Half of the year has already passed and it’s time to check out which five phones are the best at slightly different prices ranging from $899 to $1199. We use many criteria, including but not limited to industrial design, speed, camera performance, and user experience.
We evaluated the camera’s potential using our proprietary Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score.
See the benchmark page for more information.
Editor’s note: Prices in euros are from the official webshops in France as of May 27, 2022.
5 – Xiaomi 12 Pro ($999, €1099.99)
That Xiaomi 12 Pro is a very nice and nice looking smartphone with a fingerprint and a scratch resistant back that makes it look clean. The phone is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform that ensures it can compete at the highest level among Android phones. This phone did really well in the synthetic CPU and GPU benchmarks and this could be your go-to handset for sustained performance.
The camera has three 50MP sensors (Primary, Ultrawide, Zoom) giving it a strong camera hardware configuration. However, some sensors have tiny pixels (0.7 microns or less) that could limit the amount of light captured in difficult conditions. We calculated a CAMERA HW score of 177 for the Xiaomi 12 Pro.
The zoom lens is optimized for portrait photography (48mm), not for long zoom performance (200mm+). There’s nothing wrong with that, but we’ve found that most people find long-term zoom shots very useful.
Unfortunately, this handset isn’t certified as waterproof, and tests show that its battery life is a bit more limited than other high-end smartphones. Xiaomi balances battery life with super-fast 120W charging, one of the fastest.
4 – OnePlus 10 Pro ($899, €919.00)
That OnePlus 10 Pro is an exciting Android phone because it has excellent performance and best-in-class battery life, thanks to its 5000mAh battery and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Plus, if you’re ever in a battery emergency, it can be quickly charged at 65W, which is very fast (but not the fastest) in the industry.
Our data shows that this phone pack has the highest battery density (mAh per cubic inch) on the list, which partly explains its endurance.
The impressive looking camera module hides a triple camera system on the back with a 48MP primary camera, a 50MP ultrawide and an 8MP zoom camera. OnePlus is working with Hasselblad to develop and tune the camera. This collaboration results in specific color profiles that might influence Hasselblad fans.
To be more objective, ours CAMERA HW score of 164 points out that the
The OnePlus 10 Pro’s main camera could benefit from better hardware. Its zoom and ultrawide camera modules aren’t as impressive as its competitors on this list either.
3 – Apple iPhone 13 Pro ($999, €1159)
The iPhone 13 Pro is the best Apple can muster right now, and it offers impressive performance and battery life. Most benchmarks show an undeniable lead in CPU performance and longevity, so kudos to Apple. Scores were a bit low on some graphics benchmarks, but current games should run fast enough.
On the camera front, Apple has done a great job updating its camera system with a powerful primary camera that seriously rivals Samsung and Google. If iOS and photo quality are important to you, we’d recommend buying the 13 Pro over the non-Pro models. It’s worth it, trust us.
This camera grabs you CAMERA HW score of 191, clearly in the top percentile, even in this price range. Unfortunately, it’s not the absolute best overall camera out there, and for that you’d have to switch to Android.
On another topic, the lack of fingerprint unlock might be frustrating for some users. If you need a bigger display and a bigger battery, you can choose the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It has the same performance and camera experience as the smaller iPhone 13 Pro.
2 – Google Pixel 6 Pro ($899, €899.99)
The Google Pixel 6 Pro is currently the most powerful Pixel phone. People love it for its “pure” Android OS experience, but we think the photo editing and camera style are also among the most popular reasons for owning a Pixel phone.
We find the industrial design neat and easily distinguishable from the competition thanks to the iconic camera bar on the back, which is also a convenient way to fit a large camera module into the phone.
Powered by the Google Tensor processor, the Pixel 6 Pro has more powerful AI capabilities for its generation, contributing to more advanced image processing effects. The performance is comparable to Snapdragon 888 and although it is not the fastest today, it is very respectable and sufficient even for advanced users.
With classic 3D graphics, measured with the GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 test, the results do not differ much from the S22 Ultra. However, in more modern graphics tests, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can render up to 50% faster according to our tests. If you play the most modern 3D games, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 might be preferable.
We like Google’s investment in the camera as it performs excellently 197 in our CAMERA HW Benchmark which is much higher than the Pixel 5’s 121 score. Experts would agree that the photo quality is proportionally better, so kudos to Google for realizing it’s not “just about camera software” and that the physics are in of photography (very important).
The Pixel 6 Pro’s battery life could be better, and it falls slightly to some high-end Android phones in various battery tests, but most people should get through the day.
1-Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ($1,199 €1,259.00)
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is currently the best Android phone for power users and the most expensive in this selection.
Like others, it is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, but it also boasts top-notch industrial design and display technologies. It also offers the best e-pen support on the smartphone market, and the pen user experience is unrivaled. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is an absolute multimedia and productivity monster.
That’s not all. Its camera hardware is also one of the best in the world, easily surpassing its S21 Ultra predecessor. Reviewers rave about the camera’s performance, and we’re not surprised.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the highest CAMERA HW score on this list at 203. The overall photo quality is high, especially the mighty zoom lens that packs a serious punch. Unlike many others, this camera is very balanced and shows excellent performance in wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and zoom shots.
Battery life is a little shorter than last year’s S series, but it has the longest
Display compared to other phones on this list. Luckily, Samsung upped the charging power to 45W, so you can quickly top up and hit the road. Unfortunately, you’ll have to buy this fast charger as there isn’t one in the box.
All of these phones are powerful, but synthetic CPU and graphics tests clearly show some differences (see charts below), mainly in favor of the iPhone 13 Pro and at the expense of the Google Pixel 6 Pro. Only gamers will really feel the speed difference between these phones, and for the rest of us, they’re all pretty fast.
Aside from their respective designs and sizes, camera quality could be one of the key differentiators, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro taking the lead. The camera of the Google Pixel 6 Pro is a bit behind, but is significantly cheaper.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro and OnePlus 10 Pro are worthy camera competitors, but they lag slightly objectively. On the flip side, both have exciting battery traits: the OnePlus 10 Pro has great battery life, while the Xiaomi 12 Pro has an insanely fast battery charge, putting other phones to shame.
Each phone has its pros and cons but you cannot go wrong with any of them as they are high quality products. There’s never been a better time to update your phone.
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