Editor’s Choice – Our winner is…

Editor’s Choice – Our winner is…

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Rear Champion

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

The era of the consistent upgrade cycle is over. As more and more smartphone users wait upwards of three years or more to upgrade their daily drivers, the battle to stand out and capture a slice of the dwindling global market share is getting tougher by the day.

With the margins between success and failure slimmer than ever, some of the most established companies have stuck strictly to their tried-and-true blueprints, while others have tried to break away from the pack by offering a new twist on the smartphone formula. In 2023, the latter camp was mostly occupied by phones that relied on new technologies or offered modern innovations at a lower price. And while some of the big names and iconic designs that continue to top the popularity charts are starting to get a little too long, that hasn’t stopped the best phones from getting better, nor has the chasing fans become hungrier.

But only one phone can stand at the top and claim the mantle of Best Phone of 2023. We’ve already crowned your champion in the Readers’ Choice Award (scroll down to see your choice!), but now it’s our turn. Join us as we review the phones that made our top five and name the device that snatched the final title for Robot bodyEditor’s Choice Award for Best Smartphone of 2023.

How we chose our winner

Google Pixel 8 USB C charging test

Robert Triggs/Android Authority

First, a little housekeeping is necessary.

Every year, we have to reconsider what “best” actually means at that time. in Robot bodyWhen judging phone quality, we take into account everything from objective measurements like raw test data, core specifications, and update policy guarantees, to intangible, subjective aspects like photography, UI design, and unique software features. Our product testers spend countless hours trying to learn everything there is to know about every new device, and while everyone will inevitably have their own likes and preferences – we’re only human, after all – we’re always determined to establish a baseline of criteria that defines what it means To be the best.

With all the votes counted, we have a winner, but was it a close win?

Our annual Editor’s Choice award for Smartphone of the Year is reserved only for those devices that truly excel. To ensure this is the case, our team reviews our products through a shortlist of the highest reviewed phones in the calendar year. The 2023 batch consists of 20 phones from 11 different global brands. From there, each jury member assigns votes for their top five choices, ranked from fifth to first. Fifth place gives the chosen device one point, fourth gets two points, and so on, up to a maximum of five points for the best choice. The phone that gets the most points gets the grand prize.

After all the votes were counted, we had a winner, but was the result close?

Robot bodyEditor’s Pick of the Year: Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro Hero

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

Top Editors of 2023

For the third year in a row, the Pixel phone won first prize. As is the case in 2022, the Pro model was the clear model in Google’s smartphone series.

In our review, we picked the Pixel 8 Pro as Google’s most complete smartphone yet, praising the device’s onboard AI smarts, continued photography excellence (now with enhanced video, to boot), and an industry-shattering software policy that puts even Apple on track. science.

The Pixel 8 Pro is the truest realization of Google’s smartphone dreams we’ve seen yet.

Google may be charging $100 more than its predecessor, but the Pixel 8 Pro earned its premium price with improvements to the Pixel’s aesthetic, and our extensive testing showed clear improvements to the custom Tensor chipset. What’s more, it will only improve for the full seven years of its guaranteed support period, during which time it will receive software updates, security patches, and Google-patented features.

The Pixel 8 Pro is the truest realization of Google’s smartphone dreams we’ve seen yet, and it’s a worthy winner of our Editors’ Choice Phone of the Year award. However, unlike 2022 where the Pixel 7 Pro was the runaway success story with the lion’s share of votes, the Pixel 8 Pro won just one vote. One! So, which phone narrowly missed out?

Google Pixel 8 ProGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
AA Editors' Choice

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Excellent cameras • Fun customizations exclusive to Android 14 • Promise of an industry-leading update

A powerful Google phone with powerful camera features

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has unique camera features and AI-powered software that puts the smartphone in the smartphone.

Runner-up: OnePlus Unlocked

OnePlus open selfie with rear cameras

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

To say the OnePlus-OPPO merger was contentious would be an understatement, and for a short while, it looked like it might spell doom for a brand that had begun to settle into mediocrity. But as the lines between the two continue to blur, we’re finally starting to see devices that embody the spirit of the “flagship killer” one day, along with the parent company’s polish. Case in point, 2023’s runner-up, the fantastic OnePlus Open.

The OnePlus Open doesn’t just look like an OPPO phone, it is He is OPPO Phone – OPPO Find N3 has been renamed with a software redesign. But launching under the OnePlus banner means we’re finally getting one of OPPO’s great book-shaped foldable devices in regions outside China. This wider release plan included the US market, where it debuted at a competitive price of $1,699, but with an ongoing trade-in offer bringing the cost down to $1,499.

OnePlus is dead. Long live OnePlus.

That’s still not a small chunk of change, but it’s an affordable option compared to foldable devices for competing phones and tablets like the Galaxy Z Fold or Pixel Fold. It hasn’t sacrificed quality to reach this price point either, and has even managed to iron out some of the wrinkles common to foldable devices, including, well… the screen’s crease – you can barely see it!

Although they couldn’t quite dethrone the champion, the Shenzhen brand deserves all the praise for coming so close to the title. OnePlus is dead. Long live OnePlus.

OnePlus unlockedOnePlus unlocked
AA recommended

OnePlus unlocked

Solid cameras • Duplicate devices • Alert slider

The first foldable phone with great hardware

The OnePlus Open offers what could be the best hardware on a foldable phone and enough clever software tricks to turn heads. It combines high-end internals with some careful trial and error by OPPO to create a debut foldable phone that doesn’t feel like a first attempt. Add in the competitive asking price, and the OnePlus Open may give other foldable devices a run for their money.

Third place: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Home Screen and S Pen

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

The Galaxy S23 Ultra has become a perennial leader, the standard bearer of quality in the Android space. An extra year of experience added a layer of polish to Samsung’s Galaxy Note-inspired vision for its Ultra, and accordingly we awarded it a full five stars out of five in our review. It’s almost as flawless as we’ve seen from a premium phone, with excellent cameras, stunning performance, a timeless design, and extensive software support.

To be the best, you have to beat the best. The Galaxy S23 Ultra may not have topped our list (spoiler: it topped yours), but it maintains its status as a kingmaker.

Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
AA Editors' Choice

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

New 200MP main camera • Beautiful display • S Pen functionality

The premium version of Samsung’s flagship line for 2023

Powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as the smaller models in the series, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offers more storage and a stunning 200MP camera. S Pen support and a 6.8-inch display make the Ultra ideal for taking notes on the go.

Fourth place: Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7A Hero with box

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

Well, here’s a surprise. Where we previously saw the vanilla Pixel take a spot in the top five alongside the expected Pro placement, this year’s Big G flagship is instead joined by the true budget Pixel. Maybe it’s the higher price of the Pixel 8 (it’s still a great phone!), or maybe the upgrades we’ve seen on the A-series — particularly the additions of wireless charging and a 90Hz refresh rate — have earned it a spot in the top five. Whatever the reason, the Pixel 7a actually becomes the best choice for budget buyers who don’t want to spend more than $500.

Google Pixel 7aGoogle Pixel 7a
AA Editors' Choice

Google Pixel 7a

Best camera phone under $500. • Strong performance and large RAM. • Improved 90Hz display

Basic pixel experience

The Pixel 7a offers more premium features than ever at a price under $500, like wireless charging support, a 90Hz display, and a 64MP camera.

Fifth place: Motorola Razr Plus

Motorola Razr Plus Screen Cover in Hand Home Viva Magenta

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

The Galaxy Z Flip has long been overshadowed by the nostalgic taste series that launched the foldable clamshell trend. But not this year!

The Nothing Phone 2 and Galaxy S23 narrowly missed out on fifth place by a single point (better luck next year!) Resistant design. In what has been an overall great year for Motorola’s flagship with the equally excellent Razr (2023), Edge Plus (2023), and even Motorola’s Lenovo ThinkPhone, the Razr Plus has had something of a novelty.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)Motorola Razr Plus (2023)
AA recommended

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

Huge cover screen • 30W fast wired charging • Dust resistant

Razr’s most accurate yet.

Lightweight, ultra-sleek, and infinitely flexible, the Motorola Razr Plus (2023) opens to reveal a stunning display that looks smooth, smooth, and sparkles. Also featuring the largest cover display on a foldable phone of this format, the Razr Plus gives serious competition to its foldable rivals.

Readers’ Choice Award: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hero

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

Best readers of 2023

A whopping 32 phones entered, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra emerged victorious. Check out our Readers’ Choice Award feature to see how giant Samsung managed to beat out the competition.


Another year, another phone of the year in the bag, but we’re far from done with 2023 here in Robot body. Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we’ll be releasing more best-of-the-year lists (including an Editor’s Choice honor for Wearables of the Year), 2023 retrospectives, and even some articles looking ahead to the exciting wearables we’ll win awards in the year 2024.

For all that and all our regular analyses, opinions and reports, be sure to keep it locked Robot body. From our families to yours, I wish you a happy holiday!

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