Table of Contents
In 2023, we anticipate numerous impressive new and best smartphones to be released soon. Samsung and OnePlus have already introduced two outstanding entry-level devices.
Fortunately, 2022 introduced us to some remarkable smartphones, and we have ranked the top contenders alongside the latest models in this article. Whether you prioritize performance, camera capabilities, or value, our comprehensive list of the top ten phones covers it all. You’ll also find some pleasantly surprising price points among them.
While the top phone on this list may not suit everyone’s preferences, it’s important to explore all ten options. The perfect phone for you is available, depending on your priorities, such as camera quality, battery life, design, specifications, price, and other factors that come into play.
As Samsung and Apple are prominent players in this list, exploring beyond them to Android competitors like OnePlus, Google, Oppo, and Xiaomi may lead you to discover your perfect mobile companion. Rest assured, all these phones deliver, albeit in unique ways, and that’s a positive aspect. Healthy competition results in improved phones for everyone!
Best Smartphones 2023
1 – Google Pixel 7 – The Best Smartphone in 2023
In our opinion, the Google Pixel 7 is the top choice for the majority of users. It surpasses previous Pixel models and offers a plethora of premium features at an astonishingly affordable price of $599/£599/€649.
At a price lower than any iPhone 14 or Galaxy S23 model, you receive a delightful 6.3-inch 90Hz OLED display, vibrant and customizable Android 13 software, a sleek glass finish with wireless charging, and remarkably impressive main and ultrawide cameras on the rear. The main camera, equipped with a 50MP sensor and Google’s exceptional photo processing, is the leading point-and-shoot phone camera available, capturing stunning photos regardless of the subject.
Additionally, you can enjoy entertaining software features like Magic Eraser, which allows you to remove unwanted individuals or objects from your photos. The Google Pixel 7 also offers exclusive Pixel functionalities such as call screening and a call holding feature, saving you from prolonged wait times when contacting businesses. However, it’s worth noting that some of these call benefits are limited to the United States.
If you desire a larger screen, improved battery life, and an additional optical telephoto zoom lens, the Pixel 7 Pro is an excellent alternative to consider.
2 – iPhone 14 Pro – Best Smartphone 2023
While the regular iPhone 14 offers only marginal improvements compared to the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 Pro pleasantly surprises with significant advancements over its predecessor. Although some changes are purely cosmetic, the introduction of visually striking elements like Dynamic Island leaves a lasting impression that is hard to ignore.
Apple has ingeniously transformed its iconic screen notch into a pill-shaped or circular design positioned below the top bezel. They have cleverly utilized black pixels to fill the remaining space and employed animations to showcase notifications and updates from apps originating from this area. This innovative approach repurposes the cutouts typically reserved for cameras on most phone screens. As a result, you can conveniently view ongoing activities such as playing music, timers, weather updates, and more consistently displayed at the top of the screen without the need to open the respective apps.
Recommended: Best Magsafe Accessories For iPhone 2023
The phone’s camera system is exceptionally impressive, featuring a groundbreaking 48MP sensor, enabling 2x zoom cropping in addition to the 3x telephoto lens and a capable ultrawide lens. Apple has also introduced the long-awaited always-on display, which elegantly dims the lock screen without noticeably impacting battery life, based on our testing. While it may not offer a significant leap from the 13 Pro, if you’re upgrading from a phone that’s three or four years old, this iPhone will undoubtedly make you feel like you’ve jumped lightyears into the future.
3 – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – The Multifunctional Smartphone
If you seek a smartphone packed with the most comprehensive set of features available, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the ultimate choice. Despite its larger size and higher price, this phone offers an extensive array of functionalities that cater to every possible need in 2023. It boasts remarkably impressive triple cameras, excellent battery life that easily lasts more than a day, a performance that rivals the fastest phones in the market, and, of course, the distinctive S-Pen stylus seamlessly integrated into the phone whenever it’s required.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out from other phones with its unique squared-off body and screen, which not only adds to its distinctiveness but also enhances the overall feel when held. The combination of superior build quality, gently tapered edges, and screen design contribute to a comfortable grip. This exceptional design offers the advantage of the finest screen among all smartphones, making it ideal for any application you use and providing an unparalleled viewing experience, particularly for watching videos.
The primary 200MP camera is exceptional, especially if you appreciate slightly vibrant colors that add a captivating pop to your photos, even more so than what you perceive in real life. However, this doesn’t mean the images appear artificial; on the contrary, the image quality is superb. Additionally, the phone offers versatility with an excellent ultrawide lens, along with two distinct 3x and 10x optical telephoto lenses, all delivering outstanding results. It’s unfortunate that the low-light performance of the selfie camera is subpar.
4 – Google Pixel 6a – The Best Android Choice
While the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro boast larger, superior screens and enhanced cameras, the Pixel 6a priced at $449/£399/€459 offers better value and is the ideal choice for most people looking to purchase a Pixel phone.
At its price point, the Pixel 6a provides the Google Tensor chip, which offers flagship-level performance similar to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Unlike previous A-series Pixels that were known for being sluggish, this model breaks the mold and delivers exceptional speed and responsiveness.
The Pixel 6a does come with a few limitations. It features a 60Hz refresh rate screen, slower 18W charging, and a plastic back that we observed to be prone to scratching. Additionally, it is equipped with a 12.2MP main camera, similar to the Pixel 5, rather than the 50MP shooter found on the Pixel 6.
Setting aside those aspects, the Pixel 6a offers a nearly complete Pixel experience at an excellent price point. It includes the advantage of three years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates, ensuring long-term software support.
5 – Oneplus 11 – The Value For Your Money
The OnePlus 11 strikes the perfect balance, offering a fully-featured premium smartphone at an exceptional price point. Priced at $699/£729/€849, it only marginally lacks wireless charging and complete waterproofing (we are particularly disappointed about the latter).
By compromising on those desirable features, you will be rewarded with a phone that fulfills all your other requirements. The OnePlus 11 offers incredibly fast performance, an excellent display, impressive cameras (including a noteworthy 50MP main lens), and an exceptional software support plan of four years of Android updates and five years of security updates. This level of long-term support is matched in the Android realm only by Samsung and Fairphone, with iPhones receiving the longest software support of over five years.
In addition, the OnePlus 11 stands out as a remarkably sleek and slender device, despite its sizable 6.7-inch screen, distinguishing it from other large smartphones. You have the choice between the vibrant green glossy model or the black variant with a matte finish on the back glass, almost resembling silk. While this design prevents fingerprints from accumulating, it’s worth noting that the phone is exceptionally slippery, requiring some caution when handling it. If you can overlook the slightly altered and sometimes laborious newer version of OxygenOS, which occasionally modifies Android without significant improvements, the OnePlus 11 is an excellent phone. Its affordable price ensures you’ll receive your money’s worth, especially if you can make it last for five years.
6 – iPhone 14 – As Cool As You
Although the iPhone 14 doesn’t match the capabilities of the iPhone 14 Pro, it comes at a lower price point, despite being essentially an iPhone 13 with a new name. Notable additions compared to the iPhone 13 include a slightly enhanced main camera and the impressive video stabilization feature called Action Mode.
Furthermore, the iPhone 14 includes car crash detection, a feature you ideally won’t need to utilize. In summary, if you currently own an iPhone 13, it may not be necessary to upgrade. However, for everyone else, this is the preferred iPhone model at the moment. It offers outstanding battery life, impressive performance, and top-notch cameras, despite the absence of a telephoto lens.
As is customary with Apple, the build quality of their devices is unparalleled, and the iOS operating system is highly stable. With the iPhone 14, you can expect software updates for approximately five years, and convenient repair services available at any Apple Store. If you desire a larger screen and extended battery life, you have the option to consider the iPhone 14 Plus. However, we personally favor the compact size and form factor of this smaller model.
7. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Samsung has successfully resolved the battery life and camera performance concerns that plagued the Z Flip 3, and with the Z Flip 4, they have created an all-day phone that rivals the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus in terms of its main and ultrawide cameras.
This makes the Z Flip 4 the premier choice among foldable phones available today, offered at a price comparable to flagship slab smartphones. Although concerns regarding the durability of the display and the visible crease still linger, we are unable to personally verify these aspects. However, Samsung assures that the Z Flip 4 can withstand at least 200,000 open and close motions, which roughly translates to five years of typical usage.
The enhanced battery performance can be attributed to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which offers improved energy efficiency, eliminating the need to charge the Flip halfway through the day. With 8GB of RAM, you have more than sufficient memory, although opting for 256GB of storage may be worth considering for some. Additionally, the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is a standout feature that we particularly appreciate.
Essentially, the Z Flip 4 can be seen as an S22 with the added advantage of a foldable design, effectively halving its size when needed. This combination makes it an incredibly enticing option and one of the top smartphones available across the board.
8. Motorola Moto G62 – Good Option For Budgtery Folks
The phone that claims the top spot in our best-budget phone selection deserves recognition as one of the best phones overall. It serves as a testament that not every exceptional phone needs to come with an exorbitant price tag.
Priced under £200, the Moto G62 offers all the essential features one would need. It boasts a reliable 120Hz screen, a clean and user-friendly Android software experience, impressive battery life that can last up to two days, and a capable chipset with a processor that handles everyday phone tasks smoothly, distinguishing itself from other budget-friendly options.
It’s noteworthy to find a 50MP main camera at this price range, although it lacks stabilization technology, requiring a steady hand to capture steady shots. The ultrawide and macro lenses may not deliver exceptional results, but considering the price point, having a camera that produces vivid and sharp images in daylight is more than satisfactory. Having 5G connectivity built into the Moto G62 ensures compatibility with new networks for several years, although it may not receive frequent software updates. It’s worth noting that Motorola does not offer this particular model in the US, but they have a range of other reliable Moto phones available at a similar price point of around $200.
9. Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
If you prefer a Samsung phone that is not excessively large and does not come with a stylus (like the S23 Ultra), the Galaxy S23 Plus is an excellent option. It offers a comfortable display size, impressive battery life, and the longest software support available in the Android realm, extending up to five years.
During our testing, the phone exhibited excellent performance, and its three rear camera lenses proved to be competent without adding excessive bulk, unlike other smartphones with triple-camera setups. While the design may be somewhat plain, once you encase it, the aesthetics become less of a concern. The software may require some adjustments to tailor it to your preferences compared to Pixel phones, but Samsung’s OneUI offers greater customization options compared to Google’s version of Android.
Constructed with aluminum and glass, the phone exudes a premium feel. The display is truly exceptional, offering excellent visibility even in outdoor conditions. If the only drawback is its size, rest assured that there is a solution – the regular Galaxy S23 is also available, featuring a smaller display to cater to your preference.
10. Xiaomi 13 Pro – Next-Level Camera Tech
Let’s address it upfront: if Xiaomi’s MIUI software were better and more user-friendly, this phone would rank higher on this chart. It’s a disappointment because the Xiaomi 13 Pro boasts some of the most impressive hardware in the smartphone market.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro stands out as one of the early pioneers, offering a 1-inch camera sensor, a technology that is expected to revolutionize smartphone cameras in the coming years. While other phones are yet to adopt this feature, Xiaomi has taken the lead. Our testing revealed that the larger sensor area captures more light, resulting in exceptional low-light photography and an impressive level of detail that surpasses smaller sensors. With the inclusion of a capable 50MP telephoto sensor and a 50MP ultrawide lens, the camera setup is truly remarkable, despite the noticeable camera bump.
Equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, the phone effortlessly handles any task thrown at it, delivering smooth performance. Additionally, it boasts impressive battery life, ensuring you can rely on it throughout the day without any concerns.
How to Choose The Best Smartphone 2023
When selecting a phone, several factors should be taken into consideration: build quality and design, user-friendliness, features, performance, and value for money.
Flagship phones in 2023 generally have a starting price of approximately $700/£700, although some models may exceed $1,000/£1,000 depending on the specific features and specifications. For contract plans, the average monthly cost in the UK ranges from £30 to £50. However, if you desire a high-end phone with generous data allowances, you may need to spend more.
In the US, it is common to come across excellent contract deals on phones, often surpassing those available in the UK and Europe.
Please note that while this list showcases the best smartphones currently available, it doesn’t exclusively focus on flagships (although they are prominently featured). There are entries that also overlap with our mid-range and budget phone rankings, but they have earned their spot here due to their impressive capabilities and quality in relation to their price. Purchasing a phone outright typically offers the best value, but we understand that real-world finances may not always allow for such significant one-time expenses. If feasible, it is recommended to acquire a SIM card and plan in addition to the phone. If you don’t already have one, we suggest exploring our top SIM-only deals for suitable options.