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  • Bryan Tan

Best of Smartphones 2022: Our Top Picks For Performance, Design & More!

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Well guys it's that time of the year again! It's our pick for the best smartphones of 2022. As usual, the list is selectively curated based on all the products launched in 2022 that we've reviewed or had a hands-on. If your favourite phone isn't on the list, don't panic, this is just our pick and not the definitive one by any stretch. And without further ado let's get started!

Performance

First up, for you number crunchers and gamers, our pick for the best performance and gaming phone goes to the iPhone 14 Pro, or the Pro Max.

The iPhone's A16 Bionic remains uncontested in terms of raw numbers compared to its Snapdragon competition. It's dependable for a sustained gaming session and with the 120Hz ProMotion, iPhone users can be sure they won't miss all the action.


Not to mention, many gaming accessories do accommodate iPhones first since it's so ubiquitous. Don't know if this accessory will fit your Android phone? Well, there's probably an iPhone version for it and you can be certain it fits and it'll work.

Okay okay Android users, lower your pitchforks, honourable mention for this category goes to, of course, the ROG Phone 6 Pro. Although it is a gaming beast on its own, to take it up a notch you do have to pick up a few of its accessories such as the cooling fans. Other than that, its benchmark numbers do fall slightly short of the iPhone but if you'd like an Android experience that is tailor-made for gaming, the ROG Phone is an exceptional choice nonetheless.

Value

Our pick for the best value phone goes to the Vivo V25 Pro at about S$800 and even cheaper if there's a sale, you get a triple camera setup, a large 4830mAh battery, a 120Hz display and the Mediatek 1300 SOC, which is pretty much the powerhouse within this price range. And if you'd rather not like to spend that much, the non-pro variant is also available with slightly trimmed-down specs.

For those in the Snapdragon camp, our honourable mention for this category goes to the Honor 70 with its Snapdragon 788G+ at its RM1,999 price point, which translates to roughly S$600. You can also get the phone in Singapore at those prices from various e-commerce sellers since the phone is only available in China and Malaysia.

Now, we know value is a very subjective topic and a phone's value changes by the day so if you have your personal favourites do let us know!

Design

All right, let's talk about the flashy stuff! Our pick for the best design phone goes to, of course, the Nothing Phone 1 which is pretty much the flashiest phone to come out this year with its transparent back design and customisable backlighting. It is a phone that's all style and what else can we say, it looks really good!

Honourable mentions, though, for this category go to the Huawei Mate Xs 2 with its interesting take on foldable design, while it isn't perfect by any means, it still does draw attention from people wondering if that's a ZFold.

Just on the design alone, this is still one heck of a looker.

Camera

Ok, let's talk about cameras now. Our pick for the best camera phone goes to iPhone 14 Pro, throughout our time testing various phones the 14 Pro's triple cameras setup and processing of photos has been the most consistent in any situation.

While we're not challenging larger cameras by any means, the 14 Pro is truly a reliable friend when you want to snap a quick photo that's true to life and natural.


The 14 Pro's camera also performs on the video end, heck they even pay people to shoot a short film on it. With the same natural processing in the image, video performs well in any scenario and if you'd like that extra touch, Cinematic mode is also available and the subject detection for blurring does seem to edge out competitors like the Pixel, in our opinion.

Our honourable mention for this category goes to the Xiaomi 12S Ultra with its 1-inch 50MP sensor which impressed us with rich colours and excellent processing of the image in any lighting condition. The only caveat is, it's only sold in China so you'll probably have to import it from overseas sellers, shop safe!

Features

Well, we don't have that many choices in this particularly sensitive category so feel free to let us know if you disagree, in a civilised manner of course. With that, our pick for the best software goes to the Google Pixel 7, or the 7 Pro since we're just talking about software.

Despite the slightly lower numbers of the Tensor G2, the Android experience makes up for it with its buttery smooth performance and neat features like Photo Unblur and even a built-in VPN service down the line. The Material You design aesthetic stays simple yet extremely elegant and we dig it!


Not only that, Google has shown us that hardware isn't necessarily the be-all-end-all factor for a good phone. The Pixel also performs admirably in gaming so even with a weaker SOC, an optimised software plays a large part in bettering the mobile experience as well.


Our honourable mention for this category goes to probably the only other option here which is the iPhone 14 Pro. Although iOS is tried and tested it hasn't shown us anything new in particular aside from the Dynamic Island which is convenient but not integral to the iPhone experience since the regular 14 doesn't have it. That being said, the iOS experience has always been a reliable one so you can't go wrong with that either.

And those are our picks for the best smartphones of 2022. If you have a personal favourite which we didn't mention do leave them down in the comments section below. More options are always good for everyone but again, do be civil in the discussions and if you'd like to know our picks for the best cameras, earbuds or laptops of 2022, do check it out here.

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