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The best smartphones you should consider buying in 2021

Cita Catellya

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In 2021, buying the right phone for you means finding something that can last you a few years. The smartphone world is highly competitive, with tech giants like Apple and Samsung constantly trying to outdo each other with the most impressive phones. The good news is, the competition gives us numerous great options to choose from at a wide range of prices. However, this also means that buying a new phone can be both exciting and overwhelming.

In order to help you find the best smartphone to fit both your needs and budget and ensure that your next purchase won’t be followed by regret, we have compiled the best smartphones you can buy in 2021.

Top 8 Phones to Buy Now

1. iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is hands down the best phone you can buy today. It’s packed with an incredible camera and video quality, the most 5G bands in any phone, the longest battery life, and the new A14 Bionic processor that delivers super speedy performance. In addition, with a flat-edge design and Ceramic Shield display, it’s sleeker than ever.

Specifications

Display: 6.7 inch OLED (1284 x 2778)
CPU: A14 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage Device: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB (non-expendable)
Battery Life: Up to 11 hours (5G)
Front Camera: 12MP
Rear Camera: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto
Price: Start from – ฿37,900 (128GB)

Performance

The new A14 Bionic processor can really blow away all other phones. Of course, the blazing-fast processor is present in all the other iPhone 12 models, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max delivers the best of everything. Apps launch almost instantly, including demanding games, and everything runs so smoothly. It easily outperforms its competitions. The 5G is fast, and the battery life is the longest among other iPhones. The star of the show is, of course, the cameras, which come with a sizeable primary sensor that lets in a lot of light for fantastic photos. It can record amazingly colourful videos in Dolby Vision as well.

Value and Verdict

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is practically perfect. It offers everything you could want from a smartphone, from super-fast performance, excellent battery life to last the whole day, and incredible cameras. It isn’t a cheap phone, but overall it’s the best phone you can buy today. If the big screen is not suitable for you, you can opt for the iPhone 12 Pro, which is a little smaller at 6.1-inch and is every bit as good as the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max - one of the best smartphones

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

There’s a lot to like about the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s a superior big-screen phone with amazingly smooth performance, long battery life, and various excellent features. In addition, it comes with dual telephoto cameras, so it sits at the top spot of the best camera zoom. The design is fantastic as well, with a premium glass back instead of plastic.

Specifications

Display: 6.8 inch OLED (1400 x 3200)
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 12GB / 16GB
Storage Device: 128GB, 256GB, 512 GB (non-expendable)
Battery Life: Up to 11 hours
Front Camera: 40MP
Rear Camera: 108MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (3x zoom), 10MP telephoto (10x zoom), laser AF sensor
Price: Start from – ฿35,900 (12GB/128GB)

Performance

Being one of the first phones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip that’s complemented by 12GB or 16GB RAM, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a speedy Android phone. You can use it to play games or edit videos using demanding apps like the Adobe Premiere Rush app, and it won’t flinch. The battery life is impressive as well as it can pretty much last all day.

Value and Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is nearly perfect. The cameras are some of the best you can find on the market today, and the display is best-in-class. It is also one of the fastest smartphones, just a little slower than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. In addition, it’s the first Galaxy S device that supports the S pen, which is great if you want to draw, sketch, take notes, or even just sign documents quickly. This means that you can use it as a Galaxy Note if you want to. Overall, if you’re looking for the best Android phone and you have the budget, the S21 Ultra is the best option you can choose.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

3. OnePlus 9 Pro

If you are looking for a fantastic all-round smartphone that is much more affordable than Samsung and Apple, OnePlus 9 Pro can be an option. It boasts excellent rear camera setup, solid battery life, and supercharged processor. It also has a big and bold display that will wow you as well.

Specifications

Display: 6.7 inch AMOLED (1440 x 3168)
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB / 12 GB
Storage Device: 128GB and 256GB (non-expandable)
Battery Life: Up to 11 hours
Front Camera: 16MP
Rear Camera: 48MP wide, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto with 3x optical, 2MP monochrome
Price: Start from – ฿24,600 (8GB/128GB)

Performance

The performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro is top-tier, on par with its much more expensive competitors. It’s equipped with the Snapdragon 888, which is the current best system-on-chip you can get in an Android device. You won’t experience any slow down or stutter with this phone, even if you’re using numerous apps simultaneously. OnePlus also put a massive effort into improving its mobile photography. It partners with Hasselblad to create some of the best cameras on any phone.

Value and Verdict

OnePlus 9 Pro is a truly impressive phone. It’s among the most powerful, so it can run any app or game you want without breaking a sweat. It can produce natural-looking photos, and the screen is bright and detailed. On top of that, it’s cheaper than most Android phones offering the same features and quality.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

From the best camera on an Android phone and best-in-class display to a load of features for work and play, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ticks all the boxes. With all that it has to offer, this elegant looking phone is possibly the pinnacle of Android phablets.

Specifications

Display: 6.9 inch AMOLED (1440 x 3088)
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 12GB
Storage Device: 512GB (expandable)
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
Front Camera: 10MP
Rear Camera: 108MP wide, 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom, 12MP ultrawide
Price: Start from – ฿36,900 (12GB / 512 GB)

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will show you how amazing smartphones can be. It’s super-fast, so opening apps feel almost instantaneous. Playing games on this phone feels seamless, and video editing took only a minute. The cameras are probably the most versatile on an Android phone today. Photos come out detailed, even in low-light situations. In addition, the telephoto camera does its job well.

Value and Verdict

If you want a phone that has everything, you can consider getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It boasts a big screen, high refresh rate, incredibly fast specs, 5G speeds, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a curved display, and an outstanding camera. The S Pen is now more useful than ever as well, so if you actually use it, you’ll find that it’s super handy. You do have to pay for a heap of money to get it all, though.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - One of the best smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

5. iPhone 12

While the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are the most impressive phones you can buy in 2021, the iPhone 12 is possibly the best iPhone for most buyers. It has almost everything that makes the iPhone 12 Pro great, such as the super-fast 5nm A14 Bionic chip, 5G connectivity, and 7-element main camera. However, it’s a lot more affordable. Since not everyone needs the above-and-beyond design and performance of the iPhone 12 Pro, the regular iPhone 12 is the best all-around phone for most people.

Specifications

Display: 6.1 inch OLED (1170 x 2532)
CPU: 4GB
RAM: A14 Bionic
Storage Device: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB (non-expandable)
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours (5G) and 10 hours (LTE)
Front Camera: 12MP
Rear Camera: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide
Price: Start from – ฿27,900 (64GB)

Performance

Thanks to its A14 Bionic chip, the iPhone 12 delivers top-class performance with no slow down. Transcoding a short 4K video to 1080p using Adobe’s Premiere Rush app takes under 30 seconds, which is faster than any other phone out there. Even the most demanding games are smooth and responsive on this phone. The cameras are incredible as well as they can produce clear, detailed, and nuanced images. In addition, the phone can record Dolby Vision video at 30fps.

Value and Verdict

It’s easy to see why the iPhone 12 is so popular. It truly is a phenomenal phone. It has fluid animations and extremely fast performance, as well as the best camera system you can get in this price range. In addition, the design is more modern and sleeker than the iPhone 11 or iPhone XR. The phone also provides reliable battery life for less money than other phones on the market.

If you’re into smaller phones, you can opt for the iPhone 12 mini instead, which have all the same features but smaller and cheaper.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

iPhone 12

iPhone 12

6. Xiaomi Mi 11

Xiaomi is one of the biggest phone makers in the world right now, and they have been killing it with their flagship phones lately. Their newest flagship smartphone, the Mi 11, is terrific and is a strong competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy S21 lineup. It’s well-built, solidly designed, has great cameras, and is equipped with the latest Qualcomm’s high-end chip, the Snapdragon 888 processor.

Specifications

Display: 6.1 inch OLED (1440 x 3200)
CPU: Octa-core – Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB, 12GB
Storage Device: 128GB, 256 GB
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
Front Camera: 20MP
Rear Camera: 108MP wide, 13MP ultrawide, 5MP macro
Price: Start from – ฿21,990 (8GB / 128GB)

Performance

Thanks to its processor, the Mi 11 is super fast and responsive. It’s one of the best smartphones that can give you a smooth and seamless experience. The UI is stutter-free, lag-free, and boasts a high refresh rate. In addition, it has a strong haptic system and great battery life. The display is exceptionally smooth and sharp as well, with excellent contrast and colour reproduction.

Value and Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a complete package, and it’s cheaper than the latest Samsung or Apple handset. It’s the smoothest and fastest device you can buy today. Besides, the camera is amazing, and the battery life is decent. It’s a better value for the money compared to most phones within the same price range.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

Xiaomi Mi 11

Xiaomi Mi 11

7. Google Pixel 4a 5G

If you’re looking for a budget Android phone that does everything right, then the Google Pixel 4a is the obvious choice. It’s a combination of some of the premium features of the Pixel 5 with the budget sensibilities of the Pixel 4a. While it doesn’t have the fastest processor or the largest screen, it does have robust software support from Google, excellent dual rear cameras, and solid battery life.

Specifications

Display: 6.2 inch OLED (1080 x 2340)
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 6GB
Storage Device: 128GB (non-expandable)
Battery Life: Up to 9 hours
Front Camera: 8MP
Rear Camera: 12.2MP
Price: Start from – ฿13,990

Performance

The Google Pixel 4a 5G might not be as powerful as many other high-end phones. However, it’s still speedy and responsive. It does have less RAM than the Pixel 5, but there’s no significant difference in performance between the two for general tasks like opening apps and launching the camera. The battery life is pretty great as well. It can last around 6 hours of screen-on-time for moderate to heavy use. For light usage, it can last longer.

Value and Verdict

If you need a mid-sized and budget 5G phone, the Google Pixel 4a 5G can be your choice. The camera is best-in-class as well, especially in the videography department. It’s one of the most affordable phones available on the market today that offer 4K 60fps shooting. In addition, it’s equipped with a few extra stabilization modes.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

Google Pixel 4a 5G - One of the best smartphones

Google Pixel 4a 5G

8. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G

If you are looking for an excellent 5G smartphone at lower prices, the Redmi Note 10 5G might be an option. Besides 5G connections, it also offers a great screen, triple rear camera, a massive battery, and a decent chipset that can handle gaming. It comes with a lot of fan-favourite features as well, like a 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, NFC, and FM radio.

Specifications

Display: 6.5 inch IPS LCD (1080 x 2400)
CPU: Octa-core – Qualcomm Snapdragon 678
RAM: 4GB, 6GB
Storage Device: 64GB, 128GB, 128GB (expandable)
Front Camera: 13MP
Rear Camera: 48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2Mp depth
Price: Start from – ฿8,999

Performance

The performance of Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G is more than acceptable across all apps, including games. Its processor is perfect for its class, so games and demanding apps can be handled well. Everything runs so smoothly in this phone, with little to no lag or stutter. For its price, it’s truly the best. The phone has three cameras on its back, but the setup is basic. Still, it produces great quality images.

Value and Verdict

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G is a great 5G smartphone that can do its job well. It offers a great screen with great contrast, excellent battery life, smooth interface, outstanding selfie camera, and dependable rear camera. On top of that, it’s really affordable.

Click here to buy now on Lazada.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G

All of these phones will last you for at least several years, have a nice screen, decent battery life, great cameras, and be fast enough to do all the work, social networking, and even gaming. So, in the end, the best one for you depends on your budget and preferences.

If you’re looking for the best wireless headphone to complete your smartphone experience, check out our article on the top 8 wireless headphones to buy in 2021.

The best smartphones you should consider buying in 2021 | News by Thaiger


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Cita Catellya is a journalist and content writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence.

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