My top 5 phones of 2022 – Michail
Last year released a number of memorable devices and although it was difficult to choose the best five, I finally succeeded. A little background on my phone preferences – I like them small or how I like to call them of reasonable size Phone (s. You know, the ones that are comfortable to use with one hand.
While small phones are my preference, I can’t deny transcendent devices that let you do more than just browse social media apps, snap photos and listen to Spotify – I’m talking foldables here and I have two in my top five list.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
The iPhone 14 Pro is my phone of the year and it’s the best overall package for a compact phone. Other than battery endurance, there’s no real compromise on the larger Pro Max variant. Performance is smooth and the Apple A16 chipset is still miles ahead of the competition. Dynamic Island is still in its infancy and it will still be a while before the developers take full advantage of it, but I’m a fan of this new approach and you can already tell that competitors are trying to implement similar features.
The new 48MP main camera takes the best photos on an iPhone yet in both day and night scenarios, while video stabilization has been redesigned and is once again the best solution in the smartphone world. The 3x telephoto module isn’t all that impressive though, especially with the lack of a true periscope module like on competing Android flagships.
Apple’s flagship phones are known for their superior build quality, but I have to mention that the weight of the Pro models has been a little out of control (literally) over the past few years. The 14 Pro tips the scales at 204 grams while the 14 Pro Max weighs 240 grams. The stainless steel frames are nice and shiny when new, but pick up scratches quite easily and don’t look as good after a few months of use without a case.
Long-term software support is becoming increasingly important, and Apple is still the leader here. You can expect at least six years of iOS updates on the latest generation iPhones. Apple’s phones tend to hold their value better than any other brand, and the iPhone accessory market isn’t the best.
Google Pixel 7
Google’s Pixel line has always locked in the Android purist crowd and I think the Pixel 7 series is the best yet. My preference for smaller phones made me pick the Pixel 7 for this list over the 7 Pro.
Pixel 7 gets all the basics done with a large 6.3-inch OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate that looks pretty smooth. The build quality is better than last year’s Pixel 6, and the prominent camera visor is still a unique design trait that I love. The Pixel 7’s cameras leave little to be desired and offer some of the most natural shots in the industry with plenty of extra tricks like the magic eraser feature. The ultra-wide camera is a little disappointing in low light, however.
There are other regional limitations – 5G, VoLTE and most in-car AI features won’t work in markets where Google doesn’t officially sell the Pixel 7 lineup. But the Pixel 7 is a compact flagship phone at an adequate price. with great software and capable cameras that are easy to recommend to most users.
Asus Zenfone 9
The compact theme continues with Asus, one of the few Android makers to regularly offer a small flagship in its Zenfone range. The Zenfone 9 is a great phone with a flagship build and specs – a 5.9-inch 120Hz OLED display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and 50MP main camera.
Asus has really nailed the design of the Zenfone 9 and it’s arguably the most comfortable one-handed phone to use on the market right now. I also loved the textured back which has a nice grippy finish and I think the dual camera cutouts on the back are also very clean. The added smart key that doubles as a power button and fingerprint reader is another great feature that lets you assign double taps and long presses for specific actions and app launches.
The only hardware drawbacks of the Zenfone 9 in my eyes are the asymmetrical bezels and the reflective coating on the selfie camera. Asus only promises 2 major updates to the Android operating system, which is behind competitors like Samsung and Google and not ideal if you plan to keep your phone for a long time. You also don’t get wireless charging and a telephoto lens, but you kind of expect that from a compact phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? Is it a desktop replacement? It’s the Galaxy Z Fold4 and it can be all three. The Z Fold4 is currently the most versatile smartphone on the market. The fourth-generation Z Fold is a refinement of previous Folds in the lineup and is by virtue of the best yet.
Samsung delivers the best mobile viewing experience with the Z Fold4 and its 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display, but the big upgrade is the Cover Display which now offers a wider and more useful aspect ratio for improve typing. This also comes at the expense of the glasses, so handling is not compromised.
Galaxy Z Fold4 is a multitasking machine with the new taskbar that lets you quickly launch and switch between apps as if you were on a desktop computer.
Performance is top notch with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The cameras are nearly identical to the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+, which is good enough for most use cases, but a periscope telephoto lens and larger main sensor would make some future Folds a true no-compromise device. . Oh and the 4MP UD selfie camera here is still pretty bad, but it’s really only for video calls.
The hinge gap and screen crease are still bothersome aspects on the Z Fold4 and we hope they will be fixed with the next release. We’re also hoping for faster charging as the 25W speeds are quite disappointing on such a high-end device.
Versatility is the main selling point of the Z Flip4 – it can replace your phone, tablet, eReader and even laptop in DeX mode with the right peripherals. All of these features fit in your pocket with 5G connectivity and an optional active stylus – it just makes you feel like you’re living in the future.
Oppo Find N
Oppo Find N was one of the most interesting devices to come to the office this year. It’s sad that we never got an international release with this one and sadly we’ll miss Find N2 as well. I’m not including the N2 on this list because it came too late in the year and I still have to decide if it’s a good enough upgrade.
The Find N is the first horizontally foldable phone that has made ergonomics a priority. Find N feels like it was designed for one-handed use, even with its large 7.1-inch main screen giving you plenty of space for multitasking. The 5.49-inch exterior AMOLED is just wide enough to feel like a normal smartphone screen for typing messages and other daily tasks when you’re on the go.
The 7.1-inch LTPO AMOLED is still substantial, and the crease in the middle is far less prominent than on other competing foldables. The gapless bezel where the two halves of the phone meet is also a reassuring design aspect. Performance is very good with the Snapdragon 888 at the helm despite being a generation old at launch and the 4,500mAh battery providing adequate endurance in our tests.
The Find N may just be the catalyst for more compact upright foldable phones, including the rumored Google Pixel Fold and it’s a welcome sight in the market where other manufacturers are prioritizing larger screens.
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