Choosing the year’s best smartphone is largely a subjective exercise. After all, what is best for one isn’t necessarily best for all. Different users have different needs, different budgets, and so on. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite smartphones of 2019—a register that includes something for everyone.
Samsung Galaxy Note10
Even as a lifelong iPhone user, I have to admit that the Samsung Galaxy Note10 is probably one of my favorite smartphones of the year. The combination of gorgeous AMOLED Infinity-O Display, professional-grade camera system, and bolstered S Pen really sold me on the Note10—not to mention its hefty memory options that include up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Another thing I really like is that it’s available in two sizes, standard and plus—so now even users who aren’t ready for a phablet-sized phone can get in on the action. Now, all the premium features of the Note10 does mean it comes with a premium price, but if you’re OK with that, it’s definitely worth a look. And if you need more convincing, check out our hands-on review.
Samsung Galaxy S10
The Note10 isn’t Samsung’s only top-tier phone this year. The Galaxy S10 also deserves to be in the “best of” discussion. Earlier this year, I wrote about how much I loved the S10’s display, and my opinion hasn’t changed. It is a darn-near-perfect screen. As far as specs go, it’s a 6.1" bezel-free AMOLED Infinity-O Display with QHD+ 3040 x 1440 resolution that outputs breathtakingly gorgeous content. The S10 is also equipped with a powerful camera setup that includes three rear-facing cameras (12MP wide, 12MP telephoto, and 16MP ultra-wide) and a front-facing 10MP selfie camera. For performance, it uses a Snapdragon 855 CPU and comes with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. Like the Note10, it’s also available in multiple iterations, a standard, plus, and “budget” model. Combined, these features make the Galaxy S10 one of the year’s best smartphones.
Google Pixel 3a
The most affordable phone on our list also happens to deliver arguably the best overall image quality. The Google Pixel 3a, which gives you the same award-winning camera as its beefed-up big brother, the Google Pixel 3, is one of the best phones of the year and also one of the biggest surprises. I reviewed it earlier this year and was blown away by everything Google managed to pack into this phone at such an affordable price. On top of having one of the best smartphone cameras in the world, the Pixel 3a also features an excellent display, long-lasting battery, and a clean UI that’s streamlined, straightforward, and always up to date. For those reasons and more, the Pixel 3a is definitely one of the top smartphones of the year.
Google Pixel 4
Of course, if we’re talking Google, we have to mention the Pixel 4. Announced just a few weeks ago, the Pixel 4 is already making its bid for year’s best, thanks to early reviews that peg it as maybe the best Android smartphone ever made. Supporting those reviews are the Pixel 4’s new standout features, which include an improved rear camera setup with two lenses instead of one, a crisp OLED display with insane 90Hz refresh rate, and improved Google Assistant. We’re still waiting to get our hands on the Pixel 4 for an official hands-on review, but the feedback we’ve seen so far makes it seem all but certain the new Pixel belongs in the conversation of year’s best smartphone.
Sony Xperia 1
This year, Sony released the Xperia 1, which featured the very first 4K HDR OLED panel in a smartphone. I did a hands-on review of the Xperia 1 and can confirm that the screen alone makes it worthy of our list. Of course, that’s not all the Xperia 1 has to offer. In addition to its cinematic screen, the Xperia’s camera system is equally groundbreaking. It features three rear cameras: a 12MP 16mm super-wide, a 12MP 26mm, and a 12MP 52mm telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. The system draws tech from Sony’s lauded Alpha series to give users features never seen in a smartphone camera before, such as Eye AF (Autofocus). This is a big deal for photo enthusiasts looking for more professional features in a smartphone. The Xperia 1 has plenty of other bona fides as well: cutting-edge CPU, cinema-worthy design, etc. But at the end of the day, what you should know is that the Xperia 1 is the most sophisticated smartphone Sony has ever built and it stands toe-to-toe with any other flagship on our list.
Apple iPhone 11
Although it was just announced a few weeks ago, it’s tough to argue the new iPhone 11 doesn’t belong on our list. Available in both standard and Pro variants, the newest iPhones represent the pinnacle of Apple’s smartphone technology, including its most cutting-edge design, display, and camera system to date. Both variants also include Apple’s new A13 Bionic Chip which, based on benchmark testing, is the fastest CPU ever put into a smartphone. What does that mean? Well, each new iPhone 11 can perform 1 trillion operations per second. That’s fast. Now, the list of upgrades is long (better performance, battery life, etc.), but the biggest story is that both variants, the standard and the pro, feature a greatly improved camera setup. That means one of the best smartphone cameras in the world just got even better. There’s plenty more to say (and to love) about the new iPhone 11, but the bottom line is this: If you’re a committed Apple user, this isn’t just the best phone of the year, it’s the best phone ever made.
What do you think about our favorite phones? Were there any we left off? Tell us in the Comments section, below!
The store is fantastic, I wonder if it is possible to buy via website and receive in Brazil ??
We can ship most items to Brazil. The best way to see which items can be shipped is to add them to your online cart while shopping on our site and enter your shipping information when prompted. Any items that cannot be shipped are marked as such.