We test each phone in real-world scenarios, focusing on its features, design, performance, cameras, battery life, and overall value. We document our findings in an initial analysis that is updated periodically when there are new software updates or to compare them with new phones from competitors like Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus.


Photography is the main focus of most phones these days, so we take photos and videos of various subjects in various settings and lighting scenarios. We experimented with new camera modes, like Action mode, which debuted with the iPhone 14 line, or the Unblur photo tool, launched with the Google Pixel 7 series.

Battery Life

Battery testing is performed in several ways. We evaluate how long a phone lasts during a typical day of use and look at its performance during more focused video calling, media streaming, and gaming sessions. We also run a video playback test, as a simple, repeatable measure of battery life, which isn't always included in the initial review but is sometimes added later in an update.

A man holding an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a remote hillside

Emergency SOS might be one of the most important features coming to any phone this year.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

Performance measurement

We used benchmarking apps to measure each phone's performance, along with our own anecdotal experiences using the phone for our review. Of note is the appearance of the graphics and animations. Are they smooth? Or do they lag or stutter? We also looked at how quickly the phone switches between horizontal and vertical orientations, and how quickly the camera app opens and is ready to take a photo.

We perform processor-heavy tasks such as photo editing, video exporting and gaming. We evaluate whether a newer version of a given phone includes enough features to make it worth upgrading from older models.

See more information: How we test phones

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See this: How we test phones



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