My Top 5 Phones of 2022 – George
My thirst and curiosity for new smartphones has diminished over the years – after reviewing my share of models and using a handful personally, I’ve reached a point where the excitement has mostly left the room. That said, there are still areas where developments manage to spark a spark in the heart of this otherwise emotionless reviewer – not enough to motivate a purchase, but just enough to drive it forward.
Always looking for more type, I’m always on the hunt for the right foldable to deliver the most tablets in the fewest smartphones and we’re getting closer to that goal. Meanwhile, a still-vivid fascination with photography despite the now abandoned pursuit of mastery of craftsmanship means that unusual smartphone cameras are also at least somewhat captivating. And then, ultimately, there are the phones I buy to use, and this group has traditionally had no overlap with the previous two. Let’s try to make a list.
Oppo Find N2
At around 40 grams lighter than the previous generation, the weight of the recently announced Find N2 is now at a regular large smartphone level. This all-new foldable package includes a small smartphone with a responsive front-facing form factor and a compact tablet once you open that Flexion hinge. It’s a play of aspect ratios with these designs and findings bring them closer to right than anyone.
A common compromise with foldables is to sacrifice the latest advancements in shooting simply because there’s no room for hardware in those necessarily slim bodies. That’s obviously still the case on the Find N2, but this generation’s specs are a bit less lackluster – larger sensor tele and ultra-wide, more AF on the latter – promoting the Find’s viability as a notch all-rounder. above the N(1)’s.
Now all that remains is “international” firmware and official availability outside of China. All in due time, I suppose.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is in a similar limbo unavailable to Westerners, but it makes it to this list nonetheless – as it may be the best camera around. Unlike the Mi 11 Ultra, the 12S is tied to its Chinese home market and we Europeans will have to wait a bit longer for a fully functional phone with a 1.0 type (fully serviceable) camera sensor.
But it’s not just the main camera here – the ultra-wide and telephoto, repurposed as they may be from the previous generation, are also hard to rival, making for a truly standout trio. Maybe Xiaomi will only release the odd Ultras globally – we can only hope for a global 13 Ultra when the time comes.
ZTE Axon 40 Ultra
Which brings us to the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra. A solid phone in its entirety, it’s not here because it’s such a complete package – no, the reason is more specific. In a world of 24mm (equivalent) primary cameras, the Axon opts for a 35mm camera and that makes a primary difference in the type of photos it takes. The altered perspective, the added bokeh, the natural portraits – this camera is a unique selling point.
A camera doesn’t make a phone, however, and for all its general well-being, the Axon 40 Ultra can’t quite be everyone’s phone, in the same way as a Galaxy or an iPhone. . All that remains is to fabricate a 35mm (or thereabouts) large sensor camera – either as the ‘main’ camera or alongside a more conventional 24mm unit.
Tecno Phantom X2 Pro
There is another remarkable one-trick
We explored it in detail and found it produced results unmatched for smartphones of the time – for rather specific tasks and strictly to smartphones, but these are smartphones you carry around in your pocket and not that 85/1.4 or whatever optical monstrosity you dream of at night.
So yeah, one more entry in the “one intriguing single camera in a phone you won’t get in the end” category.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
What I got was the Pixel 7 Pro. A phone without a single particularly impressive camera, slowest charging, network limitations where I live (since it’s not officially sold), and feature limitations where I live (read below). above) in addition to what is a somewhat bland version of the UI to begin with. .
These are not new… peculiarities. But despite all (and a bunch of well-documented hardware issues over the years), the Pixel, as a concept, has had lasting appeal for me. I still fondly remember the last one I had, the Pixel 3, small in size – they don’t make them like they used to anymore. Curiously, no intermediate model has managed to take this intangible attraction (inexplicable too, some colleagues would say) and promote it as a time when money changes hands.
Well, this one did, and some discount can claim some of the blame. But a lot of it comes down to the fact that the sum of the goodness of the Pixel 7 Pro this year and this #teampixel appeal ultimately outweighs its shortcomings (which I’m not blind to and accept). Granted, a weird way to culminate a Top 5 list, but hey, that’s what is.