big transition from Lightning to USB-C, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max features the faster USB 3.0 (10 Gbps) standard. Last but not least, there's a brand-new Action button replacing the Mute switch. It's a programmable button and you can do a lot of things with it, check out our dedicated Action Button explainer article to learn more about it.

All in all, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best phone you can get at the moment, and it's reflected in its price tag. The phone starts at $1,199 - the most expensive iPhone to date (although the base storage is now 256GB, so the price remains the same if we compare it to the same storage option last year).

Read the full iPhone 15 Pro Max review for a deep dive.

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Apple offers its impressive iPhone 15 Pro at deeply discounted prices with the right trade-in. Right now, you can get this top-class smartphone at up to $630 off with a trade-in.
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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
The best Android phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8.2/10

Pros

  • Refined design, titanium frame, flat screen
  • Excellent camera, good improvements
  • Screen has great brightness range, reduced reflections
  • 12 GB RAM at base level
  • AI features are limited right now, but not a gimmick
  • 7 years of software updates!

Cons

  • Big and heavy, slippery with the matte titanium
  • No improvement in charging speeds
  • Pricey, if you don't catch a deal

Samsung lifted the curtain before its latest Galaxy S24 series, and as always, the pinnacle of the software and hardware engineering comes in the face of the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Android flagship features a brand-new flatter design, and its display is now completely flat. The latter will probably make fans of the series happy, as the change to a flat screen was one of the most wanted features in polls and surveys.

The aforementioned flat screen is now brighter, going up to 2,600 nits, and it's protected by a new type of Gorilla Glass, called Armor. Unlike the other two models, the S24 Ultra also features a new piece of hardware in its camera system, a brand-new 50MP periscope zoom camera, capable of achieving 10x optical quality zoom levels (5x optical + 2x crop from the sensor). Across the hardware board we find the latest Qualcomm chip - the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.

The Galaxy S24 marks the start of the AI era for Samsung with Galaxy AI, a slew of hardware- and cloud-based AI features, such as real-time translation of text and voice, summary of notes, chat suggestions, and the ability to do visual search in practically any image. On the downside, the battery capacity and charging speed remained the same, and the price has gone up a notch. Probably to offset the use of titanium in the frame. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is the best Android phone at the moment. 
 


Google Pixel 8 Pro 

The flagship Android with the purest Google experience and AI magic onboard
PhoneArena Rating: 7.9/10

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Seven years of updates!
  • Clean software, no bloat
  • Top notch camera system

Cons

  • Portrait Mode is frustratingly bad
  • Charging is on the slow side
  • No one really big standout new feature
  • Pricier now

Phones are so similar nowadays that you'd be hard pressed to find a single original feature that stands out from one brand to another. But there are exceptions to this. Behold the Pixel 8 Pro! The latest Google flagship not only continues to expand Pixel's arsenal of cool software and hardware features, but also bets heavily on AI.

If you want something different, with clever tricks such as the ability to erase objects from photos, manipulate audio, unblur faces in images and videos, alongside generative AI wallpapers, a thermometer, a custom built SoC, and SEVEN years of software support, the Pixel 8 Pro is the right phone for you.

The Pixel 8 Pro offers the cleanest and most genuine Android experience that you won't get with other Android flagships. There are things to improve, for sure, but Google is closer and closer to the big guys, Samsung and Apple, and they will have to pay attention. Competition is a great thing, and kudos to Google for bringing the fight to the veterans in the business.

Get Google Pixel 8 Pro at Amazon and save $250

Google's 2023 Pixel 8 Pro flagship is available at Amazon. At the moment, the 128GB model is available at $250 off, meaning you can save 25% on the most innovative Google Pixel flagship phone to date.

Google Pixel 8 is $150 cheaper at Amazon

The Google Pixel 8 is available at Amazon right now. The smartphone sells at $150 off. All colors are available at the same discount.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Simply the best foldable phone out there
PhoneArena Rating: 9.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • Improved hinge feels better
  • Fast and solid performance
  • Sharp, colorful screen with smooth refresh rate
  • Wide and detailed sound from the speakers
  • S Pen (separate purchase) is excellent

Cons

  • Battery life is ok at best
  • External screen can be too narrow for comfortable typing
  • The crease is shallower, but still very much present

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 may not have a significant upgrade compared to its predecessor, but it is arguably the ultimate smartphone for tech enthusiasts who want a device that can do it all. It can function as a phone, tablet, or even emulate a desktop PC. This year's model comes with a new and revised hinge, that closes with almost zero gap.

The device comes equipped with numerous polished power user features, including split-screen and windowed multitasking, a fixed taskbar with up to 4 recent apps, Samsung DeX, and stylus support, giving users the ability to do everything they desire with Android. Plus, this year's model comes equipped with the latest Snapdragon chipset, so you won't lack power.

Even if you just want to enjoy media or play games on a larger screen that is still comfortable to hold, the Z Fold 5 is an excellent choice. This is the best phone for people who want to be on the forefront of technology, and also do some serious work on their phones.

Snatch the Galaxy Z Fold 5: now $200 off

Get your hands on the hottest foldable phone on the market at a bargain price. The device is now some $200 off its price tag on Samsung. But that's not all. If you trade in an eligible device, you can save an additional up to $1000!
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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is now available with a payment plan with AT&T. The device comes at up to $1000 off with an eligible trade-in. Get it today and enjoy your savings.
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The best flip phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • Larger Flex Screen is better than before
  • Solidly built, almost no wobble in the hinge
  • First Flip phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Long 4-year software update commitment
  • Better camera than competition, but still not great

Cons

  • Flex Screen feels limited and unfinished
  • Phone is pricey
  • Battery life and charging speeds are just average
  • Some dust protection would be nice to have

In 2020, the Galaxy Flip series was introduced, offering a fresh take on the classic clamshell flip phone, which had been popular during the 2000s. This new style of foldable phone was a major technological achievement. Samsung had to solve a lot of engineering problems to come up with this new shape.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the latest iteration of this clamshell idea, and it features the flexible OLED screens that are at the forefront of the foldable revolution. This phone is all about refinement; it takes everything its predecessor did well, and amplifies it.

It's faster, it can last longer, and its cover screen can now do a lot more stuff, plus it's bigger at 3.4 inches, and better. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is now a true flagship that's not hampered by its innovative design. If you want to get a taste of the foldable phone, but don't like the huge Galaxy Z Fold (and its price tag), the Z Flip 5 is the best phone for you. It's even cheaper than some more "rigid" and non-folding Android phones out there.

Snatch the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and save big on Samsung

The Galaxy Z Flip is now available at the Samsung store with trade-in credit for $600 less. If you want everyone's eyes to be on you every time you take out your phone (and not break the bank), now's your time to get the Galaxy Z Flip 5.
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$999 99
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Snatch the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with an Amazon gift card: now

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is now available at Amazon as well. Currently, the retailer sells it alongside a $150 Amazon gift card. The price is for a fully unlocked device with 512GB of internal storage space.


Asus Zenfone 10

PhoneArena Rating: 8.5/10 (Legacy rating)
The best compact Android phone on the market

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Powerful chipset
  • Good stereo speakers
  • Wireless charging
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint scanner
  • 144 Hz display refresh rate in games
  • Solid battery life
  • Great selfie camera
  • IP68 water and dust protection

Cons

  • Design is the same as last year
  • Main camera system not flagship-grade
  • Display could be brighter
  • No telephoto camera
  • Only two major OS updates

The compact Android flagship is dead! Wait, Asus doesn't think so. If you long for the old Xperia Compact days, there's an alternative, and it is just great. Asus has been perfecting its Zenfone line in the past couple of years, and the Zenfone 10 is the pinnacle of all that effort.

Despite being criticized for its derivative design (it looks identical to the Zenfone 9), this little fellow sticks to the winning formula of its predecessor. There are some upgrades, don't get us wrong, the phone now comes with wireless charging support, which is a feet in and of itself, given that Asus has managed to keep the same exact size.

There are almost no cons to this model, and if you want to nitpick, there's no microSD card slot, and no telephoto camera, but these are absolutely not necessary. The user experience with the Zenfone 10 is just great, and the only drawback here is that the phone is not more widely available. The Zenfone 10 is the best phone for compact enthusiasts and one of the best Android phones out there. Period.


Sony Xperia 1 V

The first phone with a revolutionary mobile camera sensor
PhoneArena Rating: 8.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • Stylish, classy, and light — great design
  • Plethora of manual camera modes for fine-tuning video and photos
  • Eye tracking autofocus is super-fast and responsive
  • MicroSD slot and headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers sound pretty good (though a bit boxy)

Cons

  • Price is well above any other premium phone (sans foldables)
  • For all its focus on camera, its image quality is not ahead of the competition
  • Two years of Android updates?

Do you like notches and cutouts in your smartphone display? You don't? Well, there's one brand that stubbornly sticks to its guns and keeps on designing 21:9 phones with great displays, professional-grade software, innovative hardware, and a ton of features that are lacking from other phones. That's right, Sony!

Sony's Xperia 1 V is the pinnacle of what Sony could do in 2023. It's a very camera-focused phone, with three different apps that can either turn it into a manual shooter, a vlogging camera, or a cinematic mini rig. It still features the impressive telephoto lens from last year that moves physically to offer true optical zoom between 3.5x and 5.2x (85 mm and 125 mm). The biggest innovation here is the all-new Exmor T sensor that uses dual-layer transistor-pixel technology to offer low levels of noise and better light gathering capabilities.

This phone has it all: a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot, great battery life, wireless charging, premium design—the list just goes on and on. The only real drawback is the price. Sony is still asking a hefty $1,399 for this phone at launch (much better than the $1,599 price tag of its predecessor), but the good news is that just a few months later the price dropped significantly to a more pleasant level.

Sony Xperia 1 V 256 GB

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OnePlus 12 

Could it be that the OnePlus 12 might be one of the "no-flaw" phones of 2024?
PhoneArena Rating: Pending

Pros

  • Super-bright OLED display
  • Snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset
  • New main camera with innovative Sony sensor
  • New 3X telephoto camera and a 100X max digital zoom
  • Large 5,400mAh battery with extremely fast charging
  • 100W fast charging

Cons

  • no IP68 rating
  • not exactly cheap

When OnePlus 11 launched last year, fans of the brand felt a jolt of hope that the glory days of the company are not forever lost. Now we have the successor, the OnePlus 12, and it builds upon the good vibes of the 11, polishing the flagship experience even further. Could this be the perfect 2024 Android smartphone? It may very well be!

There's a lot to like about this phone. From the 6.8-inch 2,600-nits bright, OLED display with a 1,440 x 3,168-pixel resolution and 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate, through the Sony LYT-808-equipped main camera, the state-of-the-art periscope zoom, and finally down to the huge battery and super-fast charging, this phone has no flaws.

As the phone is in the middle of its worldwide premiere, we're not sure if everybody will be that enthusiastic about the model, but we're sure that other brands are very cautious and maybe a bit intimidated by the great package OnePlus 12 offers.


Google Pixel 7a

The best budget Android flagship
PhoneArena Rating: 8.5/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Flagship-grade performance
  • Capable camera with lots of fun features
  • Display finally has a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Compact and user-friendly size
  • Face Unlock on board
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • More expensive than its predecessor
  • Some slight build quality issues
  • Only a single 128GB storage option
  • Uninspiring digital zoom

The A series in the Google Pixel range has always brought a great value for the money, and the Pixel 7a is no exception. Granted, it's a tad more expensive than the Pixel 6a but also brings onboard some flagship features, such as the Tensor G2 chipset (the same ticks inside the vanilla Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro), Face unlock, wireless charging, and a 90Hz display refresh rate.

All these goodies come in a similar design package to the core Pixel 7, but cost just $499. And even though this is a $50 bump compared to the predecessor, the deal is still very sweet. If you already have the Pixel 6a, then there's no need to worry about upgrading. But if you're coming from an older Pixel, this phone is a great deal - the best affordable Android flagship at the moment.


Apple iPhone 13 mini

The best (and last) compact iPhone
PhoneArena Rating:9.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 $600, 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. There's no alternative on that front - the iPhone SE is terribly outdated, and aims to capitalize on nostagia, and the iPhone 12 mini has terrible battery life.

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.

AT&T iPhone 13 mini at Walmart

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iPhone 13 mini 128GB

Apple's iPhone 13 mini with 128GB storage can be yours with up to $401 discount in trade-in credits.


Honorable mentions


It's hard to pick just top 10 phones as the best ones, especially in 2023. There are some pretty niche devices that are worth mentioning, and that's what we're going to do in the next few lines. These are top phones that for some reason couldn't make it into our top 10 list but they absolutely deserve your attention.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

The 1-inch Chinese camera phone goes global
PhoneArena Rating: TBC

Xiaomi finally decided to launch its Ultra model globally, and it's a true powerhouse when it comes to photography! This phone comes with four dedicated cameras on its back, and all of them feature 50MP sensors, even the ultrawide one. The main camera comes with variable aperture and a big 1-inch sensor underneath the lenses, there are two telephoto cameras - a 3.2x regular one, and a 5x periscope zoom system. And to top it all off, Xiaomi offers a camera grip accessory that transforms the Xiaomi 14 Ultra into a true camera.

But the phone is not only a sophisticated camera, it packs a punch in other areas too. The processor onboard is the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, there's a version with 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, so you won't feel squeezed for storage or RAM. The battery is pretty hefty, and the charging is just out of this world. Get this, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra comes with 80W wireless charging support. This is not a mistake, we wrote "wireless." The wired fast charging pumps 90W of power into the battery and can fill it up for around 45 minutes.


Honor Magic 6 RSR Porsche Design

The Galaxy S24 Ultra alternative
PhoneArena Rating: 8.2/10

Pros

  • Super-bright OLED display, powerful camera system
  • Snappy performance, great battery life and charging
  • Premium materials, exclusive design

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Limited availability

Honor turned some heads with the Magic 6 Pro earlier this year, but the company really pushed things with the special Magic 6 RSR Porsche Design model. It takes everything good about the Magic 6 Pro and makes it better. The display is brighter (the brightest currently on our list), the battery lasts longer, and the phone also features brand-new silicon-nitride glass on the back and front. And it just can't be scratched!

There's a lot to like about the Magic 6 RSR; it is close to the best Android phone out there, but there's one major flaw. The price. This phone will set you back 1,900 euros, which is more expensive than some of the best foldables out there and much more expensive than a regular iPhone or a Galaxy phone

Another potential drawback is the MagicOS UI over Android; it might not be everyone's cup of tea. If you can live with those disadvantages, the Honor Magic 6 RSR can be the perfect phone for you. And it's still cheaper than a real Porsche.


OnePlus Open

The best foldable debut of the year
PhoneArena Rating: 7.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent lightweight design
  • A rather versatile camera system
  • Decent performance and great thermal management
  • Decent battery life even when using the main display
  • Very fast SuperVOOC charging
  • Large and bright HDR-capable displays with smooth refresh rate
  • The OnePlus alert slider is here!

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Audio system lacks base
  • No wireless charging
  • Just IPX4 water resistance

When OnePlus teased the public that it's been working on a foldable everyone got excited. And for good reason. Even though the company practically own the Oppo brand and probably has access to some really cool foldable designs and blueprints, the OnePlus Open is a great debut and a feat in and of itself.

OnePlus' first foldable comes with a lot of bells and whistles, actually - all of them. There are two 2K screens that are super-bright and can do adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz,  the latest Snapdragon chipset is onboard coupled with 16GB of RAM, the design is super streamlined with minimal crease, and last but not least, the camera system is one of the best in a foldable to date.

To top it all up, OnePlus offers a great trade-in option: you can return ANY phone in ANY condition and receive a minimum $200 off the $1,699.99 list price of the OnePlus Open


Google Pixel Fold

Google's attempt to make a competitive foldable phone
PhoneArena Rating: 8.5/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • Gets the foldable design right
  • Front screen is a lot more useful than on Galaxy Fold
  • Beautiful and clean interface with no bloatware
  • Pixel camera look
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Long-term durability is iffy
  • Gets hot even with ordinary tasks
  • Screen is very delicate, scratches from fingernails
  • Screen is also very reflective, has a crease
  • Pricey

In a foldable smartphone world dominated by Samsung devices, it's refreshing to see another big company deciding to step in and take some chances. The Pixel Fold is a great first generation device, and it gets many things right. The strange 6:5 aspect ratio of the main display may seem odd at first, but it contributes not only to a very tablet-like experience when the phone is unfolded, but also gives Google the chance to equip the Pixel Fold with a very usable cover screen.

The battery is great for such a compact and light foldable, the Tensor chip performs well, and the camera is a typical Pixel affair. This phone is here to stay, and there will be a Pixel Fold 2. Meanwhile, the original Pixel Fold will receive timely updates and become a corner stone for Google's attempt at the foldable smartphone. Granted, this device is not cheap, but of you want the clean Android experience with a lot of features, tailored specifically for this form factor, the Pixel Fold is a great choice.


Sony Xperia Pro-I

Pro camera in a smartphone
PhoneArena Rating: 8.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

There's much talk about camera phones nowadays, and many manufacturers want to coin their models as DSLR equivalents. There's only one phone that does it right, though: the Sony Xperia Pro-I. This model comes with a 1-inch sensor taken from Sony's compact RX-100VII camera, and if you're into photography, this is one of the best phones for you.

Perhaps it's the phone's impressive camera capabilities, its surprisingly user-friendly design, or the overall unconventional concept behind it. The Sony Xperia Pro-I is unlike any other phone released in 2021.

Smartphones have replaced traditional cameras as the most popular way for most people to take photos. However, there have been surprisingly few phones made for professionals that offer the level of fine-tuning that is needed for essential features. The Sony Xperia Pro-I occupies that niche.

Sony Xperia Pro-I now with 41% off the price for a limited time

Get the best camera phone currently available at a significant discount right away! The Xperia Pro-I checks all the boxes and outperforms other flagships, and it's now cheaper than the majority of them.


Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

The best gaming phone
PhoneArena Rating: 9.0/10 (Legacy rating)

Pros

  • The 165 Hz AMOLED HDR10+ screen is excellent
  • Top tier performance
  • Incredibly good speakers, plus subwoofer in the cooler accessory
  • Camera is adequate even though it's a "gaming phone"
  • Massive battery, good battery health options
  • Buttons and controls for handheld gaming

Cons

  • The edgy gamer design is a taste thing
  • Camera is adequate, but is outclassed by other flagships
  • No wireless charging

Gaming phones are a bit of a meme, but it’s nice to see Asus fully embracing it. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is just what it says on the tin - the ultimate gaming phone.

It wouldn’t be a “gaming phone” if it didn’t have absolutely silly specs, too, and the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate delivers. 16 GB of RAM on a smartphone? 165 Hz screen? External cooler? Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2? Yes, 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 phone(s) out on the market right now. It could be world's best phone, if you ask the avid gamer. Even if you don’t need all the power — you definitely get the bragging rights.

If the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a bit too much for you, go for a more toned-down version - there are quite a few iterations in the ROG universe. They're all just as good, there are also limited editions for Diablo fans, a Batman Edition, so if you want, you can go full-nerd with this.

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G

The best midrange phone
PhoneArena Rating: TBC

Pros

  • Premium build with glass and metal body
  • Great-sounding speakers and awesome display quality
  • Good chipset performance for the price

Cons

  • You can get almost the same experience with the cheaper Galaxy A35 5G
  • Comes with bloatware
  • Charging is slow

Samsung perfected one of the best-selling midrange phones and made it even better. The Galaxy A55 5G now looks like a flagship, borrowing its design from the Galaxy S24 series. It boasts a 6.6-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display that delivers vivid colors and sharp details, making it a joy to use for entertainment, gaming, and work. And it boasts a 60-120 Hz dynamic display refresh rate!

The phone is powered by an octa-core processor and 8GB of RAM, which provides sufficient power for most everyday tasks, including multitasking and running multiple apps simultaneously. There's also 128GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. The hefty 5,000 mAh battery will last you more than a full day, so no complaints on that front as well.

This Samsung mid-range phone is one of the best budget phones you can buy. That's because it doesn't really make you compromise with anything. The Galaxy A55 is a great value-for-money device, and that's why it is even Samsung's best selling phone worldwide. You can find one on a deal for much lower than the £519 in the UK MSRP these days. It's a steal!



Best phones - benchmarks and test results


Below you'll find all the benchmarks and nerdy stuff, if you want to compare those phones but don't want to be bothered to check out each and every individual review. Let's start with the display tests.


Now moving to performance, let's see which one is the fastest out there.

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max2958
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2187
Google Pixel 8 Pro1720
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 52062
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 51984
Asus Zenfone 101684
Sony Xperia 1 V1994
OnePlus 122243
Google Pixel 7a1437
Apple iPhone 13 mini2285
Xiaomi 14 Ultra2294
OnePlus Open1560
Google Pixel Fold1483
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G1163
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max7288
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra6669
Google Pixel 8 Pro4268
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 55531
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 55194
Asus Zenfone 105221
Sony Xperia 1 V5167
OnePlus 126767
Google Pixel 7a3461
Apple iPhone 13 mini5424
Xiaomi 14 Ultra7054
OnePlus Open5093
Google Pixel Fold3568
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G3487
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max4236
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra4960
Google Pixel 8 Pro2382
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 53886
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 53700
Asus Zenfone 103753
Sony Xperia 1 V3613
OnePlus 125047
Google Pixel 7a1631
Apple iPhone 13 mini2469
Xiaomi 14 Ultra4295
OnePlus Open3634
Google Pixel Fold1641
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G930
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max2632
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2710
Google Pixel 8 Pro1622
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 52158
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 51351
Asus Zenfone 102610
Sony Xperia 1 V1999
OnePlus 122744
Google Pixel 7a1095
Apple iPhone 13 mini1646
Xiaomi 14 Ultra4018
OnePlus Open2488
Google Pixel Fold1203
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G916

And finally, the battery. A phone can be amazing on all fronts but if the battery dies prematurely, it's as good as a door stopper, right? Here are all the battery tests for the best phones you can get.

hoursHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
19h 20 min
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
20h 6 min
Google Pixel 8 Pro
15h 51 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
9h 22 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
12h 21 min
Asus Zenfone 10
27h 28 min
Sony Xperia 1 V
8h 15 min
OnePlus 12
18h 14 min
Google Pixel 7a
15h 27 min
Apple iPhone 13 mini
12h 33 min
Xiaomi 14 Ultra
15h 29 min
OnePlus Open
13h 20 min
Google Pixel Fold
13h 38 min
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G
17h 7 min

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

15 MinsHigher is better30 Mins(%)Higher is betterFull Charge(hours)Lower is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max28%
53%
2h 1 min
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra40%
68%
1h 9 min
Google Pixel 8 Pro26%
47%
1h 31 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 529%
56%
1h 20 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 525%
48%
1h 34 min
Asus Zenfone 1028%
51%
1h 24 min
Sony Xperia 1 V27%
50%
1h 30 min
OnePlus 1247%
89%
0h 37 min
Google Pixel 7aNo data
No data
1h 59 min
Apple iPhone 13 mini29%
58%
1h 40 min
Xiaomi 14 Ultra44%
76%
0h 45 min
OnePlus Open32%
61%
0h 43 min
Google Pixel Fold24%
47%
1h 39 min
Samsung Galaxy A55 5G25%
47%
1h 26 min

Best Phones Camera Scores


We have a new and sophisticated testing procedure for evaluating smartphone camera systems. Hence, there's a beautiful graph to show you a detailed score in various categories. Below you'll find all the best phones and their respective camera ratings.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
153
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
159
Main (wide)
BEST 85
83
Zoom
BEST 27
25
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
24
Selfie
BEST 30
28
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
147
Main (wide)
BEST 79
77
Zoom
BEST 24
21
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
28
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
152
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
157
Main (wide)
BEST 85
82
Zoom
BEST 27
23
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
24
Selfie
BEST 30
27
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
147
Main (wide)
BEST 79
77
Zoom
BEST 24
21
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
23
Selfie
BEST 28
27
Google Pixel 8 Pro
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
148
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
155
Main (wide)
BEST 85
79
Zoom
BEST 27
24
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
23
Selfie
BEST 30
28
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
141
Main (wide)
BEST 79
77
Zoom
BEST 24
17
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
26
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
141
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
144
Main (wide)
BEST 85
78
Zoom
BEST 27
20
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
20
Selfie
BEST 30
26
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
138
Main (wide)
BEST 79
75
Zoom
BEST 24
16
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
22
Selfie
BEST 28
26
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
135
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
135
Main (wide)
BEST 85
73
Zoom
BEST 27
16
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
20
Selfie
BEST 30
26
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
134
Main (wide)
BEST 79
75
Zoom
BEST 24
13
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
25
Sony Xperia 1 V
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
127
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
129
Main (wide)
BEST 85
69
Zoom
BEST 27
17
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
18
Selfie
BEST 30
26
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
124
Main (wide)
BEST 79
68
Zoom
BEST 24
15
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
19
Selfie
BEST 28
23
OnePlus 12
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
142
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
150
Main (wide)
BEST 85
79
Zoom
BEST 27
23
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
21
Selfie
BEST 30
27
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
133
Main (wide)
BEST 79
73
Zoom
BEST 24
16
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
20
Selfie
BEST 28
26
Xiaomi 14 Ultra
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
154
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
159
Main (wide)
BEST 85
84
Zoom
BEST 27
25
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
24
Selfie
BEST 30
26
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
149
Main (wide)
BEST 79
78
Zoom
BEST 24
24
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
23
Selfie
BEST 28
25
Honor Magic 6 Pro
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
142
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
149
Main (wide)
BEST 85
79
Zoom
BEST 27
22
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
21
Selfie
BEST 30
28
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
135
Main (wide)
BEST 79
76
Zoom
BEST 24
15
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
20
Selfie
BEST 28
25

Why should you trust this buying guide


The Author

Mariyan Slavov is a technology enthusiast and expert in mobile phones. With a background in Nuclear Physics and Journalism, Mariyan is the former Editor-in-Chief of PCWorld Bulgaria and currently writes for PhoneArena. He enjoys writing about emerging technologies such as graphene batteries, holographic smartphone displays, smart contact lenses, and nanotechnology. In his free time, Mariyan can be found playing guitar, practicing Japanese, or hitting the running track.

The Publisher

PhoneArena has been around since 2001 and, as the name suggests, was intended as a platform where phones can be explored, compared, and pitted against each other. We never stopped building and evolving our expertise and with our 20-some years of experience we serve an audience of over 5 million monthly US readers.

The Approach

We believe that there is not one true phone that is “the best” as each user has their unique needs and preferences. Through our wide range of testing procedures and review approaches, we try to find where each phone shines and what it lacks, and we strictly follow our rating guidelines. We spice it up with our professional opinion and empower you to make an informed decision on which phone is “the best” for you!

How to choose the best phone for you in 2024

So, which is the best cell phone? After all of the devices you've seen on these list, you're probably wondering how do you pick the best one for you? Well, as you should know, everyone has different needs from their smartphones. Some are into photography and need the best camera smartphone there is. Some want the best screen and performance. And some are more modest and want a more affordable, yet all around good and reliable smartphone. On this list there are great camera phones, like the Galaxy S24 Ultra, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the Sony Xperia 1 V. The best performance and screens are once again found in the Samsung and Apple. 

When it comes to functionality or quirkiness, you will find it in Samsung's foldable Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 phones. Example of an affordable, yet good smartphone, are the Galaxy A54 5G, the iPhone 13 mini, and the OnePlus 12. The 13 mini is one of the few compact phones left, and it is actually an excellent device to have, as long as you're not looking for a battery champ. 

Consider all we've spoken about in this list carefully, and when you're wondering which phone to pick, ask yourself what are the main features I need daily. That mentality should make your decision a lot easier.

How we test the best phones

We won't lie, we're putting our review phones through many, many tests. The include display, performance, and battery life tests, among others. We are checking every screen's color temperatures, brightness, we are checking the performance of its processor and memory, and we are running days worth of tests to determine how much the battery lasts in different conditions. 

Still, real-life conditions are just as, if not even more important. That's why we make sure that we always spend enough time with the devices we review so we can say with certainty what are their strengths and weaknesses. Cameras are very important in phones too, so we put these to the test in many conditions in our goal to determine which one wins and which one is still behind in the smartphone photography race.

Should you go for Android or iOS when choosing the best phone

The safe answer to this question is to go for a platform that is familiar to you. For example, if you've been using an Android phone your whole life, an iPhone will be quite an adjustment, and vice versa. Still, you should consider what phones your close friends and family, the people that you're going to text and share files with, are using. If most of them are using an iPhone, AirDrop will be a very missed feature once you switch to Android. If you have a MacBook or an iPad, getting an iPhone is the most logical thing, as it will allow you to stay in the 'ecosystem'. But Apple's iOS doesn't let you share files via Bluetooth-only to any device, so if that's a feature you use often, then an iPhone is a no no. 

When it comes to customization and freedom, Android was and still is king. iOS 17 allows for more iPhone customization by the user, but doesn't come near what Android has up its sleeve. Android also allows you to download and open files more easily, and supports more types of these. That's another important feature if you're either a gaming or app enthusiast. 

But the elephant in the room is the fact that iPhone users tend to hold onto their phones much longer than people with Android phones. That's mainly because the long-term software optimization of iOS phones is superior to Android phones. Also, iPhones get major OS updates for many years, while most Android brands only give you two to three years of software updates. The latter has started to change as Google turned the tide offering seven years of Android updates with its Pixel 8 lineup, and Samsung followed suit with the Galaxy S24 series.

On the other hand, seven years is a good promise but Apple phones also tend to stay fast and unproblematic for longer, which as you may have heard isn't the case with most Android-running phones.

However, you should also consider what you get for the money you spend. Here, the mid-range Android phone market is offering you phones with many flagship features for much cheaper than Apple. That's a fact that shouldn't be overlooked. Of course there's also a downside to this lower class and lower price tag type of phones. These tend to loose their value with time much quicker than iPhones.

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