BEST PHONES OF 2020

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BEST PHONES OF 2020

iPhone 11 review

The cheaper iPhone 11 is Apple’s top phone from 2019

Two-minute review

The iPhone 11 is something of a surprise – it brings more advanced technology (namely in the camera capabilities and the processing power under the hood) and yet offers it for less than the iPhone XR cost in 2018. It combines a large 6.1-inch display with a premium-feeling body, and comes in an array of colors too.

The most eye-catching feature of the new iPhone is to the imaging capabilities: with two sensors on the rear, you can now take wider-angle snaps alongside the ‘normal’ main images. These sensors are 12MP each, and are raised from the rear of the phone in a square glass enclosure – which we’re not enamored with visually.

The night mode is the most impressive part of the iPhone 11 imaging quality, bringing brightness and clarity to impossibly dark scenes, and the Portrait mode, defocusing the background, is improved on the new iPhone too.

The design hasn’t updated much from the iPhone XR in 2018, although there are now six colors – including a new lilac and mint green shade to choose from. The edges of the iPhone 11 still have the same feel as the older iPhone 6, 7 and 8, although the larger 6.1-inch display in the middle takes up most of the front of the phone (although with slightly thick borders around the screen).

OUR VERDICT

The iPhone 11 – the successor to the iPhone XR – has gone from secondary handset to firmly taking the limelight. Offering most of the top-end camera technology of the powerful iPhone 11 Pro, it packs good spec and manages to do so for a lower cost than many would expect – this is the one to go for if you want a good value new iPhone.

FOR

  • Improved camera
  • New range of colors
  • Good battery life remains

AGAINST

  • Design is almost identical to XR
  • No headphone dongle in the box
  • Camera bump a little sharp

Samsung Galaxy S10 review

Galaxy S10: to Infinity-O and beyond

OUR VERDICT

The Galaxy S10 is a fitting 10th anniversary phone for Samsung and its storied S series. It delivers on change with a novel-looking Infinity-O screen so large it displaces the front camera, and a triple-lens rear camera that takes ultra-wide photos. Its in-screen fingerprint sensor tech should serve you well, while its Wireless PowerShare could serve your friends well. That’s a lot of change – just know that it comes at a high price and the Galaxy S10e and S10 Plus flank it from both sides of the coin as better options.

FOR

  • High screen-to-body ratio
  • In-screen fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless PowerShare perk

AGAINST

  • Stunning price hike
  • S10e and S10 Plus are better
  • Great camera, but not the best

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is engineered and designed to be a conversation-changer, a phone that’s crafted to turn everyone’s yearly question of “Do I really need to upgrade?” into a more exclamatory “I really need to upgrade!”

The S10 is remains a powerful and attractive phone even after its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S20, has launched with 5G capability, improved cameras, and faster speeds than ever. If you don’t need the absolute latest and greatest, the year-old flagship remains a top-tier device with specs and cameras that will still be competitive against 2020’s better phones. 

And, as a bonus, they’ve been discounted.There’s also a new budget king on the block: the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite has a massive 6.7-inch screen with even more cameras than the S10e, plus a few upgrades. If you want to save even more money, and don’t mind a few compromises, this new budget flagship might be worth your while.

OnePlus 8 Pro review

The most accomplished OnePlus ever, but also the priciest

OUR VERDICT

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a proper flagship phone. No more cutting corners. No more ‘flagship killer’ underdog mantra. OnePlus is now officially mixing it with the biggest names in mobile. It means the 8 Pro is also its most expensive handset to date, but there’s plenty of bang for your buck to justify the cost – plus it’s still a shade cheaper than rival Samsung, Apple and Huawei smartphones.

FOR

  • One of the best displays around
  • 5G and plenty of power
  • Reverse & fast wireless charging

AGAINST

  • Most expensive OnePlus yet
  • Sizable rear camera bump
  • Less storage base model vs 7T Pro

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a proper flagship phone. Forget previous generations of handsets from the firm, and its ‘flagship killer’ underdog mantra. OnePlus is now officially mixing it with the biggest names in mobile.

Whereas handsets such as the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro cut a few corners in order to hit a slightly lower price tag than the competition, the OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t pulling any punches – it’s now genuine competition for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, iPhone 11 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the OnePlus 8 Pro also means that the days of OnePlus offering an ‘affordable flagship’ option are over. But for that pricetag, you’ll get top-tier specs and features – as well as 5G connectivity.

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