The Best Phones of 2019

The Best Phones of 2019
Which is the best phone to buy right now, in 2019?

From great Android phones to the latest iPhones, plus a few different options for those who don't want to settle, we walk you through the very best handsets available on the market with all of their pros and cons. 

With no further ado, here are the best phones you can buy right now.

iPhone 11 Pro Max

The big iPhone leads the industry in terms of performance, and now for the first time, it also comes with great battery life

Pros

  • Best-in-class performance
  • Best-in-class software support (~5 years)
  • Great battery life
  • Impressive OLED screen
  • Excellent camera, best for video
  • Face ID is the best face recognition system
  • App Store with lots of great games + ecosystem

Cons

  • Apple walled gardenHigh starting price, only 64GB base storage
  • 256GB/512GB upgrades cost a lot too
  • The notch is still here
  • Still uses Lightning port, not USB-C
  • Costly repairs

If money is no object and you want an iPhone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best one you can get.

It features a beautiful screen that now gets brighter and features more impressive colors, it has the fastest chip beating the competition by a good margin, and now, finally, it has battery life ranking at the very top of all smartphones we have tested. The camera has also improved like every year and this time around the major new feature is Night Mode that allows you to take much better photos in low light. For all else this is your familiar iPhone: same iOS interface, same beautiful ecosystem with support for the Apple Watch, AirPods and so on. The big advantage of iOS is that it beats Android in terms of support: you typically get 5 years of software updates and the phone usually remains fast even after years of use.


Pixel 4 XL

If you want the best camera in a phone and the most enjoyable Android experience


Pros

  • The best camera in a phone
  • Gorgeous display with high resolution
  • First to get Android updates
  • Fast and smooth performance

Cons

  • Battery life is just okay, not great
  • Only 64GB storage in base model
  • Motion Sense is a gimmick
  • No 4K60 video support

The Google Pixel 4 XL has its drawbacks, but ultimately, this is the best-performing Android phone out there and it also happens to be the best camera phone in the world.

It also ships with the latest version of Android and it's guaranteed to be first in line for future updates, which is a big advantage over most other Android rivals. The 90-hertz display also makes a difference: the phone feels incredibly fast and smooth.

But this is definitely not the perfect phone: Face Unlock works even when your eyes are closed and it's not safe by any means, battery life is just average, and including just 64GB of on-board storage is not enough for a flagship phone.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

If you want a big and beautiful screen and care about the S Pen


Pros

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Impressive Super AMOLED screens
  • Good camera quality
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • Performance is not as fluid and smooth as on others
  • Battery life is good, but not quite great
  • Software updates come late
  • High price


The Galaxy Note 10+ is the Samsung powerhouse that you should get if you want maximum screen space and if you care about the S Pen.

With a stunning finish that reflects light in a beautiful manner, a gorgeous large AMOLED screen, a whopping 256GB of fast storage, high quality loudspeakers, and options such as a microSD card slot, it is the phone for power users.

Samsung's new One UI is also an improvement from the company's previous UI attempts, battery life is very good (but not quite top-class), and the phone supports fast charging. Its camera quality is also among the very best, lacking a bit in low light capabilities when compared to the Google Pixel for example, but you do have more versatility with an ultra-wide and telephoto camera on board.


iPhone 11

the iPhone experience at a more reasonable price, but at the cost of screen quality

Pros

  • Best-in-class performance
  • Best-in-class software support (~5 years)
  • Very good battery life
  • Excellent camera, best-in-class video
  • Face ID is the best face recognition system
  • App Store with lots of great games + ecosystem

Cons

  • Screen quality is sub-par, big bezels
  • No telephoto camera
  • Apple walled garden
  • The notch is still here
  • Still uses Lightning port, not USB-C


The iPhone 11 is the phone that most people will buy: at a starting price of the quite reasonable $700, it gives you a best-in-class performance and software support with a guaranteed 5 years of timely updates.

It also rocks an even longer battery life than the iPhone XR, which was a solid battery performer, and it runs iOS with all the pros and cons that come with this. We also have to point out that Face ID is still the best face recognition system out there and rivals cannot quite match it.

The biggest downside of owning an iPhone 11 is probably the screen: it has huge bezels, the phone feels too wide and not very comfortable to hold because of this, and the screen itself is an LCD one that is not as sharp or as vibrant as rival phones that feature the newer AMOLED technology.


OnePlus 7T

The best value Android phone

Pros

  • Great value-for-money offer
  • Great battery life
  • Extremely speedy performance, 90-hertz display
  • Attention to detail, has unique touches like a mute switch
  • Super fast charging support

Cons

  • Camera quality is not quite great
  • You cannot use ultra-wide camera for video
  • No wireless charging

If you are looking for the best deal in mobile, the OnePlus 7T should be among your top picks.

It delivers all the flagship bells and whistles at a $600 price: the Snapdragon 855+ chip, the fast performance, the 90 Hertz AMOLED display with beautiful colors, the excellent battery life, the fast charging, and the only area where we would say it falls short of top phone expectations are the camera.

Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+

More affordable than the Note yet you get same camera and performance



Pros

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Impressive Super AMOLED screens
  • Good camera quality
  • Expandable storage
  • Headphone jack
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Performance is not as fluid and smooth as on others
  • Battery life is good, but not quite great
  • Software updates come late
  • High price


The Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ are two of the finest Android phones that money can buy. They feature a refined glass and metal design, one of the best screens ever put on a phone, as well as excellent cameras. Samsung is one of the few companies to keep all options on board, so these two phones have both a microSD card for memory expansion, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack for those who want it.

Samsung's new One UI is also a step forward with some nice options added on top of stock Android and it now finally also supports gesture navigation. Little flagship conveniences like wireless charging (and reverse charging) are also on board.


Huawei P30 Pro

A camera that zooms far and wide


Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Unique periscope zoom camera and night-shooting capabilities
  • Fast performance
  • Great battery life
  • Wireless charging and reverse charge

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Huawei EMUI takes getting used to
  • No 4K60 video

The Huawei P30 Pro is something that users in the United States cannot have, but for the rest of the world, this phone brings a solid battery life, fast performance and previously unseen camera capabilities like a telephoto camera that can zoom in 5x or even 10x times, and the ability to gather light when even our human vision is challenged to see.

Huawei has quickly grown to become a popular global brand and the P30 Pro is its attempt to stand out in the camera space.

Update: The US-China trade war has escalated in the summer of 2019 and Huawei is currently included in the so called Entity List of the US Government, meaning that it might be banned from using all Google services and its phones will not be able to get updates in the future. We recommend waiting out until there is clarity about Huawei's long-term future before buying a Huawei phone right now.

Pixel 3a XL

The best affordable Android phone


The Pixel 3a XL is the best affordable Android phone: it features a clean and fast Android experience the way Google intended it to be and it has the best camera in its class, beating the competition by a big margin, especially in low light.

The XL also features good battery life, it is guaranteed to get software updates for years to come and get them days after they are released, while other budget phones never get updated or wait for months and often a year to get an update.

All of this makes, the Pixel 3a XL an easy pick if you are on a budget. The downside here is the plasticky build quality and the uninspiring looks.


Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

If you are on a tight budget yet still want top specs


If you are on a tight budget, the $250 Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro is one of the most generous offers in terms of specs and value for the money.

Starting with the beautiful, refined design, atypical at this price range, going to the quite good camera performance, and finishing with the whopping 4500mAh battery that will last you two days, this phone is great if you can get it. The downside here is MIUI which might be hard to get used to and might have some issues with over-zealously killing background apps.

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