Once every two months, we publish an update to our Smartphone Best Buy Guide. The past few months have been quiet in the smartphone business, which is reflected in the number of new devices we’ve received for this BBG: just ten units. Google introduced its mid-range Pixel 7a phone in May, which we’ve reviewed extensively at the time. Motorola’s Razr 40 Ultra also deserves more attention: This is the manufacturer’s top foldable model of the year, with a cover screen larger than all other foldable phones to date. Bullitt and HMD, which release phones under the CAT and Nokia brand names, also sent an extra powerful device. The CAT S75 features a self-developed satellite SMS service, while the Nokia XR21 is made from recycled materials.
Sony and ASUS are taking a different path: the proprietary form factor. The two main concerns are among the smaller ones when it comes to smartphones and they usually lag a bit behind the rest with the release of new devices. Sony phones have had iconic remote control-like proportions for several years now thanks to their extra-long 21:9 screen. The new top-of-the-line Xperia 1 V and the mid-range Xperia 10 V also hold up well thanks to their narrow casings. ASUS nowadays is focusing on ultra-mini devices as a whole. Released just a few days ago, the new Zenfone 10 is the smallest high-end compact phone of 2023.
We’ve evaluated all the devices again and factored in price evolution to determine which smartphones in each category come highly recommended right now. Some of the recommendations from this BBG’s previous Best Buy guide return, but there are also some newcomers who make the recommendation.
Those who read Smartphone BBG often will notice that this month we’re moving to a new design with product cards, following our best buying guides for laptops and monitors. We’ve made the layout of each page more compact, so you can get to recommendations faster.
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