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Which phone should you get? We've simplified the research and decoded seven of the latest and best smartphones in the market. Image Credit: Shutterstock

For most of us, our smartphones are the centre of our world – they let us see and talk to our loved ones, take pictures, find our way around the city, learn new things, and lots more. So far, between 2022 and 2023, we saw popular flagship releases – Samsung Galaxy upgraded its long-awaited foldable phone series along with the S23 range, and Apple followed suit with the brand new iPhone 14.

According to Sumesh AK, a technician for iPhone at mobile phone repair store IFixing, Dubai, the crowd was eagerly anticipating the iPhone 14 series. "Whenever there's a new iPhone launch, people always look forward to upgrades in the speed, camera and graphics. Though the iPhone 14 isn't too different from iPhone 13, they've introduced a better camera, faster hardware (A16 Bionic chip) and the Dynamic Island display in the Pro and Pro Max ranges," said AK.

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Browse some of the coolest smartphones we saw this year. Image Credit: Unsplash/Aditya Chinchure

Fans of Android models are in search of the blazing fast Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, one that enables 5G connectivity. No doubt, with frequent Android releases throughout the year, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the many options available to you. 

Compared to last year's releases, 2023 smartphones stand out from their predecessors in more ways than one. Saroj Shrestha, a mobile technician head at repair store Minutes in Dubai, says there are always feature updates to be expected in the camera, processor and design.

"Manufacturers usually upgrade these three things, but their main goal is to make the phone faster than previous models. The latest powerful processor in Android phones is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 right now. You'll notice that the battery lasts longer, videos can be filmed in 240 frames per second and fast chargers have gone from 60-watt and up," said Shrestha, who has over 16 years of experience in the industry.

Let's not forget nighttime photography that continuously sees improvement every year. Besides the iPhone 14 series, Shrestha finds the camera system in the new Google Pixel 7 series arguably better. In terms of design, he also highlights Samsung Z Flip4's unique second display on the cover, which lets you take rear camera selfies. If you're looking for a solid telephoto lens, you'll get not one but two on the Galaxy S23 Ultra that can zoom up to 100x digitally and 10x optically.

To help you navigate through the slew of latest releases and find one that suits you and your budget, we created a list of our best smartphone picks, with the help of experts and user reviews. Get these with free one-day delivery through Amazon Prime.

1. Best Apple Release: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max


  • Excellent battery life – 29 hours of video playback
  • Memory options of up to 1TB
  • Improved 48MP camera sensor with telephoto lens
  • Crash detection
  • 4K video recording


  • Minimal design changes, compared to iPhone 13 Pro Max

Last year, the new iPhone 14 launched with the latest iOS 16, intelligent safety features, all-day battery life, and, of course, exciting camera upgrades. The 14 series' in-demand Pro Max phone was consistently out of stock, and for good reason. At a glance, this smartphone feels a lot like the iPhone 13 Pro Max in your hand – it carries the same 6.7-inch OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and triple rear cameras. So, what’s new? For starters, the all-new A16 Bionic chip powers a 48MP sensor (previously 12MP) and an excellent battery life for up to 29 hours of video playback. Expect to click gorgeous pictures in low-light conditions, thanks to the bigger sensors and aperture. It's also the first Apple iPhone Pro series to feature the Dynamic Island bubble that sits at the top of the screen, for checking updates at a glance. The iPhone 14 is also extremely sensitive to loud crashes, accelerations and air pressure, to help you dial emergency services in the event of a collision.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh473.33 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh341, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh569, and a two-year damage protection plus one-year extended warranty for Dh726.

2. Best Design: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4


  • Fantastic performance, with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Longer battery life than Flip3
  • More customisable cover screen
  • Take selfies using rear cameras
  • Attractive design


  • Charges slower than most current models
  • Crease is still visible
  • No significant camera upgrades

The Galaxy Z Flip has the coolest form factor among smartphones, hands down. Samsung’s August 2022 launch for its foldable range introduced the world to the all-improved Flip4. This version is tougher, more refined and has a longer battery life than the Flip3. A touch screen that folds in the centre means endless hands-free photo opportunities, since it comes with its own ‘kickstand’. The best part is that you get to click selfies with the 12MP rear camera – just flip it close and strike a pose using the cover screen. Speaking of the 1.9-inch cover touchscreen, deck it out to your heart’s content, just as you would with a lock screen, from GIFs to videos for that added personalised touch. But running everything even faster than before is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is one of Qualcomm’s most powerful chips. Shrestha does add that the crowd is still sceptical over the display fold crease, which is still visible in the Flip4.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh207.50 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh142, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh238, and two-year damage protection with one-year extended warranty for Dh303.

3. Best for Gaming: RedMagic 7S Pro 5G


  • Excellent alternative to the Asus ROG Phone
  • Features two chipsets: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Red Core 1
  • Multi-dimensional cooling system with turbo fan, thermal gel and other layers
  • 18GB RAM and 512GB ROM
  • Comes with a 65W fast charger


  • Has a 5,000mAh battery capacity, compared to ROG's 6,000mAh

Mobile gamers dream of a smartphone robust enough to withstand long hours of peak performance. Often, the Asus ROG Phone 6 comes to mind - a thermally cooled gaming mobile with a massive fan following online. However, Shrestha recommends a more cost-effective contender, the RedMagic smartphone that carries the same Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. There's also a secondary chip, the Red Core 1, dedicated to gaming functions like audio and haptic feedback. The 7S Pro offers gamers a 6.8-inch full-HD AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. But, the best part is the under-display front camera, which is hidden from view to clear off any distractions from the screen. Enjoy a staggering 18GB RAM that loads heavy titles in an instant, and download large files on the 512GB ROM. In mobile gaming, the overarching concern is an overheated phone. RedMagic 7S Pro employs an actual 20,000 RPM turbo fan inside the hardware, along with multiple layers of cooling systems, to take the temperature down by 2 degrees Celsius. And, of course, the handset is 5G- and Wi-Fi 6E-enabled to bring you gigabit download speeds. Reviews attest to these specs and say the performance is comparable to playing on the PC.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh272.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh199, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh332, and two-year damage protection with one-year extended warranty for Dh424.

4. Best Mid-Range Phone: Nothing Phone (1)


  • Interesting design with glyph interface
  • Excellent display quality
  • Charges 50 per cent in 30 minutes
  • 5G-enabled processor


  • Camera takes high exposure photos

If you’re in search of a smartphone that inspires a double-take, then consider the mysterious Nothing Phone (1). Arguably the hottest smartphone in the market right now, Phone (1) debuted in July 2022 and went on to garner interest for its futuristic design. Shrestha notes its popularity on social media: "The Nothing Phone (1) is quite similar to the iPhone 12 in terms of design. It's got LED alerts on the back, too, so I've seen it a lot on social media. Plus, the phone isn't very expensive, either". Indeed, the phone has a glyph interface under its see-through back, where LED lights beam with every call, notification and battery alert. These customisable light patterns help you differentiate between texts and calls, even without checking the screen. In the dark, the interface automatically transforms into a portable ring light for a softer flash. At this attractive price point, you’re getting a 6.55-inch OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, dual 50MP cameras and 4k video recording. It keeps a 5G-enabled chipset, but employs an older Snapdragon 7 series platform.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh101.08 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh86, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh143, and two-year damage protection with one-year extended warranty for Dh182.

5. Best Camera: Google Pixel 7 Pro


  • Fast and smooth Android OS
  • Pro-grade camera system with 48MP telephoto lens
  • Cameras capture real skin tones and colours
  • Bright 6.7-inch display


  • Slow charging
  • Pixel's 5G is not supported in the UAE

For the pure Android experience, look no further - the new Google Pixel 7 Pro runs on a custom-built Google Tensor G2 processor and the Android 13 operating software. Reviews can't get enough of how bright and vibrant the 6.7-inch OLED display is, complete with 120Hz refresh rate support. But, most of the excitement stems from what the Pixel is known for: Google's pro-level camera system. You're getting a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 50MP wide lens and a 48MP telephoto lens - all sensors capture real-life skin tones, even in low-light conditions. Even with a moving subject, reviewers say the phone camera excels in clicking natural pictures. If you're a heavy user, however, you might face a drained battery more often than not, they note.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh274.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh199, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh332, and two-year damage protection with one-year extended warranty for Dh424.

6. Best Eco-friendly Smartphone: Fairphone 4 5G (Grey)


  • Runs on Snapdragon 750G
  • Modular mobile that can be repaired by the user
  • Responsibly sourced aluminium and recycled plastic
  • 48MP main and ultra-wide cameras
  • Dual SIM with 5G


  • Only 3,905mAh battery capacity

Perhaps the world's most sustainable smartphone yet, the Fairphone is a must-buy for the eco-conscious user. The Dutch brand is on a mission to cut down electronics waste by creating a modular phone that can be easily repaired at home. From the display to the camera, you can replace the hardware on your own with a standard screwdriver, and you don't have to be an expert to do it. This encourages long-term use of a handset, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint. Its latest model, the Fairphone 4, comes with a 6.3-inch full HD+ display and 48MP dual rear cameras, powered by a Snapdragon 750G chipset. You're getting 5G network support, the same as other flagship phones, as well as e-SIM integration. The only drawback is its 3,905mAh battery capacity, compared to the current 5,000mAh models on the market. Reviews call it a durable smartphone, but recommend getting a screen protector to prevent scratches.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh208.33 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty upon registration.

7. Best Performance: Xiaomi 13 (Black 12GB RAM, 256 Storage)


  • Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
  • Ultra-thin bezels
  • Professional Leica camera system
  • Impressive performance for the price
  • Charges to a 100 per cent in 38 minutes


  • Battery capacity is 4,500mAh only

The Xiaomi 13 is another Android that has a similar flat-edge design to the iPhone. Launched towards the end of 2022, this upgraded model features ultra-slim bezels on a 6.36-inch AMOLED display and a square-shaped rear camera system. It's also the only smartphone on our list that runs on Qualcomm's fastest chipset yet, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Xiaomi 13's triple rear camera is co-engineered with German camera manufacturer Leica, peaking at 50MP and including a telephoto lens. What you'll get are true-to-life colours that match the classic Leica ambiance via special filters. Its HDR video recording is supported by 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, offering an audio-visual experience like no other. With the 67-watt charger, your phone is ready for the day in just 38 minutes!

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh218.83 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh171, one-year accidental damage protection for Dh285, and two-year damage protection with one-year extended warranty for Dh363.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.