Best phones in 2023 Leave a comment

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So far in 2023, we’ve had quite a few devices come to market, with OnePlus regaining lost mojo while Google continues on the new path its discovered. And while each new device offers great hardware, a select few — some from 2023 and others from the past years — are standouts due to the sheer value they bring to the table.

Here we take a deep dive into what each of the best phones on the market offer to help you pick the right one for your lifestyle.

Best Phone for Most: Apple iPhone 13

iPhone 13 mini in Pink next to iPhone 13 in White

The device we’ve chosen as the Best for Most is the iPhone 13. While the device is worthy of the title for a multitude of reasons, the main factors that make it worth buying are its similarity to the brand-new iPhone 14 and the fact that it costs $100 less. The price also puts it in a more accessible place and the ideal choice if planning for an outright purchase rather than signing onto a contract.


Its dual camera system, 6.1-inch OLED display, and A15 Bionic processor are all components that aren’t out of place in 2023, and will ensure you have a great experience. Also, since the device has been in market for over a year now, there’s a chance that many of its supported accessories, including the best cases for iPhone 13 will be discounted.

iPhone 13 in Black

Apple iPhone 13

Best Phone for Most

The iPhone 13 is the default smartphone from Apple for 2021. If you’re looking for an experience that remains fast and fluid over years to come and not lacking on any hardware front, this is the device to get.

Alternate: OnePlus 11

op11pbi Background Removed

OnePlus 11

A High Value Alternate

Featuring a large 6.7-inch AMOLED LTPO 3.0 display and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the OnePlus 11 is one of the best Android flagships you can buy right now. It also comes with a Hasselblad- tuned camera system and a big 5,000 mAh battery that supports fast charging. 

Best Flagship Phone: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro Back Panel

Last on the list is the iPhone 14 Pro, which in our opinion is the best flagship phone to buy at this point in time. It is awarded this title, not because it’s the best in one particular aspect but rather because of the all-round polished experience it offers. Its 6.1-inch OLED display is one of the most pleasing to see and use, and its 2000 nits peak brightness is unmatched. The A16 Bionic processor also seamlessly handles all the tasks you may throw at the phone, with battery endurance being acceptable.

As for the cameras, the sensors here show the biggest change Apple has made in a long time, and while images that you’d normally take are great, utilizing ProRAW to the best of its ability will vastly improve the end result. All in all, each of these elements ties into each other and makes this the option we’d recommend to buyers without much thought.


iPhone 14 Pro

Best Flagship Phone

iPhone 14 Pro is the latest premium smartphone from the brand. It features a new pill-shaped ‘Dynamic Island’ notch, 48MP primary camera sensors, an A16 Bionic chipset, and much more.

Best Mid-range Phone: Google Pixel 7

LI Google Pixel 7 display front

Google Pixel 7

The Google Pixel 7, with its highly competitive retail price of $599, continues where the Google Pixel 6 stopped last year, bringing an even better combination of AI smarts and hardware to market.

Its display features a more compact 6.3-inch panel, and its cameras — 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultra-wide — are improved versions of the sensors seen previously. The Tensor G2 packaged inside the device is also a fair option that doesn’t hugely compromise on performance.

But what makes this smartphone perfect are the software tools Google has deployed, be it the photo editing methods or the Assistant-based call screening feature. Each element on the phones ties into a nicely bundled offering that will make life convenient if set up properly.

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

Best Mid-range Phone

The new Google Pixel 7 is powered by the all-new Google Tensor G2 chipset. The device is coupled with 8GB of memory, and it has 128/256GB storage tiers. The phone comes with a significantly improved camera system, and it’s more portable than the last generation.  The Pixel 7 is available in Obsidian, Lemongrass, and Snow colors. 

Best Camera Phone: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Pixel 7 Pro Camera
Source: Google via YouTube

While the Pixel 7 is the best mid-range option on this list, if you’re looking for a more premium experience with even better camera performance, the Pixel 7 Pro is the undisputed king. It adds a 48-megapixel telephoto lens to the dual camera setup seen on the Pixel 7, bringing a lot more versatility to your hands.

On top of its camera and software smarts, the Google Pixel 7 Pro has a 6.7-inch QHD+ curved display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and a very premium look. Its battery endurance, sustained by a 5,000 mAh cell is one of the best on the market too (but pairing one of the best USB-C chargers will come in handy), allowing you to go out and about capturing images for long periods of time.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best Camera Phone

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, powered by the new Google Pixel Tensor sensor, provides great graphics performance and computing power to let you easily play all of your favorite games and multitask. The device also has a highly capable camera setup that’s backed by a unique post-processing algorithm that helps achieve great results.

Best Battery Endurance: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max 08

In the last few years, if it’s endurance that you were looking for in a traditional smartphone, the iPhone has consistently topped the charts. And in 2023, the iPhone 14 Pro Max achieved the feat again, despite struggling to meet the standard set by the previous model. Its large battery, combined with the powerful-yet-efficient A16 Bionic is the perfect recipe for a device that’s there when you need it, be it for a long day outside the house or a long one inside during a power outage. This will be a no-frills purchase.

Other notable hardware on the device is its 6.7-inch OLED display, which can achieve a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, and the triple camera system on the back that will help capture precious moments.


iPhone 14 Pro Max

Best Battery Endurance

iPhone 14 Pro is the latest large-screen premium smartphone from the brand. It features a new pill-shaped ‘Dynamic Island’ notch, 48MP primary camera sensors, an A16 Bionic chipset, and much more. 

Best Phone for Productivity: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

LI Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - 18

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a device that’s by no means one to ignore. While it isn’t the best when it comes to endurance and is pipped out by the Pixel 7 Pro when it comes to camera performance if looking to be productive when on the go or have access to tools that will help you stay on top of tasks, this is the device to consider.

It comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which can handle any task thrown at it, and the support for Samsung Dex means you can quickly move your data onto the larger canvas of a monitor to finish your work.

As a traditional smartphone, it has some glaring advantages over its competition, the embedded stylus being the most glaring advantage, while the incredible zoom optics, and the overall camera setup, make it great for still photography.

PBI Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Phone for Productivity

$450 $1200 Save $750

The new Galaxy S23 Ultra is the go-to flagship from Samsung in 2023. It’s powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, carries the same price tag as its predecessor, and has improved gaming and camera capabilities to let you capture the perfect moment. 

Best Foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 01

For those looking beyond the standard slab format phones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a great pick. Why you may ask? Well, it’s primarily because of the improvements Samsung brought in terms of software when the device launched in 2022, as the Korean OEM hasn’t made large strides when it comes to hardware.

Nevertheless, each subsequent model has been better than the last and the refinement on this one speaks volumes. It’s easier to hold and has a more usable outside screen while being powered by the well-optimized Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

With the Pixel Fold coming to market in June 2023, it’s likely that competition will get interesting, and we can’t wait to see how this best smartphones list will look at the end of the year.

PBI Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Best Foldable

$800 $1800 Save $1000

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor. Trade in your current device and score up to $1,000 in savings on your new phone. 


  • PBI Honor Magic Vs

    Honor Magic Vs

    A Great Alternative

    HONOR Magic Vs is a great foldable smartphone offering some of the finest hardware on the market. So, if you’re looking for a gadget that you can use for several years, it won’t disappoint. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and comes with a capable triple-camera array that captures great images and won’t disappoint, making it a great choice.

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 in Black Product box image

    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

    Great Value Predecessor

    The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is one of the best and coolest foldable phones on the market. It features a large 7.6-inch Infinity Flex display, stunning specs, stylus support, and other great features.

Best Compact Phone: iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 mini from the back angle
Source: Pocketnow Video

Compact phones are becoming more and more difficult to find in the market as the average screen size for smartphones continues to increase. When Apple launched the iPhone 12 mini, it took a gamble that was a welcome change, but poor battery life served as a notable drawback. But its successor, the iPhone 13 mini, fixed this issue and to date, remains the best device to buy if you’re looking for a compact smartphone.

It’s an easy device to use with one hand and has a reasonably sized battery whose endurance is bolstered by the efficient A15 Bionic processor. Its camera hardware isn’t too bad either and is capable of capturing great images without compromising quality.

iPhone 13 mini Red

Apple iPhone 13 Mini

Best Compact Phone

The iPhone 13 mini is a smaller version of the standard iPhone 13. It comes with the same powerful chipset, excellent dual camera on the back, and it has a much improved battery life over the iPhone 12 mini.


PBI Samsung Galaxy S23 Green

Samsung Galaxy S23

Best Compact Android Phone

The Samsung Galaxy S23 enters the market as a leading option for those who want a compact flagship. It ships with the powerful, yet efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and has a triple camera array that’s proven itself to be reliable in any scenario.

Best Compact Foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in hand

While the folding form factor of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is ideal for those who want to do more on the move, it isn’t the most pocketable device. For that, you need to turn your attention to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

In North America, this is the folding smartphone to get if you’re looking for a compact solution with an element of style. You can even pair it with the best cases or protective covers to change up the look and feel. If you’re based in a different region, you can also consider buying the OPPO Find N2 Flip. The device outdoes the Z Flip 4 in some ways and might offer more value for some.

Samsung Flip 4 PBI

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Best Compact Foldable

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with a 6.7-inch AMOLED foldable display, a 1.9-inch cover screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, dual-12MP cameras, and much more.


OPPO Find N2 Flip PBI

Oppo Find N2 Flip

Another Great Compact Foldable

OPPO Find N2 is the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 competitor on the market. It features a big 3.26-inch cover display, a large 6.8-inch main display, dual-camera setup with a 50MP primary camera, a 4,300 mAh battery with support for 44W USB-C charging, and more.

Best Budget Phone: Google Pixel 7a

Pixel 7a Camera Island and G Logo-1
Aryan Surendranath / Pocketnow

The Google Pixel 7a is the ideal choice for those looking to get a lot of value for their money. For $500, it offers nearly everything its pricier sibling, the Pixel 7, is known for! Be it the compact screen or the software wizardry that Google bundles into its devices. We said in our Pixel 7a review that the cutbacks Google has made to reach this price are ideal and hence, earn this device the title of the Best Budget phone at the moment.

PBI Pixel 7a Sea Blue

Google Pixel 7a

Best Budget Phone

$450 $500 Save $50

The Pixel 7a is the new affordable smartphone from Google, featuring much-awaited features such as a 90Hz responsive display, a more powerful camera setup, and support for wireless charging. The Pixel 7a is powered by the Tensor G2 chipset, and it’s the best device in the A series yet.

Alternate: Samsung Galaxy A54

PBI Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Great Budget Alternative

The new Samsung Galaxy A54 5G comes with a two-day battery life, an excellent triple camera setup, and support for 25W fast charging, It has a compact design and a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display and a microSD expansion slot to store your apps and photos.

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