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Best phones in 2022

Best Phones

Getting the best phone for you can be important. For many, the phone is a primary computer, serving as a way to interact with friends and family, consume entertainment, and even work. The only problem is, there are hundreds of phone models out there, and finding the best phone for your needs can be a tricky task.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide.

Of course, there are tons of things to consider before buying a new phone. For example, you’ll want to think about the operating system you want, how much processing power you need, and more. If you’ve already decided on the operating system, check out our full guides on the best iPhones and the best Android phones.

You’ll also want to consider other specs that may impact your day-to-day life. For example, screen size is important for many users. A larger screen size means that you’ll be able to see content better on the display — but it also means that the phone will be larger. Recent phones also support 5G networks — though 5G support doesn’t necessarily impact day-to-day life that much just yet. That will likely change over the next few years. Before you make your ultimate decision, check out our full phone buying guide, which details everything to consider when buying a new phone.

Without further ado, here are the best phones to buy in 2022.

Best phone overall: Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Apple iPhone 13 Pro
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Pros

  • Excellent camera
  • Great performance
  • Modern design

Cons

  • Expensive

Simply looking for the best you can get right now? In that case, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro is the phone to get. The device is expensive, but if you can afford to pay, then you’ll get an incredible camera experience, an awesome display, and more.

The iPhone 13 Pro offers a triple camera system, with one 12-megapixel main camera, one 12-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and one 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. It also offers larger sensors than previous-generation iPhone models, which should make for better-lit photos with less noise, especially in low light.

The iPhone 13 Pro offers a range of other awesome features too. Chief among those is the high refresh rate display, which allows you to get a super-responsive feel, and even save some battery life. And, you’ll get a fast A15 Bionic chip to power it all. Safe to say, the iPhone 13 series is easily among the most powerful phones out there.

As mentioned, the device is pretty expensive. It starts at $999 for the iPhone 13 Pro, or $1,099 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which offers a larger display and bigger battery. But if you can afford to pay for it, you won’t be sorry.

Read our full review

Best Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
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Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Great camera
  • Beautiful display
  • Stylus

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Aging design

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the latest and greatest smartphone from Samsung. The device represents a bit of a comeback for Note-style devices, offering a stylus, a massive display, and more. But it doesn’t prioritize those features over anything else — you’ll still get the best performance in you can in an Android device, an awesome camera, and more.

Speaking of the camera, the phone offers a hefty four camera lenses. You’ll get one main 108-megapixel camera, along with a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 10-megapixel periscope telephoto camera with a 10x optical zoom.

Under the hood, the device is pretty high-end too. The phone is one of the first with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, meaning that it’s one of the best-performing Android phones out there.

So what are the downsides to the phone? Well, mainly that it’s pretty expensive. Also, while the battery life is fine, it’s not great. Still, the device is one of the best Android phones out there, and it shows.

Best iPhone for most people: Apple iPhone 13

Apple iPhone 13

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Pros

  • Great design
  • Excellent performance
  • Good camera

Cons

  • Still not cheap
  • No telephoto camera

If you’re simply looking for a solid phone that you can use from day to day, then the Apple iPhone 13 is the way to go. The device offers excellent performance, a good battery life, a great camera, and a stunning new flat-edged design.

As is usually the case with an iPhone, the iPhone 13 boasts excellent performance. The device has Apple’s new A15 Bionic processor, which should be able to handle anything you can throw at it — and should power the phone for years and years to come. It also has an excellent camera system, with one 12-megapixel main camera and one 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. There’s no telephoto camera here though — for that you’ll need to go for the iPhone 13 Pro.

Other features include an OLED display and a cool flat-edged design, both of which are held over from last year’s iPhone 12 series.

Of course, if you’re willing to spend more cash, it’s worth considering the iPhone 13 Pro too. The Pro model offers a super-responsive high refresh rate display, a telephoto camera, and an even better battery.

Read our full review

Best Android phone for most people: Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6

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Pros

  • Great camera
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Lower resolution display
  • No telephoto camera

The Pixel series is back. Google has finally taken the wraps off of the long-awaited Pixel 6, and it’s a great phone. The device offers an all-new design, with an upgraded camera, and it’s the first phone with Google’s new Tensor CPU.

The Tensor CPU in particular is a big deal for the new phone. Tensor is Google’s first self-developed processor, and it works pretty well. The chip is about on par with other flagship-level chips, and while reviewing the phone, I never once found it to freeze or skip. It remains to be seen how well it will perform in a few years, but it’s still great to see it work so well now.

The camera, of course, is an important aspect of any smartphone, but the camera on the Pixel 6 is better than any Pixel phone before it. This phone has a 50-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and they both look great. Images are detailed and colorful, with that classic Pixel look. Unfortunately, this phone doesn’t have a telephoto camera like the Pixel 6 Pro. But you will still get features like the Pixel Magic Eraser, which is a little hit and miss, but definitely fun to play with.

So what are the downsides to the phone? Well, as mentioned, it doesn’t have a telephoto camera. And, the display only has a 1,080p resolution. But for the price, this phone is still the best Android phone you can get.

Read our full review

Best gaming phone: Asus ROG Phone 6

Asus ROG Phone 6

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Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery
  • Great display

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Middling cameras

If you’re a mobile gamer, you might want a phone that not only performs well, but also offers all the features you can get to better enjoy your games. If that’s the case, then we recommend the Asus ROG Phone 6.

There are a number of features that make this such a great gaming phone. For starters, it has a massive 6,000mAh battery that should keep your phone powered for hours of gaming. Not only that, but the device also offers a massive 165Hz refresh rate, meaning it has one of the most responsive displays on the market.

The ROG Phone 6 has all the other features you would expect from a flagship phone. There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, coupled with up to a massive 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. And, you’ll get nice dual front-facing speakers in case you forgot your headphones.

So what are the downsides? Well, the device is pretty heavy, and it doesn’t have wireless charging or waterproofing, which is a little frustrating. Also, the phone’s cameras are only average, so if a high-end camera is important to you, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Best foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Galaxy Z Fold 3
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Pros

  • Stunning displays
  • Excellent cameras
  • Solid design

Cons

  • Expensive

Samsung has pioneered the foldable phone, and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the company’s best foldable yet. The device offers two beautiful displays, an excellent camera, and more. Sure, it’s expensive, but if you like the concept of a foldable phone, it’s still absolutely the way to go.

As you might expect from a foldable device, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has two displays. There’s one 6.2-inch display on the outside for day-to-day use, and one huge 7.6-inch display on the inside that’s perfect for playing games, watching movies, and so on. Both displays are AMOLED displays, and they both look great. The device also has a great triple camera array, along with top-tier performance, and plenty of storage for all your files.

So what about downsides? Well, the device is still pretty expensive, coming in at $1,799.99. Also, we still don’t fully know how durable foldable phones are, though Samsung seems to have put a lot of work into the tech, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 has held up for at least the last year. Lastly, the inside front-facing camera isn’t necessarily great, though it is an under-display camera, so that’s to be expected.

Best cheap phone: Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE
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Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Solid design
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Display and camera are only fine

Looking for an inexpensive phone that will last you at least a few years and still offers excellent performance? The iPhone SE may not be the most modern-looking phone, but as an all-around great device, it’s still the way to go.

There are plenty of things to love about the iPhone SE. Notably, the device comes with Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which is easily able to handle everything you can throw at it. That also means that the phone should last at least a few years of normal use, and Apple will likely continue to support the phone for four years or so. The best thing about it? The fact that the device comes in at around $400.

Of course, given the fact that it’s so inexpensive, there are some downsides to consider. The camera on the phone is fine, but it’s not that versatile in 2022, and not necessarily as crisp as the cameras on other devices. Also, the display on the phone is a little lower-resolution compared to other phones, even other phones in this price range.

Still, despite those issues, the iPhone SE is still the best phone for under $400 for most people. It should last longer than most others, while still performing excellently.

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.