Best Smartphones of 2021

by Neilson Gesite - Updated: March 21, 2021

Top 10 Smartphones as of March 21, 2021

The best smartphone in overall combined performance and camera is the newly released flagship phone of Samsung, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with 16GB memory and 512 internal storage. It uses the best latest Qualcomm processor Snapdragon 888 which is only available in USA and China and as for other countries, the model uses the best Exynos today which are both not that far from the best chipset. Within the NowInquire ranking, it is ranked as the best gaming phone and ranked third for the best camera.

When we buy a phone, we always seek for the best. That is why the question “What phone should I buy?” is somehow associated with “What is the best phone available?”. But when we actually look for the best, we have other things that we consider and in the end it is not the best among all phones available that is what we are looking for. Most people based their purchase by considering these two things:

  1. What kind of phone do I need? - of course you know what kind of phone you are looking for. It could be a phone that has high processing power that could handle heavy apps or games, or has a very good camera for taking high quality pictures, or probably you just want a phone for social media and other uses.

  2. How much is the phone that I can afford? - how can you buy something so expensive if you don’t have a budget in mind. Unless you are hefty rich and don’t care about the price, you are probably looking for the best within a price range.

Here is a glimpse on what you can expect in this a bit long article.

Best Smartphones Overall

If you really don't have a specific need to look at and are just looking for the best, this is it. As an overall rank phone, you have to have the best specs and capabilities, latest phone technology available and best performance. So without further ado, may I present the top phones available today:

Rank Model Score / 100
1 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 92.97
2 Vivo X60 Pro+ 5G 89.10
3 Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design 87.25
4 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G 87.19
5 Oppo Find X3 Pro 87.04
6 Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra 86.94
7 Xiaomi Mi 11 86.76
8 Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ 85.89
9 Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro+ 85.87
10 Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G 84.94

Our top overall phone, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, which is also the best gaming phone and third for top camera, leads the list with a wide three points margin against the second on the list.

Next is Vivo X60 Pro+ 5G, Vivo’s newly released Premium phone which also uses Snapdragon 888 as its processor, took the second spot. It was followed by Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design in third place which ranked fourth in the camera category.

Another Samsung phone took the fourth spot namely Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G with a very small margin against the third. And in fifth place was Oppo’s number one phone Oppo Find X3 Pro.

On the sixth and seventh were both Xiaomi phones: Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra at sixth which took the first place in best camera followed by the third top gaming phone on seventh place, Xiaomi Mi 11.

The ranking was based on the comparison on every specs a phone has vs the best in the specific spec there is today. An example was Kirin 9000 of Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design vs the best chipset available which is Apple's A14 Bionic. As for Apple's model, the reason why they were placed rather far from the top was due to their low memory and battery which is necessary on becoming the best phone.

If we look at a perspective of comparing all specs against one another, the result is as such. Normally when we buy a phone, we always look at the specs. That is why we compared specs and giving processing power and camera high rating and calculated to generate the above result.

To see the other phones in the ranking, check the Top 100 Smartphones page.

If it is about phone use, people usually look for the best gaming phones or phones with the best camera. While a gaming phone, with its fast processing power and high memory capacity, is a great choice, if you can't maximize the use of its specs, it might give less value to your purchase. That is why we also created a general use category to see the lower end in the same stage as the premium ones. But it's on a different article so check it on the mobile list on our website and filter it with "General Use" category. As for the gaming phone’s top list, here we go.

Best Gaming Phones

The winner for the best gaming phones, as I said earlier, is the newly released, Samsung new flagship phone, " Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G" which has the best Samsung processor Exynos 2100 paired with a very high 16GB memory and 256 internal storage. It has even a good battery with 5000mAh. So if you seek the best mobile gaming performance, grab it.

Here is my promised short list of top gaming phones available today.

Rank Model Score / 100
1 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 99.70
2 Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 99.64
3 Xiaomi Mi 11 99.58
4 Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro+ 99.56
5 Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro 99.56
6 Oppo Find X3 Pro 99.55
7 Vivo X60 Pro+ 5G 99.46
8 Realme GT 5G 99.44
9 Vivo iQOO 7 99.40
10 Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 98.92

The rating was based on a computation where processing power is given a high rate of 65%. A good gaming phone requires a good processor to make the game more smooth and enjoyable. Processing power was followed by memory (RAM) with a rate of 20% and the rest from other specs such as battery which makes iPhone 12 Pro Max ranked below than those with 8GB above memory and 5000mAh battery regardless of it having the best performing processor.

If you are seeking a good gaming phone, you should consider checking the phone's processing capability because you do not want to be playing games then encounter lag in the middle of a bloody clash in MMORPG or Mobile Legends or being shot dead because of a lag in Call of Duty Mobile.

To see the other phones in the ranking, check the Top 100 Gaming Smartphones page.

Best Camera Phones

It's "Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra" for the best mobile phone camera. It uses a rear main camera with a pixel size of 1.2µm and sensor size 1/1.32" which can hold up to 48 mega pixels. It has a 12MP telephoto that captures up to 2x optical zoom, the camera's latest technology Periscope Telephoto allowing it to provide a very high zooming capability with up to 5x optical zoom and 120x hybrid zoom.

Let's see what other phone model we have with it on the Top Camera Phones list.

Rank Model Score / 100
1 Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra 96.00
2 Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ 95.67
3 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 94.33
4 Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design 92.67
5 Huawei P40 Pro+ 92.67
6 Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 92.00
7 Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G 92.00
8 Huawei Mate X2 91.33
9 Vivo X60 Pro+ 5G 91.33
10 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 91.04

The list was computed with a whopping 60% for the rear main camera which includes computation for pixel- binning technology. It also computes the availability of periscope telephoto, telephoto, ultrawide , macro and depth sensors. In the article " Things to consider when buying a camera smartphone", we talked about things that you need to consider when choosing a camera phone and it was one of the basis of this ranking. Try to check it out as well if you are into phone cameras to learn more.

To see the other phones in the ranking, check the Top 100 Camera Smartphones page.

We also make a list of top camera and gaming phones based on specific budget. So if you have a budget in mind, check the links below.

Premium and Budget phones

You seek for the best phones because you are planning to buy right? And usually you have a budget in mind when you think to do so. But for sure you want to buy the best that you can buy with your budget without regretting it in the future. With this in mind, we created lists of the best phones within certain price ranges.

Phone prices vary whether they are Premium or Budget phones. If you are capable of buying 80k phones, go back above and choose the best. But if you are restricted with a specific budget, keep reading below.

So lets start.

Best Premium Phones available in the Philippines

When we say premium phones, well it is expensive, but it also showcases the best specs the brand has. But since premium phones have a price difference based on brand, we created two price ranges to give chance for other models.

Best premium phones

Rank Model Price Score / 100
1 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G - 12GB 512GB 80,990.00 92.58
2 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G - 12GB 256GB 72,990.00 91.33
3 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G - 12GB 256GB 64,990.00 87.61
4 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G - 8GB 128GB 68,990.00 87.50
5 Realme GT2 Pro - 12GB 256GB 34,990.00 87.30
6 Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G - 12GB 128GB 61,990.00 86.99
7 Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max - 6GB 1TB 101,990.00 86.86
8 Apple iPhone 13 Pro - 6GB 1TB 95,990.00 86.12
9 Xiaomi Poco F4 GT - 12GB 256GB 30,990.00 86.09
10 Asus ROG Phone 5s - 16GB 512GB 49,995.00 85.63

Disclaimer: The list was based on what is available in the Philippines or at least what data Now Inquire has. So top phones that are not available in our local stores were not included.

Based on what we have here locally, obviously the top phone which is Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra got the first and second spot. Oppo Find X2 Pro, which ranked seventh in the overall, took the third best premium phone the Philippines have. If you seek other top phones that are not listed on the previous list, it is either not available in our local store or not yet listed on Now Inquire data.

Check this page for the complete list: Smartphone list.

With that list above, we can see two premium quality phones that were less than Php 30,000. These two will surely take the next list top. Let’s move on.

Best Premium Phones under Php 40,000

Rank Model Price Score / 100
1 Realme GT2 Pro - 12GB 256GB 34,990.00 87.30
2 Xiaomi Poco F4 GT - 12GB 256GB 30,990.00 86.09
3 Xiaomi 12 - 8GB 256GB 39,999.00 83.68
4 Xiaomi 11T Pro - 12GB 256GB 29,990.00 82.88
5 Xiaomi Poco F4 GT - 8GB 128GB 27,590.00 82.27
6 Asus Zenfone 8 Flip - 8GB 256GB 39,995.00 82.08
7 Asus Zenfone 8 - 16GB 256GB 39,995.00 82.08
8 vivo X70 - 12GB 256GB 34,999.00 81.08
9 vivo X60 - 12GB 256GB 34,999.00 80.85
10 Realme GT Neo2 - 12GB 256GB 22,990.00 80.16

There they are. Ranked 9th and 10th among the premium phones took the first and second spot under Php 40,000. Well if I may recommend which premium phone to buy, I would surely recommend these two for their affordable price yet stunning quality. Specially Realme X3 SuperZoom which has a Php 6,000 difference vs Xiaomi's black shark 3 but rated with a little bit difference.

Check this page for the complete list: Smartphone List under Php 40,000.00 .

Oh well, if these phones are still not affordable for you, try to check the next list we have.

Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines

Yehey, at last. We reached the budget phones. Oh maybe you ask why I am excited, oh well this is all I can personally afford. That is simply why. I made this article to share such helpful knowledge for people like myself so as to not regret their decision when they buy the phone they will be using for the next two to three years.

So let’s go.

Best Budget Phones under Php 20,000

Rank Model Price Score / 100
1 Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro - 8GB 128GB 15,999.00 72.61
2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro+ - 8GB 128GB 19,990.00 72.30
3 vivo V21 5G - 8GB 128GB 19,999.00 71.86
4 vivo V23e 5G 19,999.00 71.79
5 Realme GT Master - 8GB 128GB 18,990.00 71.24
6 Oppo Reno6 Z - 8GB 128GB 19,999.00 71.02
7 Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE - 8GB 128GB 18,990.00 70.38
8 Samsung Galaxy A33 5G - 8GB 128GB 19,990.00 70.03
9 Samsung Galaxy M33 - 8GB 128GB 16,990.00 69.74
10 Oppo A95 5G - 8GB 128GB 15,999.00 69.63

You probably think that a score of 75 above is the only passing score, oh well this is not a Deped grading system so phones with 60 above are still above average. They were mid tier phones that are capable of processing heavy games and can produce quality images, of course not as good as the premium best camera phones.

Check this page for the complete list: Smartphone List under Php 20,000.00 .

Best Budget Phones under Php 15,000

Rank Model Price Score / 100
1 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro - 8GB 128GB 11,990.00 68.62
2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 - 6GB 128GB 9,999.00 68.61
3 Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G - 6GB 128GB 12,990.00 68.61
4 Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro - 8GB 128GB 13,590.00 67.69
5 Samsung Galaxy A22 5G - 6GB 128GB 13,990.00 66.85
6 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro - 6GB 128GB 10,990.00 66.70
7 Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G - 4GB 64GB 11,990.00 66.70
8 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro - 6GB 64GB 7,990.00 66.29
9 Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S - 8GB 128GB 12,999.00 66.19
10 Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro - 6GB 128GB 12,590.00 66.09

If you notice, the first and second in the list were only different in their internal storage which is 64GB and 128GB. So if I were you, I would consider if I really need 128GB storage for me to spend an additional Php 2,000.

Check this page for the complete list: Smartphone List under Php 15,000.00 .

Best Budget Phones under Php 7,000

Rank Model Price Score / 100
1 Realme Narzo 30A - 3GB 32GB 6,490.00 54.28
2 Realme C21Y - 4GB 64GB 6,490.00 52.60
3 Realme C3 - 3GB 32GB 5,990.00 52.53
4 Realme Narzo 50i - 4GB 64GB 6,290.00 52.44
5 Realme C21Y - 3GB 32GB 5,990.00 51.65
6 Realme C15 - 4GB 128GB 6,490.00 45.96
7 Oppo A16 - 3GB 32GB 6,999.00 45.30
8 Xiaomi Redmi 9C - 3GB 64GB 5,690.00 45.04
9 Realme C12 - 3GB 32GB 5,990.00 44.52
10 vivo Y15s 6,999.00 44.43

Knowing their score is below 60, the above phones have a good quality with their price range. So if you are looking for a phone with a budget like this, be sure to pick among this list. If it is for a child, check th ranked four because its price is too low but rated highly.

Check this page for the complete list: Smartphone List under Php 7,000.00 .

Best phones by specifications

Doing your purchase based on the top on a specific specs might not be a good basis if you are choosing a phone, but we still make it available for your eyes only. This way, you will learn what a specific phone has that others do not.

Phone with best processors

Apple phones typically have the best processors so it is obvious that the result of this list will make the brand phones on the top. It is then followed by the new Snapdragon 888 which is available only five android phones and three samsung flagship phones which is available only for USA and China and as for other countries, it uses Exynos 2100. It is then followed by Apple A13 Bionic and Kirin 9000 which have the same score.

Rank Model Score / 100 Processor
1 Apple iPhone SE (2022) 106.06 Apple A15 Bionic
2 Apple iPhone 13 mini 106.06 Apple A15 Bionic
3 Apple iPhone 13 106.06 Apple A15 Bionic
4 Apple iPhone 13 Pro 106.06 Apple A15 Bionic
5 Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 106.06 Apple A15 Bionic
6 Xiaomi Redmi K50 Pro 103.03 Dimensity 9000
7 Oppo Find X5 Pro 103.03 Dimensity 9000
8 Xiaomi 12 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
9 Samsung Galaxy S22 5G 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
10 Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
11 Xiaomi Poco F4 GT 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
12 Realme GT2 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
13 Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
14 Oppo Find X5 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
15 OnePlus 10 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
16 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
17 vivo X Note 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
18 Xiaomi 12 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
19 vivo iQOO 9 Pro 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
20 Xiaomi Redmi K50 Gaming 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
21 vivo iQOO Neo6 101.82 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

You can also check this article to see the top smartphones that uses the best smartphone processor: "Best Smartphones with Best Processor 2021"

By Memory

When comes to memory or RAM, there are only four 16GB available and they were listed as follows:

  • Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra

Next highest available memory is 12GB which is available in 63 premium models.
Disclaimer: We only included the brands on our ranking lists: Apple, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Realme, Asus, Google, and Huawei.

By internal storage

The highest available internal storage for mobile phones today is 512GB and among all the known models, there are only 24 models enjoying the huge capacity. I listed it below sorted alphabetically.

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone 13
  • Apple iPhone 13 mini
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Asus ROG Phone 3
  • Asus ROG Phone 3
  • Asus ROG Phone 5 Pro
  • Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate
  • Asus ROG Phone 5s
  • Asus ROG Phone 5s
  • Asus ROG Phone 5s Pro
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro 4G
  • Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate X2
  • Huawei Mate X2 4G
  • Huawei Mate Xs
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Huawei P40 Pro+
  • Huawei P50 Pocket
  • Huawei P50 Pro

By battery

While a battery is not a very important spec that determines the capability of a phone, having a high battery life is a lifesaver at times so here we go.

The top phones with a 7000mAh battery were Samsung Galaxy M51, Samsung Galaxy F62 and Samsung Galaxy M62. It was followed by 19 models with 6000mAh which were as follows:

  • Asus ROG Phone 3
  • Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix
  • Asus ROG Phone 5
  • Asus ROG Phone 5 Pro
  • Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate
  • Asus ROG Phone 5s
  • Asus ROG Phone 5s Pro
  • Realme 7i (Global)
  • Realme C12
  • Realme C15
  • Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition
  • Realme C25
  • Realme C25s
  • Realme Narzo 20
  • Realme Narzo 30A
  • Realme Narzo 50A
  • Samsung Galaxy F12
  • Samsung Galaxy F22
  • Samsung Galaxy F41

Conclusion

To look for the best phone available that suits you, better know what will be the purpose of your phone and the budget that you can afford. From there, from the hundreds of available phones in the market, you can easily find the best for you: either by making a research of your own, checking our website or directly asking us.

FAQs

1. What are the top 10 smartphones?

Answer: As of today, the top 10 smartphones are Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, Vivo X60 Pro+ 5G, Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Oppo Find X3 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, Xiaomi Mi 11, Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, Xiaomi Redmi K40 Pro+ and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G.

2. Which is the best smartphone in 2021?

Answer: It is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

3. What phone has the best camera 2021?

Answer: It is the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra.

4. What is the best gaming phone 2021?

Answer: It is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

5. What is the best cheap smartphone in the Philippines?

Answer: Under 7k: Xiaomi Redmi 9T with a price of 6,990.00; Under 5k: Xiaomi Redmi 9 with a price of 4,990.00 pesos.

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