You can barely talk about the world’s greatest tech inventions without talking about smartphones. How they’ve managed to be one of the units the world can’t do without is somewhat surprising but not unexpected. We’ve been fortunate enough to see some of the greatest smartphone productions ever and brands like Samsung and Apple continue to lead the charge proudly as they always look to give their consumers their very best. 2021 has paved way for new inventions, although most of them have been in the wings since 2020 and some of them were even introduced to the public the same year.

Picking the best smartphones is always difficult as different people have different concepts of the term “best”. To some people, the best smartphones are the affordable ones with the kind of quality features in a smartphone while for some, it is the camera qualities. A lot should be put into consideration when purchasing a supposed “best smartphone”.

When determining what the best smartphones are, factors like performance, battery life, great cameras, storage options and many more need to be seriously considered. Different brands come with their uniqueness and while Samsung and Apple are the leading brands, other brands also produce quality smartphones; some of the best in the industry. Thankfully, there are great options that don’t come with outlandish prices like the OnePlus 9 flagship which includes the base and pro versions. Buying a new smartphone that will match your basic needs might be a little complicated because there are just too many options out there and you might just end up getting what you don’t really need. A good smartphone should last for years and that’s also one thing you should consider; longevity.

To save you the stress, we’ve helped round up the top 10 best smartphones money can get you in 2021.

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Apart from being the best Samsung phone ever to be made, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best phone you can get on the market right now. Performance, good camera qualities, and large storage are some of the phone’s greatest strengths. The superphone features a 6.8-inch AMOLED display which makes it a big-screen phone for whatever purpose you need it for. It is also one of the highest-performing phones with a Snapdragon 888 chipset supported by RAM options of 12 and 16GB. The only downside might be its storage options that are not expandable but nevertheless, you can always opt for the maximum storage option which is a large 512GB.

2. OnePlus 9 Pro

The Galaxy S21 Ultra edges out with tiny little details which make the OnePlus 9 Pro not too far behind. The battle for the top spot is a close one and this phone is proving that it has what it takes to knock Samsung and Apple off the top spot in the coming years, although we doubt both brands are going to relent on their efforts. OnePlus 9 Pro features a 6.7-inch AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 888 supported by RAM options of 8 and 12GB. Its camera quality is also top-notch with its 16MP front camera and combined rear camera of a whooping 108MP. The phone’s battery can last over 10 hours with constant usage and its WarpCharge 65T technology can get it all charged up again in a little more than 30 minutes.

3. iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max is undoubtedly the best iPhone ever and its spot on this list duly justified with its amazing camera qualities which make it one of the best camera phones you can get in 2021. It runs on the latest A14 Bionic chipset which is supported by 6GB RAM to ensure performance is kept at the highest. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB which are not expandable. iPhone 12 Pro Max’s ability to deliver colorful Dolby Vision video recording makes it an amazing choice, especially when you’re considering a great camera quality. Overall, it is one of the best phones you can get out there today.

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

For those who are looking to improve productivity with a smartphone that is somewhat close to a PC, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra should be on top of your list. With the Note 20 Ultra, a big screen with a 6.9-inch AMOLED display is guaranteed. Performance is also at its highest with the popular Snapdragon 865 Plus cheapest which is supported by 12GB RAM. Unlike the S21 Ultra, this Galaxy Note has expandable storage with options like 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB to aid productivity at the highest level.

5. iPhone 12 Pro

iPhone 12 Pro was released together with the Pro Max as part of the iPhone 12 series and in terms of performance, they are not so different. The iPhone 12 Pro also runs on the powerful A14 Bionic chipset with 6GB of RAM but its 6.1-inch OLED display is seen as a drawback when you compare it to the standards of its pro version. It features a combined rear camera of 24MP, supported by an extra 12MP telephoto and a 12MP front camera. It is a great alternative to its pro version and has managed to be a relevant smartphone in the market since it was first released.

6. Samsung Galaxy S21

If you find the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra too pricey, then you should consider the base version as an alternative, after all, they share some common features. The most noticeable difference would be the screen as Samsung Galaxy S21 only comes with a 6.2-inch OLED display compared to its big brother’s 6.8-inch. Both phones are quite close in terms of performance as they run on the same Snapdragon 888 chipset but the base version has 8GB of RAM and two storage options of 128 and 256GB which cannot be expanded.

7. OnePlus 9

The recently released OnePlus 9 has been one of the best phones of 2021 but has been in the shadow of its pro version, no thanks to the wonderful performance and camera qualities the OnePlus 9 Pro is packed with. However, this base version is still a great phone and when you’re on a budget, you should consider it. It runs on the same Snapdragon 888 chipset as its pro version, with RAM options of 8 and 12GB. All the amazing features can be thoroughly enjoyed, thanks to the phone’s 4500mAh battery which is considerably good for a phone in its price range.

8. Google Pixel 5

This phone might be nowhere near the other phones on this list in terms of performance but only a few can match its camera prowess. Featuring a rear camera of 16MP + 12MP and a front camera of 8MP, this phone is still one of the best camera phones around. It runs on a Snapdragon 765G chipset, 8GB RAM and a 128GB storage option.

9. Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a is a budget-friendly smartphone that has things you’d love to see in a good smartphone, including a 5.8-inch OLED screen and Snapdragon 730G chipset. It is a great option for those who are on a tight budget and you’re on course to get the best value for your money with the Google Pixel 4a.

10. iPhone 11

This is the oldest phone on this list and the fact that it continues to be rated as one of the best phones is a reflection of its amazing qualities and performance. It features a 6.1-inch LCD which remains a great option. It runs on the Apple A13 Bionic chipset with a limited 4GB RAM ram and storage options of 64, 128 and 256GB. It is a great alternative for those who want to use an amazing iPhone product but can’t afford the 12 series.