Well, 2022 is a wrap up and I can say it’s been a pretty… stale year. Sure, we can’t always have exciting years, but the fact is I’ve returned to using last year’s phone, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, self-explanatory.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have my favorites in this year’s crop, and here they are in no particular order.
Asus Zenfone 9
Just like last year, I want to start this list with an Asus phone. This year, of course, it’s the Zenfone 9. I’ve always had a soft spot for compact flagships, and I think Asus has hit it off yet again. In fact, I think the new Zenfone 9 is the most beautiful phone in 2022. The design is very simple yet super elegant and premium.
Flagship phones, except telephoto camera. But at 5.9 inches diagonal, it’s hard to ask for one. But at least it offers a great camera experience.
Also, I’m a big fan of clean Android software, and Asus’ ZenUI is probably one of the best around. It feels corny, but still offers some advanced and annoyingly exclusive features. Battery life is surprisingly good, even beating out some devices with bigger batteries.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Clean Android is just one of the reasons I like the Pixel 7 Pro. The camera, of course, is another – I just love the way the stills are handled. Some things I can’t pin down, but Pixel photos have something unique to them. And I absolutely love it.
I also like how smart this phone is. Google’s AI features, like call screening, speech-to-text conversion, and image and text extraction from photos, are fantastic. The Pixel 7 Pro is the true definition of a smartphone. Or at least I think it’s the closest thing we’ll get to a smart phone.
If it wasn’t for its limited market availability, I’d probably be rocking the Pixel 7 Pro right now. Also, many smart features are not available in my home country. After all, speech recognition software has its limitations.
As quirky as it is, I really like this year’s design, even though it’s nearly identical to the 6-series. Last but not least, this year’s version of the Pixel isn’t plagued by as many hardware and/or software issues as Google’s phones.
The diminutive Pixel 7 gets an honorable mention for being a compact flagship with a solid set of features and a strong competitive power price.
I’m not a Pixel fan, don’t get me wrong. However, it’s hard to deny that the Pixels are pretty good phones this year. Other than the Pixel 6a, I really can’t think of a single mid-range phone that stands out this year. An annual flagship SoC from Google, a flagship camera experience, all the benefits of being a Google phone in terms of software updates, and it’s a well-rounded phone. If it’s available in your country, you should definitely consider it.
Xiaomi 22S Ultra
I am currently I am using Xiaomi Mi 22 Ultra and I am very disappointed 11S Ultra is not available outside of China. I’m lucky enough to have the 22S Ultra in my hand and it’s a great phone.
It has all the bells and whistles and is arguably the best camera phone on the market. In my opinion, the performance of the telephoto camera is unmatched.
Also, I really like the design. I found the faux leather and circular camera module to be quite unique, and the finish feels nice in the hand. It offers excellent grip and is perhaps more durable than standard glass sandwich construction.
I also recently fell in love with Xiaomi’s MIUI. It’s feature-rich, optimized, customizable and extremely fast.
Samsung Galaxy S 22 Ultra
Like Like most of my colleagues, I choose the Samsung Galaxy S 22 Ultra as one of my favorites 1200 phone, not because we got a free Bugatti from the Korean tech giant, but mostly because of the S799 The Ultra is the closest we’ve come to a zero-compromise flagship product this year. It’s the phone that finally brings the Note and S lines together and offers an overall unrivaled offering.
It’s so feature-packed that it’s hard not to appeal to the masses. Hell, it even has two telephoto focal lengths, which is one of the best things about this phone.
Software is a big part of what I love about this year’s Ultra. One UI is more polished than ever, it’s packed with tons of actually useful features, and it’s probably the best custom Android skin designed for one-handed use. This was the original key selling point of One UI a few years ago, and it has stayed true to its roots.
One of my criticisms of One UI 5.0 is that while it feels smoother than its predecessor, it’s still a bit sluggish compared to the competition. I’ve spent most of this year on the S22+, and I can say that most, if not all, other iterations of Android feel better Fast and responsive.
However, I’m sure most people won’t notice the difference and won’t be bothered by it like I did.
Hope so, 2022 will bring more innovative and fascinating phones, but more importantly, my favorite The phone will be released globally.