If there’s one thing that we’re never short of these days, it’s new smartphones. We’re a few months in 2019 now so there’s been quite a few new product launches so far, necessitating an update on all those “best smartphone” lists out there. When choosing a new phone, there are a few things to look out for: cost, build quality and design, ease of use, features, performance, and value for money.
A flagship phone usually costs anywhere between £600 and £800 but can run to over £1000 in a few cases. On a contract, you’re probably looking at something between £30 and £50 per month but you can spend much more if you’re after an expensive phone and a whole load of mobile internet data.
Buying a phone outright may be the best value for money but not everyone has the liquid capital to do that.
You’ll also need to think about operating systems (the eternal android versus iPhone debate), whether or not to buy an unlocked phone, and to ensure that you buy the right SIM card (for example, if you want 4G, you’ll need a 4G-enabled phone and SIM).
Google Pixel 3/Google Pixel 3 XL
Easily one of the highest quality phones on the market right now with the best camera ever on a smartphone. Both the regular size and the XL sport Google’s most advanced hardware to date, good battery life, wireless charging, and are waterproof.
It’s not the most exciting upgrade ever – and the previous model will satisfy most at a lower price – but it’s a great device made better through a small number of improvements at a reasonably low cost. For example, a new glass rear cover with a soft matt finish enables wireless charging and is bang on trend.
There’s still no headphone jack, unfortunately, but this seems like a small price to pay overall. And the now iconic design comes in a small range of colours, including Clearly White, Just Black and the new Not Pink (which is closer to peach in real life).
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
The S10 Plus’ Super AMOLED 6.4-inch display has been measured as one of the best available with great colours, dynamic range, and the best viewing experience you can ask for on a smartphone. Plus, there’s a fingerprint scanner actually embedded into the display which theoretically makes it easier to unlock your phone when it’s resting flat than when using a back-mounted fingerprint button or facial recognition.
The battery life is an improvement over the previous model thanks to a larger battery size and should easily last you through the day. It also has the option for Samsung’s new Wireless PowerShare, allowing you to wirelessly charge other devices on the rear of the handset.
With no less than three cameras, the S10 Plus offers a wide range of photographic features, shooting modes, and better overall clarity than on the previous model.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
This is quite possibly the Chinese manufacturer’s best smartphone to date with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, three great cameras (including one wide angle and one telephoto lens), a huge 6.39-inch high-resolution OLED display, and fantastic battery life.
AI features also improve the camera experience over the previous model, and add 3D face unlock and reverse wireless charging so it can charge other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Stereo speakers, waterproofing and 128GB storage seal the deal, ensuring that this is a phone that should last for at least two or three years of use.
With higher specs than most of its competitors and a few features that you won’t be able to find elsewhere, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a high quality phone at a high price.