THESE ARE THE BEST PHONES AVAILABLE TODAY 2020
The best phone for most people
Weight: 194gDimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mmOS: iOS 13Screen size: 6.1 inchesResolution: 828 x 1792CPU: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm)RAM: 4GBStorage: 64/128/256GBBattery: 3,110 mAhRear camera: 12MP Wide-Angle + 12 MP Ultra-Wide-AngleFront camera: 12MP
REASONS TO BUY
+Superb dual-lens camera+Blazingly fast+Great battery life+Lovely design and build+Impressive audio
If you’re an Apple fan and can’t stretch financially to the tri-camera-toting awesomeness that is the iPhone 11 Pro, then the iPhone 11 makes a great case as a cheaper alternative – and its balance of power and price makes us think it’s the best phone for most people in 2020.
The iPhone 11 comes in a variety of attractive, bright colours, and features a quality 6.1-inch HDR Liquid Retina display, Apple’s latest and greatest A13 Bionic chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 3,110 mAh battery, and 64GB of storage space in the entry model (which can be taken up to 256GB with extra spend).
It is, across the board, a well-equipped and very well made phone that, straight out of the box, feels great in the hand. Apple has really caught up and gone past its rivals with the iPhone 11 series, though admittedly these are still pricey phones.
What you don’t get in the Apple iPhone 11 is the same flexibility of camera that you get in iPhone 11 Pro – and that’s because it has a dual-camera, rather than a tri-camera. Plus, the screen (while large and clear) is also trumped by the Pro range and some other, equally-priced devices.
Regardless, though, as T3 concluded in our official review of the phone, the “iPhone 11 strikes a brilliant balance between features and price. You wouldn’t know it’s the cheaper of Apple’s phones from its build, camera and speed. If only it had an OLED screen…”
As such, we feel the iPhone 11 is the best phone Apple currently makes in terms of bang for your buck, and as such is an easy recommend for most users (unless you have to have Android as an operating system on your phone).
The best premium phone
Weight: 199gDimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mmOS: OxygenOS 10.5 / Android 10Screen size: 6.78 inchesResolution: 1440 x 3168CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865RAM: 8GB / 12GBStorage: 256GBBattery: 4510mAhRear camera: 48MP + 48MP + 8MP + 5MPFront camera: 16MP
REASONS TO BUY
+Astonishing 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ screen+Rapid internal hardware+Next-gen 5G connectivity+Stylish design with great ergonomics
OnePlus’ ascension to the top smartphone table is complete with the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is a simply jaw-dropping handset that delivers across the board. It is, simply put, the best phone on the market for those shopping for a premium Android handset.
There are so many reasons why the OnePlus 8 Pro is so special, but first among them is its simply astonishing 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ screen, which is the best display ever seen on a mobile phone. Other premium phones have delivered part of that holy trio of screen features, but none has managed to do them all at once.
The OnePlus 8 Pro also comes with a simply rapid suite of top-shelf internal hardware, next-gen 5G connectivity and a selection of advanced phone features like reverse wireless charging and IP68 water and dust proofing. Naturally, as this is a phone from OnePlus, the design and ergonomics are also fantastic.
With super benchmark scores and a battery that goes the distance to back it up, as too the best camera system OnePlus has put out to date, there is simply no reason why those shopping at the premium end of the smartphone market shouldn’t consider the OnePlus 8 Pro first and foremost. It is a true flagship phone in every sense of the word and the best Android phone (and best premium phone full stop) available today.
The best budget phone
Weight: 148gDimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mmOS: iOS 13Screen size: 4.7 inchesResolution: 750 x 1334 pixelsCPU: Apple A13 BionicRAM: 36GBStorage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GBBattery: 1,821 mAhRear camera: 12 MP f/1.8Front camera: 7 MP f/2.0
REASONS TO BUY
+Appealing design+Rapid hardware+Very affordable
It is fair to say that Apple’s iPhone SE (2020) handset has taken this year by storm in terms of praise, with the hot new handset winning critics over worldwide with its brilliant balance of features, quality and performance for a very attractive price point. Retailing for under half what Apple’s flagship phones do, this is easily the best budget handset we’ve ever seen from the American maker.
And, be under no illusion, this phone delivers. It’s CPU, for example, is the exact same A13 Bionic chipset that sits in all of Apple’s flagship phones, while it comes running Apple’s iOS 13 operating system just like those phones do, too. It is in many respects a full fat new iPhone experience but for a shockingly low price point.
Now, of course, you don’t get all the bells and whistles that you do with a true flagship iPhone, and the camera, battery and display isn’t quite as good as those on the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, but they all work and deliver strong results, so at the iPhone SE’s bargain price we feel that is a very fair trade-off.
If you are an Android user and are looking for a great new budget phone then, sure, there are even cheaper Android options on the market, but if you sit on the iOS side of the ecosystem divide and want a brand new phone upgrade for cheap, then the 2020 iPhone SE is an absolutely not brainer purchase.
This is the best Galaxy phone Samsung has ever put out
Weight: 222gDimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mmOS: Android 10Screen size: 6.9 inchesResolution: 1440 x 3200CPU: Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865RAM: 12GB/16GBStorage: 128GB/256GB/512GBBattery: 5,000 mAhRear camera: 108 MP wide + 48 MP periscope + 12 MP ultrawide + 0.3 MP TOFFront camera: 40MP + 40MP
REASONS TO BUY
+Huge, super smooth 120Hz screen+Hyper premium internal hardware+Versatile, feature-packed camera
It’s hard to know where to start with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, because Samsung has really gone to town here, from the 100x digital zoom on the rear camera to the huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display you get around the front. It’s the priciest of the S20 models, and it shows.
Of course it’s a stunning phone to look at, something you would expect from Samsung at this stage. Inside you have some of the best internal components you’re going to find in a handset in 2020. And then around the back is one of the best and most versatile cameras on the market.
Don’t forget the hefty 5,000mAh battery here either, ensuring the phone will be able to run and run no matter what you put it through. It’s hard to find any fault in what the S20 Ultra offers, and it’s hard to find a phone in 2020 that’s able to beat it in any of the key departments that matter.
The only real downside is the price, which is undoubtedly top tier. As we said in our review, though, “if you are a tech enthusiast and have pockets deep enough to wield it, then the S20 Ultra is impossible not to recommend”.
The best phone with digital stylus functionality
Weight: 168gDimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mmOS: Android 9.0Screen size: 6.3-inchesResolution: 1080 x 2280 pixelsCPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9825RAM: 8GBStorage: 256GBBattery: 3500mAhRear cameras: 12 MP f/1.5-2.4 + 12MP f/2.1 + 16MP f/2.2Front camera: 10 MP f/2.2
REASONS TO BUY
+Perfect size+S Pen functionality+Versatile camera system+Excellent core hardware+Attractive design
With its absolutely stunning 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, powerful internal hardware suite, and advanced S Pen digital stylus, the Note 10 is undeniably one of the best Android phones available today. There isn’t an area where it doesn’t punch hard and, despite lacking a few features of the larger Galaxy Note 10 Plus, it is the model to plump for due to its more reasonable price point and sensible dimensions.
The new S Pen with a 10-hour battery life and air gestures remains a unique, unmatched accessory, too, making the Note a singular proposition on the market. It is a hyper-flagship that transitions from productivity powerhouse, to essential creative tool in seconds.
Things that could make you look at the Note 10 Plus over this phone are the former’s 5G variant, which allows it owner to tap into the super-fast new network connections available in most of Britain’s major cities, its humongous 6.8-inch AMOLED screen, and slightly better camera system, which comes with a Time-of-Flight sensor.
As T3 noted in its Note 10 review, though, “the more compact design of the Galaxy Note 10 just feels right”, with “the smaller footprint infinitely more manageable and enjoyable”. It is also cheaper, too, by quite a lot, and delivers 90-95 per cent of the functionality of the bigger phone, so for our money, the Note 10 is the model to choose, and especially so if you live in an area where 5G is not a thing.
The best smartphone for Apple users shopping at the premium end of the market
Weight: 188gDimensions: 144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mmOS: iOS 13Screen size: 5.8-inchesResolution: 1125 x 2436CPU: Apple A13 BionicRAM: 4GBStorage: 64/256/512GBBattery: 3,046mAhRear camera: Triple 12MP Ultra Wide-Angle + 12MP Wide-Angle + 12MP TelephotoFront camera: 12MP + TOF 3D Depth Sensor
REASONS TO BUY
+The best phone camera so far+Incredible OLED screen+Fantastic battery life
We’ll cut to the chase: the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is one of the best smartphones money can buy if you’re shopping at the premium end of the market.
It’s also the most advanced iPhone the Apple has ever released, driven by a brand new A13 Bionic processor. Pair this with a larger battery and several power optimisation smarts baked into iOS 13 itself, and you have an iPhone that can last all day without having to be hooked up to a power outlet – and that’s with heavy usage. Be frugal with the device, and you could easily squeeze two days out of it.
But the headline act is the tri-camera. Notably, the third sensor is a wide-angle lens, bringing a 120-degree field of view, which is ideal for landscapes. The other two remain largely unchanged, with two small but impactful updates – the telephoto lens now has a larger aperture, letting in 40% more light, and the wide-angle sensor now has 100% focus pixels, which essentially means it’s better at focusing in low-light.
Mix that all together and throw in an OLED screen for good measure and you come out with a versatile smartphone that will handle just about every task you throw its way, without stopping to take so much as a single breath. However, that’s not to mean it isn’t without its fair share of faults – the biggest of which is the lack of support for 5G. Although, that’s not as big of a deal as one would have thought.
5G is still a long way off being the nation’s standard. In fact, it’s only available in a handful of cities nationwide at the moment and even then, only in really small surface areas within. Even if the iPhone 11 Pro supported 5G, you probably wouldn’t be able to use it. And let’s not forget that 5G tariffs are about as expensive as can be, so the fact it doesn’t work with the network actually brings the price down.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro also comes bundled with an 18W charger for fast-charging. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t get much better than the Apple iPhone 11 Pro right now, and for anyone looking to upgrade their phone right now, its quality mandates that it is one the very first devices to be considered.
The Pixel phones get better with each passing year
Weight: 162gDimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mmOS: Android 10Screen size: 5.7-inchesResolution: 1080 x 2280 pixelsCPU: Snapdragon 855RAM: 6GBStorage: 64GB/128GBBattery: 2800mAhRear camera: 12.2MP f/1.7 + 16MP f/2.4Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
REASONS TO BUY
+Camera is simply fantastic+Pure stock Android+Face Unlock works very well
The Google Pixel flagship phones have a lot going for them and easily make it on to our best smartphones list. Leading the way again, of course, is the camera: Google has added a second lens this time around, meaning even better shots (and even pictures of the stars).
Elsewhere you’ve got a modest specs bump over last year and the pure stock Android experience that the Pixel phones are known for. Sometimes the strength of a phone lies in what it doesn’t have, rather than what it has.
A couple of cool features worth mentioning are Face Unlock, which makes it easier than ever to get in your phone, and Motion Sense, which lets you control music playback, silence alarms and more with a wave of your hand.
With wireless charging and full waterproofing included too, there aren’t many marks against the Pixel 4 (and its bigger sibling the Pixel 4 XL). Battery life could be improved, but there’s so much that’s good here, it’s not too much of a problem.
Still one of the best Android phones in the world
Weight: 175gDimensions: 74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8mmOS: Android 9.0 (Pie)Screen size: 6.4-inchesResolution: QHD+CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820RAM: 8GBStorage: 128GBBattery: 4,100mAhRear camera: Triple 16MP Ultra Wide-Angle + 12MP Dual Aperture + 12MP TelephotoFront camera: 10MP + 8MP Depth Sensor
REASONS TO BUY
+Expansive 6.4-Inch Quad HD+ AMOLED+Up to 1.5TB storage via MicroSD card+Awesome Live Focus images from front-facing camera
The Galaxy S10 phones remain on sale, and even though they’ve been replaced by the Galaxy S20 range, they’re still excellent choices – and better value than ever. The Galaxy phones are also doing something truly different from the iPhone and other rival flagship handsets. Whereas competitors have rushed to clone the notched screen design that first gained prominence with the iPhone X, Samsung has taken a dramatically different approach with its Infinity-O design.
Admittedly, that Infinity-O design isn’t the prettiest thing to leave the Samsung R&D lab and definitely takes some getting used to. However, it has allowed Samsung to fit the S10 Plus with an expansive 6.4-inch AMOLED panel – that’s the same size as the Galaxy Note 9 – while simultaneously shrinking the physical size of the smartphone compared to the Galaxy S9 Plus, which sports a 6.2-inch screen.
Elsewhere, Samsung has included dual-front facing cameras so you can shoot Live Focus photographs brimming with artificial bokeh-style blur. There’s also some fun new depth effects with the Galaxy S10 range, including the ability to turn the background greyscale to make the subject of the image really pop. These can also be shot using the triple-camera on the back of the handset.
The rear-mounted camera also boasts an ultra-wide angle camera, which produces some incredibly dramatic shots. It also has less of the unsightly distortion we’ve seen from rival ultra-wide angle cameras in the past.
Finally, the new One UI operating system, which is based on Android Pie, is infinitely better than anything from the likes of LG or Sony. One UI has been designed from the ground-up to acknowledge that while we all want massive screens on our phones, massive smartphones are really annoying to use, especially one-handed while squished into the train carriage during a morning commute. To solve this headache, One UI shifts all the elements of the user interface that you’ll actually need to tap into the lower-third of the touchscreen where they are within easy reach.
The Galaxy S10 Plus isn’t perfect. There are some really gimmicky new photo modes (who wants the background to look like it’s spinning?!), the Infinity-O cut-out is a little bit unsightly and it can cost up to an eye-watering £1,399 for the maxed-out model with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of built-in storage.
However, these are nitpicks, and don’t stop this from becoming our new go-to recommendation for anyone who wants the best phone on the market.
The best phone in the world for watching movies
Weight: 180gDimensions: 167 x 72 x 8.2 mmOS: Android 9.0Screen size: 6.5 inchesResolution: 1644 x 3840 pixelsCPU: Snapdragon 855RAM: 6GBStorage: 128GBBattery: 3,300mAhRear camera: 12MP (wide), 12MP (telephoto), 12MP (ultrawide)Front camera: 8MP
REASONS TO BUY
+Huge, unique display+Powerful processor+Immersive audio+Dust and waterproof
As you can probably see, the biggest thing – literally – about this phone is it’s 6.5-inch 21:9 4K display which, for the uninitiated, is the preferred aspect ratio for watching films (or movies, as the Americans call them) and TV. If those are two things that you like to do, then look no further than this beast of a handset.
The issue is, as we said in our review, is that while this display is a thing of beauty – crisp, huge, vibrant – the phone has a rather underwhelming battery, which means the screen appears dim unless cranked right up to near maximum. Crank that brightness up though, and the viewing experience is truly superb. Just don’t expect that battery to run for days on end.
The phone’s super tall size also makes it somewhat unwieldy, especially when it’s in a normal-sized pocket. Now, of course, this applies to many big phones (Galaxy Note, we’re looking at you), but the pure length of this handset – combined with its above-average weight – exacerbates the problem.
If this doesn’t seem like an issue to you, and it could easily not be, there’s a lot to love here: 128GB of storage on board as standard, the latest Snapdragon chip is lightning fast, the display, as mentioned, is stunning, and the sound system – provided by Dolby – is top notch. There really isn’t a better phone for the cinephiles among us.
10. GOOGLE PIXEL 3A
The best phone for photography lovers shopping on a budget
Weight: 175gDimensions: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mmOS: Android 9.0 PieScreen size: 5.6 inchesResolution: 1080 x 2220 pixelsCPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 670RAM: 4GBStorage: 64GBBattery: 3000mAhRear camera: 12.2 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, OIS, dual pixel PDAFFront camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
REASONS TO BUY
+Phenomenal Pixel 3 Camera+Pure Android 9.0 Pie out of the box+3.5mm Headphone Port+Fast-Charger In The Box
The Google Pixel 3a is the best smartphone going in 2020 if you prioritise value for money, camera quality and also want a vanilla software experience that comes straight from Google.
Indeed, the Pixel 3a’s super-low retail price of only £340 ($399) makes an absolute mockery of max-spec flagships that cost over £1000 more when you factor in the performance and experience it delivers.
Not only do you get the phenomenal camera that debuted in the much more expensive Google Pixel 3 XL, which is one of the very best systems going today, but you also get a fast and pure Android 9.0 Pie experience as well as a very solid mid-range hardware spec, too.
Internals consist of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space, and a 3,000mAh battery. The phone also comes with a compact but sharp 5.6-inch, FHD+ (2220 x 1080) OLED screen which delivers 441 ppi.
Throw in the phone’s low weight (147 grams), understated and stylish design, and the fact that it comes with a guaranteed three years of Android OS updates and unlimited Google Photos cloud storage.