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Best smartphones 2023: The best phones we’ve tested this year

Trusted Reviews recommends the very best mobile phones available now on Android and iOS, including the top options for photos, battery life and gaming

It’s important to get your smartphone purchase right. Nobody wants a phone that can’t last a full day on a single charge, or takes unflattering photos of your friends and family. That’s why we’ve decided to help out, compiling a list of the best smartphones that we’ve reviewed in recent months.

Our team of experts review phones by the truckload each year, making sure to include a variety of options from budget-friendly picks to those with cutting-edge features and blazing-fast performance.

We have a thorough testing process for smartphones, which includes conducting benchmark tests, draining the battery, watching video, as well as day-to-day use. Those that impress and earn at least a 4-star rating (out of 5) are considered for this best smartphones list.

We’ve also made sure to include a variety of smartphone options, just in case you crave a specific high-end feature such as a top-notch camera or game-ready performance. We’ve also included both iPhones and Android options, just in case you’re committed to an operating system.

We also have curated other best lists if you’re looking for something a little more specific. Our best camera phone round-up focuses on a device’s photographic and videography skills and our best gaming phone list focuses on those that excel at on-the-go gaming. And if you’re more concerned about cost, then check out our best cheap phone and best mid-range phone lists, which focus solely on more affordable options.

Which is the best smartphone 2023?

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

Every phone included in the below list has been properly tested and used for an extended period by one of our product experts. We don’t review phones based purely on specs or a manufacturer’s claims – we use them as our everyday devices for at least five days and usually for much longer. 

If you read a phone review on Trusted Reviews, you’ll know the reviewer has popped their personal SIM card into the phone, transferred across their most-used apps and even their backlog of WhatsApp messages. We go all in, so you know you’re getting an honest view of a product.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks. We believe this gives the most rounded view of a device. The scores a phone receives from a run under our professional colourimeters aren’t worth much if the screen can’t be used comfortably on a sunny day.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best flagship Android phone
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  • 200MP camera delivers in both well-lit and low-light conditions
  • Top-notch performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • All-day battery life
  • Stunningly detailed 6.8in 120Hz display


  • Very expensive
  • Relatively slow 45W charging
  • Difficult to use one-handed

Samsung’s 2023 flagship is here in the form of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it has taken the top spot in our list of the best phones you can buy right now. Our expert reviewer felt that while the phone is certainly big, it shines thanks to an unmatched camera, stunning display, an included S Pen and very good battery life.

The star of the show, and the biggest upgrade over the outgoing S22 Ultra, is the new 200MP main rear camera. The snaps our expert tester pulled out of this phone show clear improvements over the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro, with swathes of detail in all manner of conditions. Low-light performance is sublime, with our reviewer claiming it gave him extra confidence to pull off any shot he wanted.

Battery life was a bit of a concern with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, falling below the iPhone 14 Pro Max by a considerable margin. We were much more impressed with the S23 Ultra, having no issues getting through a busy day with over 20% left when it came to bedtime. With the physical battery being the same as before, a lot of this optimisation will come down to the next chip. For the first time in a number of years, Samsung is using the same chipset worldwide – ensuring everyone gets the same feature set.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy performs well, even if it’s not quite as quick in benchmark tests as the iPhone 14 Pro series. Still, we had no qualms and it ran intensive games and apps with ease.

Elsewhere the phone remains similar to its predecessor, which is no bad thing. It’s large (which might put some off), with a gorgeous 120Hz display complete with S Pen support for quick doodles and notes. 

Of course, one of the big things holding the S23 Ultra back is the price. If you want a slightly cheaper – but still very capable – Android superphone then the outgoing Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains an admirable performer if you can find it at a heavy discount. There’s also the more modest Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus – although these do miss out on the big camera upgrades and S Pen support.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Buy now

iPhone 14 Pro

The best iPhone
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  • Great screen that gets very bright outdoors
  • Versatile camera system for both photography and videography
  • Always-on display and Dynamic Island are both neat tricks
  • Additional safety features are always welcome


  • Not the quickest to charge
  • Zoom photography isn’t on the level of the competition
  • Only really a day of battery life

If you’re looking for a true flagship phone and want iOS, as opposed to Android, you’re going to be looking at the iPhone 14 Pro – the current best iPhone on the market.

For the first time, the Pro model of the iPhone 14 line feels like a true step forward over the modest iPhone 14. This is where the true innovations lie, from the clever Dynamic Island that finally makes sense of the notch to the first always-on display on an iPhone.

The Dynamic Island caught the eye when the iPhone 14 Pro was first announced, not least because of the slightly silly name. In practice it works very well, turning the notch into a sort of secondary interaction zone where your currently playing song and timers go. The functionality will only improve once the developers have access to it and I am sure we will see something similar from Android makers in the coming months.

The camera is another big upgrade. Like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the majority of Android phones on this list, the camera uses the high megapixel (in this case 48-megapixels) sensor to combine multiple pixels into one, giving you 12-megapixel images. The results are mostly great and, some oversharpening aside, stand out as the best pictures from any smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best choice for zoom though, and we still think the Pixel 6 Pro captures more natural and realistic skin tones.

When it comes to video the iPhone is the true star though, easily capturing the finest footage on test. Add in the new Action Mode that improves stabilisation and you’ve got the best phone for videography we’ve tested.

The screen is also the brightest and best we’ve tested, while the performance skills here are comfortably above the Android competition. Battery life is good too, though the charging speeds pale in comparison to phones from Oppo, OnePlus and Xiaomi.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

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Google Pixel 7 Pro

The best software
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  • Excellent camera and loads of clever camera tricks
  • The best version of Android on the market
  • Priced well for the European market


  • Charging could, and should, be faster
  • Very glossy finish and some odd design elements
  • Not a huge upgrade on the Pixel 6 Pro

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is a fantastic Android phone that undercuts rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra when it comes to price, without ditching too many features.

Google’s latest flagship, launched alongside a smaller Pixel 7 model, ticks just about all the boxes our reviewers look for in a phone that ends up on this list. It has a great screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, a sleek design, capable internals thanks to the Tensor G2 and battery life that matches up to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus.

But there are really two areas where the Pixel 7 Pro stands out. First of all – the camera. Our reviewer was very impressed with the photography skills of this phone, praising its true-to-life skin tones, colours and landscape reproduction. It handles skin and pictures of faces better than the iPhone 14 Pro, or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

There are lots of software tricks in the camera app too, many utilising the AI skills of the Tensor G2 chipset. You can remove unwanted elements from snaps, be it people or objects, and smooth out blurry shots.

The rest of the phone’s software is great too. It’s not as buggy as previous Pixel phones and feels clean, smooth and quick to use.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel 7 Pro Review

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iPhone 14 Pro Max

The best big iPhone
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  • Stunning display
  • Performance that should stay fast for a long time
  • Reliable cameras in all conditions
  • Long battery life
  • Dynamic island is a great idea


  • No big zoom camera improvements
  • Uncomfy design without a case

If you’re looking for an iPhone that not just gets everything done but also offers you a lovely big screen to enjoy as well, then your best bet would be the iPhone 14 Pro Max. With this 6.7-inch OLED display, we found especially that HDR-supported content from the likes of Netflix or Disney Plus looked simply brilliant on this panel, which also gives so much more space to get immersed in your games.

Of course, with such a big screen then you’ll have to be ready to handle this handset’s bulkier profile as well, and it measures a healthy 240g which is far from featherweight.

This device has far more to offer than just its large screen. The camera is both brilliant and versatile, with three lenses on the rear, and it’s powerful too thanks to its muscular new A16 Bionic chipset. What’s more, the battery life is very generous too, making this device the excellent all-rounder that it should be for the price.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: iPhone 14 Pro Max Review

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Xiaomi 13 Pro

The best big Android
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  • Premium, high-end design
  • Top-end 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Capable triple 50MP camera offering
  • Rapid 120W fast charging tech


  • MIUI 14 takes a lot of getting used to
  • Not as capable in low-light as competitors with a 1-inch sensor
  • Plenty of pre-installed apps

While the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra technically has the largest display of any phone in this list, it’s made to feel even larger by its boxy design. So much so, in fact, that it’s pretty hard to use one-handed. That’s where the Xiaomi 13 Pro comes in, measuring in at a smidge less at 6.78 inches but with a curvy design that makes it comfortable to hold and use.

It’s not just simply a large display either; it’s an AMOLED panel packed with premium specs including a WQHD+ resolution, LTPO support that allows it to drop down to just 1Hz to save battery life, along with support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision with the display maxing out at a retina-burning 1900nits when watching the latter.

With all that said, it should come as no surprise that content, especially HDR content, looked absolutely stunning on the Xiaomi 13 Pro, coupled with the vivid colours, deep blacks and excellent contrast on offer from AMOLED panels.

It’s not just a good phone for watching movies on Netflix though; this is Xiaomi’s flagship and its specs reflect this, including a huge 1-inch sensor powering the main rear-facing 50MP camera that delivers truly impressive photography. That’s coupld with one of the best 50MP 3x telephoto lenses we’ve ever seen, delivering DSLR-level bokeh effects for both portraits and close-ups, and a 50MP ultra-wide too.

There’s also top-notch performance from the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a 5000mAh battery with rapid 120W charging that’ll go from flat to full in 24 minutes as well as 50W wireless charging support.

The only real let-down is Xiaomi’s MIUI 14. It’s not a bad skin – not as bad as it used to be, anyway – but it does come with a notable level of bloatware ranging from the handy (like Spotify) to the downright random (like QEEQ car rental) and UI quirks will take some getting used to too.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Xiaomi 13 Pro Review

OnePlus 11

The best value
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  • Stunning 6.7in AMOLED display
  • Solid flagship performance
  • Great rear camera performance
  • All-day battery life


  • No wireless charging
  • Basic selfie camera setup

OnePlus smartphones have been fine, but not particularly exceptional, over the past few years. However, that’s certainly not the case with this year’s OnePlus 11.

The Android flagship offers a competitive range of features at a cheaper price than many rivals featured in this chart starting at just £729. That includes the 6.7in AMOLED display with adaptive refresh rate tech that lets it go as high as 120Hz and as low as 1Hz to provide a buttery-smooth experience that doesn’t come at the sacrifice of battery life. It also boasts support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and the slight curvature to the edges helps it sit comfortably in the hand.

It’s more than just a great display though. It boasts Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with impressive CPU and GPU performance, a 5,000mAh battery that’ll last all day and then some and 100W SuperVOOC charging that’ll get you from flat to full in less than half an hour. There’s also the benefit of the highly customisable OxygenOS 13, along with OnePlus’ promise of four years of OS upgrades and five years of security updates.

That’s all great but it’s the camera offering that truly stands out. The 50MP main rear snapper is a capable bit of kit able to capture detailed, vibrant images both during the day and at night. In fact, there have been massive gains in low-light photography compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro. Camera tuning is also much better, with a consistent colour pallet across all three rear lenses.

It’s not the perfect phone, lacking popular features like wireless charging and an official IP rating, but it offers one of the best all-round experiences at a price point cheaper than many rivals, making it an easy recommendation in our books.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: OnePlus 11 review

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

The best phone for gaming
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  • Elite performance
  • Mammoth battery life
  • Loud and booming speakers
  • AirTriggers improve gaming controls


  • Very expensive
  • Too similar to ROG Phone 7

If you want the best possible phone for playing games on the go, then our top recommendation goes to the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

It may not be the most powerful phone (the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra both pip the ROG Phone) but our benchmark tests show it’s still right up there thanks to the inclusion of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. 

It’s the gaming-specific features that really stand out instead, with the AirTriggers allowing you to use and hold the phone like a gamepad, while the Armoury Crate software allows you to display the frame rate and optimise performance settings. There’s a sophisticated cooling system here too, with our tests showing that the ROG Phone 7 can provide a more stable performance than the Galaxy S23 series over extended gaming periods. 

The Ultimate edition here also has an animation panel at the rear of the phone, alerting you to incoming calls, new notifications and the charging status while you’re replenishing the huge 6000mAh battery. 

Costing over £1000/$1000, this is a seriously expensive phone. Those who want a more versatile phone may want to look elsewhere, as the camera quality is mediocre at best. But if you fancy a phone that excels primarily at gaming, there is no better choice than the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate review

Oppo Find N2 Flip

The best clamshell foldable
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  • Most affordable clamshell foldable around
  • Gapless folding mechanism
  • All-day battery life
  • Versatile folding form factor


  • Performance isn’t quite flagship-level
  • Less water resistant than rivals
  • Software needs some tweaks
  • Foldable display can be a fingerprint magnet

The Oppo Find N2 Flip is the latest foldable in the clamshell market, but it’s also the most tempting with a great combination of specs at a lower price than Samsung’s popular Galaxy Z Flip 4.

It starts with a high-end design with small premium touches like the inclusion of a wave-like texture on the spine of the hinge and two gorgeous colour options, the glossy Moonlit Purple and the matte Astral Black. It also closes completely flat unlike Samsung’s option, helping to keep the inner foldable display dust and lint-free.

But for most people it’ll be the large 3.26-inch portrait-orientated outer display that stands out most, dwarfing options from Samsung and Motorola. It offers access to notifications, the time and a range of Oppo-developed widgets to provide quick access to the camera, weather and more, though third-party support is still limited.

Open the phone up and you’ll find a large 6.8-inch foldable OLED panel with a tall, narrow 21:9 aspect ratio. While it boasts premium specs like support for Dolby Vision and a 120Hz refresh rate with LTPO support, it’s the crease – or should we say lack of – that stands out most. It’s the least-visible crease we’ve seen so far, and there’s only a slight bump when you run your finger over it.

Throw in other key specs including the premium (but not quite top-end) MediaTek Dimensity 9000+, a large 4300mAh battery with 45W charging and a decent dual 50MP & 12MP camera setup and you’ve got the best clamshell around at a very tempting price.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Oppo Find N2 Flip review

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The best book-style foldable
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  • Smart UI tweaks
  • Camera no longer an issue
  • The form factor really does work


  • Lack of apps making true use of the big inner screen limits usefulness
  • Crease and thick body remain from the previous iteration
  • Price still puts it out of reach for most

If it’s a book-style foldable phone you want, the best one we’ve reviewed – by some margin – is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. It’s not a monumental upgrade over the outgoing model, but it features a number of smaller tweaks that make it the one to choose.

For instance, the camera is no longer a reason not to buy a foldable phone. The triple sensor array on the back of the Z Fold 4 takes pictures that are on par with the Galaxy S22 Plus – something we couldn’t have said about the Z Fold 3. Our reviewer also found it was hard to tell the difference between daylight snaps shot with the Z Fold 4 and Samsung’s other high-end smartphone, the S22 Ultra.

It’s not a perfect camera though. Low-light performance is good, but not on par with the Pixel 6 Pro, while the iPhone 14 Pro captures more pleasing video. The 3x optical zoom is also merely adequate, and not a patch on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Of course, the real reason to choose this phone over another on this list is the display. There’s a small panel on the outside, but open the phone up and the 7.6-inch 120Hz OLED panel gives you a full tablet view. The aspect ratio is a lot squarer than you might expect, so you will have black bars around video. Still, it’s great for multitasking and Samsung’s new taskbar lets you flip between apps without heading back to the home screen every time.

The 4400mAh battery got our reviewer through a busy day, even if they did wish the charging situation was a little faster. You’ll need a full 90 minutes to get from 0-100%, which is triple the time required to get a full charge on the OnePlus 10T.

Durability is also worth a look, as previous Fold devices have struggled in this area. This feels like the strongest Z Fold yet. The IPX8 water resistance remains, there’s a stronger Gorilla Glas Victus on the front and the hinge feels sturdy.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

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Google Pixel 7a

The best mid-range phone
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  • Excellent camera for the price
  • Plenty of upgrades over the Pixel 6a
  • Smart software
  • Some nice colour options


  • Middling battery life
  • Achingly slow charging

If you’re on the hunt for a compact phone that won’t put a dent in your wallet, the Pixel 7a is an outstanding choice. For the price, there are few better choices out there running Android and this is one of our reviewer’s favourite phones of 2023

When compared to the Pixel 6a, the 7a packs Qi wireless charging, allowing for convenient and cable-free charging, along with a better camera array. Additionally, the phone comes equipped with 8GB of memory and a faster 90Hz screen, offering a more fluid and immersive visual experience compared to the Pixel 6a’s 60Hz display.

The camera on the Pixel 7a is truly remarkable – something we’ve come to expect from Pixel phones. There’s a new 64MP main sensor on the rear, significantly larger than the one found on the Pixel 6a, resulting in improved image quality across different lighting conditions. The camera excels in capturing accurate skin tones, delivering exceptional low-light performance, and ensuring vibrant and true-to-life colours.

Inside, the Pixel 7a shares the same Tensor G2 chip as its more premium siblings: the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and upcoming Pixel Fold. While some might desire even more power in the flagship range, at this price point, the Tensor chip offers perfectly adequate performance and handles various AI-driven features seamlessly. Notably, Tensor powers the phone’s intelligent call screening capabilities and outstanding voice recorder functionality.

The Pixel 7a’s 6.1-inch 90Hz OLED display is undeniably impressive, offering sharp visuals and smooth scrolling. Although the larger and sharper screen on the Pixel 7 Pro takes the crown for the best display among the Pixel phones, the Pixel 7a’s screen holds its own and provides an enjoyable viewing experience at a size often hard to find.

One area where the Pixel 7a falls short is its battery life, which can be considered mediocre. On most days, the phone can make it through the day without issue, but on busier days with extensive screen usage, a quick charge might be required to keep it going.

All in all, the Pixel 7a presents itself as a compelling option for those seeking a smaller-sized Pixel phone. With its impressive camera, notable features like wireless charging and 8GB of memory, the Pixel 7a offers excellent value for the price.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel 7a review

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed



See all reviews


What is a 90 or 120Hz display, and why would I want one?

Most of the phones included within this list feature a high refresh rate display, either at 90Hz or 120Hz. This means the display refreshes at either 90 or 120 times per second, up from the older standard of 60Hz. Having a fast display makes everything feel a bit smoother, be it swiping through Instagram or gaming. The iPhone 14 with its 60Hz display, for example, simply can’t compare to the smooth scrolling you’ll get from the 120Hz iPhone 14 Pro.

Should I buy a phone with 5G?

Most new phones, especially those over £400/$400, will now support 5G. This is the next step up from 4G, and provides faster and more reliable download speeds in areas where the network is live. 5G varies by country, with the USA touting a tech called mmWave that has far superior speeds if you’re in the right spot. While 5G isn’t a must-have yet, it’s always good to futureproof your purchases and as most new phones come with the tech now you likely won’t miss out.

How much should I spend on a phone?

There are excellent phones at all price points these days, with the best often costing above a grand if you want the very best. If you aren’t so fussed about things like camera performance and display quality you can get an excellent device for £500/$600.

Comparison Specifications

Here are all the specs for our best phones. Remember, the number of megapixels doesn’t always equal a better camera.

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
Stated Power

Trusted Reviews test data

While test data doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s an important part of our review process. As you can see, the iPhone 14 series is the king when it comes to benchmarks, especially Geekbench, providing top scores.

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (no charger included)
15-min recharge (no charger included)
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

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Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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