The best smartphone category is always tightly contested, and this year is no different with great phones from the world's major smartphone brands. In this category, we’re judging design, build, benchmark performance, battery life, camera performance, display quality, audio quality, handling, as well as any other extra features like advanced biometric security and AI capabilities.
To make the cut, the phone has to be released in 2019 and has to the brand's flagship offering.
This year, the best overall smartphone goes to the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ because it has a feature set that other phones struggle to match. Overall, we feel it's the strongest all-rounder phone.
To start, the hardware and design are excellent. It's 6.8-inch AMOLED display is expansive, sharp, vibrant, and just downright gorgeous. You can't help but be amazed the first time you lay eyes on it.
Powered by Samsung's Exynos 9825 processor, the Note10+ also offers good general performance. The S Pen is as useful as ever and continues to be one of the defining features of Samsung's Note series. It also makes it one of the rare few phones to come with an integrated stylus whose functionality improves year-on-year.
The cameras get new feature capabilities focussed on improving video shooting performance such as Live Focus Video for real-time bokeh effect adjustment, preview and recording, Zoom-in Mic to amplify audio capture of the subject in your video recording as you zoom in, enhanced screen recording capabilities such as PiP so you can record yourself while showing what you're actually doing on the phone - great for office show-and-tell purposes or even for mobile game screen recording. There are several more aspects like great audio from the built-in speaker, microSD card expansion, massive 12GB of RAM help the phone double-up as a make-shift workstation using DeX mode and much more.
Overall, the Galaxy Note10+ is a thoughtfully designed phone, brimming with features and performance that will delight its owners. Furthermore, insofar as flagship smartphones are concerned, it's even quite competitively priced.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (256GB)
ASUS ROG Phone II (512GB)
Google Pixel 4XL (64GB)
Huawei Mate 30 Pro (256GB)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (256GB)
*Note: Prices and ratings listed are accurate at the time of individual product evaluation.
For more information on how the nominees fared in detail and thus helping us pick our winner, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References below.