We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Technology.

Updated: 17 Jan 2022

Top smartphones for 2022

We reveal some of the very best mobile phones you can buy – models that have aced our tests thanks to brilliant battery life, cracking cameras and dazzling displays
Alice Williams
Choosing-your-perfect-phone2

There's lots to consider when you're buying a smartphone – do you want the best battery life to see you through a busy day, premium camera quality for your photos and videos or simply a good all rounder?

We've picked out some of the models that excel in specific areas, based on how they've fared in our tough test labs – and we've chosen a range of affordable models to sit alongside pricier handsets.

Read our guide to the best mobile phone deals for some of today's best bargains. Need more help choosing? Find out how to buy the best mobile phone.


Which? is bringing legal action against Qualcomm. If you bought an Apple or Samsung phone after 1 October 2015, you could be affected.


Our pick of the best smartphones

We've picked three great all-rounders at different price points.

Which? members get our expert pick of the best mobile phones. Log in to view our recommendations, or if you’re not yet a member, get instant access by joining Which?.

  • 82%
    £800.00

    This high-scoring phone has the holy trinity: a super-fast processor, stunning cameras and excellent battery life. It's an older model, but you won't have to make compromises with it's vibrant display and decent sounding speakers.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 77%
    £599.00

    This phone delivers a fabulous 6.4-inch screen with excellent rear cameras. It's 5G ready with a wicked-fast processor. It takes a while to charge but will give you up to 34 hours of battery - a decent result.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 77%
    £339.00

    This powerful phone gives you a lot of perks for a reasonable price. It's best features include a high-quality 6.7-inch display and up to 39 hours battery life. The cameras could be better but they produce pictures with decent colours and contrast in good light conditions.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2022.

Haven't found the product for you? Browse all of our mobile phone reviews.

Best smartphones for battery life

The best phones we've tested last for more than 40 hours before going flat, while the worst manage just 16. That's the difference between your phone keeping up with busy days of scrolling, texting, calling and watching videos, and running out when you need it most. If long battery life is your most important feature in a phone, the models below will serve you well.

  • 80%
    £386.02

    You get a lot of the benefits of a more expensive phone with this model, including an excellent battery life. It lasts up to 38 and a half hours if you dim the screen and only takes a super-quick 30 minutes to charge fully. This display is clear and bright and cameras are good too.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 77%
    £224.99

    The battery life is outstanding on this affordable model; you can push it to 53 hours if you dim the screen. It's display is equally brilliant, but it doesn't have the best cameras. It's one to consider if you don't mind not having 5G.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 70%
    £188.00

    Battery life is excellent on this phone, giving you between 36 and 42 hours. It also has a responsive LCD display, but the quality of the visibility is strongly angle dependent. The rear cameras give you decent pictures in good light.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2022.

How we test battery life

Each phone we test is rigged up to a robotic arm that simulates a full day's use on your phone, watching videos, making phone calls, using the camera and a map app. We measure how long it takes for it to run flat, so you can have peace of mind that your phone can keep up with you.

You may not always have time for a full charge, so we also check how long it takes to get to 100% and how well the battery copes if you can only plug it in for 15 minutes, taking both into account in the overall battery score.

If you're prepared to take a major hit on features and functionality, a simple mobile phone will give you much longer battery life than your average smartphone.

Best smartphone cameras

Here are our recommendations for the phones with front and rear cameras that take the best photos and videos.

  • 82%
    £949.00

    We expect great cameras from this brand and this phone doesn’t disappoint. A range of lenses and genuinely useful effects offer great versatility for your photos and videos, which are sharp, colourful and vibrant.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 79%
    £499.00

    This cameras on this phone offer great value for money. Pictures are detailed with good contrast and the night mode is effective. It didn't have any problems with our other tests too - it has a crisp display and good battery life.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 76%
    £849.00

    The rear cameras on this flagship phone give you detailed images with excellent results in night and portrait modes. Your selfies will be detailed and clear using the front camera in good light conditions. You also get an impressive 6.7-inch display and up to 31.5 hours of battery life.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2022.

How to buy the best smartphone camera

There's a fair amount of technical jargon around smartphone cameras, but it's worth knowing your way around it if you're looking for a phone that doubles as a camera.

First up, you should know what lenses do what. An ultra-wide angle lens helps you get more of a landscape in your shot, a telephoto lens is best for portraits and optical zoom, a macro lens gives great detail in a close-up and a time-of-flight lens works as a depth sensor to distinguish the foreground from the background.

Megapixels refer to the number of light capturing elements on the surface of the camera's sensor. The more pixels a camera has, the higher the resolution – and, in theory, the more detailed your photos will be. Bigger doesn't always mean better, though, and some of the best cameras we've seen have just 12Mp lenses.

Aperture (the amount of light that can enter the camera) is just as important for getting a good shot. Look for an aperture of f/1.8 or wider for the best results.

How we test camera quality

Camera specs only tell some of the story. The only real way to gauge a phone camera's quality is to test it in lots of different environments, which is exactly what our camera tests do. We look to see how well the front and rear lenses pick up colours, textures, detail and different skin tones, plus how well the zoom and image stabiliser works, so you don't end up with blurry or shaky images and videos.

Find our more by reading our expert guide on camera phones.

Best 5G phones

  • 80%
    £555.94

    This phone has a wide range of features, including 5G, for a good price. It charges in an astonishingly fast 21 minutes with the supplied charger and it lasts up to 38.5 hours. The cameras are good and the display is bright and responsive.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 78%
    £379.00

    This 5G-connected phone impressed across a number of our tests. It has excellent cameras and the battery life will get you through the day easily.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2022.

What is 5G?

5G launched in the UK in 2019, and since then, EE, 02, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have started to launch their network in major cities and towns, with plans to reach 90% of the country by 2024.

5G could revolutionise the way we communicate, with experts citing its potential use in connected cities and driverless cars. The average user could see huge improvements in download speeds, fewer dropped connections and better signal strength indoors. If you want to take advantage of this, you'll need a 5G contract with your provider as well as a 5G-enabled phone.

See the table below for the best 5G phones for your budget, or click through to check 5G coverage in your area.

The worst mobile phones to avoid

With the good come the bad. Not all smartphones are worth spending money on - the two we've highlighted below have dismal screens, rubbish cameras and unimpressive battery life.

  • 28%
    £80.00

    A slow processor, woeful cameras and poor battery life make this cheap smartphone one of the worst we've ever tested. Also, considering that the face scanner is practically unusable, there's absolutely no reason to buy this cheap phone.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 39%
    £99.39

    You deserve better than this phone when buying an affordable smartphone. You don’t get much in terms of storage and it has a slow processor, which can become very frustrating when waiting for things to load. Its short-charge battery life is pitiful so you would always need to remember to fully charge it overnight.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2022.

More on smartphones

Whether you're trying to pick a smartphone brand, deciding which features to prioritise or looking for advice on your current handset, Which? experts have you covered. Click through to read more on: