There are three things that are certain in this world: death, taxes, and new goddamn phones.
While the global chip shortage has put a dampener on the gadget industry, it has still marched stoically forward and we’ve seen a deluge of excellent smartphones hit the market.
But to quote Highlander, there can be only one. Or three. Yeah, now I think about it, actually three.
In other words, we’ve selected our three favorite phones from 2021 for your reading and brain pleasure. These are presented in no particular order.
iPhone 13 Pro Max
What is there to say about Apple’s Pro range that hasn’t been said before? Simply, it’s a fantastic range that gets better and better with each release.
This time round, we (finally) have a screen with 120Hz refresh rates, a smaller notch, insane battery life, and improved photography features. Yes, there’s little about the iPhone 13 Pro Max that’s revolutionary, but that’s missing the point of the phones these days.
Each year, Apple tweaks and improves the device so it’s a delight to use. And, each year, I can’t imagine using anything else as my daily driver. (Callum)
Google Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 is one of the most important phones in recent memory. Google designed its own CPU for the first time, enabling it to accelerate AI tasks. On top of this, the company went in a completely new design direction.
And Google finally paid attention to the camera hardware, not just software. Combine that with a price that undercuts rivals from Apple and Samsung, and the Pixel 6 is easily the most exciting Google phone since the very first one. (Napier)
Vivo X60 Pro+
My pick of the year may seem odd to some: the Vivo V60 Pro+. A few things stood out for me with this phone; its sleek design with faux leather back for extra grip (minus a chunky camera bump), non-clunky Vivo software for a change, and the versatility of its camera array.
It has a 50-megapixel GN1 sensor sized at 1/1.31-inch sensor — one of the biggest around — that excels at taking photos at all times of day. Plus, the ultrawide camera has gimbal support for stabilized photos and videos. That’s cool as hell.
The phone has top-of-the-line specs and delivers on the promises of camera quality and smooth usage. (Ivan)
Do you have a favorite phone of 2021? Or disagree with our choices? Then let us know on Twitter, friend!