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2022 has crossed the equator, and the list of the most popular smartphones has become longer. Models with an excellent camera, powerful hardware, high autonomy, a combination of “price – quality” – the choice is huge. We went through a lot of worthy devices and chose the best of them in different categories.

The list is based on the subjective opinion of the editors.

Models from Apple and Samsung in the first half of the year share places in the TOP with Chinese smartphones. Photo: gizchina.com

iPhone 13 is a versatile premium smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the flagship of the Android world
Red Magic 7 – gaming monster
Pixel 6 Pro is smart and big
Xiaomi 12 Pro is a smartphone for multimedia

iPhone 13 is a versatile premium smartphone

iPhone 13 is based on the new A15 Bionic chip. Its six-core processor with four graphics cores consumes 15% less power than the Apple A14. Under normal conditions, the smartphone works 8-10 hours without recharging.

The performance of the A15 Bionic is impressive. The iPhone 13 is ahead of the competition, including Samsung’s S21 Ultra. The device will cope with any resource-intensive applications.

The iPhone 13 came out in 2021, but the iPhone 14 is scheduled for the second half of the year, and making a list of the best without Apple is blasphemy.

In multi-core testing, the iPhone 13 scores higher than the Pro version. Photo: geekbench.com

The 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR AMOLED display impresses with clarity and excellent viewing angles. A maximum brightness of up to 1200 nits (when viewing HDR content) removes all questions about the screen’s performance in the sun. The refresh rate is only 60 Hz. For dynamic games, this is not enough, but the battery lasts a day or even two without recharging.

The typical iPhone notch has been reduced by about 20%. Photo: flickr.com

The smartphone supports the “Cinema Effect” function. The recorded clips are obtained with a shallow depth of field. The operator can use the smooth focus movement option. The end result is a video with a real cinematic effect. In practice, the system is not 100% accurate and needs to be improved. But its potential and possibilities are excitingly interesting even now.

A 12-megapixel camera with OIS (optical image stabilization) and large pixels lets in more light. Even in low light, iPhone 13 shots are noise-free, with amazing dynamic range and excellent color reproduction.

Macro shots are full of detail and natural tones. Photo: flickr.com

The iPhone 13 falls short of the refresh rate of the Pro display and takes about two hours to charge. But with the updated, user-friendly iOS 15, powerful chip, and signature camera quality, the smartphone covers all needs in 2022.

Reasons to buy iPhone 13:

  • Excellent performance and stability of the operating system;
  • High autonomy (up to one or two days without recharging);
  • High quality 4K photos and videos.

Features and nuances:

  • Display with a refresh rate of only 60 Hz.
  • There is no telephoto lens.
  • Slow charging (about 110 minutes).

iPhone 13 Key Features:

  • processor – Apple A15 Bionic;
  • display – OLED Super Retina XDR 60 Hz, 6.1 inches, 2532 x 1170;
  • RAM – 4 GB;
  • NFC – yes;
  • charging – up to 20 W;
  • wireless charging – QI up to 7.5 W;
  • protection against water and dust – class IP68 (dust-tight, protection against moisture when immersed to a depth of no more than 1 meter);
  • size and weight – 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.7 mm; 174

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the flagship of the Android world

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the premium successor to the 2020 Note 20 Ultra. The design of the model is in the spirit of luxury minimalism: a body made of metal and glass, separate camera lenses without an “island”, a monochromatic color palette. The back cover is protected from chips and scratches by Gorilla Glass Victus +, and the smartphone itself is protected from dust and problems when immersed in water.

Minimalist design, large screen and stylus make S22 Ultra a business-class smartphone. Photo: bloha.ru

The Galaxy S22 Ultra features an incredibly bright (up to 1750 nits!), detailed and large 6.8-inch display with WQHD+ (3088 x 1440) resolution. The default resolution is FHD+. The user can choose depending on preferences and requirements for autonomy (WQHD + consumes more power). Thanks to the adaptive screen refresh rate (up to 120 Hz), games and applications are displayed very smoothly.

The bundled S Pen stylus is very fast: the response time is reduced to 2.8 ms. With a “pen” you can draw in AR (augmented reality) and take notes, select functions on the screen, sign screenshots, work with text. The side button on the stylus launches the camera app.

The Samsung S22 Ultra deservedly entered the ranking of the best camera phones of 2022. The pixel size of the 108 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture has been increased to 2.4 microns. Pictures with high detail, balanced contrast are obtained both during the day and in low light conditions. The Super Steady System makes 100x space zoom real, not a toy. Unlike the Infinix Zero X Pro, the Samsung S22 Ultra is actually capable of reaching the moon.

Extreme magnification creates a slight blur, but the result is still amazing. Photo: techadvisor.com

With an Exynos 2200 processor, the smartphone is inferior to the performance of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But it easily overtakes Xiaomi 12 Pro and Oppo Find X5 Pro. There are no freezes in applications and games like Call Of Duty Mobile on the S22 Ultra.

Performance, as well as autonomy, depends on the screen resolution set. Photo: geekbench.com

The Exynos 2200 processor has benefited the autonomy of the S22 Ultra. With a 5000 mAh battery, the smartphone works in normal mode for about 10 hours. Reducing the resolution to FHD + adds another hour or two.

Reasons to buy Samsung S22 Ultra:

  • A complete camera phone.
  • Tons of possibilities with the S Pen.
  • Ultra-bright, stunning display with rounded edges.
  • High autonomy.

Features and nuances:

  • Large size: not always convenient to operate with one hand.
  • High price (from 120,000 rubles).
  • Exynos 2200 is inferior to the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and A15 Bionic in performance.
  • Charges slower than direct competitors (up to 60 minutes).

Key features of the Galaxy S22 Ultra:

  • processor – Exynos 2200;
  • display – AMOLED 120 Hz WQHD +, 6.8 inches, 3088 x 1440;
  • RAM – 8/12 GB;
  • NFC – yes;
  • charging – 45 W;
  • wireless charging – 15 W;
  • protection against water and dust – class IP68 (dust-tight, protection against moisture when immersed to a depth of no more than 1 meter);
  • size and weight – 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm; 229

Red Magic 7 – gaming monster

The design of Red Magic 7 is the embodiment of the theme of “space gaming”. Photo: kimovil.com

Nubia Red Magic 7 is the most powerful mid-range gaming smartphone. The latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor handles Genshin Impact, FIFA Online, Real Racing 3 and any heavy game at ultra settings with no dropouts, lags, or tearing. The impression of the process is enhanced by a 165-Hz display, which brings smoothness and realism to an incredible level.

A fan is installed in the device – even after many hours of battles, the temperature remains within the normal range. The cooler is not silent, but game sounds drown it out. In Game Space mode, an overlay (pop-up window) is activated. You can enable plug-ins or turbo boost in it to increase performance, control the fan, record game videos, etc.

Game Space – total control of the gameplay. Photo: eu.redmagic.gg

On the 6.8-inch AMOLED display, it is convenient to play shooters, RPGs, strategies, racing. At a resolution of 1080 x 2400, all aspects of gaming scenes are perfectly rendered with high detail. Stereo speakers with good bass are responsible for the audio accompaniment of games.

The smartphone runs on the proprietary Red Magic OS based on Android 12. The system supports all Google services and typical functions. The launcher is non-standard, you need to get used to it. The main bet is made on the gaming overlay and powerful stuffing. ZTE sacrificed the lightness and comfort of the shell.

Triple rear camera with 64, 8 and 2 MP lenses is designed for home use. Pictures have a problem with exposure and dynamic range. With good lighting, the main 64 MP camera produces good photos, but no more. No one expects magazine shots from a gaming smartphone for 35,000–40,000 rubles.

Red Magic 7 will massively appear in Russia in the second half of the year. Now there is a great alternative – the gaming Black Shark 4 Pro from Xiaomi. The device is powered by a powerful Snapdragon 888 processor and can handle modern games.

Reasons to buy Red Magic 7:

  • Outstanding performance for playing at high settings.
  • Display with a refresh rate of 165 Hz.
  • Low price.
  • Charge up to 100% in 30 minutes.

Features and nuances:

  • Bulky construction.
  • Battery capacity – 4500 mAh.
  • Short battery life in heavy applications (up to 5 hours).
  • Camera quality is basic.

Key Features of Red Magic 7:

  • processor – Snapdragon 8 Gen 1;
  • display – OLED 165 Hz, 6.8 inches, 1080 × 2400;
  • RAM – 12/16/18 GB;
  • NFC – yes;
  • charging – 65 W;
  • size and weight – 170.6 x 78.3 x 9.5 mm; 215

Pixel 6 Pro is smart and big

The flagship Pixel 6 Pro introduced a display with a 120Hz refresh rate for the first time in the history of the Pixel series. Surprisingly vibrant hues, great contrast, deep blacks, the Pixel 6 Pro’s screen rivals even Retina.

The 6.7-inch QHD+ display at 512ppi gives you a wow factor. Photo: theguardian.com

Pixel 6 Pro runs on Android 12. The operating system has been visually and technically redesigned with the latest updates. The shell automatically generates a color palette for different interface elements. In the quick settings, there are buttons for accessing the microphone and camera. The new game panel has implemented an FPS counter and screen recording.

The performance level of the smartphone is comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Popular games work with an average FPS of 60 without drawdowns and picture tearing. In multitasking mode, Pixel 6 Pro surprises with the speed of work. Any application opens in just a second.

The design of the Pixel 6 Pro is extravagant high-tech with a protruding camera module. Photo: ixbt.com

The smartphone wins in autonomy over the iPhone 13: the average battery life reaches 10 hours. 5003 mAh battery charging speed – 60 minutes. Difficult moments:

  • no power adapter included;
  • to achieve the “100% per hour” indicator, you need to buy a USB-PD 3.0 (PPS) adapter. Another model without Power Delivery and PPS technology will slow down charging;
  • even a proprietary adapter from Google with a nominal power of 30 W is limited to 23 W;
  • when reaching 80% charge, the process slows down to prolong battery life.

The smartphone has a new 50 MP camera sensor. Google’s intelligent image processing system produces photos with excellent dynamic range. Smart editing function Magic Eraser helps to remove any objects from the frame. The Face Unblur setting captures the subject in motion and eliminates blur.

A feature of the Pixel 6 Pro cameras is accurate, “honest” colors. There is no pop-slick shots from the Galaxy S21 Ultra or overly sharp white balance shots from the iPhone 13 Pro in the photo.

Pictured with the Pixel 6 Pro, the world is as it is. Photo: flickr.com

Reasons to buy Pixel 6 Pro:

  • Beautiful, large 120Hz display.
  • Great camera with unique features from Google.
  • Customizable, user-friendly shell.

Features and nuances:

  • The heaviest and largest smartphone of the Pixel line.
  • Complex principles of charging.
  • In certain situations, there is not enough volume and brightness.

Pixel 6 Pro Key Features:

  • processor – Tensor;
  • display – QHD + LTPO 120 Hz, 6.7 inches, 1440 x 1320;
  • RAM – 12 GB;
  • NFC – yes;
  • charging – 30 (23) W;
  • size and weight – 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm; 210

Xiaomi 12 Pro is a smartphone for multimedia

Xiaomi 12 Pro is a competitor to Samsung Galaxy S22+. The main advantage of the device is the display. AMOLED panel with 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate makes gaming or viewing content a joy. Always smooth and soft animations, perfect in the sun with a peak brightness of 1500 nits.

The calm design and rounded edges of the display are the characteristic features of the model. Photo: 808.media

In terms of performance, 12 Pro is not inferior to its counterparts. The advanced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor runs apps and heavy games with ease. The model does not have gaming “chips”, but the case does not overheat even with active gaming.

While the budget Redmi suffers from low-quality photos, the flagship 12 Pro has got a new Sony IMX707 50 MP sensor. In good light, the detail of the photos is excellent, the colors are bright and saturated. A slight loss of detail in the dark areas of the photo is not critical.

Xiaomi 12 Pro can claim the status of a camera phone. Photo: flickr.com

Night mode also pleases with the simplicity and quality of shooting. Automatic settings are enough to get a solid, detailed image in the dark. There is a use for both a telephoto lens and an ultra-wide-angle camera.

Xiaomi 12 Pro has problems with autonomy. The 4650 mAh battery drains quickly. But the smartphone supports 120W charging with a wire and 50W without it. 18 minutes – and the device again shows 100%.

Reasons to buy Xiaomi 12 Pro:

  • Calm, sleek design.
  • Beautiful 120Hz AMOLED display.
  • Good photo and video quality.
  • Super fast charging 120W (100% in 18 minutes).
  • productive processor.

Features and nuances:

  • Charging is not enough for a day of work.
  • The case is not protected from moisture and dust.
  • MIUI OS out of the box is not 100% optimized.

Key features of Xiaomi 12 Pro:

  • processor – Snapdragon 8 Gen 1;
  • display – WQHD + LTPO AMOLED, 6.73 inches, 120 Hz;
  • RAM – 8/12 GB;
  • NFC – yes;
  • charging – 120 W;
  • wireless charging – 50 W;
  • protection against water and dust – no;
  • size and weight – 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.16 mm; 205

Results

The world is waiting for the release of the iPhone 14 and Pixel 7. Both smartphones should appear before the end of 2022 and take high places in the overall ranking. But the models described in the material will not lose their relevance over time. Their capabilities and functions are at least a year ahead of the expectations of the average user. The main thing in the pursuit of the perfect smartphone is not to forget to listen to yourself and your wishes.

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