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Best smartphone 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more

Your mobile can be the centre of your business world. Here are the best nine smartphones you can buy in 2022

Best smartphones

Increasingly, the smartphone is a central part of your business life. With cloud software syncing everything from email to spreadsheets between devices, your smartphone is often your desk away from desk.

That means you need a handset with the power to handle anything you throw at it, a sharp screen and battery life that won’t let you down when you need it. And because phones are for pleasure as well as work, a quality camera is also something to look out for.

Here are the best smartphones we’ve reviewed to date, each with specs to get you through 2022 and beyond.

Apple iPhone 13

A photograph of the iPhone 13

For some, only iOS will do, and the iPhone 13 is a brilliant handset. Yes, it may lack some of the camera tricks and the 120Hz screen of the Pro model, but it shares the same Apple A15 Bionic chip that makes it faster than anything else out there and a display that few other handsets can match.

It may not be a huge upgrade from the iPhone 12 (although the boost to battery life will be worth the price of admission for some) and the lack of expandable storage remains irritating, but those niggles aside, the iPhone 13 is a handset that you won’t be disappointed with.

CPU

Apple A15 Bionic (5nm)

RAM

4GB

Display

6.1in, 60Hz, 1170 x 2532 (OLED, 60Hz)

Battery

3,240mAh

Price when reviewed: £779 exc. VAT

Read our full Apple iPhone 13 review for more information.

Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo Find X3 Pro camera

Oppo may not be a household name in Europe, but give it a few years and it certainly will be, especially if the company keeps pumping out handsets as good as the Find X3 Pro. 

While we could heap praise on its sleek design, its fast performance and superb cameras, the real star of the show is how fast it charges. Thanks to 65W wired charging, the 4,500mAh battery can go from empty to full in under half an hour, which makes it an ideal handset for those who frequently find themselves topping up. 

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)

RAM

12GB

Display

6.7in, 3216 x 1440 (OLED, 120Hz)

Battery

4,500mAh

Price when reviewed: £916 exc. VAT

Read our full Oppo Find X3 Pro review for more information.

OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus handsets used to sell by undercutting its high-end competitors on price and not performance, but the OnePlus 9 Pro is stopping at nothing to be one of the best handsets around, and broadly speaking it achieves its aim even if it costs a bit more as a result. 

The design is superb, the Snapdragon 888 processor means it goes toe to toe with any Android handset in this list, and the screen is simply fantastic. As it shares the same parent company as Oppo, it’s unsurprising that the 65W charger is included here, too, allowing the phone to hit 90% capacity in under half an hour.

The photos are a touch overexposed, and it’s no longer the cheap option, but the OnePlus 9 Pro remains a triumph that any buyer will be happy with.

CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
RAM8GB, 12GB
Display6.7in, 1440 x 3216 (AMOLED, 120Hz)
Battery4,500mAh

Price when reviewed: £829 exc. VAT

Read our full OnePlus 9 Pro review for more information.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung logo on the back cover of the S21 Ultra

Ultra by name and ultra by nature, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a phenomenal phone, but your wallet will certainly feel it, given it starts at £1,199 excluding VAT.

It does go a long way to earning that hefty price tag, however, by doing everything right. The 6.8in screen is bold and beautiful, performance is snappy and it provides amazing photography even if the 100x ‘Space Zoom’ is a touch gimmicky. It even adds S Pen support, making it a good alternative for those still mourning the loss of the Samsung Galaxy Note range.

CPU

Exynos 2100 (5nm)

RAM

12GB, 16GB

Display

6.8in, 1440 x 3200 (AMOLED, 120Hz)

Battery

5,000mAh

Price when reviewed: £1,199 exc. VAT

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review for more information.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

A photograph of the Google Pixel 6 Pro on a table

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is a bit of a revolution in smartphone terms. It may be strange to look at with its large camera bar, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts and Google offers the most bang for your buck in this list.

Powered by the company’s brand new Tensor chip, it’s no slouch, coping with any app you throw at it. Google phones have always offered superb camera processing, and with the Pixel 6 Pro, the 50MP camera finally does this justice, ensuring phenomenal shots even in the hands of amateurs. 

Plus as a Google phone, you’re guaranteed to get Android updates first — as well as guaranteed security updates until 2026. All of this for £708 excluding VAT is an absolute steal. 

CPU

Google Tensor (5nm)

RAM

12GB

Display

6.5in, 3120 x 1440 (OLED, 120Hz)

Battery

5,003mAh

Price when reviewed: £708 exc. VAT

Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review for more information.

Oppo X3 Lite

Oppo Find X3 Pro rear view

Of course, cheaper options are available and the ‘Lite’ version of the Oppo Find X3 Pro is about as good as budget buys can be.

To reach its price of £315 excluding VAT, the Oppo Find X3 Lite has to make a few understandable sacrifices. Here, the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G takes charge, but there’s still an impressive 8GB RAM and a 1080p AMOLED display capable of outputting at 90Hz. Best of all, the phenomenal fast charging is almost as impressive as its more expensive sibling, with the 4,300mAh battery capable of going from empty to full in under 40 minutes. 

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G (7nm)

RAM

8GB

Display

6.4in, 2400 x 1080 (AMOLED, 90Hz)

Battery

4,300mAh

Price when reviewed: £315 exc. VAT

Read our full Oppo Find X3 Lite review for more information.

Xiaomi Mi 11 

The Xiaomi Mi 11 face standing

Expert Reviews

Following Huawei’s ongoing troubles with the United States, Xiaomi has risen up to fill the gap, and is now one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers on the planet. The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a great example of why the success is thoroughly deserved.

It offers superb performance thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor paired with 8GB RAM, and the 6.8in AMOLED screen is big and beautiful too, offering 2K resolution and 120Hz output. The battery life is a touch underwhelming, but it still lasted nearly 17 hours in our test, so only power users should be worried. Everybody else should marvel at how Xiaomi has made this wonder available for just £624 excluding VAT.

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)

RAM

8GB

Display

6.8in, 3200 x 1440 (AMOLED, 120Hz)

Battery

4,600mAh

Price when reviewed: £624 exc. VAT

Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 review for more information.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus

The Huawei P40 Pro Plus is a tough sell in 2022, but through no fault of the Chinese giant. Its continued problems with the United States means it can only use the open-source version of Android, with no access to Google apps like Gmail, Chrome, YouTube and even the Play Store.

That means that you’re stuck with Huawei’s own app store, but if you can live with that, then this is absolutely still worth a look thanks to its stylish design, great performance, amazing screen and “the best smartphone camera money can buy.” Even at £1,083 excluding VAT, it’s still worth a look if Google apps aren’t the be all and end all for you.

CPU

Kirin 990 5G (7nm)

RAM

8GB

Display

6.58in, 1200 x 2640 (OLED, 90Hz)

Battery

4,200mAh

Price when reviewed: £1,083 exc. VAT

Read our full Huawei P40 Pro Plus review for more information.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

A photograph of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 folded over and stood on a table

Why carry around a phone and a tablet when you can have both in a single device? The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 may be expensive, but it goes a long way to justifying its price by offering the form factor of both a smartphone and a tablet. 

When closed, it offers the dimensions of a standard (if somewhat chunky) 6.7in smartphone. Unfold it, it’s transformed into a sizable 7.6in tablet, complete with S Pen support for note taking and doodling. 

And the specs are top notch, too, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and a massive 12GB of RAM. There’s no microSD slot support, and battery life could be better, but if you’ve got the budget, this is a fabulous foldable.

CPU

Snapdragon 888 5G (5nm)

RAM

12GB

Display

6.7in/7.6in, 832 x 2268/1768 x 2208 (AMOLED, 120Hz)

Battery

4,400mAh

Price when reviewed: £1,699 exc. VAT

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review for more information.

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