Prices for flagship phones are higher than ever, and it’s unlikely that they’ll ever come back down. The absolutely premium phones, like the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, now cost well over $1,000, or about the price of a good laptop. But, as the ceiling gets higher, devices in the more reasonable $600 to $800 range have gotten even more capable. In fact, our pick for the best overall phone is the $829 Apple iPhone 13, and two of Google’s Pixel phones included here lean toward midrange pricing rather than all-out flagship.

And if you want to get the best smartphone on a budget, you can find something really good for under $500 or even less. For those recommendations, you can check out our guide to budget smartphones.

It’s also possible to hang onto your phone for longer than ever as device manufacturers offer more years of software support and upgrade cycles slow down. And generally speaking, all of the devices featured here have great cameras, nice screens, good battery life, and are fast enough to keep up with your day to day. Picking the right phone is mostly a matter of preference. Find the one that suits you best, and you’ll be rewarded with many years of use before it’s time to start phone shopping again.

Apple iPhone 13

Starting at $829 (without activation), the iPhone 13 features a new A15 Bionic chip, an OLED display, 128GB of internal storage, and compatibility with all 5G networks. Available in black, teal, red, white, and pink.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (128GB)

The Galaxy S22 Plus features the latest Snapdragon chipset, an excellent 6.6-inch display, three rear cameras including a 3x telephoto, and a great support policy promising up to four generations of Android OS upgrades.

The iPhone 13 can do it all: it hits the sweet spot between price, pocketability, and features.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Best iPhone to buy in 2022

Out of the four iPhone 13 variants that Apple launched in 2021, the $829 iPhone 13 (unlocked) hits the sweet spot between price, pocketability, and features.

It has a new processor, a bigger battery, 128GB of internal storage, and uses the same large camera sensor as the acclaimed iPhone 12 Pro Max, but you wouldn’t know it from its compact size.

In fact, the 13 looks almost identical to the 12 but is just a bit thicker and heavier, with substantially bigger camera bumps and lenses that swapped places. (No, you won’t be able to reuse your iPhone 12 case for the 13.) Otherwise, it has the same overall design, a brighter 6.1-inch OLED display, the same 12-megapixel selfie camera, the same MagSafe wireless charging, the same water and dust resistance (IP68), and the same support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5…….


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