It feels like Apple recently unveiled the iPhone 12 range, giving us four devices in the range. From the tiny iPhone 12 Mini to the top-end iPhone 12 Pro Max, there was no shortage of options at launch. Now Apple has announced the iPhone 13 series, and they all look like pretty solid smartphones. What if you wanted something different? We’ve got you covered with our rundown of the best iPhone 13 alternatives.
The best iPhone 13 alternatives
Table of Contents
1. Samsung Galaxy S21 series
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Samsung’s phones have always beaten Apple’s devices when it comes to flagship products. So is it any wonder that the Galaxy S21 family is by far one of the best iPhone 13 alternatives out there?
One of the biggest selling points is that Samsung is promising three years of operating system updates and four years of security patches for the S21 family (along with other device lines). This isn’t quite as good as Apple’s devices, but it’s miles better than most other Android OEMs.
What we thought: Galaxy S21 review | Galaxy S21 Plus review | Galaxy S21 Ultra in the test
All three phones offer 120 Hz OLED panels, 5G connectivity, 12 MP ultra-wide cameras, and 8K video recording. The Galaxy S21 is the cheapest and smallest model with a 4,000 mAh battery, a relatively solid triple camera system and a plastic construction. The S21 Ultra is now the largest and most expensive model with a 5,000 mAh battery, two telecameras (3X and 10X), a glass design and a QHD + panel.
2. Apple iPhone SE 2020
Do you like the idea of getting an iPhone but want something a lot cheaper than the latest devices? This is where the iPhone SE 2020 comes in, which is one of the better iPhone 13 alternatives.
The wallet-conscious iPhone SE was priced at $ 400 in the US, making it the cheapest new iPhone you can get by a wide margin. And you get some solid specs for the price, like an A13 Bionic processor, IP67 water / dust resistance, and wireless charging.
Our verdict: Apple iPhone SE 2020 in review – old is new again!
That being said, you’re missing out on the features of the iPhone 12 and 13 like multiple rear cameras, 5G, higher resolution screens, and newer designs. You also miss features like a high refresh rate panel and a large battery. Still, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get on the Apple train.
3. OnePlus 9 series
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
OnePlus devices have steadily increased in price over the years, but it’s hard to argue that you’re not getting a decent deal with the OnePlus 9 duo (or trio if you’re in India with the OnePlus 9R). Both phones offer 65W wired charging, a Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 48 MP main camera, and a 50 MP ultra-wide snapper.
OnePlus has also confirmed that these phones will receive operating system updates for three years and security patches for four years. This is welcome news for anyone who just looked at Apple’s devices for its longstanding commitment to updates.
4. Asus Zenfone 8
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
The Zenfone 8 was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2021, and it’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative to smaller iPhones. Yes, the Asus device is one of the few compact Android flagships this year.
Our thoughts: Asus Zenfone 8 in the test – only just about perfection
Otherwise, it’s a pretty solid device as it comes with a 5.9-inch 120 Hz OLED panel, Snapdragon 888 SoC, dual rear camera system (64 MP main and 12 MP ultra-wide), and a 4,000 mAh battery with a 30 W charge. Two other notable features are an IP68 rating and the return of the 3.5mm port.
The Zenfone 8 starts at just $ 630, which is another massive selling point. So if you are looking for a compact flagship on a budget, you can do much worse.
5. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
The foldable phone segment is heating up a lot, but Apple doesn’t have a foldable iPhone yet. Samsung is leading the way in this regard, and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 arguably fits the bill.
Samsung’s cheapest foldable device in 2021 has a clamshell design that resembles classic feature phones like the Motorola Razr V3. Open the phone and you will be greeted by a folding main display, while closing the device protects this main display and also exposes a tiny external display. The smaller screen is used for everything from notifications and date / time to viewing messages and taking selfies.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – Worth Taking Your Chance
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 also features flagship silicone, a waterproof design and two 12 MP rear cameras (main camera, ultra wide angle). The only real downsides to the device are that the $ 1,000 price tag is still pretty expensive (though it’s cheap for a foldable device), the cameras aren’t amazing, and the 3,300mAh battery is tiny for an Android phone is.
6. Sony Xperia 1 III
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Sony has been quietly making flagship phones for years, but the phones of 2021 could be the best devices the brand has ever made. The Xperia 1 III leads the charge and offers a Snapdragon 888 SoC, 4,500 mAh battery, 30W wired charging, and wireless charging. But it also packs some cool innovations.
Verdict: Sony Xperia 1 III review – elegant, exciting, expensive
For one, the Sony device offers a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz – so you don’t have to choose between a pixel-dense screen and a high refresh rate. For the first time in the industry, the Sony mobile phone also has a variable telephoto camera that allows recording with native 3x or 4.4x zoom. A 12 MP main camera, a 12 MP ultra-wide shooter, IP68 rating and a headphone jack complete the package.
Do you like the idea of the Xperia 1 III but want something smaller? This is where the Xperia 5 III comes into play. You will lose a 4K screen resolution but gain a 6.1-inch FHD + screen instead. Sony’s smaller flagship also eschews wireless charging, but you still have everything else here (including the variable telephoto camera and 3.5mm port).
7. Google Pixel 6 series
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro aren’t out yet, so we’re cheating a little by recommending these phones before we have a full picture of what to expect. That said, Google’s phones have always been great iPhone alternatives as they offer a pure, powerful version of Android and a long commitment to system updates.
Both phones offer Google’s in-house Tensor chipset, an OLED panel with a high refresh rate and a new main camera sensor. The Pro device differs from the standard Pixel 6 in that it has a triple camera setup (including a 4x periscope camera) instead of a dual rear camera system, a 120 Hz QHD + screen instead of a 90 Hz FHD + – Displays and probably also a larger battery.
There’s still no official word on a launch date beyond fall 2021, but unofficial sources point to a launch in mid-October. So wait until then to see what Google has up its sleeve.
iPhone 13 Alternatives: Honorable Mentions
- Google Pixel 5a ($ 449): Can’t wait for the Pixel 6 series, but want a pure Android experience with lots of updates? This is where the Pixel 5a comes in. It’s not nearly as powerful as the newer iPhones, but you get an OLED screen, 5G connectivity, IP67 water / dust resistance, and good cameras. You also get pixel features like call screening, astrophotography, and astrophotography time-lapse.
- Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (Rs 69,999): If you are intrigued by Apple’s Pro devices but want to know what else there is, then the Mi 11 Ultra is definitely a good place to start. Xiaomi’s premium flagship is very expensive, but you get high-end silicon, a huge 5,000mAh battery, 67W wired / wireless charging for super-fast charging, and a 120Hz QHD + screen. The phone also has an impressive camera system (50 MP main, 48 MP ultra-wide, 48 MP 5X periscope), a secondary rear display for some reason, and an IP68 rating.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE ($ 550): Samsung’s cheaper flagship is slated to be replaced every day, but it’s still one of the best iPhone 13 alternatives out there. The phone had an introductory price of $ 700 but has been available on Amazon for a while now for $ 550. Despite this price, it hits many boxes, such as Add three years of operating system updates and four years of security patches and you have a very tempting offer.
These were our best iPhone 13 alternatives. Are there any devices that you would recommend? Then let us know via the comments section below.