Are you looking to get a fully-featured, premium smart phone? Here is our list of the best smartphones of 2021!

Best Smartphones of 2021: all the bells and whistles that money can buy

We just talked about the best mid-range smartphones in 2021, and we are here once more but with the best smartphones of 2021. Looking at the very best means that the smartphones featured in this article stole a spot for themselves purely based on their specifications and abilities.

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The best smartphones of 2021 have the most powerful processors and top performances, top cameras, and the most advanced features. The choice of which of these smartphones to buy often boils down to user preferences, but we are here with a list of the most smashing smartphones out there to get if money is not a problem.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Korean tech giants easily made their way into the best smartphones of 2021 list. The “S series” from Samsung has always been a flagship line and this year’s release came with a lot of cool new features in terms of design, screen resolution, camera and a lot more. Out of the three devices in the “S series” launched this year, the S21 ultra is the big gun. 

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Key Specs

  • Screen: 6.8″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G.
  • Operating System: Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12), One UI 3.1.
  • Main Camera: 108MP, 10MP, 10MP, 12MP Quad camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 40MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Under-display ultrasonic sensor.
  • Battery: 5000mAh, with 25W fast charging, 15W wireless fast charging and 4.5W wireless reverse charging.
  • Price: $790.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro Max

With each new iPhone comes a new processor which means more power, better cameras and so much more. Apple brought a lot of new features with the iPhone 13 line-up. A lot of people wonder how the iPhone 13 Pro Max is better than the iPhone 13 Pro.

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Firstly, it is better in terms of battery capacity and performance, and secondly in terms of performance. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the sure pick in its line-up, and it is without doubt one of the best smartphones of 2021.

Key Specs

  • Screen: 6.7″ Super Retina XDR OLED with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Apple’s A15 Bionic 
  • Operating System: iOS 15 upgradable to iOS 15.1
  • Main Camera: 12MP, 12MP, 12MP, triple camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 12MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: None (uses face unlock scanner for security)
  • Battery: 4352mAh, with 27W fast charging, 15W wireless charging with MagSafe and 7.5W Qi magnetic charging.
  • Price: $1099.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

This device is truly “Ultra-premium”. From its design to performance, the Mi 11 Ultra surely is one of the best smartphones of 2021.

Asides from making a very good-looking device, Xiaomi went ahead to make the Mi 11 Ultra next generation by adding an extra display house on the rear camera bump. We will be certainly looking out to see what its successor holds in store for consumers.

Key Specs

  • Screen: 6.81″ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G.
  • Operating System: Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12), MIUI 12.5.
  • Main Camera: 50MP, 48MP, 48MP, triple camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 20MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Under-display optical sensor.
  • Battery: 5000mAh, with 67W fast charging, 67W fast wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging.
  • Price: $1099.

Huawei P50 Pro

Huawei P50 Pro
Huawei P50 Pro

For the past few years, Huawei’s smartphone business has been facing some difficulties due to the restrictions placed on the company, but this never held the company back from making a premium smartphone that lived up to Huawei’s reputation.

The P50 Pro has been and is still the reigning camera champion on DxOmark. Huawei has always stepped out to set the standard for camera abilities in the smartphone market.

Key Specs

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  • Screen: 6.6″ OLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Kirin 9000.
  • Operating System: Harmony OS 2.0.
  • Main Camera: 50MP, 64MP, 13MP, 40MP, quad-camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 13MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Under-display optical sensor.
  • Battery: 4360mAh, with 66W fast charging and 50W fast wireless charging.
  • Price: $1199.

Vivo X70 Pro+

Vivo X70 Pro+ - one of the best smartphones of 2021
Vivo X70 Pro+

With this device, Vivo took on the battle for the best smartphone camera in the market. Thanks to Vivo’s in-house photography chipset the V1 chip and the usage of Zeiss lenses, this device is aiming to redefine mobile photography.

Photography is not the only strong point of the X70 Pro+, it also has some very amazing specs. Check out Vivo’s official website for a full breakdown of the device.

Key Specs

  • Screen: 6.78″ LTPO AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G.
  • Operating System: Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12), Funtouch OS 12.
  • Main Camera: 50MP, 8MP, 12MP 48MP, quad-camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 32MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Under-display optical sensor.
  • Battery: 4500mAh, with 55W fast charging and 50W wireless fast charging.
  • Price: $938.

iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 mini is one of the best smartphones of 2021
iPhone 13 mini

Yes, we mentioned the iPhone 13 Pro Max as one of the best smartphones of 2021, now we are mentioning the iPhone 13 mini for a specific reason, its size! 

If you are an iPhone lover but not a fan of devices with big screens, then the iPhone 13 mini might just be what you need. With the same processor as all other devices in the iPhone 13 line-up this device will give you a premium experience at small screen size.

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Key Specs

  • Screen: 5.4″ Super Retina XDR OLED screen.
  • Processor: Apple’s A15 Bionic.
  • Operating System: iOS 15 upgradable to iOS 15.1.
  • Main Camera: 12MP, 12MP, dual camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 12MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: None (uses face unlock scanner for security)
  • Battery: 2438mAh, with 18W charging and 15W wireless charging with MagSafe and 7.5 Qi magnetic charging.
  • Price: $699.

Asus Zenfone 8

Asus Zenfone 8 is one of the best smartphones of 2021
Asus Zenfone 8

The Asus Zenfone 8 packs power into a minimal body. Unlike the Zenfone 8 Flip, this device took an entirely different turn from what we were used to (the regular flip camera smartphones). This allows Android users to enjoy a compact device without giving up any flagship features.

Despite being this small, the Zenfone 8 packs a lot of amazing features that make it worthy of being among the best smartphones of 2021.

Key Specs

  • Screen: 5.9″ Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G.
  • Operating System: Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12), ZenUI 8.
  • Main Camera: 64MP, 12MP, dual camera setup.
  • Selfie Camera: 12MP
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Under-display optical sensor.
  • Battery: 4000mAh, with 30W fast charging.
  • Price: $649.

Did we leave out any phone you are convinced should be on the list? Tell us in the comments’ section below.

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Tech analyst, Collins Eshiet, writes about technology. Follow me on Twitter @KittysTech.

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