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Best smartphones 2024: The best phones tested

Trusted Reviews recommends the very best mobile phones available now on Android and iOS, including the top options for photos, battery life and gaming

It’s important to get your smartphone purchase right. Nobody wants a phone that can’t last a full day on a single charge, or one that takes unflattering photos of your friends and family. That’s why we’ve decided to help with a hand-picked selection of the best smartphones we’ve reviewed in recent months.

Our team of experts review a lot of phones each year – flagship choices, affordable options and pretty much everything in between. We have a thorough testing process for smartphones, which includes conducting benchmark tests, discharge and charge tests, watching videos, playing games as well as day-to-day use. Those that impress and earn at least a 4-star rating (out of 5) are considered for this best smartphones list.

We’ve also made sure to include a variety of smartphone options, just in case you crave a specific high-end feature such as a top-notch camera or game-ready performance.

We’ve included both iPhone and Android options, just in case you’re committed to an operating system. There are also some rather unique choices, like those with foldable displays that can have larger, or smaller, screens. There’s a good variety of phones available now.

We also have curated other best lists if you’re looking for something a little more specific. Our best camera phone round-up focuses on a device’s photographic and videography skills and our best gaming phone list focuses on those that excel at on-the-go gaming. And if you’re more concerned about cost, then check out our best cheap phone and best mid-range phone lists, which focus solely on more affordable options.

Which is the best smartphone 2024?

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

Every phone included in the below list has been properly tested and used for an extended period by one of our product experts. We don’t review phones based purely on specs or a manufacturer’s claims – we use them as our everyday devices for at least five days and usually for much longer. 

If you read a phone review on Trusted Reviews, you’ll know the reviewer has popped their personal SIM card into the phone, transferred across their most-used apps and even their backlog of WhatsApp messages. We go all in, so you know you’re getting an honest view of a product.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks. We believe this gives the most rounded view of a device. The scores a phone receives from a run under our professional colourimeters aren’t worth much if the screen can’t be used comfortably on a sunny day.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The best flagship Android phone
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Pros

  • Genuinely useful AI features
  • Versatile camera setup
  • All-day battery life and then some
  • Seven years of OS upgrades

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Average ultrawide camera

Samsung’s 2024 flagship is here in the form of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and it has taken the top spot in our list of the best phones you can buy right now. Our expert reviewer felt that the phone ticked every box for what a flagship phone can offer, from a great design to a stunning display, versatile cameras, true all-day battery life, and, for the first time, GenAI capabilities.

The S24 Ultra’s camera setup now caps out at 5x with its periscope lens, down from the 10x of its predecessor. But fear not; with an upgraded 50MP resolution and improved OIS, our reviewer found that it’d perform just as well as the dedicated 10x lens while also providing much better images at 5-10x than the 3x telephoto could ever manage.

Elsewhere, the cameras remain largely unchanged, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The combination of 200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP 3x telephoto lenses captures images with swathes of detail in all manner of conditions.

The overall design has also seen a facelift, boasting a new titanium chassis, Corning’s new Gorilla Armor display protection and a transition from a curved to flat 6.82-inch AMOLED display – a small change, but one that makes a positive difference, especially when using the bundled S Pen. Combined with returning screen tech like an LTPO-enabled 120Hz refresh rate, support for HDR10+ and its pixel-packed QHD+ resolution, it really is an exquisite display.

The flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy processor delivers not only solid everyday performance but new GenAI capabilities in the form of Galaxy AI. It means the phone can perform actions like rewriting messages, dictating voice recordings and even real-time translation, though this is also a feature of the more affordable S24 and S24 Plus.

Battery life is also superb. A 5000mAh cell delivers all-day battery life even with elements like the QHD+ and always-on display active, with enough stamina to last well into a second day before needing a top-up.

The big thing holding the S24 Ultra back is the £1249/$1299 asking price. If you want a slightly cheaper – but still very capable – Android superphone, the outgoing Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra remains an admirable performer if you can find it at a heavy discount. There’s also the more modest Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus – although these do miss out on the top-end cameras and S Pen support.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The best iPhone
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Pros

  • It has USB-C (finally)
  • 5x zoom is welcome
  • Much comfier to hold and use; so much lighter

Cons

  • The Action Button is welcome – but it could do more
  • No 128GB option means higher price

If you’re looking for a true flagship phone and want iOS, as opposed to Android, you’re going to be looking at the iPhone 15 Pro Max – the current best iPhone on the market.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max offers the very best of Apple’s tech, with returning staples like Dynamic Island and the stunning 6.7-inch ProMotion display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that makes everything feel buttery smooth, from general swiping to gaming.

There’s more to it than its large display, however. The iPhone 15 Pro Max introduces a new Action Button in place of the volume slider, allowing you to program shortcuts at the press of a button. This ranges from basic functions like turning on the torch to more advanced options like activating a shortcut to control smart home tech, and it really makes accessing apps and shortcuts a breeze.

There’s also an upgraded titanium chassis in place of the stainless steel of its predecessor. That not only makes the iPhone less of a fingerprint magnet, but it’s also much lighter this time around too. Combined with impressively small bezels and slightly rounded edges, it feels much nicer to hold and use.

It’s also incredibly performant with the new 3nm A17 Pro chipset, allowing the iPhone 15 Pro Max to stay comfortably ahead of the Android competition in terms of day-to-day performance. With console-level games now available on the App Store, you’ll see a real benefit to the top-end chipset, too.

Interestingly, the camera setup is unique even compared to the regular iPhone 15 Pro. It boasts an upgraded 5x optical zoom alongside the same 12MP ultrawide and 48MP main lenses as its predecessor that allows it to get even closer to the subject without physically moving. It’s still not as capable as the likes of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it’s closer than ever.

Throw in comfortable all-day battery life, the switch from Lightning to USB-C and a whole host of software features courtesy of iOS 17 and you’ve got as close to the perfect iPhone that we’ve seen so far.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max review

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The best software
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Pros

  • The bright, flat screen is stunning
  • Often incredible camera performance across all sensors and lenses
  • AI features offer unique software tricks
  • 7 years of updates

Cons

  • Uncomfortable to hold
  • Temperature sensor is pointless
  • Performance not as strong as similarly priced phones
  • Notable price increase over 7 Pro

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is a fantastic Android phone that, even with a price rise, still undercuts rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra when it comes to price, without ditching too many features.

Google’s latest flagship, launched alongside the smaller Pixel 8, ticks just about all the boxes our reviewers look for in a phone that ends up on this list. It has a great screen with a smooth adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and impressive max brightness that makes it easy to use in daylight, accompanied by a sleek design with a new matte finish, capable internals thanks to the Tensor G3 and battery life that can compete with the best around.

But there are really two areas where the Pixel 8 Pro stands out compared to the Android competition. The biggest is the camera performance. Our reviewer was very impressed with the photography skills of this phone, praising its true-to-life skin tones, colours and crisp nature of images. It handles skin and pictures of faces better than the iPhone 15 Pro, or Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

There are lots of software tricks in the camera app too, all powered by the AI focus of the Tensor G3. This year’s model introduces new features like Best Take which uses AI to swap out bad poses in group selfies, while a new video feature allows you to remove annoying background noises easily. This is in addition to existing fan favourites like Magic Eraser, Magic Unblur and more to get the perfect photo.

The rest of the phone’s software is great too. It offers a clean approach to Android 14 with a few unique Pixel features, again powered by the phone’s AI-focused chipset. However, the biggest improvement is the long-term software support, with Google committing to an industry-leading seven years of OS upgrades with the Pixel 8 range that’ll take it through to Android 21.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel 8 Pro Review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

The best compact iPhone
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Pros

  • Lightweight and more comfortable to hold
  • Great camera performance in most conditions
  • Incredible A17 Pro power
  • Handy Action Button

Cons

  • Same 3x telephoto as its predecessor
  • Sluggish charging

If you’re looking for an iPhone that not just gets everything done but also offers a more compact experience than the 6.7-inch display of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, then your best bet would be the iPhone 15 Pro.

Despite the more pocketable dimensions of the 15 Pro, we found that the display experience was just as top-notch with great HDR performance and impressive peak brightness that makes both watching Netflix and playing games look great.

It also packs other key improvements of the top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max, including the new Action button, a switch from stainless steel to titanium and rounded edges that make the phone nicer to hold, as well as the top-end A17 Pro chipset, making for a capable compact iPhone.

However, it does miss out on the 5x optical camera present on the top-end iPhone, instead sporting the same 3.5x lens as the iPhone 14 Pro alongside a 48MP main and 12MP ultrawide lenses. And while still capable of all-day battery life, the compact design means it falls short of the extended battery life of the Pro Max.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: iPhone 15 Pro Review

OnePlus 12

The best value
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Pros

  • Large, mega-bright curved screen
  • Consistently solid camera performance
  • OxygenOS is a visual treat
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • No AI features
  • Performance is slower than similarly specced phones
  • IP65 resistance falls short for the price

OnePlus phones have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and that trend looks to continue with the new OnePlus 12.

The Android flagship offers a competitive range of features at a cheaper price than many rivals featured in this chart, even with a slightly higher £849/$799 price tag than its predecessor.

That includes a slightly larger 6.8-inch AMOLED display with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate tech that lets it go as high as 120Hz and as low as 1Hz and an astonishing peak brightness of 4500nits. It also boasts support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR Vivid, and 2160Hz PWM dimming, and the slight curvature to the edges helps it sit comfortably in the hand.

It’s more than just a great display though; the OnePlus 12 is all about the camera, sporting a fourth-gen Hasselblad camera system. The 50MP main rear snapper sports the same sensor as the top-end OnePlus Open, delivering consistently detailed, vibrant images both during the day and at night. It’s arguably the new 3x periscope lens that’ll make the most difference though, delivering huge improvements to zoom shots compared to the previous 2x telephoto.

It boasts Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and 256GB of storage as default for solid everyday performance, although we’ve found it doesn’t perform quite as well as some 8 Gen 3 rivals in benchmarks, nor does it take advantage of the GenAI power of the chipset like Samsung’s Galaxy S24 range.

Inside, you’ll find a 5,000mAh battery that’ll last all day and then some, along with 100W SuperVOOC charging that’ll get you from flat to full in less than half an hour. There’s also the benefit of the highly customisable OxygenOS 14, along with OnePlus’ promise of four years of OS upgrades and five years of security updates to appreciate.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: OnePlus 12 review

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition

The best phone for gaming
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Pros

  • Blazing fast gaming performance
  • Smaller design with improved waterproofing
  • Camera has been upgraded with 3x optical zoom
  • Still packed with excellent gaming features

Cons

  • Rear gets scratched very easily
  • Downgraded speakers
  • Camera still not as good as the competition

If you want the best possible phone for playing games on the go, our top recommendation is the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition

Performance is a top priority for gamers, which is why Asus has gone all-out with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and a whopping 24GB of RAM. Combined with Asus’ proprietary internal cooling tech and the optional cooler that straps to your phone, the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition delivered consistently solid performance even in high-end demanding mobile games like Genshin Impact.

It’s the gaming-specific features that really stand out though, with the AirTriggers allowing you to use and hold the phone like a gamepad, while the Armoury Crate software allows you to display the frame rate and optimise performance settings. Honestly, there’s a bevvy of optional accessories for the phone to customise the experience to your liking.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition is a different beast compared to other gaming phones though; it doesn’t look like a gaming phone. Asus has ditched the angular design of its predecessor for something that’s much more sleek, with a matte pattern on the rear that feels nice – though one that’s also pretty prone to scratches.

It has also shrunk the bezels of the display, and though it features a customisable LED panel on the rear, it disappears when not in active use. There’s also been an attempt to improve camera performance with an upgraded 50MP main snapper and 3x telephoto, though it’s still not quite at the same level as the likes of the Pixel 8 Pro or Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Costing over £1000/$1000, this is a seriously expensive phone. Those who want a more versatile phone may want to look elsewhere, as the camera quality is still behind that of the competition. But if you fancy a gaming phone that doesn’t look like a gaming phone, there is no better choice than the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition review

Motorola Razr 50 Ultra

The best clamshell foldable
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Pros

  • Biggest cover screen around
  • Stylish, colourful design
  • IPX8 water resistance

Cons

  • No ultrawide camera
  • Middling long-term software promise
  • Not quite the most powerful processor around

While the Z Flip from Samsung can be seen as the pioneer of the modern flip phone, the Z Flip 5 isn’t the very best phone we’ve tested with this design. In fact, the best clamshell foldable we’ve reviewed is the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra.

While the Razr 40 Ultra was impressive enough, the Razr 50 Ultra takes things to the next level. That’s mainly down to its cover display, which has expanded to a whopping 4 inches, taking up practically the entire front panel. it’s not just size though; the Razr’s cover screen allows you to do more than the competition, from opening any app on your phone to accessing Google Gemini from the cover screen.

Motorola has also ditched the ultrawide lens for a 2x telephoto lens, sporting the same 50MP resolution as the upgraded main camera. Both deliver impressive results, both in well-lit and low-light conditions, with decent 4x digital zoom capabilities too.

There’s also a boost in performance, up to the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3, and it ships with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage as standard, making its £999/$999 price tag all the more tempting.

Sure, it’s not the most powerful foldable, and its promise of 3 OS upgrades and 4 years of security patches isn’t the best ever, but we think the experience, on the whole, is among the best you’ll find on the foldable market in 2024.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Motorola Razr 50 Ultra

OnePlus Open

The best book-style foldable
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Pros

  • Solid foldable hardware with minimal display crease
  • Custom foldable camera tech
  • Unique Open Canvas multitasking software
  • True fast charging capabilities

Cons

  • IPX4 water resistance isn’t the best
  • Still hefty at 245g

If it’s a book-style foldable phone you want, the best one we’ve reviewed – by some margin – is the OnePlus Open, representing a huge step forward compared to other book-style foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold.

That starts with the outer display measuring in at the same 6.31 inches and 20:9 aspect ratio as a standard smartphone, and with identical top-end specs as the larger inner display including an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and 2800nits peak brightness, there’s no compromise here. It’s a great screen for replying to texts, scrolling through Instagram and anything else you’d do on a phone.

Of course, it’s the inner display that’s most important, and OnePlus has done an impressive job here. Sporting a 7.82-inch OLED display, it’s bigger than the Z Fold 5, and more importantly, the crease is much less visible too. Combined with a unique approach to split-screen multitasking that allows for three full-screen apps to be displayed at once, it offers a stellar foldable experience not really present in most of the competition.

It also takes foldable camera tech to the next level with a trio of rear lenses all specifically designed to be used in the OnePlus foldable. That’s headed up by a capable 48MP sensor that delivers great shots both in well-lit and low-light scenarios, but it’s the 64MP perioscope zoom that truly stands out. It offers both 3.5x and 6x optical zoom, with up to 120x digital zoom. It’s not that great at maximum zoom, but even up to 20x, the results are pretty impressive.

Throw in a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a large 4805mAh battery with 67W SuperVOOC charging and a cheaper price tag than the competition and you’ve got a very tempting book-style foldable.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: OnePlus Open review

Google Pixel 8a

The best mid-range phone
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Pros

  • Manageable size
  • IP rating and Qi charging
  • Great camera (for the price)
  • Seven years of software updates
  • Clever AI-infused software

Cons

  • Screen is far from the best
  • The battery will never last more than a day
  • Slow charging

If you’re on the hunt for a compact phone that won’t put a dent in your wallet, the Pixel 8a is an outstanding choice. For the price, there are few better choices out there running Android and this is one of our reviewers’ favourite phones of 2024.

It fixes some big complaints with last year’s Pixel 7a, which we already thought was one of the best mid-rangers around, especially in the display department. The 6.1-inch OLED display has been boosted to the same 120Hz as the Pixel 8 while also borrowing the flagship’s Actua display tech to boost brightness to an impressive 2000nits. The bezel is pretty thick, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

It’s also just a nice design overall, with more rounded edges and a matte-finish rear that makes it nicer to hold than the flagship-level Pixel 8 that it’s based on, with IP67 dust and water resistance to boot.

Of course, as with most Pixels, the camera on the Pixel 8a is truly remarkable. The 64MP main sensor from the Pixel 7a returns, but don’t let that disappoint you. The camera excels in capturing accurate skin tones, delivering exceptional low-light performance, and ensuring vibrant and true-to-life colours, and AI-powered editing tools like Best Take and Audio Magic Eraser take the experience even further.

Inside, the Pixel 8a shares the same Tensor G3 chip as its more premium siblings, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. While some might desire even more power in the flagship range, at this price point, the Tensor chip offers perfectly adequate performance and handles various AI-driven features seamlessly. Notably, Tensor powers the phone’s intelligent call-screening capabilities and outstanding voice recorder functionality.

Battery life could be better, as with most small phones, with a 4492mAh cell that can just about get you through a full day’s use. But, without any substantial fast charging and the lack of a charger in the box, it’s a phone that’ll take nearly two hours to fully charge.

That said, the Pixel 8a still represents a compelling option for those seeking a smaller-sized Pixel phone. With its impressive camera, notable features like wireless charging, the Pixel 8a offers excellent value for the price.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel 8a review

Motorola Edge 40 Neo

The best affordable phone
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Pros

  • Thin, lightweight design
  • All-day battery life
  • Premium hardware despite the price

Cons

  • Mushy, inaccurate vibration motor
  • Some pre-installed bloatware

If your budget doesn’t quite extend to the heights of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the £299 Motorola Edge 40 Neo should be one for serious consideration. Don’t let the budget nature fool you though; this is the only phone in our chart to get the full five-star rating, and there are plenty of reasons why.

Measuring in at 7.76mm thick and 172g, it’s a delight to hold and use, further complemented by a vegan leather rear available in a slew of Pantone-certified finishes that make the Edge 40 Neo stand out from smartphones at all price points, not just the budget market.

That’s further improved by premium features like full IP68 dust and water resistance and a 6.5-inch curved OLED panel with a 144Hz refresh rate that’s faster than most flagships. That makes the Neo particularly well suited to gaming, especially when paired with the snappy Dimensity 7030 and an ample 12GB of RAM that allows it to compete with mid-rangers that cost £200 more.

Despite its svelte dimensions, Motorola has packed a 5000mAh battery into the phone that doesn’t struggle to last a full day, and with 68W charging and a 68W charger in the box, you’ll get 50% charge in just 17 minutes. That easily beats the likes of the Pixel 8 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in the charging department.

There’s also a 50MP main camera and 13MP ultrawide camera that perform well in both well-lit and low-light scenarios, and stock Android 14 is a nice touch too. Seriously, what’s not to like?

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Motorola Edge 40 Neo review

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FAQs

What is a 90 or 120Hz display, and why would I want one?

Most of the phones included within this list feature a high refresh rate display, either at 90Hz or 120Hz. This means the display refreshes at either 90 or 120 times per second, up from the older standard of 60Hz. Having a fast display makes everything feel a bit smoother, be it swiping through Instagram or gaming. The iPhone 15 with its 60Hz display, for example, simply can’t compare to the smooth scrolling you’ll get from the 120Hz iPhone 15 Pro.

Should I buy a phone with 5G?

Most new phones, especially those over £400/$400, will now support 5G. This is the next step up from 4G, and provides faster and more reliable download speeds in areas where the network is live. 5G varies by country, with the USA touting a tech called mmWave that has far superior speeds if you’re in the right spot. While 5G isn’t a must-have yet, it’s always good to futureproof your purchases and as most new phones come with the tech now you likely won’t miss out.

How much should I spend on a phone?

There are excellent phones at all price points these days, with the best often costing above a grand if you want the very best. If you aren’t so fussed about things like camera performance and display quality you can get an excellent device for £500/$600.

Comparison Specifications

Here are all the specs for our best phones. Remember, the number of megapixels doesn’t always equal a better camera.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours
Stated Power

Trusted Reviews test data

While test data doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s an important part of our review process. As you can see, the iPhone 15 Pro series is the king when it comes to benchmarks, especially Geekbench, providing top scores.

Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming online)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming offline)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
60-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (no charger included)
15-min recharge (no charger included)
3D Mark – Wild Life
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

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Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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