Another year is done and dusted, and that means another year of phones. Which models deserved accolades in 2022?
That’s it folks: 2022 is as good as done, and that means the phones for the year are all out.
If you’ve been waiting until now to find which was the best phone of this year, we have it in a long list. Even though this year has largely felt a little ho-hum as far as mobile releases were concerned, and many felt like rehashes and recycled, we’re still counting them down.
Covering the best cameras, the best batteries, the best value, and the best iPhone and best Android phones, it’s time to take a look at Pickr’s Picks for phones in 2022. What made the list?
Best Android phone
It probably won’t surprise you, but the best Android phone of 2022 is one that came late in the game: Google’s Pixel 7 Pro.
Packing in a premium look and feel, a versatile camera system, wireless charging and water resistance, plus the cleanest version of Android out there, Google’s high-end Pixel wins this year’s best Android model.
There are still improvements to be made, such as the camera needing refinements to be like Apple’s best, but if you want the best Android, this is it.
Of course, on the other end of the “best phone” ecosystem argument is Apple’s big iPhone, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.
This is easily the best iPhone of the year, packing in an excellent design, versatile camera, and a new approach to an always-on display we’ve not seen from the world of Android phones.
Both this and the regular iPhone 14 Pro are winners, but the Pro Max wins the best iPhone of 2022 award simply due to its bigger battery, which could still be better, but is solid all the same.
Best foldable phone
The best iPhone and Android phones have something in common in 2022: neither are foldable phones.
In fact, there weren’t a heap of foldable this year. While we’re still waiting for the world to be taken over by an influx of foldable devices, this year didn’t see a heap of new models either.
There are prototypes in the works, but the only models that made it out to consumers in 2022 were Samsung’s Z Flip 4 and Fold 4, and Motorola’s new Razr. And the changes weren’t substantial for most of these.
The Flip 4 wins our best foldable for 2022 due to its battery being a whole lot better than the previous model, plus improvements to the cameras and system performance. It could still be better overall, but in terms of foldables, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is our choice for this year.
Best value phone
Things are a little different in value phones, where there is a lot of competition. You can find it from Oppo, Realme, and Nokia, but our choice actually goes to a Motorola, the Moto G82 5G.
For the $499 mark, this phone sports 5G, water resistance, and a 120Hz AMOLED screen, the latter being one of those features you don’t normally see below $600.
There are some issues, such as performance that can come with the odd hiccup or two, plus a slow camera, but for a hair under $500, this Moto makes sense.
Best small phone
In terms of small phones, 2022 was a year that saw mobile makers turn away properly. Samsung’s Z Flip 4 is kind of small, but unfolds to be big, while the Asus Zenfone 9 is quite small, but the cameras just didn’t deliver, and it was overall a buggy experience.
But there’s still a small iPhone out there, and it’s a decent update: the 2022 iPhone SE. While the camera doesn’t see a major change, this year’s iPhone SE includes updated performance, 5G, and a compact 4.7 inch screen, handy for folks who still like compact phones.
Best big-screened phone
On the other side of the screen sizes, there’s the big phones, and there are a lot of those this year. All the flagship models come with big phone screens larger than 6.5 inches, with the Fold 4 quite possibly offering the biggest inside, at over 7 inches.
But our choice for the best big-screened phone goes to the model that lets you do the most with it: the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Its 6.8 inch screen is already one of the biggest, but it also comes packing an S-Pen, Samsung’s stylus, which like the old Galaxy Note models can be found under the screen, letting you scribble and draw, using the phone in more ways than simply touching and prodding.
Best camera phone
While the iPhone 14 Pro sports the same camera as our favourite iPhone for the year, the reason the smaller model wins this year is because the 14 Pro gets that same pro-level camera in a smaller body.
And really, we can’t say enough about the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max cameras this year. While the front-camera sports autofocus, the rear camera system’s three camera setup is better this year, working between a 48 megapixel wide camera and two 12 megapixels for ultra-wide and telephoto, with some excellent features outside. RAW photography is possible and ProRes video, too, with excellent portrait shots and portrait-style “cinematic” video which is even better in 2022 than it was in 2021 on the iPhone 13 Pro.
Best battery life
Armed with just about the biggest battery in any phone, it’s no wonder the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro wins our nod for best battery life this year. Made mostly for gamers, this phone sports a staggering 6000mAh battery, which is about as big as it gets.
For folks who plan on using the phone to its gaming limits, you’ll find a good day of battery life, though everyone else should see a good two, which these days seems as rare as hen’s teeth.