The Best Phones in 2022 (updated August) - PhoneArena

The Best Phones in 2022 (updated August)

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The Best Phones in 2022 (updated August)
It is very important to choose the right phone for you. Nowadays, people keep their phones for longer than before, so we’ve picked the phones on this list with exactly that in mind. All of these should last you even after your carrier contract expires.

The main selling points of a smartphone include its display, performance, battery life and camera setup. There are many phones on this list which are great in all of these categories, making it even harder to pick one. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at what each one on the list is all about.

We are well into August, and what a hot summer it has been! Samsung's new foldable phones are up for pre-order,Sony has a new premium Xperia, and Google announced the affordable Pixel 6a. Apple's iPhone 13 series is still absolutely fantastic and may be 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 dropped the 10T, which cuts some corners, but brings you a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 at a very aggressive price.Motorola’s Edge Plus (2022) is another excellent phone with a premium chip that is often found at a great discount.

So, let's take a look — 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 - summarized list



 

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max


Pros

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

Cons

  • Lacks fast charging
  • Size is a bit extreme and it is a heavy phone
If money is no object and you want an iPhone, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best one you can get. This is definitely the best iPhone you can get right now. 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.

Apple's 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.

Get your iPhone 13 Pro Max here:

iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB

Get iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB for just $20 a month with AT&T.
$20 /mo
$27 78
Buy at AT&T

iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB

Editor's Choice: Get iPhone 13 Pro Max at Verizon for just $15 a month with new line. Plus $200 when you switch.
$15 /mo
$27 77
Buy at Verizon

iPhone 13 Pro Max 1TB

Massive storage: Get the 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max at Amazon with a carrier subscription, and get up to $100 over 24 months added to your Amazon Gift Card balance.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra



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. Just like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably the best Samsung phone you can get

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
  • You get less RAM than last year
  • Loudspeaker quality could be better
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.

Get your Galaxy S22 Ultra here:

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 128GB

Offer of the week: Get the 128GB Galaxy S22 Ultra with $125 discount and up to $800 trade-in credit even for phones with cracked screens.
$249 99
$1199 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 256GB

Get the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra at Amazon with an awesome discount, no trade-in or carrier plan required.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 512GB

Massive storage: Get the 512GB Galaxy S22 Ultra now at Samsung with up to $800 off enhanced trade-in.
$449 99
$1399 99
Buy at Samsung

Google Pixel 6 Pro 


Pros

  • Interesting design
  • Sharp OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Good performance and battery life
  • Loud and rich speakers

Cons

  • 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.

Get your Pixel 6 Pro here:

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Get a renewed Google Pixel 6 Pro from Amazon at a great discount.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

AT&T is offering the Google Pixel 6 Pro too. Save up to $800 if you trade-in an eligible device. Also, get 50% off Pixel Buds with the purchase.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4


Pros

  • Solid build
  • Empowering multitasking features
  • Beautiful displays
  • Stylus support
  • Smooth performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Still has a crease
  • Thick and heavy, harder to carry around than a slab phone
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 mostly retreads the Fold 3's steps, but that's not exactly bad. Last year's foldable was already very, very solid and it was kind of shocking how fast Samsung managed to make it a solid, durable, and fun product.

The Z Fold 4 clears up some more annoyances by making the external screen slightly wider and centered, the hinge slimmer, and the under-screen camera on the inside hidden a bit better. Also, the camera module has gotten a slight update to what the Galaxy S22 series has, so it's an excellent phone throughout. It also happens to unfold into a half-tablet as well.

Get your Galaxy Z Fold 4 here:

Get the 512GB Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 at up to $1560 off!

The cutting-edge Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available at Samsung.com with a $450 instant credit! In addition, you get a free case and 256GB-to-512GB memory upgrade, and can trade in an eligible device like the S22 Ultra or Z Fold 3 and slash the price further by $900.
$360
$1919 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4


Pros

  • Improved battery life
  • Main camera is much better now
  • Compact form factor with no real competition
  • Improved reliability, screen protector better glued
  • Faster charging

Cons

  • Cannot open with one hand
  • Crease is still very much there
  • Front screen is still too tiny
The Galaxy Z Flip definitely has its own pizzazz, with its sleek metal shell that folds through the middle to make it a sort of compact clamshell phone. And it doesn't compromise in anything, bringing you a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and a pretty good camera at what is nowadays a "normal" flagship price — $999.

Get your Galaxy Z Flip 4 here:

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 can be yours for $300 at Samsung

The brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available now at Samsung.com with $60 in free memory upgrade. You can also trade in an eligible device and slash the price by up to $700, too, not to mention the bundle deals at 30% off.
$239 99
$999 99
Buy at Samsung

Sony Xperia Pro-I


Pros

  • Sharp and accurate 4K 120Hz OLED display
  • Distinctive industrial design
  • Remarkable camera versatility
  • Superb video-recording capabilities
  • Plenty of storage plus microSD card support
  • Flagship-grade performance
  • User-friendly hardware features

Cons

  • High price
  • Only 30W fast charging
  • Mushy haptic feedback
  • No biometric alternative to the fingerprint scanner
  • 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.

Get yourXperia Pro-I here:

Sony Xperia Pro-I now with $600 off the price for a limited time

Get the best camera phone out there with a huge discount right now! The Xperia Pro-I ticks all the boxes and leaves other flagships in the dirt, and now it's also cheaper than most of them.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro


Pros

  • Fast performance, doesn't throttle easily
  • Amazing stereo speakers
  • Beautiful screen, can be very accurate
  • Tons of storage and RAM for hardware future-proofing
  • Ecosystem of gaming accessories
  • Solid battery

Cons

  • Only 2 years of software support
  • A bit heavy, a bit slippery
  • No wireless charging
Gaming phones are a bit of a meme, but it’s nice to see Asus fully embracing it. The ROG Phone 6 Pro is, once again, deliciously over the top in every aspect. Starting with the aggressive design, the RGB on the back, the secondary screen that displays gamer-related little animations while the phone is active, and the new bulky AeroActive Cooler 6. It wouldn’t be a “gaming phone” if it didn’t have absolutely silly specs, too, and the ROG Phone 6 Pro delivers. 18 GB of RAM on a smartphone? 165 Hz screen? External cooler? Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1? 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. Even if you don’t need all the power — you definitely get the bragging rights.

If the ROG Phone 6 Pro is a bit too much for you, go for the non-Pro version. It’s just as good, it just cuts back on all of that overhead that you may or may not need, and brings the price down to a more reasonable level.


OnePlus 10 Pro


Pros

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

Cons

  • 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!

Get your OnePlus 10 Pro here:

OnePlus 10 Pro

- 50% off for one or Buy One Get One. Plan contract needed
$449 99 /mo
$899 99
Buy at T-Mobile

OnePlus 10 Pro

- get $100 gift card
$899 99
Buy at BestBuy

OnePlus 10T


Pros

  • Sets a new standard for fast charging
  • Very fast thanks to Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • 16GB RAM option is a sweet overkill
  • Large, bright display with gorgeous colors

Cons

  • No zoom camera
  • Overall camera quality not quite on par with the best
  • Alert slider is gone
  • USB 2.0 speeds from the port
The OnePlus 10T came out after the OnePlus 10 Pro, so it managed to launch with the super-powered Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. However, the 10T also aims to be the cheaper model, so it cuts some corners, especially in the camera department.

So, it's a bit of a back and forth — it's faster than the 10 Pro, yet it's not the better overall package. Of course, if raw power is all you want from a smartphone, you will be happy with the OnePlus 10T, its processor, pretty screen, and insanely fast 150 W charger.

Get your OnePlus 10T here:

Get a free OnePlus 10T storage upgrade on Amazon!

Amazon directly sells you the OnePlus 10T 16GB/256GB model for the price of the base version, knocking off a Benjamin off its price without the bundles.

Get the 16GB RAM OnePlus 10T for just $355 after gifts and trade-in

The OnePlus 10T can be had with a free case, charger, and Buds Z 2. Tack those on, and the souped-up 16GB/256GB version can now be had for just $355 with the nice trade-ins to be had, like $250 for the oldie OnePlus 8T.

Apple iPhone 13 mini


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 $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.

Get your iPhone 13 mini here:

Apple iPhone 13 mini

Apple's iPhone 13 mini with 512GB storage can be yours for just $25.84 at AT&T.
$25 84 /mo
Buy at AT&T

Apple iPhone 13 mini

Save up to $720 with an eligible trade-in on the iPhone 13 mini at Apple.com now!

Google Pixel 6


Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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!

Get your Pixel 6 here:

Google Pixel 6: SAVE $27 at AT&T NOW

Best offer: Save 27% on the Google Pixel 6 with an instalment plan from AT&T, no trade-in required!
$15 /mo
$20 56
Buy at AT&T

Google Pixel 6

Save 17% off the retail price of this phone if you purchase the 128GB version from Amazon now.


Samsung Galaxy A53 5G


Pros

  • Great 120Hz screen
  • Dual speakers do a great job
  • Cameras produce solid image and video quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Has microSD expandable storage

Cons

  • Disappointing haptics
  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • Performance is a bit of a let down
The Galaxy A53 comes with a 120 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.

This Samsung mid-range phone is one of the best budget 5G phones you can buy in 2022. That's because it doesn't really make you compromise with anything. The Galaxy A53 is a great value-for-money device, and that's why it is even Samsung's best selling phone worldwide. 

Get your Galaxy A53 5G here:

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Best deal: trade-in and get $105 instant credit at Samsung.
$344 99
$599 98
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung's best selling phone is also available to order at Amazon. You can now get it with an excellent 22% discount.

Motorola One 5G Ace


Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Get your Motorola One 5G Ace here:

Motorola One 5G Ace

Unlocked, 128GB Storage, 6GB RAM, Frosted Silver
$229 99
$399 99
Buy at BestBuy

Motorola One 5G Ace

Unlocked, 128GB Storage, 6GB RAM, Hazy Silver


Apple iPhone SE (2022)


Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Feels dated and too small
  • LCD screen instead of AMOLED
  • 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.

Get your iPhone SE (2022) here:

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

The newest iPhone SE is available for free at Apple.com if you trade-in an eligible device.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple's iPhone SE (2022) is also available at BestBuy with a carrier plan from either AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. You can save if you trade in an eligible device.


How to choose the best phone for you in 2022

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 S22 Ultra, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and the Sony Xperia Pro-I. The best performance and screens are once again found in the Samsung and Apple, but also in OnePlus' 10 Pro. 

When it comes to functionality or quirkiness, you will find it in Samsung's foldable Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 phones. Example of an affordable, yet good smartphone, are the Galaxy A53 5G, the iPhone 13 mini, and the OnePlus 10T. 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 16 is set to allow for more iPhone customization by the user, but we doubt it will go to the lengths Android has gone. 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. Apple's 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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