The best smartphones you can buy in 2023
Do you have a rather juicy budget and want to treat yourself to a new high-end smartphone? Choices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro or the iPhone 14 Pro are just some of the models that we have selected for you in this list of the best high-end smartphones available in 2023.
The best smartphones in 2023 compared
|Editorial tip||Price tip||Best Android alternative||Best mid-range 2023||Best price/performance ratio||Best Foldable||Best gaming smartphone||Best sustainable phone|
|Product||Google Pixel 7 Pro|
|Display||6.8", Dynamic AMOLED
3.088 x 1.440 pixels
120 Hz refresh rate
|6.1", Super Retina XDR OLED
2,556 x 1,179 pixels
120 Hz refresh rate
3,120 x 1,440 pixels
120 Hz refresh rate
2,400 x 1080 pixels
90 Hz refresh rate
2400 x 1080 pixels
60 Hz refresh rate
|7.6", Dynamic AMOLED
2208 x 1768 pixels
6.2", Super AMOLED
2268 x 832 pixels
120 Hz refresh rate
2,400 x 1080 pixels
165 Hz refresh rate
2,340 x 1080 pixels
|SoC||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||Apple A16 Bionic||Google Tensor G2||Google Tensor 2||Google Tensor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G|
|Memory||8 GB, 12 GB RAM
256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB ROM
|128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB ROM||12 GB RAM
128 / 256 GB ROM
|8 GB RAM
128 GB, 256 GB ROM
|6 GB RAM
128 GB ROM
|12 GB RAM
128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB ROM
|18 GB RAM
512 GB ROM
|6 GB, 8 GB RAM
128 GB, 256 GB ROM
|OS||One UI 5.1 based on Android 13||iOS 16||Android 13||Android 13||Android 13||One UI 4.1 based on Android 12||ROG UI based on Android 12||Android 12|
|Camera||Main camera: 200 MP, f/1.7 aperture, OIS
Ultra-wide angle camera: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
Telephoto camera 1: 10 MP, f/2.4 aperture
Telephoto 2: 10 MP, f/4.9 aperture
|Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture, sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide angle camera: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
Telephoto camera: 10 MP, f/1.78 aperture
|Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.85 aperture
Ultra-wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
Telephoto camera: 48 MP, f/3.5 aperture
|Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.9 aperture, OIS
Ultra-wide angle camera: 50 MP, f/2.2 aperture
|Main camera: 12.2 MP, aperture f/1.9
Ultra-wide angle camera: 12 MP, f/2.2
|Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.8 aperture, OIS
Ultra-wide angle camera: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
Telephoto camera: 10 MP, f/2.4 aperture
|Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.9 aperture
Ultra-wide angle camera: 13 MP, f/2.2 aperture
Macro camera: 5 MP
|Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.6 aperture, OIS
Ultra-wide angle camera: 48 MP, f/2.2 aperture
|Selfie camera||12 MP, f/2.2 aperture||12 MP, aperture f/1.9||10.8 MP, aperture f/2.2||10.8 MP, aperture f/2.2||8 MP, aperture f/2.0||4 MP, aperture f/1.8||12 MP|
45 W wired charging
|20 W wired charging
15 W wireless charging
Quick charge with 30 W
20 W wired charging
20 W wireless charging
18 W wired charging
25 W wired charging
67 W wired charging
|3,900 mAh, interchangeable
20 W wired charging
|Connectivity||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6E / Wi-Fi Direct / Bluetooth 5.3 / NFC||eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6E / Wi-Fi Direct / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Wi-Fi Direct / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Wi-Fi Direct / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC||5G / LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.1 / NFC|
|Colors||Green, Phantom Black, Lavender, Cream. Only for Samsung: Graphite, Sky Blue, Lime, Red||Sierra Black, Deep Violet, Silver, and Gold||Obsidian, Snow, Hazel||Obsidian, Lemongrass, Snow||Chalk, Charcoal, Sage||Phantom Black||Storm White||Gray, Green, Green Speckled|
|Dimensions and weight||163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm, 233 g||147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85 mm, 206 g||162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm, 212 g||155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm, 197 g||152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm, 178 g||155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3 mm unfolded
155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2-15.8 mm closed, 263 g
|173 x 77 x 10.3 mm, 239 g||162 x 75.5 x 10.5 mm, 225 g|
Selecting a high-end smartphone means getting the best screen, the best performance, and the best camera possible. Lately, high-end smartphones have become more and more premium, be it in terms of design, technical specifications, or price.
In this selection, we have classified smartphones into different categories to meet different budgets and types of use. A gamer, for example, will not necessarily require the latest 200 MP camera. We have therefore targeted some of the main concerns one has when buying a smartphone.
- Also read: Find the right mobile plan for you
Buying guide: Things to consider
Each year, smartphone manufacturers try to add exciting new features to their models, ranging from cameras to batteries and even the form factor itself. Below are a few tips on what to look for when buying a smartphone in 2023.
Main characteristics of current smartphones
- Form factor: Foldable displays are probably the most exciting development in smartphones lately. Thanks to flexible displays, the form factors of the smartphones themselves are also becoming more flexible. In 2023, you will have choices between the ultra-compact Galaxy Z Flip 4, the standard brick format from the iPhone to the Xiaomi, or the foldable tablet in the form of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. You can find a current overview of the best foldable smartphones here:
- Cameras: The vast majority of high-end smartphones offer at least three cameras on the back: ultra-wide, standard wide-angle, and telephoto. Do not be blinded by the resolution count: The difference between 12 and 200 megapixels is not as big as the numbers suggest. What is more important are factors like the sensor size or the image processing algorithms. You can read more about this in the respective smartphone reviews or in the following article.
- Battery life: You hardly have to worry about battery life in 2023 for flagships. Even with intensive use, you can get through the day with the vast majority of models. However, the differences are starker when it comes to charging: While Xiaomi charges its smartphones completely using 120 watts in a matter of minutes, Apple and Samsung are more conservative. Additional information about batteries and fast charging can be found in the following article.
- Display: First it was 60 Hz, then 90 Hz, 120 Hz, or even 144 Hz: Over the past two years, smartphones have been getting faster and faster displays, and even Apple has jumped aboard the bandwagon since the iPhone 13 Pro was released. High refresh rates ensure a smoother display, whether for gaming or everyday use. However, the higher Hertz numbers also nibble away at the battery, so manufacturers usually adjust the refresh rates depending on the content being displayed. You can read more about screens via the following article.
- Processing power & other specifications: The high-end smartphones of 2023 are all so powerful that you'll have a hard time pushing them to their limits. All flagships offer more than enough power for current games and for everyday life anyway. The same applies to 5G, which is now standard equipment in smartphones. However, you should carefully consider how much memory you need before buying. This is because expansion options like a microSD card slot are almost non-existent in the upper mid-range models.
NextPit recommends: These are the best flagship smartphones in 2023
I presented a comparative table at the beginning of this article concerning the best flagships in 2023. In what follows, I will approach the different smartphones one by one. Depending on the type of user, there is a perfect choice for everybody.
The current best smartphone of 2023: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Read our full Galaxy S23 Ultra review to know more
We have only superlatives to describe the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The exciting thing is that the comparison between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra does not seem to show that many differences at first glance. However, do not let the very similar spec sheet confuse you!
The processor is new in any case: The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 even comes in a specially produced "For Galaxy Edition" for Samsung. The 200 MP main camera is also new. However, the insane megapixel count is not the only reason that the camera has become so much better. The night pictures have been improved a lot and there is also a new selfie lens.
Besides the convincing performance and the great camera performance, the excellent battery life and the usual outstanding display are also impressive. Have a look around the market—you will not find a better Android smartphone!
The best iOS phone: Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Read our full iPhone 14 Pro review to know more
The iPhone 14 Pro is not only the best iPhone, but also one of the best camera smartphones. Unlike previous years, Apple made significant changes by replacing the notch with the Dynamic Island in the form of a pill cut-out, but most importantly, a new camera system. The iPhone 14 Pro embeds a new triple camera module that is spearheaded by a new 48 MP camera.
The latest flagship of Apple takes very nice pictures by offering extremely natural renders that iPhone cameras are famous for. The colors are consistent between the different sensors and with the new 2x zoom introduced in the main camera, the ultra-wide angle can also capture macro shots while the telephoto lens excels with its 3x zoom. All these make the iPhone 14 Pro's camera system a very seductive proposition due to its versatility.
Apple has also had videographers in mind by improving the Cinematic Mode with the possibility of filming in 4K and the new Action mode which offers greater stabilization of your videos.
Best Android alternative in 2023: Google Pixel 7 Pro
Read the full Google Pixel 7 Pro review on NextPit
The Pixel 7 Pro is the best Pixel smartphone, ever! At least that's what Camila thinks, and she should know, since she was the one who reviewed the Mountain View flagship extensively. The price-performance ratio is particularly impressive: You can get the Pro version of the 7 series, starting at $899. In return, you get a very complete smartphone that hardly has any weaknesses.
The device is well-made and is IP68-certified, has a nice, 6.7-inch LTPO OLED panel, and is powered by the company's own Tensor G2 SoC, which offers decent performance. The camera array consists of triple sensors (50 MP main camera, 12 MP ultra-wide, 48 MP telephoto) at the back and a 10.8 MP shooter at the front. This configuration offers quite a versatile performance.
The drawback of the excellent battery runtime is that the adapter that was not included and faster charging found in its competition. However, based on street market price, you can now buy this flagship smartphone for around $600.
Best mid-range phone in 2023: Google Pixel 7
Read NextPit's complete review of the Pixel 7 to learn more
Ok, the "mid-range" title doesn't really fit the Pixel 7 specs, a true flagship phone in its own right. However, with high-end phones continually testing how much tech enthusiasts are willing to pay for a phone, the Pixel 7 offers almost the same hardware found on $1000 phones for considerably less money.
Most of the same qualities from the Pixel 7 Pro apply to the regular model, including its premium design, Android updates, exclusive software features, excellent battery life, and, again, its capable camera system that is still a reference for phones on its price range. To sweeten the deal, the Pixel phones are discounted way more frequently than iPhones, so it is worth checking for deals.
Best value-for-money: Google Pixel 6a
Read our Pixel 6a got 4.5 of 5-stars review
The Pixel 6a is an easy suggestion in 2023, despite packing most of the same internals as 2021's Pixel 6 line. While most phones in its price range cut corners on processing power, software updates, and features, the Pixel 6a offers almost the same hardware as the more expensive models with very few sacrifices.
Basically, you give up the higher-resolution sensors, wireless charging, bigger screen, and battery found on the Pixel 6 Pro, while keeping the same flagship-level performance, long-term software support, waterproof build, and exclusive camera and Android features. What is not to like?
Best foldable smartphone: Samsung Z Fold 4
Read our full Galaxy Z Fold 4 review to know more
Samsung is the undisputed champion of foldable smartphones with its Galaxy Z Fold 4. The South Korean manufacturer confirmed its supremacy with its latest magnum opus.
The foldable design continues to impress with excellent finishing and technical reliability that continues to make it the best foldable flagship. Samsung has further improved the robustness of the Z Fold 4 this year and still offers a very good battery life, high performance, and two beautiful screens.
The main strength of the Z Fold 4 is that it offers not only very advanced hardware but also a neat software experience. Features like Flex Mode, Taskbar, split screen, and floating windows make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 a smartphone that was specially built for productivity. Fans of the late Galaxy Note will also be happy to know that they can use the S Pen on their Z Fold 4.
Best gaming smartphone: Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro
Read our ROG Phone 6 Pro review to learn more
The ROG Phone 6 Pro is the king of gaming smartphones. Asus put all its efforts to offer the best gaming experience on the mobile market in 2023. The extremely original design, the 165 Hz AMOLED screen as well as the impressive performance will seduce gamers. The ROG Phone 6 Pro may be a bit on the pricey side, but for what it offers, you should definitely pick it up if your pockets are deep enough.
The main strength of the ROG Phone 6 Pro, in our opinion, is the enjoyable gaming experience that it offers. The Air Triggers, haptic triggers that increase control possibilities, and X mode that boosts performance considerably. This allows you to play for hours without overheating thanks to the efficiency of the Aero Active Cooler 6, and its external fan, all offer an amazing gaming experience.
Moreover, with its 6,000 mAh battery, the battery life is simply marvelous and should bode well for your marathon gaming sessions. Armed with the 67 W fast charge system, you can be up and going in double quick time.
Most eco-friendly phone: Fairphone 4
Read our Fairphone 4 review to learn more
Yes, the Fairphone 4 is neither the slimmest, the prettiest, nor the fastest smartphone. And considering what it offers, it's not cheap either. But: Fairphone does everything in its power to ensure that the smartphone is produced sustainably and under fair working conditions. Furthermore, the smartphone comes with a five-year warranty, and Fairphone plans to roll out Android updates until 2027.
The hardware can also be upgraded: Besides the battery, you can also replace the camera modules or the memory, for example. The solid build quality also gives us hope that the smartphone will last much longer than just the industry standard of two years.
Of course, there is also a downside: For a recommended retail price of €579 (there are no plans for the Fairphone 4 to be sold Stateside), you will receive far less power in the Fairphone 4 than in handsets from Xiaomi or other brands. At least the Snapdragon 750G SoC offers solid performance and is also capable of 5G support, but will that still be sufficient in 2027? We shall see.
The included cameras also performed surprisingly well for a small manufacturer. The bottom line is, the Fairphone 4 offers a well-rounded overall package and has thus earned four out of five stars.
How did NextPit choose the best smartphones in 2023?
Anyone who is considering buying a smartphone for over $1,000 or the hereabouts is likely to be quite familiar with the smartphone world. After all, there has to be a fundamental interest in investing the price of a used small car on a mobile phone!
Before you commit to a purchase, take a hard-look look at the spec sheet. Make sure the phone of your choice meets all your requirements. Flagship Android and iOS smartphones can easily last for several years thanks to frequent updates. Picking up the flagship smartphone is therefore also an investment for the future and should therefore be carefully considered.
So take a good look at the smartphone and if possible, get a hands-on before you buy. Do you like the software? Are you bothered by elements such as a plastic back or a huge notch in the display? For these reasons, the rankings in the above list are not set in stone. Everyone has different preferences and needs, so, one smartphone that works for you might not work for your other half. All these things should be considered before you swipe your card.
Alternatives to buying new
Refurbished, sale units, and used smartphones
If removing the protective film for the first time on your new device does not cause you to jump for joy, you can pick up more expensive smartphones from the second-hand or refurbished market. It is particularly advisable to use devices that carry a refurbished guarantee. These are used smartphones that have been checked and refurbished by reputable companies to ensure that they are in tip-top condition. Refurbished devices are particularly exciting to check out when they come with an extended warranty. This is how you protect yourself when picking one up just in case the handset gives up the ghost just a few weeks down the road.
Of course, you do not have this advantage when buying a used smartphone from private owners on platforms such as eBay, eBay classifieds, or other portals. However, used devices can be found for significantly reduced prices here, as there are no additional costs because the middleman has been cut out. With the so-called 'sale', you also secure older models that online shops still carry in new condition but which are no longer in production.
Promotions and sales
Towards the end of the year, each consumer electronics device that you purchase is accompanied by an even greater risk of stumbling upon a cheaper offer just a few weeks down the road. This can be attributed to sales like Black Friday and its associated Black Week, Amazon Prime Day, Singles Day, and Cyber Monday, all of which are discount days in the months of October and November, which are meant to prime the economy before the Christmas shopping frenzy season begins. Since smartphones are one of the most popular consumer electronics devices in the market, you should keep your eyes peeled for great deals. You can check out the dates for this year's sales and promotions in the table below:
Upcoming bargains and sales dates
|Single's Day||11 November 2023|
|Black Week||20 to 24 November 2023|
|Black Friday||24 November 2023|
|Cyber Monday||27 November 2023|
It's best to keep an eye on our homepage these days. Because we search for offers in every online shop and manufacturer's website and assess the offers according to their value. As in this article, you can inform yourself with further reviews and news about the respective devices before buying.
Sign up for a contract with a service provider or an installment plan
If your old smartphone is completely broken and cannot be used, leaving you in desperate need of an immediate replacement, you can always opt for an installment plan that covers several months of payments. Normally, this is seen in the traditional framework of smartphone contracts, where you obtain a new smartphone for free for a monthly surcharge or for a lower one-time payment.
Generally speaking, restrictions on a particular smartphone model to a specific network operator no longer exist today. However, there is still the risk of paying more for the device at the end of the contract compared to buying it outright now.
On the other hand, you also obtain lower prices with a monthly financing plan. You pay off the purchase price of the new device across an agreed number of monthly installments sans contract and with 0% interest. Such financing packages are extremely popular, but it also comes with their own risks. For instance, if you lose your new smartphone immediately after buying it or if it breaks, you will still honor the remaining installments for a device that can no longer be used or is limited in functionality.
What do you think of this approach as well as our selection? Which models have we missed out on which do you think deserve to be included in the list? Please let us know in the comments!
This article was updated in May 2023. Existing comments have been preserved.
I love to use Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Coming from already owning a phone that's doing everything I ask of it, none of these phones strike me as worthwhile. They're all software abusers of the consumer.
There are phones coming to market that should be better at that critical thing than all of these phones. They'll likely be somewhat lesser hardware. But the hardware is more than adequate, it's the software that's so abusive right now.
It's time for that to change if the companies want to sell me a phone.
My LG V30 has just turned 3 years old and its battery has been worn out over time. I 'm also tired of being stuck with android 9. Should I replace the battery or should I wait for the Galaxy s22 Ultra and buy it?
If Android updates are important, one option to consider (depending on where you live) is the Pixel 6.
I don 't like google 's design approach, as well as I don' t like the stock Android OS. Because of that, I 'm not considering devices with a non-customized UI. I 've also been a Samsung fan in the past (I also liked the Touchwiz UI), so the Google Pixel is definitely not a good choice for me!
Last, but not least, only samsung devices allow to disable fast charge, meaning that I can choose to charge at a maximum of 5V and 2A ( or maybe 3), no matter how much powerful is the charger I use.
Pixel and Fairphone are the only phones of interest to me on the list. My phone is more productivity focused and so gaming level features aren't worth the money. I've been very satisfied with mid tier phones for quite a while now.
I guess I don't wAnt to wave a flag. None of these interest me at all
I think LG phones are good
Motorola Edge should be released soon,and with Samsung now struggling with the sales of there new S20 models,they have got stop over pricing there phones,or they will be struggling soon,and its there own problem cause by copying the pricing policy of Apple
OnePlus is too expensive to merit best value.
The upgrades are coming day by day but there is some new phone nowadays and it is amazing
Been Using Galaxy Note 8 for 3 years and S10+ for awhile and they have the best Specs and Features!! Lovin' it!!
I've been using the s10+ since it's release. This phone is simply a pleasure to use. I really have no complaints. All the premium features. Display, cameras & battery are excellent, there is no finer even after 8 mos of very heavy use!
I'm rockin a Samsung Galaxy S10 and loving it, my only gripe is the lack of an LED notification. That said its great so far. My wife has the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and she says its the best device shes ever owned. Does anyone know when Samsung is releasing android 10 & the new One UI 2?
Only expensive ones
Android phones are the best in terms of cost because iPhones are expensive! Recently, one of my friends has bought Huawei P30 Pro. This phone has excellent features and less price.
£234 as 'best value'?! Come off it. My Moto G5+ was £159 nearly 2 years ago, the G6 and its Play version are now similarly priced...
While I'm at it, imo it's high time smartphone users, makers and commentators started demanding that ALL battery-powered devices (not only phones...) have batteries that can be replaced by the user. Getting a new phone because the battery is failing is simply unsustainable - and we all KNOW that in our hearts of hearts...
The Mate 20 X has the best battery life. I get around 11-13 hours of screen on time daily. The S9+, Note 9 would be one of the best phones if they gave us a non edge screen version. I'm not a fan of the curves.
Why is there a crappy iPhone on the middle of your main image when you are talking about android. No android user would be stupid enough to fall into the the Apple arena. I would rather not have a phone then buy Apple. Bring on the Galaxy F. I have used all of the phones above and in my opinion the Samsung Note 9 and Galaxy S9 are by far the best paired with the Galaxy watch they are fantastic.