The highest telephones in the stores to

(-) – The smartphone is the center of the fashionable world, it is not solely important for communication, it is your leisure, good residence management units and your fixed companion.

We frequently replace our greatest smartphone information to mirror latest launches and recognise value modifications. All of those high flagship telephones have additionally been absolutely reviewed by us – we do not simply embody stuff we expect sounds good.

If you happen to’re out there for a less expensive telephone, then try our sub-£400 smartphone and funds telephone roundups, and think about a SIM-only deal if you happen to’re shopping for your telephone outright.

Our decide of the very best smartphones to purchase right now

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely


Samsung’s 2021 model of the Extremely adapts to handle issues with the earlier telephone. The result’s a tool that is clearly a flagship alternative. Samsung has raised this system over the opposite S21 fashions, with a extra premium construct, extra succesful cameras and a greater show. 

It is a massive system, however the display actually delivers. It is also an amazing wanting telephone – particularly in black – whereas the changes to the cameras make that zoom actually work. As a package deal, there’s lots to like, with good battery life, loads of energy – whereas additionally supporting the S Pen too. 

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Oppo Discover X3 Professional


The Oppo Discover X3 Professional goes all-out to claim itself as a flagship mannequin to concentrate to – and knocks it out of the park. 

Whereas it may not have the model enchantment of Samsung, Oppo has a critical competitor within the Discover X3 Professional, providing eager design, a great deal of energy and an amazing show, on high of an amazing digital camera expertise.

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Apple iPhone 12 Professional


The 2020 iPhone 12 Professional introduces a recent new design, boosting display safety and enhancing the cameras on the rear of the handset. The addition of a LiDAR sensor is designed to spice up depth notion, whereas the digital camera will get boosts to nighttime mode, providing extra abilities throughout all of the cameras.

With highly effective innards and the introduction of 5G, this can be a telephone that is designed to be future proof.

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OnePlus 9


OnePlus was as soon as all about affordability, however in 2021, it is the OnePlus 9 that appeals to us probably the most. You get flagship-grade {hardware}, with a give attention to the core elements of the telephone.

Some corners have been reduce to convey the worth down, however on steadiness, we really feel that the package deal suits the worth, with out a number of the shortcomings that have an effect on the OnePlus 9 Professional.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE


Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE takes the very best elements of its flagship telephones, replaces the again with plastic, flattens the show and drops the worth. The end result? A flagship expertise that is simpler on the pocket, with no actual disadvantages.

The cameras are nice, avoiding the gimmicks, whereas the 5G model – the one you need – has a great deal of energy. There’s nice audio system, a 120Hz show for easy gaming and the choice to increase the storage through microSD. What’s to not like?

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Xiaomi Mi 11


Xiaomi’s new entrant for 2021 packs in Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 energy right into a significant telephone that avoids the gimmicks. A superb show and quailty design assist a primary digital camera that is actually good – though the shortage of a telephoto lens makes this barely much less aggressive.

As a flagship although, the extra inexpensive value must be set in context of the shortage of waterproofing and the inevitability that Xiaomi can have a greater telephone within the Mi 11 Professional. Software program stays a slight drawback for Xiaomi: it is simply not as refined as another Android choices. 

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Apple iPhone 12


The iPhone 12 takes a slight step-up above the iPhone 11, including 5G into the combo for next-gen connectivity, whereas additionally transferring the show to an OLED panel – the identical because the iPhone 12 Professional. 

The principle digital camera is joined by an ultra-wide lens, which implies that whereas it would not have the zoom features of the 12 Professional, it gives a lot the identical expertise. With all this crammed into a brand new design, it is an amazing telephone.

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Sony Xperia 5 II


The Sony Xperia 5 II is Sony’s most achieved latest telephone, providing a compact flagship telephone, with loads of energy and enchantment. 

There’s an amazing show, with 21:9 facet, providing 120Hz, and good balanced efficiency, glorious sound high quality and succesful cameras. It is an amazing compact leisure telephone.

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Samsung Galaxy Observe 20


The Samsung Galaxy Observe has at all times been the telephone for many who need a stylus. In 2020 there are two variations, the Extremely and the marginally extra understated common Observe 20. And it is this common model that we want. 

So far as stylus units go, there’s nothing that may match the Galaxy Observe, however paired with highly effective {hardware}, 4G or 5G choices, an amazing show and the slickness of Samsung’s One UI, it is an amazing telephone.

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Apple iPhone 11


The benefit of selecting a barely older iPhone mannequin is the discount in value. The iPhone 11 provide just about the whole lot you get within the iPhone 12, nevertheless it’s cheaper. That is occasion as a result of it misses out on 5G – which could not fear you – which it has a much less succesful dispaly and barely older {hardware} than the 12.

However you continue to get an amazing telephone, with the benefit of nonetheless gaining access to the overwhelming majority of Apple’s options. For these trying to find the newest telephone this is not for you, however if you would like an iPhone with out spending an excessive amount of, it might be ideally suited.

How to decide on a flagship telephone

When on the lookout for a brand new flagship telephone, there’s lots to contemplate. The most important determination will usually be whether or not you purchase an iPhone or get an Android telephone.

A brand new iPhone?

Whereas the iPhone has a lot of fashions to select from – the SE, mini, common, Professional or Professional Max – the expertise is fairly comparable throughout all of the units. That is true of older telephones too, with sturdy assist on the software program entrance and constant use of design for a number of generations of units.

That implies that if you happen to purchase the iPhone 12, for instance, you realize it will be supported for a few years. You additionally know that the {hardware} options on it aren’t going to alter the following 12 months, as a result of Apple seems to be for consistency throughout its units.

That additionally implies that shopping for an older iPhone mannequin stays an excellent choice – it can prevent cash, however you will not miss out on a lot.

Or a brand new Android telephone?

Android’s massive benefit over Apple is the wide range of choices. There is a higher vary of producers, which means many alternative value factors and designs, however all with the familiarity of the underlying Android software program, so there isn’t any actual studying curve on the subject of utilizing it.

Android producers are sometimes extra aggressive with new applied sciences, pushing new digital camera options prematurely of Apple, however usually solely preserve a design for one 12 months, earlier than releasing a brand new mannequin that is completely different. Android additionally is not as per software program assist.

Though most units will get two or three variations of Android, the timescales are by no means as tight as they’re for Apple – however costs do fall quicker, so good offers on newer fashions are steadily out there.

{Hardware} concerns

Shows and sizes

The show will outline the dimensions of the system you get. Bigger shows are nice for consuming content material, ideally suited for watching TV or films and sometimes most popular by avid gamers.

However bigger shows imply a bulkier telephone – and also you would possibly discover it is simply not as sensible to make use of. Many producers, nonetheless, make the most important telephone their finest telephone.

Not all flagship units provide high resolutions of Quad HD or 4K, with some sticking to a decision that is ample, like 1080p. That is wonderful, nonetheless, as it’s a must to look actually carefully to see the distinction within the element – what’s extra necessary is show high quality.

With most flagship telephones providing an OLED show, there aren’t large variations, however some provide curved edges which might make a bigger telephone simpler to make use of.

What’s emerged as a extra engaging choice extra not too long ago is refresh price. Prime telephones are actually pushing 120Hz in an try to make content material look smoother. It isn’t nearly gaming, it is about supporting scrolling in apps, for instance.

Increased refresh charges are reserved for gaming telephones, though there’s not large assist for these quicker body charges inside apps or video games.

Core {hardware} and storage

Flagship telephones can have the newest {hardware} in them. Whereas Apple gives its personal {hardware}, Android chooses from a spread of suppliers – however many provide Qualcomm. Samsung will use Exynos and Qualcomm, some would possibly vary into MediaTek – though that is often reserved for mid-range or entry-level units.

Storage is necessary. Low storage will convey the worth down, however fewer and fewer producers are providing microSD card growth nowadays. Meaning you could purchase a tool with sufficient storage – contemplating that to choice of 4K and now 8K video is utilizing up extra storage than ever.

After all cloud storage is much more built-in nowadays, however keep in mind that nothing is free – if you wish to retailer a variety of photographs, sooner or later, you may must pay for it.


Cameras are the place telephones can differ probably the most and sometimes the digital camera is probably the most mentioned facet of any telephone. Flagship units have the very best cameras. From Apple to ZTE, high telephones have extra or higher cameras.

An important factor to contemplate, nonetheless, is an efficient primary digital camera. If the principle digital camera takes good photographs, which means most of your photos shall be good. If you cannot get an excellent regular photograph from it, it is no use having tons extra cameras that additionally offer you weak photographs.

Extremely-wide angle is simple to make use of and creates nice results, telephoto lenses get you a large number nearer – however the high quality of telephoto cameras varies considerably.

Periscope lenses have gotten extra widespread, which means 5x and 10x zoom is now an amazing choice on some fashions – though Apple would not but provide this selection.

But in addition keep in mind that megapixels do not robotically make a greater digital camera. Many mid-range telephones use a excessive decision primary digital camera and end in poor photographs. Extra necessary is how the pictures are processed, with AI and computational images now capable of make an enormous distinction over the core {hardware}.

There’s at all times a variety of gimmicks too – professional modes you may by no means use, seize choices you may by no means trouble with. An important factor stays the purpose and shoot efficiency, as a result of that is what you may use more often than not.

Wi-fi charging is now additionally widespread, though not universally supplied on all units.

Battery life

Flagship telephones usually aren’t the very best performers on the subject of battery life. Designed for efficiency, the goal is to ship the very best expertise, to not preserve your telephone alive for per week.

There’ll at all times be telephones within the mid vary that carry out higher – decrease energy, smaller show, decrease decision or decrease brightness – together with a bodily bigger battery, to outlast flagship telephones.

However quicker charging implies that with the best charger – which you may need to purchase individually – that you would be able to get your telephone again to full cost very quickly in any respect.

Is it the best telephone for you?

Which a lot alternative, the necessary factor is to purchase the telephone that you really want, the telephone that is going to ship what you need.

Switching between Android manufacturers is simple – so long as you are backing as much as Google – and switching between Apple and Android is not too arduous both. Positive, there are some Apple companies you’ll be able to’t get on an Android telephone, like iMessage, however on the entire, most apps are the identical.

If you happen to’re spending some huge cash within the Apple ecosystem you may possible be satisfied to remain there, nevertheless it’s price the place you save your knowledge and what companies you utilize, as a result of third-party choices make switching platforms lots simpler.

There are many telephones to select from and loads of value factors – and naturally, you’ll be able to at all times learn our full telephone critiques that will help you make your alternative.

Writing by Chris Corridor.

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