Mobile phones: Best Buys Best buy

Which? Best Buy phones are a joy to use. Their large, bright screens bring movies and games to life while their powerful processors open web pages almost instantaneously.

But get it wrong and you can be stuck with a dud phone on a long, and expensive, contract.

What makes a Best Buy mobile phone?


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Video transcript

When choosing a mobile phone, you can be bamboozle by decisions you've got to decide whether you want a smart phone or a basic handset then you have to decide on the manufacturer. Whether you want to touch screen or not and finally what operating system you are going to use. It can be very difficult and all these new features can blind you and that's where Which? comes in

Which? is completely independent. We don't take freebies, and our independent lab tests are carefully designed to reflect real life use. Our tests are carried out under controlled scientific conditions, ensuring that each mobile phone that we review is directly comparable with all the others. Well we test the key essential features that every one will use so we're looking at sound quality we're looking at ease of use we're looking at battery life those are the basics that everyone will use on their phone.

When I say ease of use, that's the ease of use of handling the phone or adding contacts but also things like sending text messages and reading them on the screen. One really important test is internet, because most smart phones these days can be used for browsing the net, but the performance you get on your phone can be very different from the one you'll get on your computer because of the size of the screen and the battery life.

So we look at these things, and we look at sort of how responsive the touchscreen is, how smooth the scrolling is. Can you open multiple pages? Can they browser look at flash? And in a new test we've developed, we look at video on the phone, so that of the camcorder element, because we know that's really popular for people.

But also video playback, because as phone screens are getting bigger, we know that people actually like watching movie clips. Now, that might be just a short clip from you it might be a full-length video. So we look at the picture quality and how easy it is to play. The key Which? difference is the depth and rigor of our testing.

All our mobile phones are sent to an independent lab Testing this is the long process it takes four weeks because there is so many different elements we want to test. We have teams of expert ergonomists we can look how years we got experts who assess picture quality and then we experts who listen for sound quality and that's both of call quality so to and from the phone but also things like the music player.

So all these experts would look at the phones and give different ratings, its not just me giving a hands-on opinion after a couple of hours with the phone And that's really quite unique. We give the top performing mobile phones best buy awards and our testing is so thorough we also give don't buys to the you should avoid.

No one else does this, because no one else tests like Which?. With so many high profile mobile phones coming to market so frequently its It's very easy to get caught up in all the hype, but at Which? we cut through the hype and tell you which handset is best. We list specifications and explains features in plain English.

We also provide a simple star rating system to highlight the differences between the best and the worst models, to help you make the right choice Our mobile phone comparison tool makes it easy to compare phones side by side and one of the models with features that you need. What's more, Which? members can leave their own reviews, and share their own invaluable personal experiences and thoughts.

not only do our members get exclusive access to our mobile phone reviews, but you will also be able to find out who offers the best contracts and which best mobile phone service providers with more than 50 years experience of testing, we can help you find the right product and save money. So for more information on mobile phones and mobile phone reviews, make sure you log in at

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Why Which? can help you find the best phone

Which? spends £60,000 every year testing mobile phones. We send new models to our labs every five weeks so you never have to wait long before reading our expert verdict.

And because we've tested mobile phones for over 10 years you can be sure that our Best Buys really are the cream of the crop.

All the phones we test go through the same tough tests at our lab.

  • To ensure your calls will always be crystal clear, our experts make and receive calls on every phone we review. We even reproduce the sound of a busy cafe to check they can cope with loud background noise.
  • We know that battery life is crucial so we check this thoroughly, recording call times in real life scenarios and measuring how long you can spend online before reaching for your charger.
  • We run the latest benchmarking software to check whether the processor is fast enough and measure the actual memory capacity rather than just accepting the manufacturers' claims.
  • We also assess the camera by taking a series of photos in a variety of conditions and by recording test footage using the phone's video camera.

We've reviewed all the latest phones, from expensive iPhones to cheap Android phones. And we've found that you don't have to spend a fortune to get a fantastic phone - we've tested some great value smartphones that cost less than £150 on a pay-as-you-go deal. Try Which? for £1 to find out which phones we recommend. 

  • Reviews of 99 mobile phones including all the latest smartphones
  • 22 Best Buy mobile phones for a model that won't let you down.
  • Brand reliability ratings plus network and phone retailer satisfaction scores

Mobile phone reviews you can trust

We've reviewed hundreds of handsets over the years from all the top brands, including Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Blackberry and Apple. We always test a mobile phone’s essential features - sound quality on calls, ease of use and battery life. And because mobiles are crammed with more and more features these days our experts assess these too. So we test the cameras in different lighting conditions, record and view footage shot on the phone’s camcorders, rate the built-in music players and even look at the performance of each phone’s web browser.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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