Best phones of 2019: iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, Android, Pixel…
From phones with wireless charging and AMOLED screens to displays with fingerprint sensors and extended battery life, you’ve never had more high-quality smartphone options than you do right now. With the end of 2019 drawing near, big releases have come from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google and Nokia, and with new Android and iPhone models on the market, it’s the best time of year to consider all of the smartphone options out there.
If you’re looking to upgrade your smartphone in 2019 or get a gift for someone special these holidays, there are a ton of choices in different categories at different prices. No matter your budget, your biggest challenge will be in choosing the best device. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the hard work culling down the massive smartphone release list to something more manageable, so you can take some time out these holidays.
With a price tag that starts at $700, the iPhone 11 is the best midtier model Apple has ever made. Its cameras have an excellent new Night Mode and an ultrawide-angle camera adds extra detail in photos. Video is fantastic, too. It also houses the latest and fastest Apple processors, making it among the fastest iPhones ever. Some things to keep in mind, though. First, the latest iPhones don’t have a headphone jack, so you also might want to invest in a dongle for your giftee. Second, the iPhone 11 does not offer a fingerprint sensor, just Face ID. Read our Apple iPhone 11 review.
The refined, feature-packed Note 10 Plus closes the gap with rival phones. This top-of-the-line device was made for people who want the best Android. It has a killer 6.8-inch screen, all-day battery life, wireless charging capabilities, and excellent camera tools. It’s also offers water resistance in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes! This might be an especially good smartphone for the friend who always seems to drop her phone in the toilet. Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.
A year after its release, the iPhone XR is still a fantastic choice. It’s fast, it’s screen has a bright and colorful LED display, and at $600 is one of the best values out there. The rear camera doesn’t have a telephoto lens, but its front-facing selfie camera takes great portraits — extremely important in this age of Instagram. It also has the best battery life of any iPhone available on the market right now, so mid-day charging is not going to be a thing for most users. Read our Apple iPhone XR review.
The iPhone 8 (and 8 Plus) is the only iPhone with a home button that Apple still sells new. If you’re not a fan of swiping up to get to your home screen, but still want a powerful cell phone, with a good camera, a fingerprint scanner, and water resistance, this is the best and most affordable one at $449. Word to the wise, though, this particular smartphone doesn’t have great battery life. Read our Apple iPhone 8 review.
Phones nowadays are constantly one-upping each other with pop-up selfie cameras, in-display fingerprint sensors and multiple rear cameras in addition to their selfie camera. The OnePlus 7 Pro has all the features du jour to keep us enticed. But it’s the phone’s $669 (6GB of RAM/128GB internal storage) starting price that’s the deal maker. (There’s also an 8GB of RAM/256GB variant that costs $699 and will be the one available from T-Mobile.) Read our OnePlus 7 Pro review.
As the most wallet-friendly android smartphone, the Galaxy S10E has a lot to offer. It’s a smaller device, which is great for those looking for a small grip, it has a superfast Snapdragon 855 chipset and a lengthy battery life. Beyond wireless charging for its own battery, the Galaxy S10E can also wirelessly charge other phones and accessories, has a fingerprint scanner and a fantastic AMOLED screen. Read our Samsung Galaxy S10E review.
The new-for-2019 Pixel 3A shaves a few features off of last year’s Pixel 3: It doesn’t offer water resistance, doesn’t have wireless charging (it has a usb type-c port), and it maxes out at 64GB of internal storage. But it adds a headphone jack and keeps the same amazing Night Sight camera that can shoot great photos in the dark. (Daytime photos look amazing, too.) The OLED display is excellent as well. Read our Google Pixel 3A review.
Though the Moto G7 isn’t a foldable phone in the vein of the brand’s much-loved Razr (a new version of which was just announced!) it is an affordable and reliable smartphone. Though its single speaker doesn’t offer the greatest sound and it takes mediocre low-light photos and video, the G7 has dual rear cameras, an enduring battery life, wireless charging capabilities and a sleek design. It also offers fast charging, which is useful when you need to juice up while on the go. Read our Motorola Moto G7 review.
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CNET Holiday Gift Guide 2019
Originally published last month.
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November 21, 2019 at 07:18PM