My top 5 phones of 2023 – Hristo


Hello there, I’m Hristo, the lead information editor right here at GSMArena and I’ve the respect of wrapping up this 12 months’s installment of the “My prime 5” sequence. Being arguably the most important foldables fan on the workplace I don’t share the sentiment expressed by a few of my colleagues that the 12 months was boring. Granted, the bar telephones have been a bit meh for a great whereas, however incremental upgrades are what you get in a mature market. The foldable house, alternatively was booming and I’m loving each little bit of it.

My top 5 phones of 2023 – Hristo

I couldn’t fairly match inside the 5 telephones required by the format, so I’ll start with a few honorable mentions after which go up my private rating in reverse order.

Honorable point out: Tecno Phantom V Flip and Phantom V Fold

Tecno’s journey over the previous few has been outstanding – from an entry-level maker barely recognizable of outdoor Africa to the creator of a number of the most fun telephones on the market. The X2 Professional from final 12 months with its unmatched pure bokeh was spectacular, however the entrance to the foldable section in 2023 is extra so.

The corporate gave us probably the most reasonably priced horizontal foldable within the Phantom V Fold and managed to deliver it to a variety of abroad markets too. Samsung has been left to run unopposed within the section outdoors China for too lengthy and I welcome any competitors.

Tecno Phantom V Flip review

The Phantom V Flip was equally aggressive with its pricing and packs one of many higher digital camera programs amongst clamshells. I actually dig its round exterior show, even when I’ll readily admit it’s not the very best resolution in relation to usability. Sadly, the guarantees of a good wider launch for this one by no means materialized and it solely made it to a couple Asian markets.

That is additionally the explanation why the V Flip didn’t make the precise Prime 5, whereas the V Fold was let down by its UI, which is unable to correctly reap the benefits of the inner display for multitasking functions – the important thing promoting level of the whole class for me. I positive hope Tecno retains on the identical trajectory, nonetheless, and ship extra thrilling telephones like this in 2024.

5. Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max

The odd one out in additional methods than one on my record grabs the ultimate spot. The iPhone 15 Professional Max just isn’t probably the most thrilling cellphone on the market, neither is it essentially the very best bar cellphone to come back out this 12 months. Nonetheless it’s by far the one which made me say “Fucking lastly” probably the most throughout its debut. There’s the transfer to USB-C, which whereas not solely voluntary, will make life simpler for individuals on each side of the OS divide.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max review

The adoption of a periscope digital camera lastly introduced Apple on top of things with the Android cameraphone prime canine, whereas the transfer to 256 GB storage for the bottom model was lengthy overdue. I additionally recognize the swap from a chrome steel body to titanium one. Whereas not as powerful the brand new materials is an acknowledgement that the load of contemporary smartphones is getting uncontrolled and one thing must be executed about it. Higher but, the corporate lastly changed the sharp-edged body with a extra rounded model that doesn’t dig in your palm and fingers whenever you maintain the cellphone.

The significance of those modifications is magnified by the truth that Apple is the most important trend-setter of the trade, and that makes the iPhone 15 Professional Max one of the vital vital launches of the 12 months.

4. Motorola Razr 40 Extremely

The Motorola Razr 40 Extremely or razr+ as our US readers know it’s the type of know-how limit-pushing cellphone that you would be able to’t assist however admire. The duvet display encompassing the whole half-panel and able to working most apps in full is each sensible and funky wanting. Gone are the times when clamshell foldables wanted to be opened for the best of duties and now we are able to have the very best of each worlds.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review

There are nonetheless some compromises concerned – notably smaller digital camera sensors and battery capability in comparison with the Razr 40, however the Razr 40 Extremely nonetheless embodies the type of progressive spirit that I simply like to see.

3. Honor Magic V2

The Honor Magic V2 would have most likely topped my record, had it managed to hit worldwide markets inside 2023. Alas that was left for 2024, so what’s arguably the very best piece of {hardware} I attempted prior to now 12 months has to accept third.

With its sub-10mm thickness and 231g of weight the ground-breaking cellphone matches the texture of a traditional bar cellphone when folded, whereas nonetheless delivering an 8” display. It’s actually a tremendous feat of engineering and nearly onerous to consider the primary time you deal with it. It actually is not sensible to even take into account these boring outdated bars then, except you actually need a robust periscope digital camera.

Honor Magic V2 hands-on review

Honor nonetheless must up its sport in relation to multitasking on the massive display, however Magic OS 8.0 will hopefully be prepared in time for the worldwide rollout within the subsequent couple of months. It could be a 2023 cellphone, however I’m nonetheless enthusiastic about it in the beginning of 2024. With Samsung doing the naked minimal in relation to {hardware} improvement of its Fold lineup over the previous three years a cellphone such because the Magic V2 exhibits that there’s, certainly quite a lot of room for enchancment.

2. Oppo Discover N3/OnePlus Open

In one other milestone improvement the OnePlus Open and its Oppo Discover N3 doppleganger have the very same digital camera setup because the OnePlus 12 flagship bar cellphone. Higher but the Open bought it earlier than the 12 and was probably the most succesful cameraphone OnePlus was making for a great few months. In reality it’d nonetheless be, because of the additional flexibility enabled by the shape issue – selfies with the primary digital camera and being its personal tripod.

Oppo Find N3 review

Ever for the reason that begin of their existence, foldables have been absent from the cameraphone race, excusing themselves on the cut up our bodies being unable to accommodate the massive sensors wanted for that. But Oppo/OnePlus delivered particular proof that you would be able to, in reality, have your cake and eat it too.

Oneplus Open review

Higher but, the Oppo-made duo has the very best multitasking UI outdoors of a Galaxy cellphone. In reality it closed the hole a lot that at this level you might be nearly equally productive with both of them.

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5

The Galaxy Fold5 could have been a disappointment, however the Galaxy Z Flip5 is a properly thought out improve that introduced extra individuals to the foldable sport than any earlier than it. It lastly made the exterior display usable and it dropped the ugly hole when folded – the latter way more of a problem on the design-first clamshells than the productiveness centered book-style foldables.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 review

There’s the advance in battery life to contemplate because of the brand new Snapdragon chipset, however moreso as a result of the truth that you not have to open the cellphone and lightweight up the massive primary display simply to learn a message. And with the pricing in Europe at the moment hovering round €800 the Z Flip5’s reputation is well comprehensible.

With the sturdiness problems with the early generations lots of people are understandably hesitant to provide foldables a attempt. One of the simplest ways to repair these is get the brand new models in individuals palms, the place they’ll show their value. And since no cellphone has executed higher at this than the Z Flip5, it finally ends up on prime of my private rating for the 12 months.


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