Review of the top smartphones to purchase in 2023

Picking out the ideal smartphone for an upgrade can seem overwhelming. Several factors come into play, including battery life, camera quality, storage capacity, and even health and safety features that complement your mobile lifestyle.

Regardless of whether you lean towards Android or iOS, it’s crucial to consider pricing and device longevity when searching for a new phone.

To assist you in making an informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of the best smartphones currently available. Each device has undergone thorough testing, daily usage, and has been endorsed by industry analysts, mobile experts, and our team of subject matter specialists at ZDNET. Regardless of your preferences, this list has something that will meet your needs.

 10 main tips to help you choose the most suitable smartphone:

  1. Identify your needs: Consider what you’ll be using your smartphone for, such as browsing the internet, taking photos, gaming, or streaming videos. Once you know your needs, it will be easier to narrow down your options.
  2. Research the specs: Look into the technical specifications of each phone, such as battery life, camera quality, storage capacity, screen size, and processor speed. Ensure that the phone you choose has the specs that align with your needs.
  3. Consider the operating system: Choose between iOS or Android based on your preferences and familiarity with the system. Consider which OS will offer the best compatibility with your existing tech devices.
  4. Set a budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a new phone and stick to it. It’s important to consider the phone’s long-term value rather than just the upfront cost.
  5. Read reviews: Check out reviews from reliable sources to get an idea of other users’ experiences with the phone you’re interested in. Look for reviews that highlight both the pros and cons of the phone, as well as any potential issues that may arise.
  6. Consider the brand’s reputation: Research the brand’s reputation for producing high-quality phones and providing good customer service. A reputable brand can offer greater assurance of quality and durability.
  7. Look for deals: Keep an eye out for deals and discounts on the phone you’re interested in. You may be able to save money by purchasing during a sale or taking advantage of trade-in offers.
  8. Consider the size and weight: Consider the phone’s size and weight to ensure it is comfortable to hold and carry. You may want to try holding the phone in person to see if it feels comfortable.
  9. Look at the design: Consider the phone’s design and aesthetics to ensure it fits your personal style and preferences. Some people may prefer a sleek and minimalistic design, while others may prefer a more colorful and eye-catching design.
  10. Consider additional features: Look for additional features that may be important to you, such as water resistance, wireless charging, facial recognition, or fingerprint scanner. Ensure the phone you choose has the features that you need.
Lets get back to review… 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – the best smartphone on our opinion



  • Offers the most complete smartphone experience available
  • Reliable quad-camera setup for capturing a variety of shots
  • 256GB base storage surpasses the industry standard
  • Integrated S Pen stylus provides enhanced functionality
  • Offers unique features like Samsung DeX and five-year security updates


  • Can be unwieldy for some users, particularly with a case
  • Fast charging is capped at 45W, slower than some competitors
  • Pricier than most Android phones

More details: The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts impressive tech specs, including a 6.8-inch AMOLED display, up to 1TB of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, and a 5,000mAh battery. The phone’s performance is notably improved thanks to the overclocked chipset and Samsung’s optimization efforts, making it a powerful option for mobile gamers. Additionally, the phone offers unique features such as the integrated S Pen stylus, Samsung DeX, and a five-year commitment to security updates. However, the phone’s size may be a drawback for some users, and its fast charging capability is slower than some competitors. The phone also comes with a higher price tag than many Android options on the market.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a flagship smartphone from Apple that boasts excellent battery life and camera performance. It features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display that supports 4K resolution and Dolby Vision for HDR. One of the standout features of the Pro Max is the new Dynamic Island, which turns the previous notch of dead space into a notification hub.

The Pro Max also includes new sensors that enable Apple’s crash detection feature and the satellite SOS system. However, it’s worth noting that the satellite SOS requires a monthly fee. On the other hand, the upgraded battery provides up to 29 hours of use on a full charge, and fast charging can give you up to 50% battery in just 35 minutes.

During testing, ZDNET’s Editor-in-Chief praised the functional and elegantly designed Dynamic Island, as well as the subtle and useful new animations for various activities. The Pro Max is available in Midnight, Space Black, Purple, Deep Purple, (Product)RED, Silver, and Starlight.

While the iPhone 14 Pro Max is undoubtedly a high-performing smartphone, it does come at a premium price, especially for larger storage capacities. Overall, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line smartphone with great battery life and camera performance, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is an excellent choice.



  • Excellent battery life: The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers up to 29 hours of use on a full charge, which is a significant improvement from previous models. With fast charging, you can get up to 50% battery in just 35 minutes.
  • High-quality camera performance: The camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of the best on the market. It includes new sensors and features that allow for better low-light performance, improved zoom capabilities, and enhanced image stabilization.
  • 4K and Dolby Vision support: The iPhone 14 Pro Max can display videos in 4K resolution and supports Dolby Vision for HDR. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys watching high-quality videos on their phone.
  • Wi-Fi 6 support: The iPhone 14 Pro Max supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, which offers faster speeds, better range, and improved reliability.
  • Satellite SOS and crash detection: The iPhone 14 Pro Max includes new sensors that allow for satellite SOS and crash detection. These features can automatically contact emergency services if you’ve been in an accident, even if you don’t have LTE service.


  • Expensive: The iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market, especially at higher storage capacities.
  • Monthly fee for satellite SOS: While the new satellite SOS feature is a useful safety feature, it requires a monthly fee to use.

Google Pixel 7 Pro – smartphone with the best camera in 2023


Even months after its release, the Google Pixel 7 Pro still stands out for its impressive camera setup, featuring a 50MP main lens, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide that produces excellent low-light photography. ZDNET’s Jason Cipriani compared both the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro in October and found the latter to be the most impressive due to its new 30x Super Res Zoom, stating that “Someone (Google) finally showed Samsung how these fancy zoom features are supposed to look.”

Similar to the previous year’s Pixel 6 Pro, the latest flagship from Google combines its enhanced camera hardware with its proven computational skills, including features like Magic Eraser for on-the-go content-aware fill and a new Macro Focus for improved zoom-in shots (up to 30x).

The design and performance of the Pixel 7 Pro are also noteworthy. The Pro model maintains the iconic Pixel camera bump that spans from one side to the other, along with a sleek aluminum build quality and a vibrant 6.7-inch LTPO display that can refresh anywhere between 1 to 120Hz. The larger size also accommodates a powerful 5,000mAh battery that should keep the Pixel running for hours on end.

At $899, the Pixel 7 Pro is more affordable than its closest competitors, the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Additionally, with the Tensor G2 chip, you can expect fast and responsive performance, along with at least five years of consistent software and security updates.



  • Quality cameras all across the board, featuring a 50MP main lens, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide that shoots better low-light photography than ever before.
  • User-first software approach, providing a clean and intuitive stock Android experience with timely software and security updates.
  • 5,000mAh battery with LTPO display, offering long-lasting battery life and a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 1 to 120Hz.
  • Priced competitively at $899, making it a more affordable option compared to other flagship phones.
  • The Tensor G2 processor offers snappy performance and is expected to receive consistent software and security updates for at least five years.


  • No 1TB storage option like Apple/Samsung, which may be limiting for users who require a large amount of storage.
  • Stock Android can feel too minimal for some users who prefer a more feature-rich experience.
  • Capped at 30W fast charging, which is slower compared to some competitors that offer faster charging speeds.


he Google Pixel 6a boasts impressive tech specs, including a 6.1-inch OLED screen, 128GB of storage, and a Google Tensor processor. It comes in three color options: Charcoal, Sage, and Chalk. The phone also has a long battery life of 4,410mAh and is water and dust resistant.

Although the Pixel 7a is on the horizon, the Pixel 6a is still a great choice for those on a budget or for younger users. It’s priced at $449, but occasional sales can bring the price down to as low as $300. Despite its affordability, the Pixel 6a doesn’t skimp on features. In fact, ZDNET’s reviewer Jason Cipriani found that the phone’s user experience is almost indistinguishable from that of the more expensive Pixel 6 Pro.

The 6.1-inch display of the Pixel 6a utilizes an OLED panel to provide improved color volume and range, better contrast, and enhanced detailing. The phone also features the Google Tensor processor, which is present in the more expensive Pixel 6 Pro, allowing for faster and easier app launching, calling, texting, and video chatting.

With 128GB of internal storage, there is ample space for storing photos, videos, apps, and documents. Additionally, if you require more storage space, you can sync the phone with your preferred cloud storage service to free up space on the device. The Pixel 6a is also capable of withstanding water up to 4 feet, protecting it from damage due to rain, sweat, or spills.


  • Affordable price: The Pixel 6a is a budget-friendly phone, making it accessible to people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new device.
  • Great camera: The Pixel 6a has an excellent camera that captures high-quality photos and videos, making it a great option for photography enthusiasts.
  • Water and dust resistance: The Pixel 6a is water and dust resistant, which means it can withstand spills, rain, and other environmental hazards.
  • Fast processor: The Pixel 6a comes with the Google Tensor processor, which enables fast and smooth performance when using apps and other features.


  • Limited availability: The Pixel 6a may not be available in all markets, which could limit its accessibility to some potential buyers.
  • No wireless charging: The Pixel 6a does not come with wireless charging capabilities, which may be a drawback for some users who prefer this feature.
  • Average battery life: The Pixel 6a has a decent battery life, but it may not last as long as some other phones on the market.
  • No expandable storage: The Pixel 6a does not have expandable storage, so users may need to rely on cloud storage or delete files to free up space.

OnePlus 11 – top phone with fast charging technology

OnePlus 11-best-camera


  • Snappy and smooth performance
  • 100W fast-charging (80W in the US) with charger included in the box
  • Premium build quality for its price
  • Competitive main camera for photos


  • Limited storage and RAM configuration to 128GB/256GB
  • No wireless charging
  • No IP68 rating for water and dust resistance

The OnePlus 11 sets itself apart from its competitors with its incredibly fast charging speeds. With 100W SuperVooc fast charging (80W in the US), the phone can go from empty to full in under 27 minutes. This charging speed outperforms even the highest-end phones from Apple and Samsung.

But the OnePlus 11 isn’t just a one-trick pony. The phone also features a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 5,000mAh dual-cell battery, and a competitive triple-camera array. All of this comes at a starting price of $699, making it a great value pick.

However, there are some downsides to consider, such as limited storage and RAM configurations, no wireless charging, and no IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Overall, the OnePlus 11 is an excellent phone for those who value fast charging and strong performance at an affordable price point.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – the best folding phone in 2023


The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 marks the triumphant return of flip phones, allowing you to sassily hang up on someone by snapping the phone shut, while also meeting modern expectations. While the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is flashier and more powerful, most people are better served with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, according to Avi Greengart, Lead Analyst at Techsponential. The phone is incredibly compact when folded, about 3 inches square, making it easy to slip into your pocket, purse, or travel bag. It also features a cover screen for quick, easy-to-read alerts without needing to open your phone.

In addition to being compact, the Flip 4 is water and dust-resistant, making it ideal for everyday use. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, guarding against cracks, scratches, and chips while still giving you complete control over your apps and phone.

If you’re having trouble deciding between the Flip 4 and Fold 4, a full comparison is available to help you choose the right folding phone for your needs.


  • Unique form factor: The Galaxy Z Flip 4’s foldable design is a standout feature that sets it apart from traditional smartphones. Its compact size and ability to fold in half make it easy to carry around in a pocket or purse.
  • High-quality display: The Dynamic AMOLED screen provides vibrant colors and excellent contrast, and its 120Hz refresh rate makes for smooth scrolling and fast response times.
  • Powerful processor: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor ensures snappy performance and efficient multitasking.
  • Good camera system: The dual-camera system captures sharp and detailed photos, and the front-facing camera can be used as a tripod for hands-free selfies.
  • Water and dust-resistant: The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has an IPX8 rating, which means it can withstand being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.


  • High cost: The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is an expensive device, and its foldable design adds to the price tag.
  • Limited battery life: The 3,700mAh battery isn’t particularly large, and the foldable design means there’s less space for a battery.
  • Durability concerns: Foldable phones are still a relatively new technology, and there are concerns about the long-term durability of the hinge and screen.

Iphone 13 Pro – best phone in 2023


The iPhone 13 Pro boasts a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that delivers highly detailed and lifelike images with outstanding color volume, making it ideal for photography, video streaming, and video calls. It comes in a range of colors, including Midnight, Blue, Sierra Blue, Gold, Graphite, Green, Alpine Green, Pink, (Product)RED, Silver, and Starlight.

With up to 1TB of internal storage, the iPhone 13 Pro provides ample space for storing apps, photos, videos, and music. In case you need more storage, you can also sync your device to iCloud and free up local drive space.

According to Ben Wood, Chief Analyst and CMO of CCS Insight, the iPhone 13 Pro is a highly viable option due to Apple’s excellent software support, which typically extends to five generations of iOS features. He also notes that battery deterioration and broken screens are usually the most significant challenges for users, but these can be addressed by replacing the battery or screen to extend the lifespan of the device.

If you’re undecided about whether to upgrade to the iPhone 14, you can check out our comprehensive comparison of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 to help you determine which model best suits your needs.