Finest smartphone 2019: iPhone, OnePlus, Samsung and Huawei in contrast and ranked | Smartphones

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Need a brand new smartphone however don’t know which one is the perfect? Right here’s a information evaluating the present top-end smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and others that will help you decide the perfect handset for you.

There has by no means been a greater time to purchase a brand new flagship smartphone with many high quality handsets obtainable at a wider vary of costs than ever earlier than. Whether or not your precedence is two-day battery life, incredible digicam efficiency or a spectacular display screen, there’s lots to select from.

This Guardian purchaser’s information to top-end smartphones was final up to date on 17 December 2019, and represents the perfect obtainable fashions on the time. As new fashions are launched and examined, this information might be up to date that will help you select the best flagship telephone for you.

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What’s a purchaser’s information?

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Welcome to one of many Guardian’s new purchaser’s guides. This text represents tons of of hours of testing by the creator to deliver collectively a succinct checklist of beneficial services or products so you’ll be able to decide from the perfect and ignore the remainder with out having to do hours of your individual analysis.

Whereas the Guardian might earn a small fee from gadgets purchased by way of affiliate hyperlinks, the gadgets featured on this purchaser’s information have been examined and included with out affect from any advertiser or business initiative.

Thanks to your suggestions.



1

Finest general: OnePlus 7T Professional

RRP: £699

smartphone buyer's guide - OnePlus 7T Pro
The OnePlus 7T Professional has an enormous, attractive display screen, is the fastest-feeling telephone by miles and has a competition-beating in-display fingerprint scanner. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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The follow-up to the perfect smartphone of the primary half of 2019 is, unsurprisingly, the perfect telephone to finish 2019. The OnePlus 7T Professional is a minor replace to the stellar OnePlus 7 Professional that retains all the great bits, improves the digicam, and hastens the fingerprint scanner.

The monster 6.67in QHD+ AMOLED display screen runs at 90Hz – in contrast with 60Hz for a lot of the competitors – is arguably the perfect within the enterprise. It’s shiny, crisp and tremendous easy, plus it’s freed from holes or digicam notches. The selfie digicam pops up from the highest on command – a constant crowd-pleaser.

The 7T Professional is the fastest-feeling telephone – every little thing zips alongside. It has Qualcomm’s high chip, the Snapdragon 855+, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of quick UFS3.0 storage – lots for virtually every little thing. The optical in-display fingerprint scanner is even sooner than earlier than persevering with to place the competitors to disgrace.

The most recent OxygenOS 10, the agency’s super-slick model of Android 10, is arguably the perfect within the enterprise too, and also you’ll get immediate updates for 3 years.

The triple digicam system on the again is nice too, combining a 48MP major, a 16MP ultra-wide angle and an 8MP telephoto digicam. New for the 7T Professional is a super-macro mode, which is surprisingly good, producing crisp photos as much as simply 2.5cm from the lens – nice enjoyable. The 7T Professional can’t fairly beat the iPhone 11 Professional or Pixel 4XL, however it matches or beats the remainder on element and utility.

The 7T Professional lasts about 32 hours between costs, making it one of many higher performers. Charging is exceptionally quick by way of the agency’s WarpCharge system too, hitting 70% in simply 34 minutes by way of cable. There’s no wi-fi charging although.

Twin-sim assist is useful for work or travelling. It’s water-proof to some extent, however has no IP ranking. There’s a McLaren restricted version and a 5G model within the US, however not UK the place the OnePlus 7 Professional 5G continues to be the present mannequin.


Why must you purchase it?

The unrivalled display screen, sheer pace and in-display fingerprint scanner, mixed with the slick OxygenOS 10 make even mundane duties a pleasure. The large OnePlus 7T Professional is a stretch price making.

Purchase if: you need the perfect and quickest superphone expertise

Don’t purchase if: you don’t wish to stretch to such an enormous telephone



2

Finest iOS: Apple iPhone 11 Professional

RRP: £1,049 / $999

smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11 pro
Apple’s smallest new iPhone 11 Professional can also be the perfect mixture of measurement, display screen, efficiency, battery life, measurement and digicam. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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Good issues are available in smaller packages. The iPhone 11 Professional isn’t the most important or the costliest of Apple’s 2019 smartphones, however it’s the greatest and really practically the perfect telephone of the yr.

The iPhone 11 Professional combines a shocking, big-enough 5.8in display screen, svelte, luxurious-feeling physique, top-notch efficiency and battery life to maintain up with a lot of the competitors.

Reality be advised, the design is principally uncharged because the mould-breaking iPhone X from 2017. The again is now frosted glass, which seems to be significantly good in silver, and has a triple digicam lump within the high left. The remaining stays just about unchanged.

Apple’s Face ID continues to be the perfect, most widely-supported face recognition system within the enterprise. The brand new A13 Bionic chip continues to steer the pack. The gesture navigation system continues to be probably the greatest, and also you’re in line for round 5 years of iOS software program updates from launch – a minimum of two greater than another producer will present.

This yr the iPhone 11 Professional introduces a considerably improved triple digicam with ultra-wide, vast and telephoto lenses, which matches the perfect rivals in images and beats them in video. It even has an efficient night time mode now.

It’s not all gravy – beginning with simply 64GB of storage is poor. The previous Lightning connector nonetheless persists, quite than the newer commonplace of USB-C. There’s no 5G choice and it’s exceedingly costly – you don’t purchase the iPhone 11 Professional in search of worth for cash. Plus iOS 13 has been a blended bag since its introduction, with a variety of bugs that wanted fixing.

However as a complete, no different telephone can match the iPhone 11 Professional in energy, functionality and measurement. The iPhone 11 Professional is the smaller telephone to purchase and the perfect working iOS.


Why must you purchase it?

You need the perfect smaller telephone, or just the perfect Apple telephone, then the iPhone 11 Professional is incredible, however comes at a substantial value

Purchase if: you need the perfect iPhone

Don’t purchase if: you don’t wish to spend £1,049 or wish to use Android



3

Finest smaller Android: Samsung Galaxy S10

RRP: £799 / $899

smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10
An enormous, lovely display screen in a smaller telephone, the Galaxy S10 is the candy spot in Samsung’s flagship smartphone line. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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If you’d like the Android sweet-spot between an enormous, gorgeous display screen and smaller telephone measurement that’s simpler to deal with and slot in a pocket, that’s the Galaxy S10.

The 6.1in QHD+ AMOLED display screen with a small hole-punch notch within the high proper is likely one of the greatest in the marketplace and is large enough to profit from apps and films look nice.

Small bezels all spherical make the telephone fairly compact in contrast with rivals, and it’s mild too. It’s nonetheless a glass and steel sandwich, which implies you would possibly want a case to guard in opposition to falls.

The Galaxy S10 was not too long ago up to date with Samsung’s new One UI 2 software program, primarily based on the newest Android 10 together with much-improved navigation gestures. You must get about three years of software program assist from launch from Samsung, though the corporate is often slower than Google and OnePlus to ship massive Android model updates.

The rear triple digicam is nice permitting you to zoom from 0.5 by way of 2x, and on to a 10x hybrid zoom. It received’t beat the Pixel 4 XL or iPhone 11 Professional, however will get the job carried out. The selfie digicam pokes straight although the display screen and is likely one of the higher ones in the marketplace.

Efficiency is nice however battery life is a bit weak, lasting a day of utilization however not way more. The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor mounted underneath the show has proved to be a bit sluggish and finickity over time, which could be annoying.


Why must you purchase it?

An enormous display screen Android expertise in a comparatively small telephone is the principle promoting level, however the good digicam, efficiency and appears assist too.

Purchase if: you desire a good stability of display screen and telephone measurement with out breaking the financial institution

Don’t purchase if: you need good battery life



4

Finest digicam: Huawei P30 Professional

RRP: £750

smartphone buyer's guide - huawei P30 pro
The Huawei P30 Professional has a big, lovely display screen, lengthy battery life and a game-changing digicam with distinctive low-light efficiency, 5x optical zoom and as much as 50x digital zoom. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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The very best digicam on a telephone is the Huawei P30 Professional by some margin. Even on the finish of 2019, no different telephone supplies as complete a mix as Huawei’s new Leica quad digicam.

The 20MP 0.6x ultra-wide angle digicam is enjoyable, the principle 40MP digicam is terrific and it’s joined by a brand new periscopic 5x optical zoom digicam that will get you nearer than another smartphone. If 5 instances magnification wasn’t sufficient, there’s a superb 10x hybrid zoom on high after which a digital zoom all the way in which as much as 50x. A 3D depth-sensing time-of-flight sensor rounds out the modules on the again.

Exceptional ranges of zoom apart, the P30 Professional additionally has low-light efficiency that immediately turns night time into day with out having to attend for a few seconds of seize. The P30 Professional may not have the perfect Evening Sight rival, however more often than not it merely doesn’t want it.

The remainder of the telephone is superb, too, with gorgeous color choices. The massive 6.47in FHD+ OLED is nice, with a small notch within the high containing the selfie digicam and slim bezels all spherical. The curved edges hold the width of the telephone to a slender 73.4mm vast, that means it’s nonetheless comparatively manageable and simpler to wield day-to-day significantly in contrast with the OnePlus 7T Professional or iPhone 11 Professional Max.

The in-screen optical fingerprint sensor is second solely to the OnePlus 7T Professional’s. Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, supplies nice efficiency and a battery that may final about two days. Plus the battery costs tremendous quick and has wi-fi charging and energy sharing.

Huawei’s modified Android 10, EMUI 10, is very customisable and has loads of options however will not be to everybody’s tastes. Huawei continues to be going through sanctions from the US as a part of the US-China commerce struggle, which makes its future unsure. The P30 Professional’s current Android 10 replace confirmed that it ought to proceed to obtain updates as regular, nonetheless.


Why must you purchase it?

The digicam is game-changing in significant, not gimmick-filled methods, whereas the remainder of the telephone is superb

Purchase if: you need the perfect digicam on an incredible telephone

Don’t purchase if: you desire a smaller telephone or are frightened about US blockade of Huawei



Worth: £549 / $599

smartphone buyer's guide - oneplus 7t
The OnePlus 7T affords most of what makes the OnePlus 7T Professional the perfect telephone going, however in a smaller, cheaper bundle. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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Pound for pound the OnePlus 7T affords the perfect efficiency, design and expertise than another smartphone.

It’s acquired the massive, handsome 6.41in full HD OLED display screen, with a small, widow’s-peak-like notch on the high for a selfie digicam. New for the 7T is a 90Hz refresh fee, which like its larger sibling the 7T Professional, makes even the mundane silky easy.

It’s acquired 2019’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of quick UFS3.0 storage. It additionally lasts 31 hours on a cost, and its OxygenOS 10 Android software program is quick and slick. OnePlus ensures two years of software program updates and a further yr of bi-monthly safety updates from the discharge date of the telephone too.

It even has the quickest and greatest in-display fingerprint scanner presently obtainable, which is nearly as good as the perfect devoted capacitive sensors, good haptics and dual-sim assist for having two cell phone community connections on the identical time.

The triple digicam is nice too, with ultra-wide, vast and 2x telephoto lenses, plus a devoted macro mode, however it could actually’t beat the perfect available in the market. There’s no formal water resistance ranking and no wi-fi charging, however WarpCharge sees it hit full cost in 60 minutes flat.


Why must you purchase it?

An excellent 90Hz display screen, glorious software program and the perfect efficiency, in-display fingerprint scanner and digicam imply you need to spend considerably extra to get a greater telephone than this

Purchase if: you desire a top-notch telephone however don’t wish to spend greater than £549

Don’t purchase if: you desire a actually good digicam


Fast Information

Smartphone jargon

Present

Measurement

Smartphones are rated by display screen measurement measured on the diagonal in inches. The larger the quantity the bigger the telephone, however totally different telephones use totally different ratios of peak to width.

How simple it’s to deal with comes all the way down to the width of the telephone and its weight. The narrower and lighter it’s, the simpler it’s to carry in a single hand and the much less possible you’re to drop it.

Processor

What is often referred to as the processor in a telephone is definitely a system-on-a-chip combining the processor, graphics and different important methods into one.

Typically the newer the processor the extra highly effective and battery environment friendly it is going to be. Samsung, Huawei and Apple make their very own, whereas Qualcomm is the biggest provider to different manufacturers on the excessive finish, with its Snapdragon 8-series vary on the high.

RAM

The RAM (reminiscence) is the place your apps and processes are saved when in use, so the you extra your telephone has the higher, up to some extent.

Android requires extra RAM than iOS, so it is tough to instantly evaluate them. However with Android a minimum of 4GB of RAM is presently beneficial.

Storage

Completely different from reminiscence, storage is the place every little thing is saved on the telephone, together with apps and media. Whereas a number of telephones can have their storage expanded with microSD playing cards, most can’t.

Meaning it is best to intention for 64GB of storage at a minimal, however extra if you wish to retailer a lot of photographs. Cloud providers equivalent to Spotify or Google’s Pictures may also help offload your music, photographs or movies to the web.

Software program updates

Conserving your telephone safe from hackers is important, which makes software program updates essential to patch bugs and safety holes, in addition to including new options and enhancing issues equivalent to battery life and the digicam.

Not all telephones obtain common updates. Apple’s assist of older telephones is the perfect within the enterprise of round 5 years, adopted by Samsung and Google’s three years, each from when the telephone was launched – not while you purchase it.

Battery life

Battery life varies drastically between units, and “all-day battery” typically doesn’t suggest 24 hours between costs. Some might not final lengthy sufficient, significantly should you’re out within the night.

Battery life will get worse because the battery ages too, so a two-day battery will possible ensure the telephone lasts a minimum of a day two years later.

Digicam

Cameras are the present battleground between the massive gamers, however the margins between them are slimming.

Most use computational images that mixes {hardware} with superior software program algorithms, usually permitting a number of cameras to mix to make one picture.

As such the digicam software program makes as a lot distinction because the {hardware}, and is likely one of the few areas that really improves over time with updates.

Multi-camera methods typically provide extra, equivalent to helpful zooms, portrait modes and higher low-light efficiency, however they don’t seem to be all created equally. There are additionally 3D cameras, which might detect facial expressions and different enjoyable methods.

The variety of megapixels (MP) additionally makes a distinction. Having extra MP would not essentially equal a greater picture, however fashionable smartphone cameras mix a number of pixels to enhance picture high quality producing 12MP pictures from 48MP sensors, for instance.

Different issues to think about

Wi-fi charging: handy, however slower than by way of cable and usually a charging pad would not come within the field

Sturdiness: usually glass on the back and front of the telephone makes it extra fragile

Resale worth: iPhones maintain their worth higher than most others

OLED versus LCD: OLED screens emit their very own mild so have a lot deeper blacks and extra vibrant colors, whereas LCD screens are cheaper

Thanks to your suggestions.


These are good telephones nonetheless price shopping for if not one of the high smartphones match the invoice.


Apple iPhone 11

RRP: £729 / $699

smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11

Apple’s cheaper iPhone 11 is the follow-up to final yr’s iPhone XR and affords a lot of the options of the iPhone 11 Professional. It has barely battery life too, however is lacking the superb ultra-wide angle digicam, has a barely bigger, however worse display screen. It’s made from aluminium and glass, as a substitute of stainless-steel, dropping its luxurious really feel and the information that it’s the perfect Apple could make.

The iPhone 11 seems to be nice in crimson or white, however it’s not low-cost by any stretch of the creativeness, costing as a lot or extra as true flagship telephones from opponents. The iPhone 11 definitely holds its personal for the cash, however the iPhone 11 Professional nonetheless the one to purchase if you would like the perfect iPhone. If you’d like a less expensive telephone, change to Android or purchase final yr’s iPhone XR.

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Apple iPhone 11 Professional Max

RRP: £1,149 / $1,099

smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11 pro max

For those who will need to have an iPhone and it will need to have an enormous display screen or epic battery life then the iPhone 11 Professional Max is your solely choice. Nevertheless it has actually poor ergonomics, is massive, costly and heavy, making the smaller iPhone 11 Professional or iPhone 11 are higher choices.

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Samsung Galaxy S10e

RRP: £669 / $650

smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10e

The smallest, least expensive variant of Samsung’s present S10 line continues to be good, however falls barely in need of the excessive bar set by the common Galaxy S10. The Galaxy S10e loses the optical zoom with solely two cameras on the again, has a flat, barely smaller display screen and a decrease capability battery. It additionally ditches within the in-screen fingerprint scanner for one embedded within the energy button – nice for right-handed customers however not so for the left handed.

It doesn’t really feel any smaller within the hand, however could be had for much less should you will need to have a top-end Samsung for the bottom potential value or dislike curved screens.

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Samsung Galaxy S10+

RRP: £899 / $999

smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10+

The larger model of the Galaxy S10 with a 6.4in QHD+ show has the perfect display screen obtainable on any system. The oval-shaped hole-punch notch is novel, containing two good selfie cameras. The triple rear digicam is nice, however not a patch on the Huawei P30 Professional. Efficiency is nice, so is the software program, however the battery life is barely disappointing in contrast with the perfect. The fingerprint scanner is a bit sluggish and could be irritating to make use of.

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Samsung Galaxy Word 10+

RRP: £999 / $1,099

smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy note 10+

The Galaxy Word 10+ is a Samsung super-fan’s dream. It has the most important display screen on a Samsung with a monstrous 6.8in on the diagonal, new sooner UFS3.0 storage, affordable battery life and loads of occasion methods. The stylus can now be used as a magic wand for gestures, there are three cameras on the again and is obtainable in a 5G model too. The fingerprint scanner is a bit sluggish and generally is a bit irritating to make use of.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

RRP: £1,099 / $1,299

smartphone buyer's guide - Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

The largest, strongest model of Samsung’s S-line is the S10 5G and it’s big with a 6.7in QHD+ AMOLED display screen, lengthy oval-shaped hole-punch notch for the selfie cameras, and 4 cameras on the again. Efficiency, software program and battery are good, however it’s not as slick or ergonomic because the OnePlus 7 Professional 5G. The fingerprint scanner is a bit sluggish and could be irritating to make use of.

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Huawei Mate 20 Professional

RRP: £899.99

smartphone buyer's guide - huawei mate 20 pro

The Mate 20 Professional has the massive, enticing 6.39in QHD+ display screen, svelte physique, lengthy battery life and nice efficiency that made it the highest telephone of 2018. Nonetheless, its glorious triple digicam system with 3x optical zoom has been outdone by Huawei’s newer P30 Professional, which has a Leica quad digicam with 5x optical zoom. It not too long ago acquired EMUI 10 (Android 10) and is price looking for offers, significantly if you would like the 3D face unlock choice.

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Google Pixel 4 XL

RRP: £829 / $899

smartphone buyer's guide - google pixel 4 xl

The Google Pixel 4 XL is a blended bag. On the one hand you will have a handsome 6.3in QHD+ AMOLED show working at 90Hz, a stellar digicam, new Soli radar gesture system, wonderful new on-device AI and super-fast 3D Face Unlock. However on the opposite you don’t have any fingerprint scanner, that means till apps are up to date to make use of the Face Unlock you’re compelled again to utilizing the previous pin or password, the battery life is pretty brief and there have been fairly a number of bugs which have wanted fixing since launch. At some point it may be nice.

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Xiaomi Mi Combine 3

RRP: £499

smartphone buyer's guide - xiaomi mi mix 3

Xiaomi’s first slider telephone affords greater than most for the cash, with top-flight specs for 2018 competing instantly with the OnePlus 6T and Honor View20. It takes a distinct method to the issue of the place to place the selfie digicam in an all-screen design, hiding it behind the display screen on slide-out part.

Good, however fairly as nice as its competitors, this big telephone is held again by a heavy weight and a software program expertise that simply isn’t nearly as good, regardless of strong gesture navigation choices.

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Google Pixel 4 – Nice telephone completely ruined by horrible battery life – £669

Razer Telephone 2 – Gaming telephone beast that falls down on digicam efficiency – £500

Sony Xperia XZ3 – Good, however not nice telephone that misses the mark – £699



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