Best Mobile Phones 2021: The Absolute Best Smart Phones, Ranked

Best Mobile Phones 2021: The Absolute Best Smart Phones and Ranking

Best Mobile Phones 2021: The Absolute Best Smart Phones, Ranked

HE's guide to the absolute best phones on the market today in 2021. Discover the simplest smartphone for you now.

Fancy a replacement smartphone? this is often an excellent time to shop for , and our greatest phones guide will assist you compare and contrast the absolute best handsets on the market today in 2021. We'll show you the absolute best smartphones regardless of who makes them, what OS they run or what proportion they cost.

If you already prefer a specific platform, like Android or iOS, we even have a fanatical guide to the simplest Android phones and one for the simplest iPhones.

Some of these phones are quite expensive, but you do not necessarily got to spend plenty of cash on a replacement smartphone. additionally to the affordable models we've covered here we've also put together a whole guide to the simplest cheap phones, and if you are looking for a compact device instead of an enormo-screened obelisk you will find many choice in HE's best small phones feature.

We've also put together a comprehensive roundup of the simplest gaming phones and a guide to the fastest 5G phones, too. And if you have already got a brand affinity for your handset, then make certain to see out HE's best Samsung phones and best Huawei phones guides.

1. Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12

Specifications

Weight: 164g

Dimensions: 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.4 mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 6.1 inches

Resolution: 1170 x 2532 pixels

CPU: Apple A14 Bionic

RAM: 4GB

Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB

Battery: 2,815 mAh

Rear camera: 12MP wide + 12MP ultrawide

Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to Buy

Fantastic HDR Screen

High Quality Camera System

Now with 5G

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Apple iPhone 12

Apple has outdone itself with the four iPhone 12 models launched in late last year, and if you cannot stretch to the worth of the professional editions then the quality iPhone 12 could rather be the simplest phone for you. It's full of power and comes with a trendy new design, though Apple's handsets are still at the costlier end of the size .

5G has been added to the iPhone this year in fact , which suggests you're future-proofed when it involves next-gen connectivity. The A14 Bionic processor is more power than you're really getting to need, while the improved dual-lens rear camera system can take spectacular photos in any quite light.

We also adore the flatter design that Apple has introduced for the iPhones this year. increase that the selection of cool colours – white, black, blue, green and red – and it is a really impressive overall package. Unless you've got a true affinity for Android, this might rather be the smartphone for you.

What you do not get within the Apple iPhone 12 is that the same flexibility of camera that you simply get in iPhone 12 Pro – and that is because it's a dual-camera, instead of a tri-camera setup. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also offers more screen size than the iPhone 12, but we expect 6.1 inches is enough for many people.

As HE's concluded in our official review of the phone: "The iPhone 12 is that the iPhone most of the people should get in 2021 – it gives you a shocking new design, an incredible new screen compared to the iPhone 11, excellent cameras with a couple of new tricks, plus 5G and therefore the world's fastest phone processor for future-proofing."

2. OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro

Specifications

Weight: 197g

Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7 mm

OS: OxygenOS / Android 11

Screen size: 6.7 inches

Resolution: 3216x1400

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

RAM: 8GB / 12GB

Storage: 128 / 256GBBattery: 4500 mAh

Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 50MP + 2MP

Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to Buy

Excellent 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ screen

Rapid internal hardware

Hasselblad designed camera system

Stylish design with great ergonomics

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus blew everyone away last year with its OnePlus 8 Pro handset, which cemented its position at the highest table of phone makers. The one area where that phone didn't quite punch as hard as its rivals was camera system, though, in order that is why this year's new OnePlus 9 Pro has doubled down on camera system. and therefore the results are excellent.

The camera system on the OnePlus 9 Pro is co-designed with photography master Hasselblad, and offers noticeably better color accuracy and detailing that previous handsets, also as a feature-packed shooting system (both images and video, with video up to 8K 30fps possible) that competes with the simplest phones on the market today.

Away from camera system, the OnePlus 9 Pro is extremely much an evolution of the outgoing OnePlus 8 Pro, coming with an identical design and iterative specs bump for this year. that's no bad thing, though, as this handset's design drips with premium and feels great within the hand.

The phone is powered by the newest flagship Android system-on-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and comes in two main configs, one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of space for storing , and therefore the other offering 12GB / 256GB respectively.

3. Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Specifications

Weight: 148g

Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

OS: iOS 13

Screen size: 4.7 inches

Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels

CPU: Apple A13 Bionic

RAM: 36GB

Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB

Battery: 1,821 mAh

Rear camera: 12 MP f/1.8

Front camera: 7 MP f/2.0

Reasons to Buy

Appealing design

Rapid hardware

Very affordable

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

It is fair to mention that Apple's iPhone SE (2020) handset has taken this year by storm in terms of praise, with the recent new handset winning critics over worldwide with its brilliant balance of features, quality and performance for a really attractive price point. Retailing for under half what Apple's flagship phones do, this is often easily the simplest budget handset we've ever seen from the American maker.

And, be under no illusion, this phone delivers. It's CPU, for instance , is that the very same A13 Bionic chipset that sits altogether of Apple's flagship phones, while it comes running Apple's iOS 13 OS a bit like those phones do, too. it's in many respects a full fat new iPhone experience except for a surprisingly low price point.

Now, of course, you do not get all the bells and whistles that you simply do with a real flagship iPhone, and therefore the camera, battery and display isn't quite nearly as good as those on the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, but all of them work and deliver strong results, so at the iPhone SE's bargain price we feel that's a really fair trade-off.

4. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Specifications

Weight: 229 g

Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm (6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 in)

OS: Android 11

Screen size: 6.8 inches

Resolution: 3200 x 1440

CPU: Exynos 2100 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB/16GB

Storage: 256GB/512GB

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Rear camera: 108 MP, 10MP, 10MP, 12MP

Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to Buy

Superb 120Hz, WQHD+, HDR10+ screen

Hyper premium internal hardware

Versatile, feature-packed camera

S Pen digital stylus support

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra isn't only the simplest phone Samsung has ever made, but it's one that creates history because it is that the first S-series handset that comes with digital stylus support. a bit like on the Galaxy Note series of phones, the S21 Ultra can now be utilized in conjunction with a digital stylus, albeit the phone doesn't accompany one and, also unlike the Note series, a stylus cannot be stored in it.

Away from stylus functionality the phone may be a 5-star beast in every single way, from its massive, premium display that delivers 6.8-inches of land with both a 120Hz refresh rate and WQHD+ resolution, to its 5nm system-on-chip within the sort of the Exynos 2100 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and throughout to its RAM (max spec is 16GB) and enormous , long-lasting battery (5,000mAh).

The phone is additionally a titan in terms of photography, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra coming with an excellent powerful quad rear camera system, also as high-resolution (40MP) selfie camera. the most rear snapper on the S21 Ultra features a super advanced 108MP sensor which allows for insanely high-resolution shots.

Throw in the very latest Android 11 OS , also as bevy of advanced features just like the laptop-aping DeX Mode and reverse wireless charging, and you're left with a phone that basically has no weaknesses in the least . The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra costs, but it's absolutely well worth the investment if you're trying to find a premium phone upgrade.

5. OnePlus Nord 2

OnePlus Nord 2

Specifications

Weight: 189 g

Dimensions: 158.9 x 73.2 x 8.25mm

OS: OxygenOS / Android 11

Screen size: 6.43 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels

CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI

RAM: 8GB / 12GB

Storage: 128GB / 256GB

Battery: 4500 mAh

Rear camera: 50MP + 8MP + 2MP

Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to Buy

Excellent screen and build quality

Clean, powerful OxygenOS

Impressive performance

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

OnePlus Nord 2

Competing against a number of the large players on this list with great specs and a way more convincing tag , the OnePlus Nord 2 rules the mid-range market.

Firstly, this phone seems like it costs twice the maximum amount because it actually does, with an aesthetic glass back and a gorgeous 6.43-inch edge-to-edge display. The screen features a 90Hz refresh rate, so although not the 120Hz of the foremost expensive flagships, it’s still incredibly smooth. You’ll get an excellent experience from it whether you’re online shopping or playing mobile games.

That’s helped by the impressive performance provided by the exclusive MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI CPU, it delivers speeds that improves on the first Nord and matches up to slightly older flagships just like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. What meaning is that OnePlus Nord 2 will deal with almost any task you'll throw at it, and therefore the large battery means you won’t need to charge it throughout the day.

6. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Specifications

Weight: 234g

Dimensions: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.38mm

OS: MIUI 12 based on Android 11

Screen size: 6.8 inches

Resolution: 3200x1440

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 5,000mAh

Front camera: 20MP

Rear camera: 50MP, 48MP, 48MP

Reasons to Buy

Two displays

Impressive camera

Powerful performance

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi goes up against the premium smartphone players with the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. initially glance, it's like all other flagship with an outsized glossy display with a small hole punch camera on the front. But turn it around and you will see something completely different - the phone features a large camera module with a 1.1inch AMOLED display integrated into it. you'll use it as an always-on display, notification window or to quickly skip through music.

One of the simplest uses for the small screen is as a selfie preview window. Gone are the times of losing out on quality employing a front camera, now you'll make use of all of the advantages of the most camera system and make certain that everybody has made it into the shot. Not only will you capture better selfies, but its point-and-shoot capabilities are excellent too.

Two screens and an outstanding camera system aren't the sole benefits of this phone, it is also one among the foremost powerful handsets you'll buy. It handles everything from photo-editing to mobile gaming with ease - it boasted even more impressive performance than the winners on this list.

Granted, this handset is hyper-premium which is certain to be off-putting for tons of individuals . due to that, it won't be the simplest phone for many people. But if you're big on photography and need a speedy smartphone, then this one offers something just a touch bit different to all or any the remainder .

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Specifications

Weight: 208 g

Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.9 inches

Resolution: 1440 x 3088 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus / Exynos 990

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Battery: 4500mAh

Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8 wide+ 12MP f/3.0 (periscope telephoto) + 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide

Front camera: 10MP f/2.2 wide

Reasons to Buy

The best S Pen yet

Huge, bright screen

Plenty of power

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Despite the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra getting digital stylus support, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G remains our top choice of handset if you would like stylus functionality. this is often primarily because, one, the phone comes with a stylus, and two because that stylus are often stored and charged within the device. The S21 Ultra offers neither of those things, requiring extra spend for a stylus, and no thanks to dock the stylus inside the phone.

There's also tons to love about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, and if you'll manage the value , it's undoubtedly one among the simplest Android experiences going immediately . It features an excellent design, a quite capable camera, and internal specs that mean it'll outpace almost every phone on the market.

The biggest reason for purchasing the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, though, is in fact that S Pen – scribble on the lock screen, control the camera remotely, unleash your creative side, and more. If you would like a phone with a stylus for serious work on the go, this phone has you covered.

5G is on board, because the name of the phone suggests, which suggests you're covered for years when it involves next-gen connectivity – and considering you've the Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset (depending on region) running everything, this is not a phone that'll be slowing down anytime soon.

As we've said, the worth may be a little on the eye-watering side, except for something you are going to use a day for years to return , you would possibly consider it worthwhile. The triple-lens rear camera with 5x optical zoom deserves a mention too, as it's capable of capturing some fantastic snaps in any quite lighting.

8. OnePlus 9

OnePlus 9

Specifications

Weight: 192g

Dimensions: 160x74.2x8.7mm

OS: Android 11 /Oxygen OS 11

Screen size: 6.55 inches

Resolution: 2400 x 1080

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB

Rear cameras: 48MP, 50MP, 2MP

Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to Buy

Super fast charging

Fluid, smooth 120Hz display

Fast performance

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

OnePlus 9

OnePlus is becoming a serious contender when it involves flagship smartphones. The new OnePlus 9 easily rivals competitors with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, 120Hz refresh rate, a fresh Hasselblad triple camera system and really fast charging.

Delivering on performance, this a smartphone that isn’t fooling around . It doesn’t hamper or waver, regardless of what proportion you are trying to try to to directly . With lightning-fast speeds, a 6.55 inch AMOLED display and a 120Hz refresh rate, you get seriously satisfying gaming and ultra-smooth scrolling too. Speaking of speed, the OnePlus 9 recharges from empty to 100% in just 29 minutes, yep you read that right. It's seriously impressive and can mean the top of waiting around for your phone to charge.

When it came to the camera, they’ve made some huge improvements. Having partnered with camera manufacturer Hasselblad to make it, the triple camera system shoots accurate, well-balanced photos with many manual controls for those that want it. once we had a go, the simplest shots were its up-close macro shots which had plenty of intricate detail.

Granted, there are still a couple of things to enhance on, just like the standard battery life and therefore the camera was less impressive on a dark day. But this is often still a powerful handset that's an honest match for other flagship smartphones available immediately .

9. iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 Pro

Specifications

Weight: 189g

Dimensions: 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.4 mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 6.1 inches

Resolution: 1170 x 2532 pixels

CPU: Apple A14 Bionic

RAM: 4GBStorage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Battery: 2,815mAh

Rear camera: 12MP wide + 12MP ultrawide + 12MP telephoto 2x

Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to Buy

Powerful processor

Superb OLED screen

Excellent camera

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

There's such a lot to love about the new iPhone 12 Pro that it's hard to understand where to start: there's the blazingly fast A14 Bionic processor, the addition of 5G, the improved triple-lens camera system with added LiDAR, the redesigned shape of the phone, and many more besides.

That's before you get to the software side – iOS continues to travel from strength to strength, and iOS 14 introduces new features like home screen widgets, pinned chats in Messages, and a replacement Translate app to require on Google Translate. From both a hardware and a software perspective, it's a powerful package.

This edition of the phone is costlier than the quality iPhone 12, and therefore the main difference is that the camera: the professional model adds a zoom lens and built-in LiDAR for better depth sensing. Both are great phones, but we expect the professional edition are going to be less popular due to the upper price.

The colour choices are different too, with the iPhone 12 Pro available in blue, gold, graphite or silver. Whichever way you check out it, it's a simple inclusion for our greatest phones of 2021 list, and we're happy to recommend it – as long as you get along side Apple software and may accommodate the worth .

10. Sony Xperia 1 II

Sony Xperia 1 II

Specifications

Weight: 181.4 g

Dimensions: 165.1 mm x 71.1 mm x 7.6 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.5 inches

Resolution: 1644 x 3840 pixels

CPU: Snapdragon 865

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4,000mAh

Rear camera: 12MP (wide) + 12MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 0.3 MP (depth)

Front camera: 8MP (wide) 

Reasons to Buy

Powerful Internals

Impressive screen

Excellent camera

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Sony Xperia 1 II

With a stunning 6.5-inch, 21:9 display, the Sony Xperia 1 II follows on from the Sony Xperia 1 in being a superb handset to observe movies and television shows on. If that's something that you simply wish to do, then this is often a phone that's worth putting on your shortlist when you're choosing the simplest phone for you.

We can also tell you that the camera is extremely impressive too, whether you would like to only point and shoot or take more control over the varied on-board photography settings. The Sony Xperia 1 II will serve you well when it involves taking photos and making movies, and again this is often something that Sony handsets are documented for.

Add during a nice design, strong battery life, wireless charging, 5G and an IP68 rating, and you'll tell that this is often a phone with only a few flaws. The aesthetics and therefore the tall screen won't be to everyone's taste, and it's on the pricey side, but the Sony Xperia 1 II is deserve the flagship label.

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