homephotos Newstechnology NewsiPhone 14 Pro Max to Nothing Phone (1) — 8 smartphones that created buzz in 2022

iPhone 14 Pro Max to Nothing Phone (1) — 8 smartphones that created buzz in 2022

iPhone 14 Pro Max to Nothing Phone (1) — 8 smartphones that created buzz in 2022
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By Vijay Anand   | Priyanka Deshpande  Dec 26, 2022 6:54:12 PM IST (Published)

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This year was a largely iterative one for technology — especially smartphones — with several, though not all, companies treating this as a transition year before they make the leap into newer technologies. That said, 2022 was not without its share of head-turners — this was the year Apple got rid of its infamous notch, sort of, while Samsung retired its legendary Galaxy Note line up. Meanwhile, upstarts like Nothing upstaged more established brands through bold design choices and overall solid devices. Here are the best smartphones that CNBCTV18.com tried out in 2022, in no particular order:

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iPhone 14 Pro Max |  Powerhouse battery meets god-tier OLED screen meets a fantastic camera — that’s the iPhone 14 Pro Max in a nutshell for you. The biggest camera sensor leap since iPhones jumped from 8 MP primary shooters to 12 MP with the iPhone 6s in 2015, the 14 Pro Max sports a 48 MP primary camera which, while still producing 12 MP output, shoots photographs that are rich in detail, accurate in colour and phenomenal in quality. The Dynamic Island, which replaced the ubiquitous iPhone notch, is a fun addition but feels like a work in progress. That said, there are games and applications that made ingenious use of Dynamic Island. (Image: Apple)

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra | Yes, yes, we know what we said earlier — that Samsung retired the Galaxy Note lineup. It’s true, but it’s also not true. Samsung has effectively retired just the name, with the S22 Ultra being a Note device in all but name. Its gigantic, gorgeous 6.8-inch screen — the largest in this lineup — is Samsung’s best display ever on a mobile phone, and considering the South Korean giant is essentially the world’s OLED screen maker, that’s quite a feat. It’s got a 120 HZ refresh rate, and its boxy corners and a pill-shaped camera cutout make it an optimal device on which to watch videos, play games or shoot stunning cameras with its 108 MP camera, plus a bunch of secondary and tertiary cameras. The included and storied S-Pen makes it easily the most productivity-focused smartphone powerhouse this year. Oh, and the massive battery easily lasts you a day and a half. (Image: Samsung)

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Google Pixel 7 Pro | This was a strange, but exciting year by Google for India — the Mountain View, California, tech giant released not one, not two, but three phones for India this year, after several years of smartphone drought. And two of those were flagship models, with the Pixel 7 Pro occupying the highest pedestal. The 7 Pro is a gorgeous phone — with a glass back and polished unibody aluminium frame and camera housing. The three-camera primary array on the back, paired with Google’s computational photography magic, makes for some truly awesome photos, while the battery is easily capable of lasting you two days. The screen is bright, huge (6.7 inches) and vibrant, making consuming content a true pleasure. The price too, at Rs 85,000, is on the lower end of the spectrum for a top-of-the-line flagship. The Android 13-Tensor G2 chip pairing is Google’s answer to Apple’s unmatched hardware-software optimisation. (Image: Google)

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Vivo X80 Pro | Every once in a while, a company unexpectedly takes a baseball bat to its competition in terms of camera performance. This year, that phone is the vivo X80 Pro. The screen is nearly as big as the S22 Ultra’s, and comes with all the bells and whistles — high refresh rate, high brightness, et al. It also has a futuristic design and a more-than-capable battery. But that’s why this phone is on this list, no. the X80 Pro is here purely by virtue of its jaw-dropping cameras. The rear 50 MP primary lens, with under-the-hood wizardly takes some truly stunning photos, while the 32 MP selfie camera is more than enough to capture your mug, pores and all. The X80 Pro is easily a contender for the best smartphone camera of the year. (Image: Vivo)

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Google Pixel 7 | The second, and smaller, of Google’s 2022 flagships, the 7 is probably the perfect compact phone this year — easily my favourite. Yes, it lacks the extra oomph that its bigger sibling has — the extra camera, the screen real estate or the battery — but is no less capable. If anything, one would argue that it is that lack of extra bells and whistles that make it an absolute champ. The second-generation Tensor chip is a powerhouse, and the Pixel 7, with moderate-heavy usage easily lasts a day-and-a-half, and its primary camera is the same as the 7 Pro’s, so it’s no slouch in that department either. It comes with a glass back, but instead of the polished aluminium of the Pro, it sports a brushed aluminium finish, which, coupled with its compact size, makes it that much more comfortable to hold. (Image: Google)

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Nothing Phone (1) |  Ah, yes. The Nothing Phone (1). No 2022 smartphones list will be complete without this truly unique design — in years. Much was made of the smartphone when it was first announced by Carl Pei in March 2021. Before long, details were drip fed to a smartphone enthusiast community that was starved of true innovation before the big reveal left a wide, stupid grin on everyone’s faces, Yours Truly included. The Nothing Phone (1) is truly a breathtaking device to behold — it’s unique Glyph Interface infused with 900 LEDs, it’s retro-chic sound and visual design, paired with its transparent back and cameras that punch well above their weight — the Nothing Phone (1) made a grand debut. The fact that its user experience got smoother as time passed is the cherry on this transparent cake. (Image: Nothing)

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 Google Pixel 6a |  Why three phones from Google on this list, you ask? Because they truly hit different sweet spots, depending on what you’re looking for. The Pixel 7 Pro meets the needs of those looking for a true flagship, while the Pixel 7 ticks most of the same boxes but at a smaller form factor. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, is a phenomenal budget phone. Along with Nothing Phone (1), the 6a delivers more than enough bang for your buck. It has pretty good cameras, eye-popping good battery life and a lot of that Pixel Launcher magic that is unique to Google. It’s far often than not on sale for under Rs 30,000, which makes it great value. Plus, the matte aluminium sides and plastic back make it very grippy. (Image: Google)

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Vivo V25 Pro | On paper, the V25 Pro is a middling smartphone. In real-life use-case, though, it is a hidden gem. It has commendable cameras that shoot bright, punchy photographs, and its battery and OLED screen are truly great. But that not’s why this phone made it to the list — it’s the innovative glass back that literally changes colours that pushed it over. See, the V25 Pro actually changes colours when it's hit by ultraviolet light. It goes from turquoise to a deep blue. Imagine the fun to be had with stencils and sunlight. (Image: Vivo)

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