As we approach the end of 2023, it’s a natural time for many of us to reflect on the year’s best and worst smartphones. In this post, I’ll share my personal favorites, keeping in mind that this analysis is entirely subjective and open to differing opinions from readers. I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments.
Best Compact Smartphone
The Samsung Galaxy S23 has earned the title of the best compact smartphone of 2023 in my view. While it initially debuted at a high price, Samsung’s strategy of gradual price reductions has made it an excellent choice for the year 2023 and beyond. Notable features include the transition to second-generation Snapdragon chips, a 6.1-inch 2X Dynamic AMOLED screen with a refresh rate ranging from 48 to 120 Hz, and a peak brightness of 1,750 nits.
Additionally, the Galaxy S23 boasts a 12 MP f/2.2 front camera and a triple rear camera setup featuring a 50 MP f/1.8 OIS main camera, a 10 MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x OIS, and a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle camera.
Best High-End Smartphone
The accolade for the best high-end smartphone goes to the Google Pixel 8 Pro, the latest offering from Google. While its hardware is competitive with other flagship devices, it truly shines in the software department. The Google Pixel 8 Pro introduces innovations such as Audio Magic Eraser for cleaning audio recordings of background noise, Best Take, which allows you to blend yourself into photos with friends or family, and the Magic Editor, an advanced tool for editing objects and elements in photos.
Best Premium Range Smartphone
The crown for the best premium range smartphone in 2023 unquestionably goes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple‘s latest iteration boasts significant improvements, including the introduction of USB-C for the first time, the powerful 3 nm A17 Pro processor, and an impressive Zoom x5 camera that enhances photography and video quality. Furthermore, the inclusion of a Thunderbolt connection cable elevates data transfers between the device and other Apple products.
The Most Surprising Phone of the Year
One phone that has truly captured my attention throughout 2023 is the Nothing Phone 2. It’s not just a well-designed device; it offers much more. With a 6.7-inch Full HD LTPO-type flexible OLED screen, 10-bit color depth, HDR10+, and a maximum brightness of 1,600 nits, the Nothing Phone 2 delivers a stunning visual experience. Its first-generation 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 processor, while not the latest, performs admirably.
The phone’s camera setup includes a 50 MP Sony IMX890 main camera with OIS, a 50 MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 32 MP Sony IMX615 front camera. Additionally, it features a 4,700 mAh battery with 45W fast charging and 15W wireless charging, along with 5W reversible wireless charging. The Nothing Phone 2 has certainly left a lasting impression in 2023.
In conclusion, these are my personal picks for the standout smartphones of 2023, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts and preferences as well.