The best phone of 2021: Editor’s Choice

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Best Smartphones 2 End of Year 2021

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Smartphone seasons come and go and there are all the time a handful of standout units. Regardless, just one will be topped the best phone of the 12 months, whether or not it’s the best Android phone or the best smartphone usually.

In this text, we’ll share Android Authority’s Editor’s Choice winner for the best phone of 2021, alongside these units that positioned within the prime 5. And tomorrow, we’ll open the voting for our Reader’s Choice winner and share our full record of the best merchandise of 2021. Let’s do that.

How we selected our winner

Best Smartphone Cameras 2021 lined up - Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, Google Pixel 6 Pro, OnePlus 9 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Sony Xperia 1 III, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Deciding which phone is the “best” is a tough downside. People have private preferences, platform biases, and good and unhealthy experiences to attract upon. Brands have various markets, product availability, and monitor information for help and customer support. Then units have totally different worth factors, options, and goal audiences. It is usually a bit of a minefield to name something the best when there are such a lot of variables. That’s the place we are available in.

We overview lots of tech however telephones have all the time been our bread and butter.

We overview lots of tech right here at Android Authority however telephones have all the time been our bread and butter. Hundreds of hours go into reviewing, testing, and evaluating the best of the best from all segments of the cellular market. Our workforce of seasoned reviewers and writers know the tech we write about higher than anybody. But because the 12 months attracts to a detailed our team crowns our pick for the best phone of the 12 months, primarily based on not simply efficiency but in addition worth for cash and different intangibles like long-term help.

First, we create a shortlist primarily based on crucial and well-rated telephones we’ve examined all year long. Then we guarantee our record has units from all main manufacturers and worth factors. We embrace units bought within the US solely in addition to globally. Finally, we submit the record to a vote. Our most skilled reviewers assign factors primarily based on their picks and the phone with probably the most factors total wins. Simple.

Android Authority‘s Editor’s Choice phone of the 12 months: Google Pixel 6

The Google Pixel 6 resting against a bridge showing the home screen and display up close

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

When the mud settled on voting this 12 months it wasn’t even shut. We had a really clear winner on our palms. The Pixel 6 presents a function set virtually as full as its costlier stablemate however with a price ticket that can’t be ignored. The Google Pixel 6 is Android Authority’s Editor’s Choice phone of the 12 months for 2021.

The Pixel 6 has a price ticket that can’t be ignored for what it delivers.

At simply $599, we known as the Pixel 6 one of the easiest-to-recommend telephones of the 12 months in our review. Google is lastly taking making smartphones severely and the Pixel 6 is a breath of contemporary air. It packs a lot of the flagship expertise of the Pixel 6 Pro however shaves off simply the suitable components to get the worth down. We suppose the Pixel 6 is the best phone for most individuals in 2021.

Don’t miss: Pixel 6 series buyer’s guide

google pixel 6 press image sorta seafoam

Google Pixel 6

The extra reasonably priced Pixel

The Google Pixel 6 encompasses a 6.4-inch FHD+ show and runs on the all-new Google Tensor SoC. It has an upgraded digicam system, unique software program options, and presents some of the best {hardware} Google has ever produced.

Second place: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Silver back

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

At $1,199 although, it’s double the associated fee of the Pixel 6 and out of vary for a lot of. But in the event you can afford to drop this a lot on a phone, it has every part you may ever need (except a charger). Samsung actually introduced its A-game in 2021. The Galaxy S21 Ultra reveals what the costliest telephones in 2021 are succesful of.

Third place (tied): Google Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Reinforcing simply how nice each Samsung’s and Google’s product strains have been this 12 months, we had a tie for third place: the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy Z Fold 3. Google’s costlier phone and Samsung’s fancier foldable each scored extremely with our workforce. Both units add a telephoto lens that the bottom mannequin Pixel 6 and Samsung’s different 2021 foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, miss out on.

Up subsequent: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 buyer’s guide

The extras right here will price you although. The Pixel 6 Pro prices $300 greater than the common Pixel 6. That’s nothing in comparison with the $700 worth differential between the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. For these with deeper pockets although each the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy Z Fold 3 depart nothing to be desired. They additionally give us a glimpse of the place Google and Samsung are inserting their future bets.

Fifth place (tied): iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max

You definitely can’t say we’re biased towards Apple when two iPhones tied for fifth spot. (In case you suppose our math is off, we take into account the Pixel 6 Pro and Z Fold 3 to have taken locations three and 4). While there wasn’t something mind-blowing on this 12 months’s iPhones, they iterated effectively on the already-excellent iPhone 12 collection. iPhones have gotten really good within the final couple of years and are nice choices for lots of folks.

See extra: iPhone 13 series buyer’s guide

Even on this tie, we see the identical high-low pricing dichotomy at play, from the extra reasonably priced $799 iPhone 13 to the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. The easy fact is that good telephones are cheaper/cheaper telephones are higher today. Spending above the $1,000 threshold is barely essential in order for you the very best of the best every model has to supply. With that mentioned, the expertise within the $600-800 worth vary is simply nearly as good for the overwhelming majority of issues.

Reader’s Choice award: Have your say

As all the time, we wish to hear from you too. Do you suppose worth for cash performs an enormous half in choosing the best phone of the 12 months? Or is cash no object when calculating the best? We’ll be kicking off the voting for our Reader’s Choice phone of the 12 months tomorrow with an preliminary record of 30+ of the best telephones of 2021 at each worth level.

From that record, you’ll whittle it all the way down to a extra manageable shortlist which we’ll then scale back to a closing spherical with contemporary voting alternatives at each stage. If you wish to make certain your favourite will get topped our Reader’s Choice decide for the best phone of 2021 then you’ll want to keep tuned all through the week to each the positioning and our social channels.

That’s it from us however you’ll want to come again tomorrow to see our picks for the remainder of the best merchandise of the 12 months in lots of different classes. And don’t neglect to vote in your favourite phone of 2021. We’ll add a hyperlink to the Reader’s Choice article proper right here as soon as the voting begins.

Recap: Check out our 2020 Editor’s Choice winner and 2020 Reader’s Choice winner.

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