Even for people who are only content with buying the best, there are dozens of flagship devices to pick from, with another new phone launch just around the corner. This is where you need a trusted source to sort through the mess and find the gems that truly represent the best the industry has to offer. That is where we come in. In this article, we will be talking about some of the best flagship Android phones released in the year 2022 and why you should pick them over everything else that is available on the market.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
When it comes to the Android flagship segment, nothing exemplifies the epitome of class and refinement, much like the Samsung Galaxy S series. It was the first smartphone to challenge the dominance of the iPhone, and it remains the strongest contender for the title of top-tier Android device. You get a sleek and minimalist design language that is highlighted by a diverse camera array that remains almost flush with the back panel.
The edges curve around the sides and blend in perfectly with the mesmerizing Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which features a brilliant QHD+ resolution and a near-blinding peak brightness of 1750. It features the latest-gen 120Hz LTPO technology, making the touch experience effortless. The stereo speaker setup perfectly supports the visuals, which rides the fine balance between loudness and clarity. The inclusion of the S Pen brings the whole package together by adding a pinch of productivity to what is otherwise a great multimedia device.
However, the camera array we mentioned above is the real highlight of the whole setup. Samsung features some of the best camera hardware in the market, which is only enhanced by their exceptional AI tweaks and colour science. In fact, we can easily give it the title when it comes to videography in the entire Android segment.
The fact that both the hardware and the software have been designed in-house ensures that there are almost no flaws in terms of build quality and execution, whether we talk about the general user experience, the imaging technology, or the long-term software support. So, if you have the money to spare, we will definitely recommend going for this near-year-old device, as it continues to offer the best possible combination of all the right things.
Huawei Mate XS2
Regarding foldable devices, Huawei was one of the first players to enter the fray, with a unique and different take on the form factor than other popular brands out there. Instead of going for the tried and tested flip design or the basic clamshell look, they created a device that re-imagined what it meant to be a foldable phone. Their unique reverse clamshell design ensured that you had a vibrant and full-size display on either side of the smartphone, which could be easily unwrapped into a larger single screen.
This form factor was reiterated on several times before we finally received the much-awaited XS2 model, which features the latest interpretation of this design. The new foldable features a much more refined build, with a barely thicker body than a regular smartphone and a special corner section that hosts the dedicated camera array that can be used as both the rear and selfie unit. The display is a flexible and solid OLED panel with a maximum resolution of 2200 x 2480 pixels. It is 7.8-inches in total, with the folded cover version still covering up to 6.5-inches diagonally. When folded, the display wraps around the body and fits into a physical slot that holds it closed in.
The benefit of this design is that the manufacturer doesn't have to use two separate displays for the same phone, as the larger display can now be used in both folded and unfolded use cases. The display is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor, which is paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS storage. The whole setup is run off of a 4600mAh battery, which is a bit small for such a large 120Hz display but still offers a decent battery backup. While this may not come off as the fastest foldable out there, it still wins a lot of points in terms of design and builds aesthetic.
Honor Magic 4 Pro
Honor has been looking to redefine its identity ever since the brand officially separated from its parent company, and this smartphone seems like the perfect result of all its hard work. The Magic 4 Pro looks and feels like the ultimate flagship offering, with a massive edge-to-edge display that wraps around the corners and blends perfectly with the metal frame. The display is a vibrant and bright LTPO OLED unit, which not only supports a 120Hz native refresh rate but also comes with HDR10+ support that enables over 1 billion colour output. In fact, they have even added a separate chipset just to ensure the display always looks the best that it can be.
This level of detail on the front-end experience can only be matched by the varied camera array that resides on the back inside a large circular camera module that hosts up to five individual sensors, including two 50MP wide-angle units and a 64MP periscope telephoto lens. You even get a dedicated depth sensor and a one-of-a-kind flicker sensor to ensure that your photos and videos remain focused and clear of any obstructions. All the inputs collected are further optimized by a whole host of AI algorithms that are designed to recognize and enhance each individual element of the photo and/or video.
All of this is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, which provides a noticeable bump in performance at the cost of some battery efficiency. This issue is exacerbated a bit due to the presence of a relatively small 4600mAh battery, but as long as you have the 100W fast charger around, getting a full day's worth of battery shouldn't be a big issue. The company claims a full recharge in just 30 minutes, which is close to what we got in our own testing.
Huawei has always believed in pushing the boundaries regarding design and technology, and the P50 Pro is no exception. This flagship smartphone represents the best that the company has to offer, not just in terms of raw power but also in small pieces of refinement scattered throughout the device that make the entire experience that much better. You will be able to notice this sense of quality as soon as you pick up the phone, whether through its ultra-responsive curved OLED display or the smooth glass back that features the dual camera cut-outs that represent the eyes of the device. These blend around the rounded metal frame, giving you a reassuring grip and solid in-hand feel.
They have gone beyond just refining the physical touch experience with the inclusion of various technologies that help improve the overall user experience. For example, while still being quite responsive at 120Hz, the display is now professional-grade colour accurate and supports 1440 Hz high-frequency PWM dimming control to reduce the strain on your eyes. Similarly, the rear camera array has been optimized using HUAWEI XD Optics and the HUAWEI XD Fusion Pro image engine, which takes full advantage of the quad camera array that features Leica optics for superior image capture. You even get a special B/W sensor to give your portraits an additional sense of drama and depth.
All of this is powered by the tried and tested Snapdragon 888 processor, which is almost on par with the Snapdragon 8 Gen units when it comes to raw performance while still being a lot more efficient when it comes to battery usage. Unfortunately, you get the smallest battery out of them all, with just 4360mAh available at your disposal. But the 66W fast charging is still more than enough to make up for the deficit. Other compromises include the lack of Google services, but Huawei has worked hard on its own software to ensure that you never feel like anything is lacking.
Xiaomi 12T Pro
As the android market keeps evolving, the value-for-money proposition keeps getting stretched further and further. On the one hand, entry-level and mid-range devices benefit a lot from flagship-grade technologies getting more affordable over time, while on the other end, flagship prices are reaching new heights that the average customer can't even afford. With most devices on this list easily crossing the $1000 price mark, it only makes sense to highlight at least one flagship killer that maintains a competitive advantage.
The Xiaomi 12T Pro is a flagship device that remains at the lower end of the price bracket but somehow delivers the latest components available on the market. You get the top-of-the-line 120Hz AMOLED DotDisplay, paired with dual Dolby Atmos speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. It features the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, along with superfast LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. It is powered by a huge 5000mAh battery and state-of-the-art 120W turbocharging. But the real highlight of the model is the presence of the first-ever 200MP camera sensor.
All of this and more at nearly half the price of the top-end offerings from Apple or Samsung; now, that is what you call truly value for money. This is part of the reason why everyone keeps an eye on Xiaomi's annual launch events, as they tend to showcase the benchmark of modern smartphone technology in its most affordable avatar possible. It is also why we felt the need to recommend this smartphone on this list because some users out there still feel the need to own the best, even if they can't always afford it.
Of course, there are some caveats that come with such a device. You may not get the best possible build quality when compared to the competition or the most refined software experience. There might even be some issues with thermal throttling and the level of computational photography. Yet none of these is a deal breaker, as the device still feels and performs better than most of the competition in its price range and certainly punches above its weight class. So, if you want to get the best possible components at the best price, we recommend checking this one out.
While there are certainly a lot of other models that we could have included in this list, we still decided to stick with this lot, as they present a fairly varied and comprehensive view of what the android ecosystem looks like presently. We are sure that you might have your own personal preference regarding which brands and models you consider to be worthy of this list. So, do make sure to contact us on our socials, and let us know which ones you would like to see in a future update.