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Best smartphone 2022: the top phones in the UAE, Saudi and Egypt

Best smartphones
(Image credit: TechRadar / Samsung)

Buying the best smartphone is one of the most important decisions you can make in this day and age - a good phone will be your constant companion, keeping you connected, entertained and informed throughout the day.

Here at TechRadar, we test every new smartphone that's released, whether it's from the big dogs like Apple and Samsung, or the smaller companies like Realme and Vivo. So we can guide you through all the best mobiles you should consider picking up.

This best smartphone guide is our top and definitive ranking of all the handsets out there, but if you've already got a select preference, you might want to consider reading one of our limited lists. Maybe you want one of the best iPhones on the market, or instead think one of the best Android phones might be more your cup of joe.

You'll find our ultimate ranking on this list though, so it's useful whether you're looking to buy a new handset and don't know exactly what you want, or just want to see what the phone landscape is looking like right now.

When choosing a new phone you need to ask yourself: what's important to you? A good screen, a powerful chipset, a long-lasting battery, fast charging, capable cameras, a hardy design or something else entirely? For each of the best smartphones below, we've highlighted which of its specs are the stand-out ones.

It's been a very, very busy few months for smartphones, and nearly every mobile brand has put out one or more handsets that we've considered for this list - not all managed to hit this list of the best 15 though.

Below, you'll find the best smartphones that are available to buy right now in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt. But keep checking back to see the updated order whenever new devices launch.

Best phone 2022: which smartphone is for you?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
A top tier smartphone, and it takes our best crown

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3088
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB / 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible cameras and zoom
+
Excellent little S Pen

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD slot
-
Battery life could be better

Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra costs a lot, but we'd say it's worth it.

This is a strong phone in almost all aspects - its camera are fantastic, its screen looks incredible, it's got loads of processing power, our list could go on (and does, in our full review).

While many phones have one strong element, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is an all-arounder, and that's why it's listed as our best phone. No matter if you're a passionate photographer or frequent gamer, you'll find the device great.

The camera is great for its versatility. If you want you can take great-looking ultrawide shots, or zoom all the way in with 10x optical and 100x digital limits to get close to your subject. There are also loads of useful modes, like a Portrait mode that takes wonderful pictures of people or Single Take which uses AI to pick the best picture from a selection of them.

Thanks to its wide range of cameras and modes, the Galaxy is the best camera phone right now, beating even Apple's latest iPhones, so it's great for mobile photographers.

The battery lasts for about a day - as long as you're using it normally, and not for non-stop video recording or something equally draining - which is surprising given how some top-end phones have bad battery lives.

The phone also has an S Pen stylus, which is a useful extra for note-takers and doodlers, and you won't find many mobiles on the market nowadays with styli, as well as slots to store them like the Ultra has. This is the main upgrade over the S21 Ultra, which is otherwise pretty similar.

In our benchmark tests the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra scored incredibly highly, sitting in the top few products in our lists, and so it's great for gaming or video editing, or any other intensive process like that.

There are one or two reasons that you might want to read further into this list: the Galaxy charges slowly, is very large and costs a lot, so depending on what you're looking for it might get a red 'X' mark for that. But for most people, the handset's strength across the board makes it the best smartphone to consider.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Image 1 of 2

An iPhone 13 Pro in blue, against a white background

The iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: Apple)
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An iPhone 13 Pro Max in gold, against a white background

The iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Apple)
The best iPhones

Specifications

Release date: September 2021
Weight: 204g / 240g
Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.7mm / 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 6.1-inch / 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532 / 1284 x 2778
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 3,095mAh / 4,352mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited design changes
-
Notch still too large

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are the best iPhones available at the time of writing, offering more power than ever before, improved cameras, 120Hz refresh rates and surprisingly good battery life.

Why: While the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are the best iPhones and are the obvious choice for not just iPhone fans but anyone looking to get a high-end phone. With a higher refresh rate than the iPhone 12 range, a new macro mode and a smaller notch, they aren’t the biggest upgrades but they’re undeniably great.

Screen: Whether you choose the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro or 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max you’re getting a sharp OLED screen with a 120Hz variable refresh rate. The continued presence of the notch is annoying, but it’s slightly smaller this time and easy to ignore, especially once you see the overall quality of the display.

Battery life: Apple has outdone itself with the battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which is genuinely great, rather than just being great for an iPhone. The iPhone 13 Pro’s isn’t quite as good, but it’s still decent and an upgrade on the iPhone 12 Pro’s life.

Camera: The iPhone 13 Pro range includes the same lens types as last year, but with larger pixels and new modes, including an impressive macro mode, and a slightly less significant Cinematic mode. Between all this and their improved low light performance, these cameras are ace.

Read more: iPhone 13 Pro review | iPhone 13 Pro Max review

The OnePlus 10 Pro being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
Bringing Pro feature to a lower price

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Weight: 201g
Dimensions: 163 x 73.9 x 8.6mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB / 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Super-fast charging
+
Very tempting price

Reasons to avoid

-
Very large
-
The cameras have some issues

The OnePlus 10 Pro has 'Pro' in the name, and its features rival some of the other handsets on this list that tout that suffix, but in terms of price it's actually more affordable - which is why it's found its way into this high position on our list.

This is a great Android choice if you don't want a Galaxy smartphone - it has a great-looking 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, a super-powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and incredibly fast 80W charging (unless you live in the US, where it's 65W).

There are three rear cameras, and they offer a good degree of versatility, and there are also a few camera modes created in co-operation with Hasselblad, including XPan which will be fun for people who like the classic XPan camera.

In our camera test, we found that the OnePlus 10 Pro performed a little worse than the Galaxy and iPhones above - it's still good for photography, but not enough to justify a higher spot than it has.

But that's arguably the weakest element for an otherwise great phone. Just note, there's no non-Pro OnePlus 10, so don't scroll down expecting to see another from the company in this generation.

Read more: OnePlus 10 Pro review

An iPhone 13 against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best Apple iPhone bang for your buck

Specifications

Release date: September 2021
Weight: 174g
Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: Up to 19 hours
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Strong battery life
+
Powerful internals

Reasons to avoid

-
Minimal design changes
-
No 120Hz screen

The iPhone 13 isn’t as big an upgrade as the iPhone 13 Pro, as it lacks a 120Hz refresh rate, but with oodles of power and good battery life it’s a strong choice if you don’t have a fortune to spend.

Why: The iPhone 13 Pro / Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S21 range have the edge over the iPhone 13 when it comes to specs and features, but this standard iPhone model comes close to matching them, especially when it comes to battery life. And actually it probably has slightly more power than its Android rivals.

Screen: With its 6.1-inch 1170 x 2532 OLED display, the iPhone 13 has a bright and clear screen. It doesn’t have a 120Hz refresh rate, but it does at least have a slightly smaller notch than the iPhone 12.

Battery life: In our tests the iPhone 13 reliably lasted through a day of use, but not much more. That puts it in fairly average territory, yet it’s still an improvement on many previous iPhones here.

Camera: The iPhone 13 lacks a telephoto camera, but its main and ultra-wide perform well, with the former having larger pixels than the iPhone 12’s. With improved image stabilization too, plus some new shooting modes and features, there’s a lot to play with here, and a lot to like.

Read more: iPhone 13 review

Huawei P50 Pocket

(Image credit: Huawei)

5. Huawei P50 Pocket

The best iPhones

Specifications

Release date: Feb 2022
Weight: 190g
Dimensions: 170 x 75.5 x 7.2
OS: EMUI 12
Screen size: 6.9-inch
Resolution: 1188 x 2790
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 13MP + 32MP
Front camera: 10.7MP

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Gorgeous screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No 5G connectivity
-
No wireless charging

The Huawei P50 Pocket is arguably the best looking phone out there right now and the fact that its a foldable only makes us want it more.

Why: The Huawei P50 Pocket is not just a great foldable phone but a fantastic phone in general. It's beautiful to look at and feels great in your hands. It's got a fast processor and a gorgeous screen with good battery life and a camera that Huawei is known for.

Screen: The Huawei P50 Pocket is a foldable phone with a cute and functional 1-inch circular screen on the outside and a massive 6.9-inch OLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate inside. The crease on the screen is barely visible and the phone folds flat.

Battery life: Huawei has equipped the P50 Pocket with a 4,000mAh battery which keeps the phone easily going for a full day. Unfortunately you don't get wireless charging but there is supprt for 40W fast charging.

Camera: The P50 Pocket is a Huawei phone so expect excellent cameras.The main sensor is 40MP which can also be used to take fantastic selfies when the phone is folded. That primary sensor is complimented with a 32MP Ultra Spectrum camera for interesting and creative shots as well as a 12MP Ultra-wide camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

This productivity powerhouse is the best phone to get stuff done on

Specifications

Release date: August 2020
Weight: 208g
Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.9-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3088
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus / Exynos 990
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 108MP, 12MP, 12MP
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Useful S Pen features
+
Great-looking screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow charging
-
Ultra-expensive

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is Samsung's most expensive non-foldable phone, and generation's big perk of the Note is that it comes with an amazing camera. Get ready for extreme close-ups with the 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom. The S Pen returns with new tricks like recording voice notes and syncing them with handwritten notes.

Why: This is one of Samsung's most powerful phones, but it's more expensive than most of the S21 series. You get it all with the Note 20 Ultra: a stylus, a camera with a 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom, a faster chipset (at least in the US version) and a 6.9-inch 120Hz screen. Not everyone needs an 'everything phone' like this, but if you want it all and don't want to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 2, this is one of Samsung's best.

Screen: The 6.9-inch Note 20 Ultra display is massive, but only is a fraction of an inch larger than 2019's 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus screen. A big difference is in the fluidity of the screen via a 120Hz refresh rate. No, you can't enable both the WQHD+ resolution and 120Hz at the same time, but the pixels look fine at 1080p on a screen of this size vs having to go back to 60Hz. Another literally small perk: the front-facing camera punch hole is smaller than ever.

Battery life: The Note 20 Ultra has a solid 4,500mAh battery, and we found that it goes more than a day with normal use without a problem. Even power users won't have a problem, based on our tests. Samsung includes a 25W fast wired charger in the box and offers compatibility with 15W fast wireless charging, but it has backed off of supporting 45W wired charging for some reason.

Camera: The Note 20 Ultra has one of the best cameras on an Android phone, and that's in part because of its 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom. It makes 2x optical zooms from the iPhone seem like minor cropping at the edges of 1x photos. With 5x optical and, in good light, 10x digital, Samsung punches in with a dramatic zoom and usable photos on Instagram (50x zoom is mostly a party trick). We also found this phone to have the best ultrawide camera, and the regular 12MP camera is sharp. You don't need the 108MP camera and should watch out for skin softening in low-light.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

The Xiaomi 12 Pro being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
A lightning-fast Xiaomi phone

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Weight: 204g
Dimensions: 163.6 x 74.6 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,600mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 50MP + 50MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Refined look
+
Incredibly fast to charge

Reasons to avoid

-
No IP rating
-
Software feels bloated

Xiaomi constantly has at least one handset in our list of the best smartphones, and the Xiaomi 12 Pro is its best handset to date - it's worth considering, if you can look past the rather high price.

This is a sparkly all-rounder with a few rough edges that make it impossible to place higher on this list. 

Its 6.7-inch screen looks fantastic, and the 120Hz refresh rate and 2K resolution give you a wonderful viewing experience that puts the Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 to shame. It's big though, so this phone might not suit small-hand users.

In our camera test we found the Xiaomi 12 Pro took good-looking photos, even though its optical zoom limit was a little low, and even at its worst it was equal to the Galaxy S22.

It's also a good-looking phone. If there was one key reason to avoid, it'd be the bloated software which might put some users off - only if you're a lover of iOS or stock Android though.

Read more: Xiaomi 12 Pro review

iPhone SE

iPhone SE (2020) (Image credit: Apple)
The cheapest new iPhone for 2020

Specifications

Release date: April 2020
Weight: 148g
Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
OS: iOS 13
Screen size: 4.7-inch
Resolution: 1134 x 750
CPU: A13 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64/128/256GB
Battery: 1,821mAh
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 7MP

Reasons to buy

+
Low price for an iPhone
+
One-hand-friendly and light
+
Has the Touch ID home button

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be better
-
Old screen technology

The iPhone SE 2020 is the sequel to the one-hand-friendly iPhone from 2016, and it takes the power and specs we loved from the iPhone 11 series and crams them into the design of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8.

Why: This isn't Apple's most powerful iPhone, but it's the best value for people who want to stick with iOS 15 without paying through the nose. Its screen technology won't wow you like an iPhone 13 Pro, and there's just one camera on the back, but the relatively low price means this is hard to beat if you're on a budget and don't want to switch to Android. 

Screen: This new iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen borrowed from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, so it's bigger than the original iPhone SE, but remains one-hand-friendly. That's become important for people who have been demanding a smaller phone. This is the one to get, even if the resolution and bezel won't wow anyone.

Battery life: As long as you aren't a power user (who would likely opt for the iPhone 11 series anyway), then you'll be OK with what Apple offers in terms of battery life. It's not going to last you any longer than a day, though, with generally the same amount of power as we saw on the iPhone 8, which had a 1,821mAh battery capacity.

Camera: For the money, the iPhone SE 2020 takes perfectly fine photos in good light. You won't notice much of a difference outside of it occasionally failing to nail perfect exposure levels and depth of field outdoors during the daytime. Dim the lights, however, and you'll notice one glaring omission: the night mode that's on the more powerful iPhones. That requires an upgrade to at least the iPhone 11.

Read more: iPhone SE 2020 review

Huawei P40 Pro

Image Credit: TechRadar (Image credit: TechRadar)

9. Huawei P40 Pro

The best smartphone when it comes to photography

Specifications

Release date: March 2019
Weight: 192g
Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.47-inch
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 4,200mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic cameras
+
Eye-catching design

Reasons to avoid

-
No Google services
-
EMUI is getting better

Why: The Huawei P40 Pro is Huawei's latest effort and from a hardware perspective, it easily matches or exceeds almost every flagship Android phone. It has the best camera on any phone and shines under low-light performance. What holds it back is the lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS)

Screen: The large 6.58-inch OLED screen on the P40 Pro is curved from all sides and and offers a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth operation. 

Battery life: The 4,200mAh battery on the Huawei P40 Pro along with good battery management easily keeps the phone running all day with plenty of power left over at night.

Camera: There is no denying that the Huawei P40 Pro is currently the best camera phone. The 50 MP, f/1.9 primary sensor takes stunning shots in low light while the 5X optical zoom lens and ultra wide lens offer plenty of flexibility.

Software: What is likely to be a deal breaker for some is the lack of Google Mobile Services on the Huawei P40 Pro. Though Huawei is continuously building its own set of services, it could be a while before you can use all your favorite apps on new Huawei phones.

Mini Verdict: Were it not for the fact that the Huawei P40 Pro lacked Google Mobile Services, this phone would have placed a lot higher in our list of best phones- possibly even topping it. With a fantastic camera and a beautiful design, the phone has almost everything going for it. 

Read more: Huawei P40 Pro review

Abbas Jaffar Ali
Abbas Jaffar Ali

Abbas has been living and breathing tech before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. It all started when he got his very first computer- the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. From computers to mobile phones and watches, Abbas is always interested in tech that is smarter and smaller because he believes that tech shouldn’t be something that gets added to your life- it should be a part of your life.