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Best Flagship Smartphones launched in 2022: Vivo X80 Pro, Galaxy S22 Ultra, Xiaomi 12 Pro and more

Here are our picks for India's best smartphones in the first half of 2022.

June 17, 2022 / 02:49 PM IST
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra gets the crown of best overall flagship smartphone in 2022. The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t just have a towering spec sheet but offers a unique experience altogether when you factor in the stylus. While phones like the Vivo X80 Pro+ and iPhone 13 Pro series easily rivals the S22 Ultra in terms of camera performance, the experience on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is undeniably the best in the flagship segment.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra | Starting Price Rs 1,09,999 | The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra gets the crown of the best overall flagship smartphone in 2022. The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t just have a towering spec sheet but offers a unique experience altogether when you factor in the stylus. While phones like the Vivo X80 Pro+ and iPhone 13 Pro series easily rival the S22 Ultra in terms of camera performance, the experience on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is undeniably the best in the flagship segment.
If there’s one phone that rivals the Galaxy S22 Ultra in every area, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro series. Apple may have unveiled its flagship iPhone last year, but it has been well-over half a year and the 13 Pro models still have the best smartphone cameras to date. If you aren’t working with a budget and just looking for the best cameras on a smartphone in India, then you should definitely consider the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max. Judging by how good the iPhone 13 Pro line-up was, it is hard to imagine what Apple will conjure up for its successor in September.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Series | Starting Price Rs 1,19,900 | If there’s one phone that rivals the Galaxy S22 Ultra in every area, it’s the iPhone 13 Pro series. Apple may have unveiled its flagship iPhone last year, but it has been well over half a year and the 13 Pro models still have the best smartphone cameras to date. If you aren’t working with a budget and just looking for the best cameras on a smartphone in India, then you should definitely consider the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max. Judging by how good the iPhone 13 Pro line-up was, it is hard to imagine what Apple will conjure up for its successor in September.
If not the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro series, then the Vivo X80 Pro is certainly worth considering. While the X80 Pro can be found lacking in the software department, its hardware is top notch. Additionally, the Vivo X80 Pro’s rear cameras are some of the best in the business and can easily trade blows with iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra. We have yet to see a smartphone get as close to ‘Ultra’ with its ‘Pro’ model than the Vivo X80 Pro.
Vivo X80 Pro | Starting Price Rs 79,999 | If not the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro series, then the Vivo X80 Pro is worth considering. While the X80 Pro can be found lacking in the software department, its hardware is top-notch. Additionally, the Vivo X80 Pro’s rear cameras are some of the best in the business and can easily trade blows with iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra. We have yet to see a smartphone get as close to ‘Ultra’ with its ‘Pro’ model as the Vivo X80 Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus may not have the over-the-top specifications as its Ultra counterpart. But it does cost less and has an almost equally impressive spec sheet, capable of rivalling the very best. It is worth noting that the Galaxy S22 offers the same specs as the S22 Plus, but in a smaller package. However, the downside is a smaller screen and a smaller battery, the latter of which does tend to be an issue for a heavy smartphone user. So if you are looking for the smartphone with perfectly balanced hardware and software under Rs 1,00,000, then the S22+ is the way to go.
Samsung Galaxy S22/S22 Plus | Starting Price Rs 72,999 | The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus may not have the over-the-top specifications as its Ultra counterpart. But it costs less and has an equally impressive spec sheet, capable of rivalling the very best. It is worth noting that the Galaxy S22 offers the same specs as the S22 Plus but in a smaller package. However, the downside is a smaller screen and a smaller battery, the latter of which does tend to be an issue for a heavy smartphone user. So if you are looking for a smartphone with perfectly balanced hardware and software under Rs 1,00,000, then the S22+ is the way to go.
If you aren’t working with an unlimited budget, the vanilla iPhone 13 is worth considering. Sure, Apple makes a few concessions on the vanilla iPhone 13, but even with those confessions, the iPhone 13 still has the best chipset, best main camera, and best software support in the segment. If you aren’t a heavy user and don’t mind a smaller device, then the iPhone 13 mini is worth considering as it is a smaller version of the vanilla 13.
Apple iPhone 13 | Starting Price Rs 69,999 | If you aren’t working with an unlimited budget, the vanilla iPhone 13 is worth considering. Sure, Apple makes a few concessions on the vanilla iPhone 13, but even with those confessions, the iPhone 13 still has the best chipset, best main camera, and best software support in the segment. If you aren’t a heavy user and don’t mind a smaller device, then the iPhone 13 mini is worth considering as it is a smaller version of the vanilla 13.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is the Android flagship with the best bang for your buck. However, the 12 Pro doesn’t compromise much in the name of value with some of the best specifications in the segment. In our testing, we found that the Xiaomi 12 Pro could easily hang tight with the best of the best, including the Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10 Pro. But while Xiaomi does offer excellent hardware with the 12 Pro, it does seem to be lacking in few areas, particularly in the software department as well as the build areas, where it lacks an IP68 rating.
Xiaomi 12 Pro | Starting Price Rs 62,999 | The Xiaomi 12 Pro is the Android flagship with the best bang for your buck. However, the 12 Pro doesn’t compromise much in the name of value with some of the best specifications in the segment. In our testing, we found that the Xiaomi 12 Pro could easily hang tight with the best of the best, including the Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10 Pro. But while Xiaomi does offer excellent hardware with the 12 Pro, it does seem to be lacking in a few areas, particularly in the software department as well as the build areas, where it lacks an IP68 rating.
The OnePlus 10 Pro is another solid addition to the company’s smartphone portfolio. With the OnePlus 10 Pro, the company follows the same formula as the OnePlus 8 Pro (Review) and OnePlus 9 Pro (Review). The OnePlus 10 Pro has all the makings of solid flagship, combining excellent hardware with good software. But some users have complained about OnePlus’ software issues in the long run.
OnePlus 10 Pro | Starting Price Rs 66,999 | The OnePlus 10 Pro is another solid addition to the company’s smartphone portfolio. With the OnePlus 10 Pro, the company follows the same formula as the OnePlus 8 Pro (Review) and OnePlus 9 Pro (Review). The OnePlus 10 Pro has all the makings of a solid flagship, combining excellent hardware with good software. But some users have complained about OnePlus’ software issues in the long run.
 The iQOO 9 Pro is one of the best, if not the best, performing smartphone in India. The iQOO 9 Pro is a flagship that prioritises gaming and performance. However, that’s not to say that iQOO doesn’t deliver on other fronts with the 9 Pro. The iQOO 9 Pro also brings gimbal stabilisation on the camera as well as one of the best displays in the segment. In other words, the iQOO 9 Pro is a powerful gaming phone that doubles as a pretty good flagship.
iQOO 9 Pro | Starting Price 64,990 | The iQOO 9 Pro is one of the best, if not the best, performing smartphones in India. The iQOO 9 Pro is a flagship that prioritises gaming and performance. However, that’s not to say that iQOO doesn’t deliver on other fronts with the 9 Pro. The iQOO 9 Pro also brings gimbal stabilisation on the camera as well as one of the best displays in the segment. In other words, the iQOO 9 Pro is a powerful gaming phone that doubles as a pretty good flagship.
The Realme GT 2 Pro is arguably India’s best flagship killer of 2022. Unlike most flagship killers that use the Snapdragon 888 chip, the GT 2 Pro uses the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Additionally, Realme brings several flagship-worthy specifications in the sub-50K price tag. That being said, there are aspects of the Realme GT 2 Pro that take away from the flagship experience. But considering its price tag, I think the trade-offs are more than worth it.
Realme GT 2 Pro | Starting Price Rs 49,999 | The Realme GT 2 Pro is arguably India’s best flagship killer for 2022. Unlike most flagship killers that use the Snapdragon 888 chip, the GT 2 Pro uses the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Additionally, Realme brings several flagship-worthy specifications in the sub-50K price tag. That being said, there are aspects of the Realme GT 2 Pro that take away from the flagship experience. But considering its price tag, I think the trade-offs are more than worth it.
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is the only other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip that is available in India’s sub-50K segment. The Moto Edge 30 Pro offers flagship hardware and excellent near-stock Android software, making it one of the best smartphones under Rs 50,000 in India. The Edge 30 Pro also has some trade offs but it is easily worth its price tag.
Motorola Edge 30 Pro | Starting Price Rs 49,999 | The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is the only other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip that is available in India’s sub-50K segment. The Moto Edge 30 Pro offers flagship hardware and excellent near-stock Android software, making it one of the best smartphones under Rs 50,000 in India. The Edge 30 Pro also has some trade-offs but it is easily worth its price tag.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Jun 17, 2022 11:30 am
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