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Best phones in India for 2022

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Samsung S22 Ultra
(Image credit: Daanesh Kalyaniwalla)

We’re already more than halfway through 2022 and there haven’t been many premium smartphones launched in India. Although, the ones that are currently available in the market come with chipsets that have made the market even more competitive.

This year, MediaTek has been closing the gap in performance with Snapdragon flagship chipsets. The company has launched the Dimensity 9000 chipset and so far only one device has been launched in the country. However, you can expect more devices to arrive in the coming months.

Qualcomm has also revised its flagship chipsets this year with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. While the previous generation chipset came with thermal management and throttling issues, the new chipset addresses them this time. While it’s just a minor bump in performance, the chipset is more power efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. There are a few devices on this list that continue to feature the latter and are still best buys.

So far, we’ve seen three companies launch devices with the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. Two of these are priced under Rs 50,000 for their base variants. However, if you still wish to see more premium devices with the chipset, then you may have to wait a few more months.

Not many flagship smartphones are launched as frequently as devices priced under Rs 30,000 or those below Rs 40,000. Many Android smartphone manufacturers are yet to update their other flagship devices too. Even Apple will launch its iPhone 14 series sometime next month. So, we’ve updated this to bring some of the best devices you can get now that offer the best hardware, software and build quality.

The list includes devices from Samsung, Apple, Vivo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Realme and iQoo.

Here are the best smartphones of 2022 for India:

iQoo 9T in Alpha colour variant

(Image credit: Future / Sachin George)

iQoo 9T

Most affordable Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 device

Specifications

Release date: August 2022
Display: 6.78-inch AMOLED, 120Hz
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM: 8GB / 12GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Rear camera: 50MP + 13MP + 12MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 4,700 mAh
OS: Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 12
Weight: 206 g
Thickness: 8 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Flagship performance at a budget
+
Great display
+
Fast charging speed
+
Well-controlled thermals

Reasons to avoid

-
Bloatware in OS

iQoo’s most recent smartphone not only comes with the latest chipset but also comes at Rs 49,999 for the base variant. While there are more smartphones priced under Rs 50,000 in India, the iQoo 9T takes the cherry on the top.

The smartphone runs on the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset and features a large 6.78-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display also supports HDR10+ and offers a peak brightness of up to 1500 nits.

The iQoo 9T also comes with a primary 50MP camera, a secondary 13MP ultrawide lens and a third 12MP camera for portrait shots. On the front is a 16MP camera for selfies and video calls.

It comes with a 4,700 mAh battery pack but also gets a 120W fast charger in the box. If you’re a fan of Google’s stock Android, then the iQoo is not for you. Funtouch OS comes loaded with bloatware and even the browser tends to send out notifications now and then. It is based on Android 12.

Samsung S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)
A top tier smartphone, and it takes our best crown

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Screen size: 6.8-inch AMOLED, 120Hz
Resolution: 1440 x 3088
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Rear camera: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 40MP
Battery: 5,000 mAh
OS: OneUI 4 based on Android 12
Weight: 228 g
Thickness: 8.9 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible cameras and zoom
+
Excellent little S Pen
+
Gorgeous butter-smooth screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
No microSD slot
-
Battery life could be better

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is the undisputed champion of the Android flagship smartphone segment. Unlike the Galaxy S21 UIltra, the company has merged the Note series lineup with the S-series flagships this year. For the first time, Samsung has added the S-Pen to the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Being one of the most premium Android smartphones in the market, it gets some of the best hardware as well. It comes with a large 6.8-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display with adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz. It comes with 12GB of RAM along with 256GB of storage on the base variant. There is a 1TB variant as well, but it is available only on Samsung’s official website.

When it comes to the cameras, the smartphone comes with a 108MP primary camera that has a wide field of view, a secondary 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP telephoto lenses. For selfies and video calls, you get a 40MP punch-hole camera under the display.

The smartphone comes with a 5,000 mAh battery pack. The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t come with a charger in the box, but it does support up to 45W fast charging.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

iPhone 13 Pro Max

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best iPhones

Specifications

Release date: September 2021
Display: 6.1-inch / 6.7-inch OLED, 120Hz
Resolution: 1170 x 2532 / 1284 x 2778
Processor: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP
Battery: 3,095 mAh / 4,352 mAh
OS: iOS 15
Weight: 204 g / 240 g
Thickness: 7.7 mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited design changes
-
Notch is still too large

Both the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are the most advanced iPhones available in the market right now. These top-of-the-line iPhones come with features like improved cameras, 120Hz refresh rates, and surprisingly good battery life.

That said, Apple is the only smartphone maker still launching phones with a notch and a massive one. Though the notch in the latest iPhones is slightly smaller, it is there, and if you switch from a flagship Android device, you just can’t ignore this.

The iPhone 13 Max offers a significant improvement in battery life over its predecessors. Though the battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro is probably not the best compared to the bigger sibling, this too is an upgrade on the iPhone 12 Pro’s life.

The camera performance on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max is an upgrade compared to the previous generation. Though the hardware has remained the same, Apple has added new modes - including an impressive macro mode, larger pixels, and a significant Cinematic mode – which might have a limited userbase.

Since most phones this year have come with an iterative update, even the iPhones aren’t left behind, which is probably the reason why the Galaxy S21 Ultra has been able to edge past the best of iPhones.

Read our: iPhone 13 Pro review | iPhone 13 Pro Max review

iPhone 13

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best Apple iPhone bang for your buck

Specifications

Release date: September 2021
Display: 6.1-inch OLED, 60Hz
Resolution: 1170 x 2532
Processor: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP
Battery: 3,240 mAh
OS: iOS 15
Weight: 174 g
Thickness: 7.7 mm