In 2023 it’s almost a guarantee that everyone from sixth graders to seniors will have a smartphone in their pocket, and with developments in technology reaching higher peaks every year, it’s a rat race to get to the best models. But with every advancement and small improvement it can suddenly become a lot harder to narrow down a phone in such a vast market with factors like camera, speed, and battery life all playing an essential and important role in your user experience.
However with all the smartphones reviewed this year at CGM, there was one smartphone put out this year that performed exceptionally in all possible categories; truly a worthy candidate for the best of 2023, and despite the winner outshining the rest, you shouldn’t rule out the other– amazing– nominees of this year. With great phones coming out from Samsung, Apple, and Oneplus this year, it’s impossible not to find exactly what you need from our top picks.
Here are CGMs nominees for Best Smartphone 2023:
The OnePlus 10 Pro takes pride in its minimalist design, with only one button on each side, with combinations of pressing to control volume, screenshots, power, and waking the screen. Watching Netflix and playing games like Fortnite on the OnePlus 10 Pro was excellent with the 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) Display. The smartphone held up well in-game, with no stuttering or delay, even when I was surrounded. The colours were bright, and the picture was clear and sharp no matter what I was watching or playing.
The camera is what we’re all really here for though, right? The OnePlus 10 Pro features Hasselblad Camera for Mobile, with a 32 MP front camera, 48 MP main camera, 50 MP ultra-wide camera, and 8 MP telephoto camera which manages to bring a simplified approach to photography, but makes sure to keep your options open if you want to take things up a notch. In its simpler modes, even the front-facing camera takes beautifully detailed photos. If you do manage to wear the 5000 mAh battery down, with the right charger, you can get it from 0 to 100% in under an hour.
Brushing off a few software issues that the latest update appears to have solved, the OnePlus 10 Pro makes switching to a new device a simple process, while still packing power behind the device no matter how you intend to use it.
the Google Pixel 6a. Weighing in at around 178g features over 24h battery life, which can be extended over 72 hours using the Extreme Battery Saver option as well as a USB-C charging port on the bottom of the device that comes with a charging cord in the box. When it comes to speed, the Pixel 6a is fantastic. Featuring the same Google Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 Pro, you won’t be left wanting for speed here. Your app launches, page loading, and picture viewing are all lightning fast, so you’ll really be able to switch on the go from apps such as Spotify to Maps in no time at all.
When it comes to taking pictures, the Google Pixel 6a features a dual rear camera system that employs a 12.2 mp wide lens, and a 12 mp ultrawide lens. Nothing special to brag about here, but the photos it takes are fantastic. The Google Pixel 6a runs on Android 12, and it is wonderful to experience. Everything flows seamlessly and that is thanks, in large part, to the internal components like the 6 GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The Google Tensor Titan M2 Security coprocessor helped ensure that my content and data was safe from any potential wrongdoers trying to access the device.
When it comes to easy-to-use entry-level smartphones, the Google Pixel 6a sets the bar pretty high.
Imagine taking all of your favourite things from your favourite Samsung phones, then putting together a little wish list of features that you feel were missing from those phones. Your wish becomes Samsung’s command as they release the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G. This phone is lightning fast and incredibly responsive to your commands and the combination of lens options opens up a world of possibilities. Low-light photos have never looked better on a Samsung Camera Phone. Its ultra-wide and super telephoto capabilities can give you the widest landscape and the closest detail all while standing in a single spot.
Then you get to the video capabilities of this phone and your mind explodes. A new content creator could use this phone as a vlogging device and want for nothing when it comes to quality in addition to one of the big features of their Galaxy Note Series, the S Pen. The internally stored stylus has 2.8ms latency with Bluetooth integration, a gyroscope and accelerometer, and a Li-Ion 5000 mAh battery, capable of ultrafast 45W charging.
With the best features of the phones that came before it, Samsung has made my favorite phone the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Not only can it do everything, but it does everything well.
Writer: Chris De Hoog
Last year we praised the iPhone 13 Pro for being a worthy upgrade, and now were happy to report the iPhone 14 Pro continues this upward trend, the things that have been updated in the iPhone 14 Pro make a world of difference including its new Dynamic Island, a solution to the ongoing notch issue that’s been irking smartphone design for the last few years. Dynamic Island makes the notch interactive, responding in real-time to show various updates. Unlock your phone, and the lock animation plays up at the top of the screen.
Additionally, Apple’s new Photonic Engine takes the existing Deep Fusion process to the next level. By altering the series of processes that your snaps go through from the time you press the shutter to the time the file is saved, Apple has improved the overall quality of low- to mid-light captures. Coupled with the Cinematic mode, the iPhone has some serious potential for amateur filmmakers and content creators—or even just to spice up your home videos.
The iPhone 14 Pro builds upon last year’s strong outing with some small yet mighty breakthroughs.
WINNER: Best Smartphone 2023:
The OnePlus 10 Pro launched earlier this year, bringing with it a stunning-looking device that boasted some fantastic specs that compared well against the likes of Samsung, Google, and even other Chinese companies like Xiaomi. With the top specs of a Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with 512 GB storage and 12 GB RAM, it seemed like a perfect package all for $899 USD. But with their latest offering, they managed to do more than provide a slight increase in performance and have changed many important features of the phone.
The camera is finally ready for prime time, gaming has never handled better, and the overall experience with the phone feels flagship ready, with a unique look that I have not seen in the competition. There is a lot to like about the OnePlus 10T, and with a price that is significantly less ($899) than what you would find from Apple, Samsung or Google, it is hard to deny that the flagship killer label may finally be ready to make a return.
Delivering on both performance and price, the OnePlus 10T is a slam-dunk offering that shows OnePlus is listening to its fans and improving where it matters most.