If you are looking for an ultra high-end smartphone for Christmas, that is to say sold for more than 1000 euros excluding subsidies, you are in the right place. We have prepared a guide for you with our favorite models, segmenting them according to your needs. Are you Android or iOS? Are you more of a gamer or more of a photographer? We have a solution for each of you. All you have to do is let yourself be guided…
Buying an ultra high-end smartphone means making a “long term” investment. It is a phone whose lifespan is clearly longer than that of a phone sold for less than 500 euros. And because it will accompany you daily for longer, the ultra high-end smartphone must, on the one hand, be almost flawless and, on the other hand, meet all your needs. Those of today and those of tomorrow.
Read also – Top 3 smartphones from 500 to 1000 euros: our Christmas selection
In this guide, we offer you three Android smartphones that meet the most common expectations. And, as a bonus, we also included an iPhone, because some of you may not like Android or are already equipped with Apple. Each model recommended in this guide has been tested by the editorial staff. Tested and approved of course!
The jack of all trades: The Magic5 Pro from Honor
Price: 1199 euros
For anyone looking for a very versatile smartphone, capable of taking beautiful photos as well as supporting a big game, with a beautiful screen and comfortable battery life, here is the Honor Magic5 Pro. Relying on a distinctive premium design, the Magic5 Pro is covered in mineral glass which perfectly matches the circular photo module. The Magic5 Pro technical sheet presents no real defects. And all our technical tests show that this smartphone offers great experience almost in all situations.
The Magic5 Pro also has complete and efficient photographic equipment. And the results are very good, even when the light conditions are difficult. We are not the only ones to think so: the DXOMARK laboratory positions the Magic5 Pro in 7th position in its ranking of the best photophones, behind the Pixel 8 Pro and well ahead of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
- A well-crafted design and very pleasant to use
- A perfectly calibrated screen with new functions for the eyes
- Good power and good autonomy
- Complete and efficient photo equipment
- An interface loaded with an application installed by default
- Two years of Android updates only
- Correct management of heat dissipation, but nothing more
Our full review of the Honor Magic 5 Pro
The absolute gamer: the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate from Asus
Taken: 1429 euros
The smartphone market is fairly uniform, especially in the high-end segment. Aside from design, phones are roughly capable of doing everything. Except the Asus ROG Phones which, historically, make a point of offering one of the best multimedia experiences in return for good photographic quality, but without shine. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate continues this tradition by offering one of the most powerful platforms on the market and above all one of the most stable platforms when it is in high demand.
His secret? A hatch that opens automatically when the external fan (systematically sold with the Ultimate version) is connected. Thus, air circulation is improved and heat dissipation is optimized. This configuration is ideal for all gamers, especially those who play competitive titles. Hyper-fluid screen, powerful dual symmetrical speaker, improved jack port, design optimized for gaming with tactile keys on the edges, futuristic interface… The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate offers the best gaming experience possible today.
- Design studied for gaming
- Performance and stability
- The incredible audio experience
- The large, very fluid and well-calibrated screen
- The fan only sold with the Ultimate version
- The photo part behind
- Impractical dimensions outside of gaming
Our full review of the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate
ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate 512 GB White
The photo wizard: Google’s Pixel 8 Pro
Price: from 1099 euros
If you want an Android smartphone that takes great photos without having to turn off the device or go into the settings, the Pixel 8 Pro is your best option. There are other options, sometimes even better, but there is a constraint for each of them. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, for example, is not Android. And its Smart HDR system is proprietary. The P60 Pro is an excellent smartphone in every way. But its incompatibility with Google Play considerably reduces the security of certain data.
The Pixel 8 Pro is therefore the best “Google Play compatible” camera phone on the market. Even more than the competition, it will overuse artificial intelligence to restructure the photograph, analyze each element and apply the best brightness, contrast and colorimetry settings. The result is strikingly sharp and sharp.. For the rest, the Pixel 8 Pro does not deserve anything, whether on the screen, perfectly calibrated, the audio, very well balanced, the interface, powered by artificial intelligence, or even the design, atypical and now iconic.
- Artificial intelligence presents end-to-end
- The refined, but very complete interface
- Incredible photo results
- The design different from the competition
- The processor power is a little tight
- The lack of naturalness of the photos
- The useless thermometer
Our full review of the Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro 128 GB
Google Pixel 8 Pro 256 GB
Google Pixel 8 Pro 512 GB
For Apple fans: the iPhone 15 Pro Max
Price: from 1479 euros
If you have Apple devices and switching to Android is not an option for you, the only compatible solution is an iPhone, of course. But which model to choose among all those of the American brand? Indeed, depending on the quantity of storage targeted, they all exceed 1000 euros. Even the standard iPhone 15. In 2023, the best iPhone model is arguably the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It’s not because it’s the most expensive. But it’s also the one that offers the best experience.
Titanium chassis. Customizable Action button. Extremely well calibrated LTPO screen. Powerful A17 Pro processor. Battery life of two days. Three very high-quality photo sensors with, for the first time, a periscopic telephoto lens for 10x optical zoom. Powerful speakers. Complete operating system and hyper-connected ecosystem between the firm’s products (MacBook, iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, etc.). There is nothing to complain about this iPhoneapart from the proposed charging which is quite slow, even with a suitable charger.
- Foolproof performance
- The lightweight and durable titanium chassis
- The quality of videos, portraits and night photos
- A slight propensity to heat
- Charging too slow
- Incompatibility with Lightning accessories