There are stacks of phone options to choose from in 2023, so where do you even begin? Let our expert best smartphones guide show you the way to your ideal mobile phone handset, whether you're an Apple or Android user.
Given that our phones act as our do-everything devices – camera, navigation, comms, entertainment, gaming – it’s important to really consider the priority features that matter to you when picking your ideal phone. And if these options are all too physically big, then take a look at our best compact phones guide for smaller handsets.
Below, we've rounded up the best smartphones for 2023, including models from Apple, Samsung, OnePlus and many more. If you're looking for something more affordable then check out our best cheap phones guide instead.
Looking for the best deals? Mark your calendar for Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 October, which is when the best Amazon Prime Day deals will be available – it's now called Prime Big Deal Days, though – with the T3 team monitoring the best buys.
The biggest sale event in the calendar is Black Friday, though, which falls on 24 November this year. For the best Black Friday deals, however, the T3 team will be scouring all the best retailers ahead of the long sale weekend to bring you curated deals of all the hottest discounts, so we'll do the work and save you the hassle!
Which is the best phone in 2023? The top 3
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.
The best premium Apple phone is the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The best iPhone for our money, it delivers super cameras, drops the notch, and is undoubtedly the top-tier Apple device.
The best premium Android phone is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. A gorgeous design, superb cameras, even an integrated S Pen stylus for added versatility, Android phones don't get any more sophisticated than this.
The best phone for most people is the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Great features but at a cut of the price, plus a distinctive design and accomplished cameras, Google's 2022 flagship is a super handset without a massive price tag.
If you're looking for an Apple phone then this one is the best-of-best in the range. Introduced late 2022, the 14 Pro Max is among the first iPhones to remove the notch in favour of 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 Dynamic Island is not only a feat of hardware and software collaboration but actually adds to the user experience [by removing the traditional notch and integrating the black-out area with software and design aspects]."
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 (which we could push for 27 hours plus), 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.
Samsung rules the roost when it comes to premium Android phones, the Galaxy S23 Ultra being the pinnacle of its range, featuring a gorgeous design, subtly curved display, even a built-in S Pen stylus to add greater versatility to the software experience.
It's also the first Samsung phone to feature a 200-megapixel camera, which is the biggest difference versus the older Galaxy S22 Ultra. If you're looking for a similar yet cheaper handset then, as you can see from our Samsung discount codes, the older handset is bargain right now.
Around the back of the S22 Ultra is where the action lies though: that quartet of cameras, arranged in exposed lenses as part of this design, really deliver quality through wide-angle to various zoom steps. It's super easy to use and the results speak volumes, whether shooting in day or night, and having various zoom options stands out compared to much of the flagship competition these days too.
Want to know more? Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for the full breakdown about this top-end Android phone
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 with ease.
Above all else, however, it's the design that's distinctive and a real breath of fresh air. Sure, the aluminium finish does 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).
Best phones 2023: The best of the rest
As said in our review: "the Nothing Phone (2) impresses threefold: first it's so comfortable to hold and use, with a distinctive design; two, the improvements to everyday essentials compared to the first-gen phone, such as battery life and screen quality, are a real mark of quality; third, it adds a dollop of fun on top all of that, with features such as Glyph lights not just being a throwaway gimmick.
Sure, it's pricier than its predecessor, but it's worth it and this handset is one of those rare moments of unexpected Android phone joy. That's largely down to the Glyph lights on the rear, which illuminate to alert you to different notifications and other features. Not one for everyone, but for those who take the plunge this iPhone-lookalike Android handset is a real treat.
Check out our full Nothing Phone 2 review to see if this affordable yet high-spec handset is the Android phone for you
The all-new 'Plus' model in the 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 do want the physical screen size, 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 models. And that, for many, will make it an ideally positioned and more financially suitable option.
Check out our full iPhone 14 Plus review to see if Apple's newest entry to its series is a winner for you