Best Phones 2021: The year 2021 saw smartphone companies releasing some of the most advance tech inside a smartphone yet. There was improved camera sensors, more camera features, better chipsets, incredible display qualities and really long lasting batteries.
But, among the most premium flagship smartphones, which is among the very best phones of the year 2021? Well, taking all the specifications and performance test in consideration, we’ve come up with top 10 best flagship smartphones of the year 2021.
So, going into 2022 these are some of the best smartphones you can buy. These phone are premium which means some are a little pricey but some are also enjoying some really nice discounts. Feel free to use any of the links on this page to buy anyone that catches your fancy. On that note, let’s kick things off from number 10.
Best Phones 2021
10. ZTE Axon 30 Ultra
The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra starts at the bottom of the pile but this doesn’t mean it’s a bad device. This device features one of the best chipset of 2021. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip paired with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage.
One of the many impressive features of this device is the 144Hz refresh rate (most features 120Hz). It also features a three 64MP at the rear with OIS and an 8MP periscope telephoto lens with OIS and 5x optical zoom.
Its display size is 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with corning gorilla glass 5 protection. There is no 3.5mm jack port but it features stereo speakers and it is powered by a 4,600mAh battery with 65W fast charge. It runs Android 11 out of the box along with MyOS 11 software.
Buy ZTE Axon 30 Ultra
Some of the letdown of the device is that it has no certified IP rating (not water or dust resistant). Its battery life is not that great as the 144Hz drains battery like allot. But with this device, you’ll get decent camera quality, nice gaming experience, smooth display, nice sensors, and good network connection.
9. Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
Asus Zenfone 8 Flip is another interesting smartphone to buy in 2021. Literally speaking, the device is really interesting. It’s not very often we get to buy a smartphone that comes with triple front cameras. Yes, this phone has three cameras for selfies.
You see, the Zenfone 8 Flip comes with triple rear camera setup; a 64MP main camera, an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. These cameras use a flip technology that allows all three cameras to flip to the front and take selfies.
Aside from the wonderful selfie photos, you also get to enjoy a full screen without notch upfront to disturb your viewing experience. This device features the Snapdragon 888 5G chip paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. Its display is 6.67-inch AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate.
It runs Android 11 out of the box along with ZenUI 8 and it’s powered by a 5,000mAh battery with support for 30W charge. The cameras and full display are the unique features of this device. Its battery size is also pretty impressive.
Buy Asus Zenfone 8 Flip
But it lacks behind in smooth display, nice camera features and it has no certified IP rating (i.e. not water or dust resistant certified).
8. Oppo Find X3 Pro
For its camera features along, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is easily one of the best smartphone you can buy in 2021. It’s the device with one of the most impressive camera set up and features to back it up.
It comes with a 50MP main camera with omnidirectional PDAF and OIS, a 13MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, a 50MP ultra-wide lens with omnidirectional PDAF, and a 3MP microscope camera.
See Also: 9 Best OPPO Phones you can buy in 2021
For night photos and image of close up objects, this device is truly impressive. Then you also get OIS features for stable photo and video. When it comes to display, this device is also at the top level. It features a 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED, with the following features; 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, BT.2020, 500 nits (typ), and 1300 nits (peak).
You also get the Snapdragon 888 5G chip inside, a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charge, runs Android 11 (upgradeable to Android 12), and features stereo speakers. To crown it all, the device is IP68 certified. Which means, its water and dust resistant.
Buy Oppo Find X3 Pro
But, you might not get the best software experience with this device except you’re very familiar with the ColorOS software. Also, there is no 3.5mm jack port. Aside from these, every other things about this device is spot on.
7. Sony Xperia 1 III
The partnership between Sony and Zeiss Optics really made the Sony Xperia 1 III one of the best camera phones of 2021. While the company might need to work on its smartphone naming, the company actually did a decent job with this smartphone.
Sony Xperia 1 III features a 4k cinematic display with this boxy yet well textured build quality. In fact, this device has the best build quality you’ll see in a smartphone in 2021. It features an OLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR BT.2020 feature. This device features three 12MP cameras at the rear and a 0.3 MP, TOF 3D, (depth).
You get to enjoy a 4x optical zoom with OIS features available. It runs Android 11 out of the box and features the Snapdragon 888 5G chip inside. It keeps the headphone jack port and it’s also water and dust resistant.
Buy Sony Xperia 1 III
|Buy Xperia 1 III||Price|
|Buy from eBay||$999.00|
Four things you’ll love about this device; one is the impressive 4k cinematic display quality, two is the many camera features, three is the chipset inside the device, and four the sound quality.
But, it seems the cameras inside this device is built more pro photographers as most of its features is not meant for average users. However, if you know your way around, you’ll be just fine using these cameras.
6. OnePlus 9 Pro
The partnership between OnePlus 9 Pro and Hasselblad is one the many reasons why the device is very popular. But that single reason is not enough to convince someone to buy the device.
For a flagship smartphones, the camera is just fair and while the Hasselblad Color Calibration might have its effects the OnePlus 9 Pro still didn’t make it to the top 5 of the best phones of 2021. It does have some impressive specs though.
It runs Android 11 out of the box, features the high end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip, features a 6.7-inch LTPO Fluid2 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s powered by a 4,500mAh battery. You also get to enjoy a 48MP omnidirectional PDAF camera with Laser AF, and OIS.
There is also an 8MP telephoto camera with 3.3x optical zoom, a 50MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP monochrome lens. This device is water and dust resistant with stereo speakers and corning gorilla glass 5 protection.
Buy OnePlus 9 Pro
The battery life inside this device is not that great and its performance is a little below other devices. But, it’s a very great camera device with nice display, impressive chipset, and good build materials.
5. Google Pixel 6 Pro
With its impressive cameras, awesome software experience, and new Tensor chip, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is the perfect middle child in the best smartphones of 2021. It features a 6.71-inch QHD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support.
See Also: Best Google Pixel Phones to buy in 2021
Its camera set up is; 50MP main camera with Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, and OIS, a 48MP telephoto lens with OIS and 4x optical zoom, and 12MP ultra-wide lens. Upfront it comes with an 11.1MP front camera. Pixel 6 Pro runs Android 12 out of the box and features the new Google Tensor chip paired with 12GB of RAM.
This device is water and dust resistant and it powered by 5,003mAh battery with 30W charge and 23W wireless charge. Other features includes; fingerprint, stereo speakers, always-on display, and ultra-Wideband (UWB) support.
Buy Google Pixel 6 Pro
The chipset inside this device is not that powerful but you’ll be enjoy the camera and software experience. Its built material is also very durable and it features the Gorilla Glass Victus protection.
4. Vivo X70 Pro Plus
Vivo X70 Pro Plus is worthy to be sitting in the number one spot of the best phones of 2021. I mean, this device features an 8MP and 12MP telephoto lens with OIS and 5x and 2x optical zoom respectively. Its main 50MP camera also come with OIS and Laser AF. While the 48MP ultra-wide has AF and gimbal OIS.
Right now, there is no better camera set up packed with so much features. It uses Pixel shift with Zeiss optics and can shoot steady 8k videos. Night photos and videos is top quality with ultra-steady capability.
The device is water and dust resistant, features a 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. It runs Android 11 out of the box and features the powerful Snapdragon 888+ 5G chip paired with 12GB of RAM.
Buy Vivo X70 Pro+
Its 4,500mAh battery is accompanied by 55W fast charge and 50W wireless charge tech. There is stereo speakers, fingerprint scanner, Google AI and lots of other sensors. Overall, this device is spot on. A true flagship smartphone in every sense.
3. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is a flagship material and there is no disputing that fact. This device is water and dust resistant, it’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and features a 6.81-inches AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.
It features the Snapdragon 888 5G chip paired with 12GB of RAM. Its rear camera set up is; 50MP main camera with Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF and OIS, a 48MP periscope telephoto lens with PDAF, OIS, and 5x optical zoom, and a 48MP ultra-wide lens.
Mi 11 Ultra is powered by a 5,000mAh battery with 67W fast charge and 67W wireless charge. The reasons why this device is sitting above the Vivo phone is that it features stronger protection, better display quality, and its competitive pricing.
Buy Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Some of the features you’ll love about the device are, camera, display quality, chipset performance, and durability. The MIUI 12.5 software is half baked and the battery experience is not so great. Maybe future updates from Xiaomi will resolve the software and battery issues.
2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is just about the most useful and most complete smartphone of 2021. Samsung did wonders with this device setting the benchmark for other OEMs to follow (most didn’t even level up).
With the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you can be more productive, enjoy better camera quality, really good display, and very nice performance. This device features an impressive 6.8-inches Dynamic AMOLED 2x display with 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support.
See Also: Best Samsung Phones you can buy in 2021
It’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and has support for Stylus. Galaxy S21 Ultra is also water and dust resistant. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chip paired with 12GB of RAM and runs Android 11 out of the box with three years of major software update.
It comes with 108MP main camera with PDAF, Laser AF, and OIS, a 10MP periscope telephoto with dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, and 10x optical zoom, 10MP telephoto with dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, and 3x optical zoom, and 12MP ultra-wide lens with dual pixel PDAF and Super Steady Video.
A massive 5,000mAh battery powers the device with 25W fast charge and 15W wireless charge. It has support for so many features that you can use this device wirelessly anywhere and anytime.
Buy Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
|Buy Galaxy S21 Ultra||Price|
|Buy from eBay||$1,047.00|
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra gives you incredible software experience, enhanced productivity thanks to the S PEN support, durable materials, very powerful CPUs and GPUs, the best camera set up in 2021, and years of software support.
This device is no doubt the best Android Smartphone of 2021. It’s perfect for just everything, Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, and for creativity.
1. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most powerful smartphone on earth right now. Its processor is the best in the smartphone industry. And for the first time, we have an Apple iPhone with support for 120Hz refresh rate and ProRes Cinematic Mode.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max features a 6.7-inches super Retina XDR OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10 support, and Dolby Vision. Its water and dust resistant, its build material is scratch resistant ceramic glass with oleophobic coating.
It runs iOS 15 and it’s upgradeable to iOS 15.2. It’s powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chip with Apple GPU (5-core graphics) paired with 6GB of RAM. Its camera set up is; 12MP main camera with dual pixel PDAF and sensor-shift OIS, a 12MP telephoto with PDAF, OIS, and 3x optical zoom, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth).
The iPhone 13 Pro Max comes with really impressive camera features such as; 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR, ProRes Cinematic mode, and stereo sound rec. You can literally shoot cinematic movies with the cameras of this device.
Users also get to enjoy so many sensors such as, Face ID, Siri natural language commands and diction, and Ultra Wideband (UWB) support. It features a 4,352mAh battery and its chipset efficiency makes it the best battery smartphone of 2021.
Buy Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
|Buy iPhone 13 Pro Max||Price|
|Buy on Gazelle||$1,069.00|
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is perfect for everything – battery life is awesome, the most powerful CPUs and GPUs, incredible camera quality with useful pro features, awesome display quality, and it’s a durable device.
If you need a more compact version of this device then buy the Apple iPhone 13 Pro. This device gives you same value as the Pro Max but with a more compact and easy to carry around screen.
These are the best phones of 2021 and Apple is at the top with its powerful chip, long lasting battery, and pro camera. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is definitely the device to buy if you’re a fan of Android.
Overall, all the smartphones listed here are the best you can buy in 2021. Expensive does not always mean better as some of the less expensive devices here offer better value for money. While some phones took it a little extra by adding extra specs.
We hope your dream phone made the list, if not it’s time to choose a new dream phone. Do you think there is a smartphone that should’ve make the list that isn’t here? Please use the comment section below to let us know.