Fancy a new smartphone? Our best phones guide will help you compare and contrast the very best handsets on the market right now. We'll show you the very best smartphones no matter who makes them, what OS they run or how much they cost.
If you already prefer a particular platform, such as Android or iOS, we also have a dedicated guide to the best Android phones and one for the best iPhones.
Some of these phones are quite expensive, but you don't necessarily need to spend tons of cash on a new smartphone. In addition to the affordable models we've covered here we've also put together an entire guide to the best cheap phones, and if you're looking for a compact device rather than an enormo-screened obelisk you'll find plenty of choice in T3's best small phones feature.
We've also put together a comprehensive roundup of the best gaming phones and a guide to the fastest 5G phones, too.
Want a phone and a tablet? Then you won't want one the handsets listed here but instead one of the best foldable phones on the market. These handsets tend to cost more than standard phones but combine two products in one, so really that is to be expected.
Without further ado, let's get to the fun bit: our picks of the very best phones you can buy right now, as tested by our resident reviewers. We've thoroughly tested every single one of these handsets to really put them through their paces, and we've used them in all kinds of environments to see how they perform in the real world.
The best phones you can buy today
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
If you're looking for an Apple phone then this one is the best-of-best in the range. Introduced in late 2022, the 14 Pro Max (and it's 14 Pro sibling) were the first iPhones to remove the notch in favour of what Apple has called the Dynamic Island, while adding an always-on display and other top-notch features such as upgraded cameras.
As we said in our review: "The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the ultimate iPhone and boasts three killer features that make it worth the upgrade. The new 48MP camera is truly impressive, the always-on display is really useful and the Dynamic Island is not only a feat of hardware and software collaboration but actually adds to the user experience."
These new features can cost the battery life a bit, however, which is why we think this Pro Max, with its 6.7-inch screen and larger battery capacity, is the more savvy pick over the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro this time around. Sure, it's pricey, but it sure is punchy and worth all your hard-earned cash as the ultimate Apple phone investment.
Read our full Apple iPhone 14 Pro review
Samsung rules the roost when it comes to premium Android phones, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is without doubt the pinnacle of its range. It boasts a gorgeous design, subtly curved display and even a built-in S Pen stylus to add greater versatility to the software experience.
Around the back are a quartet of cameras, arranged in exposed lenses as part of this design, that really deliver quality through wide-angle to various zoom steps. It's super easy to use and the results speak volumes.
All this does cost a fair chunk of change, of course, but we think it's worth every penny – even if you're unlikely to use the built-in S Pen.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
Google's 2022 flagship, the Pixel 7 Pro, features astounding cameras that are easy to use and deliver great results in all conditions. There's Google's own second-gen processor on board, too, called Tensor G2, which is super fast and crunches through tasks without a worry.
Above all else, however, it's the design that we particularly love. It's distinctive and a real breath of fresh air compared to the competition. Sure, the aluminium finish can scuff too easily and should be hardier, but given the overall price of this device it undercuts the super-priced flagships and that will make it an ideal phone for most people (who aren't looking for iPhone anyway).
Read our full Google Pixel 7 Pro review
OnePlus has risen through the ranks with each new model its released, offering serious specs for a not-so-serious price. It's this balance of features to price that make the OnePlus 10 Pro so appealing and, for many, it'll be an ideal and more affordable phone choice.
It's the stunning 6.7-inch screen here that we found to be the best feature – especially thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate and high-res 10-bit colour depth quality – for great quality gaming and entertainment experiences.
Another feature we really love about this phone is just how fast you can charge it – it only took us about 30 minutes to take it from empty to full. That’s game-changing – and it's a good job given that the battery life is otherwise just okay.
Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review
The Find X5 Pro is an ideal alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, delivering a gorgeous design wrapped in a ceramic body and rocking a really impressive camera system. And just like the OnePlus smartphone just above, you get ultra-fast charging too.
If you’re big on photography then the Find X5 Pro is a real stunner, its dual 50MP main/wide cameras and 13MP telephoto camera are able to take some stunning pictures – helped along by Oppo's own processing hardware that helps it stand apart from the crowd. It's the cameras that are a real big win here.
Read our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review
The all-new 'Plus' model in the iPhone 14 range has ousted the standard iPhone 14 from our list because we think the Plus's bigger screen, at 6.7-inches, is better for most people – and the bigger scale means greater battery life too.
If you don't want the camera upgrade of the Pro Max, but you do want the larger screen, then we find the Plus to be a really great balance. Not to mention, of course, that the Plus saves you cash compared to the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro models. And that, for many, will make it an ideally positioned and more financially suitable option.
Read our full Apple iPhone 14 Plus review
The Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is the first ever phone to use a 200-megapixel camera, which paired with stacks of power on tap from its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, plus its curved-edge screen, gives this phone distinctive appeal. We think it certainly makes for a solid Samsung Galaxy S22 alternative for many given the very fair asking price too.
However, the battery life is so-so – but if you're near to a plug that's inconsequential as the 125W charging is blisteringly fast (and a plug is included in the box) – and that curved-edge screen won't be to everyone's liking. You won't find this handset over in the States either, which is almost baffling given how accomplished a piece of kit it is.
Read our full Moto Edge 30 Ultra review
If the physical scale of the Ultra – not to mention the built-in stylus, curved screen, and additional expense – isn't appealing, but you're fixed on buying a pocketable yet near-perfect Android flagship, then the Galaxy S22 is a great choice.
It's not wildly different to the previous Samsung Galaxy S21 model, but that's no matter, as it still delivers a great dollop of style, a super 6.1-inch display, plus a versatile camera arrangement.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review
The Realme GT 2 Pro is all about the performance without the typical sky-high price, delivering flagship-level specs, including really fast charging, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform, and a stellar screen.
Another unique feature of the Realme GT 2 Pro is the design: its back is designed to look and feel like paper. While it won't be for everyone, we think it's great to see something different to the norm – especially in the green finish of our review sample, as pictured – and it lays claim to eco-conscious credentials too, with sustainable materials being used in the production process.
Read our full Realme GT 2 Pro review
The iPhone SE (2022) really is worth your consideration if you want to take advantage of the full Apple experience but without the inflated price tag. While it may still be borrowing the design from the now ancient iPhone 8, Apple has fitted it with the A15 processor that debuted in the iPhone 13. The result is a dinky iPhone that is seriously powerful.
The powerful processor also means it will happily support future iOS software updates for a good few years, meaning you can invest very little yet receive an awful lot. But, it's fair to say the two areas where Apple has made some cutbacks compared to its flagship range are the ones that most customers will deem to be the most important: camera and battery life.
That's not to say the camera on the iPhone SE (2022) is bad, far from it in fact, because the A15 processor allows for some impressive image processing. You just have to make do without a Night mode for low-light shots and the flexibility of different zoom lengths.
Overall, though, the iPhone SE (2022) makes a strong case for being your next phone purchase if you're on a budget.
Read our full iPhone SE (2022) review
How to choose the best phone for you
Choosing the right phone is no easy task, as there are so many on the market and, truth be told, many of them are very similar. There are some core questions you should ask yourself before pulling the trigger on a smartphone upgrade, though.
Firstly, you need to establish if you're going to buy the phone SIM free (as in buy the phone outright upfront) or on contract. Both these options have their own strengths and weaknesses.
For example, buying a phone outright, and especially if it is a premium handset, can cost a lot of money, so you need to be able to swallow that. Once the phone is bought, though, then it is yours and you can go about getting one of the best SIM only deals, which offer better allowances for less money.
Contract purchases are great in the sense that they often put the phone in your hand for comparatively very little money or even for nothing, but then you need to pay for the phone over the period of your contract, which is tied to a network SIM plan that, most of the time, doesn't offer as good allowances or value as a SIM only one.
Next up you should ask yourself what your budget is, and what you're primarily going to be using the phone for. If you're a gamer then you're going to need to ensure you have a phone with good gaming functionality, while if you're a creative then you could benefit from a phone with digital stylus support. Equally, if you love taking photos then you need to prioritise a phone with a great camera system, and if you're a massive streamer then bagging a phone with a large screen would be a wise decision. If you're a busy working professional who travels a lot, then you'll want a phone with a large battery.
Once you've identified your needs and budget you can start to get more granular with your sorting. Next up we'd suggest identifying which OS and phone platform is right for you. The two main ones are Apple's iOS, which runs on all the maker's iPhones, or Android. iOS tends to be better for people who don't have too much technical knowledge and just want a streamlined, heavily guided user experience, while Android is more open and complex.
Finally, once OS is decided, you can start to add or take away features that you need or don't. For example, reverse wireless charging is really neat, but not every user will need it or use it, while phones that comes with huge amounts of RAM or storage may be useful for enthusiasts, but would go unused by many others. 5G connectivity is great and it is the future, but if you live in an area where there is no 5G coverage then do you really need a 5G phone?
These are just a few of the things we recommend people consider before buying a new phone, but we feel that providing each person does their research well (something this buying guide can help with), there's an ideal mobile for everyone.
How we test the best phones
There's a lot to consider when reviewing one of today's best phones, and for T3 we have a detailed five-stage process that each new device goes through.
Firstly, we judge the phone from a build quality and fit and finish point of view, as well as how comprehensive its package is. This stage is very much ascertaining how a phone feels in the hand, how robust it looks and what extras it does or doesn't come with. If a phone has a cheap plastic backplate and a spongy screen then we'll find out and let you know.
Next up we review the phone from a setup and hardware point of view. This stage sees us setting up the phone as we would if it were our own, and examining exactly what hardware it comes with, such as its processor, RAM, storage and GPU, among other things. The goal here is to see how accessible setup is and what, on paper, your money is buying you.
Thirdly, we move onto the phone's software and standout features. So, for example, on Android we test out how good the a phone's user interface skin is (different manufacturers can built their own user interface, using Android as the base), as each one if definitely not made equal. We also test features like biometric security, fingerprint readers and reverse wireless charging.
Our fourth stage of testing is dedicated purely to the phone's camera system, as truth be told it's one of the most important aspects of a phone today and a primary reason why people choose one model over another. This stage involves taking photographs with the phone and testing out each of its main shooting modes, as well as analysing what video capabilities are on offer, too.
Lastly, we then consider each phone from a purely experiential point of view – as in, what is it like to use on a daily basis? This is a really important part of our testing as it strips away all the technical jargon and components and is just intended to reveal how good it is use. This procedure takes one to two weeks and usually encompasses battery testing.
Only then, when all five of these phone review procedures are complete, do we award a score to a phone, with 5 stars been the highest rank a product can get.
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