The best high-end smartphones in the UK 2023

Do you have a big budget and want to buy the best high-end smartphone? The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is definitely the best. In addition to offering a great photo module, this smartphone is distinguished by its Super Retina display, its brand new A14 Bionic processor and its phenomenal autonomy.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 1

Best value for money

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The best high-end smartphone in 2021

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the new flagship of the apple brand. As its name suggests, everything is maximized: screen size, speed, design, autonomy and especially photo quality.

950 £ on Amazon

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is aimed at the most demanding videographers and photographers. Offering unheard of screen definition, this high-end smartphone has a 6.7″ OLED Super Retina XDR panel. Unlike previous iPhones, this one uses a material called Ceramic Shield that covers the screen. This makes it waterproof and almost unbreakable even without a tempered glass protective film.

But where Apple hits hard is in the photo part. The 3 sensors (ultra wide-angle, wide-angle and telephoto 12 MP) make this mobile the ultimate photophone. Huawei, Samsung, Google and others can go to hell! It also embeds an A14 Bionic SoC, currently the fastest processor (no latency on Call of Duty!). The LiDAR scanner, the Night mode or the possibility to record videos in 4K HDR will only increase the appeal of this phone.

High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro 2

Best value for money

High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro

The best high-end smartphone OnePlus

At this price, you won't find a better screen than the OnePlus 8 Pro, including for gaming. This high-end smartphone boasts tremendous performance and battery life.

763 £ on Amazon

5G compatible and IP68 waterproof certified, the OnePlus 8 Pro competes directly with the Galaxy S20 Ultra but also the Huawei P40 Pro. The Chinese manufacturer's new flagship comes with a super-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor combined with 8GB of RAM, or even more, to ensure smoothness.

In addition, the OnePlus 8 Pro is equipped with the latest technologies available on many high-end phones, such as Bluetooth 5.0, fast charging and a digital fingerprint sensor. Its 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display is much larger than anything else in this comparison. Its display quality guarantees an unforgettable multimedia experience, also for photo, video or gaming.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 3

Best premium value for gamers

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The best high-end smartphone Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a very complete smartphone with dual SIM. Compatible with the 5G network, it is a model with a great autonomy: a Lithium-ion battery of 5,000 mAh.

876 £ on Amazon

Both SIM cards are 4FF format and have access to 5G network connectivity. However, both SIMs can be detected simultaneously. It is considered to be the best dual SIM smartphone in its class. Moreover, this smartphone packs a powerful Samsung Exynos 2102 processor. Moreover, it offers good image quality with its 4 rear sensors of 108 x 12 x 10 x 10 MP and its 40 MP front sensor.

We have to admit that Samsung has outdone itself with this device that can store up to 128 GB of data. Its 6.8" screen offers HD+ resolution and 8k video for a more immersive experience. This smartphone can also withstand a fresh water pressure of 1.5 m deep for about 30 minutes.

High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS 4

High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS

The best high-end smartphone for gaming

The Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS unveils itself in an aggressive design while offering unbeatable fluidity. It will suit gamers with an endless desire for power and great autonomy.

902 £ on Rakuten

Looking for a high-end smartphone that can handle your most demanding games? We highly recommend the Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS. On the technical level, this device consists of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Octa-Core 3.1 GHz processor backed by 12 GB of RAM. It is very simple: no mobile game can resist it!

Its internal UFS 3.1 storage capacity of 512 GB will meet the expectations of most gamers. The Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS features a 6.59-inch HDR AMOLED display with a response time of 1ms and a refresh rate of 140Hz. Many gamer PC monitors don't do better. In addition, the screen brightness reaches 650 cd/m². Finally, the 6,000 mAh battery is fast-charging.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best high-end smartphone

Any specific needs?

The best high-end smartphone in 2021

The best high-end smartphone OnePlus

The best high-end smartphone Samsung

The best high-end smartphone for gaming

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best high-end smartphones

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 5
High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro 6
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 7
High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS 8
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the new flagship of the apple brand. As its name suggests, everything is maximized: screen size, speed, design, autonomy and especially photo quality.
At this price, you won't find a better screen than the OnePlus 8 Pro, including for gaming. This high-end smartphone boasts tremendous performance and battery life.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a very complete smartphone with dual SIM. Compatible with the 5G network, it is a model with a great autonomy: a Lithium-ion battery of 5,000 mAh.
The Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS unveils itself in an aggressive design while offering unbeatable fluidity. It will suit gamers with an endless desire for power and great autonomy.
Screen size (resolution)
6.7" (2532 x 1170 pixels)
6.78″ QHD+
6,8" (3200 x 1440 pixels)
6.59″ (2340 x 1080 pixels)
228 g
199 g
227 g
240 g
A14 chip
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Exynos 2102 Samsung
Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+
12 x 12 x 12 MP + 12 MP
48 x 8 x 48 x 5 MP + 16 MP
108 x 12 x 10 x 10 Mpx + 40 Mpx
64 x 13 x 5 MP + 24 MP
Internal storage
256 GB
256 GB
128 GB
512 GB

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Buying guide - high-end smartphone

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How to choose your high-end smartphone

In the high-end world, expectations are very high. So the big brands compete in terms of performance, ingenuity and design to deliver exceptional smartphones. After all, Apple, Samsung and others are judged on the quality of their high-end models. Here are the criteria to keep in mind when buying anything.

#1 - The screen

Now, the high-end smartphone has a screen size of 6.67 inches or more (6.78 inches for the OnePlus 8 Pro). Yet, high-end mobiles are getting thinner and thinner. Regardless of where the front camera is placed, the screen will need to occupy at least 85% of the front panel. Otherwise, return what you bought. In terms of technology, prefer models with AMOLED or OLED screens, which are relatively more energy-efficient than LCD. If you want a more accurate display, choose a Full HD definition. As for the refresh rate, it defines an optimal navigation fluidity. It should be 90 Hz although the standard is 60 Hz.

#2 - The processor

Often etched in 7 nm, the SoC or processor provides high-end smartphones with more power than cheaper models. A14 Bionic at Apple, Kirin 990 at Huawei, Exynos 990 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 865/865+ at Samsung. Note that each that high-end smartphones often have a graphics processor. This is a secondary neural chip, capable of improving the photo quality of the mobile and gaming performance.

#3 - RAM and internal storage

Equipped with a large RAM, the high-end smartphone gains convenience especially in performing resource-intensive tasks. Current models offer a minimum of 4 GB of RAM that can go up to 12 GB for the most sophisticated. Prefer internal storage of at least 128 GB, which allows you to save photos, applications, videos or audio files without necessarily going to the Cloud.

#4 - Autonomy


ensure that your battery can last a whole day, or even 2, it's best to choose a high-capacity model, preferably a battery of at least 4000 mAh

. Some models such as the Asus Rog Phone 3 even go as far as offering a 6,000 mAh battery. It should be noted that the autonomy depends on the characteristics (5G, high refresh rate, screen brightness ...) and use of the high-end smartphone. Also, the possibility of fast charging is a major advantage for this type of cell phone. On average, you can enjoy your device with a capacity of 50% in just 30 min of charging.

#5 - Additional options

High-end rhymes with more features. In this sense, brands are really not stingy with options since you will find everything you will need on the current high-end smartphone models. Apart from the fingerprint reader and Face ID, you will have wireless charging, stereo speakers, USB-C port, expandable storage space (except for iPhones), IP68 certification making the device water resistant, compatibility with French frequency bands...

The ideal processor for a high-end smartphone

The brand

Currently, there are 2 main categories of processors: specialized manufacturers and generalist companies supplying graphics chips to various major brands. Among the specific manufacturers, Apple has introduced its A12, A13 and A14 Bionic which now equip its latest generation iPhone. We also distinguish the Exynos for Samsung smartphones and Kirin for Huawei. On the other hand, the American firm Qualcomm provides a powerful GPU from the Snapdragon range to countless models as is the case of the Xiaomi Mi 9 and the OnePlus 8 Pro.


The processor is an indispensable part of a high-end smartphone and is particularly responsible for ensuring that all applications run smoothly. In this respect, those used for video processing or games are much more demanding and require more mathematical processing power. The flagships are mainly intended for this use, especially since their processor allows you an excellent gain in efficiency and fluidity.

The cores

The cores work completely independently, but simultaneously. Called "core" in English, these are important physical elements that ensure the smooth running of the high-end smartphone. While Apple's A13 Bionic consists of 6 cores, the Snapdragon 855 has 8 cores. Each core does not have the same use. Some are reserved for pure computing while others help to run applications without consuming too much energy. For example, an octa-core or hexa-core processor generally has 1 to 2 super-fast cores.

The different types of high-end smartphones

You have the choice between 2 major references in terms of operating system namely iOS, dedicated only to Apple products and Android, specific to the rest of the world.

High-end iOS smartphone

The iOS is a so-called "closed" system used exclusively on smartphones of the Apple brand. You can't expand the storage capacity of high-end smartphones with such an OS. However, it is clear thatit excels in many areas

: secure use, simplicity, ergonomics and efficiency.

High-end Android smartphone

On the

other hand, Android is aimed at a wider audience. It integrates the high-end smartphones of many brands that the latter use their respective overlay (MIUI for Xiaomi or One UI for Samsung). You will have access to all the basic applications of Google such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube ... With this open system, you can download and install a plethora of applications from the Play Store. Its biggest flaw? The use of the system is less secure.

High-end smartphone or cheap smartphone?

High-end smartphone

The high-end smartphone is made up of all the best features. The RAM is now higher, as well as the quality of the processor which is seen to be faster. In addition, the storage space can go up to 512GB. In terms of photography, the phone offers an ultra wide angle, wide angle or zoom capability of up to x50.

The image display also proves to be of better quality. Equipped with the most innovative technologies, some models have 5G. Despite the dazzling domination of brands like Apple and Samsung, others have notably developed to reach the top like Google, Huawei and Xiaomi.

Cheap smartphone

You won't find an iPhone for less than €200, unless it has been refurbished or stolen. On the other hand, there's a much wider range of cheap Android smartphones on offer. Chinese brands reign supreme in the high-end segment. So you'll have no trouble finding a good quality mobile phone (from Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo) without breaking the bank.

With a screen size of around 5.5 to 6.6 inches, this type of smartphone can give you the smoothest experience. For this, however, a minimum of 3GB of RAM is required, accompanied by an ultra-wide option as well as a battery offering minimum capacity of 3,500mAh.


Your needs influence your choice of smartphone. Thus, the top of the range is highly appreciated by professional photographers or videographers and gaming enthusiasts for its photo qualities, its fluidity, its excellent response rate or its battery capacity. However, it requires a fairly high budget. On the other hand, choose the cheap smartphone in case your budget seems very limited and you are simply looking for a functional device that can meet your daily expectations.


Protect your high-end smartphone against shocks

It is easy to prevent the risk of shocks, so you can avoid damage to your high-end smartphone. In practice, you will be able to protect your device simply by using a protective silicone or polycarbonate shell, a cover, a protective film (ideal against micro-scratches) or a protective glass.

Store your high-end smartphone in a safe place


portable, you won't have to keep your high-end smartphone in your hands all day. Avoid storing it in your pocket at the risk of having its screen scratched when it comes into contact with your keys. Instead, use a case or a small protective cover. Keep it away from power lines and appliances.

Clean your high-end smartphone regularly


the use of a protective cover or shell, the high-end smartphone is not immune to dust particles. It is therefore necessary to clean it to ensure a good performance. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth when cleaning the screen. Dedicated cleaning kits like the Duronic SCK102

can be of great help.

Do not place it in a damp place



high-end smartphone IP68 certified? Yes, but you're certainly not going to voluntarily submerge it in water. Avoid putting it in contact with moisture as much as possible. The certification guarantees total immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 6 meters. However, in the event of an unfortunate situation, immediately separate the battery from the phone and dry them. Prevent the risk of corrosion of components by sucking up the water or evacuating the moisture with a compressor or air.

Prevent loss or theft of your high-end smartphone


high-end smartphone cost you quite a bit of money. So it's obvious that you take every precaution not to lose it. With this in mind, don't hesitate to enable geolocation, install a security app, take note of the smartphone's serial number, use a complex lock code, and even regularly back up your contents to a safe place.


What is the best high-end smartphone?

The best premium smartphone depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best at the moment.

How to avoid dirtying your high-end smartphone?

It is advisable to wash your hands well before using the high-end smartphone. Also, avoid using it in dusty or dirty places.

Can rubbing alcohol be used to clean a high-end smartphone?

No, rubbing alcohol is a volatile product that can quickly damage all the components of your high-end smartphone. Instead, use rubbing alcohol or a specific cleaning product.

Why should I keep my high-end smartphone away from magnetic areas?

Made up of magnetic components, including the speakers, long exposure would jeopardize the proper functioning of the high-end smartphone. Avoid placing it near a running appliance.

If I lose my original charger, can I use a compatible model?

Only the original charger will guarantee an efficient charging of the battery of the high-end smartphone. A compatible model with too much or too little power (as the electrical energy is unstable) will quickly damage the phone.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 9
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro 10
High-end smartphone - OnePlus 8 Pro
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 11
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS 12
High-end smartphone - Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS


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