Editor’s Alternative — the winner is…

Each once in a while a yr passes within the cellular world the place a transparent, overarching theme emerges. In 2022, that theme was consolidation. Whereas there have been a handful of exceptions — be it brash upstart OEMs or established names making an attempt to face out from the pack — a lot of the business’s heaviest hitters and acquainted names spent the final 12 months iterating on earlier successes. With the fact of worldwide inflation resulting in rising prices for manufacturers and customers, it’s not laborious to see why many manufacturers caught with a tried and examined system in an try and climate the storm.

The knock-on impact was a calendar yr of telephones that, on the entire, regarded loads just like the earlier yr’s crop of contenders. The margins that separate good telephones from nice ones have change into thinner than ever, however there are nonetheless some clear highlights to be discovered from the category of 2022.

However what was the perfect cellphone of 2022? You’ve had your say in our Reader’s Alternative award, however now it’s time to crown Android Authority‘s Editor’s Alternative winner for the perfect cellphone of 2022 (in addition to our prime 5), as chosen by our editorial and critiques groups.

How we selected our winner

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

“Finest” is a loaded descriptor. How do you determine what’s the “greatest” at something, particularly when speaking about issues as advanced as smartphones? In any case, these are units we feature with us for nearly each minute of the waking day; we’re all certain to have our personal biases. Telephones can be assessed in myriad methods — from their uncooked specs to their perceived worth for cash, their goal benchmark numbers to private preferences for the way a specific UI seems to be and operates.

This can be a dilemma we continually grapple with as our consultants sort out all the greatest client tech releases every yr. Stamping the authority into Android Authority is vital to us. The lots of, if not 1000’s of hours we pour into testing and analyzing the more and more delicate adjustments between rival telephones, or from era to era, provides us a rigorous baseline of expectation when anointing a specific system as the best possible any given yr has to supply. And it’s not simply {hardware} testing both, we’re at all times certain to issue within the extra intangible metrics like long-term software program assist guarantees and observe information, worth and worth (two very various things!), market availability, and far, rather more.

Solely the perfect cellphone of the yr can take house our grand prize.

Our course of for selecting the Editor’s Alternative for cellphone of the yr dials all of this as much as the max. Our shortlist combines probably the most prestigious and highest-reviewed telephones of the yr, with due diligence paid to make sure that each main model is represented throughout a number of worth segments. This consists of units bought solely within the US, in addition to globally. From there, our skilled management staff and our trusted product reviewers every assign votes to their alternative for the highest 5 telephones, rating them from fifth to first as a part of a point-scoring system. The cellphone with probably the most factors wins.

Now, let’s get to the winner (and our runners-up!).

Android Authority‘s Editor’s Alternative cellphone of the yr: Google Pixel 7 Professional

google pixel 7 pro camera bar

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

best of 2022 editors choice award badge

For the second yr operating, a Google Pixel flagship claims our grandest prize — however this time, it’s not only a Pixel flagship, it’s the Google flagship. In 2021, we discovered the vanilla Pixel 6’s delicate steadiness of specs, general high quality, and inexpensive pricing to be an plain combo. However in 2022, our hearts — and yours, it seems! — have been with the Huge G’s “Professional” providing.

And it’s not laborious to see why while you run by way of all the Pixel 7 Professional‘s greatest qualities. All of it begins with the refined design, which improves on the Pixel 6 sequence’ instantly iconic digital camera bar by making use of an aluminum casing and stylish cutouts for every shooter. That focus to element extends to the ever-excellent digital camera suite, as Google’s computational images smarts mix with expanded zoom capabilities, in addition to new images methods like Photograph Unblur. The latter is only one of many perks supplied by Google’s second shot at its personal customized silicon, the Tensor G2 — a machine learning-focused chipset that eschews CPU and GPU energy for brainpower, but nonetheless manages to impress with its sustained efficiency capabilities.

The Pixel 7 Professional is a chic centerpiece for Google’s burgeoning ecosystem ambitions.

In 2022, Google regarded to broaden its horizons with a brand-new portfolio of units to tackle Apple’s dominance because the go-to ecosystem. To even get the ball rolling, nonetheless, it wanted to ship a top-class cellphone to carry its ambitions to life. The cellphone was the Pixel 7 Professional, and what a cellphone it turned out to be.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Professional

Finest Google digital camera • Excessive-quality show • Huge battery

The Pixel 7 Professional is the top-of-the-line cellphone on Google’s roster.

The Google Pixel 7 Professional takes the perfect options from the Pixel 6 Professional, and makes them even higher. Get pleasure from quite a few digital camera upgrades and a few enjoyable new software program methods, all for a similar price because the last-gen Pixel cellphone.

Second place: Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 Back White

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Pixel 7 Professional was the runaway winner, amassing simply over 1 / 4 of the entire factors in our vote from a shortlist of 20 telephones. However that doesn’t imply we forgot about its smaller, flatter, and much more inexpensive sibling.

Matching its predecessor’s sub-$600 price ticket — a feat that also appears too good to be true — makes the Pixel 7 maybe the simplest cellphone to advocate of any handset that hit cabinets in 2022. It lacks the bells and whistles of the Pixel 7 Professional, and the lacking telephoto lens, lower-res, 90Hz-capped show, and even slower charging (critically, Google, kind this out in 2023), however the Pixel 7 in any other case packs in the perfect of the up to date Pixel expertise, all whereas saving you a hefty $300. You’ll be able to’t argue with that.

Third place: Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely

Galaxy S22 Ultra Noted Wallpaper 1

Zarif Ali / Android Authority

What occurs when probably the most profitable smartphone maker on the planet combines two of its elite units into one? That’ll be the Galaxy S22 Extremely — a Galaxy Notice/Galaxy S Extremely-hybrid that regarded and felt instantly acquainted, however in one of the simplest ways potential. If the Galaxy S21 Extremely was “peak smartphone,” the Galaxy S22 Extremely is the celebratory flag planted on prime of that peak.

But, regardless of reigning as the perfect digital camera cellphone, providing all the extra performance of the S Pen, and having the perfect software program assist exterior of Cupertino, the indomitable Galaxy S22 Extremely nonetheless fell in need of Google’s extra moderately priced alternate options in our voting. Nevertheless, for these with no limits to their funds, Samsung’s powerhouse remains to be a transparent winner.

Fourth place: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera module on pink

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Plus member of every Galaxy S era faces a troublesome conundrum: How can it strike the appropriate steadiness between the Extremely’s overkill spec sheet and the entry mannequin’s cheaper price ticket to supply one thing of real worth? Too usually, the reply has been “it doesn’t,” with the Plus variant turning into the awkward center baby. This yr, although, the Galaxy S22 Plus was a real all-rounder that made that balancing act look easy.

Fifth place: Oppo Discover X5 Professional

Oppo Find X5 Pro standing on wooden back drop

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

It took an additional yr for Oppo to crack our prime 5 once more after using excessive in fourth again in 2020, however the Discover X5 Professional deserves its place within the higher echelons of 2022’s smartphone corridor of fame. With an beautiful, flowing design, bonkers-fast charging (each wired and wirelessly), and a world-class show, the Discover X5 Professional wasn’t probably the most polished handset of 2022, however it was one of many telephones with probably the most persona.

Reader’s Alternative award: Google Pixel 7 Professional

google pixel 7 pro camera bar in hand

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

best of 2022 readers choice award badge

From a bumper listing of 32 telephones, the Pixel 7 Professional emerged victorious. Congrats to the Mountain View big which not solely takes house our Editor’s Alternative award, but additionally your Reader’s Alternative award for the perfect cellphone of 2022.

Take a look at our Reader’s Alternative rundown for an summary of how the Pixel 7 Professional’s hotly-contested battle towards a sure Samsung cellphone performed out over a number of rounds of voting and over 17,000 responses. It was nearer than you may anticipate!

Whereas our cellphone of the yr is all wrapped up, make sure to maintain it locked to Android Authority all through the vacation season as we’ll have tons extra 2022 retrospective content material, enjoyable end-of-year items, and much more articles wanting ahead to 2023 as we contemplate what lies forward within the tech world.

Till then, from our households to yours, have a really completely happy holidays!