When we buy flag­ship smart­phones, we look for max­i­mum per­for­mance, the best cam­era, mas­sive inter­nal stor­age, and oth­er ben­e­fits that mid-range phones don’t have. But is over­pay­ing for top mod­els always jus­ti­fied or do we give mon­ey for a brand? Let’s fig­ure it out togeth­er.

Source: tekdeeps.com

We have pre­pared the top most expen­sive and best smart­phones that are offi­cial­ly sold in Rus­sia in 2022. If a cou­ple of years ago such a rat­ing would have been com­piled from Apple and Sam­sung smart­phones, today oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers are on their heels.

Galaxy Z Fold3 is Samsung’s most expensive flagship

The third gen­er­a­tion of fold­able smart­phones from the Kore­an man­u­fac­tur­er, like the pre­vi­ous two, has a record high price. If the atti­tude towards the first Galaxy Z Fold was ambigu­ous, then grad­u­al­ly the com­pa­ny man­aged to instill a love for these gad­gets.

Galaxy Z Fold3 com­bines an unusu­al design and new tech­nolo­gies, which attracts many users, even tak­ing into account their con­sid­er­able cost of 160,000 rubles for the 12/512 GB ver­sion. These unusu­al gad­gets have not yet come into use, so they attract the views of oth­ers. Their main fea­ture is two dis­plays with a res­o­lu­tion of 2208x1768 pix­els. Both have Dynam­ic AMOLED matri­ces and oper­ate at fre­quen­cies up to 120 Hz.

The smart­phone cap­tures the views of oth­ers not only with its size, but also with the rich­ness of the dis­play. Source: forbes.com

Anoth­er fea­ture of the Galaxy Z Fold3 is the pow­er­ful Snap­drag­on 888 proces­sor. This is an 8‑core chip with a record per­for­mance for 2022 of over 710,000 points in AnTu­Tu. This is more than enough for all games, includ­ing the most demand­ing ones.

The bat­tery capac­i­ty is 4400 mAh. In the mode of watch­ing a video or read­ing, the charge lasts for 16 hours, and demand­ing games drain the bat­tery in 6 hours.


  • a large fold­ing dis­play that turns a smart­phone into a tablet;
  • top proces­sor Snap­drag­on 888;
  • sig­nif­i­cant amounts of RAM and inter­nal mem­o­ry (12/512 GB);
  • good auton­o­my, tak­ing into account the diag­o­nal of the screen.


  • thick body that takes some get­ting used to.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is a compact smartphone with a flexible screen

Anoth­er good qual­i­ty smart­phone from a Kore­an com­pa­ny. The phone was equipped with a 6.7‑inch dis­play with an adap­tive fre­quen­cy of 120 Hz. Thanks to this, all tran­si­tions between frames look as smooth as pos­si­ble — even in games and action scenes when watch­ing movies. To con­serve bat­tery pow­er, the fre­quen­cy is auto­mat­i­cal­ly reduced when not need­ed.

At the heart of the Sam­sung Galaxy Z Flip3 is the pow­er­ful Snap­drag­on 888 flag­ship proces­sor. Due to this, the phone is 12% faster than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. Also on board is 8 GB of RAM. The amount of inter­nal stor­age depends on the ver­sion — 128 GB (78,000 rubles) or 256 GB (85,000 rubles).

A com­pact clamshell that, when unfold­ed, has an impres­sive screen size of 6.7 inch­es. Source: gsmarena.com

An inter­est­ing fea­ture of one of the best smart­phones of 2022, which ordi­nary gad­gets do not have, is the abil­i­ty to take self­ies with the main cam­era. This is due to the design fea­tures of the clamshell. The bat­tery capac­i­ty of 3300 mAh is enough for 6 hours of games or 12 hours of video view­ing. A 15W charge restores the bat­tery in just 88 min­utes, but the unit itself is not includ­ed.

The man­u­fac­tur­er has improved the mul­ti­task­ing mode. Now the user can work in two win­dows at the same time. For exam­ple, you can drag text from the brows­er to the mes­sen­ger with­out switch­ing between appli­ca­tions.

The smart­phone was equipped with Dol­by Atmos sur­round sound sys­tem.


  • unique design with a clamshell form fac­tor;
  • tak­ing a self­ie with the main cam­era;
  • pow­er­ful proces­sor;
  • good dis­play with a fre­quen­cy of 120 Hz.


  • no microSD slot;
  • there is no charg­er includ­ed;
  • weak auton­o­my.

iPhone 13 Pro Max — 12th Generation Remastered

In terms of design and dimen­sions, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is almost iden­ti­cal to the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion smart­phone. When you first get acquaint­ed with the nov­el­ty, you imme­di­ate­ly pay atten­tion to the strong­ly pro­trud­ing cam­era lens­es. The use of a case elim­i­nates this minor draw­back, due to which the phone can­not be laid flat on the table.

The devel­op­ers from Apple made the bangs 24% short­er, and the func­tion­al ele­ments remained the same: the pow­er but­ton on the right side, the vol­ume con­trol on the left, there is no mini­jack. The pow­er con­nec­tor is the same — Light­ning for­mat.

Pro­trud­ing cam­eras can be dam­aged if han­dled care­less­ly and with­out a case. Source: techcrunch.com

If the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max were very dif­fer­ent in cam­era qual­i­ty, then in the 13th gen­er­a­tion, the dif­fer­ence between the reg­u­lar Pro and the Pro Max ver­sion is only in dis­play size and bat­tery capac­i­ty. The screen was equipped with a Pro Motion fea­ture that auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjusts the refresh rate from 10 to 120 Hz, depend­ing on the image.

The main cam­era received a more advanced sta­bi­liza­tion func­tion with a matrix shift. The mod­ules them­selves remain the same, but the devel­op­ers have added a few soft­ware fea­tures. There was a mode “Cin­e­ma effect”, which allows you to adjust the depth of field of the image both dur­ing shoot­ing and after it. Many pho­to­graph­ic styles have been added, a macro mode for pho­tos and videos has appeared. There is also sup­port for ProRes — the abil­i­ty to record video with greater clar­i­ty and min­i­mal com­pres­sion. To edit clips shot in this mode, use the smart­phone itself or the Final Cut Pro appli­ca­tion for macOS.

The new A15 Bion­ic chip was cho­sen as the proces­sor. It was devel­oped using the same 5 nm process tech­nol­o­gy as its pre­de­ces­sor, so the per­for­mance increase was not a record, but quite notice­able — about 20%.

The bat­tery is 18% more pow­er­ful than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Its capac­i­ty is 4373 mAh. With active use (tak­ing pho­tos and videos, edit­ing, watch­ing videos, lis­ten­ing to music), it lasts for 1–1.5 days. The new gen­er­a­tion gad­get has every chance of becom­ing the best smart­phone of the year.

The cost of the iPhone 13 Pro Max for the 128 GB ver­sion starts at 120,000 rubles, and for 512 GB you will have to pay more than 145,000. There is a light­weight option for lovers of com­pact smart­phones — the iPhone 13 Mini, which will cost 70,000 rubles for the 128 GB ver­sion.


  • dis­play with Pro­Mo­tion for adap­tive frame rates;
  • cam­era macro mode;
  • ProRes video shoot­ing mode with min­i­mal com­pres­sion;
  • good auton­o­my.


  • few changes com­pared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Motorola Razr 5G — back to basics

Motoro­la’s large fold­able dis­play smart­phone is inspired by the leg­endary Razr clamshells that have become an impor­tant part of the com­pa­ny’s his­to­ry. The Motoro­la Razr 5G looks and feels almost like the clas­sic frogs of yes­ter­year. The devel­op­ers have focused on retro design with­out futur­ism.

The smart­phone is equipped with a 6.2‑inch OLED dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 2142x876 pix­els. On the out­side there is an addi­tion­al screen with a diag­o­nal of 2.7”. With it, you can make calls, con­trol music, view mes­sages and even play built-in games.

Motoro­la Razr 5G and Motoro­la Razr V3 have a lot in com­mon. The nov­el­ty even has a styl­ized retro key­board. Source: slashgear.com

The main cam­era received only one 48 megapix­el mod­ule. It has a fast f/1.7 optics and an opti­cal sta­bi­liz­er with laser aut­o­fo­cus. The same cam­era can be used as a front cam­era if you shoot on a closed phone. The 48 MP self­ie is an inter­est­ing fea­ture. The same is offered by the above Flip 3 from Sam­sung.

The main dis­ad­van­tage of the Motoro­la Razr 5G is a weak proces­sor by mod­ern stan­dards. The devel­op­ers have cho­sen for the flag­ship Snap­drag­on 765G. It is hard­ly enough for demand­ing games, but the smart­phone is not posi­tioned as a gam­ing one.

The bat­tery capac­i­ty is small — only 2800 mAh. The bat­tery charge hard­ly lasts for a day even with not the most active use of the phone. If you watch videos or play games, the bat­tery will run out in 4–6 hours.

With the price of Motoro­la Razr 5G start­ing from 120,000 rubles, buy­ing this gad­get may seem like a strange idea, and one and a half times cheap­er, you can buy a more pro­duc­tive Sam­sung Galaxy Z Flip3. Devel­op­ers from Motoro­la have relied on retrode­sign.


  • orig­i­nal design and form fac­tor of a clamshell;
  • ergonom­ics (smart­phone can be opened with one hand);
  • good image qual­i­ty, despite the lack of addi­tion­al mod­ules.


  • weak auton­o­my;
  • low pow­er proces­sor.

Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is Samsung’s classic flagship

This is the most pow­er­ful and expen­sive device in the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Sam­sung flag­ships. In many ways, it is sim­i­lar to its pre­de­ces­sor, but there are also many notable changes. But which smart­phone is bet­ter con­sid­er­ing the price dif­fer­ence? The nov­el­ty has become even more pow­er­ful and received a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent design, but let’s see if it’s worth the over­pay­ment that the man­u­fac­tur­er is ask­ing for.

The dis­play in the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is top-end, and the Dynam­ic AMOLED 2X matrix and 6.8 ”diag­o­nal are impres­sive. The screen has good col­or repro­duc­tion and a large mar­gin of bright­ness of 1500 nits.

Com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor, the cam­eras have also changed. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has two zoom mod­ules at once — one for 3x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, the sec­ond for 10x. The smart­phone has a good sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem that allows you to shoot with zoom even at night. The res­o­lu­tion of the main mod­ule is 108 megapix­els.

An impor­tant fea­ture of the nov­el­ty, which was not in pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of flag­ships, was the sup­port for the S Pen sty­lus. You need to buy it sep­a­rate­ly, and there is no place for it in the phone case, as in the Note series smart­phones. In return, Sam­sung offers brand­ed cas­es with a pock­et for an elec­tron­ic pen.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the first smart­phone in the Galaxy S series to sup­port the Y Pen. Source: cnet.com

The flag­ship was equipped with an Exynos 2100 proces­sor, which pro­vid­ed a 20% increase in pow­er com­pared to the S20 Ultra. Also on board is 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of inter­nal mem­o­ry. The bat­tery capac­i­ty is 5000 mAh. In the nor­mal mode of using the smart­phone, the bat­tery is con­fi­dent­ly enough for a day. In games, the gad­get is dis­charged faster — after 7–8 hours.

If you need a high-per­for­mance smart­phone with a good cam­era, one of the best options is the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. You will have to pay from 75,000 rubles for the 128 GB ver­sion or from 93,000 for 512 GB.


  • high-qual­i­ty QHD + dis­play at 120 Hz;
  • pro­duc­tive proces­sor;
  • excel­lent cam­era;
  • 10x opti­cal zoom;
  • S Pen sup­port.


  • no microSD slot;
  • no charg­er includ­ed.

OnePlus 9 Pro is a smartphone with a camera from Hasselblad

The nov­el­ty appeared in the spring of 2022 and began to strength­en One­Plus’ posi­tion in the mar­ket. The main dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture of the 9 Pro mod­el was the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Has­sel­blad, which has been pro­duc­ing cam­eras for more than 150 years. The Swedish com­pa­ny’s engi­neers have worked on col­or grad­ing, pro­fes­sion­al mode set­tings, and oth­er One­Plus 9 Pro fea­tures.

The cam­era block is engraved with the Has­sel­blad brand name, indi­cat­ing a part­ner­ship with the leg­endary cam­era man­u­fac­tur­er. Source: gadgets.ndtv.com

There are four mod­ules on the back of the smart­phone. The main one shoots with a res­o­lu­tion of 48 megapix­els and has opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion with laser aut­o­fo­cus. There is also a tele­pho­to lens with 3.3x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. Despite the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Has­sel­blad, the One­Plus flag­ship is infe­ri­or to the new Sam­sung or Apple in terms of shoot­ing qual­i­ty.

The smart­phone is equipped with a high-qual­i­ty 6.7‑inch Flu­id AMOLED dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 3216x1440 pix­els and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The devel­op­ers chose the Snap­drag­on 888 chip as the proces­sor. The amount of RAM and inter­nal mem­o­ry depends on the ver­sion: 8/12 GB and 128/256 GB.

The bat­tery capac­i­ty is 4500 mAh. The charge lasts for 5–6 hours of screen time with the active use of a smart­phone.

The cost of One­Plus 9 Pro cor­re­sponds to its tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics — 63,000 rubles for the 12/256 GB ver­sion. With less RAM, the smart­phone will cost 6400 cheap­er: the One­Plus 9 Pro 8/256 GB ver­sion costs 56,600 rubles. This is one of the best smart­phones in terms of price and qual­i­ty.


  • good price con­sid­er­ing fea­tures;
  • high-qual­i­ty dis­play at 120 Hz;
  • high per­for­mance proces­sor.


  • low auton­o­my;
  • in terms of pho­to qual­i­ty, the smart­phone lags behind the flag­ships of com­peti­tors.

Are the most expensive smartphones worth their money?

To buy a good smart­phone, it is not nec­es­sary to pay fab­u­lous mon­ey for it. There are also reverse exam­ples. Take even the afore­men­tioned Motoro­la Razr 5G, which, at an equal price, is much infe­ri­or in terms of tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics to its com­peti­tors in the face of Sam­sung or Apple flag­ships. And even the rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive One­Plus 9 Pro leaves the clamshell far behind in terms of per­for­mance and cam­era qual­i­ty.

At the same time, there are unique mod­els of their kind. For exam­ple, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which when unfold­ed looks more like a tablet than a smart­phone. It has every­thing — a pow­er­ful proces­sor, a good cam­era, a large screen and a good bat­tery. It deserves the right to become one of the best smart­phones of the year. You just need to get used to its size.

When you just need a good mod­ern phone that can han­dle any task, you should take a clos­er look at the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G or the iPhone 13 Pro Max. If you want some­thing more com­pact, the basic ver­sion of the Galaxy S21 or the com­pact iPhone 13 Mini will do.