The Most Popular Cell Phones By Year: Guides & Ranking 2023

Harlan Ellison By, Harlan Ellison
Updated
Most Popular Cell Phones By Year
Most Popular Cell Phones By Year

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is the most convenient phone ever. With the high-speed Snapdragon 845 processor, this phone lets you multitask faster and easier than ever before. The graphic user interface is so intuitive that anyone can navigate easily, so you’ll never miss a beat on social media even when your phone is folded shut. Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Moto G Power | 2021

The Moto G Power is the perfect device if you're looking for a phone that does it all. With 5.7 inches of Max Vision HD display, this phone has a generous battery and can take on games, movies and video chats with ease. The power button on the side is easy to reach and the fingerprint sensor lets you secure your data with one touch. Read Review

3. Best Camera: Google Pixel 6 – 5G Android Phone

With a 5G network that's twice as fast as 4G and twice as responsive, the Google Pixel 6 is the perfect phone for today’s wireless world. Loaded with features like Night Sight, Translate, and Duplex, this Android phone also comes with an unlocked design so you can pick your own carrier or data plan. Read Review

4. Best Interface: OnePlus Nord N200 | 5G Android Smartphone U.S Version

The OnePlus Nord N200 5G is the perfect smartphone for your next adventure. It's 5G enabled (5G service only available on T-Mobile and Google Fi) so you can download or stream your favorite TV shows, connect with social media, and play online multiplayer at blazing fast speeds. Read Review

Most people are concerned with features and cost when buying new cell phones. However, the most crucial factor may be which model is the most popular in that year or the preceding months. This top list of the most popular cell phones of any given year will help you decide which ones to get and which ones to avoid.

This list only covers phones that were released in the last five years and are still sold today. It will not be considered if a phone has been discontinued after a limited time. The top three smartphones by sales volume are also left out since they can skew results due to their high sell-through rates. Other factors like operating system popularity and app availability influence what phone is the Most Popular Cell Phones By Year over short periods; however, these elements are not considered for this article’s purpose alone.

After 11 hours of product research and analysis, We are able to identify the most popular cell phones by year is SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G. The performance of this product is of an excellent standard, and it offers a complete set of features that can satisfy your requirements.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
Our Score:
9.9
SAMSUNG

ULTRA COMPACT, ULTRA COOL: Show off your style game without the tradeoffs; With a compact design that unfolds, you don’t have to compromise screen size for your favorite outfit

ONE SCREEN, TWO APPS: Launch two apps simultaneously, so you can take selfies while browsing Gallery, watch movies while texting friends, and shop multiple stores at once, on the go

A CAMERA THAT GOES STEADY: Thanks to Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3’s Super Steady feature, you can just set it down and strike a pose for picture perfect selfies

FAST CHARGING FOR FAST LIVING: Galaxy Z Flip3 smart phone charges fast so that all your moments last; There's a right time for downtime and a low battery signal, isn't it

FLEX YOUR BEST ANGLE: With Flex Mode, just unfold your mobile phone’s screen to your best angle for hands-free pics and video calls; Choose what you want to capture, set it down, stand back and shoot your best shot.Form_factor : Flip

ALL YOUR NOTIFICATIONS, FRONT AND CENTER: Control your cellphone, even when it's folded shut; Galaxy Z Flip3 notifies you on the external cover screen, so you can view notifications and check the weather

ARRAY OF COLORS: Whether you’re into sophisticated neutrals or vibrant tones, you’ll turn heads with every take; Complete your look with statement-making color choices of Phantom Black, Lavender, Green, or Cream

TOP Choice #2 Moto G Power | 2021
Our Score:
9.7
Motorola

My UX Your phone. Your experience. With My UX, your phone works the way you want. Control it with simple gestures, customize your entertainment settings, and create a look that’s one in a million. The new My UX. It’s all you.

Carrier compatibility: AT&T: VoLTE, Verizon: VoLTE, T Mobile: VoLTE, WiFi Calling, Video Calling, Tracfone: GSM, CDMA. Does not support : Xfinity Wireless, Spectrum, Optimum Mobile. For all carrier compatibility details - please check the product images in detail.

6.6" Max Vision HD, display. Watch games, movies, and video chats come to life on an ultra-wide screen.

Water-repellent design3. Keep your phone safe from accidental spills and splashes.

48 MP triple camera system. Take stunning photos in any light, as well as beautifully blurred portraits and incredibly detailed closeups.

In-box: Moto G Power (2021), 10W rapid Charger, USB Cable, Guides, SIM tool

Up to three-day battery. Capture more of life without stopping to recharge thanks to a 5000 mAh battery.

Has a 2020 Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, updated from the 2019 Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 in the moto g power 2020. Lag-free performance. Get more done without slowing down thanks to a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Wi-Fi Hotspot Ready: Moto G Power (2021) offers Wi-fi hotspot connectivity in 2.4 GHz , 5 GHz for the best experience.

Operating System: Android 10

TOP Choice #3 Google Pixel 6 – 5G Android Phone
Our Score:
9.5
Google

Please refer to the product description section below for all applicable legal disclaimers denoted by the bracketed numbers in the preceding bullet points (e.g., [1], [2], etc.)

Unlocked Android 5G phone gives you the flexibility to change carriers and choose your own data plan[1]; Pixel 6 is fast, smart, and secure, and adapts to you

Live Translate helps you translate live video captions, private chats and messages, and signs in up to 55 languages right on your cell phone[8]; no apps, internet, or language courses required[9]

Pixel’s 50 megapixel rear camera captures 150% more light for photos with richer colors and more detail[2]

Pixel’s fast charging[4] all day battery adapts to you and saves power for apps you use most[5]

The powerful Google Tensor processor is the first processor designed by Google and made for Pixel; it keeps your phone fast, your games rich, and your personal info safe

New 6.4 inch Smooth Display[10] is made with the toughest Gorilla Glass yet[11] to keep your smartphone protected; the high refresh rate means more responsive gaming and scrolling

Professional tools like Magic Eraser[3], Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode keep your photos sharp, accurate, and focused

New Pixel experience is more modern and intuitive, with colors that reflect your personal style; the At a Glance feature shows you the apps and info you need when you need it, like a boarding pass before a flight[7]

Privacy and protection are built into your Pixel smartphone; backed by the Titan M2 security chip, 5 years of updates, and the security core[6]

5G Enabled (5G service only available on T-Mobile and Google Fi) - Powered by the latest Qualcomm 5G chipset, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G allows you to download or stream your favorite TV shows, connect with your social media, and play online multiplayer at blazing fast speeds.

Single-SIM. If your device is not receiving text messages or experiencing error when making phone calls, you need to contact carriers' technical support to add CDMALess feature.

13MP Triple Camera System - It’s easy to capture every moment with clarity thanks to the 13MP main camera. Take up close and personal shots with the macro lens and add some definition to your black-and-white photos with the mono lens.

18W Fast Charging - The N200 5G’s 18W fast charging gets you refilled and back on your feet quickly.

6.49” Full HD+ LCD Display, 90Hz Smooth Display - Immerse yourself in all your favorite movies, TV shows, and video games with N200 5G’s 6.49” crystal clear Full HD+ display.

4GB RAM + 64GB built-in storage (expandable up to 256GB) - The OnePlus Nord N200 5G packs all the performance power and storage you’ll need to run and store your favorite content. 4GB of RAM ensures your applications and content run smoothly, making for a seamless, customizable, and enjoyable mobile experience. The 64GB of built-in storage ensures you can have all your favorite films, TV shows, games, and photos with you on the go. Need more storage Expand it by up to 256GB with a microSD card.

90Hz Smooth Display - The 90Hz refresh rate refreshes 50% faster than standard 60Hz displays, ensuring smooth navigation and scrolling across the home screen and your applications.

Large 5000mAh battery - The OnePlus Nord N200 5G is powered by a massive 5000mAh battery, providing all the power required to get you through the day. Watch hours of TV, play graphically intense games, or browse the internet non-stop without fear of your device dying. Should the unthinkable happen and your battery die, no sweat.

48MP OIS Quad Camera: Capture sharp photos and videos with the 48MP Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) main camera. The 16MP ultra wide-angle, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth camera allow you to capture and explore more of the world around you. The 32MP front camera with dedicated RGB sensor accurately captures skin tone and natural lighting for stunning selfies.

The Power of 5G: Experience revolutionary speeds, faster streaming, quicker downloads, as well as enhanced AI features and hyper-accurate GPS with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G Mobile processor. And 6GB of RAM provide effortlessly smooth performance. More sharing, more gaming, more experiences, never miss a beat.This Model is made for the US with a one-year US warranty.

Keep More: 256GB ROM storage gives you enough space to keep all your apps, picture, videos, music and files without feeling the pinch. You can also expand up to 1TB with a microSD card (sold separately). the in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock provide for fast and secure access.

Unlocked Smartphone: Compatible with Verizon 5G and LTE network, T-Mobile 5G and LTE network, AT&T LTE networks (without AT&T 5G). If your device doesn't work with Verizon, please restart the phone. If your device experiences an error when making calls on Verizon, your account may need to be provisioned to support “CDMA-less” devices with the assistance of Verizon’s technical support team or your account’s business representative. This device isn't compatible with CDMA networks-such as Sprint, Spectrum, Xfinity,etc.

NXTVISION 2.0 Intelligent Display: Discover seamless visuals that go beyond the edge with the TCL 20 Pro 5G smartphone's 6.67-inch FHD+ NXTVISION AMOLED Dotch Display. Immerse yourself in a vivid, true-to-life visual world. The phone's AI visual enhancement intelligently detects your environment's lighting and automatically enhances brightness, color, clarity, and contrast for the best visuals.

Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plans starting as low as dollar 20/month

6.5" HD plus FullVision Notch Display; 2.0GHz Octa-Core Processor; 4,000mAh Non Removable Battery; Triple Rear Cameras 13MP plus 5MP plus 2MP/13MP Front-Facing Camera; Internal memory 32GB Supports Micro SD memory card up to 2TB (not included); 3GB RAM

Android 9 Pie; 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802 11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0

To the value seekers and great deal getters. You’re in the market for a smartphone that accomplishes the essentials, one that looks and feels great. And you also love to make and share memories, so you need a camera that’s sharp and quick.

CARRIER: This phone is locked to Tracfone, which means this device can only be used on the Tracfone wireless network.

7 Tracfone Motorola moto g Stylus, 128GB
Our Score:
8.7
TracFone

48MP quad camera system: Showcase your creativity from every perspective, from ultra-wide angle shots to detailed close-ups and everything in between.

Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plans starting as low as dollars20/month

Go longer on a single charge with a 4000 mAh battery.

Carrier: This phone is locked to Tracfone, which means this device can only be used on the Tracfone wireless network.

128GB of storage and up to 1TB expandable with microSD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 processor, and 4GB of RAM; 6.8” FHD plus Max Vision Display

8 SAMSUNG Galaxy S22 Ultra Cell Phone
Our Score:
8.6
SAMSUNG

8K SUPER STEADY VIDEO: Shoot videos that rival how epic your life is with stunning 8K recording, the highest recording resolution available on a smartphone; Video captured is effortlessly smooth, thanks to Auto Focus Video Stabilization on Galaxy S22 Ultra

ADAPTIVE COLOR CONTRAST: Streaming on the go, working from your patio or binge-watching late into the night. The Galaxy S22 Ultra adaptive screen automatically optimizes color and brightness, outdoors and indoors

Included components: usb cable

NIGHTOGRAPHY plus PORTAIT MODE: Capture the night with crystal clear, bright pics and videos, no matter the lighting with Night Mode; Portrait Mode auto-detects and adjusts to what you want front and center, making all your photos worthy of a frame

EMBEDDED S PEN: New phone, new S Pen; Now you can unleash your creativity on Galaxy S22 Ultra with an embedded S Pen; Edit photos and videos with pinpoint accuracy, and do it all with that pen-to-paper feel

108MP PHOTO RESOLUTION plus BRIGHT DISPLAY: Capture premium detail with 108MP resolution— the highest available on a cell phone; Your favorite content will look even more epic on our brightest display ever with Vision Booster

PREMIUM DESIGN & CRAFTMANSHIP: With a classy, eye-catching glass-metal-glass design, we’re setting a standard for smart phones; With our strongest aluminum frame and the latest Gorilla Glass, this phone is lightweight and durable to help endure scratches and dings

LONG LASTING BATTERY plus FAST CHARGING: Power every scroll, click, tap and stream all day long and then some with an intelligent, long-lasting battery; Dive back into action at a moment’s notice with 45W Super-Fast Charging

9 Google Pixel 6a - 5G Android Phone
Our Score:
8.4
Google

Please refer to the product description section below for all applicable legal disclaimers denoted by the bracketed numbers in the preceding bullet points (e.g., [1], [2], etc.)

With IP67 protection, Pixel 6a can take a little water and dust[7], so you can take it almost anywhere you go

Pixel’s fast-charging all-day battery adapts to you and saves power for the apps you use most[2]

Privacy and security are built in to your phone; the Titan M2 chip and the Google Tensor security core add an extra layer of hardware security to help make your Pixel phone more resilient to attacks[8]

Take amazing photos with Pixel’s 12 megapixel camera and tools like Magic Eraser[3], Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode

When you plug it in, Pixel 6a charges super fast[4]; with just a few minutes of charging, your phone gets hours of power (adapters sold separately)

Unlocked Android 5G phone gives you the flexibility to change carriers and choose your own data plan[1]; works with Google Fi, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and other major carriers

With Google Tensor, your phone launches apps fast, pages and images load quickly, and everything runs smoothly

Live Translate helps you translate live video captions, private chats, and messages, and signs in up to 55 languages right on your cell phone[5]

Google Pixel 6a adapts to you; it’s super fast and secure and powered by Google Tensor, the first chip designed by Google just for Pixel

【Smoothest Mobile Screen】Gaming Phone with a 165Hz refresh rate, this 6.8” AMOLED screen delivers beautiful HD+ visuals at up to 165 frames per second. With a 720Hz touch sampling rate for multi fingers, the Cell Phone delivers ultra-fast touch and precise response, giving you a serious competitive edge while gaming. The 5G Smartphone have also Under-display Fingerprint Sensor and SGS Eye Care Certification.

【Unlocked For All Carriers】REDMAGIC 7 Smartphone is unlocked for all carriers and supports below frequency bands. IMPORTANT NOTES: Please Confirm Your SIM Card's frequency bands are included in below Supported Bands before Order. 5G Network is NSA: n41/n78/n77/n38 and SA: n41/n78/n1/n77(3600M-4100M)/n28A/n3/n7/n8/n20/n5. 2G+3G+4G Network are GSM 2/3/5/8; CDMA/EVDO: BC0/BC1; WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/6/8/19; TD-LTE: B34/B38/39/40/41; FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28A/B66.

【5G & WIFI 6E Connection and 4500mAh Battery】5G is SA+NSA dual mode and supports all key regions up to 3.0 Gbps uploads, up to 7.5 Gbps downloads. WIFI 6E is up to 3.5Gbps. These bring mobile gaming to a whole new level. Download the latest games and videos in gigabit speeds with ease to show off your smooth, low latency experience. The Cell Phone certified 30W charger, charge 0-100% in 65 minutes and supports up to 65W fast charging.

【Ultra HD AI Quad Camera】Rear Camera are 64-Megapixel (F1.79) + 8-Megapixel(F2.2) + 2-Megapixel(F2.4) and support 8K resolution at 30fps, 4K at 60fps/30fps, 1080P at 60fps/30fps, 720P at 30fps. The Wide Angle Respectively are 78.3°+120°+78°. Front Camera is 8-Megapixel and support 1080P/720P at 30fps video recording. Amazing realistic colors and contrast, dynamic tone mapping.

【Multi-Dimensional Cooling System】The Gaming Phone incorporates new aerospace-grade phase change materials (PCM) . Heat can be stored inside this material and released slowly so you feel less heat from the phone while playing, making it more comfortable to hold the phone. The High-Speed Built-In Turbofan accelerates heat dissipation and the fan noise is as quiet as a whisper.

【Latest Chip and Larger Storage】The Gaming Smartphone has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Play your favorite games with ease with the raw power of the new CPU clocking in at nearly 3G Hz and enjoy Triple-A graphics thanks to the fast rendering power of the GPU. 12GB RAM + 128GB ROM provides not only a fun gaming experience and effects, also large storage space for game downloads.

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a most popular cell phones by year?

Actually, when you decide to invest in most popular cell phones by year for yourself, lots of things to consider! It's harder to choose since the product comes with many types, functions, and features from different manufacturers. That’s why you should find a reliable space to acquire knowledge related to the item. 

We’ve highlighted the essential features of the most popular cell phones by year below. Along with checking out the list of best models in the list, you should also carefully read the buying guide here:

Network Support

Each decade, new networks are released. We are currently in the middle of 5G deployment. One problem: if you want to actually use 5G you must be both near a tower or cell that has 5G coverage and your phone supports 5G networks.
Further complicating matters, there are many types of 5G networks. Sub-6 networks are slower, but they can go further. There are also mmWave network that can travel further distances but are not as reliable.
You will need to make sure your phone can connect to multiple networks if you are interested in connecting.

RAM

RAM (or Random Access Memory) is basically where you store files and apps on a temporary basis. The RAM on your phone is basically how much space you have to store files and codes for easy access.
RAM, which is an extremely fast storage option for your smartphone, can be used to store data faster than what's in the main memory. However, the amount of RAM your phone can handle is a major determinant as to whether it has more or less.

Storage

Storage is next in our guide to buying a phone. The performance of your phone is less important than how it can store and retrieve data.
As time passes, devices generally have more storage. Some people do not necessarily require a lot of storage. Cloud services have made it possible to store less. Apps are the only things I store on my phone. My music, videos and files can be accessed in the cloud. I only download them to my device when I view or stream them.

Display Size

This section will cover other specifications, but it is fairly straightforward. A larger screen may be necessary if you watch a lot on your smartphone, or play lots of video games. You may not be as concerned if you do, and you might even prefer something smaller.
Phone displays are now ranging from approximately 5 to 6.8 inches.

Operating System

You have two options when it comes to operating a smartphone: Apple's iOS or Google's Android. You must decide which ecosystem of tech you like best. Apple's iOS integrates, among other things, with iOS devices such as the iPad and Mac, along with services such as iCloud and Apple Music. Android on the other side leverages Google’s ecosystem and supports deeper integration with services such as Google Drive, Google Photos Search, Search, etc.
In general, iOS works a bit more consistently than Android, but Android can be customized more. Android, for example, allows you to install apps from third party sources. iOS does not.
You will need to make other choices if you choose the Android route. Android can be modified by Android manufacturers to make it work on their devices. Samsung is known for heavily altering Android in order to make it look and function differently.

Camera

Camera is next in our phone buying guide. As people increasingly use smartphones for video and photography, camera quality becomes more important. It's difficult to determine the camera's quality without actually using it. This is because, while you have some specifications that can be viewed, the quality of an image will vary.

Battery

The battery capacity, measured in milliamp hours, is the size of a battery. This metric is not very useful in determining how long your phone can last without charging. There are many factors that impact the life of a phone, including its display specifications, network usage and how frequently you use it for gaming. It can therefore be difficult to determine how much use you will receive. Many phone reviews attempt to gauge the battery, but it is worth looking at customer reviews before buying if battery life concerns you.

FAQs

Why Are Security Updates Important?

It can be easy to overlook a notification on your smartphone that a new update has been released. These updates contain not just patches to improve user experience, but also fixes bugs that could be exploited or exploited by malware. These updates are not available forever by phone manufacturers. Some only offer them for two years from the date of launch. Your phone may become unsecure without this critical security support. In the worst scenario, hackers could have access to your data.

What Should I Look For In A Smartphone Display?

The display size and quality are important because smartphones can be controlled completely using their touchscreens. Larger screens are better for reading and web surfing, while larger displays can make it more difficult to transport.
The screen's pixel density (measured in pixels per inch, ppi) will tell you how sharp and clear text will look on the screen. A smaller amount of pixels across large screens, such as a big one, can lead to jagged edges. The screen technology is also important. AMOLED and IPS are the main technologies. Each has its pros and cons.

Should I Buy A Phone Outright Or Through A Plan?

Are you going to buy your phone upfront or do you plan on paying it over time? It all depends on the product you are looking for. Compare both and choose the one that's best for you.
It may save you a lot in the end, so it is worth looking into if it is possible.
If you don't want to pay upfront, there are many post-paid options.
The amount that you pay for the phone plan will depend on which contract you choose and the use of your phone.

How Much Do Senior Cell Phones Cost?

Prices for cell phones vary depending on which provider they are from and what features it has. Both brick-style and flip phones can be purchased at a reasonable price. Smartphones can be the most costly of all the phones, depending on their features and model. You can choose a smartphone that suits your lifestyle and budget with all these options.

What About Performance And Battery Life?

These days, most smartphones run on octacore processors. The clock speed (measured by GHz) is a measure of the processor's performance. It will also give an indication of the fluidity of the operating system and how it handles running applications and games.
Long battery life, however, is something you should be looking for in a phone. The battery test helps you decide the best handset for you. However, the larger the battery capacity of the phone (measured as mAh) the more it can last without needing to be charged.

How Much Smartphone Storage Do I Need?

A minimum 64GB onboard storage should be sufficient if the microSD slot is available. However, you will soon notice that your internal storage starts to fill up fast. In recent years there has been more emphasis on smartphones cameras. It's probable that Instagram photos will take up the majority of your internal storage. We recommend 64GB at minimum to get you going.

Do Cell Phones Give Off (emit) Radiation?

Yes, cell phones as well as cordless phones transmit radiofrequency radiation (RF). Radiofrequency radiation is not like other forms of radiation, such as x-rays. We know that RF can cause cancer. It is not known if radiofrequency radiation (RF) from mobile phones could cause long-term health issues. International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated RF radiation as possible human carcinogen. (A carcinogen refers to an agent that can cause cancer.

After knowing the suitable kinds of most popular cell phones by year and the features you wish, it’s high time for you to start your shopping. Note that you shouldn’t run out to a particular store or start scrolling through online sales just yet. With the development of technology, especially the expansion of sale sites, you can easily find your buddy. 

Remember to check out our site weekly round-up to ensure that the current sales on most popular cell phones by year perform well in our tests. So you can catch up with them as soon as possible. Would you please give us your feedback for better service? Many thanks!


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About Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is a writer and audio equipment enthusiast. He's particularly interested in home theater HiFi audio, and he has been the editor of The Audio Critic since its inception. Harlan is known for his sharp wit and scathing critiques, but he also has a great love of music and audio gear. When he's not writing or editing, Harlan can be found listening to music or watching movies with his wife.

Read Harlan's full bio