Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, OnePlus, Samsung and Huawei compared and ranked

Need a new smartphone but don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know which one is the very best ? here ’ s a template comparing the current top-end smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and others to help you pick the best handset for you. There has never been a better time to buy a new flagship smartphone with many timbre handsets available at a broad range of prices than ever before. Whether your priority is two-day battery life, fantastic camera performance or a outstanding screen, there ’ s plenty to choose from. This Guardian buyer ’ s guide to top-end smartphones was last update on 17 December 2019, and represents the best available models at the time. As new models are released and tested, this template will be updated to help you choose the correct flagship telephone for you.

Q & A

What is a buyer’s guide?

Show

Welcome to one of the Guardian ’ s new buyer ’ mho guides. This article represents hundreds of hours of testing by the generator to bring together a compendious tilt of commend products or services so you can pick from the best and ignore the rest without having to do hours of your own inquiry. While the Guardian may earn a small deputation from items bought through consort links, the items featured in this buyer ‘s guide have been tested and included without influence from any advertiser or commercial enterprise. Was this helpful ? Thank you for your feedback. 1

Best overall: OnePlus 7T Pro

RRP: £699smartphone buyer's guide - OnePlus 7T Pro The OnePlus 7T Pro has a massive, gorgeous screen, is the fastest-feeling phone by miles and has a competition-beating in-display fingerprint scanner. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes message provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’. The follow-up to the best smartphone of the first half of 2019 is, unsurprisingly, the best call to end 2019. The OnePlus 7T Pro is a minor update to the stellar OnePlus 7 Pro that keeps all the good bits, improves the television camera, and speeds up the fingerprint scanner. The giant 6.67in QHD+ AMOLED filmdom runs at 90Hz – compared with 60Hz for most of the rival – is arguably the best in the commercial enterprise. It ’ south undimmed, wrinkle and super smooth, plus it ’ sulfur loose of holes or television camera notches. The selfie television camera pops up from the circus tent on command – a consistent crowd-pleaser. The 7T Pro is the fastest-feeling phone – everything zips along. It has Qualcomm ’ sulfur top chip, the Snapdragon 855+, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flying UFS3.0 storage – plenty for practically everything. The optical in-display fingerprint scanner is even faster than earlier continuing to put the competition to shame. The latest OxygenOS 10, the firm ’ s super-slick version of Android 10, is arguably the best in the business excessively, and you ’ ll get prompt updates for three years. The treble television camera system on the back is good besides, combining a 48MP main, a 16MP ultra-wide slant and an 8MP telephotograph television camera. New for the 7T Pro is a super-macro modality, which is amazingly dear, producing crispen images up to just 2.5cm from the lens – great fun. The 7T Pro can ’ metric ton quite beat the iPhone 11 Pro or Pixel 4XL, but it matches or beats the rest on detail and utility program. The 7T Pro lasts about 32 hours between charges, making it one of the better performers. Charging is exceptionally fast via the firm ’ s WarpCharge system besides, hitting 70 % in barely 34 minutes via cable. There ’ mho no radio charging though. Dual-sim subscribe is handy for work or travel. It ’ randomness water resistant to some extent, but has no IP rate. There ’ second a McLaren restrict version and a 5G version in the US, but not UK where the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is however the current exemplary.

Why should you buy it?

The matchless screen, bluff accelerate and in-display fingermark scanner, combined with the slick OxygenOS 10 seduce even everyday tasks a rejoice. The massive OnePlus 7T Pro is a stretch deserving make. Buy if: you want the best and fastest superphone have Don’t buy if: you don ’ t want to stretch to such a big phone 2

Best iOS: Apple iPhone 11 Pro

RRP: £1,049 / $ 999smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11 pro Apple ’ s smallest modern iPhone 11 Pro is besides the best combination of size, filmdom, performance, battery life, size and camera. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes contentedness provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this subject, click ‘Allow and continue’. dependable things come in smaller packages. The iPhone 11 Pro isn ’ t the biggest or the most expensive of Apple ’ mho 2019 smartphones, but it is the best and very about the best earphone of the class. The iPhone 11 Pro combines a stun, big-enough 5.8in screen door, slender, luxurious-feeling consistency, ace operation and barrage life to keep up with most of the competition. truth be told, the plan is basically uncharged since the mould-breaking iPhone ten from 2017. The binding is now frost methamphetamine, which looks peculiarly good in silver, and has a triple camera lump in the top exit. The rest stays pretty a lot unchanged. Apple ’ s Face ID is still the best, most widely-supported front recognition system in the commercial enterprise. The newly A13 Bionic chip continues to lead the pack. The gesture seafaring system continues to be one of the best, and you ’ re in line for around five years of io software updates from turn – at least two more than any other manufacturer will provide. This year the iPhone 11 Pro introduces a significantly improved triple television camera with ultra-wide, wide and telephotograph lenses, which matches the best rivals in photography and beats them in video. It even has an effective night modality now. It ’ s not all boom – starting with precisely 64GB of storage is poor. The old Lightning connection even persists, preferably than the newer standard of USB-C. There ’ s no 5G option and it is extremely expensive – you don ’ t buy the iPhone 11 Pro looking for value for money. Plus io 13 has been a blend bag since its introduction, with a distribute of bugs that needed fasten. But as a whole, no early phone can match the iPhone 11 Pro in power, capability and size. The iPhone 11 Pro is the smaller telephone to buy and the best run io.

Why should you buy it?

You want the best smaller call, or simply the best Apple phone, then the iPhone 11 Pro is fantastic, but comes at a considerable price Buy if: you want the best iPhone Don’t buy if: you don ’ thyroxine want to spend £1,049 or want to use Android 3

Best smaller Android: Samsung Galaxy S10

RRP: £799 / $ 899smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10 A big, beautiful screen in a smaller phone, the Galaxy S10 is the sweetly blemish in Samsung ’ s flagship smartphone tune. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your license before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and early technologies. To view this subject, click ‘Allow and continue’. If you want the Android sweet-spot between a large, stunning screen and smaller telephone size that ’ randomness easier to handle and fit in a pocket, that ’ s the Galaxy S10. The 6.1in QHD+ AMOLED screen with a little hole-punch notch in the exceed correct is one of the best on the grocery store and is big enough to make the most of apps and movies look capital. little bezels all round make the phone reasonably compact compared with rivals, and it ’ s light besides. It ’ randomness hush a glass and metal sandwich, which means you might need a encase to protect against falls. The Galaxy S10 was recently updated with Samsung ’ s new One UI 2 software, based on the latest android 10 including much-improved seafaring gestures. You should get about three years of software defend from release from Samsung, although the company is normally slower than Google and OnePlus to deliver big Android interpretation updates. The rear triple television camera is good allowing you to zoom from 0.5 through 2x, and on to a 10x hybrid zoom. It won ’ metric ton beat the Pixel 4 XL or iPhone 11 Pro, but gets the subcontract done. The selfie camera pokes straight though the blind and is one of the better ones on the market. performance is good but battery life is a bite unaccented, lasting a day of custom but not much more. The supersonic fingerprint detector mounted under the display has proved to be a piece slow and finickity over time, which can be annoying.

Why should you buy it?

A big screen Android have in a relatively small telephone is the main sell target, but the beneficial television camera, performance and looks help besides. Buy if: you want a good libra of blind and telephone size without breaking the bank Don’t buy if: you want brilliant battery life 4

Best camera: Huawei P30 Pro

RRP: £750smartphone buyer's guide - huawei P30 pro The Huawei P30 Pro has a large, beautiful screen, long battery biography and a game-changing television camera with exceeding low-light performance, 5x optical rapid climb and up to 50x digital soar. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your license before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’. The best television camera on a call is the Huawei P30 Pro by some margin. tied at the end of 2019, no other telephone provides as comprehensive a combination as Huawei ’ s new Leica quadriceps television camera. The 20MP 0.6x ultra-wide angle camera is fun, the main 40MP television camera is fantastic and it ’ mho joined by a new periscopic 5x ocular rapid climb camera that gets you closer than any early smartphone. If five times exaggeration wasn ’ thymine enough, there ’ s an excellent 10x hybrid soar on top and then a digital zoom all the way up to 50x. A 3D depth-sensing time-of-flight detector rounds out the modules on the spinal column. noteworthy levels of zoom aside, the P30 Pro besides has low-light operation that instantaneously turns night into day without having to wait for a couple of seconds of capture. The P30 Pro might not have the best night Sight rival, but most of the fourth dimension it merely doesn ’ t need it. The stay of the telephone is excellent, excessively, with stun color options. The large 6.47in FHD+ OLED is great, with a small notch in the peak containing the selfie television camera and reduce bezels all polish. The arch edges keep the width of the call to a pin down 73.4mm wide-eyed, meaning it ’ sulfur however relatively manageable and easier to wield daily particularly compared with the OnePlus 7T Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. The in-screen optical fingerprint detector is second only to the OnePlus 7T Pro ’ randomness. Huawei ’ s Kirin 980 central processing unit, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storehouse, provides great operation and a battery that will stopping point about two days. Plus the battery charges super debauched and has radio receiver charging and baron share. Huawei ’ s modified Android 10, EMUI 10, is highly customisable and has plenty of features but may not be to everyone ’ south tastes. Huawei is inactive facing sanctions from the US as function of the US-China trade war, which makes its future changeable. The P30 Pro ’ mho holocene Android 10 update showed that it should continue to receive updates as normal, however.

Why should you buy it?

The camera is game-changing in meaningful, not gimmick-filled ways, while the rest of the call is excellent Buy if: you want the best television camera on a great call Don’t buy if: you want a smaller phone or are worried about US obstruct of Huawei 5

Best value: OnePlus 7T

Price: £549 / $ 599smartphone buyer's guide - oneplus 7t The OnePlus 7T offers most of what makes the OnePlus 7T Pro the best telephone going, but in a smaller, cheaper software. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and early technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’. irish pound for pound the OnePlus 7T offers the best performance, design and experience than any early smartphone. It ’ s got the big, fine-looking 6.41in wide HD OLED screen, with a small, widow ’ s-peak-like notch at the lead for a selfie television camera. New for the 7T is a 90Hz refresh rate, which like its bigger sibling the 7T Pro, makes even the everyday satiny legato. It ’ randomness got 2019 ’ s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of debauched UFS3.0 storage. It besides lasts a dear 31 hours on a charge, and its OxygenOS 10 Android software is fast and slick. OnePlus guarantee two years of software updates and an extra year of bi-monthly security updates from the dismissal date of the phone besides. It even has the fastest and best in-display fingerprint scanner presently available, which is a good as the best dedicate capacitive sensors, good haptics and dual-sim support for having two mobile phone network connections at the like clock. The triple television camera is estimable excessively, with ultra-wide, across-the-board and 2x telephotograph lenses, plus a consecrated macro mode, but it can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate beat the very best in the market. There ’ second no formal water underground rate and no wireless charging, but WarpCharge sees it hit full accusation in 60 minutes flat.

Why should you buy it?

A great 90Hz screen, excellent software and the best performance, in-display fingerprint scanner and a commodity camera think of you have to spend importantly more to get a better telephone than this Buy if: you want a ace call but preceptor ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to spend more than £549 Don’t buy if: you want a very good television camera Quick Guide

Smartphone jargon

Show

Size Smartphones are rated by screen size measured on the diagonal in inches. The bigger the number the larger the telephone, but different phones use different ratios of height to width. How easily it is to handle comes down to the width of the earphone and its slant. The narrower and lighter it is, the easier it is to hold in one hand and the less likely you are to drop it. Processor

What is normally called the processor in a call is actually a system-on-a-chip combining the processor, graphics and other essential systems into one. generally the newer the central processing unit the more brawny and battery efficient it will be. Samsung, Huawei and Apple make their own, while Qualcomm is the largest supplier to early brands at the senior high school end, with its Snapdragon 8-series range at the top. RAM The RAM ( memory ) is where your apps and processes are stored when in use, so the you more your call has the better, up to a point. android requires more RAM than io, so it ‘s difficult to directly compare them. But with Android at least 4GB of RAM is presently recommended. Storage different from memory, storehouse is where everything is stored on the earphone, including apps and media. While a few phones can have their storage expanded with microSD cards, most can not. That means you should aim for 64GB of memory at a minimum, but more if you want to store lots of photos. Cloud services such as Spotify or Google ‘s Photos can help offload your music, photograph or video recording to the internet. Software updates Keeping your phone secure from hackers is essential, which makes software update critical to patch bugs and security holes, arsenic well as adding newfangled features and improving things such as battery life and the television camera. not all phones receive regular updates. Apple ‘s support of older phones is the best in the business of around 5 years, followed by Samsung and Google ‘s three years, both from when the telephone was released – not when you buy it. Battery life Battery life varies drastically between devices, and “ all-day barrage ” frequently does n’t mean 24 hours between charges. Some may not last hanker enough, particularly if you ‘re out in the evening. Battery life gets worse as the battery ages besides, so a two-day battery will probably make sure the telephone lasts at least a day two years late. Camera Cameras are the stream battlefield between the big players, but the margins between them are slimming. Most use computational photography that combines hardware with advance software algorithm, typically allowing multiple cameras to combine to make one prototype. As such the television camera software makes angstrom much remainder as the hardware, and is one of the few areas that actually improves over clock with updates. Multi-camera systems frequently offer more, such as utilitarian zooms, portrait modes and better low-light performance, but they are not wholly created equally. There are besides 3D cameras, which can detect facial expressions and other fun tricks. The issue of megapixels ( MP ) besides makes a difference. Having more MP does n’t necessarily equal a better double, but advanced smartphone cameras combine multiple pixels to improve image quality producing 12MP shots from 48MP sensors, for example. Other things to consider Wireless charging: convenient, but slower than via cable and normally a charging slog does n’t come in the corner Durability: broadly glass on the front and back of the call makes it more delicate Resale value: iPhones hold their value better than most others OLED versus LCD: OLED screens emit their own unaccented so have much deeper blacks and more vibrant colours, while LCD screens are cheaper Was this helpful ? Thank you for your feedback. 6

Runners up

These are good phones distillery worth buy if none of the top smartphones fit the beak.

Apple iPhone 11

RRP: £729 / $ 699smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11 Apple ’ s cheaper iPhone 11 is the follow-up to last year ’ second iPhone XR and offers most of the features of the iPhone 11 Pro. It has slightly battery life besides, but is missing the excellent ultra-wide angle television camera, has a slightly larger, but worse screen. It is made of aluminum and glass, rather of stainless steel, losing its deluxe feel and the cognition that it ’ s the best apple can make. The iPhone 11 looks great in loss or ashen, but it ’ s not cheap by any stretch of the resource, costing vitamin a much or more as true flagship phones from competitors. The iPhone 11 surely holds its own for the money, but the iPhone 11 Pro still the one to buy if you want the best iPhone. If you want a cheaper earphone, switch to Android or buy death year ’ randomness iPhone XR. Allow Skimlinks contentedness ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this subject, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

RRP: £1,149 / $ 1,099smartphone buyer's guide - iphone 11 pro max If you must have an iPhone and it must have a massive screen or epic battery liveliness then the iPhone 11 Pro Max is your alone choice. But it has very poor ergonomics, is big, expensive and heavy, making the smaller iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 are better options. Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this subject, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

RRP: £669 / $ 650smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10e The smallest, cheapest variant of Samsung ’ s current S10 tune is placid good, but falls slightly unretentive of the high browning automatic rifle set by the regular Galaxy S10. The Galaxy S10e loses the optical zoom with only two cameras on the back, has a flat, slightly smaller riddle and a lower capacity battery. It besides ditches in the in-screen fingermark scanner for one embedded in the power button – capital for right-handed users but not so for the impart handed. It doesn ’ t feel any smaller in the hand, but can be had for less if you must have a top-end Samsung for the lowest potential cost or dislike curved screens. Allow Skimlinks subject ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your license before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this contentedness, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

RRP: £899 / $ 999smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy s10+ The bigger version of the Galaxy S10 with a 6.4in QHD+ display has the best screen available on any device. The egg-shaped hole-punch notch is novel, containing two dear selfie cameras. The triple buttocks television camera is good, but not a while on the Huawei P30 Pro. performance is effective, so is the software, but the battery life is slightly disappointing compared with the best. The fingermark scanner is a sting dull and can be frustrating to use. Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes content provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

RRP: £999 / $ 1,099smartphone buyer's guide - samsung galaxy note 10+ The Galaxy Note 10+ is a Samsung super-fan ’ south dream. It has the biggest screen on a Samsung with a grotesque 6.8in on the diagonal, new faster UFS3.0 repositing, reasonable battery life and batch of party tricks. The stylus can now be used as a magic baton for gestures, there are three cameras on the back and is available in a 5G version besides. The fingerprint scanner is a act dense and can be a bit frustrating to use. Allow Skimlinks contented ? This article includes contented provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this contented, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

RRP: £1,099 / $ 1,299smartphone buyer's guide - Samsung Galaxy S10 5G The biggest, most mighty version of Samsung ’ s S-line is the S10 5G and it ’ s huge with a 6.7in QHD+ AMOLED sieve, long egg-shaped hole-punch notch for the selfie cameras, and four cameras on the back. performance, software and battery are adept, but it ’ s not as slick or ergonomic as the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. The fingerprint scanner is a snatch dull and can be frustrating to use. Allow Skimlinks contentedness ? This article includes message provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this capacity, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

RRP: £899.99smartphone buyer's guide - huawei mate 20 pro The Mate 20 Pro has the big, attractive 6.39in QHD+ riddle, slender torso, long battery liveliness and big performance that made it the exceed earphone of 2018. however, its excellent treble television camera system with 3x ocular soar has been outdone by Huawei ’ s newer P30 Pro, which has a Leica quad camera with 5x ocular zoom. It recently received EMUI 10 ( Android 10 ) and is deserving looking out for deals, particularly if you want the 3D face unlock choice. Allow Skimlinks contentedness ? This article includes message provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Google Pixel 4 XL

RRP: £829 / $ 899smartphone buyer's guide - google pixel 4 xl The Google Pixel 4 XL is a assorted bag. On the one hand you have a fine-looking 6.3in QHD+ AMOLED display running at 90Hz, a leading camera, new Soli radar gesticulate system, amazing fresh on-device AI and super-fast 3D expression Unlock. But on the other you have no fingermark scanner, meaning until apps are updated to use the Face Unlock you ’ re forced back to using the honest-to-god pivot or password, the battery life is fairly short and there have been quite a few bugs that have needed fasten since launch. One day it might be capital. Allow Skimlinks content ? This article includes contentedness provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. To view this content, click ‘Allow and continue’.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

RRP: £499smartphone buyer's guide - xiaomi mi mix 3 Xiaomi ’ s first skidder phone offers more than most for the money, with top-flight spectacles for 2018 competing directly with the OnePlus 6T and Honor View20. It takes a different border on to the problem of where to put the selfie camera in an all-screen invention, hiding it behind the screen on slide-out part. effective, but quite ampere great as its competition, this huge phone is held back by a clayey system of weights and a software experience that barely isn ’ triiodothyronine as good, despite solid gesture navigation options. Allow Skimlinks contented ? This article includes capacity provided by Skimlinks. We ask for your license before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and early technologies. To view this message, click ‘Allow and continue’. 7

Not recommended

Google Pixel 4 – Great phone absolutely ruined by frightful battery life sentence – £669

Razer Phone 2 – Gaming call animal that falls down on television camera performance – £500 Sony Xperia XZ3 – Good, but not capital phone that misses the mark – £699
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a little commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no room influenced by any advertiser or commercial inaugural. By clicking on an affiliate connection, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. More information .

Leave a Comment