My top 5 phones of 2022 – Ivan

My top 5 phones of 2022 – Ivan

My top 5 phones of 2022 - Ivan

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The year 2022 is nearly over and that means it’s time for us at the GSMArena team to name our favorite phones of the year. Should you care about mine? Probably not, but if you insist, keep reading.


In reverse order (my absolute favorite is the last one)…

ZTE Axon 40 Ultra

The ZTE Axon 40 Ultra is the perfectly sized flagship. It’s not huge, nor small either, but has a large 6.8-inch screen, a 5,000mAh battery, a great design that reminds me of the lovely Galaxy S21 Ultra, and a unique set of cameras.

The focal lengths of the main camera and zoom camera are what make the Axon 40 Ultra one of my favorite phones this year – 35mm is such a great all-round field of view that puts more emphasis on a subject while remaining large enough to be adequate for cityscapes and landscapes. And, thanks to the relatively large sensor behind the bright lens, the Axon 40 Ultra’s main camera is a real photography badass. At the other end of the zoom, at 91mm, the 3.5x camera gets you a little closer than the typical 3x telephoto lens on a Galaxy or iPhone (those are around 70mm to 80mm).

Xiaomi 13 Pro

I haven’t seen this one in person yet, but I’ve used enough recent Xiaomi smartphones to be sure that the Xiaomi 13 Pro will be exquisitely crafted, fast and top of the line. But it’s the cameras that interest me, especially the main and the telephoto (find the diagram here?). The wide camera has a 1-inch type sensor with huge 1.6µm pixels before grouping, they swell up to 3.2µm when combined. We saw this imager on the Xiaomi 12S and thought it was great.

My top 5 phones of 2022 - Ivan

The 75mm f/2.0 camera should make for nice zoom and portrait shots. We haven’t yet learned the size of the sensor behind this camera, but I’m optimistic. And, I can’t argue with this Wilderness Green color that’s clad in ceramic.

Asus Zenfone 9

Asus is one of the few manufacturers to make compact phones properly! I spent some time with the Asus Zenfone 9 while we were doing its review and it’s been great. It has great phone performance and even great phone battery life in a very small package.

My top 5 phones of 2022 - Ivan

Asus went with a near-stock Android UI that was very smooth and simple and should be easy to maintain with quick updates down the line. And the new polymer finish on the back panel gives the phone a different feel and it fits comfortably in the hand.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

I almost bought the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 several times this year. It might have something to do with seeing it both at its announcement event and later in the office while its review was in progress, but I love a big Samsung and they don’t get any bigger that.

What struck me about the Galaxy Z Fold4 was how much faster it was than my then Galaxy S22 Ultra Android 12. The sheer size of the interior screen was also a big factor in my desire to own the Fold4.

Samsung has made strides in the multitasking capabilities of its latest large foldable. It’s easier than ever to put multiple apps on screen and it works seamlessly. The new permanent taskbar is pure genius.

My top 5 phones of 2022 - Ivan

The Galaxy Z Fold4 also got a much-needed camera upgrade. I particularly like the new 3x zoom camera. But despite all the upgrades, the Galaxy Z Fold4 just doesn’t live up to the…

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

My phone of the year – the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. And plenty of others too, judging by the overwhelming numbers on our specs page, which boasts over 9 million visits.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the all-powerful flagship. There’s no other phone with its combination of display, camera array, battery life and software capabilities. The S Pen is also unique.

My top 5 phones of 2022 - Ivan

I can hardly say anything you don’t already know about the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so I’ll just wrap up by saying that I’ve been using it for most of 2022 and loving it. And it’s getting better and better. The OneUI 5.0 update fixed the weird performance issue and made the phone smooth as butter.

On the way to 2023!


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