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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Editor’s Alternative — Our winner is…

google pixel 8 pro vs samsung galaxy s23 ultra rear hero

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The age of the constant improve cycle is over. As increasingly smartphone customers wait upwards of three or extra years to improve their each day drivers, the struggle to face out and seize a slice of the dwindling international market share is getting more durable by the day.

With the margins between success and failure slimmer than ever, a number of the extra established firms have caught stringently to their tried and true blueprints, whereas others have tried to separate from the pack by providing a contemporary spin on the smartphone system. In 2023, the latter camp was largely occupied by telephones that leaned into new applied sciences or provided nonetheless latest improvements at a extra reasonably priced worth level. And whereas a number of the huge names and iconic designs that proceed to guide the recognition charts have began to grow to be greater than just a little lengthy within the tooth, that hasn’t stopped the easiest telephones from getting even higher, nor the chasing crowd changing into even hungrier.

However just one telephone can stand on the high and declare the mantle of the very best telephone of 2023. You’ve already topped your champion in our Reader’s Alternative award (scroll all the way down to the underside to see your decide!), however now it’s our flip. Be a part of us as we run down the handsets that hit our high 5 and identify the machine that snatched the final word title of Android Authority‘s Editor’s Alternative award for the very best smartphone of 2023.

How we selected our winner

Google Pixel 8 USB C charging test

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

First off, a little bit of crucial housekeeping.

Yearly, now we have to rethink what the “greatest” truly means on the time. At Android Authority, when judging a telephone’s high quality we contemplate every part from goal measurements like uncooked testing knowledge, base specs, and replace coverage ensures, to extra intangible subjective aspects like pictures, UI design, and distinctive software program options. Our skilled product testers spend numerous hours making an attempt to unpick every part there may be to learn about every new machine, and whereas everybody inevitably can have their very own favorites and preferences — we’re solely human, in spite of everything — we’re at all times decided to set a baseline for requirements that defines what it means to be the very best.

With all of the votes counted, now we have a winner, however boy was it a detailed one…

Our annual Editor’s Alternative award for the smartphone of the yr is barely reserved for these units that actually excel. To make sure that’s the case, our product critiques staff pores over a shortlist of the highest-reviewed telephones of the calendar yr. The category of 2023 was made up of 20 telephones from 11 completely different international manufacturers. From there, every member of the jury assigns votes to their high 5 picks, ranked from fifth to first. Fifth place nets the chosen machine a single level, fourth snags two factors, and so forth, as much as a most of 5 factors for the best choice. The telephone that receives probably the most factors takes house the grand prize.

And with all of the votes counted, now we have a winner, however boy was it a detailed one…

Android Authority‘s Editor’s Alternative telephone of the yr: Google Pixel 8 Professional

google pixel 8 pro hero

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

best of 2023 editors

For the third yr operating, it’s a Pixel that takes the highest prize. And identical to in 2022, the Professional mannequin was the plain standout in Google’s smartphone sequence.

In our evaluate, we anointed the Pixel 8 Professional as Google’s most full smartphone thus far, praising the on-device AI smarts, continued excellence in pictures (now with boosted video, in addition), and its industry-smashing software program coverage that places even Apple on discover.

Google could also be charging an additional $100 over its predecessor, however the Pixel 8 Professional earned its flagship-tier price ticket with refinements to the Pixel aesthetic, and our intensive testing confirmed clear enhancements to its customized Tensor chipset. And what’s extra, it’ll solely get higher all through the complete seven years of its assured assist interval, throughout which period it’ll obtain software program updates, safety patches, and Google’s patented Function Drops.

The truest realization of Google’s smartphone goals we’ve seen thus far, the Pixel 8 Professional is a worthy winner of our Editor’s Alternative telephone of the yr award. Nonetheless, in contrast to in 2022 the place the Pixel 7 Professional was the runaway success story with a lion’s share of the vote, the Pixel 8 Professional gained by only one vote. One! So, which telephone narrowly missed out?

Google Pixel 8 ProfessionalGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
AA Editors Choice

Google Pixel 8 Professional

Glorious cameras • Enjoyable, unique Android 14 customizations • Business-leading replace promise

Highly effective Google telephone with highly effective digital camera options

The Google Pixel 8 Professional is filled with distinctive digital camera options and AI-assisted software program that places the sensible into smartphone.

Runner-up: OnePlus Open

oneplus open selfie with rear cameras

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

To say the OnePlus-OPPO merger has been divisive could be an understatement, and for a short time, it appeared prefer it may spell doom for a model beginning to accept mediocrity. However because the traces between the 2 have continued to blur, we’ve lastly begun seeing units that embody the spirit of the as soon as “flagship killer,” mixed with the polish of its guardian firm. Living proof, our runner-up for 2023, the good OnePlus Open.

The OnePlus Open isn’t identical to an OPPO telephone, it is an OPPO telephone — the OPPO Discover N3 rebranded and with a software program reskin. However releasing it underneath the OnePlus banner meant we lastly acquired our arms on one in every of OPPO’s phenomenal book-style foldables in areas outdoors of China. That wider launch plan included the US market, the place it debuted for a aggressive $1,699 price ticket, however with a continuing trade-in supply that drops the fee to $1,499.

That’s nonetheless no small chunk of change, nevertheless it’s a way more reasonably priced possibility in comparison with rival phone-tablet foldables just like the Galaxy Z Fold or Pixel Fold. It didn’t sacrifice high quality to get to that worth level both, and it even managed to iron out a couple of creases frequent to foldables, together with, properly… the display screen crease — you possibly can barely see it!

Whereas it couldn’t fairly dethrone the champion, the Shenzhen model deserves each little bit of credit score for coming so, so shut. OnePlus is useless. Lengthy reside OnePlus.

OnePlus OpenOnePlus Open
AA Recommended

OnePlus Open

Stable cameras • Refined {hardware} • Alert slider

A debut foldable telephone with nice {hardware}

The OnePlus Open brings what is likely to be the very best {hardware} on a foldable telephone and sufficient intelligent software program methods to show heads. It pairs top-end internals with a few of OPPO’s cautious trial-and-error to create a debut foldable telephone that hardly seems like a primary try. Add in a aggressive asking worth, and the OnePlus Open simply may give different foldables a run for his or her cash.

Third place: Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely

The perennial ultra-flagship, the mighty Galaxy S23 Extremely has grow to be the usual bearer for high quality within the Android house. An additional yr of expertise added a layer of polish to Samsung’s Galaxy Observe-inspired imaginative and prescient for its Extremely-phone, and we accordingly awarded it a full 5 out of 5 stars in our evaluate. It’s as close to flawless as we’ve seen from a premium slab telephone, with stellar cameras, unbelievable efficiency, a timeless design, and complete software program assist.

To be the very best, it’s a must to beat the very best. The Galaxy S23 Extremely might not have topped our listing (spoiler: it did high yours), nevertheless it retains its standing because the kingmaker.

Samsung Galaxy S23 ExtremelySamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
AA Editors Choice

Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely

New 200MP major digital camera • Stunning show • S Pen performance

The Extremely launch of Samsung’s 2023 flagship line

Powered by the identical Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 because the smaller fashions within the sequence, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely gives bigger storage capacities and a whopping 200MP digital camera. S Pen assist and a 6.8-inch show make the Extremely superb for note-takers on the go.

Fourth place: Google Pixel 7a

google pixel 7a hero with box

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Nicely, right here’s a shock. The place we’ve beforehand seen the vanilla Pixel seize a spot within the high 5 alongside the anticipated Professional placement, this yr the Large G’s flagship is as an alternative joined by the true finances Pixel. Perhaps the Pixel 8‘s worth hike is in charge (it’s nonetheless an incredible telephone!), or perhaps the upgrades we noticed to the A sequence — notably the additions of wi-fi charging and a 90Hz refresh charge — earned it a spot within the high 5. Regardless of the motive, the Pixel 7a turns into the de facto greatest decide for finances consumers unwilling to spend over $500.

Google Pixel 7aGoogle Pixel 7a
AA Editors Choice

Google Pixel 7a

One of the best sub-$500 digital camera telephone • Stable efficiency and loads of RAM • Improved 90Hz show

The important Pixel expertise

The Pixel 7a delivers extra premium options than ever for underneath $500, corresponding to wi-fi charging assist, a 90Hz refresh charge show, and a 64MP digital camera.

Fifth place: Motorola Razr Plus

The nostalgia-baiting sequence that kickstarted the foldable clamshell development has at all times been overshadowed by the Galaxy Z Flip. However not this yr!

The Nothing Telephone 2 and Galaxy S23 every narrowly missed out on fifth place by a single solitary level (higher luck subsequent yr!), however the Motorola Razr Plus wowed us just a bit bit extra with that massive cowl display screen and its trendy, dust-resistant design. In what was usually an excellent yr for Motorola flagships with the equally wonderful Razr (2023), Edge Plus (2023), and even the Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola, the Razr Plus had the innovative.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)Motorola Razr Plus (2023)
AA Recommended

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

Enormous cowl display screen • Fast 30W wired charging • Mud resistance

The sharpest Razr thus far.

Light-weight, ultra-sleek, and infinitely versatile, the Motorola Razr Plus (2023) flips open to disclose a beautiful show that appears seamless, feels easy, and shines brilliant. Additionally that includes the biggest cowl display screen on a foldable telephone of this kind issue, the Razr Plus is providing critical competitors to its foldable rivals.

Reader’s Alternative award: Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely

samsung galaxy s23 ultra hero

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

best of 2023 readers

A whopping 32 telephones entered, however the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely emerged victorious. Try our Reader’s Alternative award function to see how Samsung’s behemoth took down the competitors.

One other yr, and one other telephone of the yr within the bag, however we’re removed from completed for 2023 right here at Android Authority. For the rest of the vacation season, we’ll be releasing extra better of the yr lists (together with crowning our Editor’s Alternative award for wearable of the yr), 2023 retrospective options, and even a couple of articles wanting forward on the thrilling units that would properly be successful awards in 2024.

For all that and all our regular evaluation, opinions, and reporting, make sure to preserve it locked to Android Authority. And from our households to yours, have a cheerful holidays!

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