The 5 Best Phones of 2024: Ranked and Reviewed

The smartphone world continues to surprise us. Each year manufacturers raise the bar, surpassing our expectations for display quality, camera capability, processing power, and overall design.

2024 proves no exception. With ultra high-resolution cameras, 5G connectivity, vibrant AMOLED screens, and speedy chipsets, today‘s phones pack serious punch. Some are even closing the gap with entry-level laptops and tablets.

So which model rises to the top? After weeks of hands-on testing and analysis, we ranked the cream of the crop. This expert guide will help you sift through the options and invest wisely in your next smartphone.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Our Pick
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra


  • Boundary-pushing 200MP camera
  • Built-in S Pen for precision editing
  • Vibrant 6.8" QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display
  • Top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset


  • Very expensive at over $1,200
  • Heavy and bulky

For the second year running, Samsung retains the top spot with its exceptional Galaxy S23 Ultra. The sleekest, most powerful Android phone we‘ve seen, it pushes boundaries with its quad rear camera setup, S Pen integration, vivid display, and elite internals.

Let‘s start with that staggering 200MP wide camera. In a world of 12, 48, and even 108MP phone cameras, Samsung shatters expectations with this release. Paired with advanced AI image processing, it captures incredible detail and clarity. Zoom in on images without losing resolution or introducing artifacts.

The 200MP primary lens combines with two 10MP telephotos (3x and 10x optical zoom) and a 12MP ultrawide for tremendous photographic versatility. Samsung further enables creativity with the integrated S Pen stylus — take precise control when editing images and video.

Content truly comes alive on the S23 Ultra‘s huge 6.8” 1440p Dynamic AMOLED display. With distinctive curved edges and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, enjoy smooth, immersive viewing. The latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor delivers desktop-grade power for demanding applications. expect exceptional app performance, sophisticated gaming, and 5G connectivity reaching dizzying 10 Gbps peaks.

With all it brings to the table, from pro photography to portable computing, the Galaxy S23 Ultra warrants its lofty price tag. For those seeking the pinnacle of smartphone innovation in 2024, look no further.

Best iPhone: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Our Pick
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max


  • Stunning 6.7" OLED display with ProMotion
  • Photographic excellence from 48MP camera
  • Lightning-quick A16 Bionic processor
  • Dynamic Island multitasking


  • No USB-C or higher refresh rates
  • Quite heavy at 240g

Over in iOS land, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands atop the pile. While more iterative than the S23 Ultra, Apple‘s finest still impresses with its vivid ProMotion display, photographic chops, and A16 Bionic speed.

That 6.7" flexible OLED panel with its crisp 1179p resolution showcases excellent brightness (up to 1600 nits), inky blacks, and buttery smooth content with ProMotion‘s adaptive 120Hz refresh rates. It keeps visuals slick and responsive whether gaming or scrolling.

Meanwhile the Pro Max‘s upgraded 48MP triple camera introduces Apple‘s first pixel-binning main sensor. Paired with intelligent software optimization and Apple‘s processing expertise, it brings tangible improvements to detail, low light performance, and zoom capability. Expect gorgeous, true to life photographs any camera phone would envy. 4K video recording remains super-sharp too.

As ever, Apple‘s latest homegrown A16 Bionic silicon sets the standard for mobile processing power. It chews through intensive workloads with ease — editing multiple streams of 4K video proves no sweat. Gaming also impresses with advanced graphical effects and high frame rates, while built-in 5G keeps things speedy on the go.

Though lacking key upgrades like USB-C or a higher refresh rate panel, the iPhone 14 Pro Max brings meaningful improvements to cameras, performance, and battery life. It remains iOS users‘ definitive choice.

Most Portable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Our Pick
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4


  • Truly pocketable folding form factor
  • Vibrant 6.7” FHD+ 120Hz display
  • Great 12MP dual camera array
  • Flexible multitasking interface


  • Mediocre 3700 mAh battery
  • Delicate folding screen

In the nascent field of foldables, Samsung continues perfecting its "Flip" series formula for a practical yet powerful take on the future. The exceptionally portable Z Flip 4 delivers full smartphone functionality from a device that folds down to a pocket-friendly 86.4mm.

Unfurling the Z Flip 4 reveals a sharp 6.7" FHD OLED display running at an enhanced 120Hz for liquid visuals. That versatile form factor lends itself well to Flex Mode too — simply partially fold back the screen to enable clever dual display multitasking.

While not quite matching the S23 Ultra‘s imaging capabilities, the Z Flip 4 takes fantastic shots courtesy of its dual 12 MP camera array. Features like OIS, 30x Space Zoom, and 4K video give it creative flexibility.

Powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, the Flip 4 supplies processing grunt suitable for mobile gaming, robust multitasking, and 5G connectivity. Our main complaint concerns the 3700 mAh battery. It delivers merely acceptable life compared to elite competitors. But that compromise enables the compact, genuinely pocketable design.

If portability ranks high on your priority list, the Flip 4 can‘t be ignored. Its folding functionality works wonderfully while still packing high-end specifications. This uniquely versatile device stands miles ahead of old-school "candybar" phones for life on the go.

Best Budget Phone: Motorola Moto G62

Our Pick
Motorola Moto G62


  • Excellent value under $400
  • Vibrant 6.5” 120Hz FHD+ display
  • Capable 50MP main camera
  • Huge 5,000 mAh battery


  • Midrange Dimensity 700 chip
  • Plastic build feels cheap

With each passing year premium smartphones get more expensive. Innovative folding designs now pass the $1,000 barrier with ease. Where does that leave budget-focused buyers? Enter Motorola‘s Moto G62 — an excellent value device costing just $399.

The Moto G62 punches well above its weight, delivering a gorgeous 6.5” 120Hz FHD+ display that keeps visuals smooth across its 20:9 aspect ratio panel. That high refresh rate also benefits gaming, while a side-mounted fingerprint reader enables easy unlocking.

Camera performance similarly outperforms expectations courtesy of the 50MP main lens and 8MP 118° ultrawide module. Support for 4K 30fps video capture satisfies creative urges, augmented by capable 16MP selfies from the front camera.

Motorola opts for MediaTek‘s Dimensity 700 chip to deliver satisfactory midrange power for most tasks. Combined with 4GB of RAM, expect decent app responsiveness, if not exceptional multitasking or 3D gaming prowess.

As a final feather in its cap, the G62 touts exceptional battery life from its huge 5,000 mAh pack. With conservative usage that easily lasts 2 days per full charge. When longevity matters most, this budget battler shines.

While its plastic construction feels cheap next to premium brands, the Moto G62‘s combination of solid cameras, vibrant 120Hz display panel, and incredible battery life make it a standout sub-$400 option.

Best Android Phone: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Our Pick
Google Pixel 7 Pro


  • Stunning 6.7" QHD+ LTPO OLED display
  • Google‘s best-in-class photography
  • Potent next-gen Tensor G2 chip
  • Industry-leading software experience


  • Battery life just okay at ~24 hours
  • No 10x optical camera zoom

As developers of Android itself, Google‘s engineers uniquely optimize its Pixel devices to serve as the quintessential Android flagship — and the Pixel 7 Pro succeeds with aplomb. From its gorgeous high-refresh display to superlative triple camera array and slick user experience, this phone nails the fundamentals.

That flexibility starts with Google‘s choice of outstanding 6.7” QHD+ LTPO OLED display. Running at 120Hz with capable peak brightness over 1500 nits, it delivers buttery responsiveness and excellent clarity across all types of content. Support for HDR10+ and apps in 12-bit color builds on the premium visual experience.

Google‘s mobile photography expertise also shines through via the Pixel 7 Pro‘s upgraded triple camera setup, now led by a 50MP primary sensor. From portraits to detailed landscape shots, expect excellent white balance, contrast and dynamic range. 30x hybrid zoom shots stay clean too. Videographers will love up to 4K 60fps shooting options with gimbal-style stabilization.

The second-generation Tensor G2 chipset built by Google supplies ample processing grunt. Everything feels snappy, from intense gaming to split-screen multitasking. Of course optimized AI functionality backs key camera and assistant features as well.

While battery life still doesn‘t match Samsung‘s marathon runners, expect a comfortable 24+ hours typical use from the 5000 mAh pack. Charging uptimes remain only average as well, even with 30W wired charging. But with its dazzling display, ultrasharp camera array, buttery UI, and ample power, the Pixel 7 Pro ticks practically every box as today‘s definitive premium Android flagship.

How We Chose the Best Phones of 2024

Selecting and ranking the finest phones available in 2024 involved extensive in-house testing across core performance criteria:


Modern phones boast excellent high-resolution panels up to QHD+, but aspects like size, peak brightness, refresh rate, and panel technology also factor hugely into quality. We tested contrast, clarity, visibility and smoothness across top competitors.


We exhaustively compared image and video output between leading camera phones. Test shots across lighting scenarios judged factors like detail, noise and artifact suppression, zoom capability, HDR performance, autofocus, and more.

Battery & Charging

Phones packing higher-capacity batteries generally last longer off the charger, but optimized software also plays a big role. We tested longevity claims against real-world usage spanning gaming, web and video streaming. Recharge times were also compared.

Design & Durability

The best phones should deliver premium, lasting hardware — not just on day one but after months of daily use and the occasional bump or drop. We evaluated build construction, ergonomics and rated durability testing like scratch and splash resistance.


From 4G web browsing to 3D gaming, we simulated intensive phone workloads that test processing, graphics and thermals. Higher scores and faster load times earn more points in our performance benchmarks.

After conducting hundreds of side-by-side tests on today‘s top phones, we formulated conclusive rankings based on proven excellence across all metrics. Manufacturers ready to claim a coveted spot here simply can‘t cut corners — they must nail the essentials while pushing boundaries to stand apart from intense competition.

What High-End Phones Do Better

In closing, let‘s examine key advantages premium flagship phones hold over cheaper options — and why top models merit their higher price tags.

  • Cutting-Edge Design — From nearly bezel-free displays to aerospace-grade metal skeletons, flagship brands invest heavily in attractive yet robust industrial design not found on budget models. Unique form factors like flip and fold devices also reach the peak of innovation with pricier options.

  • Benchmark Performance – Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sits unmatched among mobile processors, outpacing Apple‘s A16 Bionic on certain workloads. These elite chipsets leave midrange options far behind for demanding applications. High amounts of RAM help drive further advantages.

  • Photographic Excellence – Ranging from advanced optics to vastly more capable image sensors and post-processing, expensive phones capture spectacularly better, more detailed photos under any conditions. Their high-end camera hardware pushes boundaries.

  • Hyper-Immersive Displays – Large AMOLED panels at QHD+ resolutions with 120Hz high refresh rates showcase the upper echelon of visual quality — much like 4K TVs step above HD. Enjoy mesmerizing HDR video and buttery system responsiveness.

Of course diminishing returns exist even with cost-no-object pricing. The range of quality from a $400 phone to $1,200 model proves far wider than an upgrade say, from $1,200 to the $1,800 realm.

But for shoppers prioritizing performance, photography and top-notch hardware builds, flagship phones make compelling cases to justify their premium sticker prices. Brand cachet can‘t be ignored either when our smartphones have become such personal accessories.

Final Thoughts

Even as phones now mimic tablets and laptops in capability, manufacturers continue packing more utility and power into ever-sleeker mobiles. Across operating systems and budgets, compelling options exist for all types of users.

Hopefully these head-to-head comparisons and test impressions steer you towards the right device to meet your needs and budget. We‘ll revisit rankings in another year as technology continues advancing at blazing pace.

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