Best Phone to Buy in 2021: Top 15 Smartphones
We have a top choice, but not everyone is searching for the same featured smartphone
If you're searching for a Samsung, Apple, Google or several other smartphones brands, choosing the best phone in 2021 is a costly and complicated decision. At the beginning of this year, we have seen a massive range of new smartphones, and this is our ultimate list of the best smartphones you can purchase right now.
We are continuously updating our list of the best smartphones to ensure that you buy the very best phone for your requirements. Early in 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series fired up our rankings and included the iPhone 12 or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which we have considered strong smartphones for various reasons.
Why we have more than one pick for the Best phone
We have a top choice, but not everyone is searching for the same featured smartphone. Some want iMessage and FaceTime from Apple, which means sticking to iOS 14, while others want endless customizations and Google Assistant, available on Android 11.
There are price factors, too, and we have taken that into account - which is why smartphones that appeared earlier in the year that has already been discounted, such as the OnePlus 8, have stayed as great smartphones at the good value on our list. Some smartphones, including the Google Pixel 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Version, debuted at a slightly lower price than rivals, which is a factor in our rankings.
Similarly, your preference may be affected by AT&T plans, Verizon plans, or your mobile phone plan of choice; the best AT&T phone might not be available on Verizon, and vice versa. We've seen more unlocked smartphones in the US, but they're not all available to any carrier.
Nearly all best phone prices have risen to $1,000, and beyond, so you'll want to take your option seriously. We've acquired doing phone reviews; we're here to lead you through the best phone choices.
Best phone for the year 2021? It has a wide monitor, but it's simple to handle; it packs a camera suite that can replace a point-and-shoot, and it has enough processing power and battery to do the job when you're on the go. You will not find sluggish smartphones with anything less than all-day battery life on this ranked phone list.
5G smartphones are becoming significant and will become a huge deal with more prevalent and foldable smartphones one day. Plus, as we expect to see the latest Samsung Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9 and iPhone 13 in 2021, this list may change a great deal once the new year rolls around.
We have ranked the new best phone by the Samsung, Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The new iPhone 12 and Google Pixel 5 series also provide connectivity for the next generation. For our full best phone list, for now, read on below.
Best phones at a glance:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
- iPhone 12 / iPhone 12 mini
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- iPhone SE 2020
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- OnePlus 8
- Google Pixel 5
- Samsung Galaxy S10e
- Google Pixel 4a
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XR
- Motorola One 5G
Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the best phone you can buy these days, while the Galaxy S20 is so close to the smaller (and somewhat less capable) that we've grouped two of them.
Why it's the best phone: It's the quality that helps Apple to triumph over Samsung. The S20 Plus starts at 1,199 dollars, and the S20 starts at 999 dollars. Yeah, it's a price rise from last year (and now matches what you're going to pay for the Pro-level iPhones). Still, you're getting bigger displays, more internal storage, and expandable storage microSD card slot, and 5G, stuff you're not going to find on the closest rival to Samsung.
Display: Both smartphones have Infinity-O AMOLED displays - 6.2 inches for the S20, 6.7 inches for the S20 Plus - are stunning. Like the Note 10, the notches are both centralized, but this time around they are much smaller, and the S20 Plus has only a single lens. The outcome: more windows. A 120Hz maximum refresh rate for silky-smooth media and gaming is also new this year, but you will mainly experience it while browsing, and to enjoy it, you will have to drop your display resolution down to FHD +.
Battery Life: The S20 has a 4,000mAh battery, while the S20 Plus has a capacity of 4,500mAh. That is, to put it mildly, a lot, and without recharging, frequently got us through over a day. Bear in mind that if you set the refresh rate at 120Hz, use a lot of 5G networking or loan juice with Wireless PowerShare, the battery life estimate will dip down, so adjust accordingly if you want to keep your smartphone running longer.
Camera: There are very impressive cameras on the S20 and S20 Plus. No, not their main 12MP shooters, which are good. The 64MP telephoto really shines with a 3x zoom lens (up from the usual 2x zoom). The camera can even zoom to a muddy 30x optical zoom, indicating that the intermediate intervals are much more impressive than the opposition. The 12MP ultra-wide handles efficiently, while with fun filters, the 10MP front-facing camera works well. Another first-time bonus: the rear camera's 8K 24fps recording.
Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 3200×1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP
2. iPhone 12 mini / iPhone 12
Strictly speaking, the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini are not preferable to the iPhone 12 Pro series. Still, both are reasonably priced (for iPhones), and each has most of the main features that an Apple iPhone won't need anything else. With the same 6.1-inch screen, but several new features like MagSafe, the iPhone 12 takes the iPhone 11. Then there are the latest iPhone 12 mini, which comes in a smaller box but is identical.
Why we ranked it at No. 2nd in our best phone list? It's not as nice as the top-ranked Samsung smartphone, but for most people, the iPhone 12 is the better iPhone because it costs $799. That's not as cheap as the launch of the iPhone 11, but it's more affordable than the iPhone 12 Pro, which starts and goes up at $1,000. Unlike the 2020 iPhone SE, which we later praise for being a decent value, you get much of the features found on the Pro-level handsets, such as the camera's beautiful Night Mode.
It's not as nice as the top-ranked Samsung smartphone, but for most people, the iPhone 12 is the better iPhone because it costs $799. That's not as cheap as the launch of the iPhone 11, but it's more affordable than the iPhone 12 Pro, which starts and goes up at $1,000. Unlike the 2020 iPhone SE, which we later praise for being a decent value, you get much of the features found on the Pro-level handsets, such as the camera's beautiful Night Mode.
Display: The 6.1-inch display is the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro display, fitting between the sizes of the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max, making it an enticing option if you want a big screen, but not the largest one. If you want a smaller version, it has a screen of 5.4 inches. The more 'affordable' flagship even gets an OLED screen for the first year, a major bonus. If you don't hate a notch, it's a brilliant-looking handset.
Battery life: These iPhones are capable of providing battery life all day long, and they're marginally better than the iPhone 11 battery that we thought last year was stellar. And what are you going to miss? The pricier iPhone 12 Pro series lasts a little longer, but because no smartphones are coming with fast charging capabilities, just like the Pro owners, you will have to pay out for Apple's quick charger unit.
Camera: With both a 12MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera to cram more into the picture, this is similar to the best iPhone camera. The triple-lens camera that adds to the telephoto lens on the Pro models is missing. Still, you get the two important cameras from that pairing, and it includes a long night exposure mode that will automatically brighten up dark images.
Weight: 134g / 164g | Dimensions: 131.5mm x 64.2mm x 7.4mm / 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm | OS: iOS 14 | Screen size: 5.4-inch / 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 / 1170 x 2532 | CPU: A14 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Battery: Unknown | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 12MP
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Most Advanced Smartphone
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the most expensive non-foldable Samsung handset, and the Note's major benefit this year is that it comes with an impressive camera. With the 5x zoom lens and 50x digital zoom, get prepared for intense close-ups. With new tricks, such as recording voice notes and synchronizing them with personal notes, the S Pen returns.
Why we ranked it at No. 3rd in our best phone list? This is the most powerful and best phone from Samsung, but more costly than the S20 series. With the Note 20 Ultra, you get it all: a stylus, a camera with 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom, a powerful chipset (in the US model at least) and a 6.9-inch 120Hz display. Not everybody wants an 'all phone' like this, but this is Samsung's best if you want it all and don't want to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Display: The 6.9-inch Note 20 Ultra screen is enormous, but just a fraction of an inch larger than the 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus display last year. The big difference this year is in the screen fluidity via a 120Hz refresh rate. No, both the WQHD+ and 120Hz resolution can not be allowed simultaneously, but on a screen of this size, the pixels look perfect at 1080p versus having to go down to 60Hz. The front-facing camera punch hole is smaller than before, another practically tiny plus.
Battery life: Samsung Note 20 Ultra has a powerful 4,500mAh battery, and we find that with daily usage, it goes without a problem for more than a day. Based on our tests, even power users won't have a problem. Samsung provides a 25W fast cabled charger packed in the box and offers 15W fast wireless charging compatibility, but for some reason, it has backed off promoting 45W wired charging.
Camera: Note 20 Ultra has the best phone if we talk about the best camera on an Android phone, partially due to its 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom capability. At the edges of 1x images, it makes 2x optical zooms from the iPhone seem like minor cropping. Samsung punches in with a dramatic zoom and accessible images on Instagram with 5x optical and, in good light, 10x digital (50x zoom is mostly a party trick). We also found the best ultra-wide camera on this phone, and the standard 12MP camera is sharp. You do not need a 108MP camera, and in low-light, you can look out for skin softening.
Release date: August 2020 | Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9-inch | CPU: Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865 Plus | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB/256/512GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 108MP/12MP + 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP
4. iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro takes and elevates everything wonderful about the iPhone 12. Then there's the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which promises improved battery life, a significantly powerful camera and a bigger screen. The extra for the iPhone 12 Pro might not be worth everyone's notable price rise to $999, but this pairing of smartphones is undoubtedly the best phone by Apple has yet produced.
Why we ranked it at No. 4th in our best phone list? The most powerful smartphones to date are the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and they are also the priciest of the company. Although a Samsung phone with a bigger screen and more storage at the base level could buy you the same amount of money, most iOS users don't want to deal with Android. Instead, they should look forward to a few main iPhone 11 Pro updates, such as 5G and MagSafe, for quick and safe clipping of accessories (as well as wireless chargers).
Display: Apple's 6.1-inch OLED display on the iPhone 12 Pro has caught our attention, even if it is set to 60Hz when other smartphones are pushing 90Hz and even 120Hz refresh rates, it is great for video streaming and gaming. Yeah, the notch cut out at the top is still here, but we find it easy to overlook after a while, even when other smartphones do just fine with screens with punch-holes.
Battery life: This is some of the great battery life on an iPhone we have ever seen, with more iOS enhancements and a larger cell within the phone itself. It's not game-changing yet, but it's better than other Apple devices, and it's particularly notable for the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Camera: On the iPhone 12 Pro, the triple camera setup is awesome. However, the three rear camera setup are not too different from the iPhone 11 Pro, except for the added LiDar sensor that supposedly makes portrait-style shots even in Night Mode. If you want the very best camera on an Apple unit, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the one to go for, though.
Weight: 189g / 228g | Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm / 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.4mm | OS: iOS 14 |Screen size: 6.1-inch / 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1170 x 2532 / 1284 x 2778 | CPU: A14 Bionic | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: Unknown |Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP |Front camera: 12MP
5. OnePlus 8 Pro - Best Phone with amazing values
When we tested it, the OnePlus 8 Pro sounded amazing, and for that very reason, the company is chasing Samsung and Apple on our best phone. Although the OnePlus 8 is also an option, many of the features we see with the Pro, which we describe below, are missing.
Why we ranked it at No. 5th in our best phone list? It's awesome that we have the one-time-little-known OnePlus doing so well with Apple and Samsung's top smartphones out of the way, that it's claimed a place in the top 5 smartphones of 2020. It doesn't cut corners, although this edition is more expensive than previous OnePlus smartphones. You get 5G, a display refresh rate of 120Hz, a fantastic 3x optical zoom camera, and super-fast wireless charging. It's a little big and comes in one size only (a somewhat different experience with the smaller OnePlus 8), and the camera is good but not good enough to challenge the phones ranked higher of it, to be anticipated.
Display: For one simple reason, this 6.78-inch has the potential to impress you more than an iPhone: the 'Fluid Display' that sets the refresh rate to 120Hz. Not only does it make the game look better, but it looks easier just browsing the page. You'll also find nice upscaling and HDR10+ here, although we were often bothered by false touch all along display edges.
Battery life: According to our tests, if you need your phone battery to last all day long, the OnePlus 8 Pro achieves that. Its 4,510 battery capacity is not the biggest compared to what Samsung's smartphones are marketing, but we got by on a single charge very quickly when setting the resolution to FullHD+. We also took advantage of adding wireless charging to OnePlus (finally)-it's probably the fastest wireless charging phone we've ever tested.
Camera: When it comes to its cameras, OnePlus has always stalled behind, but the OnePlus 8 Pro closes the gap. The quad-lens array enables fine 48MP images and 3x optical zoom on the handset's back, including a 30x digital zoom. We can't say it the best phone on the market according to its camera results, but it's among the best phone cameras (Android) in this price range.
Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 199g |Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.78-inch | Resolution: 3168 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 |RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,510mAh | Rear camera: 48MP+48MP+5MP+8MP | Front camera: 16MP
6. iPhone SE (2020) - The cheapest iPhone
The iPhone SE 2020 is the successor to the 2016 one-hand-friendly iPhone, and it brings the power and specifications from the iPhone 11 series we loved and packs them into the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 style.
Why we ranked it at No. 6th in our best phone list? This isn't Apple's most strong iPhone, but it's the best value without paying through the nose for people who want to stick with iOS 13. If you're on a budget and don't want to turn to Android, the screen technology won't stun you like an iPhone 11 Pro, and there's only one camera on the back, but starting at $399 means that it's hard to be.
Display: This latest iPhone SE has an iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 4.7-inch screen, so it's bigger than the previous iPhone SE, but it's still one-hand-friendly. For people who have been asking for a smaller phone, that has become relevant. This is the one to get, even though the resolution and the bezel wow no one.
Battery life: As far as you are not a power user (who will actually go for the iPhone 11 series anyway), then in terms of battery life, you'll be OK with what Apple provides. However, with generally the same amount of power as we have seen on the iPhone 8, which had a battery capacity of 1,821mAh, it won't last you for longer than a day.
Camera: The iPhone SE 2020 takes wonderful pictures in good light for the money. Outside of it, you will not find much of a differentiation that sometimes struggles to nail ideal exposure levels and field depth outdoors during the daytime. However, turn the lights dim, and you will find one conspicuous omission: the night mode or dark theme on the most powerful iPhones, which needs at least an iPhone 11 update.
Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm |OS: iOS 13 |Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1134 x 750 | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 1,821mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition - Best Phone with Flagship Specifications
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is the version of the Samsung S10 Lite and the S10e before it this year, the best of the flagship specs with a few cost-saving trimmed features.
Why we ranked it at No. 7th in our best phone list? The S20 Fan Edition is a decent mix of specifications and cameras, making it a good value for a Samsung signature polished Android phone that puts it ahead of other smartphones at the same price range.
Display: At Full HD Plus, the 6.5-inch Infinity-O AMOLED screen is quite sharp, even though its pricier siblings do not quite have the WQHD resolution, nor does it have the 120Hz refresh rate. An in-screen fingerprint sensor is preserved, leaving the back of the phone unblemished.
Battery life: The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a massive battery of 4,500mAh, great for Wireless Power-Sharing and you're doing mundane binging or gaming. Though we still haven't crossed the two-day battery life mark yet, we found it long-lasting, a day or more.
Camera: The cameras are another smart capability area: while the main 12MP shooter is good, but not quite the S20's high-megapixel and the 108MP S20 Ultra. The other cameras are well-matched, including the ultra-wide 12MP lens, a 3x optical zoom 8MP telephoto, and a heavy 32MP selfie shooter in a punch hole.
Release date: September 2020 | Weight: 190g | Dimensions: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 2400 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+8MP+12MP | Front camera: 32MP
8. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra - The ultimate flagship
Indeed, thanks to top-of-the-line specs on paper, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is ultra-billed as the ultimate Samsung handset. It's an evolution from last year's max-spec Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, but the Ultra execution is not the best.
Why we ranked it at No. 8th in our best phone list? With a 100x 'Space Zoom' and, indeed, 5G, the S20 Ultra is truly cutting-edge, compliant with both mmWave and sub-6 networks. But for the luxury, you can pay a premium: the phone starts at $1,399, and although its camera has impressive specs, such as a 108MP sensor, it doesn't always get accurate exposure or autofocus, leading us to suggest the S20 Plus.
Display: Considering the thin bezels of the model and the narrowest punch-hole we have ever seen, the 6.9-inch Infinity-O AMOLED screen is the sharpest we've seen, coming in at a whopping 3200 x 1440 resolution (WQHD+). Besides, the overall refresh rate has been bumped up to 120Hz (although only if the resolution is bumped down to FHD+) and the touch sensor has been increased to 240Hz. An in-screen fingerprint sensor is preserved, leaving the back of the phone unblemished.
Battery life: The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a huge 5,000mAh battery, including Wireless Power-Sharing and mundane binging or gaming you do, can help with the drains from 120Hz and 5G connectivity. Even though we still haven't crossed the two-day battery life mark yet, it should last you a day or more.
Camera: Without distortion, the huge 108MP main shooter lets you crop into images after the reality. The appeal is, however, capped. Serious artists with time on their hands will make better use of this feature than other individuals. Although there is an ultra-wide 16MP lens approximately close to last year's phone, the zoom capabilities take the cake away. The 100x' Space Zoom 'is more for showing off, as images are muddied at that zoom - but scan it back out, and it will blow other smartphones out of the water, particularly because 10x is usually maxed out by the competition. See our big S20 Ultra camera test here for a deep dive.
Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 166g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 3200 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12/16GB | Storage: 128/512GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 108MP+48MP+12MP | Front camera: 40MP
9. OnePlus 8 - Best Phone at a Discount
The OnePlus 8 is the second on our list of the best phone by OnePlus, and that's simply because it provides a discount on almost all the benefits of the newly launched OnePlus 8T. More significantly, with T-Mobile and Verizon's help, the OnePlus 8 is simply more available in the US.
Why we ranked it at No. 9th in our best phone list? The OnePlus 8 lacks a few flagships, such as 90Hz refresh rate fluidity and a telephoto lens, but it has great specs and cameras for the price. Because of its top-shelf specs, it looks the part of a flagship phone and behaves more costly than it actually does in part. The price is right for this, as long as you do not want the best camera phone and are OK with less top-end features.
Display: The OnePlus 8 has a fantastic Full HD Plus (1080 x 2400) resolution monitor and the selfie camera has a single punch-hole. The more fluid motion of the Samsung S20 series and the OnePlus 8 Pro, both of which pack a 120Hz refresh rate screen, is missing, but the OnePlus 8 still has a sharp display for the price.
Battery life: Thanks to its 4,300mAh battery, the OnePlus 8 has decent battery life. It's going to get you through an entire day, but not much more than that. The real news is its Warp Charge 30 adapter that enables this phone to go from 0% in a little over an hour to 100%. It's swift.
Camera: The camera was always the weakest component of the OnePlus lineup, but we had better smartphones than the OnePlus 8. It's not going to top our list of the best camera smartphones, but the triple (regular, ultra-wide and macro) lens has done a nice job in the right light. Nightscape mode has been enhanced but begs for a mixed-light tripod (any lights in the dark scene tend to smear).
Release date: October 2020 | Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.55-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 865RAM: 8GB/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,300mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP
10. Google Pixel 5 - Top Camera Phone
Google Pixel 5 was launched in October 2020, and Pixel 4 has some enhancements, but fewer features. Yeah, as Google trims benefits to lower the cost of the Pixel 5 to make it as much of an 'affordable flagship' as the iPhone 12 mini and OnePlus 8T, the Pixel 5 is a bit of a course correction. But a few key changes make it a superior phone to the Pixel 4 XL that it replaces on this list.
Why we ranked it at No. 10th in our best phone list? The Pixel 5 is versatile and strong enough and still has great camera capabilities, but some trimmed features make it less advanced than the competition for this phone. The photo optimization skills of Google still make this phone a decent option for photographers, but that's not enough to break into the top half of the order. However, it's very slim bezels make it a surprisingly small handset, and ideal for those who want to text with one hand.
Display: For smoother app surfing and gaming, the Pixel 5 has a 6-inch screen with Full HD Plus (1080 x 2340) resolution, with a 90Hz refresh rate. The solid black bar of last year was ditched for a punch-hole-sorry, no Soli depth sensors and even facial recognition, but at least that's more retail space on this best phone. On the Oled screen, colours are rich, and it makes for a handy streaming device thanks to the dual front-facing speakers.
Battery life: The battery troubles of last year are gone: a major reason we replaced the Pixel 4 XL with the Pixel 5 is that the latter's 4,080mAh battery lasts over a day, solving the old phone's greatest downside. It's not that thrilling otherwise, maxing out at 18W fast charging and 12W wireless charging, which still works amazingly through the all-metal back shell.
Camera: The biggest selling point of Pixel 5 is its cameras. On the back, in most cases, the 12.2MP sensor combined with Google's genius software optimization makes for beautiful images, and the added ultra-wide 16MP allows respectably expansive fields of view. Best of all, with its Astrophotography feature, the Night Sight mode has been enhanced and can even snapshot of the heavens.
Release date: October 2020 | Weight: 151g | Dimensions: 144.7mm x 70.4mm x 8mm | OS: Android 11 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 765GRAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
11. Samsung Galaxy S10e - Compact Enough
The Samsung S10e is the S10 line's smallest (and least expensive) sibling in both size and specifications. Although it misses out on a few of the cutting-edge features such as a telephoto lens and an in-screen fingerprint scanner, its surviving collection of flagship specifications, ultra-wide camera and decent interface make the S10e a budget standout. Plus, for one-handed use, it's compact enough.
Why we ranked it at No. 11th in our best phone list? The S10e is a great little handset, ideal for anyone in a one-handed-friendly bundle and at a lower price who wants some of last year's Samsung devices' features. Although it's still more costly than midrange smartphones, at this reduced price, the S10e has more features and cutting-edge specs to drive it beyond the competition.
Display: With ample vibrant colours and customization choices to customize to your taste, the 5.8-inch AMOLED screen is crisp and clear. Although it's great that the S10 line's budget flagship has an OLED screen (unlike the iPhone XR with its LCD), it's not an as high resolution as its larger siblings, capping the S10 and S10 Plus' 1440 x 3040-pixel limit at 1080 x 2280 pixels.
Battery life: A 3,100mAh battery capacity is not the largest battery on the market, but it will see you through the day, thanks to the smaller screen of the handset, and may last longer than you expect. If you plan to use Wireless PowerShare, the latest feature of the S10 line that allows you to donate battery charges to another Qi charging unit, you will need to spread it out. Don't worry; it won't empty yours to oblivion: when your phone reaches 30% of the battery, the feature shuts down.
Camera: The S10e is a big improvement with its two helpful cameras, given the standard Galaxy S9 had a single lens. The first is the regular 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4 Dual Aperture lens used in the phone's predecessor (switching between the two in day/night shots), while the second is an ultra-wide 16 MP f/2.2 lens that handles a field of view of 123 degrees. Although the phone lacks the other S10 smartphones 2x telephoto, its ultra-wide is much more useful.
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 150g | Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android Pie | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 855RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 3,100mAh |Rear camera: 12MP+16MP | Front camera: 10MP
12. Google Pixel 4a - Mid-range Best Phone
The Google Pixel 4a is the descendant of our 2019 mid-range favourite phone, and it retains many of the great features that made the Pixel 3a shine: great camera apps, smooth Android interface, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an ideal price. For users who want more for their money, it is a solid choice.
Why we ranked it at No. 12th in our best phone list? Many things can happen in a year, and 2020 seems to be a more dynamic mid-range market, especially with its better battery than the iPhone SE 2020. The contest also shows more of the drawbacks of the Pixel 4a, from less battery capacity to a polyethene plastic body while metal-and-glass bodies have priced smartphones similarly. Plus, there is no XL edition, a letdown for people who want more real value on the display.
Display: For users who want bigger displays, the Pixel 4a has a 5.8-inch OLED display, which serves just fine, but maybe a little thin. Then again, the edge-to-edge screen is considerably wider than the 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone SE 2020 and its fat top and bottom bezels.
Battery life: The 3,140mAh battery of the Pixel 4a is not small per se, but the battery life is not fantastic at times, with just a single-digit percentage of charge left at the end of the day. Particularly when compare budget or cheap smartphones, such as the Moto G8 series, start with a battery of 4,000mAh.
Camera: The Google Pixel 4a has a single 12.2MP f/1.7 rear camera, but with Google's tech, it can perform almost miracles. Not only does that allow it to capture great night photography and portrait mode after taking a picture, but you can also add depth. The phone also inherits the astrophotography mode of the Pixel 4, which takes admirable shots of star-lit skies. The front-facing 8MP camera is nothing remarkable, but it also takes the support of the software.
Release date: August 2020 | Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 5.81-inch | Resolution: 2340×1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 730RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,140mAh | Rear camera: 12.2MP | Front camera: 8MP
13. iPhone 11 - Still a Great iPhone
A slight, but noticeable update to the fully revamped iPhone X was the iPhone XS. If you can still find it on sale, it's significantly quicker and has an upgraded dual-lens camera to make it a decent option.
Why we ranked it at No. 13th in our best phone list? The specifications here are not as good as on the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, let alone the iPhone 12 series, but for many Apple fans, the trade-off in a lower price for this smartphone still makes it a top-buy. By not going for the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini, you can lose out on a faster processor and features like MagSafe, but that is about it.
Display: The 6.1-inch display of the iPhone 11 is not the best screen you'll find on an iPhone-for example, it's still an LCD, whereas the iPhone 12 line all have OLED displays-but it's still bright and wide enough to watch video on. You'll have to live with a big notch, like all post-iPhone X Apple handsets.
Battery life: The best way to explain the iPhone 11's battery life is decent, but not great. You're going to get around a day of iPhone 11 use, but it's not as great as the physically bigger smartphones like the 11 Pro Max.
Camera: Expect a camera experience on your iPhone 11 identical to that on your iPhone XR. You'll want the iPhone 12 Pro Max if you want the best camera on an iPhone, but it's still an amazing camera on the back of the 11, and most importantly it has an HDR-like Night Mode.
Release date: September 2019 | Weight: 194g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 828 × 1792 | CPU: Apple A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB TBC | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 3110mAh TBC | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 12MP
14. iPhone XR - The Most Affordable Phone
After the iPhone XS and XS Max began a little earlier, Apple's iPhone XR was a little late to launch. But it allows for a more affordable alternative than the XS models due to its lower price point (and the fact that it's still cheaper over a year later).
Why we ranked it at No. 14th in our best phone list? On the inside, the iPhone XR has all the performance of its more costly XS and XS Max relatives. It may not be as spectacular as the camera and computer, but the battery life is where it really dazzles. Indeed, the much more powerful iPhone 11, which was released at an even better price, was derailed, but the iPhone XR price fell even further. Apple doesn't sell it anymore in its shops, but you'll be impressed with the value if you can find this phone.
Display: While it is a noteworthy downgrade, the iPhone XR screen is not the greatest selling point. It falls short of Full HD in its resolution, and it's not a battery-friendly OLED. Nevertheless, the used Liquid Retina LCD monitor still has decent sharpness and bright colours. The 6.1-inch display has plenty of real value, however.
Battery life: While this is the cheaper iPhone to come out of the new batch from Apple, its battery life stands out. The battery efficiency is excellent thanks to the A12 Bionic and chipset and lower resolution, making it the first iPhone that could easily get through a full day of use in our testing without thinking about it.
Camera: Although there are dual rear cameras on the other iPhones, the iPhone XR has only one sensor. However, for regular picture shooting, it does a fantastic job. The lack of a second camera often decreases the quality of images in Portrait Mode. But, compared to other top cameras, the detractors came in large part.
Release date: October 2018 | Weight: 194g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1792x828 | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 2,942mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
15. Motorola One 5G - Cheap & Best Phone with Big-battery
The Motorola One 5G is a healthy combination between the Moto G Power budget's best parts and the 'affordable' flagship of the Motorola Edge. It's a decent mid-range phone, and the cheapest 5G phone you can get in the US is the most important thing.
Why we ranked it at No. 15th in our best phone list? The Motorola One 5G is a decent mid-range handset, a little cheaper than the excellent Google Pixel 4a 5G, but with a few of its own benefits. A Snapdragon 765 chipset and a respectable 4 GB of RAM are included with the One 5G, along with 128 GB of storage that can be extended via microSD to a colossal 1 TB. It's perfect for anybody who wants a deal on 5G to get in.
Display: With a Full HD Plus (1080 x 2520) resolution, the Motorola One 5G has a very wide 6.7-inch LCD. It is ideal for binging media and is considerably larger than most mid-range smartphones that are comparably priced. It also has punch-holes keeping its selfie shooters, which is a cool, modern touch.
Battery life: The 5,000mAh big battery is a great advantage of the Moto G Power, and is particularly useful when taking images, viewing media, and running 5G. This ought to last for a day.
Camera: With a 16MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro camera for up-close photos, the triple rear camera of the Motorola One 5G has a good picture variety, which has a ring light to highlight your images. Dual front-facing shooters are rounding out the cameras: a16MP main and 8MP ultrawide.
Release date: October 2020 | Weight: 210g | Dimensions: 167.9 x 73.9 x 8.9 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 2520 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 765RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP