Best mobile phone brands

Mobile phones

Best mobile phone brands

by Jessica Moreton

We asked 3,478 mobile phone owners about the phone they own to find out which brands are best and who makes handsets that are built to last. Find out which brands won't let you down below. 

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

  • Get the Which? verdict from our independent experts
  • Weigh up the pros and cons in an instant
  • Go to town on the details with our full review
  • Read our member reviews to see what they think
  • Is it a Don’t Buy? It could be a dud, and a costly one too
  • Best Buy
    25
  • Don't Buy
    7
  • 110 Mobile phones available

There’s nothing smart about a phone that struggles to get a signal or runs out of battery half way through the working day. And from screens that crack to buttons that won’t press, faulty phones can be expensive to fix. 

Every year we test dozens of mobile phones. These tests include charging and recharging the battery to find out how long it really lasts, and making phone calls with background noise playing to test the true call quality.  This lets us tell you which phones are the best, but you also need to know if the phone will stay working over the next few years. That’s why we ask owners to tell us about their phone - from Google and Motorola to Apple and Samsung, we can rate the brands that make phones that are built to last.

If you just want to find out which mobile phone was the highest scoring in out lab tests, take a look at our Best Buy phones table.

The best and worst mobile phone brands

Our survey shows us what happens once you get your new phone home – and there's a big difference between the best and the worst brand. Below we share what we've learnt about the big mobile phone brands such as Apple, Samsung, and LG to help you decide which is best. 

This guide compares mobile phone brands. If you're looking for full reviews of specific models, head straight to our mobile phone reviews

Which? members can log in to see the mobile phone brands behind the ratings. If you're not already a member, you can take a £1 Which? trial.
BrandAverage test scoreCustomer scoreReliability rating
80%82%

With an impressive clutch of Best Buys and numerous high-scoring phones, this brand does incredibly well in the test lab. It's popular with our members too, achieving the highest customer score of all mobile phone manufacturers in our survey. It's a premium brand but these results show it's a solid investment. 

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

67%81%

This brand offers a small but credible range of mobile phones. Its handsets don't achieve the very top scores in our tests, but nevertheless are highly-regarded by our members. It's also more affordable than many of the other brands in this table and its phones are well worth considering. 

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

73%75%

Best known for its simple mobile phones, this manufacturer excels when it comes to reliability, earning itself five stars. It also does well in our test lab and has impressed our members making it a fantastic option for those wanting a basic, easy to use mobile phone.

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

60%74%

With a host of handsets for under £150, this brand is ideal for those on a budget. It scores well with our members and although its phones aren't in the Best Buy league, they are nevertheless some of the best value models around and certainty worth a look.  

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

65%63%

This brand designs sleek, good-looking handsets at a range of price-points. Its premium handsets do well in our tests but its mid-low range phones bring the average down slightly and should be treated with caution. Overall it achieves a reasonable customer score. 

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

72%63%

This manufacturer has a large range, from cheap sub-£100 models to those closer to the £500 mark. The more expensive phones offer quirky designs and solid performance meaning they tend to score well in our lab, members are more lukewarm giving this brand an average customer score. 

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

68%62%

One of the biggest and most popular mobile phone brands in the market, it has a huge range and a phone to suit any budget. It has some of the best scoring phones, but also some of the worst. The customer score and reliability rating are OK but nothing special. 

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

56%57%

Another brand that focuses on the more affordable end of the market; some of its handsets are among our favourite great value models. Sadly our members don't rate it as highly as other budget brands. Nevertheless, if you’re on a budget its phones are worth a look.  

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

63%54%

This brand makes a range of phones, the more expensive of which impressed in our test lab. However, our members have experienced reliability issues and we therefore feel it necessary to remove the Best Buys this brand had previously earned and can’t recommend its handsets.  

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

55%51%

Once a very popular brand, this manufacturer has struggled to wow members and testers in recent years. Those who own a phone from this brand have reported reliability issues and because of this, we can’t recommend its mobile phones.

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

58%48%

This is one of the newer brands to make an appearance in the UK market. It has a large range of cheap handsets but these should definitely be treated with caution due to the low reliability and customer score.

Find out which mobile phone brand we're talking about by logging in or taking a £1 Which? trial.

Key

Member Content
Table notes
Sample sizes: Reliability 3,478, Customer score 3,612.

Choosing the best brand of mobile phone

The reliability ratings in the table are based on feedback from 3,478 Which? members. We asked about faults they experienced with their handset and the seriousness of the faults – from minor annoyances to handsets that wouldn’t work at all. The fewer problems and the less serious the problems reported, the higher the reliability score. The difference between brands was stark, with the best achieving a reliability score of 84% and the worst getting just 53%. 

84%The highest mobile phone reliability score.

Our research also revealed the most common mobile phone problems to be:

  • Not charging or quickly losing charge - mobile phones are simply no use if you have to remain chained to a charger in order to make a call or browse the web.
  • Freezing - a frozen phone means you can't use the phone at all. While turning it off and on again may sometimes solve the problem, it becomes hugely frustrating if this happens frequently.
  • Apps stop working - a smartphone isn't very smart without apps, and if your email or music player app stop working it can be very annoying.

We also asked how satisfied owners were with their phone and how likely they would be to recommend the brand to friends. This is our customer score. As you’ll see in the table above, many of the big brands don’t come highly recommended.

To complete the picture we’ve also included the average test score for each brand. As you can see in the table, the least reliable brand also has the lowest average test score and the second-lowest customer score. In short, it’s well worth avoiding.

Now find the perfect handset for you by checking our mobile phone reviews.