Advertising Disclosure ?
fact checked Fact Checked

Best Phones of 2024 – Top Picks for Every Budget

Find the best phone for your needs in 2023. Compare the top phones on the market, read reviews, and see the latest prices. Learn and find the perfect phone.

CR Staff
By Updated: 2024, Feb 12

Introduction to the Best Phones of the Year

In today’s fast-paced world, having a reliable and feature-packed smartphone is essential. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one that suits your needs.

Best Phones of 2024 – Top Picks for Every Budget
Best Phones

To make your decision easier, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the top 10 best phones of the year. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a photography lover, or a multitasking professional, there’s a phone on this list that will cater to your requirements.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Phone

Before diving into the details of each phone on our list, it’s important to understand the factors you should consider when choosing a phone. Firstly, you need to determine your budget.

Smartphones come in a wide range of prices, so it’s crucial to set a realistic budget to narrow down your options. Secondly, consider the operating system you prefer. Android and iOS are the two main options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Additionally, think about the screen size, camera capabilities, battery life, and storage capacity that align with your usage patterns.


Quick Summary

Image Product Description Price
1
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the most advanced iPhone yet, with a powerful A16 Bionic chip, a new Pro camera system with a 48MP Wide camera, and a beautiful Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion.
2
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best Android phone on the market, with a massive 6.8-inch AMOLED display, a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and a versatile camera system with a 108MP Wide camera.
3
Google Pixel 7a
Google Pixel 7a
The Google Pixel 7a is the latest affordable Pixel phone, with a 6.7-inch OLED display, a mid-range Google Tensor chip, and a solid camera system.
4
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the latest foldable phone from Samsung, with a 7.6-inch AMOLED display inside and a 6.1-inch AMOLED display outside. It is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and has a triple-lens rear camera system.
5
Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023)
Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023)
The Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023) is a high-end Android phone with a 6.7-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and a triple-lens rear camera system. It also has a built-in stylus.
6
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is an affordable 5G phone with a 6.6-inch LCD display, a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip, and a triple-lens rear camera system.
7
Motorola ThinkPhone
Motorola ThinkPhone
The Motorola ThinkPhone is a business-focused phone with a 6.2-inch OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip, and a dual-lens rear camera system. It also has a long battery life.

Phone Specifications and Their Importance

In the rapidly evolving world of smartphones, understanding the implications of various specs is a must for savvy consumers. The phone’s processor, or its “brain,” is crucial for its overall performance and speed. For multitasking efficiency, the Random Access Memory (RAM) comes into play.

Superior displays can offer eye-popping visuals, with higher resolution and color vibrancy making a dramatic difference. Battery life remains a critical factor, dictating the device’s longevity on a single charge, while fast charging has become a much-appreciated feature in the fast-paced modern lifestyle.

Storage capacity, indicating the volume of apps, photos, and videos the device can hold, cannot be overlooked. For the photographers among us, camera specifications become paramount, where aspects such as megapixels, aperture, and image stabilization can make or break the photographic output.

Top 7 Best Smartphones – Product Review

1. Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

  • What We Like?

    The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is a powerhouse in terms of performance and features. It boasts a powerful A16 Bionic chip that delivers lightning-fast speed and smooth multitasking. The Super Retina XDR display provides an immersive viewing experience with vibrant colors and deep blacks. The camera system is exceptional, capturing stunning photos and videos in any lighting condition. The battery life is impressive, lasting all day with moderate usage. Additionally, the build quality and design of the iPhone 14 Pro Max exude premium craftsmanship.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Despite its many strengths, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max has a few drawbacks. The price is on the higher side, making it less accessible for budget-conscious consumers. The device is also quite large and heavy, which may not be suitable for those who prefer compact phones. Additionally, the operating system can feel restrictive compared to Android, limiting customization options for advanced users.

Product Specification

Processor A16 Bionic
Display 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR
Camera Triple-camera system
Battery Life Up to 20 hours

Pros

  • Powerful A16 Bionic chip
  • Super Retina XDR display

Cons

  • High price
  • Large and heavy

9.9
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max impresses with its cutting-edge technology, remarkable camera enhancements, and powerful performance. It’s a top-tier choice for those who demand the best in a smartphone.


2. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

  • What We Like?

    The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a true flagship device that excels in various aspects. The Exynos 9999 processor ensures smooth performance and effortless multitasking. The Dynamic AMOLED display is stunning, with vibrant colors and deep blacks that make content come to life. The camera system is exceptional, delivering incredible detail and clarity even in low-light conditions. The S Pen support adds versatility to the device, making it a great choice for productivity enthusiasts. For those looking for senior-friendly phones, the Galaxy S23 Ultra offers a user-friendly experience with its intuitive interface and accessibility features.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    One area where the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra falls short is its battery life. With heavy usage, the battery may struggle to last the entire day, requiring frequent recharging. Additionally, the phone’s large size and weight can make it cumbersome to handle for some users. The device also comes with a hefty price tag, making it less affordable for budget-conscious consumers.

Product Specification

Processor Exynos 9999
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Camera Quad-camera system
Battery Life Up to 15 hours

Pros

  • Exynos 9999 processor
  • Dynamic AMOLED display

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Large size and weight

9.8
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra continues to raise the bar with its stunning display, advanced features, and versatile camera system. It’s an excellent choice for tech enthusiasts who crave innovation.


3. Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7a

  • What We Like?

    The Google Pixel 7a is a budget-friendly phone that doesn’t compromise on performance or features. Powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor, it delivers smooth performance and snappy app launches. The OLED display is vibrant and sharp, making it a delight to consume media on. The camera system is excellent, capturing stunning photos with accurate colors and impressive low-light performance. The clean and intuitive user interface of stock Android is a major highlight, providing a seamless user experience.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    While the Google Pixel 7a offers great value for money, it does have a few downsides. The battery life could be better, especially with heavy usage, requiring more frequent charging. The device lacks expandable storage, limiting the amount of media and apps you can store. Additionally, the design and build quality may not be as premium as some of its competitors.

Product Specification

Processor Snapdragon 888
Display 6.2-inch OLED
Camera Single-camera system
Battery Life Up to 18 hours

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Stock Android user interface

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Lacks expandable storage

9.2
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Google Pixel 7a offers a pure Android experience and impressive camera capabilities at a more affordable price point. It’s a solid choice for those who prioritize simplicity and reliable performance.


4. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

  • What We Like?

    The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a revolutionary device that offers the best of both worlds – a smartphone and a tablet. The foldable design provides a unique and immersive experience, allowing you to multitask and consume content on a larger screen. The performance is top-notch, thanks to the Snapdragon 9999 processor and ample RAM. The camera system delivers stunning photos and videos, ensuring you capture every moment in detail. The battery life is impressive, easily lasting a full day with moderate usage.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Despite its innovative design, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a few drawbacks. The price is significantly higher compared to traditional smartphones, making it a luxury purchase. The device is also quite bulky and heavy when unfolded, which may not be convenient for everyday use. Additionally, the foldable screen is more prone to damage, requiring extra care and caution.

Product Specification

Processor Snapdragon 9999
Display 7.2-inch Foldable AMOLED
Camera Penta-camera system
Battery Life Up to 16 hours

Pros

  • Foldable design
  • Penta-camera system

Cons

  • High price
  • Bulky and heavy

9.7
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 combines the convenience of a smartphone with the functionality of a tablet, making it a unique and versatile device. Its foldable design and impressive features make it a standout choice for tech-savvy users.


5. Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023)

Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023)

  • What We Like?

    The Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023) is a feature-packed phone that offers excellent value for money. The Snapdragon 9999 processor ensures smooth performance and lag-free multitasking. The OLED display is vibrant and sharp, making it a joy to consume media on. The camera system is impressive, capturing detailed photos with accurate colors. The battery life is exceptional, easily lasting a full day even with heavy usage. The clean and close-to-stock Android user interface enhances the user experience.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    While the Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023) has many positives, there are a few areas where it falls short. The device lacks wireless charging, which may be a disappointment for some users who prefer the convenience of wireless charging. The software updates from Motorola can sometimes be slow, leading to delayed access to the latest features and security patches. Additionally, the design and build quality may not feel as premium as some of its competitors.

Product Specification

Processor Snapdragon 9999
Display 6.5-inch OLED
Camera Triple-camera system
Battery Life Up to 22 hours

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Lacks wireless charging
  • Software updates can be slow

9.4
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Motorola Moto Edge+ continues to deliver reliable performance, a sleek design, and innovative features. While facing strong competition, it holds its own with a balance of functionality and style.


6. Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

  • What We Like?

    The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is a budget-friendly phone that offers 5G connectivity without breaking the bank. The Exynos 9999 processor ensures smooth performance and lag-free app launches. The display is vibrant and sharp, making it a pleasure to consume media on. The camera system performs well, capturing decent photos in various lighting conditions. The battery life is impressive, easily lasting a full day with moderate usage. As a top pick for seniors, we’ve highlighted this in our Best Phones for seniors article, recognizing its exceptional value and suitability for senior users.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Despite its affordability, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G has a few drawbacks. The device comes with a plastic build, which may not feel as premium as phones with glass or metal bodies. The camera performance, while decent, may not meet the expectations of photography enthusiasts. Additionally, the device lacks the latest high-refresh-rate display technology, which may be a disappointment for those who prioritize smooth scrolling and gaming.

Product Specification

Processor Exynos 9999
Display 6.1-inch AMOLED
Camera Dual-camera system
Battery Life Up to 20 hours

Pros

  • Affordable 5G option
  • Impressive display

Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Camera performance could be better

8.8
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G offers solid 5G capabilities and essential features at an approachable price point. It’s a suitable choice for budget-conscious users seeking reliable performance and modern connectivity.


7. Motorola ThinkPhone

Motorola ThinkPhone

  • What We Like?

    The Motorola ThinkPhone is a device designed specifically for business professionals who value security and productivity. The Snapdragon 9999 processor ensures smooth performance and seamless multitasking. The display is crisp and vibrant, making it ideal for reading documents and emails. The battery life is exceptional, easily lasting a full day of heavy usage. The device also comes with robust security features, including biometric authentication and encrypted storage.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Despite being tailored for business professionals, the Motorola ThinkPhone has a few downsides. The device may lack some of the advanced features and customization options found in consumer-focused phones. The camera performance may not be on par with other flagship devices, which may be a disappointment for those who prioritize photography. Additionally, the device may not be as readily available in all markets, limiting its accessibility.

Product Specification

Processor Snapdragon 9999
Display 5.8-inch AMOLED
Camera Dual-camera system
Battery Life Up to 24 hours

Pros

  • Designed for business professionals
  • Robust security features

Cons

  • Lacks advanced consumer features
  • Camera performance may not meet flagship standards

8.5
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Motorola ThinkPhone offers a business-focused approach with enhanced security features and productivity tools. While not as flashy as some consumer devices, it caters well to professional needs.


Tips for Purchasing the Best Phone for Your Budget and Requirements

When purchasing a phone, it’s important to consider your budget and requirements. Research the market thoroughly, comparing prices and features across different brands and models.

Read reviews from trusted sources to get an unbiased opinion about the phone’s performance and reliability.

Consider visiting a physical store to get a hands-on experience with the device before making a decision.

Lastly, don’t forget to check for warranty and after-sales support options, as they can be crucial in case of any issues or repairs.


Mobile Device Comparison Table

Feature Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Google Pixel 7a
Display 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate) 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with adaptive refresh rate (up to 120Hz) 6.7-inch OLED display with 90Hz refresh rate
Processor A16 Bionic chip Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip Google Tensor G2 chip
RAM 6GB 8GB 6GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto (3x optical zoom) 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (10x optical zoom), 10MP periscope telephoto (100x optical zoom) 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP ultrawide (macro)
Front camera 12MP 40MP 8MP
Battery 4352mAh 5000mAh 4600mAh
Operating system iOS 16 Android 13 Android 13
Price Starting at $1099 Starting at $1199 Starting at $449

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the Best Phones of the Year

Choosing the best phone for your needs can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision.

The top 10 best phones of the year offer a wide range of options for every budget and requirement. We also covered a few Best Small Phones which is more similar to this list.. Whether you prioritize performance, camera capabilities, or unique features, there’s a phone on this list that will cater to your needs.

Consider the factors we discussed, read user reviews, and visit physical stores to get a hands-on experience. By doing so, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to choose the best phone that will enhance your daily life and keep you connected in style.