Best phones in 2021: The top smartphones rated

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The top phones provide everything you would expect from a device. They offer top-quality cameras, the power that you require to multitask and have enough battery life to last for the entire day. There are plenty of choices at all prices it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to purchase a top-quality device. If you’re looking for iPhone or Android There’s a solution to suit your needs.

When looking to purchase a new smartphone, certain individuals might want the largest display they can get together with the most sophisticated specifications. Others prefer a sturdy mid-range smartphone that provides all the essentials but doesn’t feel low-end. In order to help you select the ideal smartphone, we have tested a variety of smartphones in the lab as well as in the real world, to provide you detailed reviews and recommendations that you can make sure you trust.

The top Android phones

For less than $400, most phones for the price.

How can I transfer contacts and other data to and from Android to iPhone

The top phones list on our list has many options for all types of users with great deals for phones priced between $500 and less than $300. We’ve put them in order of the best phones using our tests. The top smartphones are listed below at the moment.

What are the top phone models?

Based on our tests on the latest iPhone 13 Pro Max is the top phone that you can buy. It has a 120Hz ProMotion display and the top cameras on phones. It also has a brand New macro feature, Cinematic modes for recording, and sharper pictures even in dim light. Additionally, you can enjoy more than twelve hours of battery life during our tests. iPhone 13 Pro is great for those who prefer a smaller 6.1-inch display since it comes with all the features.

The basic iPhone 13 is the best phone under 800 dollars since it has a larger screen over those on the iPhone 12 and improved wide and ultra-wide cameras that are one leap above Android phones. You also get blazing performance with The A15 Bionic processor and long battery life.

If you’re a fan of Android and want to use the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most powerful Android phone to buy because of its powerful cameras and long battery life. stunning 120Hz dynamic display along with S Pen support. Now when Google has announced that the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are on the market and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens when the new Tensor processor that’s in these phones elevates them to the top of the rankings.

Google already has the best phone, specifically for those who are on a tight budget. Google Pixel 5a is a great option for those on slashed budgets. Google Pixel 5a offers an excellent camera for under $500. Its Moto G Power camera is an excellent value as it comes with the longest battery life you can find on the market.

The top phones to purchase today

The best phone in general


Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2778 x 1284)

CPU: A15 Bionic


Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 1TB / No

Rear camera Rear camera: 12MP main (f/1.5) and 12MP ultrawide (f/1.8) and 12MP Telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x zoom.

Front camera 12MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 8.5 ounces

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 12:16

Reasons to buy

+Best-in-class cameras+120Hz ProMotion display+Superior performance

The reasons to stay clear of

The charging time could be faster if you use the No Touch ID

The iPhone 13 Pro Max earns the title of the best phone due to a variety of major improvements. This includes a brand-new 6.7-inch ProMotion display that scales up to 120Hz, allowing for silky smooth animations, amazing performance thanks to an A15 Bionic chip and a battery with an amazing endurance of 12 hours on our web surfing test.

The cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro Max are top of the line due to the upgraded sensors that let more light in and a brand new photographic styles option that allows you to alter the appearance of your photos. However, the most impressive camera features include a brand new macro mode that allows you to capture amazing close-ups as well as the Cinematic mode with a video that creates stunning bokeh effects with automatic focusing between-subject.

The charging process could be speedier. However, in general, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best smartphone in its class.

Read our complete iPhone 13 Pro Max review.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung’s best phone


Display: 6.8-inch OLED (3200×1400; 10-120Hz)

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB, 16GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear camera: wide 108MP (f/1.8) Ultra wide 12MP (f/2.2) 10MP Telephoto (3x zoom f/2.4) 10, 10MP Telephoto (10x zoom ), f/4.9) Laser AF sensor

Front camera Front camera: 40MP (f/2.2)

Weight: 8.08 oz

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 11:25

Reasons to buy

+ Dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED display with dual lenses for telephotos and S Pen support

There are reasons to avoid

There is no charger in the box. It does not have a microSD card slot

Its Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a premium big-screen smartphone, with a vibrant 6.8-inch AMOLED screen that can scale between 10Hz and 120Hz for extremely smooth performance. The most impressive characteristic is that it has dual cameras that offer 10x and 3x optical zoom and the ability to space Zoom up to 100x using the innovative Zoom Lock option. The overall quality of the camera has been upgraded, too with more appealing portraits and sharper images when using Night mode.

Its S21 Ultra also excels at recording video thanks to a brand Director’s view mode that allows you to record with both cameras simultaneously. Other notable features include the quick performance thanks to the Snapdragon 888 processor and an extended battery life thanks to the battery’s 5,000 mAh capacity which is why you can see the S21 Ultra lasted nearly 11.5 hours of web surfing on our test. This Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn’t include an in-box charger or a MicroSD slot, but it’s the top Android phone that you can purchase.

Galaxy S21 Ultra Galaxy S21 Ultra won a highly acclaimed award.

Check out our complete Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review.

The most efficient phone for your price


Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2532 x 1170)

CPU: A15 Bionic


Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear cameras include 12MP main (f/1.6) and 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4)

Front camera 12MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 6.1 ounces

The battery life (Hrs: Mins) 10:33

Reasons to buy

Cameras that are top of the line + A15 Bionic surpasses Android phones and brighter display, and long battery life.

The reasons to stay clear of

The charging speed could be improved-No Zoom or telephoto. 120Hz screen

The top phone for the price The iPhone 13 delivers a fantastic camera experience with a compact design. The main camera is able to gather more light, while the Ultra-wide Camera records much more detail of the surroundings. The Cinematic Mode for videos offers Hollywood-style clarity of focus on your video thanks to the strong newly developed A15 Bionic processor.

The other highlights are a larger 6.1-inch display, and an enlarger notch at the top, which means you have greater screen space. The most notable improvement in battery life is the increased battery capacity that we experienced around 10.5 hours of runtime this is an increase by more than 1.5 hours over iPhone 12. iPhone 12. With a base 128GB storage capacity for $799 and you’ll never make a mistake with this iPhone.

Read our complete iPhone 13 review.

The camera phone with the best price.


Display: 6.43 -inch OLED (2400 x 1800)

CPU: Snapdragon 765G


Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No

Rear camera: 12.2MP (f/1.7), 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide

Front camera 8 megapixel (f/2.0)

Weigh: 6.5 ounces

The battery life (Hrs:Mins) 9:45

Reasons to buy

Amazing cameras, big, bright display, and IP67 water resistance

The reasons to stay clear of

The same chipset is used in Pixel 4a. 5G, but limited in the U.S. and Japan

It’s the Google Pixel 5a is the most affordable phone under $500 that you can purchase currently since it boasts the highest quality photography you can get on a mid-range phone. If you’re not looking to spend a fortune on a flagship phone The Pixel 5a is the best option, especially for those who love Android.

The Pixel 5a Google has added an additional rear lens to its budget phone an ultrawide 16MP camera to supplement that 12.2MP primary camera. This increases the Pixel 5a’s range of options over earlier models and the phone continues to make use of Google’s experience in computational photography. The display of the Pixel 5a is large and bright and it comes with IP67 water resistance, something that was not present in previous A-series models.

The price is 100 more to purchase the Pixel 5a than Pixel 4a’s bargain-basement price However, Google has included 5G connectivity and an upgraded processor to the model. (The Pixel 5a costs $50 less than the Pixel 4a, which was 5G-enabled.) Users who are looking for performance may want to wait for the more robust Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro when they arrive in October. 28. As we test those two phones and it’s the Pixel 5a remains the best phone Google can offer.

Check out our complete Google Pixel 5a review.

A powerful flagship that has an excellent battery life


Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2532 x 1170)

CPU: A15 Bionic


Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No

Rear cameras include 12MP main (f/1.5) Ultrawide 12MP (f/1.8) and 12MP Telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x zoom.

Front camera 12MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 7.2 ounces

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 11:42

Reasons to buy

+Fast A15 Bionic performance+Stellar cameras+Long battery life

The reasons to stay clear of

The charging process is a bit slow.

If you’re looking for the performance from ProMax’s iPhone 13 Pro Max in smaller size The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro is the perfect handset for your needs. The flagship comes with great features and features like its larger sibling and comes with a 3x telephoto zoom camera. ProMotion at 120Hz and the ability to play ProRes videos.

The iPhone 13 Pro also benefits from a longer battery lifespan, because the iPhone was able to last for more than 11 hours during our battery test for web surfing. It’s just that we wish charging speed was more efficient. With a bigger display, a smooth Cinematic Mode for Video, and stunning new macro photography, and you’ve got a fantastic all-around phone.

Check out our complete iPhone 13 Pro review

A fantastic value for money.


Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3168 x 1440; 1-120Hz)

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 8GB, 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear camera Wide 48MP (f/1.8) Ultrawide 50MP (f/2.2) 8MP telephoto that has three times optical (f/2.4) 2MP monochrome

Camera in front 16MP (f/2.4)

Weigh: 6.95 ounces

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 10:40

Reasons to buy

+ Beautiful 120Hz display + Crazy wireless and wired charging speeds and amazing cameras

The reasons to stay clear of

The morning Mist model is extremely slippery. Nightscape photographs are not consistent

The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with the most powerful cameras ever to be available on the OnePlus phone. With the assistance of camera specialist Hasselblad, it is a camera phone that has been designed by Hasselblad. OnePlus 9 features an excellent range of lenses that can provide accurate color and images that are comparable to those you can get from top cameras like the one you see in the images in this OnePlus 9 Pro camera face-off.

Other features are available beyond the cameras, making the OnePlus 9 Pro a great rival against Galaxy S21 Ultra. Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has a display that is an adjustable refresh rate that can be adjusted dynamically that can be set between 1 to 120Hz. This helps extend the battery life, considering that you can see that the OnePlus 9 Pro lasted more than 10.5 hours in testing its battery. OnePlus WarpCharge 65T tech means that your phone will be fully charged in just a little over 30 minutes. Add a Snapdragon 888 processor, and plenty of RAM and you’ve got one of the most efficient Android phones on the market.

The OnePlus 9 Pro won a highly praised award.

Check out our complete OnePlus 9 Pro review.

A Samsung flagship that costs less than $800.


Display: 6.2-inch OLED (2400×1080; 48-120Hz)

CPU: Snapdragon 888


Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear camera 12-megapixel (f/1.8) wide 12-megapixel (f/2.2) ultrawide 64MP (f/2.0) Telephoto lens that has 3x optical zoom

Front camera 10MP (f/2.2)

Weight: 6.07 oz

The battery life (Hrs: Mins) 9:54

Reasons to buy

+Excellent dynamic 120Hz display+Powerful performance+Refined design

The reasons to stay clear of

No charger or microSD card slot-Plastic back

If you’re in search of an impressive flagship phone at a reasonable cost it’s this Samsung Galaxy S21 is one of the top phone choices available. The S21 is a fantastic first impression with its stylish contour-cut camera design that blends the camera with its back phone. The cameras themselves are impressive also, with enhanced portraits as well as a brand brand new Zoom Lock feature that lets you achieve better results with up to 30x zoom.

It’s true that the Galaxy S21 makes some trade-offs in exchange for the $799 price tag. There’s no charger in the box or an SD card slot, and the back of the phone is made of plastic and not glass. However, this Samsung phone compensates for these shortcomings with a hefty performance thanks to its Snapdragon 888 processor and a bigger fingerprint sensor to make it easier to unlock and fun features such as Single Take 2.0 to take videos and photos at the same time.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

The most excellent Samsung bargain


Display: 6.5-inch OLED (2400×1080)

CPU: Snapdragon 865


Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes

Rear camera: Triple lens: Main camera 12MP (f/1.8) and 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2) 8MP telephoto that has three times zoom (f/2.4)

Front camera 32MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 6.7 ounces

The battery life (Hrs: Mins) 9:03.

Reasons to buy

+Big 120Hz display+Affordable price+Solid performance

The reasons to stay clear of

The battery life is a bit less than expected. The fast charger costs more

There’s no need to spend more than $1000 to enjoy the advantages that come with Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup. The price of $699 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE keeps the top features of Samsung’s flagships with just small compromises, making it one of the top smartphones for the price. (That’s particularly true if are able to get the S20 F for a price cut from its normal cost now since Samsung’s S21 models are on sale.)

The Galaxy S20 FE delivers a huge 6.5-inch display that has smooth 120Hz refresh 5G connectivity, and speedy Snapdragon 865 processing. We are really impressed by the triple camera feature on this handset, which features an impressive 3x optical zoom as well as a stunning 30x zoom for space.

It’s going to be an aluminum back rather than glass, and a slower charging speed than the standard Galaxy S20, but these sacrifices are worth the cost. It’s one of the Galaxy S20 models to get If you’re looking for premium features, but not the cost of the others flagship smartphones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The top phone with an adjustable screen that folds


Display Inside: 7.6 inch OLED (2208 1768 pixels 120Hz) The exterior display is 6.2 inches (2268 832 pixels 120Hz)

CPU: Snapdragon 888


Storage / Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear camera Rear camera: Wide 12 MP (f/1.8) 12, 12-MP ultrawide (f/2.2) 12MP Telephoto (f/2.4)

Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2), 4MP under-display (f/1.8)

Weigh: 9.55 ounces

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 7 52 (60Hz) 6: 35 (120Hz)

Reasons to buy

+More durable, water-resistant design+Dual 120Hz displays+Improved multitasking

There are reasons to stay away from

The S Pen isn’t included.

Samsung continues to work on making folding phones that appeal to consumers of all ages which is why this Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an important step in this direction. Although $1,799 is still quite a bit to shell out for the phone, it’s less than the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s launch price. It’s also more durable than ever thanks to IPX8 water resistance ratings, Armor Aluminum Frame, and Gorilla Glass Victus display.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Galaxy Z Fold 3 also includes new features, such as displays that have high refresh speeds of 120Hz (both out and inside) as well as an under-display camera that’s on the inside screen, along with S Pen support. This latter feature is not available, however, which means you’ll have to pay an additional fee to get the S Pen.

More apps than ever are compatible with this phone Galaxy Z Fold, so most likely, applications you use every day can benefit from the phone’s capabilities for multitasking. This Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t for anyone, but it’s definitely the best folding phone Samsung has launched to date.

Check out our complete Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.

A better price for the same price.


Display: 6.1-inch LCD (1792×828)

CPU: A13 Bionic


Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear camera: 12MP wide (f/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4) / 12MP

Front camera 12MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 6.84 ounces

The battery life (Hrs:Mins) 11:20

Reasons to buy

Fantastic photos, particularly with Night Mode, Fast A13 Bionic CPU, and Long battery life

The reasons to stay clear of

There is no fast charger included. You will need 64GB of space to get started

At a price of just 499 dollars, The iPhone 11 offers amazingly good low-light images with the Night Mode and an ultra-wide lens feature that allows you to include more subjects or scenes with its 120-degree view. Selfies are upgraded to a high-quality version also, with an improved 12-megapixel camera that shifts to a larger view when you change the phone into landscape mode.

The 6.1-inch LCD screen on iPhone 11 isn’t OLED-great, similar to what you get with the latest iPhone 12, but it’s vibrant and bright. A powerful A13 Bionic processor, an extended battery life, and the selection of six different colors establish this iPhone 11 as a winner. It’s also a great deal when you consider the iPhone 13’s launch triggering another price cut of $100 for this phone.

Read our complete iPhone 11 review

The phone with the longest battery life


Display: 6.6-inch LCD (1600×720)

CPU: Snapdragon 662


Storage / Expandable: 32GB, 64GB / No

Rear camera: 48MP main (f/1.7); 2MP macro (f/2.4); 2MP depth (f/2.4)

Front camera 8MP (f/2.0)

Weight: 7.3 oz

The battery life (Hrs:Mins) 14:04.

Reasons to buy

All-day battery life and Low price. the sub-$200 model.

The reasons to stay clear of

There is only the one Android software update

If you’re looking for a lasting phone, you should consider any of the Motorola Moto G Power models. The 2021 model of this budget phone, which has a capacity of 5,000 mAh to give a 14-hour performance in Our battery testing. That puts it in the Moto G Power (2021) close to in the middle of our rankings of the most battery-life-friendly phone as well as last year’s model.

The Moto G Power, it’s more than an enormous battery. The camera quality is decent for a phone that is budget-friendly and even with a lens that is macro. Also, Motorola has a new version for those who don’t mind having less RAM and storage. The 3GB/32GB model is priced at $199, and the 4GB/64GB model comes with the familiar $249 price tag.

Read our complete Moto G Power (2021) review.

The most affordable iPhone you can purchase


Display: 4.7-inch LCD (1334×750)

CPU: A13 Bionic


Storage/Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear camera 12-megapixel wide (f/1.8)

Front camera 7MP (f/2.2)

The weight is 5.22 ounces

Life of the battery (Hrs: Mins) 9:18

Reasons to buy

Affordable price + Fast A13 Bionic performance + Very excellent cameras

There are reasons to avoid

-Big bezels-No Night mode

It’s not necessary to shell out large sums of money to own one of the Apple phones. It’s the iPhone SE. iPhone SE brings just about everything you love about Apple’s products, but with less than $399. It’s $300 less expensive than iPhone 12 mini, and $50 less than iPhone 12 mini, and $50 less than Google’s Pixel 5a.

It’s an older, more traditional iPhone 8 design with prominent bezels around the screen. However, those who prefer phones with smaller dimensions will appreciate the iPhone SE’s compact size, as well as the feature that it’s powered by the A13 Bionic processor that is capable of outperforming larger and more expensive Android phones. The camera on the rear of the iPhone SE is a great lens for photography. iPhone SE also delivers great photographs and is due in large part to Apple’s superb computational photography.

Check out the full iPhone SE reviews.

What is the best smartphone for you?

Android and iPhone? Android phones offer more options in terms of price size, design, and sizes. But, iPhones offer speedier software updates, more games, and apps, as well as better safety and protection. Take a look at our iPhone comparison with the Android contest.

Unlocked or with a carrier? The majority of consumers within the U.S. buy new phones through their wireless carriers. Unlocked phones give you the option of purchasing the device with no type of contract, and then taking it to the company you wish to work with.

The screen size is For those looking to buy a phone that is big with a screen size of 6 inches or greater, then 6 inches is a good point to begin. The largest phones range from 6.5 up to 6.8 inches. If you’re looking for something that can use easily with just one hand, choose one of the most compact phones that have screens under 6 inches.

CamerasDon’t look at the number of megapixels. Instead, check out the camera faces of phones to assess the quality of the photos and search for features such as Night Mode to get better quality photos in low-light conditions. Also, check out our best photography phone reviews.

Life of the battery: Generally, phones with larger batteries (measured in mAh) provide the longest battery life however, that’s not always the scenario. This is why we conduct the battery tests ourselves.

How do we test smartphones?

For a smartphone to make our top smartphone list, it must be able to pass the tests we test on every phone. We run a few tests in our labs, and others out in real life.

In terms of performance, we use benchmarks that are synthetic like Geekbench 5, and GFXBench to gauge the graphics performance. These tests enable us to examine the performance of iPhones in addition to Android devices. We also perform a live video transcoding test on every smartphone using an application called Adobe Premiere Rush app and test the result and.

To gauge the display quality on a smartphone’s display, we run tests on the bench to measure its brightness screen (in Nits) and how vibrant each display is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these instances high numbers are superior. We also assess the color accuracy of each panel using the Delta-E rating. smaller numbers are more accurate and scores of 0 are considered perfect.

The most important tests we conduct include our Tom’s Guide Battery test. We perform a Web surfing test on either 4G or 5G with 150 nits of light intensity until the phone runs out. A phone with a battery life of 10 hours or longer is considered to be good and anything that goes over 11 hours ranks on our list of the top battery-life phones.

Then lastly, we take the most effective phones out into the field to shoot photographs outdoors, indoors, as well as at night in dim light conditions to assess how they fare compared to their closest rivals. We capture landscapes as well as food, portraits, and much more. We also let you decide for yourself with side-by-side analysis in the reviews.

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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor-in-chief for Tom’s Guide and has covered technology for more than 20 years. In addition to managing the direction of Tom’s Guide, Mark specializes in covering everything mobile and has examined a variety of smartphones and other devices. He has been a speaker at important events in the industry and is frequently on TV for discussions on the most recent developments. Mark was the editor-in-chief of Laptop Mag, and his writing has appeared within Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.




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