What are the best high-end smartphones in 2022?

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Judit Llordes
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Summary

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra iPhone 13 Pro Max Google Pixel 6 Pro Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 OnePlus 9 Pro Oppo Find X3 Pro Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra FAQ Commentaires

You want to find the smartphone of your dreams and you have the unlimited budget to afford it? Our guide is there to help you in your choice.





Our selection of the best smartphones

The best of the apple 9/10

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • The exceptional autonomy
  • Finally 120 Hz
  • Very good performance
The test €1 The best 239/9

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • Stunning display
  • The photo at the top
  • Good absolutely everywhere
The €999 Google test raises the tone 9 /10

Google Pixel 6 Pro

  • A design that stands out
  • Top-notch performance for a contained price
  • Photo quality more impressive than ever
The test 899 €



There are many high-end smartphone models, more or less sophisticated, more or less pretty and all compatible with 5G. For those who have an unlimited budget to choose the model that will suit them perfectly, there are fewer uncompromising options.

Whether it's high-performance products, with refined aesthetics or devices with original features, the phones included in this selection are resolutely part of the premium world. Called flagships in the jargon, these terminals promise to offer a complete and optimal experience and with all the best features of the moment. Above all, they show no compromise in terms of functionality or finish.

Want to have the best for your next phone? The most powerful smartphone in the world? Look no further, we have chosen for you the most oversized smartphones of the moment.


Attention for those who would be interested in a high-end Android smartphone, this is not the best time to invest. Qualcom recently announced its new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips and manufacturers such as Samsung with its Galaxy S22 and Xiaomi with its Mi 12 are in the starting blocks to present their new flagships.


For an overview of the market, we also have a comparison of the best smartphones by price range. And most high-end smartphones offer wireless charging, we also offer our selection of the best wireless chargers.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra The best

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Fnac test 999 €
  • Stunning display
  • The photo at the top
  • Good absolutely everywhere
Available at 999 € on Fnac

Unsurprisingly, the flagship of the S21 range fits into our selection of the best high-end smartphones. The S21 Ultra is indeed the showcase of what Samsung does best.
We therefore find a large OLED screen (6,8 inches) with a WQHD + resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The latter is automatically adaptive between 10 and 120 Hz depending on the content. It achieves the difficult balance between maximum fluidity and impact on autonomy. In general, this panel stands out as the new benchmark in OLED, both in terms of brightness and color rendering.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra seen from the back // Source: Arnaud Gelineau — TechnologiesTips

The design is still as neat as ever, even if the gigantic photo module may raise some eyebrows. Although comfortable to use, the S21 Ultra is still a large and heavy phone.
Under the hood, Samsung inaugurates its Exynos 2100, the chip offers top-notch performance while remaining reasonable in terms of consumption. We also appreciate the progress made compared to the previous generation. The 5000 mAh are enough to hold a day of intense use without worry.

On the other hand, you will have to go back to the checkout to take advantage of the 25 W fast charge. Indeed, Samsung is following Apple in the stinginess and sells its flagship without a charger…

The photo is a point on which Samsung rarely disappoints and the S21 is no exception to the rule. The main sensor does an excellent job in all situations, but it is especially the 3x and 10x optical zooms that impress with their efficiency. The icing on the cake, the photo software is rich in interesting settings and functions.

If it does not come to revolutionize the small world of high-end smartphones, the S21 Ultra does better than its predecessor on all points and does not go far from flawless.

If you haven't changed your phone for a while and your budget allows it, Android is no better. Despite all its qualities, we advise you to wait for the Galaxy S22 which is starting to show up. And for more details, find our full test of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Where to buy the
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra at the best price?
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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max The best of the apple

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test € 1
  • The exceptional autonomy
  • Finally 120 Hz
  • Very good performance
Available at € 1 on Amazon

Like last year, if there's one iPhone that stands out from the now large iPhone family, it's the 13 Pro Max. If it resumes in the large a little in thickness, but especially in weight since it now reaches 238 grams. Suffice to say that it will not be forgotten once in your hand.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max alongside the iPhone 13 Pro

Big change on the side of the screen: Apple has finally decided to switch to 120 Hz and has, as a bonus, slightly reduced the space occupied by the notch. The freed space is not used by the OS, but it's always good to take. The panel itself is still impressive: the colors are perfect and the brightness exceeds 1000 cd/m2!

On the processor side, we switch to a Bionic A15 which once again imposes itself as a real racing beast. Where things get really interesting, however, is when you reach the autonomy component. Between the larger capacity battery and the various optimizations, there is indeed a clear increase. The 13 Pro Max is by far the most durable iPhone ever released. It lasts without flinching two days on a charge. The icing on the cake, this model supports fast charging at 27 W against 20 W for the rest of the range.

The photo part is unsurprisingly entitled to its share of changes, including an opening and larger photosites. In practice, this translates into significantly improved low-light photos. The telephoto lens goes to 3x magnification, which brings a little more flexibility. If it does not impose itself as the best of the moment, the photo module shines with its versatility and is comfortable in all situations. Fun, the “Cinematic” mode is currently more of a gadget than anything else.

Apple therefore offers here a smartphone which really progresses compared to the previous generation and which comes without worries to take its place among the best on the market.

Where to buy the
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max at the best price?
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If you find it a little too big, its little brother the iPhone 13 Pro offers identical performance in a more compact form factor. You can read the iPhone 13 Pro review here.

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Apple iPhone 13 Pro at the best price?
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Google Pixel 6 Pro Google raises the tone

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Baker test 899 €
  • A design that stands out
  • Top-notch performance for a contained price
  • Photo quality more impressive than ever
Available at 899 € on Boulanger

With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google returns with an undisguised ambition: to offer the reference high-end Android smartphone. And we have to admit that this ambition has been achieved, starting with the daring design adopted by the machine.

The photo module of the Google Pixel 6 Pro is protruding // Source: Anthony Wonner – TechnologiesTips

No more question of hiding the photo module, the latter is now spread over the entire width of the screen. A real “fashion statement” that works well in practice. Not only is the phone stable when placed on a table, but its weight is well distributed once in hand. However, don't count on using it with one hand, this beautiful baby will require both of your paws.

On the display side, there is a very good quality panel, which does not, however, tickle the best in the sector. The 6,7-inch OLED screen ticks all the modern display boxes, though, with good brightness and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate.

Under the hood, this is the first demonstration of Tensor, the SoC made in Google and designed with Samsung. If the latter is not a beast of benchmarks, arriving clearly behind a Snapdragon 888 or a Bionic A15, it proves to be more than capable of ensuring an ultra fluid and responsive system.

But it is above all on the photo that Tensor shines, the three sensors coupled with the magic of Google's algorithms produce an exceptional result in all situations. It's simple: we have one of the very best photophones on the market, in all situations.

Autonomy is not to be outdone since the Pixel 6 Pro takes carefree a day and a half of intense use on a charge. Fast charging is unfortunately only swift in name, as it takes almost two hours for the charger to fill up.

With this Pixel 6 Pro, Google operates a real move upmarket and undoubtedly offers a real very high-end smartphone under the bar of 900 €. Hats off…

For our impressions in detail, head to our test of the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

Where to buy the
Google Pixel 6 Pro at the best price?
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 The future is already here

8 / 10 Product sheet See the RED by SFR test € 1
  • A superb flexible display...
  • ... with well-thought-out software uses
  • Very good performance
Available at € 1 on RED by SFR

With its foldable smartphones, Samsung continues to refine what it considers to be the future of telephony. And we have to admit that year after year, the Z Fold becomes more and more convincing.

From a design point of view, things have changed little, the Z Fold still being as imposing and thick. However, we appreciate the fact that it weighs a little less than last year. The finish is more polished, with an elegant aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus. The most interesting change is the IPX8 waterproofing, making this very expensive smartphone much more able to survive the tests of everyday life. Be careful though, it is not however resistant to dust.

Taking notes on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with the S Pen // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – TechnologiesTips

The interior screen changes format very slightly to adopt a surprising 22,5:18. Above all, it adopts an adaptive 120 Hz refresh rate and a photo sensor hidden under the screen. Without being invisible, we always notice a small "spot", much more discreet however than the classic punches. Compatibility with the S Pen stylus is there, but the lack of internal storage greatly limits its usefulness.

On the software side, the Korean continues to improve his copy to make the most of the possibilities of the screen. And we have to admit that the result is frankly interesting, with developers like Google or Adobe who have taken care of their apps. It's not perfect yet, but we're getting closer.

Under the hood, there is a Snapdragon 888 coupled with 12 GB of RAM. The performance is therefore excellent, but the 4400 mAh battery struggles to provide more than a day of autonomy. It is not helped by a fast charge behind: it takes 1h15 to refuel, with the added bonus of a 25 W charger not even supplied…

Despite its endurance concerns, the Z Fold 3 stands out as one of the most ambitious phones of the moment and goes beyond the stage of a simple technological demonstration. To go into all the details, we advise you to read our test of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 at the best price?
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OnePlus 9 Pro A real challenger

9 / 10 Product sheet See the Amazon test 784 €
  • Successful design
  • Quality 120Hz display and Snapdragon 888
  • Super fast charging
Available at 784 € on Amazon

After a correct move upmarket with the OnePlus 8 Pro, the manufacturer had to confirm the move with its successor. And we can say that he won his bet. The OnePlus 9 Pro takes the main lines of the very successful design of its predecessor while adjusting a few details for better ergonomics.

It makes you smile if you don't open your eyes //Source: Arnaud Gelineau — TechnologiesTips

The screen is also the subject of notable improvements, with curved edges much better controlled. This leaves us with a very good level 6,7-inch OLED panel, with adaptive refresh from 1 to 120 Hz. For the rest, we find the Snapdragon 888 and excellent performance, that's the one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. In terms of autonomy, OnePlus has bet on fast charging rather than pure endurance. The phone therefore lasts a good day on a charge, but refueling with the supplied charger will take less than 30 minutes!

We were eagerly awaiting the photo module designed in partnership with Hasselblad which was supposed to allow OnePlus to catch up with the best. In practice, this is not the announced revolution. If the shots produced are generally good, however, we remain a notch below what Samsung produces with its S21 Ultra. We also salute the quality of the user experience offered by Oxygen OS.

Sold cheaper than most other flagships, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a real success.

You will find all the details in our OnePlus 9 Pro review. Be careful if you are fan of the brand and in no hurry: the OnePlus 10 Pro would arrive by March 2022.

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OnePlus 9 Pro at the best price?
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Oppo Find X3 Pro It looks great

9 / 10 Product sheet See the RED by SFR test 749 €
  • Excellent 120Hz AMOLED display
  • performance and load
  • The microscope mode
Available at € 749 on RED by SFR

Highly anticipated, the Find X3 Pro offers one of the most original designs of the moment with its optical block that blends very fluidly into the back of the device.

The 6,7-inch OLED screen is bright and displays a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Generally very good, its colors could have been better calibrated.

A ring lights up around the lens dedicated to the microscope function when the latter is used //Source: Arnaud Gelineau — TechnologiesTips

On the processor side, we find the Snapdragon 888 which once again stands out as the reference chip, capable of handling any game without worries. The autonomy reaches two days, but it is above all the fast charge that impresses: we go from 5 to 95% of battery in 30 min!

The overall photo experience is good, but it's the microscope function that surprises and seduces with its power and quality. Yes, it's probably gimmicky and won't be used every day, but the function is really fun.

Oppo therefore offers here a smartphone that competes without worries with the best. You will find more details in our test of the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

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Oppo Find X3 Pro at the best price?
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Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Excess

8 / 10 Product sheet See the Fnac Marketplace test €1
  • Top-notch performance
  • An impressive photo module ...
  • ... but which weighs down on ergonomics
Available at €1 on Fnac Marketplace

After a Mi 11 that had rocked the house, we were waiting for its ultra high-end version which promises, among other things, still higher photo quality. And at a time when an imposing photo module is the norm, Xiaomi manages to shock since the latter occupies almost the entire width of the phone and incorporates a mini screen for selfies! Beyond its questionable look, this gigantic module poses ergonomic problems. The phone being heavy and unbalanced, one-handed use is complicated to say the least.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra // Source: Arnaud Gelineau for TechnologiesTips

The phone reuses the same panel as that of the Mi 11, namely a 120 Hz AMOLED screen, bright and very well calibrated. Same observation for the Harman Kardon loudspeakers which offer such neat stereo rendering that the phone can easily be used as a speaker on occasion.

As for its innards, we are entitled to the Snapdragon 888 coupled this time with no less than 12 GB of RAM. In other words, the performance is exceptional in all situations. In terms of endurance, the smartphone lasts a good day, but above all benefits from an impressive fast charge. It only takes 35 minutes to go from 9 to 100% battery! And if you prefer wireless, it is compatible with a 67 Watt charger...

The photo module is actually very successful and at ease in all situations. The screen does indeed make for better selfies, but you really have to be a fan of exercise for it to be really useful.

Xiaomi makes a very successful smartphone technically, but suffering from significant ergonomics concerns. It's up to you to see if this is a blocking factor for you. We tell you more in our test of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Where to buy the
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra at the best price?
  • Fnac Marketplace € 1 Discover the offer

Choosing the right high-end smartphone

I can really do everything with a high-end smartphone?

Yes. If you invest that much in a phone, luckily, you can do it all. It's the ultimate. These products are designed for the most greedy uses, to take the best photos and to offer the best overall experience. So you don't have to worry about anything.

What makes a high-end smartphone?

High-end smartphones simply offer the best technology offers at the time of their release. You will therefore find the best processors on the market, the most complete photo parts, the most beautiful screens. Then they are usually equipped with additional refinements such as wireless charging and waterproofing. Finally, particular care is taken with the design and materials used.

What are the trusted brands?

Over the years, a few brands have established themselves in the high-end segment, the first two steps of the podium are occupied by Samsung and Apple. The third place will be disputed between Chinese brands with long teeth like Xiaomi or OnePlus.

Which plan to accompany my high-end smartphone?

If you want to spend as little as possible, the logical choice is to choose a non-binding plan. Most of these, however, are limited to 4G. If you want to fully exploit the possibilities of your brand new smartphone, you will need a suitable 5G plan. That's good, we have a 5G plan comparator available! If you do not yet find 5G useful, or it is simply not yet available to you, a 4G package will be more interesting. You will find the best offers of the moment in our mobile plan comparator.

Buying your smartphone with a package is it interesting?

High-end smartphones are logically very expensive, and it can sometimes be tempting to reduce the pain by linking the purchase to a mobile plan. Let's say it straight away, such a choice is rarely interesting. In the vast majority of cases, you will pay less by separating the purchase of the telephone and that of the plan.

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