Best premium all-rounders 2023 - buyer’s guide
Last updated: June 13, 2023 (Changelog)
A bit of an arbitrary distinction here - what's a premium phone that can do it all, how does it differ from the true top dogs, and where do the aggressively-priced models that can pass for 'flagship killers' go? Well, we tried to make some sense out of it, and we ended up with a selection of phones priced around €600-€800 that didn't make it into our flagship or flagship-killer lists. And here we will try to suggest why you should consider one of these offers instead of a cheaper “killer” or a proper flagship device.
Motorola Edge 40
- 256GB 8GB RAM $ 413.00
- Compact and lightweight, super grippy back, IP68 rating
- Extra smooth 144Hz display, good refresh rate handling
- Dependent battery life, fast charging
- Loud and good-sounding stereo speakers
- Chipset has plenty of oomph; GPU is beefier than most in the class
- Competent camera setup for the class, particularly good results from the main camera in low light, solid selfies too
- Clean Android interface, additional Moto custom bits, 'Ready For' PC-like capability
- Back panel gets very dirty very easily, is difficult to clean
- No zoom camera
- Video stabilization isn't as good as the competition
- Direct competitors offer longer and more timely software updates
The Motorola Edge 40's price may have you raising your eyebrows at first glance - €500-600 sounds like a lot for a midranger, and side-by-side comparisons with rivals often end with the Moto losing the price battle. But it's more nuanced than that since the Edge 40 offers a feature set and performance quite unlike the rest, and it's possibly worth the premium. And for that it has occupied our premium all-rounder top spot.
The chipset is among the most potent options on this side of a truly flagship SoC and the Edge 40 extracts excellent results from it both in terms of performance and stability. The Moto is also no slouch when it comes to battery level, and the class-leading charging speed doesn't hurt either. The smoother-than-most 144Hz display is also among the brightest in the class, and the stereo speakers are both loud and easy on the ear.
The camera system isn't too bad either, with the bright aperture on the main unit making for solid low-light results and nicely out-of-focus backgrounds. The ultrawide is... good enough, and the selfies are pretty nice too. The UI offers a very appealing marriage of simple stock look and added in-house functionality, including the PC-like Ready For feature - Samsung midragers don't do DeX.
All of this comes in a hard-to-find lightweight package that is dust and water-resistant - more so than the bulk of its competitors. Its soft back is nicely grippy too, perhaps too much so for its own good - we found it all too easy to accumulate dirt and grime, which is among the few complaints we have about the phone.
The lack of a zoom camera is perhaps only half a problem - the main camera does okay for 2x shots, and we wouldn't have expected more reach in this segment anyway. The less-than-perfect video stabilization irks us a bit more, perhaps, since most others have it dialed in pretty well. And if we label that a software issue, we have another one of those to mention - a two-year OS update policy sounds like too little.
Still, the Motorola Edge 40 offers a very well-rounded smartphone experience that's in many ways better than its competitors, and we think it's worth adding to your shortlist.Read full review
Google Pixel 7
- Compact and premium build, easy to handle, unique-looking design, dust- and water-resistant
- Sharp, bright, color-accurate display
- Good battery life considering the phone's size
- Android from the source, exclusive feature set, unrivaled perception of smoothness on this side of the OS divide
- Overall, great camera quality with an unmatched character that has a loyal following
- The display is just 90Hz as opposed to competitors pushing beyond 120Hz
- Very slow charging by the standards of the day
- Ultrawide camera is underwhelming in low light
- Selfies rarely come out tack sharp
The Pixel 7 is definitely one of the best options in the €600-700 range, especially when considering camera quality. It has a flagship-worthy performance, although a bit lower than you'd expect; it's one of the best phones for mobile photography, if not the best-in-class, and it has bright OLED, great-sounding stereo speakers, long battery life (with the size category in mind) and exceptional software ensuring timely updates and smart features.
Sadly, there are a few caveats to consider here. There's no true telephoto camera; the display is limited to 90Hz; some of the most advanced software features are region-dependent, and the charging solution is just way too outdated for a 2022 flagship release.
But we do recommend it- at that price, the Pixel 7 offers a unique combination of ultra-premium camera experience, long battery life and AI-based features that make it the smartest kid on the block.Read full review
Xiaomi 12T Pro
- Classic design. Solid and well put together
- Flagship grade 120Hz OLED with 12-bit color depth and HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
- Very fast charging
- Excellent stereo audio output with Dolby Atmos support and Harman Kardon tuning
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 on a budget
- Solid camera performance in all photo&video scenarios
- Android 12, feature-rich MIUI 13
- Battery life is solid but could be a bit better
- A few downgrades compared to 11T Pro: plastic frame instead of aluminum, Gorilla Glass 5 instead of Victus, 24fps 8K instead of 30fps, slightly slower charging
The €700 Xiaomi 12T Pro is an incredibly well-rounded device. It has many bells and whistles to entice prospective buyers and hits particularly hard in a few key areas. The 6.67-inch, 120Hz, 12-bit CrystalRes AMOLED display is nothing short of gorgeous in person. It delivers great brightness and contrast, perfect colors with lots of customizability and even has HD10+ and Dolby Vision certification to take full advantage of that 12-bit color depth. The excellent stereo speaker setup, with Harman Kardon, tuning and Dolby Atmos tech and equalizers, completes the awesome multimedia experience on the Xiaomi 12T Pro.
Xiaomi also left no room for compromise in the performance department, where the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is powering the show - Qualcomm's latest and greatest. Thanks to it, the Xiaomi 12T Pro chewed through every task we threw at it, including several AAA games, happily rendering past 60fps when available.
The 5,000 mAh battery offers solid battery life and is also extremely quick to charge, thanks to Xiaomi's regretfully proprietary but unquestionably awesome 120W HyperCharge tech. And we can't forget to mention the all-around excellent camera setup on the 12T Pro, which performs masterfully both in good and low-light conditions.
Honestly, it's hard to find any serious omissions or faults with the Xiaomi 12T Pro. A proper ingress protection rating would have been great, and so would wireless charging. The same goes for a telephoto camera and perhaps some expandable storage. There is no perfect phone out there, particularly not without affecting its price point substantially. We are definitely giving the Xiaomi 12T Pro a hearty recommendation – it is almost perfect, but it does come on a perfect price.Read full review
- Distinctive design, great ergonomics
- Superb 120Hz LTPO3 AMOLED display with granular HRR control and great color accuracy
- Excellent battery life, 100W SuperVOOC charging
- Excellent sustained performance and thermals
- Good overall camera experience day and night
- OxygenOS is just ColorOS at this point, and fans will miss some OnePlus features
- Display has issues with the HDR and adaptive refresh rate
- No wireless charging this year (10 Pro had it)
The OnePlus 11 is a perfect fit to the premium all-rounders category as it has an excellent LTPO3 OLED screen, the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 under the hood, long battery life, blazing-fast charging, a nice set of stereo speakers and the full set of cameras, including a nice 2x zoom unit. Surely, 2x zoom doesn't really cut it in 2023, but it's a rare find in this price bracket.
In short, for around €800, the handset delivers pretty much everything you'd need from a high-end phone, except wireless charging. That's where the 11 comes short. The state of the software is also a bit of a let down, especially for OnePlus die-hard fans. OxygenOS is not the one we remember and it's replaced by Oppo's ColorOS, despite what the marketing says.
As the price settles with time, the OnePlus 11 will become even more desirable, especially in the context of rising smartphone prices in 2023.Read full review
Oppo Find X5 Pro
- 256GB 12GB RAM $ 887.00
- Exquisite design with mirror-like back and sweeping lines around the camera
- Excellent OLED with 1B colors, HDR10+, 120Hz refresh.
- Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.
- Top-notch camera setup with great photo and video quality
- Fast wired and wireless charging.
- The microscope camera from X3 Pro is gone.
- The telephoto camera needs OIS, also more reach (it's just 2x)
- Limited market availability
The Find X5 Pro continues a lineage of compelling Oppos in the high-end segment. The Find X5 Pro model looks like the Find X3 Pro, but has lost the unique microscope camera. Still, it offers excellent hardware and performance where it matters.
The only downside is that the telephoto camera only offers 2x zoom but you get excellent photo and video quality with special features like the custom MariSilicon X image chip and the 5-axis OIS.
Outside this concern, the Oppo Find X5 Pro delivers across the board – it has a great OLED, the latest and fastest hardware, a large battery with good endurance and incredibly fast wired and wireless charging. And, of course, the high-end ceramic back which you can carry around without fear of scratches.Read full review
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
- Compact foldable smartphone, not insanely priced
- Excellent design, Victus+ panels, tougher aluminum
- IPX8-rated for water resistance
- Outstanding foldable display - bright, color-accurate, 120Hz, HDR
- The latest Snapdragon chipset
- Great all-round camera experience and quality
- Improved battery life, faster charging
- Heavily throttles under 100% CPU/GPU load
- No charger in the box
- We would appreciate more functionality for the outer display
- No DeX support
The Galaxy Z Flip went from a fashion-centric device to a full-blown flagship in just a couple of generations. The Flip4 is what the Flip3 should have been from the get-go - a powerful foldable smartphone with excellent camera performance, decent battery life and charging speed.
And indeed, we can say a lot of positive things about the new Z Flip4 - it has a superb water-proofed design that will hit the nostalgia notes across many users. It's a compact flip phone, one that clicks simply great.
The Z Flip4 offers an excellent AMOLED screen, good battery life, good charging speed, and the speakers are nice. It also packs the most powerful Android chip to date, though the thermals lead to throttling. And the camera performance is superb across the board, photo and video, day and night.
We consider the Flip4 as the most affordable foldable smartphone of the current generation, and for its €730 price, it delivers an outstanding set of features..
It's not an ideal smartphone - it takes a while to get used to its design and form factor. Then you need to live with the crease and the plastic screen protector over the screen. Dust gets in various places, too. But we are recommending it to people who'd like to own a unique phone, small, and yet powerful and capable; to users that will take it with all of its good and not so good aspectsRead full review
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra
- Nice design with some ingress protection
- Great main display with a rather unobtrusive crease
- Excellent external display that delivers a wow factor and supports full-fledged apps
- Polished software with 3 years of major updates
- Exceptional selfie performance, good ultrawide camera
- Flagship-grade performance
- Good battery life
- The main display is capped at 120Hz in most scenarios despite the 165Hz rating
- Aggressive thermal throttling under load
- Average battery life, slow wired and wireless charging
The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra runs on flagship hardware, asking for flagship money. Both displays are great, and we like the foldable screen implementation. They are vivid and bright enough, while the external screen offers almost full functionality. The chipset may not be the most recent one, but it's capable of running everything you find on Play Store. However, there are several pitfalls that are hard to ignore, even in the context of a foldable device.
The stills and videos are cropped when the device is closed, the charging speed is unimpressive, and the battery life is about average. Sustained performance may also be an issue for some of you who like to play demanding games from time to time. And although powerful enough, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 isn't as energy-efficient as its successor, the SD8 Gen 2. A flip phone with such a small battery would have benefitted from the extra hardware efficiency gains.
All in all, the Razr 40 Ultra marks a big improvement over its predecessor. It's competitive in the clamshell foldable category, and its asking price may get you any 2023 flagship smartphone with fast charging, longer battery life and excellent camera performance. That's the price - both literally and metaphorically - for getting this exclusive form factor and iconic name.Read full review
Asus Zenfone 9
- Standout styling, IP68 rating
- Class-leading battery life, wide battery care feature set
- Great performance, great stability, no lag or stutter
- Headphone jack, properly great speakers
- Fastest Android chipset on the market, solid sustained performance as these go
- Autofocus on all cameras, ultrawide and selfie included
- Wonderful video stabilization
- No wireless charging
- No telephoto camera
- Night camera mode is a little sluggish
The Zenfone 9 is a great little flagship priced at €800. It has superb water-resistant build and eye-catching design. The large circles on the back aren't just for show, and camera performance is respectable with autofocus across all lenses and a particularly impressive video stabilization capability. The latest top-end Qualcomm chipset delivers excellent performance and is also decently efficient, which results in class-leading longevity when coupled with the YoY increase in battery capacity. The audio department isn't neglected either, and the loud and clear speakers and headphone jack... speak for themselves.
Setting out to make a proper flagship in a tiny body, Asus did a lot of things right with the Zenfone 9, with only minimal compromise. If we have to point out its missteps, those will include the lack of wireless charging (all the bar phones above have it, and so does the Flip) and the missing telephoto camera. These are both more or less understandable omissions, given how both take up valuable space. The rather slow Night mode implementation had to be mentioned, but it's more of a niggle in the absence of other flaws and one that could potentially be fixed in an update.Read full review
Oppo Find N2 Flip
- 256GB 8GB RAM $ 1,099.00
- Largest cover screen on a clamshell foldable is great for camera framing, has some useful other functionality too
- Superb internal display, as intangible as creases go
- Great battery life, fast charging for a foldable
- Excellent primary camera and inner selfie unit
- No official IP rating
- No wireless charging
- The large cover screen is not very feature-rich, and using it for the camera live view affects image processing and video options
- Ultra-wide cam is not very good and lacks 4K video recording
The Find N2 Flip is Oppo's first global foldable and as such is a direct competitor to the Galaxy Z Flip4, so it has some big shoes to fill.
It's quick to impress with the smoothest crease we've fondled on a display that, outside of its bendiness, is as great as the best in the field. The ability to stay open at arbitrary angles enables use cases that only the Galaxy clamshell can match. And the large cover screen is superior to all competitors' offerings when it comes to camera applications. The battery life is one of Find N2 Flip's strongest suits too, particularly in screen-on tasks, which is how we tend to use our phones.
It also comes with a thoroughly capable primary camera and internal selfie unit, but that's offset by a few quirks. First, the ultrawide camera's quality is more fitting for a lower-midrange phone. Then there are some illogical image quality differences depending on which screen you use for UI. And the real kicker has to be the lack of 4K recording with the outer screen on. We generally like the camera experience, but the opportunity for overall camera superiority was missed.
You could say that last bit about the cover screen too, which does save you a lot of unfoldings, but still feels underutilized. Other point deductions in the Find's scorecard include the lack of wireless charging and an IP rating - sure, they can only be found on one competitor, but that's still one competitor that has them, and the Oppo doesn't.
In the end, the Find N2 Flip is a solid package overall. It has a superior main camera and longer battery life than the Galaxy Z Flip4, but it's not universally the better phone of the two, even if only a few missteps stop it short of true greatness.Read full review
Most recent updates
June 13, 2023: Added the Oppo Find X5 Pro and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra. Replaced the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion with the Motorola Edge 40.
March 21, 2023: Added Oppo Find N2 Flip.
March 13, 2023: Moved OnePlus 10 Pro to flagship killers category, added OnePlus 11.
November 1, 2022: Added the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, Pixel 7, Asus Zenfone 9, Xiaomi 12T Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro. Moved the Xiaomi 12 Lite, Nothing phone (1), Poco X4 GT, Galaxy A53 5G, OnePlus Nord 2T, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, and the Realme GT Neo3 to other categories.
October 19, 2022: Added Nothing phone (1) and Xiaomi 12T Pro. Moved the Realme 9 Pro+ to another category.
July 14, 2022: Added the Xiaomi 12 Lite, Poco X4 GT, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, Realme GT Neo 3 150W, Sony Xperia 10 IV, OnePlus Nord 2T, Realme 9 Pro+ 5G, Realme GT Neo 2, Samsung Galaxy A53 5G. Removed the Galaxy A52s, Realme GT Master, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, Motorola Edge 20 and the Realme X7 Max 5G.
December 7, 2021: Reorganized this category by moving the OnePlus Nord 2, Xiaomi 11T, Motorola Edge 20 Pro, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Pixel 6, Asus Zenfone 8 Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 to Flagship Killer category. Removed the Apple iPhone 13 and the OnePlus 9.
November 30, 2021: Added the Realme X7 Max 5G.
November 15, 2021: Added the Motorola Edge 20 Pro, OnePlus 9, Xiaomi 11T Pro, and the Zenfone 8 Flip.
November 8, 2021: Replaced the Moto G100 with Motorola Edge 20. Replaced the Apple iPhone 12 with the iPhone 13. Replaced Pixel 5 with Pixel 6. Replaced OnePlus Nord with OnePlus Nord 2 5G. Replaced the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G with Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Added Realme GT Master, Xiaomi 11T, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, and the Samsung Galaxy A52s (as new Editor's Choice). Removed the OnePlus 8T and Motorola RAZR 5G.
June 30, 2021: Moved Realme GT 5G to Flagship killers.
May 20, 2021: Replaced the Moto Edge with Moto G100. Added Realme GT 5G. Removed LG Velvet, Huawei P30 Pro.
Nov 27, 2020: Replaced the Apple iPhone 11 with 12. Replaced OnePlus 7T with 8T. Replaced the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with Z Flip 5G. Added LG Velvet, Google Pixel 5, OnePlus Nord, and Motorola Razr 5G.
Best phones by category
- 18 Sep 2023
Please update this list. It's grossly out of date.
- 29 Mar 2023
#1 because editor didn't bother to check out that Motorola is artificially blocking people from recording 4k video on edge 30 NEO. Other corporations does it too... Very biased editor. Why?
- 13 Nov 2022
Motorola really is stepping up in their game. They just need a bit of improvements with support and software updates and they’ll all be set