Indian Gadget Awards winners: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max crowned the Best Premium Phone of 2021

The premium league in the smartphone segment continues to impress, thanks to devices that push the envelope when it comes to everything a phone can offer. This category is reserved solely for premium flagships that represent the best that the brand has to offer. While brands like Samsung and Apple are old hands when it comes to the premium segment, lately others have jumped into the fray too. Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Apple, and OnePlus devices have made the list for the category this year.

The Best Phone of 2021 – Premium is one among 30 categories in the Indian Gadget Awards that feature more than 200 nominees. The winners are decided by a team of 40 experts from the Indian tech media community, and as the country’s largest tech awards, represents the true voice of the industry. This year saw a fierce competition between several brands, but as always, there can only be one winner. 



Winner: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3



Check out the full list of nominees for the Best Premium Phone of 2021 award.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi rightfully referred to this one as the ‘Superphone.’ When this Snapdragon 888-powered phone arrived, its camera module hogged all the attention not just for its unique shape but also for the fact that it incorporated a tiny AMOLED display that can show crucial information when the phone is kept face down. The Mi 11 Ultra’s 120Hz AMOLED display offers a peak brightness of 1200 nits, while its 5,000mAh battery charges at 67W. The phone’s 50MP + 48MP + 48MP triple camera setup is capable of offering 120x digital zoom, 8K videos, and 64-point laser autofocus, among other things.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra


The Galaxy S21 Ultra came out early in the year with the 5nm Exynos 2100 chip under its hood and gave serious competition to other flagships throughout the year. It distinguishes itself from the other two S21 devices by offering a large 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate. The IP68-rated phone is also the only one in the range to feature a 108MP main camera and a 10MP periscope camera that enables a whopping 100x digital zoom. Moreover, its front camera grabs a unique 40MP sensor. Staying true to its Ultra name, it offers a 5,000mAh battery.

Apple iPhone 13

The base iPhone 13 sits between the mini and the Pro models and packs quite a punch with its list of features. It’s equipped with a Dolby Vision-enabled Super Retina XDR OLED display and even enables the unique new Cinematic mode for videos. What’s missing is only the telephoto lens and the LiDAR sensor, with all other offerings being more or less similar to the Pro variant. Oh, and did we mention that the phone is powered by the stupendously powerful 5nm A15 Bionic chip?

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

As the top-end model in the lineup, the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers a few distinctive features. These include a massive 6.7-inch 120Hz Super Retina XDR OLED display with Dolby Vision support. It also has a longer battery life due to a larger cell. It features the same extremely appreciated camera system of the iPhone 13 Pro, and there’s the remarkable performance to be extracted out of its 5nm A15 Bionic chip.

Vivo X70 Pro Plus

The Vivo X70 Pro Plus is a photographer’s delight. A 50MP main camera with an f/1.8 leads its camera setup with its gimbal-like OIS, offering stunning night-time shots. It’s also got a ZEISS T* coating for reducing lens flare. The combination of an 8MP periscope telephoto snapper and a 12MP telephoto camera allows 60x digital zoom. And there’s even another 48MP camera with an ultra-wide lens. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 888+ chip and offers a 4,500mAh battery with 55W fast charging support.

OnePlus 9 Pro

The Pro version of this year’s OnePlus flagship impressed through and through with its all-round brilliance. Powered by a Snapdragon 888 chipset, it offers a large 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display with 1,300 nits of peak brightness. The phone’s Hasselblad-branded 48MP quad-camera was a force to be reckoned with. And the same goes for its 4,500mAh battery that goes from 1 to 100 per cent in 29 minutes thanks to its 65W fast charging support.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

This year saw Samsung perfecting its two foldable devices and that convinced plenty of users to finally buy them without thinking twice. The fact that the Galaxy Z Flip3 can so easily turn into a tiny square that fits into your pockets is its main appeal. And then there are the high-end features it offers, which include the Snapdragon 888 chip, a 12MP dual-camera setup, a foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate, and another tiny Super AMOLED panel on the outer cover for displaying crucial information.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

The second foldable proposition from Samsung is the most advanced smartphone that the company has on offer right now. Absolutely no corners were cut during the building of this device. When opened up, it gives you 7.6 inches of screen estate, while closing it reveals a 6.2-inch outer panel. Both are Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with 120Hz refresh rates. Powered by the Snapdragon 888 chip, this phone offers a 12MP triple camera setup on its back. You can easily use these cameras for clicking selfies or go for the 10MP snapper on its outer cover, or even utilise a 4MP under-display camera that’s hiding on the inside. This super high-end device grabs a 4,400mAh battery supporting 25W fast charging.