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What's the Best Phone to Buy?

Aurora, IL

mobile smartphones like Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE, Samsung Note 20, Samsung S21, Samsung S21 Ultra, etc. are being reviewed by people like Marques Brownlee and Unbox Therapy
A pile of expensive flagship phones lie in a pile, waiting for reviewers to test them.

Smartphones have become a huge part of our everyday lives, with tons of manufacturers trying to obtain your hard-earned money in exchange for one of their hottest products. There are hundreds of smartphones to choose from, so it is important to choose one that fits you and your needs correctly. With the holiday season well underway, which smartphone is the best choice out there?

samsung s21 ultra and samsung s21 plus have big and colorful displays with technology like OLED and AMOLED which samsung gives to apple as well to put in their iphones 13 and 13 pro max
This Samsung S21 model has a beautiful and vivid display, making it the phone of choice for many.

The display is the part that you will use most often, so it is a great starting point for our investigation. Screen refresh rate has become increasingly important with more manufacturers offering higher refresh rate screens at lower and lower prices. The faster a phone refreshes its screen, the smoother the phone will feel regardless of how fast it actually is. Other important display features are screen resolution and brightness that help produce a good quality image on the screen. The presence of OLED is also important which allows the phone to display deeper blacks and brighter colors. There are a handful of great choices to look out for if you want a phone with a great display. The iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung S21 Ultra both have amazing screens, with 120Hz refresh rates, OLED displays, and high resolutions. The iPhone has a resolution of 1284x2778 pixels whereas the Samsung has a resolution of 1440x3200 pixels. However, both of these phones’ prices hover around the $1000 mark and cost a pretty penny to obtain. On the contrary, the OnePlus 8T and TCL 20 Pro 5G retail for under $550 as of the time of writing and also have very good displays with many of the features listed above.

The camera is another important part that many consider when purchasing a new phone. Cameras have many nuances that can lead to better looking photos and videos, including AI, computational photography, and megapixel count. AI and computational photography goes to work after the photo or video is taken and tries to make it look better through machine learning and other complex algorithms. Megapixel count is a more objective measure of a camera’s prowess: The more megapixels there are, the better the photos and videos usually turn out. Zoom ability is another important part of the camera, as zooming in can be useful when taking photos. For cameras, the Huawei P50 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra rule, but there is a catch: Both of those phones can be difficult to find in the US, as Chinese-based company Huawei is banned in the U.S. and its counterpart Xiaomi is difficult to procure. Many other Chinese phone manufacturers have excellent cameras, but unfortunately they are limited or outright banned in America. That leaves the camera leaderboard to the iPhone 13 Pro twins and the Google Pixel 6 Pro. These produce photos and videos comparable to a point-and-shoot DSLR at a smaller scale. The iPhone also offers Cinematic Mode, which blurs out the background during a video, similar to Portrait Mode. Thus, those two phones are excellent choices although they are quite pricey.

lenovo legion duel 2 is for gaming and playing games like asphalt 9, minecraft, fortnite, pubg, and call of duty mobile
This Lenovo Legion Duel 2 has a daring look and offers monstrous specs, like 18 GB of RAM, for gamers.

Speed is another important part, as a slow phone can be incredibly frustrating to use and will leave you dying for a replacement. There are multiple aspects to a phone’s speed. Speed can refer to its raw processing power, its battery charging speed, or its memory/storage. For raw processing power, the iPhone 13s and 12s are the best of the best, with their A-series chips taking the gold. The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have new Google Tensor chips, which are also quite speedy. Finally, any phones with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chips should satisfy your needs. For battery charging speed, OnePlus phones have traditionally been the go-to, but its siblings Oppo and Vivo have also unveiled fast charging technology set to debut soon. OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo phones support 65W charging which takes around 30 minutes. In comparison, the Xiaomi Mi 10 and 11 Ultra support 120W charging which takes around 15 minutes from 0 to 100 percent. However, such high charging speeds may compromise the phone’s battery health. Finally, the memory (RAM) of a phone allows it to store more data in the short-term. Many phones nowadays have 6-12 GB of RAM, and some even have 16GB, about the same amount as some computers. The ASUS ROG Phone 5 and the ASUS Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders both have 16GB of RAM, and the Lenovo Legion Duel 2, a gaming-focused phone, has up to 18GB of RAM. As for storage, it’s quite straightforward. Most phones nowadays have 256GB to 1TB of internal storage, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Samsung S21 Ultra having that highest tier available, although they will command a large premium over their base prices.

There are many phones out there, and they all do well in different aspects. Some may have powerful cameras, others may have bright and snappy displays, and still others are shockingly fast in a variety of ways. Phone reviewers can attempt to guide consumers in the right direction, but it is ultimately up to the consumers to decide which smartphone is right for them.

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