Smartphones are all over the place these days, the cheap ones, the mid-range phones, and high-end ones. However, settling for a lower category of phones always leaves you feeling like you should have gotten a better one. People opt for high-end phones for several reasons.
You might want to show off to your friends, reward yourself for all the hard work, try out something new, or simply want a premium phone with the best specs possible. Whatever your reason is for getting high-end phones, you would be happy to know that we have put together the top five best phones under $1,000. The exciting thing about phones under $1,000 is that they give you the best features and qualities without having to make you go out on a limb for them.
If your budget is below the $1000 threshold, here are the best-ranked phones based on their performance and popularity.
1. Galaxy Z Flip 3
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was released in August 2021. It is the best by a distance when it comes to foldable phones. In fact, according to CNET’s Patrick Holland, it could be “the first foldable phone you’ll consider buying.” The clamshell phone comes with a stunning design. While the phone has some subtle features seen in the previous versions, most of them are improved in terms of functionality and performance. The Z flip 3 has a durable aluminum body with a stronger glass, hinge, and display covers.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and is super convenient to use. It doesn’t lack in the camera department as it is on a similar level as the Galaxy S21 flagships, which means you have little to worry about when taking pictures or recording videos even without a telephoto lens. For a starting price around $1,000 the Samsung Galaxy Flip 3 looks like a bargain. You can see the latest pricing on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 here.
- More durable than previous versions
- Attractive design with seven color options
- 120Hz AMOLED display
- Larger cover screen than previous versions
- IPX8 water resistance
- Lower price
- Not the best battery life
- Not as useful closed as Z Fold 3
- No telephoto camera
- Obvious display crease
- No dust-resistance rating
2. Iphone 13
The iPhone 13 was released in September 2021 and is easily the best when it comes to price, features, and pocketability. It represents a decent upgrade to the previous year’s iPhone 12. The iPhone 13’s design is almost identical to the squared-off design of the iPhone 12 although it is a little thicker and heavier. The phone supports 5G and MagSafe charging. In the camera department, it is on par with iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. The photo and video details are accurate, sharp, and rich without appearing oversaturated.
Add a much larger battery of 3,240 mAh, a bright 6.1-inch OLED display, and an A15 Bionic chip, on the iOS 15 and you get an excellent phone. In terms of storage, the iPhone 13’s 128GB of internal storage is twice that of previous iPhone versions. It is available in green, teal, black, red, white, and pink. For $800, getting the iPhone 13 seems like an easy and obvious choice for many people. You can check out the latest pricing on the Iphone 13 here.
- Brighter display
- Excellent cameras
- Compelling Cinematic video mode
- Top-class performance
- Impressive battery life
- Best value for money
- Lacks 120Hz display
- Does not charge as fast as its rivals
- Cinematic mode is capped at 1080p
3. Google Pixel 6
Google’s Pixel 6 is a sophisticated upgrade to the uninspiring Pixel 5. The Midrange phone finds a sweet spot between Google’s high-end flagships and more affordable smartphones. The Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch, 1080p screen display with solid viewing angles is right up there with some of the latest flagships. The smartphone can make an automatic switch from 60Hz to 90Hz based on the content on screen.
The phone comes with two rear cameras; the main one and a second one with an ultrawide-angle lens. The Android 12 software comes with three platform updates and five years of security updates. For the hardware, it boasts IP68 dust and water resistance and wireless charging.
If you want to get a phone under $600, the Google Pixel 6 may be your best bet considering its fast performance, strong battery life, and an innovative camera. It has truly become the midrange phone to beat since its release in October 2021. The Google Pixel 6 comes in three different colors, including Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam, and Stormy Black. You can check out the latest pricing on the Pixel 6 here.
- Two-tone design
- Great value for the price
- The main camera is Google’s best
- Excellent battery life
- Crisp display
- Fast performance
- Durable build
- Three Android OS updates
- Unsatisfactory under-display fingerprint reader
- Battery capacity could be better
- The ultrawide camera is average at best
- No telephoto lens
- Limited to select global markets
4. Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S22 was released in February 2022 and seems to have lived up to its hype. It does not feel cheap like the S21. The S22’s smaller display is a much welcome addition for people who prefer smaller phones. Like the S22+, it has an elegant design with a flat, matte back and a camera bump in the corner. Despite being lightweight, the phone feels solid with hard edges. Its IP68 rating means that it does not scratch as easily as the S22 Ultra.
Despite costing $200 less, the S22’s camera is on par with the S22+. It has triple cameras with an improved 50MP primary camera, 3x zoom, and a sharp screen. An adaptive 120Hz refresh rate gives better scrolling. The phone also offers better connectivity than earlier models even in low-signal environments.
If you are looking to get a smaller-sized phone under $800, the Galaxy S22 is a solid option. The phone comes in green, black, gold, and white colors through carriers. However, Samsung offers another four exclusive colors including cream, blue, graphite, and violet. You can check out the latest pricing on the Galaxy S22 here.
- Excellent signal strength
- Elegant build and design
- Impressive camera department
- Compact size
- Battery life could be better
- Display Not Based on LTPO
5. Iphone 12
Over one billion people are using iPhones today and despite being announced way back in October 2020, the iPhone 12 is an easy recommendation. A redesigned boxy and flat frame body design is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 era. Users get a 6.1-inch OLED display, A14 Bionic chipset, and dual rear cameras on a lightweight build with MagSafe support and 5G. All these sound like a bargain especially when you consider the vast price difference between the 12 and 12 Pro.
Apart from the camera, the iPhone 12 is a lot closer to higher models. Still, the iPhone 12 displays superb true-to-life colors with good dynamic range. Since this smartphone has been around for a while, you are likely to get it at discounted prices under $700. You can check out the latest pricing on the Iphone 12 here.
- Attractive design with MagSafe
- Excellent OLED screen
- Superb audio quality
- Impressive dual cameras
- Fastest chip in its category
- Supports 5G
- No charger or headphones in the box
- Battery life is not as good as the iPhone 11
- Screen refresh rate is average
- Only 64GB of base storage
- Lacks optical zoom
Smartphones are in perpetual release in our world today but for now, the best five phones under $1,000 are the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, iPhone 13, Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S22, and the iPhone 12. Phones cheaper than our recommendations do not come close in terms of performance while the more expensive ones do not give you the best value for money.
Before buying a new phone, it is important to consider the screen size, software updates, cameras and megapixels, performance, battery capacity, and overall experience. Hopefully, your hunt for a new phone gets much easier after now.