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Best Phones to Buy in 2023

 2023 is well under way and we expect a ton of great new phones in the coming months, and we’ve already added two excellent new entry early doors from Samsung and OnePlus.

Thankfully, 2022 gave us some absolute stunners, the best of which we’ve ranked alongside the latest phones in this article. Whether you’re looking for performance, camera smarts, or value, our definitive list of the ten best phones has it all. Some of the prices will pleasantly surprise you.

The top phone on this rundown won’t be the ideal phone for everybody so make sure to check out all ten. The best phone for you is out there, depending on what you value most – camera, battery life, design, specs, price, and more to boot come into play.

Samsung and Apple feature here of course, but looking further afield to Android competitors such as OnePlus, Google, Oppo, and Xiaomi could mean you find your ideal pocket partner. Trust us, these phones all deliver – just all a little differently, and that’s a great thing. Good competition means better phones for everyone!

Best smartphone 2023

1. Google Pixel 7 – Best for most people

We think the best phone for most people is the Google Pixel 7. It’s the best Pixel phone yet, and has tons of premium features for the frankly incredible price of $599/£599/€649.

For less than the cost of any iPhone 14 or Galaxy S23 model you get a lovely 6.3in 90Hz OLED display, bright and customisable Android 13 software, a premium glass finish with wireless charging and amazingly good main and ultrawide cameras on the back. That main camera is the best point-and-shoot phone camera on the market, with stunning photos whatever you point it at thanks to the 50Mp sensor and Google’s top level photo processing.

You also get fun software tricks like Magic Eraser to rub out unwanted people or objects from your photos, and other Pixel-exclusive things such as call screening and a call holding feature so you dont have to sit on hold for ages with businesses – though several of these call perks are US-only.

2. iPhone 14 Pro – Best iPhone

The regular iPhone 14 is a very minor update over the iPhone 13, so it’s a pleasant surprise that the iPhone 14 Pro is such a leap over its predecessor. Some of the change is only skin deep, but when such a visual overhaul as the Dynamic Island makes its debut, it’s hard not to notice.

Apple has shrunk its famous screen notch into a pill and circular shape below the top bezel but filled in the blank space with black pixels, and then used animations to have notifications and updates from apps originate from the space, creating a use for the cut outs now seen for cameras on most phone screens. It is very clever, and means you can see what music playing, timers, weather and more constantly at the top of the screen without having to hop into the app.

The phone’s cameras are also exceptionally good, with the first 48Mp sensor on an iPhone allowing for 2x zoom cropping in addition to the 3x telephoto lens and a capable ultrawide. Apple has also finally introduced an always-on display that simply dims your lock screen and pleasingly doesn’t affect battery life, in our testing at least. It’s not a huge upgrade on the 13 Pro but if your phone is three or four years old this iPhone will feel lightyears into the future

3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – The phone with everything

If you want the phone on the market with the most features possible, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is it. It’s a big, expensive phone but you get every possible feature you could want in a smartphone in 2023 with incredibly good triple cameras, very good battery life that lasts well over a day, performance as fast as any rival phone, and of course, the now-unique S-Pen stylus tucked away in the phone for when you need it.

It’s one of few phones out there with a squared off body and screen, but it feels good to hold thanks to top build quality and nicely tapered edges and screen. This design rewards you with the best screen of any phone, perfect for any app you can throw at it, and superlative for watching videos.

The 200Mp main camera is outstanding, particularly if you like slightly saturated colours that pop more than they do in real life. That’s not to say they look artificial though – the quality is superb with the versatility of an ultrawide and two separate 3x and 10 optical telephoto lenses that are all excellent. It;s a shame the selife camera is terrible in low light.

4. Google Pixel 6a – Best value Android

Although the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have bigger, better screens and improved cameras, the $449/£399/€459 6a is better value and the Pixel phone most people should buy.

For the asking price you get the Google Tensor chip, the same as the 6 and 6 Pro, resulting in flagship level performance. Older A-series Pixels were sluggish – not this one.

You only get a 60Hz refresh rate screen, slow 18W charging, and a plastic back that we found scratches quite easily. There’s also only a 12.2Mp main camera, the same as on the Pixel 5, rather than the Pixel 6’s 50Mp shooter.

But aside from that this is close to the full Pixel experience at a superb price, with three years of Android OS updates and five years of security updates.

Best Phones to Buy in 2023


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