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The hottest and nottest smartphones of 2022 at launch, as voted on by you

The coldest phone of 2022 might not be a surprise.

Published onDecember 17, 2022

google pixel 7 pro vs samsung galaxy s22 plus cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

There were plenty of smartphones on offer in 2022, covering a variety of price segments from low-end all the way through to the $1,000+ flagship tier. But what did you think of these handsets at the time of their release?

We posted polls throughout the year asking whether you thought a specific launch was “hot” or “not.” Now we’re nearing the end of the year, it’s time to sift through the results to see which you voted as the hottest and coldest phones of 2022.

We opted to grab results from polls that received 500 votes or more. This way, we struck a good balance between having plenty of devices and getting a solid idea of what readers thought at launch. In saying so, there were a few missing devices that didn’t reach the required number of votes. These devices included the Xiaomi 12S series, ASUS ROG Phone 6, vivo X80 Pro, and OnePlus 10R.

You can check out the graph below for a visual breakdown of the hottest and coldest devices at their respective launches. Of course, green represents the proportion of “hot” votes and red represents “not” votes.

The hottest and coldest phones of 2022

The major winners

The hottest device of the year? Well, that title belongs to the Google Pixel 7 series. 86.7% of polled readers felt that the new Google phones were hot stuff at launch and it’s easy to see why. The attractive price tags, neat AI capabilities, and top-notch cameras all made for a great combo. The company also addressed issues like poor cellular reception, unreliable Wi-Fi/cellular handovers, and a bad fingerprint scanner. Not surprisingly, the Pixel 7 Pro was also your Reader’s Choice for the best phone of 2022.

Our runner-up was a bit of a shock, as 84.6% of readers felt that the Motorola Razr 2022 was a hot product at its global launch. The first two Razr foldables were pretty average compared to Samsung’s Flip line, but it looks like the company is on the right track with the new device. Expect a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC and a much bigger external display than the Z Flip series. Pricing is also a little cheaper or a little more expensive than Samsung’s counterpart, depending on your locale.

Google was number one this time, but Xiaomi was also the only brand to have two devices in the top five.

Picking up the bronze medal is the ASUS Zenfone 9, with 83.7% of respondents saying it was hot. This was one of the few compact flagship phones to be released in 2022, so we can see why it got this reception. But there’s more to the phone than a pocket-friendly form factor, as it also delivered a 3.5mm port, IP68 rating, and gimbal image stabilization tech.

Our second foldable phone on the list is the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, landing in fourth place (83.2% hot). Unfortunately, this is a China-only release, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of surveyed readers at the time. Xiaomi’s sophomore foldable brought an impressively thin body, 67W wired charging, and Leica-branded cameras. It wasn’t perfect though, as it didn’t have water resistance or wireless charging like Samsung’s foldables.

Rounding out the top five was the Redmi K50 Gaming. The POCO F4 GT is essentially a rebranded version of this device, but it’s interesting to note that the POCO device didn’t receive enough votes to make the cut. In any event, you got a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, retractable shoulder buttons, and 120W wired charging for a solid gaming package.

The big losers

Four phones received more “not” votes than “hot” votes in 2022. The biggest loser? Well, that would be the HTC Desire 22 Pro, with 82.2% of surveyed readers voting for “not.” The company promised a “metaverse phone” earlier in 2022, but the end result was a mostly forgettable £399 (~$485) mid-ranger. And those metaverse capabilities? Well, one of the selling points in this regard was the ability to use the Vive Flow headset. This wasn’t a standout feature when rival phones could use the handset too.

The “runner-up” was the $649 OnePlus 10T, with 68.1% of “not” votes compared 31.9% “hot” votes. OnePlus focused almost purely on performance here, bringing a powerful SoC, ultra-fast wired charging, and a great screen. But the company cut wireless charging, full-blown water resistance, the alert slider, and great cameras in the process.

If there was ever any doubt that HTCwas effectively dead, the Desire 22 Pro gave us definitive proof.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPhone 14 series was the third phone to receive more “not” votes (58.3%) than hot nods. We’re guessing polled readers simply didn’t like what they saw from the new iPhones, or that they hated Apple’s handsets and iOS to begin with. Apple’s standard iPhones were basically the same devices as last year’s models, while the iPhone 14 Pro line caught up to Android OEMs with 48MP cameras and pill-shaped cutouts.

Finally, the only other phone to get more “not” votes (57.9%) than hot votes was the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Reader comments on our poll article at the time pointed to the imminent arrival of the Galaxy S22 series, the lack of a microSD card slot like the S20 FE, and the price. It’s hard to disagree with those assessments.

With the benefit of more time on the market, do you think any phones deserved to be ranked higher or lower? Let us know via the comments section below!

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