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 — uni­ver­sal 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 — universal 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. 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


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.