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The best phone of 2021: Top phones in the UAE, Saudi and Middle East

A variety of the best phones including the iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: OnePlus, Apple, Samsung)

Our phone experts have spent years reviewing phones, and we've tested all the best on the market to put together this definitive list of the very best phones you can buy in 2021. The the phone that tops is the list is the iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max. But if that isn't for you, we've got lots more to choose from.

This is our guide to the best phones available right now in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. If you already have your mobile OS alliance set you'll want to check out either our ranking of the best Android phone or best iPhone. We're constantly updating our best cell phones list to make sure you're buying the absolute top phone for your needs

Buying a cell phone is a complicated decision, and you need options. That's why we've come up with a list of the best rather than just a single 'best phone' recommendation. We weigh the pros and cons of each model on our list based on performance, cameras, price point, and other metrics.

If what's on offer in our best smartphone list is a little too pricey for your taste, then don't fear, as we've also got a list of the best cheap phones available right now.

Best phones at a glance

  1. iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max
  2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  3. Samsung Galaxy S21 / S21 Plus
  4. iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 Mini
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  6. iPhone 11
  7. Huawei P40 Pro
  8. Motorola Edge Plus
  9. iPhone SE
  10. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
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iPhone 12 Pro

The iPhone 12 Pro (Image credit: Apple)
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iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: Future)

2. iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max

Our favorite iPhone pair

Specifications
Weight: 189g / 228g
Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm / 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.4mm
OS: iOS 14
Screen size: 6.1-inch / 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532 / 1284 x 2778
CPU: A14 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: Unknown
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP
Reasons to buy
+Varied color choices +Clear and vibrant screen 
Reasons to avoid
-No charging block in box -5G still an expensive luxury 

The iPhone 12 Pro takes everything great about the iPhone 12 and elevates it. Then there's the iPhone 12 Pro Max that offers better battery life and a slightly more powerful camera as well as a huge screen. The extra for the iPhone 12 Pro may not be worth the notable price hike up to $999 to everyone, but this phone pairing is undeniably the best Apple has released yet.

Why they're ranked 2nd: The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are the most powerful iPhones to date, and they're also the company's priciest. While the same amount of money could buy you a Samsung phone with a bigger screen and more storage at the base level, most iOS users don't want to deal with Android. Instead, they can look forward to a few key upgrades over the iPhone 11 Pro, like 5G and MagSafe for clipping on accessories (as well as wireless chargers) easily and securely. 

Screen: Apple's 6.1-inch OLED screen on the iPhone 12 Pro really grabbed our attention – it's fantastic for video streaming and gaming, even if it's set to 60Hz while other phones are pushing 90Hz and even 120Hz refresh rates. Yes, the notch cut out at the top is still here, but we find it to be easy to ignore after a while, even as other phones do just fine with punch-holes in displays.

Battery life: This is some of the best battery life we've ever experienced on an iPhone, with further optimizations within iOS and a larger cell inside the phone itself. It's still not game-changing, but it's better than other Apple handsets and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is particularly notable.

Camera: The triple camera setup on the iPhone 12 Pro is fantastic. While the three rear cameras aren't too different than the ones in the iPhone 11 Pro, save for the added LiDar sensor that supposedly enables portrait mode-style shots even in Night Mode. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the one to go for though if you want the very best camera on an Apple device.

Read our in-depth iPhone 12 Pro review
Buy
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in the UAE.
Buy
iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Saudi Arabia

Abbas Jaffar Ali

Abbas has been living and breathing technology before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. He also has commitment issues towards mobile phones.

Driven by tech and passion, he has successfully negotiated into bringing the largest gaming and tech publications to the Middle East that include IGN, CNET and TechRadar.