Best smartphones 2020
Best smartphones 2020
These are the best phones for every budget based on our testing
It’s a great time to buy a new phone, especially if you’re on a budget. The best phones deliver great cameras, the performance you need to multitask and the endurance to last the whole day. But in this category it’s definitely not one size fits all. And this year there are a lot of great values for those who are looking for a great smartphone without paying $1,000.
That’s why we consider all types of shoppers and their needs when recommending the best phones. Some may prefer to have the biggest display possible along with the most advanced specs. And others want a solid mid-range phone that delivers all the basics without feeling cheap.
One of the biggest trends in phones right now is 5G. The networks are finally starting to fill out and deliver impressive speeds, at least where you can get coverage. We see 5G as a nice-to-have feature but not a must-have yet. We’re totally not sold on foldable phones yet. They’re too expensive and feel more gimmicky than versatile at this stage.
Another trend is that phone prices are creeping up for flagship phones, as the latest Samsung Galaxy S20 line starts at $999 and goes up to $1,399. But there are also plenty of value-priced handsets, including the new $399 iPhone SE and upcoming Google Pixel 4a. Our list of the best phones has something for everyone. RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…
What are the best phones?
Based on our testing, the iPhone 11 is the best phone for most people, as it captures great photos, boasts a bright display and offers long battery life. It’s a great choice for under $700. The iPhone 12 is on the horizon, which will reportedly offer even faster performance and 5G, but that won’t be out until the fall.
If you need to save even more but still want an iPhone, the new iPhone SE for 2020 is the answer, at just $399. It delivers a very good camera and fast A13 Bionic performance in a compact design.
When it comes to Android phones, our top pick is now the OnePlus 8 Pro. It may the most expensive handset OnePlus has ever made, but the result is a device that can go toe-to-toe with the best other Android phone makers have to offer.
That includes Samsung, which makes the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S20. Both flagship offer smooth 120Hz displays, 5G capability and improved cameras that take better pictures in all lighting conditions.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra adds a 10x lossless zoom and a huge 6.9-inch screen, which works quite well, but at $1,399 that premium phone is for power users only. On the opposite end of the price spectrum, the Google Pixel 3a (under $400) offers a great camera for an aggressive price. The Pixel 4a is on the horizon with a bigger screen and even better cameras, but that may not launch until July or August.
Here are the best phones on the market right now.
The best phones you can buy today
1. iPhone 11
The best phone for most people
Display: 6.1-inch LCD (1792×828) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4) / 12MP | Front camera: 12MP (ƒ/2.2) | Weight: 6.84 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:20
The best phone for people who don’t want to spend a bundle, the iPhone 11 has killer dual cameras and a cheaper price than the iPhone 11 Pro. For a very reasonable $699, the iPhone 11 offers amazingly good low-light photos via its Night Mode, and there’s a new ultra-wide lens that lets you fit in more subjects or scene with its 120-degree field of view. Selfies get a serious upgrade, too, with a 12-MP camera that automatically switches to a wider view when you turn the phone to landscape mode.
The 6.1-inch LCD on the iPhone 11 isn’t OLED-great, but it’s colorful and bright. A blazing A13 Bionic processor, long battery life and your choice of six colors solidify the iPhone 11 as a winner.
Read our full iPhone 11 Review.Advertisement
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
The best Android phone
Display: 6.78-inch OLED (3168×1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB, 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No | Rear camera: 48MP wide (ƒ/1.78); 48MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 8MP 3X telephoto (ƒ/2.4); 5MP color filter | Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.5) | Weight: 7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:05$89.88VIEW AT GEARBEST$899View at AmazonSee all prices (3 found)Bright and beautiful 120Hz displayLong battery lifeStrong performanceCurved display causes accidental tapsNo mmWave 5G
The OnePlus 8 Pro is a fantastic value because it packs so many features into a phone that costs less than any of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 phones. You get performance that can match any leading phone and a gorgeous display with a fast 120Hz refresh rate for ridiculously smooth scrolling. Even better, OnePlus doesn’t force you to downgrade resolution for that 120Hz rate the way recent Samsung phones do.Advertisement
Opting for the fastest refresh rate can reduce battery life, but set the screen refresh rate at 60Hz and you can expect more than 11 hours of battery life — well ahead of what the average smartphone can pull off on our battery test. The OnePlus 8 Pro becomes the first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging; even better, it’s the fastest wireless charging we’ve ever seen.
Other phones sport more capable cameras, but the OnePlus 8 Pro four rear lenses performed capably in our tests, sometimes producing results that match what the best camera phones have to offer. If you want a great Android device, the OnePlus 8 Pro is proof you don’t need to spend more than $1,000 to get it.
Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review.
3. iPhone SE 2020
The new bargain among best phones
Display: 4.7-inch LCD (1334×750) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No | Rear camera: 12MP (ƒ/1.8) | Front camera: 7MP (ƒ/2.2) | Weight: 5.22 ounces
The iPhone SE 2020 finishes on the podium of our list of the best phones because it delivers exceptional power for under $400. The A13 Bionic chipset inside the new iPhone SE is the very same one you get in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. It’s a rare feat to see a flagship processor inside a device that is so inexpensive, and it makes the iPhone SE far and away the finest value in the budget phone segment.
But it’s not exclusively about that wicked-fast CPU. The latest baby iPhone also has a solid single-lens 12-megapixel camera, wireless charging, IP67 water resistance and premium build quality. The tradeoff to that is the SE’s very dated design, owing to its iPhone 8 roots — though Touch ID loyalists and users who find themselves pining for a more compact handset may be able to overlook that in favor of everything else the iPhone SE offers.
Read our full iPhone SE 2020 review.Advertisement
4. iPhone 11 Pro Max
The most versatile iPhone for photographers
Display Size: 6.5-inch OLED (2688×1242) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB / No | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4); 12MP 2X telephoto (ƒ/2.0) | Front camera: 12MP (ƒ/2.2) | Weight: 7.97 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:44$929.99VIEW AT AMAZON$929.99View at Amazon$929.99View at AmazonSee all prices (66 found)Gorgeous OLED display Fast A13 Bionic CPU Stellar triple cameras with Night modeLongest battery life of any iPhoneJust 64GB of storage in base model
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has vaulted past the Android competition to become the top camera phone, thanks to a new Night Mode for much better photos in low light and a versatile ultra-wide lens. Plus, improved Smart HDR gives you superior portraits. Apple has upped the ante on video quality, too, with extended dynamic range and smooth cinematic stabilization.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max also offers the fastest processor yet with its A13 Bionic chip, a more durable design and a 6.5-inch OLED display so bright that it makes other phones look dingy. We wish Apple offered more than 64GB of storage, but once you add in nearly 12 hours of battery life, fast charging and more immersive audio, you have the nearly perfect smartphone.
Read our full iPhone 11 Pro Max review.Advertisement
5. Moto G Power
The longest-lasting phone you can buy
Display: 6.4-inch LCD (2300×1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB / Yes | Rear camera: 16MP (f/1.7) main, 2MP (f/2.2) macro, 8MP (f/2.2) ultra wide angle | Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.0) | Weight: 7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 16:10
If you want the best phone for staying charged up all day long, get the Moto G Power. This budget phone from Motorola makes the most of its massive 5,000 mAh battery, enduring for more than 16 hours on our battery test, in which we have a phone surf the web over LTE until it runs out of juice. That improves on the previous record-holder — this phone’s predecessor, the Moto G7 Power — by more than half-an-hour.
You don’t have to pay big bucks for that kind of battery life. The Moto G Power costs just $249, which is even cheaper than Apple’s iPhone SE. You will make some compromises though like an LCD screen instead of an OLED panel and a hefty 7 ounce weight.
Still, the Moto G Power’s performance and camera keep pace with other phones for its price range, and it even manages to include triple cameras (though not a telephoto lens). All told, it’s a pretty polished phone for less than $300, and you’ll never have to worry about finding a place to plug in.
Read our full Moto G Power review.