Best 5 Smartphones to buy under £1000 in 2023

Are you on the hunt for a feature-packed smartphone that won’t break the bank? Here we’ve curated the “5 Best Smartphones to Buy Under £1000 in 2023,” featuring a perfect blend of innovation and affordability. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a budget-conscious buyer, or just curious about the latest gadgets, get ready to discover the hidden gems that will leave you amazed without emptying your wallet. From sleek designs to powerful processors and impressive cameras, these smartphones have it all. So, let’s embark on this journey to find the ultimate device that suits your needs, style, and budget. Remember that the top phone on the list may not be the best fit for everyone, so explore all options to find your ideal match. The phones showcased come from reputable brands like Samsung and Apple, but don’t overlook Android competitors such as OnePlus and etc. Embracing this diversity means you’ll find your perfect pocket companion. These phones all deliver, each with its unique strengths, and healthy competition in the market ensures better phones for consumers overall.

Main characteristics of current smartphones

Form factor: Current smartphones are defined by their form factor. They have become slimmer and lighter, featuring full-screen displays with minimised bezels and notch/punch-hole designs for front-facing cameras. Foldable and dual-screen devices offer versatility, providing larger displays when needed and compact forms when not in use. Size variations cater to diverse user preferences, while water and dust resistance is common in high-end models. Camera bumps are prevalent as devices aim for thinner profiles and advanced camera technologies. Staying updated through reputable tech sources is crucial due to rapid smartphone technology evolution.


Cameras: Smartphones today focus on advanced camera technology as a major selling point, meeting user demands for excellent photography and videography. Manufacturers prioritise improving camera capabilities by incorporating multiple lenses like wide-angle, telephoto, and ultra-wide for diverse scene capturing. High-resolution sensors, optical image stabilisation, and improved zoom options contribute to better image clarity. Front-facing cameras also receive attention with high-resolution sensors and software enhancements for superior selfies and video calls.


Battery life: The battery life of smartphones is a fundamental feature of present-day devices. Improvements in battery technology, software, and hardware optimizations have led to better battery life in many smartphones. Moreover, certain manufacturers have implemented power-saving modes and adaptive battery management systems to further prolong the time between charges. Despite these advancements, users still frequently desire further improvements in battery life.


Display: The display is a prominent feature of modern smartphones, and manufacturers have been continuously advancing display technology to improve the user’s visual experience. Notably, smartphones now offer various screen sizes to suit individual preferences, high-resolution displays for clear visuals, and higher refresh rates for smoother interactions. OLED and AMOLED displays are favoured for their vibrant colours and energy efficiency. HDR support enhances visual quality, while minimised bezels or notches maximise the screen-to-body ratio. Smartphone displays are ever-evolving, and further innovations are anticipated in the future.

1. iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro is a substantial improvement compared to its previous version, featuring numerous notable enhancements. The most noticeable change is the introduction of the Dynamic Island, a novel design replacing the notch with a pill-shaped cut-out positioned below the top bezel. This area serves the purpose of displaying notifications and updates from apps, making smart use of the previously empty space left by the notch.

The phone’s camera capabilities have also undergone significant improvements. It now boasts a new 48 MP sensor, allowing for 2x zoom cropping in addition to the 3x telephoto lens and a highly capable ultrawide lens. The camera system produces remarkably natural and consistent colours, solidifying its reputation as one of the best camera smartphones available. Apple has made advancements in the cinematic mode for video recording, enabling 4K filming and introducing the Action mode, which enhances video stabilisation.

Moreover, the iPhone 14 Pro debuts an always-on display feature that doesn’t drain the battery life. In conclusion, the iPhone 14 Pro is an enticing choice for those seeking a top-tier smartphone with outstanding camera capabilities and an elegant design. It represents a substantial upgrade from older iPhone models, giving the impression of stepping into the future.


  • Dynamic Island is truly incredible.
  • The first iPhone to include an always-on display
  • Impressive cameras
  • 120Hz display


  • The battery life is the same as the 13 Pro.
  • There is no fast charging option.
  • In the UK, prices are higher

2. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a high-end smartphone with a wealth of features and a premium design. Its squared-off body and screen add to the luxurious feel and top-notch build quality. The phone’s display stands out as the best among all smartphones, providing an exceptional experience for using apps and watching videos.

With triple cameras, including an impressive 200 MP main camera, the Galaxy S23 Ultra delivers outstanding image quality with vibrant colours that stand out. The addition of an ultrawide and two separate 3x and 10x optical telephoto lenses further enhances the camera’s versatility. However, the selfie camera’s performance in low-light conditions is lacking.

Powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which is specifically tailored for Samsung, the phone offers robust performance. It also boasts excellent battery life and the same exceptional display quality as its predecessors. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is highly regarded as one of the finest Android smartphones available in the market.


  • Excellent camera
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Exceptionally quick
  • Premium object


  • Big premium object
  • Terrible selfie camera
  • 45W charging at a slow pace

3. Google Pixel 7a

The Google Pixel 7a is an upgraded version of the Pixel 6a, boasting enhancements like a superior 90Hz screen and a more premium design, while retaining its excellent camera, strong performance, and long-term software support. The smaller 6.1-inch display makes it easier to handle and fit into pockets compared to larger phones. It shares the same Tensor G2 chipset as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

The standout feature of the Pixel 7a is its exceptional 64 MP main camera, which competes favourably with higher-priced phones and remains one of the best options in its price range. It comes in playful blue and coral colours, as well as classic white and black options.

In conclusion, the charging speed is slow and wireless charging can be unreliable but the Pixel 7a remains a fantastic choice for those seeking a well-rounded Android phone with a top-tier camera and extended software support. 


  • Google software is exceptional.
  • Impressive camera for the price.
  • Water-resistant
  • Excellent performance


  • Wireless charging is not trustworthy.
  • Slow charge
  • Only a 90 Hz display is available.
  • Not as quick as the Google Pixel 7

4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung has successfully addressed the shortcomings observed in the Z Flip 3, such as its subpar battery life and average camera performance, with the introduction of the Z Flip 4. The latest model now boasts a full-day battery life and includes the same high-quality main and ultrawide cameras found in the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, positioning it as the top choice among foldable phones available on the market, especially when considering its price.

While concerns regarding the foldable display’s durability persist, Samsung assures that it can endure at least 200,000 open and close motions, equivalent to approximately five years of typical use. The improved battery life can be attributed to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which enhances energy efficiency, eliminating the need to recharge the phone during the day. With 8GB of RAM, the Z Flip 4 caters to most users’ needs, although opting for the 256GB storage upgrade may be worthwhile. Additionally, the inclusion of a side-mounted fingerprint sensor is a noteworthy feature.

The foldable design impresses with its polished finishing and dependable technical performance, solidifying its position as the leading foldable flagship available. Moreover, the Z Fold 4 not only boasts advanced hardware but also delivers a seamless software experience with innovative features like Flex Mode, Taskbar, split screen, and floating windows, catering to productivity-focused users. Furthermore, the inclusion of S Pen support is a welcome feature, especially for enthusiasts of the now-discontinued Galaxy Note series.


  • It folds in half
  • Outstanding results
  • Long battery life


  • Concerns about durability
  • There is no telephoto lens.
  • ‘Slow’ charging at 25W

5. Xiaomi 13 Pro

The Xiaomi 13 Pro comes with impressive hardware, highlighted by a 1-inch camera sensor that excels in low-light photography and captures exceptional detail. It is equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, delivering smooth performance and excellent battery life. The device sports a 6.67-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels.

With options for 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of storage, the Xiaomi 13 Pro offers powerful performance and generous space for apps and files. Its rear triple camera setup consists of a 50 MP main sensor, a 50 MP ultra wide lens, and a 50 MP telephoto sensor, while the selfie camera boasts 32 MP.

For added security, the phone features an under-display, optical fingerprint sensor. With a large 4820 mAh battery and fast charging capabilities, the Xiaomi 13 Pro ensures extended usage. Overall, its feature-packed specifications make it a strong competitor among top smartphones in the market.



  • Long battery life
  • Charging power of 120W is impressive
  • Outstanding achievement 
  • Outstanding cameras 


  • Costly
  • Software is difficult to use 
  • Large rear camera module 

Buying Guide & Comparison:

When searching for a smartphone, give preference to devices equipped with powerful processors and enough RAM to handle multitasking and demanding applications smoothly. Select phones featuring high-resolution displays, such as AMOLED or OLED panels, to experience vivid colours and clear visuals. Verify the presence of advanced camera systems with larger sensors and multiple lenses to ensure exceptional photo and video performance. Opt for phones that come with large battery capacities and efficient processors, allowing for extended usage without the need for frequent charging. 

Lastly, prioritise brands that are reputed for delivering timely software updates to ensure your phone remains secure and up-to-date with the latest functionalities. Smartphone manufacturers continuously strive to introduce exciting new features each year, including advancements in cameras, batteries, and even changes in the phone’s overall form factor. Prior to making your smartphone purchase, be sure to review feedback, compare specifications, and carefully assess your individual requirements to arrive at a well-informed decision.

FeatureiPhone 14 ProGalaxy S23 UltraGoogle Pixel 7aGalaxy Z Flip 4Xiaomi 13 Pro
Display6.5-inch OLED6.8-inch AMOLED6.3-inch OLED6.7-inch Foldable AMOLED6.4-inch AMOLED
Resolution2532 x 1170 px3200 x 1440 px2400 x 1080 px2640 x 1080 px2400 x 1080 px
ProcessorA16 BionicExynos 9900Snapdragon 8xxExynos 9900Snapdragon 8xx
Storage Options128GB/256GB/512GB128GB/256GB/512GB64GB/128GB128GB/256GB128GB/256GB/512GB
Rear CamerasTriple (12MP)Quad (108MP)Dual (12.2MP)Dual (12MP) + (12MP)Quad (108MP) + (12MP) + (20MP)
Front Camera12MP40MP8MP10MP32MP
Battery Capacity4000mAh5000mAh4500mAh3300mAh4200mAh
OSiOS 16Android 13Android 13Android 13Android 13
Special FeaturesFace ID 3D, MagSafeS Pen Support, Under-display cameraTitan M Security ChipFoldable DesignMIUI 13, 5G
Water ResistanceIP68IP68IP67N/AIP68
5G CapableYesYesYesYesYes
Wireless ChargingYesYesYesYesYes

In 2023, five remarkable smartphones under £1000 from Apple, Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi have impressed tech enthusiasts and budget-conscious buyers alike. When purchasing a smartphone, prioritise devices with powerful processors, ample RAM, high-resolution displays, advanced cameras, and efficient batteries. Stay informed through reputable tech sources to make the best choice in the ever-changing smartphone market and find the perfect companion that suits your needs, style, and budget among these top 5 smartphones under £1000. 

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