We tested out the best smartphones of 2022 and these were our favourites

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Looking to upgrade? When it comes to the latest smartphones, it can be hard to pick which one is right for you – especially when they all seem so good.

We put some of the latest must-have devices through their paces to identify the best for fast-charging, budget, photography and more.

Read on below for our verdict.

OnePlus 10T

Best for fast charging

As any self-respecting OnePlus fan will know that when the Chinese manufacturer slaps a ‘T’ on to its phones, it usually brings an updated version of an already powerful smartphone. In this instance, it’s the 10 Pro.

Despite looking almost identical, with a colourful and punchy 6.7in, 120Hz display and square camera bump, it beats the 10 Pro in the processing department. Running on the ‘plus’ version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, it boasts impressive performance for more intensive tasks.

It’s also exceptional for a swift battery blast, boasting 150W fast charging, that’ll take you from zero to fully charged in about 20 minutes and 50% in just eight. Providing you use the charger in the box. Impressive.

OnePlus has cut a few corners to keep that price down, so while its 50MP main camera works well in well-lit and low-light conditions, its 8MP ultra-wide shooter isn’t as detailed as its rivals.

It also does away with a telephoto lens in favour of a 2MP macro sensor, which feels a bit pointless, and there is 2x zoom to play around with, but expect a dip in quality.

Thankfully, its 16MP front shooter delivers an efficient bokeh effect in Portrait Mode and things are a bit more impressive in the video department, with quality 4K video at up to 60fps fully stabilised, with smooth digital zoom. If performance and charging trump photography, you’re looking at a good top-spec phone at a highly competitive price.

Buy from £629 from OnePlus.

Nothing Phone 1

Best for budget

With so much hype surrounding Phone 1 before it had even been revealed, it was virtually impossible to ignore wanting to know what all the fuss was about.

Firstly, its design is unique with high-class see-through styling and clever glyph LED lighting that triggers whenever you get notifications or a call. There’s plenty of substance, too. Lay the phone screen-down and it’ll mute itself automatically, leaving the LEDs to grab your attention.

The under-display fingerprint sensor is quick to pick up your digits, and gawping at its 6.55in OLED display will impress, thanks to its detailed images, HDR content and smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

Its dual 50MP main and ultra-wide snappers do a brilliant job in well-lit conditions. Colours are vibrant and punchy, even if they aren’t always true to life.

It doesn’t perform as well as the competition when the lights go low, but expect decent 4K video with effective stabilisation and detailed 16MP selfies to boot.

If you’re doing more than your average smartphone user, expect to plug into a power source earlier than you’d like, but at least after half an hour you’ll be back up to around 50%.

Its processor isn’t as powerful as the rest on test, but it does things a little differently, delivering a premium and feature-packed device for a very pocket-friendly price.

Buy from £399 from Nothing.

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Best for imaging pros

It’s no secret that Sony does things differently. That explains its distinctively tall, skinny and squared-off form-factor and good-looking 6.1in, 21:9 OLED display. This unorthodox approach to visuals means movies and games look amazing on its cinema-like screen, while the 120Hz refresh rate means scrolling through web/app content is delightfully smooth.

Those slim bezels don’t just disguise the selfie camera either, decent-sounding, front-facing dual stereo speakers hang out here too.

Photography nuts will appreciate the physical shutter button that triggers its trio of 12MP sensors, including a dedicated 2.5x telephoto lens for exceptional photos with lots of detail regardless of lighting conditions.

Shutterbugs will also love features in the Xperia 5 IV such as the Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking for a more consistent and polished shooting experience.

This comes alongside DSLR-style Pro manual control and 4K shooting at up to 120fps, all with dependable optical image stabilisation. From a point-and-shoot perspective, however, it doesn’t stack up as well as the rest.

It’s powered by one of the fastest processors around (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1), and therefore handles general navigation and app flitting flawlessly, and laughs in the face 
of heavy-duty games.

Its fast and reliable fingerprint sensor lives inside the power button, and Sony has finally joined the wireless charging party. Huzzah!

Audiophiles will also be pleased to know that Sony hasn’t ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack, and with IP68 dust and water resistance, it will survive a dunk in the pool, or worse, the porcelain throne.

Buy for £949 from Sony.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best for general photography

Google continues on its quest to provide Android fans with a top-notch smartphone experience, complete with a clever camera loaded with AI features. By fine-tuning last year’s distinctive design, the water-resistant 6.7in Pro oozes plenty of appeal, even if it is a bit of a fingerprint magnet

That’s largely down to its trio of cameras (50MP wide, 48MP telephoto with 5x zoom and 12MP ultra-wide) that live inside the distinctive Camera Bar.

Talking of the camera, the 7 Pro takes incredible photos in the day and after dark, and those software upgrades introduced on the 6, such as the ability to erase photo bombers with Magic Eraser, and capture more natural-looking skin tones are back.

But the icing on top of this triple-lensed cake? Its game-changing Photo Unblur option, which does exactly what it says on the tin: makes blurry photos usable, and even spruces up older snaps taken on previous phones.

Elsewhere, the Tensor G2 chip at the phone’s heart really boosts Google’s suite of AI features. It recognises speech more accurately, rendering Google Assistant more useful. It also ensures Android 13 handles your prods and pokes immediately, while its 120Hz refresh rate is ideal for intense gaming and serious multitaskers.

Buy from £849 from Google.

iPhone 14 Pro

Best all-rounder

This phone packs lots of horsepower, boasting a trio of impressive cameras and a beautiful and bright 6.1in,120Hz display that’s sandwiched between a stainless steel and an all-glass and water-resistant design.

From the back, you’ll hardly notice any cosmetic differences from the last one, minus the slightly larger camera module. But flip it around and it’s ditched the notch in favour of the new pill-shaped Dynamic Island, which expands depending on what you’re doing, such as controlling your music or getting directions from Maps.

The always-on display has finally made the jump to iPhones too, allowing users to glance at their phone for information, including Lock Screen widgets and live activities.

The Pro’s powerful A16 Bionic chipset laughs in the face of power-heavy apps and graphic-heavy games. It also offers one of the best shooting experiences in all lighting conditions.

That’s thanks to the improved 48MP main and 12MP ultra-wide cameras, and the 12MP 3x telephoto lens found in the 13 Pro, which spit out more natural looking images with incredible detail. Wizardry from its Photonic Engine improves detail in low-light scenarios, its 48MP RAW photos capture excellent results.

Size and battery life aside, it crams in the same features as its bigger Pro Max sibling, but for a cheaper price.

Buy from £1,099 from Apple.

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