2023 saw the introduction of an almost infinite number of smartphones. Even though launch events are still far from over, especially in China at the beginning of December, the first yearly reviews (and their winners and losers) are emerging.
For 2023, yearly reviews a month before the year’s end are already popping up. Award ceremonies on YouTube, as popularized in particular by Marques Brownlee with his MKBHD channel, are now an integral part of many tech channels. The first yearly verdict on smartphones in 2023 comes from Arun Maini, who is more likely known to his audience as Mrwhosetheboss. In his video (embedded below), he hands out trophies to winners in a number of categories.
The two losers, on the other hand, have to make do with a wooden spoon in the hope of perhaps cooking up something better in 2024. We don’t want to give away any spoilers: we reveal under the video which smartphones in 2023 won awards for categories ranging from “best foldable smartphone”, “best compact smartphone” to “best smartphone of the year”.
The winners and losers of 2023 (for Mrwhosetheboss)
Of course, such a list is always subjective, and the availability of exciting candidates has shrunk further this year. In the US, Chinese smartphone manufacturers are traditionally hardly available (with the possible exception of OnePlus). The European market is more diverse, but also experienced significant setbacks in 2023. The fact that Oppo did not launch its Find X6 Pro outside China and smartphones from Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus and Realme were partly taken off the market due to patent disputes is not exactly pushing Samsung and Apple to make more of an effort. The Huawei camera flagships that are currently making headlines are also likely to remain largely limited to China.
In this respect, many of the additional options mentioned in the Youtuber’s video are only theoretical, making the winners quite predictable. Without further ado, the list of winners and losers from Mrwhostheboss are:
- Best foldable smartphone: OnePlus Open aka Oppo Find N3 (Amazon)
- Best compact smartphone: Sony Xperia 5 V (Amazon)
- Best battery: Sony Xperia 10 V (Amazon)
- Most improved smartphone over 2022: Motorola Edge 30 Ultra (Amazon)
- Best gaming smartphone: Asus ROG Phone 7 (Amazon)
- Best camera smartphone: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
- Best budget smartphone: Xiaomi Poco X5 Pro (Amazon)
- Best midrange smartphone: Google Pixel 7a (Amazon)
- Loser of the year: Apple iPhone SE (technically not a 2023 phone) and Google Pixel Fold
- Best smartphone of the year: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Amazon) and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
As a young tech enthusiast with a history involving assembling and overclocking projects, I ended up working as a projectionist with good old 35-mm films before I entered the computer world at a professional level. I assisted customers at an Austrian IT service provider called Iphos IT Solutions for seven years, working as a Windows client and server administrator as well as a project manager. As a freelancer who travels a lot, I have been able to write for Notebookcheck from all corners of the world since 2016. My articles cover brand-new mobile technologies in smartphones, laptops, and gadgets of all kinds.
Translator: Jacob Fisher – Translator – 426 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2022
Growing up in regional Australia, I first became acquainted with computers in my early teens after a broken leg from a football (soccer) match temporarily condemned me to a predominately indoor lifestyle. Soon afterwards I was building my own systems. Now I live in Germany, having moved here in 2014, where I study philosophy and anthropology. I am particularly fascinated by how computer technology has fundamentally and dramatically reshaped human culture, and how it continues to do so.
Alexander Fagot, 2023-12- 3 (Update: 2023-12- 3)