The best 10 smartphones in comparison

Which are the best smartphones of 2020?

Best smartphones of 2020 (1 - 5)
smartphone comparison
Comparison winner
smartphone comparison
Comparison winner
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865)
Comparison winner
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865)
Comparison winner
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS
Comparison winner
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Comparison winner
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Comparison winner
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Comparison winner
Google Pixel 4 XL
Comparison winner
Samsung Galaxy S10
Comparison winner
Google Pixel 4
Comparison winner
Sony Xperia 1
Image
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865)
100points
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865)
99points
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS
99points
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
99points
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
98points
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
97points
Google Pixel 4 XL
97points
Samsung Galaxy S10
97points
Google Pixel 4
96points
Sony Xperia 1
96points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (77)
  • Display (88)
  • Performance (99)
  • Cameras (82)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (85)
  • Features (92)
  • Design (79)
  • Display (88)
  • Performance (97)
  • Cameras (89)
  • Audio (58)
  • Battery (84)
  • Features (90)
  • Design (77)
  • Display (86)
  • Performance (85)
  • Cameras (99)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (85)
  • Features (100)
  • Design (73)
  • Display (92)
  • Performance (87)
  • Cameras (83)
  • Audio (58)
  • Battery (78)
  • Features (96)
  • Design (78)
  • Display (86)
  • Performance (83)
  • Cameras (100)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (85)
  • Features (98)
  • Design (74)
  • Display (97)
  • Performance (99)
  • Cameras (95)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (85)
  • Features (92)
  • Design (77)
  • Display (83)
  • Performance (93)
  • Cameras (85)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (84)
  • Features (93)
  • Design (76)
  • Display (92)
  • Performance (84)
  • Cameras (80)
  • Audio (58)
  • Battery (77)
  • Features (96)
  • Design (79)
  • Display (73)
  • Performance (93)
  • Cameras (85)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (83)
  • Features (93)
  • Design (72)
  • Display (88)
  • Performance (95)
  • Cameras (82)
  • Audio (33)
  • Battery (68)
  • Features (91)
Pros
Pros
  • Higher ram speed
  • More battery power
  • More megapixels (main camera)
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher ram speed
  • Higher pixel density
  • More megapixels (main camera)
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • Radio
  • More battery power
  • Faster CPU speed
  • More megapixels (main camera)
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher waterproof depth rating
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • More battery power
  • Faster CPU speed
  • More megapixels (main camera)
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher waterproof depth rating
  • More battery power
  • Faster CPU speed
  • More megapixels (main camera)
  • More megapixels (front camera)
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher resolution
  • Higher pixel density
  • Higher pixel density
  • Better video recording quality (main camera)
  • 3.5mm audio jack
    • Higher resolution
    • Higher pixel density
    • Larger pixel size (main camera)
    Cons
    Cons
    • GPU clock speed
    • CPU speed
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    • Pixel density
    • GPU clock speed
    • CPU speed
    • Battery power
    • Screen size
    • Pixel density
    • Resolution
    • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)
    • RAM speed
    • Resolution
    • Screen size
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    • Pixel density
    • Resolution
    • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)
    • Pixel density
    • CPU speed
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    • Battery power
    • Screen size
    • Megapixels (main camera)
    • RAM speed
    • Battery life
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    • Battery power
    • Resolution
    • Screen size
    • CPU speed
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    • Battery power
    • Pixel density
    • Resolution
    • Screen size
    • CPU speed
    • Wireless charging
    • Battery power
    • Megapixels (front camera)
    Design
    Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
    Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
    Ingress Protection (IP) ratingThe Ingress Protection (IP) rating classifies the degree of protection against dust and water. Higher ratings are better. For example, a device rated IP68 can resist immersion into water for a certain time, specified by the manufacturer.
    Ingress Protection (IP) ratingThe Ingress Protection (IP) rating classifies the degree of protection against dust and water. Higher ratings are better. For example, a device rated IP68 can resist immersion into water for a certain time, specified by the manufacturer.686868N.A.686868N.A.68N.A.
    Physical QWERTY keyboardText messaging is much faster due to a hardware keyboard.
    Physical QWERTY keyboardText messaging is much faster due to a hardware keyboard.
    Waterproof depth ratingThe waterproof depth rating indicates how well the device is protected against water ingress and water pressure. Devices which can withstand more water pressure are better for swimming or diving.
    Waterproof depth ratingThe waterproof depth rating indicates how well the device is protected against water ingress and water pressure. Devices which can withstand more water pressure are better for swimming or diving.1.5m1.5m2m1.5m2m1.5m1.5m1.5m1.5m1.5m
    Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
    Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
    Total score for "Design"
    Total score for "Design"
    Display
    Damage-resistant glassDamage-resistant glass (such as Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Dragontrail Glass) is thin, lightweight, and can withstand high levels of force.
    Damage-resistant glassDamage-resistant glass (such as Corning Gorilla Glass or Asahi Dragontrail Glass) is thin, lightweight, and can withstand high levels of force.
    Newer Gorilla Glass version
    Newer Gorilla Glass version6666665656
    Pixel density
    Pixel density525ppi566ppi409ppi526ppi409ppi511ppi537ppi550ppi444ppi643ppi
    ResolutionThe resolution indicates the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen, expressed as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.
    ResolutionThe resolution indicates the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen, expressed as the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.1440 x 3200px1440 x 3200px1176 x 2400px1440 x 3040px1176 x 2400px1440 x 3200px1800 x 3200px1440 x 3040px1080 x 2220px1644 x 3840px
    Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.
    Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.6.7"6.2"6.53"6.4"6.53"6.9"6.3"6.1"5.7"6.5"
    Total score for "Display"
    Total score for "Display"
    Performance
    GPU clock speedThe graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.
    GPU clock speedThe graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.587MHz587MHzN.A.600MHzN.A.N.A.N.A.600MHzN.A.N.A.
    Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) is a more advanced version of big.LITTLE technology. In this setup, a processor can utilize all cores at the same time, or just a single core for low-intensity tasks. This can provide powerful performance or increased battery life respectively.
    Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) is a more advanced version of big.LITTLE technology. In this setup, a processor can utilize all cores at the same time, or just a single core for low-intensity tasks. This can provide powerful performance or increased battery life respectively.
    Integrated LTEThe system on a chip (SoC) has an integrated LTE cellular chip. LTE is capable of downloading at faster speeds than older, 3G technology.
    Integrated LTEThe system on a chip (SoC) has an integrated LTE cellular chip. LTE is capable of downloading at faster speeds than older, 3G technology.
    RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.
    RAM speedIt can support faster memory, which will give quicker system performance.2750MHz2750MHz2133MHz1800MHz2133MHzN.A.2133MHz1800MHz2133MHz2133MHz
    CPU speed
    CPU speed1 x 2.84GHz & 3 x 2.42GHz & 4 x 1.8GHz1 x 2.84GHz & 3 x 2.42GHz & 4 x 1.8GHz2 x 2.86GHz & 2 x 2.36GHz & 4 x 1.95GHz2 x 2.7GHz & 2 x 2.3GHz & 4 x 1.9GHz2 x 2.86GHz & 2 x 2.36GHz & 4 x 1.95GHz2 x 2.7GHz & 4 x 2.4GHz & 2 x 1.95GHz1 x 2.84GHz & 3 x 2.42GHz & 4 x 1.8GHz2 x 2.7GHz & 2 x 2.3GHz & 4 x 1.9GHz1 x 2.84GHz & 3 x 2.42GHz & 4 x 1.8GHz1 x 2.84GHz & 3 x 2.42GHz & 4 x 1.8GHz
    Total score for "Performance"
    Total score for "Performance"
    Cameras
    Megapixels (front camera)
    Megapixels (front camera)10MPN.A.32MP10MP & 8MP32MP40MP10MP10MP8MP8MP
    Megapixels (main camera)
    Megapixels (main camera)64MP & 12MP & 12MP & 0.3MP64MP & 12MP & 12MP40MP & 40MP & 8MP16MP & 12MP & 12MP40MP & 40MP & 8MP108MP & 48MP & 12MP & 0.3MP16MP & 12.2MP16MP & 12MP & 12MP16MP & 12.2MPN.A.
    Built-in optical image stabilizationOptical image stabilization uses gyroscopic sensors to detect the vibrations of the camera. The lens adjusts the optical path accordingly, ensuring that any type of motion blur is corrected before the sensor captures the image.
    Built-in optical image stabilizationOptical image stabilization uses gyroscopic sensors to detect the vibrations of the camera. The lens adjusts the optical path accordingly, ensuring that any type of motion blur is corrected before the sensor captures the image.
    Pixel size (main camera)The pixel size measures the length of the individual photodetectors (pixels) in the image sensor. Larger pixels can capture more light, providing better image quality and improved low-light performance.
    Pixel size (main camera)The pixel size measures the length of the individual photodetectors (pixels) in the image sensor. Larger pixels can capture more light, providing better image quality and improved low-light performance.N.A.N.A.N.A.1.4µmN.A.N.A.N.A.1.4µmN.A.1.4µm & 1µm & 1µm
    Video recording (main camera)The maximum resolution available for videos shot with the main camera. Although it may be possible to choose among other frame rates, those recordings usually have lower resolutions.
    Video recording (main camera)The maximum resolution available for videos shot with the main camera. Although it may be possible to choose among other frame rates, those recordings usually have lower resolutions.3240 x 30fps3240 x 30fps2160 x 60fps2160 x 60fps2160 x 60fps3240 x 30fps2160 x 30fps2160 x 60fps2160 x 30fps2160 x 30fps
    Total score for "Cameras"
    Total score for "Cameras"
    Audio
    3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
    3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
    Dedicated media keysPhones with physical keyboards have dedicated media keys, such as: play, stop, next, previous, volume up/down, etc.
    Dedicated media keysPhones with physical keyboards have dedicated media keys, such as: play, stop, next, previous, volume up/down, etc.
    Number of microphonesMore microphones result in better sound quality and enable the device to filter out background noise.
    Number of microphonesMore microphones result in better sound quality and enable the device to filter out background noise.2222222222
    RadioA built-in FM radio tuner allows you to listen to most of the live-broadcasted FM radio stations without using the internet.
    RadioA built-in FM radio tuner allows you to listen to most of the live-broadcasted FM radio stations without using the internet.
    Stereo speakersDevices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.
    Stereo speakersDevices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.
    Total score for "Audio"
    Total score for "Audio"
    Battery
    Battery lifeThe device's battery life (when in use) as given by the manufacturer. With a longer battery life you have to charge the device less often.
    Battery lifeThe device's battery life (when in use) as given by the manufacturer. With a longer battery life you have to charge the device less often.N.A.N.A.N.A.40.73hN.A.N.A.N.A.36.21hN.A.N.A.
    Battery power
    Battery power4500mAh4000mAh4500mAh4100mAh4500mAh5000mAh3700mAh3400mAh2800mAh3330mAh
    Wireless chargingThe manufacturer offers a branded wireless charging kit. To charge the device, you simply put it down on its charging base.
    Wireless chargingThe manufacturer offers a branded wireless charging kit. To charge the device, you simply put it down on its charging base.
    Fast chargingFast charging technologies, like Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or MediaTek’s Pump Express, are used to reduce the time it takes to charge a device. For example, with Quick Charge 3.0, the battery can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes.
    Fast chargingFast charging technologies, like Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or MediaTek’s Pump Express, are used to reduce the time it takes to charge a device. For example, with Quick Charge 3.0, the battery can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes.
    Removable batteryThe battery is removable and can be replaced by the user if broken.
    Removable batteryThe battery is removable and can be replaced by the user if broken.
    Total score for "Battery"
    Total score for "Battery"
    Features
    4K resolution supportAllows you to view in ultra-high definition.
    4K resolution supportAllows you to view in ultra-high definition.
    Free and open sourceAnyone is free to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.
    Free and open sourceAnyone is free to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.
    Java support
    Java support
    Multi-user system
    Multi-user system
    Offline voice recognitionOffline voice recognition enables you to perform voice actions, like dictating texts or using various voice commands, without an internet connection.
    Offline voice recognitionOffline voice recognition enables you to perform voice actions, like dictating texts or using various voice commands, without an internet connection.
    Total score for "Features"
    Total score for "Features"

    How to choose the best smartphone

    With hundreds of smartphones being released each year, you have a wide range of choices, from entry-level smartphones or budget-friendly mid-range phones to the latest flagships. Whether you want your smartphone to be your trusted assistant, your non-stop source of entertainment, or your wallet, you have to make sure that its screen won't shatter the first time you drop it and that the battery won't die when you need it the most. Here are some of the essential aspects you should take into account when choosing a (new) smartphone.

    Design and build

    Since your smartphone is probably always in your pocket or by your side, sometimes tracking every step you take and every move you make (especially if you use fitness apps), the size should be comfortable. Some prefer phablets, some prefer compact smartphones, but everybody wants a phone with a high screen-to-body ratio, with thin bezels and a screen that takes up more than 75% of the smartphone's surface. The main types of screen technologies are LCD and OLED/AMOLED, both presenting advantages and disadvantages.

    LCD

    Liquid Crystal Displays adjust the amount of light that passes through each liquid crystal layer.

    OLED / AMOLED

    Organic Light Emitting Diode displays / Active-Matrix Light Emitting Diode displays emit light directly.

    Advantages
    • Thin and light
    • Low refresh-rate flicker
    • Cheap to produce
    • Fast response time
    • High contrast ratio
    • Energy efficient
    Disadvantages
    • Low viewing quality in direct sunlight
    • Loss of contrast in high-temperature environments
    • Limited viewing angles
    • Limited lifetime (due to the use of organic materials)
    • Supra-saturated colors
     
    Independently of the technology used for the screen, it's always good to choose a device with high resolution and high pixel density. The pixel density for smartphone screens is measured in pixels per inch (PPI) and is calculated using the resolution and screen size. Devices with a large screen have a lower pixel density than devices with a small screen, provided that the resolution is the same. Usually, a device with a pixel density of 300 PPI renders clear and sharp images.

    Apple's proprietary LCD technology, first introduced on the iPhone 4 in 2012 under the name of Retina Display, refers to screens that have a pixel density of at least 300 PPI, making it impossible to spot the pixels from a normal viewing distance (10-12 inches from the eyes).

    The materials used for the case tend to vary a lot, from plastic, which is the cheapest option, to metal (various aluminum or magnesium alloys) or glass.
    • Plastic, usually polycarbonate, has good heat and shock resistance. Any tech nostalgic remembers the bulky Nokia 5110 released in 1998, recognized as one of the most longevous mobile phones ever made.
    • Metal, usually under the form of an aluminum alloy, is widely used in for flagship devices because it allows manufacturers to produce a light, thin and resistant casing. Metal is also better for heat dispersion, making it possible to use more powerful SoCs. However, unlike plastic or glass casings, devices with metal casing require an external antenna.
    • Glass is probably the best choice for those concerned about scratches, being the most rigid. In terms of conduciveness, it’s between polycarbonate plastic and aluminum. Glass is sometimes used for the back panel.

    The infamous "bendgate", which forced Apple to withdraw a batch of iPhone 6 devices from shops, drew more attention to the importance of materials. Soon after "bendgate", Apple improved the aluminum alloy used for its iPhones and iPads, switching to the 7000 series. The 7000 series combines aluminum with zinc and is also a common material for aircraft construction, due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and durability. HTC and Huawei also use aluminum unibody designs for most of their product lines. Most manufacturers combine materials and sometimes use them in combination with leather (LG G4), ballistic nylon (Moto Droid Turbo 2), or other materials.

    Battery

    One of the most frequent requirements users have is long battery life. The battery power is an important indicator when choosing a smartphone, but it alone is not a guarantee that your smartphone can last for a long time on one charge. To get a better idea about the relation between battery life and battery power, you can read our detailed explanation. To make sure your phone won't run out of battery when you need it the most, make sure that you also check the following specs:

    • Battery life (talk-time): for how long you can talk on your smartphone on one charge.
    • Battery life (standby): how much time your smartphone lasts on one charge in standby mode.

    The conditions in which these tests are performed vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so these are not reliable indicators by themselves. To make an informed decision about the battery capacity you need, you should put these specs in relation to others, such as screen size and CPU speed. In addition, you should take into account your usage habits: how many apps do you use at the same time, how much time you spend on your phone each day. Other things you should watch out for are:

    • Quick charge: a technology developed by Qualcomm, which speeds up the charging time significantly, making it possible to charge a smartphone’s battery to 80% in just 30 minutes.
    • Wireless charging using a charging base.
    • Removable battery: batteries tend to age pretty quickly. If you want to keep your phone for a long time, it's crucial to be able to replace the battery.

    Also, there are many options to make sure that your precious companion is 'awake' all the time - portable power banks come in all shapes and sizes and are very affordable.

    Processor

    A performant processor is vital for any device. It determines how well apps and games run on your smartphone, how fast you can switch between apps, and how many things you can do at the same time on your phone. The most basic evaluation of processors takes into account the number of cores and the clock speed (CPU speed). However, recent technologies made it possible to improve a processor's performance by using cores clocked at different speeds. Known as big.LITTLE, the technology developed by ARM, the leading semiconductor company, makes it possible to use cores clocked at different speeds. The cores with low clock speeds have the advantage of being power-efficient and are used for tasks that don't require a lot of processing power. The big, powerful cores come into action for complex tasks that require a lot of computing power, such as gaming. When all cores work at the same time - in the case of heterogeneous multi-processing (HMP) - the background tasks are performed by the little cores, while the big cores perform the high priority tasks.

    Cameras

    Evaluating a smartphone's camera is a complicated topic. Most users judge a camera's performance by the number of megapixels, but it takes more than that to get good photos. The sensor size and quality of the lens are crucial factors affecting image quality. Huawei and Sony devices generally hold the record for the smartphone-cameras with the highest number of megapixels.

    In recent years, manufacturers focused on improving the lenses. Dual-lens cameras can offer better image quality in low-light conditions and better zoom by using two lenses with different focal lengths. Huawei was one of the first manufacturers to employ completely different lenses and sensors on dual-camera modules. Some of Huawei flagships have one camera sensor shooting in color and one in black-and-white. The black-and-white camera captures details in high-contrast, while the color sensor offers vibrant colors. By combining the images captured with these two cameras, the images are sharp even in low light conditions because the black-and-white sensor can capture more light than conventional sensors, and special effects such as Bokeh are easy to achieve.

    Each year brings exciting new features in smartphone photography. Dual-lens cameras have become common even on mid-range phones, and flagships are now using complex multi-camera setups, with up to five main cameras. Advanced features such as phase detection autofocus (PDAF), HDR mode, and 4K video recording are also becoming more and more common.

    Since the word 'selfie' made it to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 and people realized we're not going to get over this frenzy too soon (for better or for worse), more and more smartphones with outstanding front cameras are being released.

    OS

    There are two main mobile operating systems available: Android and iOS. In 2016, Android and iOS combined had 93.85% of the worldwide market share, while Windows covered only 2.47% (source: netmarketshare.com). In 2017, Microsoft discontinued smartphone production, and the Windows mobile operating system for phones disappeared. At the same time, Blackberry started using Android instead of its proprietary OS. Android gained a lot of traction in emerging markets, primarily through the Android One program. All these factors contributed to Android's popularity. In the past years, more than 70% of the smartphones sold worldwide run on Android.

    Choosing the operating system depends a lot on what other devices you are using since it's easier to sync your data across devices running on the same OS. Each mobile operating system has advantages and disadvantages.

    Android's source code is open, and it's used to create various operating systems based on Android, such as CyanogenMod or MIUI. Many smartphone manufacturers who produce Android-based devices add proprietary components. There is a much more extensive range of devices to choose from if you opt for an Android device. However, there are many concerns regarding the variety of Android OS versions available and the interoperability between devices running different versions, an issue known as Android fragmentation.

    iOS is a closed system, powering Apple devices exclusively. Therefore, Apple has complete control over its operating system, offering direct iOS updates every year for iPhone users. Updates for Android devices come at a slower pace, except for Google devices, which run on 'pure' Android, like the Google Pixel series.

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