Mi 11 Ultra
A great mobile phone will take the place of your camera, keep you informed and entertained on the move and still leave you with enough battery when you get home.
But it's not easy to find a model that can succeed on all counts. With prices rising and more than ever to choose from, it's important to spend your money wisely on a phone that will last.
Read our in-depth guide for advice on choosing the right operating system, brand and additional features that you'll really use.
You could spend over £1,000 on a smartphone, but fortunately over recent years we've seen excellent models for a fraction of the price.
Expect to spend a little over £200 for a Best Buy. It may not have all the bells and whistles of premium competitors, but any phone good enough to be a Best Buy is guaranteed to tick a lot of boxes.
What you're typically missing out on versus the flagship models are high end cameras and high resolution video, a less sharp or colourful display, and less premium materials in the phone's construction.
What you can get, regardless of price, are perfectly capable and versatile cameras that take great photos, impressive battery life, and processors that are more than fast enough for most day to day tasks.
One important consideration for any phone purchase is how long it'll received important security updates from the manufacturer. This is where brand can make a difference. Apple traditionally supports smartphones for the longest, at around 5 or 6 years. Android brands vary considerable, from 2 to over 4 years.
This isn't always easy to work out, and you need to remember that support durations start from when the phone is released, not when you buy it. To help inform a purchase, enter a phone into the tool below to see our estimate of the minimum remaining support.
The operating system (OS) is the software that powers your phone. It shapes what the phone interface looks like and what apps it can run, and plays a large part in how easy it is to use. There are two main players to choose from: iOS (Apple iPhones) and Android.
Android is designed by Google and is used by a range of manufacturers, from bigger brands such as and to growing brands like and . Android looks and behaves slightly differently depending on who manufactures the smartphone handset, but the basics are essentially the same.
All use iOS and, unlike Android, the experience of using the operating system is broadly similar whichever iPhone you buy. New updates to iOS are released each year, but some older iPhones may be able to run only older versions, which means you'll miss out on some of the latest features and security patches.
Smartphones are getting bigger, with the latest high-end models measuring between 5.5 and 6 inches or more. While bigger phones are great for watching films and browsing the web, they won’t suit everyone. Some people find them too large and awkward to hold, and would prefer a model they can comfortably use with one hand.
The best way to find out which handset size is right for you is to try holding a few in a shop. Also pay attention to the physical dimensions of the phone. Screen sizes are available at different aspect ratios, and different phones have different sized bezels. A phone with a 6-inch screen may ultimately be smaller than one with a 5.5-inch screen.
You might be tempted to think that phones with larger batteries have a better battery life. While battery size is a good indicator, that's not always the case. There are multiple things that can drain a phone's battery, including screen size, resolution and refresh rate, and the type of processor.
We put all phones through a rigorous battery test to find out how long they last under real usage conditions – watching videos, browsing the internet, making calls, using the camera and more, and we factor in idle time as well, to give a realistic usage time, and attribute a star rating.
This is a key buying decision. It can be tempting to opt for a lower monthly fee rather than pay a lot outright for a new phone, but this could cost more in the long term. Use our phone contract calculator to find the best way to buy.
One way to get a good discount on a phone is to buy second-hand, or a refurbished model – which is usually a phone that has been used but restored to 'as new' condition, or graded to a certain level of quality. The second hand phone market is a popular one, but you do need to be careful what you buy. Read more in our guide to .
The biggest fault people have with mobile phones is related to battery, with almost one in five reporting issues with phones refusing to charge, or quickly losing charge.
There's plenty of choice in the smartphones market outside Samsung and Apple, and plenty of quality too - we regularly uncover Best Buys from rival brands.
A popular 'budget' brand, Motorola has a range of very competitively priced models, and are a favourite among users who don't want to spend a fortune on a phone. Our tests have shown that it's capable of both Best Buys and Don't Buys, so check our to make sure your money's spent wisely.
If you're after a brand that provides value for money, look no further than Xiaomi. While it does produce high end phones, Xiaomi has a wide range of cheap yet feature-packed models that have seriously impressed. It is capable of producing a stinker though, so read our before you buy.
Google aims for quality over quantity - it has a limited range but the phones are popular with budding smartphone photographers, and those who appreciate timely operating system updates - Google does own Android, after all. Browse our to see if they tick the boxes elsewhere.
OnePlus has really upped its game in recent years, and its flagships can now challenge those of Apple and Samsung. Prices have risen as well, though, so you might want to consider a range of cheaper OnePlus models. Head to our to check them out.
We've tested nearly 200 mobile phones to bring you a definitive verdict on your next model – from old-hands Sony and Nokia to new kids on the block Oppo and Realme. Browse all our to find the perfect model.
When buying a mobile phone, make sure you're handing your money over to a reputable seller. Check the retailer's returns policy and pay attention to customer feedback and reviews. For more details on shopping online safely and arranging refunds for faulty products, see our .
Mobile Phones Direct, Argos and Carphone Warehouse are some of the most searched-for mobile phone retailers at the time of writing. We’ve included links to these retailers handpicked because of their stock availability, best value price or warranty options.