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The top 10 best phones for 2020 ,the best phones deliver great cameras, the performance you need to multitask and the endurance to last the whole day. And you don’t have to wait for the iPhone 12 if you need a great smartphone right now.
Some may prefer to have the biggest display possible along with the most advanced specs. And others want a solid mid-range phone that delivers all the basics without feeling cheap. To help you pick the best smartphone for you, we test dozens of handsets in the lab and in the real world to make our recommendations.
What are the best phones?
Based on our testing, the iPhone 11 is the best phone for most people, as it captures great photos, boasts a bright display and offers long battery life. It’s a great choice for under $700. The iPhone 12 is on the horizon with 5G, but that likely won’t launch until October.
We have seen new phones from Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and LG in 2020 with Apple still left to announce the next version of its iPhone. Apple may not support 5G in 2020, giving Android smartphones the leg up on the benefits of 5G. Stunning cameras are also a primary feature in today’s flagship smartphones, and any of the 10 best can help you capture amazing still and video content.
It’s easy to find a great phone these days, phones are so good you really don’t need to be replacing them on an annual basis, but carrier and manufacturer upgrade programs make this fairly painless. With smartphones today serving as critical tools for conducting business, a monthly lease or payment option is a justifiable expense.
Here are the best phones on the market right now.
The only differences between the iphone 11 Pro and Pro Max are the display size and battery capacity. After going full circle, it’s clear that the 5.8-inch model works best for me. There’s a lot to be said for a phone that is easily pocket able and capable of satisfying people with smaller hands. It’s usable with one hand.
Apple has once again shown it bests all other phones in bench marking testing with the Apple A13 Bionic chip set. It has a fabulous OLED screen, good-sized battery with a rating of four hours more than last year’s iphone, and new camera hardware (with improved software) to make it a very compelling flagship. It continues to get regular updates (one coming within the first week of release) and iOS apps are still better than comparable Android apps, despite the improvements in Android phones.
Face ID continues to be one of the fastest and most secure methods of maintaining security on your phone, and the version in the iphone 11 Pro has been improved for better performance. Google may release an alternative with the upcoming Pixel 4, but current ultrasonic fingerprint scanners are not proving very reliable for consistent performance.
Apple iphone 11
Apple iphone 11 is probably the best phone for most people. We typically see Apple keep prices the same, or increase them, each year, but with the iphone 11, we actually saw a price drop of $50.
Unlike the terrible decision to launch the iphone 11 Pro/Pro Max with 64GB and then charge a massive premium to upgrade to the next level of 256GB, Apple lets iphone 11 buyers go from 64GB to 128GB for just $50. Thus, the iphone 11 with 128GB is an excellent option for most people.
The iphone 11 has a size between the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max with long battery life, capable processors, several color options, and rear dual camera setup. The iphone 11 has an ultra-wide angle and standard rear cameras but doesn’t have the 2x telephoto zoom lens found on the other new iphone 11 models.
The iphone 11 starts at $699 for 64GB with the 128GB model priced at $749. Six colors are available so there is one to appeal to everyone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra 5G
Samsung recently announced the Galaxy Note 20 series and they will soon be arriving into the hands of business customers everywhere.
The Note 20 devices bring everything we saw on the S20 series with some improvements in the cameras. Of course, the S Pen is a staple of the Note series and with the Note 20 we see more Air Actions that are actually proving to be quite useful and reliable this year.
Samsung’s two Note 20 series devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, unique AMOLED 6.7- and 6.9-inch 120Hz refresh rate displays that automatically adjust for the content being displays, 8GB and 12GB RAM, 128GB with a 512GB storage option for the Ultra with a micro SD for even more capacity, three rear cameras, IP68 rating, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. Battery capacity is 4,300 and 4,500 mAh.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is pricey at $1,299 but no other big-screen phone can do as much as this tablet. You get a gorgeous 6.9-inch OLED display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, as well as lots of new S Pen upgrades, ranging from new air gestures to a smoother 9 ms response time. Plus, the Note 20 Ultra packs one of the most versatile camera setups ever, including a 108MP main sensor, a whopping 50x Space Zoom and a dedicated laser auto focus sensor to reduce blur.
The Note 20 Ultra is also a mini desktop PC and game console in disguise. With the improved DeX mode, you can beam photos, apps and more to a nearby TV, and with X box Game Pass you can stream more than 100 X box titles over the cloud. The Note 20 Ultra works well with your PC, too, as Link to Windows enables you to run Android apps on your laptop as well as get notifications, make calls and more. Add it all up and you have one of the best phones yet.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best phones because it packs so many features into a phone that costs less than premium flagships. You get performance that can match any leading phone and a gorgeous display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate for ridiculously smooth scrolling.
Opting for the fastest refresh rate can reduce battery life, but set the screen refresh rate at 60Hz and you can expect more than 11 hours of battery life — well ahead of what the average smartphone can pull off on our battery test. The OnePlus 8 Pro becomes the first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging; even better, it’s the fastest wireless charging we’ve ever seen.
Other phones sport more capable cameras, but the OnePlus 8 Pro four rear lenses performed capably in our tests, sometimes producing results that match what the best camera phones have to offer. If you want a great Android device, the OnePlus 8 Pro is proof you don’t need to spend more than $1,000 to get one of the best phones.
What makes the new Google Pixel 4a so special is that it offers almost everything you’d desire in a smartphone for just $349. And it’s remarkably compelling for that price.
Google’s latest mid range offering contains a gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED screen; solid power from a Snapdragon 730G chip set; clever software features like Call Screen and Google’s handy Recorder live transcription app; and, of course, that marvel of a 12-megapixel camera, which includes perks like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom.
The only area where the Pixel 4a lags behind the competition is with respect to battery life. Even with a power pack significantly bigger than the iPhone SE’s, it still doesn’t last quite as long on a charge. It also can’t match Apple’s $399 iPhone where performance is concerned. But in practically every other way, Google’s new baby Pixel is a fantastically well-rounded handset that everyone who is looking for a cheap phone should consider, with the best photography for the money.
Moto G Power
If you want the best phone for lasting all day long, get the Moto G Power. This budget phone from Motorola makes the most of its massive 5,000 mAh battery, enduring for more than 16 hours on our battery test, in which we have a phone surf the web over LTE until it runs out of juice.
You don’t have to pay big bucks for that kind of battery life. The Moto G Power costs just $249, which is even cheaper than Apple’s iPhone SE. You will make some compromises though like an LCD screen instead of an OLED panel and a hefty 7 ounce weight.
Still, the Moto G Power’s performance and camera keep pace with other phones for its price range, and it even manages to include triple cameras (though not a telephoto lens). All told, it’s a pretty polished phone for less than $300, and you’ll never have to worry about finding a place to plug in.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Samsung has three strong phones in its Galaxy S20 lineup, but the Galaxy S20 Plus is the one that places the highest on our best phone list, because it offers the best overall mix of features for the money. You get a gorgeous 6.7-inch display with a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate, 5G connectivity and fast Snapdragon 865 processors, plus relatively long battery life (at least in 60Hz mode). The only features missing compared to the higher-end Galaxy S20 Ultra are a 108MP camera and more powerful Space Zoom — trade-offs most people will be willing to make to save $200 by opting for the $1,199 Galaxy S20 Plus.
That’s especially true since the Galaxy S20 Plus boasts some pretty impressive cameras in its own right. The new sensors capture bright and colorful photos, and the 3x lossless zoom is more powerful than what the iPhone 11 Pro Max delivers. The regular Galaxy S20 plus is a good choice at $999, too, if you prefer a smaller display. But if you want a big screen and future-proof 5G for years to come, you’re going to love the Galaxy S20 Plus.
The OnePlus 8 might not offer super fast wireless charging of its pricier sibling, the OnePlus 8 Pro, but it’s a compelling Android value at $699. That’s largely because it has the very same Snapdragon 865 processors, along with a dazzling 90Hz display and a compelling design that comes in lots of eye-catching colors. You also get 5G connectivity and colorful 6.5-inch OLED display.
OnePlus rolled out its new 2020 phones with the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, both compatible with 5G networks. T-Mobile carries the OnePlus 8 while Verizon has a unique version with 5G mm Wave support.
This latest OnePlus flagship offers extremely responsive performance with its 90Hz and 120Hz displays, fast UFS 3.0 internal storage, generous RAM, and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processors.
The phones are lovely with Interstellar Glow, Glacial Green, and other color options available. There are is a couple of different RAM and internal storage options for each phone. With the size and battery capacity differences between the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, we also find some differences in cameras, display refresh rate, and wireless charging functionality.
LG V60 ThinQ 5G
The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is available from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. It’s only available in the US from one of these wireless carriers, but it may appear as an unlocked model on Amazon in the future.
This latest LG V series device continues to focus on video creation with a triple rear camera system, 8K video recording, four microphones, ASMR and Voice Both audio technology, and advanced camera software. It’s also powered by a massive 5,000 mAh battery with a 1080p display so it is sure to help you capture hours of video content.
The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is composed of two pieces of Gorilla Glass 5 with a metal frame and is certified for shock resistance to MIL-STD 810G. LG’s new phone has a 6.8-inch OLED panel, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage with a micro SD card, and 5G. A Dual Screen cover is included for the $900 price and gives you a large platform for serious productivity.
Along with 5G and a focus on video capture, the LG V60 continues LG’s tradition of audio excellence with a 3.5mm audio port with quad DAC support and stereo speakers. It sounds great through the speakers, but the wired headphone experience is even better. It’s one of the last phones remaining with a 3.5mm audio port so audiophiles are sure to be pleased.
How to choose the best smartphone for you
- Android or iphone? Android phones give you more choice in terms of price, size and innovative designs. However, iphone offer speedier software updates, better games and apps and better security and privacy.
- Unlocked or carrier? Most shoppers in the U.S. buy new phones through their wireless carrier. But an unlocked phone gives you the freedom to buy the device without any sort of contract and then bring it to the provider you want to use.
- Screen size: If you’re looking for a big phone, 6 inches and up is a good place to start. The biggest phones are 6.5 to 6.8 inches. If you want something you can easily use with one hand, go with one of the best small phones with a screen under 6 inches.
- Cameras: Don’t pay attention to the megapixel count. Instead, look at camera face-offs between phones to see the photo quality and look for special features like Night Mode to get better quality in low light.
- Battery life: Generally, phones with larger batteries (measured in mAh) offer the longest battery life, but that’s not always the case. That’s why you should run your own battery test.
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