Which is the best phone to buy right now, in 2020?
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.
Best phones of 2020 list:
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max - best iPhone
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra - best big Android phone
- Google Pixel 4 XL - clean Android, great camera
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus - productivity beast with a stylus
- iPhone 11 - best $700 phone
- OnePlus 7T - best value Android phone
- Galaxy S10 Plus - last year's best Android phone, discounted
- Pixel 3a XL - best budget phone
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro - even more affordable with surprisingly great specs
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
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.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
An all-around beast
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a phone that you just cannot ignore: the very best of Samsung in early 2020, it brings a brand new, ambitious camera system with a huge main sensor and a folder, periscope lens that allows you to get 10X hybrid optic zoom and up to a 100X digital zoom for an unprecedented zoom reach on a phone.
Equipped with a massive, 5,000mAh battery and 5G connectivity, the phone is ready for the networks of the present and the future.
Traditionally for Samsung, it also comes with the company's latest and most advanced AMOLED screen that features juicy colors and deep blacks, and this time it also supports 120-hertz refresh rate for an extra smooth experience. All of this comes at an expensive price, but the feature set is definitely impressive.
Pixel 4 XL
If you want the best camera in a phone and the most enjoyable Android experience
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
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.
the iPhone experience at a more reasonable price, but at the cost of screen quality
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.
The best value Android phone
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
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.
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.