When buying the best phone, you need a device that will last for years, no matter how much you pay. Whether you just want the best iPhone for most people, without a lot of bells and whistles, or you want the most amazing new Pixel phone with the best AI, the big trend in smartphones this year is longevity. Phones will start to last longer, according to Google, Samsung, and Apple. 

We’ve spent quality time reviewing all of the best phones for every situation, but these phones are built to last and they’re going to change over time. We’ll keep updating, even as Apple adds new Apple Intelligence, and Samsung finally gives Bixby a brain. When the phone makers change the phone, we change our list of the best phones. 

1. iPhone 15

Apple’s iPhone 15 marks the most significant step up for a base iPhone in several years, earning its place as the best value phone money can buy today.

Design: The iPhone 15 does what the iPhone 14 did not: it moves the base model forward with a refreshed chassis design, a brand-new (and eye-catching) rear glass panel, and a compatibility-improving USB-C port.

Display: The iPhone 15’s 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display is bright and responsive, however, as on the iPhone 14, its refresh rate is locked to 60Hz. You do get Apple’s Dynamic Island this time around, though.

Camera: There are still just two lenses on the back of the iPhone 15, but one of them is vastly improved over the iPhone 14. The 12MP ultrawide is basically the same, but the main camera is now the same 48MP lens that you’ll find on the excellent iPhone 14 Pro (and indeed the iPhone 15 Pro).

Performance: The iPhone 15 uses the iPhone 14 Pro’s superfast A16 Bionic chipset, which should provide more than enough power for most iPhone owners (for context, the latter was the most powerful handset of 2022).

Battery life: The iPhone 15 is rated for 20 hours of video playback, 80 hours of audio-only, and a 50% recharge in 30 minutes with the optional 20W charger. In our testing, we were able to use the phone casually for a full day. 

Value for money: In recent years, Apple’s standard models have felt like minor upgrades that pale in comparison to their respective Pro-level counterparts, but the iPhone 15 bucks that trend by being a genuinely great value product.

2. iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is indisputably the best iPhone money can buy right now, so for Apple fans with a bottomless supply of cash, this is the top choice. The smaller iPhone 15 Pro is also an exceptional handset that’s worth considering if you prefer its more practical 6.1-inch size, but since the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a 5x periscope zoom lens, the latter phone is the objectively superior device.

Design: As with its smaller sibling, the iPhone 15 Pro boasts a gorgeous titanium design that can withstand unwelcome drops more effectively than its predecessor. The addition of a USB-C port and configurable Action button makes this a more versatile device, too.

Display: The iPhone 15 Pro Max packs an excellent 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED screen (with ProMotion), which is unchanged from the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Camera: In addition to that aforementioned 5x periscope zoom lens – which marks the first of its kind on an iPhone – the iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts a 48MP quad-pixel main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, making it the most capable and versatile iPhone yet for mobile photographers.

Performance: Apple’s all-new A17 Pro chipset delivers mobile gaming performance that’s comparable to some high-end PCs (yes, really). Along with the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most powerful phone on the market.

Battery life: The iPhone 15 Pro Max managed 28 hours of mixed-use in our testing, with the phone recharging to 50% in just over 30 minutes. That’s pretty good going for a phone of this size and power, but others charge faster.

3. Google Pixel 8

The Pixel 8 is a great phone for Android fans who want the best of what Google’s mobile OS has to offer today and into the future. With a Tensor G3 inside, same as the Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel 8 has the same promise of seven years of Android updates, and so far all of Google’s best new AI features have come to Pixel 8 owners right on time. 

Design: The Pixel 8 design may be getting long in the tooth, but I still think it stands out as one of the coolest-looking Android phones, and Google has really nailed the color options this year. 

Display: The display is the standout feature on all the Pixel 8 family phones this year, and the Pixel 8 delivers Google’s new ‘Actua’ screen with excellent brightness and great color, as well as a healthy 120Hz refresh rate. 

Camera: Google doesn’t just rely on AI for its photo features, it also packs great cameras into the Pixel 8, including a 50MP main camera with a wide aperture, great for low-light pics. After you’re done shooting, Google Photos on the Pixel offers some of the easiest AI editing tools you’ll find on a smarphone. 

Performance: While Google Tensor chips don’t have the raw power of Apple silicon or Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, Google has enough confidence in the Tensor G3 and its AI capabilities that it’s promised seven years of software updates, and so far it’s delivered the best features to the Pixel 8 first. 

Battery life: Battery life could certainly be better, especially if you’re using the AI features continually. If you need a lot more battery life, your best bet is to buy a bigger phone. 

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