THE BEST PHONE TO BUY RIGHT NOW in 2022, and Price
THE BEST PHONE TO BUY RIGHT NOW in 2022
THE BEST PHONE TO BUY RIGHT NOW
Purchasing a new phone can be time-consuming, but we’ve done the legwork for you.
Prices for flagship phones are higher than ever before due to a slew of factors, including production delays caused by the ongoing pandemic, rising labor and component costs, and a global chip shortage. The most expensive phones, such as the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, now cost well over $1,000, or about the same as a good laptop. Even if you’re willing to pay top dollar for the best smartphone of 2022, getting your hands on one this holiday season will require a lot of luck and patience.
Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get something amazing these days, as a lot of great smartphones are available for around $600 to 800. In fact, if you like Android, the Google Pixel 6 ($599) is the best phone for the money right now. For the rest of us, the best overall phone is the $829 Apple iPhone 13.
And if you’re looking for the best smartphone on a budget, you can find something excellent for under $500, if not less. You can find those recommendations in our guide to low-cost smartphones.
A great smartphone should last you at least a few years, have a good camera, a nice screen, a long battery life, and be fast enough to do all of your work, social networking, and gaming in a day. After all, upgrade cycles are slowing: people are keeping their phones for longer periods of time, so they want features that will last a few years.
Apple iPhone 13
The iPhone 13 starts at $829 (without activation) and includes a new A15 Bionic chip, an OLED display, 128GB of internal storage, and compatibility with all 5G networks. Black, teal, red, white, and pink are among the colors available.
THE BEST PHONE TO BUY RIGHT NOW in 2022
1. APPLE IPHONE 13
BEST IPHONE TO BUY IN 2022
2. GOOGLE PIXEL 6
BEST ANDROID PHONE TO BUY IN 2022
For $599, the Pixel 6 is a lot of phones. The Pixel 6 is Google’s first true flagship phone since 2019, and it competes with the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in camera quality, overall performance, and battery life. When you consider that the Pixel 6 costs $200 less than its competitors, it’s simply the most value-packed flagship phone for Android fans in recent memory. Sorry about that, OnePlus.
The Pixel 6 is distinguished from the Pixel 6 Pro by its slightly smaller 6.4-inch, 1080p OLED flat display and bolder color options such as two-tone red or green (black is also an option). The Pixel 6 is not overly thick for a phone of its size, but it feels substantial. However, its glossy body is extremely slippery, necessitating the purchase of a third-party case (forget the Google ones; they aren’t worth the money).
Tensor, Google’s first proprietary mobile processor, is at the heart of the Pixel 6, competing with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip found in other Android flagships. Tensor enables the new Pixel to learn new tricks through the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. You can use the Magic Eraser to remove photobombers from your photos, as well as to take new photos.
THIS YEAR’S MOST VALUE PACKED FLAGSHIP PHONE FOR ANDROID FANS.
Photos that better reflect natural skin tones, as well as the use of Google Assistant to handle automated calls for you The Pixel 6 has 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, and runs Android 12 with Google’s new Material You theme.
Dual cameras, 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide, as well as a laser detection autofocus sensor for low-light and depth, are housed within its large rear camera bar. The Pixel 6 lacks a telephoto camera, unlike the Pixel 6 Pro. Nonetheless, its images are excellent in both normal and low light conditions, and they are on par with Apple’s best.
The Pixel 6 has a 4,614mAh battery (which should last two days for light users), Qi wireless charging, and some rain storm protection (IP68). The phone’s main flaw is a slow under-screen fingerprint scanner, and it lacks a face unlock option. While not without flaws, the Pixel 6 is an all-around good phone for $599 and our recommendation for the best Android phone to buy right now.
3. APPLE IPHONE 13 PRO AND IPHONE 13 PRO MAX
BEST PHONE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO IN 2022
This year, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max share the same top-of-the-line camera system, and they are our choice for the best iPhone for photos and videos. This time, you don’t have to buy the most expensive model to get the best camera system — either of the Pro models provides the same experience.
The three rear cameras — standard wide, ultrawide, and telephoto — work together with Apple’s image processing to create stunning images, especially in low light. If photo and video quality are your top priorities when purchasing a phone, the 13 Pro is where you should put your money.
The 13 Pro has a physically larger camera sensor than previous models, allowing its main 12-megapixel camera to gather more light and produce higher-quality images, especially in low-light conditions. Because of its new close focus capability, its ultrawide camera can take stunning macro photos. Furthermore, the 3x optical zoom
THIS TIME, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY THE MOST EXPENSIVE AND LARGE MODEL TO GET THE BEST CAMERA SYSTEM.
The zoom on the telephoto lens is ideal for portrait photography. Because of the larger sensor and the use of sensor-based stabilization, the videos are stable and beautiful even in low light. On the iPhone 13 Pro, you can even shoot and edit videos directly in ProRes (as long as you have a 256GB or higher storage model).
We recommend the $899 Google Pixel 6 Pro for those looking for the best Android camera system available, especially if a telephoto lens is required.
In a comparison video, we pitted the Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro cameras against each other, and the results are fairly evenly split. While the Pixel 6 Pro’s video capabilities remain inferior to those of the iPhone, it can more than hold its own in still photography, and its telephoto camera is even better than that of the iPhone 13 Pro.
4. APPLE IPHONE 13 MINI
BEST SMALL SMARTPHONE IN 2022
There’s really only one reason to get an iPhone 13 Mini, but it’s a big one: if you want a phone that’s easier to use with one hand or put in a small pocket. The iPhone 13 Mini is one of the few small phones on the market with top-tier features and specs; you won’t have to sacrifice performance, build quality, or camera quality with this one.
Despite being much smaller than the other iPhones released this year, the Mini’s 5.4-inch screen is still large enough for text messaging, email, web browsing, apps, video, and games, and if you’re coming from an iPhone 6 / 7 / 8, it will feel quite spacious. However, it is small enough that most adults, even those with small hands, will be able to reach the entire screen with their thumb. This one won’t require a PopSocket.
ONE IMPORTANT DISADVANTAGE OF A SMALLER PHONE: THE IPHONE 13 MINI COMES WITH A SMALLER BATTERY.
One significant disadvantage of a smaller phone: the iPhone 13 Mini has a smaller battery, which will most likely not last a power user all day without charging. It’s really intended for a more casual user who isn’t glued to their phone all day. Aside from that, the Mini is identical to the iPhone 13: it has the same design, processor, cameras, 5G support, and build quality as the larger model. It’s simply smaller and less expensive, costing around $100 less.
If you prefer Android, the Asus Zenfone 8 is an excellent choice. It’s slightly larger than the 13 Mini, with a 5.9-inch screen, and it doesn’t work on Verizon, but it’s otherwise a very similar proposition: great build quality, a top-tier processor, and high-end features like a 120Hz screen all tucked into a pocket-friendly device.
5. SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20 ULTRA
IF YOU WISH TO HAVE A STYLUS BUILT INTO YOUR PHONE,
If you want a premium phone with a stylus and excellent battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is still the best option. Because this device was released in 2020, and it’s highly likely that Samsung will discontinue the series, you might be able to find some deals for it — if you can find one.
In every other way, the Note 20 Ultra is a high-end phone. Its massive 6.9-inch OLED display has a 2K resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz for smooth interactions. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and 12GB of RAM, so it can perform flawlessly. By reducing the size of the S Pen, these elements work together to make it sing.
IF YOU CAN FIND ONE, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GET SOME DEALS ON THIS DEVICE.
the time elapsed between inking and what you see on-screen While its triple rear camera system isn’t as good as that of the iPhone 13 Pro, it’s still one of the most advanced available. You can expect about two days of use from its 4,500mAh battery before it needs to be recharged.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
6. SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP 3
2022’S BEST FLIP PHONE
Tired of smartphones that continue to grow in size and weight when all you want is new ways to use your phone? The Galaxy Z Flip 3 appears to strike the right balance of whimsy, technical prowess, and price, making it appealing to mainstream users.
This 4.2-inch pocketable device can be transformed into a 6.7-inch 1080p OLED display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate for $999.99. The screen can also be split to allow for multitasking. When the phone is closed, you can use the 1.9-inch outer second screen, which displays useful widgets such as app notifications and audio player controls without having to open it.
FLIP 3 HITS AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT PRICE AND STYLE POINT FOR IT TO MAINSTREAM THE FLIP PHONE IDEA.
The Galaxy Flip 3 features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and 8GB of RAM as any other 2021 flagship phone. The battery life is also adequate, with four to five hours of screen time between charges.
It’s a shame its dual cameras were not upgraded from the previous iteration. The 12-megapixel standard wide and ultrawide rear cameras, as well as the 10-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, produce adequate but not exceptional images.
Because of the Z Flip 3’s form factor, it can also function as a mobile tripod for cameras, allowing for some interesting new ways to take photos.
Unlike the $1,400 Motorola Razr (2020), the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is priced and styled just right to bring the concept of a flip phone into the mainstream. It’s difficult to predict how long this foldable screen will last, but you’ll be among the first to find out.
7. TCL 20S
IN 2022, THE BEST PHONE UNDER $300
Not everyone requires a premium flagship phone, and even a low-cost phone can be enjoyable to use these days. If you have a budget of less than $300 and are looking for the most bang for your buck, the $250 TCL 20S will defy your expectations of what a budget should look and feel like.
You may be familiar with the TCL brand from its popular budget smart TVs, and its screen expertise is what distinguishes the TCL 20S’s vibrant, 6.67-inch 1080p screen.
The 20S has a layer of fingerprint-resistant “micron-sized prismatic crystals” on the back that adds a subtle shimmer. It has a quick fingerprint sensor built into its power button, as well as face unlock as an added security feature.
THE TCL 20S’S VIBRANT, 6.67-INCH 1080P SCREEN IS A STANDOUT DUE TO ITS SCREEN EXPERTISE.
While the camera system on the 20S isn’t particularly impressive, its 64-megapixel main camera and 15-megapixel front camera are more than capable of taking detailed photos in good lighting conditions — just don’t use them for night or macro photography.
The 20S has no noticeable lag in performance for a budget phone, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor and 4GB of RAM. It has 128GB of internal storage by default, a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts for about two days without being recharged.
The TCL 20S demonstrates that even $250 can get you a good phone with few compromises. It simply nails all of the fundamentals that anyone would want in a phone: good performance, a good screen, and a good battery life for a reasonable price.
8. GOOGLE PIXEL 5A
IN 2022, THE BEST ANDROID PHONE UNDER $500
The Google Pixel 5A is similar to the hidden track on the b-side of an album: those in the know adore it, but most casual Android users may be unaware of its existence. Because carriers don’t carry the Pixel 5A, it’s only available from Google’s online store, but it’s worth the effort to get this $450 5G phone.
The Pixel 5A has some significant improvements over the discontinued Pixel 5: its screen is now slightly larger at 6.3 inches, it has a slightly larger battery at 4,680mAh, and it has dust and water resistance (IP67). Aside from that, it retains the same beloved camera sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB RAM, and 5G connectivity (sub-6GHz 5G).
THE GOOGLE PIXEL 5A IS LIKE THE B-SIDE OF AN ALBUM’S HIDDEN TRACK.
The Pixel 5A’s main selling point, like its predecessors, is its camera, which can compete with flagships costing $1,000 or more. That’s because Google does so much image processing in software — the sensor itself is a few years old. This means that the Pixel 5A can take night photos, perform astrophotography, and has a passable portrait mode. It can’t compete with the iPhone SE for video but easily outperforms it for photos.
One of the advantages of purchasing a Pixel is that it will be among the first to receive Android updates. Google has promised to provide the 5A with OS and security updates for three years. It already has Android 12, and it will be one of the first models to get the next version after that.
Google Pixel 5A
9. SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 3
2022’S BEST FOLDING PHONE
If you’ve been waiting for the foldable phone to mature before investing in one, this could be the year to get the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. (In this early two-device race, Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo 2 comes in a distant second to the Fold 3.)
Samsung’s Fold 3 is the company’s third-generation folding phone. Its main premise is that it is sized like a skinny smartphone that fits in your pocket, but it unfolds to reveal an internal tablet-sized 7.6-inch display. Everything from reading books to watching movies is made easier by that internal screen.
THAT FLEXIBILITY IS UNMATCHED BY ANY OTHER PHONE ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW.
It makes everything from surfing the web to watching videos to playing games more enjoyable and immersive. When you’re finished with it, simply fold it back up and put it in your pocket like any other phone. It also has a 6.2-inch screen on the cover with a resolution of 2268 x 832, which you can use for quick tasks when you don’t have enough time or space to unfold the main screen.
That flexibility is unrivaled by any other phone available right now, but it comes with a slew of trade-offs. When closed, the Fold 3 is twice as thick as normal phones, all of its cameras are subpar, and its 4,400mAh battery is too small to power so many screens. While the Fold 3 is water resistant (IPX8), the longevity of its foldable screen and hinge is unknown.
The biggest drawback is the price: the Fold 3 is roughly twice as expensive as other high-end phones. You’re still paying a lot for the ability to fold a tablet screen in half at $1,800. If you’re willing to make those concessions in exchange for an experience unlike any other, the Fold 3 delivers.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (256GB, unlocked)