Samsung Has Finally Found The Best Way To Sell Its Camera Phones Cats

The research

  • The best iPhone: iPhone 13
  • Also keen, if you like smaller screens: iPhone SE (second generation)
  • The all-time Android phone: Google Pixel 5a 5G
  • The best Android phone if you similar big screens: Samsung Milky way S21
  • The all-time upkeep Android telephone: OnePlus Nord N200 5G
  • The cheapest usable option: Samsung Milky way A02s

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Our pick

Who it’s for:
Someone who wants an iPhone and values getting the latest screen, camera, and processor so that it will look and feel good for years.

Why we like it:
Apple’s iPhone thirteen is as fast as any other iPhone, including the more-expensive Pro models, and the bombardment volition go virtually anyone through a full day on a single accuse. The camera has two lenses and yields fantabulous photos, plus it offers better low-light performance than previous iPhone cameras thanks to Night Mode, a feature the iPhone SE lacks.

The iPhone 13 has the same 6.1-inch screen size equally the iPhone 12, likewise every bit the same body height and width. Much like the iPhone 4 and v, the edges are squared off, and we discover information technology a lot easier to grip the iPhone 13 even when the phone isn’t in a case. The greater h2o resistance—improved to 6 meters for this version—means it’southward likely to survive without result if y’all spill something on it or drop it in the sink, a welcome feature for those prone to accidents.

A United States Passport next to an iPhone 13 for size comparison. The iphone is less wide but taller than the passport.

The iPhone 13 is the aforementioned height and width as the iPhone 12, with the aforementioned 6.1-inch screen diagonally.

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Flaws but not dealbreakers:
If you already had trouble holding the iPhone half dozen-era pattern or plumbing fixtures it into small pockets, the iPhone 13’southward large screen makes things a little worse, and yous should probably look for the iPhone 13 mini. We also don’t think you should purchase this (or any) telephone for the 5G cellular networking. While 5G is theoretically faster than 4G LTE in optimal situations, information technology’s still a nascent technology with plenty of caveats. Most people aren’t going to detect firsthand speed boosts, and though 5G may go more valuable as carriers build upwards their networks, it’south not a necessary feature at this betoken.

An iPhone SE 2nd generation displaying the date and time.

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Also neat

Apple iPhone SE (2nd generation, 64 GB)

The cheapest way to get a cracking iPhone experience

The iPhone SE has a faster processor than you might wait in such a insufficiently inexpensive telephone, as well every bit a good camera—and information technology costs one-half the price of the iPhone 13. Its low price, small size, and Affect ID fingerprint reader make it an like shooting fish in a barrel upgrade for people who accept older iPhones or for anyone wanting to spend less, simply its bombardment doesn’t last as long.

Who it’s for:
Those who prefer smaller screens, want to spend less on a phone, or would rather have a fingerprint reader than Face ID.

Why we like it:
The iPhone SE (2nd generation) brings modern features and hardware to Apple’s smallest and least expensive phone—information technology has a fast processor so apps feel snappy, also every bit a good camera, water resistance, wireless charging, and other modern features. Information technology costs less than one-half of what an iPhone thirteen Pro does, and the 128 GB storage upgrade costs just $50 more than the base 64 GB model.

Flaws simply not dealbreakers:
The iPhone SE’s smaller screen may feel cramped, specially if you’ve been using an edge-to-edge iPhone X–mode phone. Depression-light photos only don’t look as practiced as those shot on the iPhone 13 because there’s no Night Way. And the iPhone SE’s battery isn’t the longest lasting; if you’re not a heavy user, it should survive throughout the day without your having to recharge it, but otherwise you lot may want to keep a charger or wireless charging pad handy.

A person's hand shown holding a Google Pixel 5a 5G.

Photograph: Ryan Whitwam

Our selection

Google Pixel 5a

Best Android smartphone

The best version of Android, with guaranteed updates through Baronial 2024 (plus a fantastic camera), make the Pixel 5a 5G ameliorate than phones that cost several times as much.

Buying Options

Who it’s for:
People who want a fast, secure Android phone with the best photographic camera and guaranteed software updates, merely don’t desire to spend a grand dollars.

Why we like it:
The Google Pixel 5a 5G offers the high-quality software and cameras that have made all of Google’south Pixel phones great, and it costs just $450. This telephone comes with Google’s clean, responsive version of Android 11, and it’south guaranteed to get updates through summer 2024. The Pixel 5a has a dual-camera setup that takes amend photos than every not-Pixel phone we’ve tested, bated from the much more expensive Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Though information technology has only two camera lenses, Google’s amazing photo processing is borderline magical. The AI-powered digital zoom on the Pixel 5a is almost as good as the optical zoom on phones with dedicated telephoto lenses, too. There’s also Nighttime Sight, which uses long exposures to take articulate photos with very fiddling low-cal.

The front corner camera on the Pixel 5a.

The front end-facing selfie cam on the Pixel 5a is a “pinhole” blueprint in the top-left corner of the display.

Photo: Ryan Whitwam

The Pixel 5a has a 6.34-inch 1080p OLED screen, and it’southward much nicer than the screens y’all ordinarily see on phones in this price range. It’s bright enough for outdoor use, and it offers first-class colour accuracy. The Pixel 5a has almost no bezels around its display, and a “hole-dial” selfie photographic camera sits in the upper-left corner of the screen, saving more than space than the upper bezels or “notched out” cameras on other phones. The plastic-coated body is a bit drab and prone to showing oils from your skin, but information technology’s nothing a nice case can’t fix.

Flaws but non dealbreakers:
The Pixel 5a supports only a 60 Hz refresh rate, meaning animations on its brandish are noticeably less shine than on phones that support 120 Hz. It also doesn’t support wireless charging, though information technology tin last 2 days on a single charge even with heavy usage, and probably up to 3 days with light use.

While the Pixel 5a is comfortable to hold, the soft-touch plastic back picks upwardly oils from your hand and is harder to clean than glass. We as well worry how information technology volition hold up over time: The blanket could easily scrap when dropped.

The Samsung Galaxy S21, our pick for the best Android phone for those who want better gaming performance.

Photo: Ryan Whitwam

Upgrade pick

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

A bigger, more powerful Android

The 6.2-inch OLED screen offers vibrant colors, deep blacks, and a high refresh rate that makes animations smoother. The Galaxy S21 has one of the fastest processors available and will get four years of guaranteed Os updates, but Samsung’s Android software isn’t as practiced as Google’s version.

Who it’southward for:
People who want a huge phone that doesn’t cost $1,000 or more than.

Why we like it:
The Samsung Milky way S21 is 1 of the fastest phones you tin purchase. Its big screen is a 1080p OLED panel capable of producing dark blacks that await skilful when y’all’re viewing photos and videos, and the brandish’s 120 Hz refresh rate makes scrolling and navigating apps exceptionally smooth. The phone as well includes water resistance and wireless charging—features that even the Pixel 4a and 4a 5G don’t have.

On the back, the S21 has three cameras: a standard lens, a broad-angle lens, and a telephoto lens. Photos we took with the standard lens weren’t quite as good every bit pictures from the Google Pixel 4a or the more-expensive Galaxy S21 Ultra, and Samsung’s image processing is less impressive on low-low-cal photography than what nosotros’ve seen from some of our summit picks. Wherever you lot buy the Galaxy S21, it will back up every 5G technology in utilise beyond all U.s.a. carriers (simply keep in mind that buying from a carrier means your phone will be locked to that network for at least a few months).

Flaws but not dealbreakers:The Galaxy S21’s operating organisation, One UI, is more chaotic and less intuitive than Google’s Pixel version of Android or OnePlus’south Oxygen OS, and Samsung can be slow to release major Bone updates.

Our top pick for best budget android phone, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G.

Photo: Ryan Whitwam

Budget option

Who information technology’s for:
People on a budget who all the same desire a phone that does more than the blank minimum.

Why we like it:
Although the OnePlus Nord N200 5G costs less than one-half the price of a modernistic loftier-cease smartphone, it resembles a more expensive phone in its screen, operation, and long battery life. The Nord N200 includes a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a modified version of Android, called Oxygen Os, that’s clean and piece of cake to use. It likewise uses the Snapdragon 480, a new processor that provides smooth performance and plenty graphical adequacy for coincidental gaming. Despite the phone’south responsiveness in other respects, the photographic camera app is slow and prone to stuttering compared with the rest of the software.

Flaws but not dealbreakers:
The Nord N200 is bachelor with 4G LTE back up through any carrier, simply its 5G connectivity is express to T-Mobile. Its camera is also mediocre, which is unsurprising for a telephone at this cost. In most lighting conditions it struggles to capture motion, and the quality drops tremendously the dimmer the conditions become. If you desire a upkeep Android phone with a better camera, consider the Pixel 4a.

The Samsung Galaxy A02s, our pick for cheapest available budget android phone that's still actually functional.

Photo: Ryan Whitwam

Upkeep pick

Samsung Galaxy A02s

As cheap as we’d go

The Samsung Galaxy A02s offers much better performance than other ultra-upkeep phones, and information technology works on all cellular networks.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the cost was

Why nosotros like it:
The Samsung Galaxy A02s is the best telephone available right at present for people on a strict budget. Information technology offers acceptable performance, good software, and four years of security-update back up. Although its six.v-inch LCD screen provides a lot of viewable area without making the phone too wide or uncomfortable to agree, it has narrow viewing angles, so the picture tin can appear washed out if you’re not looking at the screen head-on. We like that the Galaxy A02s includes a USB-C port, rather than the older Micro-USB connection that many ultra-budget phones still use.

The Galaxy A02s is responsive enough in daily use, but it can’t run graphically intensive games or multitask smoothly. However, messaging, web browsing, and unproblematic apps piece of work fine, which is near every bit much as yous can ask for at this price.

Flaws only not dealbreakers: Because in that location’southward simply two GB of RAM on the Galaxy A02s, merely a few apps tin stay active in the background at once. This makes multitasking slower, since more apps have to restart when you return to them. The telephone as well lacks support for contactless payments, and its camera isn’t even worth using in dim light. Yous may be able to get some casual snapshots, but you wouldn’t desire to keep any of the photos forever—in our tests, near came out grainy and blurry in all but the about perfect lighting.

Samsung Has Finally Found The Best Way To Sell Its Camera Phones Cats


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