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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.