Top phones available with hands-on testing

Top phones available with hands-on testing

The Best Phones of 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

We’re now more than halfway through 2023, and the smartphone landscape is buzzing with excitement. From the unveiling of a phone with a whopping 200-megapixel camera to the resurrection of the iconic Motorola Razr, there have been some fantastic releases. And now, the latest iterations of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Flip are adding even more variety to the mix. Not to mention, Apple is gearing up to release their latest iPhones in the fall, promising even more great phones on the way.

For smartphone shoppers today, making a choice can be overwhelming. That’s why ENBLE’s team of subject matter experts has compiled the definitive list of top phones you can buy right now, based on our hands-on testing and in-depth research. Whether you’re looking for the best phone overall or a budget-friendly option, we have you covered. So, let’s dive into the best phones of 2023, no matter your budget or preferred phone manufacturer.

Best Phones of 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – Best Phone Overall

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Pros: – Most complete smartphone experience money can buy – Reliable quad-camera setup – 256GB base storage leads the competition – Integrated S Pen stylus for enhanced functionality

Cons: – Phone can be unwieldy for some, especially with a case – Fast charging is still capped at 45W – Pricier than most Android phones

More Details: – Screen size: 6.8 inches – Storage: Up to 1TB – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy – Panel type: WQHD+ Edge – Color: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender – Battery life: 5,000mAh – Water and dust resistant: Yes

Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 Ultra is undeniably the most complete smartphone you can buy right now. It boasts a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display that produces vibrant visuals in any environment, a reliable 5,000mAh battery, and a versatile quad-camera setup. One notable improvement is the overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, offering more power and efficiency compared to last year’s S22 series.

In our ENBLE review, we mentioned that “the mobile platform brings meaningful improvements to the Galaxy phone experience, while Samsung’s done its part to optimize the S23 Ultra with a larger vapor cooling chamber and more efficient back-end processing.” This makes the S23 Ultra a powerful smartphone suitable for any type of user, including mobile gamers. Along with unique features such as 256GB base storage, an integrated S Pen, Samsung’s commitment to security updates for five years, and the Samsung DeX mobile-to-desktop service, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the ultimate flagship device.

iPhone 14 Pro Max – Best iPhone Overall

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Pros: – Excellent battery life and camera performance – 4K and Dolby Vision support – Wi-Fi 6 support – Satellite SOS and crash detection

Cons: – Satellite SOS requires monthly fee – Very expensive, especially at larger storage capacities

More Details: – Screen size: 6.7 inches – Storage: Up to 1TB – Processor: A16 Bionic – Panel type: Super Retina XDR – Color: Midnight, Space Black, Purple, Deep Purple, (Product)RED, Silver, Starlight – Battery life: 29 hours – Water and dust resistant: Yes

The iPhone 14 Pro Max continues Apple’s domination of the mobile space with its impressive features. The 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR panel offers bright colors, finer details, and enhanced contrast. It supports 4K resolution for video playback and Dolby Vision for HDR. A noteworthy visual feature is the new Dynamic Island, which transforms the notch into a notification hub.

The Pro iPhone also introduces new sensors that enable Apple’s crash detection feature and the satellite SOS system, allowing you to call for help even without LTE service. With the improved battery providing up to 29 hours of use on a full charge and fast charging that gives you 50 percent battery in just 35 minutes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a powerhouse for those on the go.

Google Pixel 7 Pro – Best Camera Phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Pros: – Quality cameras all across the board – User-first software approach – 5,000mAh battery with LTPO display – Priced competitively at $899

Cons: – No 1TB storage option like Apple/Samsung – Stock Android can feel too minimal – Capped at 30W fast charging

More Details: – Screen size: 6.7 inches – Storage: Up to 512GB – Processor: Google Tensor G2 – Panel type: OLED – Color: Snow, Obsidian, Hazel – Battery life: 5,000mAh – Water and dust resistant: Yes

Months after its release, the Google Pixel 7 Pro continues to impress with its exceptional camera array. Boasting a 50MP main lens, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide, it excels in low-light photography. The Pixel smartphones are renowned for their computational photography capabilities, and the Pixel 7 Pro further enhances this with features like Magic Eraser and new Macro Focus.

The Pro model also offers a sleek design, a vivid 6.7-inch LTPO display with a refresh rate of 1 to 120Hz, and a beefy 5,000mAh battery. Priced competitively at $899, the Pixel 7 Pro undercuts its rivals without compromising on performance. With the Tensor G2 chip and five years of consistent software and security updates, the Pixel 7 Pro is perfect for those who value a top-notch camera experience.

Motorola Razr Plus – Best Flip-Style Foldable Phone

Motorola Razr Plus

Pros: – Large cover screen is a phone in and of itself – Incredibly compact – First dust-resistant foldable – Form factor lends itself to creative camera features

Cons: – Battery is just good enough for a day of use – Repair solutions remain up in the air – Undeniably more fragile than the typical slab phone

More Details: – Screen size: 3.6 inches and 6.9 inches – Storage: 256GB – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 – Panel type: OLED – Color: Infinite Black, Glacier Blue, Viva Magenta – Battery life: 3,800mAh – Water and dust resistant: IP52

Flip phones have made a triumphant return, and the Motorola Razr Plus stands out as a modernized classic flip phone, now one of the best foldables available. Its external display, an impressive 3.6-inch screen, outshines its competitor Samsung in this category. The external display functions as a secondary phone, allowing you to run apps, make calls, send messages, and more.

The foldable form factor of the Razr Plus enhances the camera experience, making it easier to take group photos, selfies, and capture long-exposure shots. With its compact size and dust-resistant build, the Razr Plus offers a unique and practical folding phone option.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G – Best Budget Phone

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Pros: – Competitively priced at under $450 – Large and bright 120Hz AMOLED display – Long-lasting 5,000mAh battery – Up to five years of software updates

Cons: – Plastic body can feel cheaper than glass – Front-facing camera is just passable – Exynos processor still lags behind Qualcomm

More Details: – Screen size: 6.3 inches – Storage: 128GB – Processor: Exynos 1380 – Panel type: AMOLED – Color: Graphite, Lime, Violet, White – Battery life: 5,000mAh – Water and dust resistant: Yes

Don’t let the budget-friendly price tag fool you – the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G offers a fantastic smartphone experience. It features a large 6.3-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery, and up to five years of software and security updates. The Exynos 1380 chipset delivers reliable performance, although it may lag slightly behind Qualcomm processors.

With its sleek design, competitive camera system, and strong battery life, the Galaxy A54 5G provides excellent value for your money.

OnePlus 11 – Best Fast-Charging Phone

OnePlus 11

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

Cons: – Storage and RAM configuration is limited to 128GB/256GB – No wireless charging – No IP68 rating for water and dust resistance

More Details: – Screen size: 6.7 inches – Storage: Up to 256GB – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – Panel type: AMOLED – Color: Titan Black and Eternal Green – Battery life: 5,000mAh – Water and dust resistant: Only IP64

For those who value fast charging above all else, the OnePlus 11 takes the crown. With its 100W SuperVooc fast charging capability (80W in the US), the OnePlus 11 can go from empty to full in less than 27 minutes. This is significantly faster than other flagship phones on the market, making it the perfect choice for users on the go.

But the OnePlus 11 is not just about charging speed. It offers 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 setup. With premium build quality and a starting price of $699, the OnePlus 11 provides excellent value for money.

Which Phone is Right for You?

Choosing the right phone can be a daunting task, but having a list of must-have features can help narrow down your options. Here are our recommendations for different preferences:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: A no-compromise smartphone that offers the most complete smartphone experience, including a built-in stylus.
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: The best iPhone money can buy, featuring a large screen, a powerful camera system, and the longest-lasting battery.
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro: A flagship camera experience at your fingertips, offering AI-powered camera tricks and computational photography features.
  • Motorola Razr Plus: A flip-style foldable phone that is compact, performs well, and features a dual-screen design. Perfect for those who appreciate nostalgia.
  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: A budget-friendly smartphone that doesn’t compromise on performance and battery life. It also offers up to five years of software updates.
  • OnePlus 11: A phone that lasts long and charges incredibly fast. This device offers excellent value for the price.

How Did We Choose These Phones?

Curating this list involves real-world testing, extensive research, and consultations with colleagues, industry experts, and analysts. We consider several factors when selecting the best phones, including design, performance, camera capabilities, battery life, and value for money.

Which Phone Has the Best Camera?

The title of the best camera phone is hotly debated among the iPhone 14 Pro, Google Pixel 7 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Each phone excels in different areas. The Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out with its 200MP rear camera and 100x Space Zoom capability, while Google’s Pixel phones are known for their computational photography skills. The iPhone 14 Pro offers features like Cinematic mode and Action mode, making it great for videographers.

How Long Should a Phone Battery Last?

The average phone battery provides around 22 hours of use on a full charge, but the actual time varies depending on the phone model and usage. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, for example, boasts a 29-hour battery life, while the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers a nine-hour battery life. Keep in mind that battery life is affected by activities such as streaming, social media usage, and making calls.

How Much Storage Should My Phone Have?

Most smartphones come with a base storage capacity of 128GB, which is sufficient for the average user’s needs. However, if you’re a mobile or creative professional, you may require more storage space. Many phones offer expanded storage options up to 512GB or even 1TB, and you can always utilize cloud storage services to free up local storage.

Which Phones Are Also Worth Considering?

If you’re considering other smartphones, there are plenty of options from reputable manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus. Each brand offers a range of models to suit different preferences and budgets.

Ultimately, choosing the best phone depends on your individual needs and preferences. By considering the features highlighted in this comprehensive guide, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect phone that suits your lifestyle.