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Whether you're a discerning phone user who understands and uses the advanced features of their handset, or if you're prepared to spend big on a phone that matches your personal style, you'll find a suitable handset on this list. After all, these are the best of the best.

The Apple iPhone 12 series continues to dominate the list, even if  Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra has taken the top spot, overall. Then there's a few surprises too like Huawei's Mate 40 Pro, and the Oppo Reno 5.  

Not enough choice for you? Move smartly along to our best Android phones and if you're feeling more sensible then try our best budget smartphones line up.

Best phones at a glance

  1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  2. Apple iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max
  3. Samsung Galaxy S21/S21 Plus
  4. Apple iPhone 12 mini / iPhone 12
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  6. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  7. Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
  8. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
  9. Oppo Reno 5
  10. Huawei Mate 40 Pro
  11. Huawei P40 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Future)

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

A top tier smartphone, and it takes top honours

Release date: January 2020
Weight: 227g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
CPU: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
RAM: 12GB / 16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 40MP
Reasons to buy
+The best camera zoom+Mesmerizing design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive at any level-No microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is our best smartphone in the world right now, and we think it's a fantastic choice for you with one of the best cameras, phenomenal power, great battery life, a solid design and a whole host of other great features.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra isn't a cheap handset, the price is high for this one, but if you're looking for the ultimate smartphone experience in 2021 you will be hard pressed to do better than this latest from Samsung.

Screen: The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra features a top 6.8-inch screen with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and a Quad HD resolution. This is one of the best smartphone displays on the market.

Battery life: The Samsung S21 Ultra's battery life is solid, and we found it'd often see us through a whole day from a full charge. If you're playing around with the 120Hz refresh rate, battery life is likely to be lesser but it's a top choice if you're after a long lasting phone.

Note the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn't come with a charger in the box though, so you'll have to use your existing one or buy one separately.

Camera: Samsung's 108MP camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra is going to be the highlight for many, and the camera doesn't disappoint on this phone. Like its predecessor, you can take 100x zoom photography, but it's far improved here over the Galaxy S20 Ultra with two cameras working to do the heavy lifting.

Mini verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra won't be for everyone with its high price, but it's the ultimate smartphone you can buy right now taking our crown for the best smartphone money can buy. Be sure to read our full review before making your final decision, but if you're after one of the best overall smartphone experiences we believe you'll find it here with Samsung's latest.

Read more: Galaxy S21 Ultra review
Price comparison:
The best Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra deals