Best Ranked Smartphones Of 2021: The market for smartphones is filled with something for all types of users. If you’re searching for an affordable device with a robust set of features or an expensive model with the most advanced and cutting-edge technology. Despite shortages of chips and delays in shipping and production issues, the manufacturers offered a variety of brand new smartphones in 2021. This includes these top-of-the-line models.
Best Ranked Smartphones Of 2021
1. iPhone 13
Be it what you like or dislike, Apple makes great products. Samsung was a formidable competitor this year, having launched premium smartphones, both the folding and non-folding varieties; however, the company isn’t able to compete with Apple in what Apple is best at offering an integrated, seamless, and highly usable ecosystem that seamlessly integrates its software, hardware, and services.
Shopping for an iPhone is more than choosing iOS as the mobile operating system of preference. The iPhone is fully compatible with the Apple Watch, superior to anything else you can purchase with Wear OS. The same is true for the iPhone. In addition, the iPhone is compatible with the iPad -and, in turn, is superior to any other tablet that you could buy because Android is completely lacking on slates.
There’s no need to be a part of the Apple ecosystem to purchase the iPhone. But, of course, there’s a chance that the iPhone is missing a crucial characteristic you’ll never be able to be without, whether it’s microSD card slots and stylus that is built-in or a 3.5mm audio connector. So if you’re happy with a device that doesn’t have those luxury features, the iPhone 13 may be worth a serious look if you’re seeking a high-end upgrade.
The iPhone 13 line comprises the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max. The sizes range from 5.4-inches to 6.7-inches, with the top features available within the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro models.
The iPhone 13 Pro packs a Super Retina XDR screen with ProMotion and Ceramic Shield, an IP68 water resistance rating, as well as Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip with the support for 5G (including mmWave) and ultra-wideband support for things such as digital keys, Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 6, as well as gigabit LTE.
Apple had put a lot of emphasis on cameras and associated software when it launched iPhone 13 Pro. iPhone 13 Pro. Regarding hardware, customers receive the “Pro” 12-megapixel camera system that comes with ultra-wide, wide, and zoom cameras. It also includes a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera located on the front side of the phone and the source of the facial ID feature.
These cameras are supported with many features in the software, including Apple’s brand new “Cinematic mode” for recording movies-like videos. This mode is now available for TrueDepth wide, wide, and telephoto cameras in addition to Dolby Vision HDR.
The camera on the iPhone 13 Pro comes with a 3x optical zoom specifically for the telephoto lens and support for macro-video recording, enhanced performance in low-light conditions, “Photography Styles,” and the feature that Apple describes as an end-to-end workflow that runs directly from the phone. In addition, it allows editing using ProRes as well as Dolby Vision.
Aren’t at all interested in Apple products? There are plenty of great Android alternatives were introduced this year.
2. Galaxy S21
Samsung’s Galaxy series has been in existence for quite a while and has a reason that it is still so popular. The most recent and best model of the Galaxy line called Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21, offers many features but at a cost that not everyone is ready to pay for. If price isn’t an issue for you, look at Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, the most powerful model in the latest series.
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has the largest 6.8-inch display: a Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 3200 x 1400 pixels resolution, which gives the display 515ppi (pixels per square inch). Some notable features are HDR10+ certification with a 120Hz refresh speed, the 40-megapixel “hole-punch” selfie camera, and four cameras in the rear (10-megapixel zoom, F2.4 as well as F4.9 units, as well as a wide-angle camera with 108-megapixels 12 megapixels ultra-wide) and the pressure-sensitive S Pen.
In addition to LTE and wand LTE connectivity, this model can also have as high as 2.4Gbps downloading speeds. It also has Bluetooth 5.2 and Ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity for digital keys. It comes with the Snapdragon 888 along with 12GB RAM and 512GB internal storage.
Samsung S21 Ultra packs many hardware and software features geared towards what consumers are usually attracted to. The camera capabilities of this model are notable for things including 100x “space zoom,” a 40-megapixel camera paired with software that can produce what Samsung claims to be “studio-quality portraits,” and support for video recording in 8K resolution.
Its S Pen inclusion takes the S21 Ultra to the next level, with tablet-like capabilities that make it simpler to use various advanced features, like editing photos and videos right from the device. In addition, it was the first Galaxy model with an integrated 5nm processor, which allows more performance — especially AI-powered features compared to earlier models.
The battery’s 5000mAh capacity and efficiency features offer users an extended run time that extends beyond the duration of a whole day (though it’s mostly dependent on how it is utilized). There are also convenient features such as wireless PowerShare to charge, such as an earbud that is truly wireless earbuds with wireless charging capability.
The high-end hardware, sophisticated software, and extensive range of options make this model S21 Ultra one of the best smartphones available. Still, its cost will be the main concern for many consumers. Its Galaxy S21 5G (the one equipped with the 6.2-inch display) costs $799.99. However, upgrading to the Ultra 5G model pushes the starting price to $1,200. There are several options to lower the cost, including selling certain models at significant discounts; however, the final cost will likely be significant.
3. Pixel 6
Although Google’s Pixel has never been able to capture a substantial part of the mobile market, Google continues to improve its line, possibly using its hardware to show Android in its most pure design.
The Pixel 6 was released this year and is the most recent version of the smartphone family that includes key features such as Google’s Tensor chip and the Titan M2 security chip that comes with 5 years’ worth of upgrades, two rear cameras as well as and what Google describes as an adaptive battery, which maximizes energy usage to allow users to stay longer between recharges.
Google previously offered just one camera in its Pixel smartphones but has since opted to boost the capabilities of its camera with software. This is called computational photography, wherein you use artificial intelligence and programs to enhance the raw image information captured by the camera of the Pixel. Therefore, expected that Google would eventually expand the camera options available on its phones. However, it was the case that Pixel 5 marked the first model in the line that came with a dual-camera system. The Pixel 6, Pixel 6 continues this trend by introducing its dual-camera array.
Pixel 6 packs larger camera sensors in comparison to the previous model. This lets the phone capture 150 percent more light to create more vibrant, high-quality photos, even in dim lighting. The most recent flagship model features an ultra-wide lens to capture bigger images.
The magic in the software is still there with it and includes certain features that need you to launch Photoshop. Magic Eraser is one excellent instance: it’s available in Google Photos and works by eliminating objects and people from photos. In addition, portrait Mode provides a blurred background for better-quality selfies. Plus, it has Motion Mode for more dynamic actions shots of environments with lots of motion.
The Pixel 6 comes with a variety of other noteworthy options, like connectivity to 5G networks, real-time language translations that are integrated into captions for podcasts and chats, the IP68 rating for water and dust exposure, and a fast resolution; for what Google refers to as “Smooth Display.” Although you don’t get a stylus similar to that provided by S21 Ultra S21 Ultra, the Pixel 6 has its benefits, with one of which is its regular software updates, also known by the name of feature drops.
What makes it more appealing is the less expensive price tag that comes with it is; the Pixel 6, an unlocked version of the phone with 128GB of storage, starts at $599, while the 256GB model begins at $699. This makes it a cheaper option for those looking for premium features and lots of storage space at far below the $1000 price tag.
4. Galaxy Z Flip 3
Many consumers aren’t quite ready to take on the foldable revolution; however, this year has brought many options which don’t want to wait. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the latest in the foldable lines of products offered by the company. This model folds like a traditional smartphone with a clamshell, which isn’t confused with the more traditional Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 beats out the Z Fold 3 on this list because it’s less expensive and, with a good trade-in, you could reduce the cost to a comfortable $325 or less. Its most distinctive feature is its flexible LCD, which allows the phone to fold down and horizontally across your body.
When it is unfolded or folded, it appears as if the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a 6.7-inch screen. The device appears like a normal high-end smartphone. When folded, the screen’s length shrinks to just under three inches with a width of more than half an inch. The screen comes with a Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED screen with Infinity Flex Display, a 22:9 aspect ratio, a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and 425 ppi.
A tiny 1.9-inch Super AMOLED screen joins this display at the back of the device, displaying basic information if it is folded. The rear display features a resolution of 260×512. It comes with a variety of features that one would expect from the top models, such as the front camera with a 10-megapixel resolution as well as a rear camera array that features two ultra-wide 12-megapixel cameras, one of which has the optical stabilization of images two autofocus on pixel size, a field of view is 78 degrees and the F1.8 aperture. Another ultra-wide camera features an F2.2 aperture and a larger 123-degree field of vision.
Distinctive design aside from the unique design aside from its unique design, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 brings many of the features that are available on other Samsung flagship phones, including rapid charging and wireless charging, 5G connectivity, nano-SIM, an eSIM, stereo speakers as well as a variety of sensors (accelerometer proximity, acceleration, etc.). Other notable features include a processor of 5nm with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C connectivity, a battery of 3300mAh, and support for recording up to 4K video.
5. OnePlus 9
The year 2018 brought us the latest and perhaps the best OnePlus flagship phone, it’s the OnePlus 9. It is important to note that we’re talking on this phone in the US phone version. The version is also available in other markets, and the exact specifications might differ slightly based on the country it’s bought.
The OnePlus 9 features a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 20:9 aspect ratio, and 2400 x 1080 pixels resolution. The phone runs on the Snapdragon 888 processor, and the OnePlus’s OxygenOS is built on Android 11. Storage and memory are noteworthy at 128GB/8GB. The battery is at the larger part of the spectrum with a capacity of 4500mAh (fast charging is also supported).
The smartphone comes with a 48-megapixel camera, sporting the Sony IMX689 sensor and the F1.8 aperture lens. This is complemented by a 50-megapixel ultra-wide model equipped with the Sony IMX766 camera and the F2.2 aperture lens. Interestingly, the OnePlus comes with a 2-megapixel monochrome camera. This is an uncommon feature in smartphones (Huawei has a similar camera in the P20 Pro and P10 models).
The camera’s features are vast and include the ability to record in 4K with 60 frames per second and 8K at 30fps. Additionally, the ability to record in slow-motion for up to 480fps. It also has support for time-lapse videos in 4K resolution and dual-LED flash. However, the front camera is a bit skewed towards an average camera at 16 megapixels. It also has electronic image stabilization, fixed-focus, and an F2.4 aperture.
Customers looking to spend a little more may want to consider the OnePlus 9 Pro variant, which adds more features for the same price increase. The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a significant 6.7-inch Display with Fluid AMOLED, LTPO 120Hz refresh rate 3216 x 1440 resolution, 20.1:9 aspect ratio, and 10-bit color depth.
It is also powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, paired with an X60 chipset to support 5G connectivity. Storage and memory capacity is higher at 256GB/12GB, respectively as well as the battery capacity is at 4500mAh and comes with rapid charging and wireless charging of 50W.
The cameras are also upgraded to include a main camera that has 48-megapixels, optical image stabilization, as well as an F1.8 aperture, a 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera that has freeform lenses as well as a telephoto camera with 8-megapixels with optical image stabilization as well as the same 2-megapixel monochrome camera that is with the standard version.
Its OnePlus 9 Pro is the one to look at if you’re planning to upgrade to a model you’ll use for a long time. It’s priced at $1,069, but OnePlus has it listed at an affordable price of $849. In addition, customers in the US can choose between an unlocked model they could bring to their preferred provider or a version from T-Mobile compatible with T-Mobile’s network.
6. Galaxy Z Fold 3
Many fascinating Android smartphones released this year also happen to be the costliest: Samsung’s huge Book-style Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable. The model comes with the 7.6-inch Flexible Flex Screen, effectively making it a tiny tablet when folded. However, the display is more conventional, 6.2-inches in size when folded.
Since Z Fold 3, Z Fold 3 is essentially the hybrid device between a tablet and a smartphone. Hence, it’s not surprising that Samsung provides S Pen Pro and S Pen Fold accessories that allow people to write and draw on their screen in the same manner as they would use a Note device or Samsung tablet.
The device has the IPX8 rating for water resistance, meaning it can withstand exposure to water at 5 feet in depth for up to a half-hour. The most recent Fold features the Snapdragon 888 Octa-core processor. It has up to 512GB of memory along with 12GB, as well as a 4400mAh battery and a 120Hz adjustable display refresh rate.
The camera array is noteworthy, with three cameras on the back of the unit: 12-megapixel wide-angle, 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, and a 12-megapixel camera with telephoto capabilities. The front has two cameras, the main 4-megapixel unit and an additional 10-megapixel front-cover camera.
The camera loadout isn’t quite as stunning as what you can receive when you buy Samsung’s S21 Ultra. Still, the device’s primary purpose lies in its distinctive design and not the camera capabilities. Instead, Samsung uses the ultra-wide display to offer unique multi-tasking options, offering what it describes as “PC-like productivity. “PC-like productivity” — but keep in mind that not all apps can use this Flex mode.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an efficient device that targets people who work in a business environment and work using their smartphones. The tablet-like design allows users to put away their tablets at home and instead fold their smartphones to mark up documents, sign documents, and edit videos and other difficult tasks for smaller, traditional forms.
There’s a major drawback to this model. The main issue is the price. Its starting price is $1,900, unlocked; this is more expensive than some of the top ultrabook laptops and, for instance, Apple’s 12.9″ iPad Pro with 1TB of storage.
The market is taking advantage of the novelty of owning a huge foldable smartphone which, although still a great device but isn’t going to be able to compete with something like the M1 iPad Pro when it is about performance, app selection, and user interface. Therefore, consumers should consider what they want from a smartphone and whether or not Galaxy Z Fold 3 is suitable for their needs.
If you choose to buy a new model, note that Samsung will lower the cost to $849 for certain trade-ins. It also comes with Galaxy Buds 2 for free when you purchase the device (if you purchase the device directly on Samsung’s website).
7. Huawei P50 Pro
Last but not least is the Huawei P50 Pro, a top-of-the-line smartphone launched by the company this year that has a major issue: it’s not running Android. However, this could be a major issue for some consumers if you’re not worried about being restricted to Huawei’s HarmonyOS and you’re looking for a reason to appreciate this premium model.
The Huawei P50 Pro sports a 6.6-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 2700 1228 x 2700 resolution. The device is powered by Snapdragon 888 4G and Adreno 660 graphics. It comes with 8GB/256GB of memory and storage, respectively, and a mAh battery of 4360mAh that is fast and wireless charging.
Huawei has focused its attention on the P50 Pro’s camera lineup that includes four units at the back of the device, including A fifty-megapixel “True-Chroma” module packing optical image stabilization, a 40-megapixel TrueChroma F1.6 module as well as a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle F2.2 module and a 64-megapixel Telephoto camera that has optic image stabilization and autofocus and an F3.5 aperture. In addition, the cameras come with contrast and phase focus options and hybrid and digital zooms if the optical zoom isn’t sufficient.
The camera’s hardware is integrated with a range of software-driven features, such as the AI-powered “Cinemagraph” mode, 4K Predictive Focus Time-lapse recording, audio zoom the portrait and macro modes, monochrome camera capture Moving Picture, and many other features. The camera facing the front features a 13-megapixel wide-angle module combined with features in the software like smart eye tracking and panorama lenses AR lenses, as well as slow-motion selfies.
Other noteworthy highlights include the IP68 rating, which means the phone offers protection against water and dust. Additionally, the phone has a dual-SIM model that comes equipped with the 4G LTE capability, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C connectivity, NFC, GPS, and the standard variety of sensors on flagship phones (fingerprint gravity infrared, gyroscope ambient light, etc.).
Another issue for the P50 Pro is its absence of access to Android and Google services. Users are instead offered Huawei’s HarmonyOS, which, though beautiful, has fewer apps than what the average user is familiar with. As a result, it is possible that you won’t have the ability to download your most-loved apps, which could be a major issue in particular if you’re using specific apps that are not supported to work. Regarding work, based on the field, it is possible that you will not be permitted to make use of the Huawei phone for business use because of security regulations.
Due to the high cost (around $1200, based on the configuration) and its numerous downsides, It’s not recommended for anyone who isn’t from China to buy the device. Conclusion: there are alternatives such as the S21 Ultra that come at about the same price with similar functions but are equipped with Android and Google services. In the end, it’s not a bad choice. P50 Pro — from the standpoint of the hardware, remains one of the top flagships to be launched in 2021.