Buying the best phone in 2020 is an expensive investment whether it’s from Samsung, Apple or Google, which means your decision is all the more important. We’ve seen a ton of new phones over the past year and we’re expecting more to come soon.
For this reason, we are constantly updating our list of the best phones – to make sure you’re buying the absolute best smartphone for your needs. The Samsung Galaxy S20 series shook up our rankings, but also think of the iPhone 11 or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Why we have more than one choice: We have a top pick, but not everyone is looking for the same smartphone features. Some demand Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime, so that means sticking with iOS 14, while others want infinite customization and Google Assistant, which is available in Android 11.
Best Smartphones by Brand
Likewise, AT&T plans, Verizon plans, or your chosen cell phone plan can affect your preference; the best AT&T phone may not be available on Verizon, and vice versa. We’ve seen more unlocked phones in the US, but not all of them are available for every carrier.
Almost all smartphone prices have risen to – and above – $ 1,000, so you’ll want to take your decision seriously. We’re here to walk you through the best phone choices with all the expertise we’ve gained from phone reviews.
Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday are coming towards the end of this year, and that might be a good opportunity for you to find a phone deal. We expect several retailers to introduce phone deals, but often we find that SIM-free prices are not heavily discounted during sales periods.
That said, we expect to see and collect some of the best iPhone deals during Black Friday. We’ll also be on the lookout for discounts from several other manufacturers, but we’ll likely see the best discounts at Apple.
The best phone of 2020? It has a large display and is still easy to handle; packs a camera suite that can replace a point and shoot; and has enough processor power and battery to work on the go. You won’t find slow smartphones with anything less than full-day battery life on this ranked phone list.
5G phones are becoming important and common and foldable phones will one day be a big deal. In addition, keep in mind that this list may change a lot soon. There’s the brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as well as rumors about the entire iPhone 12 lineup and Google Pixel 5 that may be released before the end of the year.
Best Phone at a Glance:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
- iPhone 11
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- iPhone 11 Pro / Pro Max
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- iPhone SE 2020
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- Google Pixel 4 XL
- Samsung Galaxy S10e
- Google Pixel 4a
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- Moto G8 Power
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the best phone you can buy today, while the smaller (and slightly less capable) Galaxy S20 is so similar that we’ve got two together.
Why it’s the best phone: It is the price-quality ratio that allows Samsung to convince Apple. The S20 Plus starts at $ 1,199 and the S20 from $ 999. Yes, it’s a price hike from last year (and now matches what you’re paying for the Pro-level iPhones), but you get bigger screens, more internal storage, a microSD card slot for expandable storage and 5G – things you won’t find on Samsung’s closest competitor.
Screen: The Infinity-O AMOLED displays on both phones – 6.2 inches for the S20, 6.7 inches for the S20 Plus – are beautiful. The notches are both centralized like the Note 10, but they are much smaller this time and the S20 Plus only has one lens. The result: more screen. Also new this year is a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz for silky smooth media and gaming, although you’ll notice this especially while browsing – and you’ll have to lower your screen resolution to FHD + to enjoy it.
Battery life: The S20 has a battery capacity of 4000 mAh, while the S20 Plus has a capacity of 4500 mAh. That’s, to put it lightly, a lot, and has often helped us for a day without recharging. Keep in mind that the estimated battery life will decrease if you set the refresh rate to 120Hz, use a ton of 5G connectivity, or borrow juice with Wireless PowerShare, so adjust accordingly if you want your phone to run longer.
Camera: The S20 and S20 Plus have truly spectacular cameras. No, not their 12MP main shooters, they are fine – it’s the 64MP telephoto that really shines with a 3x optical zoom (compared to the usual 2x zoom). The camera can also crop the zoom to a muddy 30x digital zoom – meaning the intermediate intervals are still a lot more impressive than the competition. The 12MP ultra-wide performs well enough, while the 10MP front-facing camera does a great job with nice filters. Another bonus for the first time: 8K 24fps video from the rear camera.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review and Samsung Galaxy S20 review