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Boris Ilyin
Boris Ilyin

A Good Phone To Buy


The very best phones offer great cameras, the kind of performance you need to multitask and enough battery life to last the whole day. And we have our own web surfing battery test to put company's "all-day" endurance claims to the test.




a good phone to buy



The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is now our top phone, beating out Apple in our Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max face-off.In addition, Apple has announced a new yellow color for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, though the features remain the same.Keep an eye out for a possible new Pixel 7a this spring, as the official start date of Google I/O 2023 is May 10.


The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is truly the ultimate Android phone, and it starts with a 200-megapixel that seems like overkill but delivers truly stellar results. You can reframe your shot after the fact and still get sharp details. Plus, this sensor offers brighter and richer photos overall, and you get an improved 12MP front camera.


In terms of performance, nothing can touch the Galaxy S23 Ultra among Android phones, thanks to its blazing Snapdragon 8 gen 2 for Galaxy processor. This chip beats the iPhone on graphics performance and is a blast for playing games. Another plus? The more than 13 hours of battery life we saw in our web surfing test.


Other highlights for the Galaxy S23 Ultra include smarter OneUI 5.1 features, including Bixby Text call for screening calls for you. And the display is now flatter for easier S Pen use, though we still don't think the panel needs to be curved. Note that there are complaints about S Pen Bluetooth connectivity issues, but hopefully that will be fixed with an update. Although we'd like to see faster charging overall the Samsung S23 Ultra is the best Android phone yet and easily one of the best phones overall.


Other highlights of the iPhone 14 Pro Max include a powerful A16 Bionic processor that smokes most Android phones and a powerful new 48MP camera that gives you the choice of brighter images or sharper resolution in ProRAW. See our ProRAW photo shoot to see the results. And the new Action Mode for video is super smooth and compelling. The best part is the battery life, as we saw over 13 hours in our testing, making this a total beast and worth the premium.


Video is another strong point for the iPhone 14 Pro, as you get a super smooth Action mode along with a sharper 4K Cinematic Mode. Add in a very clever replacement for the notch with Dynamic Island and an always-on display and you have one of the best phones you can buy. We just wish Apple offered faster charging, which likely won't happen until the iPhone 15 Pro.


The Google Pixel 6a runs on the same Tensor processor that powers the Pixel 6. That means the same AI-driven features on that more premium phone are available on this sub-$500 model. And Google even ups the ante by introducing new capabilities to its stellar Magic Erase photo editing feature.


Samsung improved the phone in other ways as well, boosting maximum brightness on the Galaxy S23's 6.1-inch display to 1,750 nits. You certainly won't have a difficult time viewing that screen outdoors in bright sunlight. We've also seen improvements to low-light photography, even if the Galaxy S23 still lags other top camera phones from Apple in an overall photo face-off. At a starting price of $799, the Galaxy S23 offers a good mix of premium features and a relatively low price for a flagship device.


With 5x optical zoom, the Pixel 6 Pro can pull off some fancy zoom tricks in combination with the enhanced Super Res Zoom. But we think the colors are a bit dull on the telephoto shots, certainly less vibrant than the iPhone 14 Pro in our testing. Regardless, the Pixel 7 Pro is the Android phone to get if you want the best cameras.


When it comes to the iPhone SE (2022), you really are getting a lot for your money. At $429, the newest budget iPhone outperforms anything else in the price category and even puts the highest-end Android phones on their toes. With the same A15 Bionic that powers the iPhone 13, the SE is a little beast.


The iPhone SE (2022) offers a lot and is one of the best phones under $500. It trades blows with the Pixel 5a, meaning that iPhone buyers on a budget have two great options to look at. (The other being the $499 LTE-only iPhone 11.)


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 lacks the processing oomph and power management features of the chipset inside the Galaxy S23 phones, but it's still a good performer among top Android flagships. With Samsung making few hardware changes to the cameras on the Galaxy S23, you're essentially getting the same camera experience as the newer, more expensive model. (The S22's 10MP selfie cam has been upgraded to 12MP on the S23.)


The main reason to get the Galaxy S22 is because you hate paying full price for phones. And at $699, the Galaxy S22 still has a lot to offer since just a few months ago, it was one of the best phones in Samsung's lineup.


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 takes the best foldable phone and makes it better in multiple ways. For one, Samsung and Google made it much easier to multitask by adding a taskbar, and you can now drag and drop content between more apps when you're running them side by side.


When it comes to performance, we rely on such synthetic benchmarks as Geekbench 5 and GFXBench to measure graphics performance. These tests allow us to compare performance across iPhones and Android devices. We also run a real-world video transcoding test on each phone using the Adobe Premiere Rush app and time the result.


To measure the quality of a phone's display, we perform lab tests to determine the brightness of the panel (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.


One of the most important tests we run is the Tom's Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G or 4G at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.


Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.


Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Mark SpoonauerSocial Links NavigationMark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.


The Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Pro impressed us with excellent performance from their processors and the cameras. But if you aren't after the best iPhone around, you still have plenty of smartphone choices, including the Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. They both offer everything you could want, from high-end performance to superb cameras.


There are a number of other great smartphones with eye-catching features, such as Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 4, which has a foldable screen. These can be quite expensive, but if your cash doesn't stretch that far, worry not. More and more affordable phones, such as the new Pixel 6A, pack great specs, high-speed 5G connectivity and more-approachable prices.


Most of the phones below are available unlocked and should be compatible with the big four US wireless carriers, unless otherwise specified. Many of the best phones of 2022 remain available below, but we review and update this list regularly and will keep you posted as we test new models in the year ahead. For more info, read our guide to help find the best phone for your needs and take a look at our tips on how to buy a new Apple iPhone or Android phone and where to snag the best phone deals.


Apple's iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce sweeping changes like the Dynamic Island, a new 48-megapixel camera system and Apple's new A16 Bionic processor. All of these upgrades come together to make for an experience that feels fresh and fast. The upgrades to the main camera allow it to take some truly stunning photos, making the phone a solid option if you're into mobile photography. 041b061a72


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