Top 10 Best Smartphone To Buy In 2021

Top 10 Best Smartphone To Buy In 2021

Today's smartphones provide incredible mobile computing experiences to help you get work done away from the office, in the field, and wherever your remote location may be. Yes, people have different mobile computing needs, but every phone on this list is more than capable of providing all essential functions.

Some phones excel at photography, others at serving as a small tablet, and others that can withstand a drop in the field. The term "best" may be specific to your needs, but there are some truly standout devices that are better than others.

These top 10 phones that we currently recommend as the best of the best. 



Apple has released four different variations of the iPhone 12, more than it ever has at one time. Despite all of those choices, the traditional, regular model is still a good pick. The regular iPhone 12, which starts at around $830 for a 64GB model, is the best smartphone for most people.

The 12 has the same overall design, the same processor, the same wireless charging, the same Face ID system, the same 5G support, the same front camera, and the same main and wide-angle rear cameras as the pricier 12 Pro but for hundreds of dollars less. On top of all that, it comes in five colors, one more than you can choose from in the Pro models.


Compared to the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 has a noticeably roomier display and a bigger battery — two things that are important to many people. At 6.1 inches, it’s big enough to make watching video and reading text comfortable and engaging, but it isn’t so big that it’s terribly hard to use in one hand or fit in your pocket. Battery life is also very good; you can reliably expect this phone to last all day without needing to charge up before bed.

Display: 6.1-inch (2,532 x 1,170-pixel resolution ) OLED | CPU: Apple A14 Bionic | Internal Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB | Rear cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide (120-degree field of view) | Front camera: 12MP | Weight: 164g | Dust/water resistance: IP68



If neither size nor price is a concern, the best Android phone you can buy right now is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. With a big 6.8-inch screen and the best cameras you can get on an Android phone, it’s the no-compromise pick. In some cases, its cameras can even best the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with the latest and best specs you can get on Android. It has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, which is the fastest you can get on Android. It features support for S Pen styluses if you prefer to use a pen with your phone, although it’s sold separately. The screen has a high refresh rate, which makes scrolling much smoother. It also has a huge battery that will last two days without much effort.

Samsung updated the design of the S21 Ultra, with a metal rail that curves naturally into the camera bump on the back. It is the best-looking big phone you can get right now. However, we can’t say we like Samsung’s software as much, which at the moment is a bit cluttered and features ads in places like the weather app. For a sleeker experience the OnePlus 9 Pro would be a good choice; the Ultra beasts it on screen and camera quality, but it’s a good device all-around and offers a more grown-up take on Android OS.

That camera bump houses four cameras: a regular wide-angle with a 108-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide, and two different telephoto lenses. This makes it an incredibly versatile camera system that also has a ton of advanced video features like Pro modes and 8K recording.

Starting at $1,199.99, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a very expensive phone. Thankfully, Samsung phones are discounted early and often. If you are in the market for one, it’s worth looking around for a deal before buying

Display: 6.8 inches (3,200 x 1,440-pixel resolution) 120Hz Infinity-O AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 | RAM: 12GB/16GB LPDDR5 | Internal Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Rear cameras: 10MP rear f/4.9 telephoto with 10x optical zoom and second 10MP f/2.4 telephoto with 3x optical zoom, 108MP wide-angle camera, and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (120-degree field-of-view) | Front camera: 40MP f/2.2 camera | Weight: 229g | Dust/water resistance: IP68



Although the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus don’t post the big numbers the S21 Ultra does, they are still our picks right now for best Android phones under a thousand bucks. The regular Galaxy S21 with a 6.2-inch screen starts at $800 while the Plus version with a 6.7-inch screen starts at $1,000. However, both are frequently discounted with either price drops or bundles, so these are great candidates for hunting down sales.

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are essentially identical phones with three differences: screen size, battery size, and materials. We’ve reviewed the regular Galaxy S21 and found it to be a very competent phone even though you could argue it’s a minor refresh over last year’s Galaxy S20.

However, Samsung refreshed the important part: the processor is the same Snapdragon 888 as the Ultra. That means the Galaxy S21 is super fast and should last more than a couple of years without slowing down.

There are likely more great Android phones coming soon but right now, the Android phone that strikes the best balance of features and price is the S21.

processor : Samsung Exynos 2100/ Display:6.7 inches (17.02 cms)/Storage:128 GB/Front Camera:Single (10 MP, f/2.2, Wide Angle Camera(26 mm focal length, 3.2" sensor size, 1.22 m pixel size))/Rear Camera:Triple (12 MP, f/1.8, Wide Angle Camera + 64 MP, f/2.0, Telephoto Camera(28 mm focal length, 1.7" sensor size, 0.8µm pixel size) + 12 MP, f/2.2, Wide Angle, Ultra-Wide Angle Camera(13 mm focal length, 2.55" sensor size, 1.4µm pixel size))/Battery:4800 m

Ah/RAM:8 GB. 



The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best camera system you can currently get on a smartphone. Its three rear cameras — standard wide, ultrawide, and telephoto — combine with Apple’s image processing to produce stunning images, even in poor lighting. If camera quality is your most important factor when buying a phone, the 12 Pro Max is where you should be spending your money.

The big difference between the 12 Pro Max and the other iPhone 12 models is found in its main camera sensor. The 12 Pro Max has a physically larger camera sensor that allows it to gather more light and produce better-quality images when in dark or challenging lighting conditions. In addition, the 12 Pro Max has an improved image stabilization system that helps keep your images sharp as light levels drop.

But unless camera quality is all you care about, the 12 Pro Max isn’t the best iPhone for most people. It’s enormous, and the squared sides make it feel even bigger than its spec sheet implies. Most people will be happier with the smaller but still large-screened iPhone 12.

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2,778 x 1,284-pixel resolution) at 458 ppi | CPU: Apple A14 Bionic chip | RAM: 6GB | Internal Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB | Rear cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide (120-degree field of view), 12MP telephoto (2.5x optical zoom) | Front camera: 12MP | Weight: 228g | Dust/water resistance: IP68



There’s really only one reason to buy an iPhone 12 mini, but it’s an important one: if you want a phone that’s easier to use in one hand or put into a small pocket. The iPhone 12 mini is one of very few small phones on the market with top-tier features and specs; you don’t have to compromise in performance, build quality, or cameras with this one.

Though it’s much smaller in size than the other iPhones released this year, the mini’s 5.4-inch screen is still big enough for text messaging, email, web browsing, apps, video, and games, and if you’re coming from an iPhone 6 / 7 / 8, it will feel quite spacious. But it’s also small enough that most adults, even those with small hands, will be able to comfortably reach all of the screen with their thumb. You won’t need a PopSocket on this one.

Otherwise, the mini is the same phone as the iPhone 12: it has the same design, processor, cameras, 5G support, and build quality as the larger model. It’s just smaller and has a smaller price tag, at about $100 less.

If you prefer Android, the Asus Zenfone 8 is a good alternative. It’s a little bigger than the 12 mini with a 5.9-inch screen, and it doesn’t work on Verizon, but it’s otherwise a very similar proposition: great build quality, top-notch processor, and high-end features like a 120Hz screen all tucked into a pocket-friendly device.

Display:5.4-inch (13.7 cm diagonal) Super Retina XDR display/Camera:Dual 12MP camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto)/Front Camera:12MP TrueDepth camera/Face/Touch ID: Face ID/Chip:A14 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine/Water resistant:Rated IP68 (maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529/Charging:Compatible with MagSafe accessories and Qi wireless chargers.



If you’re looking for the best phone to go from morning to night with heavy use and last through it all, Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the one to get. It has a massive 4,500mAh battery that keeps its enormous 6.9-inch screen going as long as you need it to.

The Note 20 Ultra is also a high-end phone in every other respect. Its giant screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth interactions; its triple rear camera system is one of the most advanced you can get; and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and 12GB of RAM allow it to perform without a hiccup. In addition, it supports Samsung’s S Pen for stylus input, allowing you to write or doodle on the screen with a pen instead of your finger.

Although you can now use a stylus with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it isn’t built into the phone as it is here on the Note 20 Ultra. Depending on Samsung’s plans, this may be the last “Ultra” version of the Note, too — though rumors have been conflicting on that front.

Display: 6.9 inches (3,088 x 1,440-pixel resolution) 120Hz Infinity-O AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus | RAM: 12GB LPDDR5 | Internal Storage: 128GB storage (with microSD card) | Rear cameras: 12MP rear f/3.0 telephoto, 108MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera, and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera (120-degree field-of-view) | Front camera: 10MP f/2.2 camera | Weight: 208g | Dust/water resistance: IP68.



The OnePlus 9 is the step-down model from the OnePlus 9 Pro, which is itself an excellent phone. But you don’t give up too much by opting for the 9, and you save a ton of money. Like the 9 Pro, it offers great performance with a Snapdragon 888 processor, fast 65W wired charging, and something that will appeal especially to the landscape photographers out there: a great ultrawide camera.

The sensor behind the OnePlus 9’s ultrawide camera is physically larger than most and offers a healthy 50-megapixel resolution. A unique lens design corrects distortion without introducing the funhouse mirror-type stretching you’ll often see in the corners of ultrawide images. And if super-wide photography isn’t your thing, know that the main camera turns in solid image quality, too. Images are well-exposed, and colors look pleasantly vibrant. OnePlus makes a big deal of the Hasselblad color science at work here, which does a fine job but isn’t as mind-blowingly good as the company suggests.

Unfortunately, you do miss out on a couple of good camera features opting for the 9 rather than the 9 Pro. The main camera on the 9 Pro offers optical image stabilization, which isn’t included on the 9, and is useful for its ability to keep subjects looking sharp in lower light conditions. There’s also no telephoto lens — just digital zoom, which isn’t as good as the 9 Pro’s optical zoom.

The OnePlus 9 also doesn’t work on AT&T’s 5G network. (It works on both T-Mobile and Verizon’s 5G networks, however.) That’s no great loss right now (honestly, it might be for the better), but in a couple of years, this will probably become a downside. Bearing this in mind and a couple of camera feature omissions, the OnePlus 9 is an excellent device. It offers a flagship feel and performance for a bit less than the highest-end Android options and a seriously good ultrawide camera for wide-angle photo fans.

Display: 6.7 inches (3,216 x 1,440-pixel resolution) 120Hz AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 | RAM: 8GB/12GB LPDDR5 | Internal Storage: 128GB/256GB | Rear cameras: 8MP rear f/2.4 telephoto, 48MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera, and 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 2MP monochrome camera | Front camera: 16MP f/2.4 camera | Weight: 197



The Galaxy A52 5G is our current pick for the best Android phone under $500, but it’s also worth highlighting here for its combination of features usually reserved for premium devices and a reasonable price. You won’t get all the bells and whistles of the S21 series phones, of course, but the A52 5G includes a 6.5-inch screen with fast 120Hz refresh rate, an IP67 water resistance rating, and (for now, at least) access to monthly bug fixes and security updates.

The A52 5G delivers on the basics too. Its Snapdragon 750G processor isn’t the fastest in the game but it keeps up well with day-to-day tasks. Its 4,500mAh battery delivers well over a day of moderate to heavy use. And the phone supports sub-6GHz 5G, which will allow it to take advantage of improving 5G networks in the US over the next few years.

Then there’s the typically Samsung-y stuff, including a UI that’s currently trending toward over-cluttered with the occasional unwelcome ad. The phone’s camera hardware is good, though photos tend to look a little oversaturated, which may or may not suit your taste.

One of the phone’s best features is Samsung’s commitment to providing four years of security updates. Overall, it’s a relatively affordable device with a solid feature set that should keep up for years to come.

IP CertificationYes, Water resistant (up to 30 minutes in a depth of 1 meter), IP67/Weight189 grams/ColorsAwesome Black, Awesome White, Awesome Blue, Awesome Violet/BuildGlass front (Gorilla Glass), plastic back, aluminum frame/Dimensions159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm/CPUOcta core (2.2 GHz, Dual core, Kryo 570 + 1.8 GHz, Hexa Core, Kryo 570)/6.5 inches.



If you’re on a budget and prefer Android, then the Google Pixel 4A is the obvious choice. It doesn’t have the largest screen or the fastest processor, but it does have a clean version of Android that’s guaranteed to get software updates for at least three years. It only comes in one version: black with 128GB of storage for $349.

The Pixel 4A’s main claim to fame is its camera, which can go head-to-head with smartphones that cost $1,500 or more. That’s because Google does so much of the image processing in software — the sensor itself is actually quite old and not very special. It means the Pixel 4A can take night photos, do astrophotography, and has a passable portrait mode. It can’t hang with the iPhone SE for video but beats it for photos every time.

The rest of the Pixel 4A’s specs are good but not great. It has a 5.8-inch screen, just enough RAM to keep apps from closing in the background, and a headphone jack. There’s no wireless charging, no fancy face unlock, and the body is made out of plastic instead of something more premium like glass. The Pixel 4A doesn’t even offer any IP water resistance ratings (but a splash of water is probably fine).

Display: 6.2 inches (2,340 x 1,080-pixel resolution) OLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G | RAM: 6GB | Internal Storage: 128GB | Rear cameras: 12.2MP rear f/1.7 and 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (107-degree field-of-view) | Front camera: 8MP f/2.0 | Weight: 168g



Folding phones have been around for less than two years and have already seen their share of controversies. But if you are interested in buying one and are willing to pay the hefty price required, there’s really only one model worth considering: Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2.

The Fold 2 is Samsung’s second-generation folding phone. Its main premise is this: it is sized like a normal smartphone that fits in your pocket, but it unfolds to reveal a tablet-sized 7.6-inch display on the inside. That inside screen makes everything from reading books to browsing the web to watching video to playing games more enjoyable and immersive. When you’re done using it, just fold it back up and stick it in your pocket just like any other phone.

That flexibility is unmatched by any other phone you can buy right now, but it doesn’t come without a significant list of compromises. The Fold 2 is twice as thick when closed compared to normal phones, and its outside screen is much smaller than what you’re probably used to. It is also delicate; there’s no rated dust or water resistance, and its inner screen is more likely to get damaged if you poke it too hard.

Main display: 7.6 inches (2,208 x 1,768-pixel resolution) Dynamic 120Hz AMOLED | Cover display: 6.2 inches (720 x 1680-pixel resolution) AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus | RAM: 12GB LPDDR5 | Internal Storage: 256GB, UFS 3.1 | Rear cameras: 12MP rear f/2.4 telephoto, 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle, and 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide cameras (123-degree field-of-view) | Front cameras: 10MP f/2.2 camera on the main display and 10MP camera on the cover display | Weight: 282g

Phone buying tips: How to decide

Looking through all of the available smartphone options can be daunting, especially if you don't spend weeks and months trying out each phone for yourself. The very first question to answer is, "Do you have a preference or need for iOS or Android?"

Choosing your mobile operating system quickly helps filter your options. Considering that we used to also have Windows Phone, S60, Palm, and other mobile operating systems to pick from, this question is a lot easier to answer in 2021.

Phone buying tips: How to decide

Looking through all of the available smartphone options can be daunting, especially if you don't spend weeks and months trying out each phone for yourself. The very first question to answer is, "Do you have a preference or need for iOS or Android?"


Choosing your mobile operating system quickly helps filter your options. Considering that we used to also have Windows Phone, S60, Palm, and other mobile operating systems to pick from, this question is a lot easier to answer in 2021.


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