Purchasing a new phone can be a hassle, but we’ve taken care of it for you.
Prices for flagship phones have been greater than ever in 2021 due to a slew of causes, including production delays caused by the ongoing pandemic, rising labor and component costs, and a global chip scarcity. Exceptionally high-end phones, such as the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, now cost well over $1,000, or roughly the same as a nice laptop.Even if you’re willing to pay top money for the best smartphone of 2021, getting one this holiday season will need a lot of luck and patience. [ Phone ]
Thankfully, you don’t have to pay a fortune to acquire anything wonderful this year, as a number of excellent smartphones are available for around $600 to 800. In fact, if you prefer Android, the Google Pixel 6 ($599) is the best bang for your buck this holiday season. For the rest of you, the Apple iPhone 13 ($829) is our top selection for the greatest overall phone.
THE BEST PHONES 2021
1. APPLE I PHONE 13
BEST I PHONE TO BUY IN 2021
The $829 iPhone 13 (unlocked) is the sweet spot between pricing, pocketability, and features among Apple’s four iPhone 13 versions released in 2021.
It boasts a new processor, a larger battery, 128GB of internal storage, and the same huge camera sensor as the celebrated iPhone 12 Pro Max, but you’d never guess because of its small size.
In truth, the 13 resembles the 12 in appearance but is slightly thicker and heavier, with significantly larger camera bumps and lenses that have been swapped. (No, you won’t be able to use the cover from your iPhone 12 with the 13.) Aside from that, it features the same general design, a brighter 6.1-inch OLED display, the same 12-megapixel selfie camera, MagSafe wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance, and support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks. Furthermore, it is available in five colors (including pink), which is one more than the Pro models.
The new A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 is different in that it should feel fast for years to come, but it’s difficult to measure significant speed improvements with iPhones. The new chip allows the iPhone 13 to run more efficiently, allowing it to last well into the evening without needing to be recharged.
FOR MOST PEOPLE, THE IPHONE
13 IS AN EASY CHOICE
The iPhone 13’s main wide-angle camera has been greatly upgraded, using the same camera technology that made the iPhone 12 Pro Max the finest smartphone camera for images and films in 2020. Photo details are clear and correct, colors are vibrant but not oversaturated, focusing is quick and accurate, portrait mode is suitable for everyday use, and low light and night vision are also great. Its ultrawide camera, on the other hand, has received only minor improvements to improve low-light performance.
The video quality is likewise excellent. Sensor stabilization is available on the main camera, which comes in handy when walking around. It can handle all of the 4K and slow-mo settings that are important, and it does it flawlessly. It even allows you to shoot videos in Cinematic mode, which allows you to switch focus between subjects fluidly by modifying the depth of field.
The iPhone 13 comes with 128GB of storage out of the box. Because the phone’s storage isn’t expandable, you may want to bite the bullet and upgrade to the next tier, depending on how you’ll be using it. For most users, the iPhone 13 is a no-brainer: it has comparable performance, design, camera functionality, and (in some cases) longer battery life than other iPhone 13 versions while costing less.
2. GOOGLE PIXEL 6
BEST ANDROID PHONE TO BUY IN 2021
For $599, the Pixel 6 is a lot of phone. The Pixel 6 is Google’s first true flagship phone since 2019, and in terms of camera quality, overall performance, and battery life, it’s right up there with the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Pixel 6 is simply the most value-packed flagship phone for Android enthusiasts this year, especially when you consider that it costs $200 less than its competitors. Sorry for the inconvenience, OnePlus.
The Pixel 6 differs from the Pixel 6 Pro in that it has a little smaller 6.4-inch 1080p OLED flat display and stronger color options, such as two-tone red or green (black is also an option). The Pixel 6 is not overly thick for such a large phone, but it still feels hefty. However, because its glossy exterior is so slick, you’ll need to pay for a third-party case (don’t bother with the Google ones; they’re not worth the money).
Tensor, Google’s first own mobile CPU, lies at the core of the Pixel 6, and it competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 microprocessor used in other Android flagships. Tensor enables the new Pixel to learn new tricks by leveraging Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The Magic Eraser may be used to eliminate photo-bombers from your images, as well as to take new ones.
IT’S SIMPLY THE MOST VALUE
PACKED FLAGSHIP PHONE FOR
ANDROID FANS THIS YEAR.
Use Google Assistant to handle automated calls for you, as well as images that better depict genuine skin tones. The Pixel 6 comes with 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, and Android 12 with Google’s new Material You theming.
Dual cameras, 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide cameras, as well as a laser detection autofocus sensor for low-light and depth, are housed within its large rear camera bar. The Pixel 6 does not have a telephoto camera, unlike the Pixel 6 Pro. Nonetheless, its photographs are excellent in both normal and low light, and it is competitive with Apple’s best. The Pixel 6 includes a 4,614mAh battery (which should last two days for light users), Qi wireless charging, and some weather protection (IP68). The phone’s primary flaw is a slow under-screen fingerprint scanner, and it lacks a face unlock feature. The Pixel 6 is an all-around good phone for $599 and our selection for the best Android phone to buy right now, despite its flaws.
3. APPLE IPHONE 13 PRO AND IPHONE 13 PRO MAX
BEST PHONE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO IN 2021
This year, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max both have the same top-of-the-line camera technology, making them our top option for images and movies. This time, you don’t need to get the most expensive and largest model to receive the greatest camera system; either of the Pro models provides the same experience.
Apple’s picture processing combines the three back cameras — regular wide, ultrawide, and telephoto — to generate breathtaking images, especially in low light. If photo and video quality are the most important factors to you when purchasing a phone, the 13 Pro is the phone for you.
THIS TIME AROUND, YOU DON’T
HAVE TO BUY THE BIGGEST AND
MOST EXPENSIVE MODEL TO GET
THE BEST CAMERA SYSTEM
In comparison to previous models, the 13 Pro has a physically larger camera sensor, which allows the main 12-megapixel camera to capture more light and create higher-quality photographs, especially in low-light situations. Thanks to its enhanced tight focus feature, its ultrawide camera can capture outstanding macro images. Furthermore, the 3x optical zoom
The telephoto lens’ zoom makes for excellent portrait photography. Because of the bigger sensor and the sensor-based stabilization, the movies are stable and stunning even in low light. On the iPhone 13 Pro, you can even shoot and edit videos straight in ProRes (as long as you have a 256GB or higher storage model). We recommend the $899 Google Pixel 6 Pro to anyone looking for the greatest Android camera system available, especially if a telephoto lens is required. In a video comparison, we compared the cameras of the Pixel 6 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro, and the results are quite evenly split. While the Pixel 6 Pro’s video capabilities lag behind the iPhone, it excels in still photography, and its telephoto camera outperforms the iPhone 13 Pro’s.