phones brands guide switzerland

Which Phone Brand is Right for Me?

September 23, 2021 - Raphael Knecht

Apple and Samsung dominate the Swiss smartphone market, but there are also alternatives. Get informed about all phone brands which are widely available in Switzerland so you can decide which best suits your style.

From flagship to budget, the array of phones offered in Switzerland includes more than just iPhones and Galaxy devices. If you need a new phone, you can get a good overview of what brands are available on the Swiss market here.


Apple is the undisputed leader in the Swiss phone market. The most noticeable difference between iPhones and all other mainstream phones available in Switzerland is the iOS operating system. All phones from Apple use this system, and for many users that alone is reason enough to stick with the iPhone.

iOS has an advantage in that like the iPhone, it is designed by Apple, and it integrates seamlessly into Apple’s full hardware and software ecosystem. If you use newer Macintosh computers or an Apple Watch, your iPhone will generally work well with your other devices, with few compatibility issues. The disadvantage of iOS is that there is somewhat less software available and you have fewer customization options than with Android.

The iPhone’s hardware is generally cutting edge, with new phones generally using the latest components. The brand’s flagship phones match their competition in terms of performance, including camera performance. The tradeoff is that Apple phones sit in the highest price categories. You should be prepared to pay well over 1000 Swiss francs for the highest-end iPhone models.


Samsung’s Galaxy line is often considered to be the Android equivalent of the iPhone. The new flagship models launched by the South Korean phone maker every year play a major role in setting the pace of the smartphone market. Not surprisingly, the performance of Galaxy phones – particularly high-end models – is normally good. But with Samsung too, the price tags of the best Galaxy phones cross the 1000-franc line.

Unlike Apple, which offers iOS updates for years after an iPhone model is launched, support for Android devices is normally short-lived. This has damaged Samsung’s reputation in terms of support. Updates often come relatively late, even for premium phones. Samsung often cuts support for phones after just a few years. But in 2022 the company promised improvements in this regard. In the future, Samsung will provide security updates Galaxy phones for five years. How frequently and quickly these updates will become available is not yet known.

Samsung is one of the few phone makers which has repeatedly experimented with foldable displays. It is also one of the few brands to offer phones with this feature – even if only in the high-end range. If you are looking for a foldable smartphone, you should be prepared to either pay top dollar for a new premium model, or settle for an older model.



Huawei has made a name for itself in recent years as a photography-friendly smartphone brand. Its flagship models typically deliver exceptionally good results for low-light photos.

Huawei is a Chinese phone maker, and owing to the Chinese government’s reputation for meddling with businesses, concerns have been raised about the possibility of third-parties having access to Huawei phones. However, there is currently no evidence to back up these concerns.

But the concerns have led the US government to sanction Huawei, which means Google services are not available on current models. You cannot get apps from Play Store, and popular apps like WhatsApp and Spotify are not available in Huawei’s own app store. So many apps are either not available, while others can be installed with a lot of effort but may not work correctly. If you have already used Android for a long time, you will likely miss the unavailable services, in which case a Huawei might not work well for you.


This Chinese phone maker is known for offering good value for money. Even the flagship Xiaomi phones cost less than comparable devices from Apple and Samsung, while offering equal performance and camera capabilities.

But Xiaomi’s sweet spot lies in its attractive offers in the middle price range. If you want a powerful phone for relatively little money and do not need a state-of-the-art camera, then a budget Xiaomi model could be a good fit. This brand usually offers exceptionally good value for money in the 200-franc to 300-franc price range. The main downside of models in this price range is the absence of good cameras. These Xiaomi models also normally come with advertising enabled by default, but this annoying feature can be disabled.

Some consumers have concerns about Xiaomi because it has only been around since 2010 and entered the European market even more recently than that.

Xiaomi itself does not yet sell phones in the US, so unlike Huawei phones, Xiaomi phones give Swiss users full access to Google services. Whether or not Xiaomi will be subjected to similar limitations as Huawei if and when it enters the US market remains to be seen.


Nokia remains a legend among mobile phone brands – even though its phones no longer resemble either the classic devices from the early 2000s or its Windows Mobile models. With its current Android-powered phones, HMD Global – which creates mobile phones under the Nokia brand – is aiming for the mid-range market. The performance you get is often exceptionally good in relation to the price of phones. But as with many other manufacturers, Nokia tends to sacrifice camera quality.

The Finnish company does also offer a flagship phone which stands out because its price is somewhat lower than that of Apple and Samsung devices. In contrast to other Nokia phones, the flagship model’s camera system has been showered with praise, while the performance of all other components lags slightly behind models from market leaders. One reason for this is that Nokia does not release a new flagship model every year.

A special feature of Nokia phones is that they use a bare-bones version of Android. For you as a user, this means you will not have to uninstall 20 annoying preinstalled apps when you buy the phone. It also means that system updates are normally much faster than with Samsung phones, for example. The pure operating system also improves compatibility with apps. A possible disadvantage is that some features which other phone makers integrate directly into their Android systems are not available without additional action on your part.


Smartphones are not Sony’s specialty, but the Japanese company has continued to produce and market its Xperia smartphones under its own brand since the dissolution of Sony Ericsson. Success has been limited, with the legendary phone maker holding less than 1 percent of the Swiss mobile phone market for many years now.

Sony’s flagship phones generally match the latest specs, and have price tags to match. Some features – like a 4k screen with a 120 hertz refresh rate – are somewhat luxurious for many users. Unless you specifically want these, you can generally find similar phones at lower prices elsewhere. Additionally, users of certain Xperia models have complained about a tendency towards overheating when phones are used intensively.

Sony’s longtime experience as a camera manufacturer is a boon for its mobile phones. Its camera software lets you adjust almost all photographic settings manually. But the complexity of the camera system can also be a disadvantage for users with less know-how.


Wiko is a French subsidiary of Chinese company Tinno. The brand focuses almost exclusively on budget phones, with most models offered in Switzerland costing no more than 200 francs. Trying to compete with cutting-edge flagship phones from the big brands is not part of Wiko’s current strategy.

Because they target the budget market, Wiko phones generally have limited performance compared to other (more expensive) devices. The cheapest Wiko models have slow processors and little memory, which can cause issues even with simple tasks like browsing the Internet or playing videos. The cameras included will leave a lot to be desired if taking pictures and video clips makes up a significant part of your phone use.

An advantage of Wiko phones, aside from their low price, is that nearly all models have dual SIM capability. If you want to use two SIM cards on the same phone, or if you only need a phone for basic tasks, a Wiko may be a good value-for-money option.


Oppo is one of the biggest Chinese mobile phone makers and its phones have been offered in Europe for some time. In 2019, Oppo gained exposure in Switzerland when Swisscom began offering its 5G handset – the first 5G smartphone to be sold on the Swiss market. In the meantime, all of the big brands have also introduced 5G phones.

In contrast to brands like Xiaomi, Oppo’s flagship models are not focused on low pricing. Its premium models are relatively expensive. But its features, performance, and cameras are impressive, and Oppo has been commended for the battery life and short charging times of its phones. However, even these advantages make the price-tags of premium models difficult to justify. In other price segments too, Oppo’s value-for-money ratio often fails to impress.

Unlike Huawei phones, Oppo phones give you full access to Google services. There is no way to know for sure whether that could change if Oppo entered the US market at some point.


Like Nokia, mobile phone pioneer Motorola has also settled for the mid-range market. Its devices are also frequently lauded as delivering good value for money. You will have to accept some compromises in the budget phone range. Taking time to consider which features are most important to you in a smartphone is important. You can then choose a device that excels in those specific areas.  

Along with Samsung, Motorola is one of the few brands which offers a foldable smartphone. Most other foldables fold vertically, which means the folded phone is roughly the same size as a conventional smartphone. But Motorola’s models fold horizontally, which makes the folded phone very compact. Only a few similar phones (primarily the Samsung Flip series) have been offered on the Swiss market.

The Motorola phone brand was acquired by Chinese tech company Lenovo in 2014. In the past, Lenovo offered smartphones under its own brand, but many of these never became available in Switzerland. In the future, Lenovo will no longer launch new phones under its own brand.


The cameras on Google’s Pixel phones offer exceptional value, largely because of the special software used. Even the budget models often have a similar or identical camera system to the high-end models. If having a good camera is very important to you, but you do not want to buy an expensive flagship phone, then a Pixel phone can be a good option. Unfortunately, not all Pixel models are offered on the Swiss market.  

An advantage of Google devices is that the bare-bones Android system used enables quick and regular security updates. As with Nokia phones, compatibility also shouldn’t be an issue. You also do not have to count on getting a big load of unwanted apps with your phone – aside from Google’s apps. If you prefer to avoid Google apps, then getting a Google phone might not make much sense.


Oneplus is a Chinese phone manufacturer which is part of the same company as Oppo. The phone maker originally launched with a “flagship killer” business model, offering lower-cost equivalents of the best available phones. But currently, the highest-spec phone from OnePlus costs just under 1000 francs, which is not a whole lot cheaper than top models from its competitors.

Oneplus phones in the mid-price range may be more interesting, as they offer some of the best value for money in this segment.


Fairphone is a Dutch phone maker built on the concept placing a strong emphasis on human rights and environmental sustainability in the manufacturing process. The phones are designed to be easy to repair, so that they can be fixed rather than replaced.

If sustainability is important to you, then a Fairphone could be a good fit for you. However, you should be ready to pay a markup over comparable phones because of the more costly manufacturing process. Critics often point out the sub-par performance of Fairphones. Another possibly disadvantage is that Fairphone does not launch new models every year, which means your choice of phones is limited, and hardware does not always keep pace with the latest specs.


The Windows Phone was phased out some time back, but Microsoft launched its new Surface Duo line of smartphones several years ago. The Surface Duo is a foldable smartphone in the high-end tier. Like other Surface devices, it is optimized for use with a stylus.

Compared to other foldable phones on the market, the Surface Duo is a bit of a niche product. Up until 2022, instead of a single screen which folded in the middle, you would get two separate smaller screens which could be connected or disconnected at a vertical joint. These devices are designed for people who value a phone which favors multi-tasking and regularly use their phone for actual work – much like a laptop.

But it is expected that Microsoft will release a device with a single, folding screen much like those offered by market leader Samsung. Until then, getting a Duo is only really worth it if you will actually use the unique features it provides, and you are ready to pay more than 1000 francs depending on the specs and dealer.


HTC was one of the first phone makers to offer Android devices in Switzerland. The smartphone maker focuses on the middle price range, and does not try to compete with flagship phones from the big brands.

The Taiwan-based company does not offer all of its phones in all markets, which is why many of its models are difficult to find in Switzerland. HTC phones generally are not offered by Swiss telecom service providers. But some online electronics dealers do offer them.


Until recently, Honor was Huawei’s budget line. After the US placed sanctions on the Chinese phone maker, blocking access to Google services for Honor phones, Huawei sold its Honor division to another Chinese company. The result is that Honor phones are not subject to any limitations with regards to using Google services.

Honor has launched a number of new devices since then, some of which are also available in Switzerland. Like the top models from Apple and Samsung, the flagship Honor models leave few wishes unfulfilled. But the price is correspondingly high. In terms of budget models, Honor's competitors often have comparable models for better prices.


LG was known for offering good value for money, with some mid-priced models nearly competing with flagship phones from Apple and Samsung in terms of specs and performance. But in 2021, the Korean electronics company announced that it will no longer produce mobile phones. Its previous models may continue to be available for purchase for some time, particularly from online dealers. Just bear in mind that these are older models, as LG is not releasing any new phones.

More on this topic:
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Editor Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht was an analyst and a specialized editor at until the end of February 2023. Since then, he is supporting the editorial team as a freelancer.
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