When it comes to the fight for best phone, it's usually a two horse race. Sure, other manufacturers put up a valiant fight, but it generally comes down to the best iPhone and the best Samsung phone.
But that all looks set to change in 2023. A host of fantastic Android phones are hitting the market, ready to disrupt the state of the smartphone market. And they look amazing – from brilliant cheap phones that punch above their weight to fantastic foldable phones that aim to expand that growing niche.
And as 2022 draws to a close, I wanted to take a look at the five phones that look the most exciting for 2023.
1. iPhone 15 Ultra
The flow of rumours about the iPhone 15 Ultra has been relentless – particularly when you consider that the iPhone 14 range has only been out for a few months! But it's not hard to see why, representing the biggest departure from iPhone's of old.
It's almost certain to feature a USB-C charging port, after an EU directive dismissed the right for phones to utilise a proprietary charger. We've also seen rumours of a titanium frame and a 3-nanometer chip.
Others have balked at the rumoured price, with rumours suggesting that iPhone 15 Ultra pricing will start around $1,299. I don't think that's anywhere near as bad as it sounds though, particularly when you factor in the spec sheet on offer.
Expect to see this one later on in the year.
2. Vivo X90 Pro+
When I first saw the Vivo X90 Pro+, I dubbed it a Samsung Galaxy killer, thanks to an all-round solid package, topped off with one of the best cameras ever seen on a phone. The X90 Pro+ is also the first on this list to feature the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.
Ultimately, the main event here is that camera. It takes some absolutely fabulous looking photos and should be ready to go toe-to-toe with shot-snapping heavyweights like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
3. OnePlus 11
OnePlus have had an interesting few years, but the OnePlus 11 feels like they've finally nailed the formula for a great phone. Leaked specs show a hardcore handset that is loaded with RAM and storage from the off.
It's another that gets the benefit of that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor – and it shows. Leaked benchmarks show it absolutely battering the impending Samsung Galaxy S23, and could make a case for itself as the best phone on the market. OnePlus have been around long enough to have some brand loyalty now, and if they can market this phone at the right price, it could be their biggest success yet.
It's set for release on the 7th of February, so keep your eyes peeled for more information in the coming weeks.
4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
The world of foldable phones is growing even in the face of economic adversity right now. Samsung are leading the charge, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 ruling the roost, no matter which axis you want your phone to fold on. The Flip gets my vote, purely because it occupies a much more palatable price point.
Next years' Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 model should get a decent boost too, with screen upgrades all round. The external display is getting beefed up to make it more useful in its own right, while the internal display is set to get an improved hinge design which should reduce how visible it is when unfolded.
This is another that likely wont land until the second half of 2023, but it could be worth the wait if you're on the lookout for a great value foldable.
5. Google Pixel Fold
After a roadmap for the next three years of Google Pixel phones was leaked earlier today, it's an exciting time to be part of Google's Android phone universe. They've pretty much nailed the design when it comes to slab phones – the Google Pixel 7 range took care of that.
Now, Google look set to do battle in the foldable phone arena for the first time. Renders of the Google Pixel Fold leaked a few weeks ago, and it looks fantastic. Okay, the design wont be everyone's cup of tea, but the overall package should be good enough to go up against the likes of Samsung without breaking too much of a sweat.
The Google I/O event where this one is set to launch should happen in April/May, so keep your eyes out for more updates in advance. This should be good.