The best big phones prioritize screen size and battery life over whether or not they fit in your pocket. They're the opposite of compact, but you can watch videos, lose yourself in games or text with fewer typos. Every single one of the phones here is sure to require two hands to use.
Practically every high-end handset comes in a super-size option, from Apple's new iPhone 13 Pro Max to the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung's foldable Galaxy Z Fold 3. All four phones in the entire Galaxy S22 lineup along with both Pixel 6 models sport giant displays, as well, leaving smaller phones in short supply.
Alongside their more expansive displays and improved longevity on a charge, the best big phones pack more elaborate cameras, with a greater quantity of lenses and the best optics and sensors on the market. Rest assured, we've tested them all.
If you're ready to go big on your next phone, we've put together a list of some of our super-sized favorites. And should you want one of the best small phones instead, we've got you covered there, too.
What are the best big phones?
The biggest iPhone is also the best big phone available. The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen powered by the best-in-class A15 Bionic processor. It also has the best battery life of any of the iPhone 13 family. The ProMotion display can go up to 120Hz, putting the iPhone 13 Pro Max in line with many high-end Android phones.
Samsung looks to challenge the iPhone's place at the top of the best big phones list with a trio of new phones highlighted by the massive Galaxy S22 Ultra. With a big 6.8-inch screen that's the brightest we've tested, the new Ultra is a standout device for Android fans, though the Galaxy S22 Plus also impresses if you don't want to spend more than $1,000 on your next phone. Android users should also consider the OnePlus 10 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro, both of which offer expansive screens.
If money is truly no object, there is no bigger phone than the Galaxy Z Fold 3, a $1,799 foldable that opens up to reveal an expansive 7.6-inch display. Not only is this updated handset more durable, it also adds S Pen support. At the other end of the price spectrum, you can turn to the Google Pixel 5a, which offers a good mix of quality and budget features for less than $500.
The best big phones you can buy today
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is not only the best big phone around, but it’s the best phone period. Its beautiful 6.7-inch OLED display with its 120Hz refresh rate wowed us, as did the cameras and battery life. Apple made serious improvements this year, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max going for over an hour longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max in our battery test.
The main and ultrawide cameras have larger sensors now, which let in more light for better photos all around. The telephoto lens got bumped to 3x. So not only is the hardware impressive, but so are the actual photos.
Apple didn’t leave it at that, adding in Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles to improve your creativity. Cinematic mode is basically portrait video with dynamically shifting focus. Photographic Styles are real-time filters that you can adjust to your liking.
If you want the best phone possible, then you want the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Read our full iPhone 13 Pro Max review.
With a notable increase in screen size over its predecessor, the Pixel 5a has become a cheaper choice among the best big phones. Don't mind the lower price however, this phone still takes on much more expensive rivals when it comes to photography and display quality.
Other phones from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, and Motorola should take note. That said, we don’t think they have much to worry about considering that the Pixel 5a is only available in the US and Japan. So international readers will miss out on this one. (For you, we recommend the $449 Samsung Galaxy A53, which is on par with the Pixel 5a in most ways.) It also uses the Snapdragon 765G, an upgrade over the Pixel 4a, but an old chip nonetheless.
The Pixel 5a also sports mmWave and sub-6Ghz 5G support, and it’s unlocked for all major carriers. It’s $100 more than the Pixel 4a last year, but $449 is still a great price for what you get — that is, the best camera phone under $500.
Read our full Google Pixel 5a review.
On the surface, not much seems to have changed from last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra to the new Galaxy S22 Ultra. After all, both phones sport 6.8 inches displays with fast refresh rates.
But beyond the surface, Samsung packed some big changes into the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The new phone features a super-bright display, boasting a peak brightness of 1,750 nits. (We measured 1,359 nits on a light meter, which still makes the S22 Ultra one of the brightest displays we’ve seen.) The refresh rate has been tweaked to scale all the way down to 1Hz when the action on the screen is static.
Beyond display improvements, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a new chipset, fast 45W charging and a bigger main camera sensor that helps better capture low-light photos. Android fans who want a big-screen phone with premium features should choose this Samsung model.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.
With its 6.7-inch display, the OnePlus 10 Pro is by no means a small phone. That big display comes in a QHD resolution, which, when combined with the size, makes for awesome video viewing and game playing.
We also love how the phone feels to hold. Despite its size, it’s comfortable and slim with its 7-ounce weight evenly distributed for a balanced feel. If you love big phones, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a lot to offer, including high-end power and excellent battery life. Even the cameras are great this time around, though we think the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pixel 6 Pro are better at photography.
Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review.
While the 6.4-inch Google Pixel 6 is a big phone in its own right, it's the Pixel 6 Pro that offers the most screen space of any new Google flagship. You get a 6.7-inch screen that can refresh at up to 120Hz depending on your activity.
The screen isn't the only great feature on this new Pixel, powered by Google's Tensor chip. You also get a 48MP telephoto lens capable of a 4x zoom. And like the regular Pixel 6, that Tensor chip coupled with Android 12 means you get some pretty powerful new features like a magic eraser for removing unwanted people from the background of photos and a smarter Google Assistant.
Battery life could be better on the Pixel 6 Pro, but thanks to the beefed-up smarts on this device, it's the one for people who want a big screen and a pure Android experience.
Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review.
If it’s big phones you like, why not opt for a phone that gets even bigger when you open it up? That’s the idea of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which features a 6.2-inch cover display but can open up to reveal a tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen.
Even better, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is more durable than before, thanks to an IPX8 water-resistance rating and both tougher glass and aluminum used for its screen and body. Samsung added S Pen support, too, though that feature is optional, requiring you to buy a separate stylus.
With more apps optimized for the Galaxy Z Fold’ 3’s screen, you should be able to enjoy features like multitasking to a greater extent. While the Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t for everyone, it’s a very good choice for big phone fans who need a mobile productivity tool.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.
The iPhone 13 is the best phone for most people. It features several camera enhancements such as larger sensors and sensor-shift OIS. Apple also included the Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles found on the Pro models.
The 6.1-inch OLED is crisp and beautiful with a smaller notch. You get 128GB base storage, up from 64GB last year. The new A15 Bionic chip is a powerhouse, destroying the best you can find in an Android phone. Whatever you need your phone to do, the iPhone 13 can do it.
Read our full iPhone 13 review.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus features a slightly smaller display than last year’s Plus model. But 6.6 inches is still ample space, and Samsung boosted the brightness on this phone. Like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the S22 Plus offers a peak brightness of 1,750 nits, making it easy to see the display when you’re outside. Unlike the S22 Ultra, you can have this phone for less than $1,000.
It may not be the top-of-the-line model in the Galaxy S22 lineup, but the Plus packs in plenty of premium features, from an improved telephoto lens that offers a 3x optical zoom to the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset powering the device. The Galaxy S22 Plus also supports 45W wired charging. It’s not a big leap forward from the Galaxy S21 Plus, but if you’ve got an older phone, the S22 Plus is a solid upgrade.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.
Fast-refreshing displays are becoming a more common feature among flagship phones, though most of the phones on this list top out at a 120Hz rate. The Motorola Edge Plus (2022) does that one better with a 6.7-inch panel that refreshes at 144Hz when your on-screen activity demands it. That makes for smoother scrolling and more immersive graphics.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset powering Motorola’s flagship can keep up with any Android phone released in 2022, and the 50MP main camera can produce some great shots in the right conditions. We wish the 4,800 mAh battery in the Motorola Edge Plus was better equipped to last long on a charge, and Motorola’s software upgrade policy lags behind Samsung’s. But if you can find this flagship at the right price, the Motorola Edge Plus has some appeal to gamers who like big displays.
Read our full Motorola Edge Plus (2022) review.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE may have a bigger screen at 6.4 inches than the 6.2-inch Galaxy S21, but it has a smaller price tag. And that's the kind of size disparity the fans of the best big phones want to see.
You pay $699 for the Galaxy S21 FE, $100 less than the standard S21. As a result, you'll get less RAM and a fast-refresh display that you have to set manually. But the top features you'd associate with the S21 family — the Snapdragon 888 processor, the excellent rear cameras and the bright display — are all available when you opt for the FE.
With the Galaxy S22 available for $799, there's not much a price drop to get the Galaxy S21 FE. If you can swing the extra $100, it may be worth getting Samsung's newer phone to benefit from the improved cameras and brighter display. Still, if you don't want to go over $700 for your next phone, the Galaxy S21 FE offers some premium features.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review.
How to choose the best big phone for you
- Android or iPhone? Android phones give you more choice in terms of price, size and innovative designs — many of them happen to be larger, too. However, iPhones offer speedier software updates, better games and apps and better security and privacy. See our iPhone vs Android face-off.
- Unlocked or carrier? Most shoppers in the U.S. buy new phones through their wireless carrier. But an unlocked phone gives you the freedom to buy the device without any sort of contract and then bring it to the provider you want to use.
- Screen size: For fans of big phones, 6 inches and up is a good place to start. The biggest phones are 6.5 to just under 7 inches. If you want something you can easily use with one hand, go with one of the best small phones with a screen under 6 inches.
- Cameras: Don't pay attention to the megapixel count. Instead, look at camera face-offs between phones to see the photo quality and look for special features like Night Mode to get better quality in low light. Also see our best camera phone roundup.
- Battery life: Generally, phones with larger batteries (measured in mAh) offer the longest battery life, but that's not always the case. That's why we run our own custom battery tests, where phones repeatedly load webpages over a T-Mobile data connection while set to 150 nits of display brightness until they run out of juice.
How we test smartphones
In order for a smartphone to make our best phone list, it needs to excel on several tests that we run on every handset. We perform some of these tests in our labs and some in the real world.
When it comes to performance, we rely on such synthetic benchmarks as Geekbench 5 and 3DMark to measure graphics performance. These tests allow us to compare performance across iPhones and Android devices. We also run a real-world video transcoding test on each phone using the Adobe Premiere Rush app and time the result. (We unfortunately have to skip this test on some phones due to app compatibility issues, but we attempt this benchmark with each device we get in to review.)
|Geekbench 5 (single-core / multicore)||3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (FPS)|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||1720 / 4549||68|
|Pixel 5a||581 / 1345||10|
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||1240 / 3392||57|
|OnePlus 10 Pro||995 / 3482||61|
|Pixel 6 Pro||1027 / 2760||40|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||1107 / 3418||34|
|iPhone 13||1668 / 4436||56|
|Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus||1214 / 3361||60|
|Motorola Edge Plus (2022)||1196 / 3644||61|
|Galaxy S21 FE||1101 / 3199||34|
To measure the quality of a phone's display, we perform lab tests to determine the brightness of the panel (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.
|sRGB (%)||DCI-P3 (%)||Delta-E|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||109||77||0.21|
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||138||98||0.25|
|OnePlus 10 Pro||174 (Vivid) / 119 (Natural)||123 (Vivid) / 85 (Natural)||0.32 (Vivid) / 0.23 (Natural)|
|Pixel 6 Pro||104||74||0.3|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||104||76||0.26|
|Galaxy S22 Plus||212 (Vivid) / 91 (Natural)||150 (Vivid) / 91 (Natural)||0.35 (Vivid) / 0.23 (Natural)|
|Motorola Edge Plus (2022)||192 (Saturated) / 104 (Natural)||136 (Vivid) / 74 (Natural)||0.33 (Vivid) / 0.28 (Natural)|
|Galaxy S21 FE||207 (Vivid) / 120 (Natural)||147 (Vivid) / 79 (Natural)||0.32 (Vivid) / 0.29 (Natural)|
One of the most important tests we run is the Tom's Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G (or 4G if the phone doesn't have 5G support) at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.
|Battery life (Hrs:Mins)|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||12:16|
|Galaxy S22 Ultra||8:50 (Adaptive) / 8:56 (60Hz)|
|OnePlus 10 Pro||11:52 (High) / 12:40 (60Hz)|
|Pixel 6 Pro||7:43 (Adaptive) / 7:55 (60Hz)|
|Galaxy Z Fold 3||Outer: 7:57 (Adaptive) / 8:47 (60Hz) | Inner: 6:35 (Adaptive) / 7:52 (60Hz)|
|Galaxy S22 Plus||9:27 (Adaptive) / 10:27 (60Hz)|
|Motorola Edge Plus (2022)||6:57 (144Hz) / 8:24 (60Hz)|
|Galaxy S21 FE||7:40 (120Hz) / 9:15 (60Hz)|
Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.