The mobile phone market is an exciting, rapidly shifting space. This can make it loads of fun to follow but can also make it feel very overwhelming at times.
The past 12 months have brought a whirlwind of new releases with big players like Apple and Samsung releasing new models as well as the OnePlus 7 Pro, Google Pixel 3 and strong contenders like Xiaomi and Huawei joining the mix.
On top of that, each of these includes a range of new features that are often difficult to compare and understand, especially within the context of price and budget.
To meet the dizzying choice of devices that have come available on the market over the past few years, mobile and gadget review sites have grown rapidly to provide consumers with much-needed clarity and expert appraisal around these devices.
There are big players in the mix such as TechRadar and TechAdvisor, as well as some sites with more independent roots. But with so many results for ‘Apple iPhone review’ cropping up now on the first page of Google and beyond, which of these reviewing sites is worth your scrolling time?
If you’ve been wondering which is the best phone on the market right now, here are 10 top review sites where you can go to find out, or at least to compare different models and brands. Each has its own mission, personality and way of reviewing products so it’s good to get a sense of which ones might best serve your needs.
Remember, even a phone with a stellar 5-star review isn’t invincible. The best way to protect yourself from a damaged or broken device is with insurance for mobile phone coverage.
Here are some of our favourite mobile phone review sites that are worth a visit.
At the heart of the brand set on ‘upgrading’ its readers’ lives, is a philosophy of putting consumer goals and desires before everything else. That’s according to parent brand Future who list Tom’s Guide has having a reach of over 20 million global users, 1.4 million of which are from the UK. Like many of the publications on this list, Tom’s Guide focuses on helping its readership decide what tech to purchase. It takes this a step further by showing them how to get the most out of their gadgets in a friendly, approachable tone that is relatable to even the most tech-challenged reader.
That being said, don’t be fooled by its easy-going approach. The team at Tom’s Guide take their job incredibly seriously, spending over 4,000 hours a year testing out, researching and carefully reviewing a product, including going undercover to test tech support and getting into the nitty-gritty of cost savings for their consumers.
One of its most recent reviews of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus revealed long battery life, superb display and some nifty S Pen tricks for the glossy new phone. But a closer look under the hood revealed issues with its camera.
With a reach of over 32 million global users, with 11 million page views occurring in the UK monthly, straight-talking, no-fuss TechRadar is the veritable behemoth of the tech and gadgetry world. It’s one of the biggest ‘go-to’ destinations on the web for in-depth reviews and opinions on everything from mobile phones to tablets, flat screens and cameras. It also features the latest news on releases such as the iPhone 11R including leaks.
Drawing in a youngish crowd of tech-savvy buyers who enjoy spending their money on the latest and fastest, this publication will be the first to admit its unabashed, passion and love for all things tech. This, it would seem, pays off, given that it usually ranks number one on Google for search terms like ‘best phone’, ‘best smartphone’ and ‘best gaming laptop’. It even ranked above Apple’s own website in the UK the day after the iPhone 7 announcement.
Coming off the back of a recent relaunch, leading UK consumer site T3 is all about helping its readers live a ‘better life’ with technology curated to fit seamlessly into our busy lifestyles. The discerning site was keen to keep up with the changing dynamic between our lifestyles and technology. It, therefore, made efforts to revamp its site and approach to content. The result is the same canny knack for sophisticated tech reviews that early adopters love, albeit delivered through a glossier more easily navigable online and mobile experience. Users may also find the lack of adverts compared to other review sites a breath of fresh air.
T3 is especially good at filtering through the myriad of gadgets on the market to deliver users a comprehensive assessment of which are truly the best. With an annual awards ceremony, free print supplement TSquared, as well as new sections T3Hype, T3 select and T3Elite added to their print version, the publication offers altogether a more editorial experience compared to some of the other reviewers on this list.
In its latest review of the OnePLus 7, it detailed that while the phone boasted many superb upgrades, it might only be a worthwhile purchase for users with older hardware over those who have a OnePlus 6T and therefore could wait for another cycle. It’s this kind of honest and extensive advice that users have come to appreciate from the publication.
An independent review blog that has UK roots and has been online since 1999, 3G is very much focused on delivering advice on mobile phones and smartphones.
They serve up the latest news as well as in-depth reviews of recently launched tablets, mobile phones and other related mobile devices. The fact that they operate in affiliation with mobile and broadband provider Three, means that any link you click on from their site will take you straight to Three for purchase.
As such, this may not be ideal if you’re looking to shop and compare offers from other providers. The fact that they push mobile phone deals to the top of some of their webpages before serving up content like reviews may also be a little off-putting to some readers.
Strong values, editorial independence and experience are what back the sacred ‘trust’ in TrustedReviews name and set them apart. The independent reviewer conducts over 1,000 comprehensive product reviews every year across a range of categories including smartphones, tablets, TVs, computing, cameras and more.
They also run annual awards that feature over 100 products. On top of this, they feature a product of the year, which in 2018 happened to be the Huawei P20 Pro. Huawei also garnered their Phone of the Year prize which also featured the Google Pixel 2 and OnePlus 6.
From stress testing smartphones in real life and benchmarking against previous models or competitors, the site puts the smartphones they review through their paces in order to give their most honest and impartial review. This process is meticulously outlined on their website so readers can understand exactly what goes into the assessment and verdict. Indeed, Trusted Reviews takes great pride in their ability to provide the best in impartial reviewing.
They also offer reviews of lesser-known alternative products like the Oppo Reno Z Red Magic 3 as alternatives to bigger household names and on-the-pulse features like this sneak peek of Google Pixel 4 renders.
Part of the IDG tech media family, Tech Advisor boasts one of the largest and most varied audiences on this list from early adopters and brand mega fans to business IT buyers and regular consumers hunting down the best-possible deals.
Followers of the brand have formed an active community apparent from the 47,299 registered members and a highly active forum of over 105,942 discussion threads. This only serves to add to the impressive knowledge bank you can delve into within the Tech Advisor environment, one that stretches the entire gamut of user tech – laptops, tablets, wearables, smart-home gadgets, gaming consoles and, of course, smartphones.
The publication’s strong connections with manufacturers across the board mean it can extract some of the deepest product insight ahead of the competition – although TechAdvisor is clear to stipulate on their site that these connections and affiliate revenue bear no influence on its editorial independence.
As with many other review sites, the sheer amount of adverts you encounter when landing on their site may feel a little too disruptive to those after an uninterrupted reading experience.
With its wry tone, Stuff touts itself as the ‘world’s best-selling gadget magazine’. They conduct gadget tests and offer exclusive previews on everything from tablets, apps, games, TVs and smartphones.
For those looking for more than just mobile reviews, their appreciation for all things geek and tech extends to cars, robots, music, film and TV as well. That being said they still pull out the stops when it comes to expert reviews of market-leading products like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and OnePlus 7.
This US-based publication extends beyond the world of tech to bring readers the latest on science and culture, making for a well-rounded read for any tech or science enthusiast. That being said, they are still very dependable for hands-on reviews, advice and buying guides when it comes to gadgetry. With articles exploring the best way to trade in your old iPhone, model comparisons and budget guides, they also give the reader a lot more value than simply reviewing devices.
Founded in 2011 and part of Vox Media Inc, this American tech media company and the winner of 5 webby awards has grown a huge international mainstream audience of tech enthusiasts. The quirky publication with a fun, chatty tone makes understanding tech approachable and relates well to millennials through its digestible content including chatty reviews, features, podcasts and a strong mobile experience.
In 2018 it suffered a slight bout of controversy when it posted what many a seasoned PC user ridiculed as an ‘error-ridden’ video showing its audience how to build an entirely custom PC for coding, gaming and editing. The ensuing reaction videos made by prominent tech influencers on Youtube led to a whole ‘take-down put-back-up’ debacle around video fair use between Youtube and the Verge’s lawyers.
As an NYC Times-owned company, it’s clear that Wirecutter adheres to a high set of reporting standards. Beyond this, Wirecutter’s approach to tech is to cut through the noise of the overheated product market to distil products most relevant to its readers’ lifestyles.
While this may make it a less overwhelming publication compared to some of the other sites on this list, it does seem to limit the number of devices and tech that they feature, making it a less robust reviewer than some of the other powerhouses here.
That being said, if you’re looking for quality over quantity and could benefit from accessory reviews (of which they have many), then it’s definitely worth checking out.
Insurance for mobile phones
If navigating the mobile phone landscape to find the perfect device for your wants, needs and lifestyle still feels a little overwhelming, know that this is completely normal.
With so many models out there and features to compare it’s worth taking the time to do your research around a device before you decide to buy it. This is now a standard process for most of us, considering just how integral our phones can be within our day-to-day lives.
As most new phones are a considerable investment, it’s also worth taking a look at how insurance for mobile phones can protect your new device.
Expensive smartphones are much more vulnerable to loss, theft and damage. This can leave you even more exposed, especially if you’re paying for that phone on a contract (which you’d still be liable to cover even if your phone was out of action).
But with insurance for mobile phones specifically designed to cover these eventualities, you can protect yourself from these potential risks. Get a quote with Gadget Cover today and protect your world in your pocket.