Our Best Phones of 2022 So Far

Our Best Phones of 2022 So Far

The smartphone market continues to be highly competitive, with companies being pushed and pulled by each other to innovate. We take a look at the best phones of 2022 so far, analysing what has made each of them stand out this year.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Rising high at the top of the pile is the phenomenal Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung has merged the S and Note ranges of smartphones to create this versatile powerhouse, and it benefits greatly from this combination by sharing the best of both worlds.


Visually, the S22 Ultra is another remarkable outing by Samsung, incorporating a beautiful 6.8-inch AMOLED display, with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz for a silky-smooth performance. The S22 Ultra showcases photos, videos, and games at a vibrant 1440p resolution; a wonderful feature to have in your pocket. When combined with the extremely fast Exynos 2200 chipset, the S22 Ultra showcases a serious amount of performance power; an incredible achievement at such a high resolution.

The redesigned camera array on the S22 Ultra really benefits from this incredible visual clarity. The main 108MP camera can take photos with stunning detail and it is flanked by a 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP telephoto cameras. On this 1440p display, the results are amazing to behold.


Included with the S22 Ultra is the S Pen, an accessory once exclusive to the Note range of Samsung phones. This is a clear example of Samsung merging these two ranges to create a new hybrid flagship phone, and it has proved to be a fantastic move. The S Pen massively expands the functionality of the S22 Ultra by enabling the user to write out texts, notes, and annotate on the screen, without requiring the virtual keyboard.

This tool makes using the S22 Ultra feel considerably more natural in your hands; something a cumbersome keyboard could never achieve. A remote camera button is also included on the S Pen stylus to capture photos without manual input on the device itself. Samsung has worked hard to make sure using the S Pen is easy as possible, reducing the delay when writing on the display from 9ms to a minimal 2.8ms.


The S22 Ultra represents a unique convergence of ideas from Samsung, and it has produced a brilliant smartphone that will be extremely tough to beat.

iPhone SE (Third Generation)

The third generation of Apple’s smaller form factor smartphone packs in an impressive level of performance, standing out as an affordable entry point into the iPhone world. It expands on this core selling point of previous SE models by pushing the SE Third Gen forward in key areas, all of which combine to make this a device worth taking note of.


Whilst the 4.7-inch HD display remains the same as the Second Gen SE, the chipset of the Third Gen model is the lightning-fast A15 Bionic, the very same powering the iPhone 13. This parity of performance is extremely impressive, given the affordability and small size of the SE.


Daily tasks and apps run faster thanks to this new chipset, and photos with the 12MP wide camera are detail-rich due to the addition of Deep Fusion processing, which takes multiple rapid shots and helps you choose the best.

An important factor of any phone is battery life, and the SE Third Gen supports up to 15 hours of video playback. The fast charging feature gets the SE back up to 50% in approximately 30 minutes and the device can be charged with existing QI wireless accessories.


The iPhone SE Third Gen stands its ground amongst the very lofty competition. With the additional inclusion of 5G connectivity, if you are looking for an affordable gateway into the iPhone range of phones, that packs in many of the modern smartphone features, the iPhone SE is a top choice.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

With the Redmi Note range of smartphones, Xiaomi balances budget and performance to produce devices that are powerful, yet affordable. The Redmi Note 11 Pro is an excellent example of this philosophy.


The 1080p AMOLED display of the Redmi Note 11 Pro is a particular standout feature at this price range, with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Whilst premium smartphones are pushing towards 1440p as standard, using a 1080p AMOLED display is an effective way of bringing down the price, but ensures an impressive level of visual quality.

CPU performance is another area where the Redmi Note 11 Pro excels in the budget-premium market. The Snapdragon 695 5G is an upgrade over the Note 10’s 732G, bringing with it a sizeable increase in performance when running daily tasks and apps.


Photographers will also find a lot to love with the Redmi Note 11 Pro. Its predecessor included a fantastic 108MP camera and this remains the case with the Note 11 Pro. The camera array contains an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP macro camera, perfect for high-quality portrait and landscape photos.


The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro is undoubtedly a leader in the premium-budget market. A fast charging 5000mAh battery and 5G connectivity are the final ribbons on a fantastic smartphone package.

Honor Magic 4 Pro

The Honor series of smartphones have proven to be an impressive contender in the highly competitive phone market, offering a powerful alternative to the giants of Apple, Samsung, and Google. The Magic 4 Pro is a perfect example, by packing top-tier tech alongside an exciting number of features.


It’s important to first make note of how big the Honor Magic 4 Pro is. With a screen measuring 6.81 inches, this phone is on the larger side and so isn’t as pocket-friendly as other devices. However, this becomes incredibly exciting when the display is OLED, which can produce vibrant colours and true-to-life contrasts that an LED screen cannot.

The display is also curved around the full frame, rather than just at the sides, creating a subtle yet stunning wrapped effect. With support for up to 120Hz refresh rate, the Magic 4 Pro is a visually superb phone.


On the performance side, the Magic 4 Pro is extremely fast, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Apps and games can load with minimal delay and run just as smoothly. The Snapdragon 8 puts the Magic 4 Pro on par with huge heavy hitters, including the Galaxy S22. There is also support for 5G, keeping you connected online for longer, with less lag and slowdown. For gamers, in particular, the Magic 4 Pro should be at the top of your list for gaming on the go.

When taking photos and videos, the Magic 4 Pro utilises a triple-camera array, consisting of a 50MP main lens, a 50MP ultrawide lens, and a 64MP periscopic zoomx. This produces high-resolution images with an exceptionally impressive level of detail, at a distance or closes up. Of particular note is the periscopic lens on the Magic 4 Pro. Whilst the zoom capabilities only reach 3.5x zoom, the lens is a much higher resolution.


Filmmakers can also record video at 4k 60FPS, with an impressive Night Mode for capturing detail in dark settings, and a movie mode that opens up several cinematic options whilst filming.

Battery life is another area where the Magic 4 Pro impressively balances trade-offs. At 4600mAh, the battery in this phone is not on the larger side, but this is countered by extremely fast 100W charging, making it one of the fastest rechargeable phones on the market.


In every metric, the Honor Magic 4 Pro impresses. Be it with its 6.81-inch OLED panel or exceptional processing performance, this phone offers something for everyone.

iPhone 13 Pro

Sitting in the middle of the 13 range of iPhones, 13 Pro stands out by offering the best balance of performance and pricing in the 13 family. Containing all the tech found in modern Apple smartphones, the 13 Pro is a truly exceptional device.


We start with the remarkable visual display of 13 Pro. Up front is a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED panel, capable of running up to 120Hz refresh rate, thanks to the ProMotion tech underneath. Simply put, this screen is beautiful and fast, with little lag or input delay when scrolling. For photography and film lovers, the inclusion of HDR, for accurate contrasts, is another exciting piece of display technology in 13 Pro.


Apple has also pushed forward the processing performance of their phones, with the A15 Bionic chip powering 13 Pro. Apps and games can load in seconds with minimal lag; with the 16-core Neural Engine, 13 Pro can load tasks faster over time, as you continually use the device. 5G connectivity is also available to keep you connected online with extremely fast connection and download speeds.

It is in taking photos and recording videos that the visual quality of 13 Pro truly shines. The triple-camera array can take images from almost every angle, capturing them in exceptional detail. With Deep Fusion8, 13 Pro can choose the best images from a selection of shots, taking into account image detail, clarity and contrast. These shots can then be edited in Apple ProRAW, which provides the user with greater control over detail, such as image contrast.


When recording film, you can record at 4k 60FPS with Dolby Vision support, or 1080p 30FPS in Cinematic Mode, to film content with a shallow depth of field. Apple has invested heavily in making the iPhone a photography and filmmaking device, accessible for amateurs and professionals; it really shows with 13 Pro.


13 Pro is a truly phenomenal smartphone. Whether you are an iOS or Android user, every piece of technology and design is of extremely high quality, making 13 Pro a must-have for those searching for the best in the mobile market.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is a flagship phone for the tech giants, and for good reason. This device excels on many fronts, making it a fantastic choice for users looking to upgrade or join the smartphone market for the first time.
Visually and in terms of performance, the Pixel 6 Pro goes head-to-head with the likes of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro, yet it very much stands on its own.


The display is a large 6.7-inch AMOLED, with a refresh rate of 120Hz. This makes the Pixel 6 Pro not just beautiful to look at, but it has the speed to match too. For excellent processing power, Google is using its own Tensor chip, which is capable of running tasks and apps in a matter of seconds.


When taking photos and filming videos, the Pixel 6 Pro is an industry leader. On the back is a set of three cameras: the main lens, an ultrawide lens, and a telephoto camera. All are excellent up close and at the range, but it is in low-light conditions that the Pixel 6 Pro is phenomenal. Night-time shots burst with detail and are not burdened with an off-colour tint, visible noise, and distortion. Nocturnal photographers will find a lot to love in the Pixel 6 Pro.

This device’s editing suite is also deep with features. The pick of the bunch is the Magic Eraser tool, which can remove selected objects and people from images with a single finger swipe.


Being a Google device, the Pixel 6 Pro comes equipped with the peace of mind that Google’s technological expertise is behind it, and they certainly don’t disappoint with this phone.

Once you have chosen a new smartphone, there are several ways you can dispose of your old device. Take a look at our guide on how you can make use of your previous phone once deciding on an upgrade.

If one of these phones catches your eye, take a look at our selection of affordable contract and refurbished devices, available in various styles. They include top smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.