Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Best phones in Australia 2020: top 10 smartphones tested and ranked

UPDATE: Samsung's Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have been added to our list of the best phones in Australia for 2020! Find out why we gave them the number 1 spot below! 

Here at TechRadar, we check out almost every phone under the sun, putting the ones that matter through our vigorous testing process to create our in-depth mobile phone reviews.

However, with so many to choose from, we've spent hours whittling them down to a top ten, taking into account power, specs, design and value for money. And we'll always point you in the direction of the latest handsets – after all, nobody wants to be carting around a phone that doesn't get any updates in a year's time, right?

So whether it's one of the many slick Android handsets, the latest iPhone or one from a range of other cool manufacturers, we've extensively tested them all so you don't have to!

Here are our rankings for the best smartphones that are currently available in Australia in 2020. Simply click on the phone you read more about.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the best phone on our list, though the S20 is so similar (and only slightly inferior) that we've lumped them together here. There are minute differences, but mostly in price: the standard S20 starts at AU$1,349, while the S20 Plus starts at AU$1,499. That's a bigger jump than last year, owing mostly to the S20's newly added 5G capabilities.

Of course, you also have the option of picking up Samsung's top-tier model in the range, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, though you may want to consider whether its questionable 100x zoom functionality and inconsistent 108MP camera are really worth the much higher AU$1,999 starting price point.

Screen: The Infinity-O AMOLED displays on both phones - 6.2 inches for the S20, 6.7 inches for the S20 Plus - are gorgeous, with a maximum WQHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1440. Thankfully, the notches are both centralised like the Note 10, and they're much smaller this time around, however, it's worth noting that the S20 Plus only has a single lens. The result: more screen.

Also new this year is a 120Hz maximum refresh rate for silky-smooth media and gaming, though it's likely that you'll mostly notice it while browsing. Admittedly, you will to drop your display resolution down to FHD+ to enjoy it, however, the trade is far less of an issue than you might think – the S20's display still looks incredibly sharp outside of its full QHD+ setting.

Battery Life: The S20 packs a 4,000mAh battery, while the S20 Plus has 4,500mAh of capacity. That is, to put it lightly, a lot, and frequently got us through over a day without the need to recharge. Keep in mind that battery life estimate will dip down if you set the refresh rate at 120Hz, frequently use 5G connectivity or lend juice with the handset's Wireless PowerShare feature, so adapt accordingly if you're looking to keep your phone going longer. 

Camera: The S20 and S20 Plus have truly spectacular cameras. No, not their 12MP main shooters, which are fine - it's the 64MP telephoto that really shines. While it only has 3x optical zoom, it still manages to crop zoom in to a muddy 30x digital zoom - which means the interim intervals are still a good deal more impressive than the competition. The 12MP ultra-wide performs adequately, while the 10MP front-facing camera works just fine. 

Another first-time bonus: 8K 24fps video from the rear camera, allowing for truly cinematic footage. Of course, few people actually own an 8K display this early in the tech's life-cycle, however, the higher resolution does allow video editors to crop in close without losing a whole lot of detail.

Mini verdict: While the Samsung Galaxy S20 is impressive enough, it's the S20 Plus that we vouch for as the best phone right now, even if it's slightly more expensive. The combination of incredible cameras with top-tier specs and a great display makes it an unquestionable winner with more battery life than its smaller sibling. 

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S20
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 telco plans
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus telco plans
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 outright deals
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus outright deals

The ultimate refinement of Samsung’s Note line, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus brings some of the Galaxy S10’s best features over to the productivity-focused handset, making it the perfect phone for both work and play. While a couple of its design changes may irk long-time Note devotees, it’s still the best smartphone that Samsung has ever produced. 

Screen & Design: Having gotten used to the various display notches and pinhole cutouts that smartphone manufacturers have experimented with over the last year, it’s easy to forget that 2018’s Galaxy Note 9 still had fairly sizeable bezels at the top and bottom of its screen. By comparison, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus’ bezel-free design feels like a drastic step up, with only a small, centred pinhole camera stealing any real estate away from its otherwise all-screen front. 

And what a screen! The Galaxy Note 10 Plus sports the most gorgeous Super AMOLED display we’ve ever laid eyes on, with its QHD+ resolution offering brilliant detail in photos, videos and games. Thanks to the inclusion of HDR10+, it also produces stunningly vibrant colours, deep blacks and exceptional brightness.

In terms of shape, size and layout, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is quite similar to last year’s model, albeit with a few key differences. For one, there’s no longer a dedicated power button on the phone’s right edge. Instead, the Note 10 Plus can be powered on using the left-mounted Bixby button. The biggest and most controversial change, however, is undoubtedly the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack – a feature that the Note series has long championed and held up as a key selling. That’s easily remedied by switching to Bluetooth headphones or using the included USB-C earbuds, but we can’t say we’re happy to see the 3.5mm port go. 

It's also worth noting that despite the Note 10 Plus' huge 6.8-inch screen size, the handset feels remarkably compact in the hand thanks to its almost nonexistent bezels. it's also very light and well-balanced for its size.

Performance: Last year’s Note 9 had a huge 4,000mAh battery – the biggest Samsung had ever implemented in a device at the time. That’s since been topped by the Galaxy S10 5G’s enormous 4,500mAh battery, however, the Note 10 Plus’ 4,300mAh pack is still quite hefty, and should keep your handset juiced well until bedtime. 

In terms of horsepower, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus sports Samsung’s latest Exynos 9825 chipset, offering fantastic gaming performance when combined with the handset’s Mali-G76 MP12 GPU and 12GB of RAM. We’ve spent countless hours playing the graphically-intensive Call of Duty: Mobile on the device with nary a hiccup. The same can be said of navigating the Note 10’s Android 9-based One UI and Samsung DeX desktop mode – both of which are snappy and responsive at all times.

Camera: Like the S10 5G, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has a quad-camera setup on its rear, which includes normal (12MP), telephoto (12MP), ultra-wide (16MP), and depth-sensing (ToF) lenses. While the above-listed megapixel counts may not be the highest around, these particular cameras come together to produce some truly excellent photos, especially when it comes to night mode and ultra-wide shots. 

Likewise, the Note 10’s sole front-facing camera, despite lacking the S10’s depth-sensing lens. Surprisingly, it still has access to a suite of Live Focus effects, such as the ability to blur or drain colour from the background of your selfies. Like last year’s Note, you can also remotely snap selfies using the device’s Bluetooth-enabled S Pen.

Mini verdict: With its refined form factor, powerhouse specs and unrivalled display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus offers pretty much everything you’d want from a premium handset in 2020. If you’re a smartphone power user, look no further than the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
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While the iPhone 11 isn't as technically advanced as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, its price certainly makes it the most approachable new Apple handset released in 2019. It also has most of the key features from this year’s Apple device lineup, sporting the same A13 Bionic chip as its bigger brothers Basically, the entry-level iPhone 11 is this year’s iPhone XR, making it the ideal choice for those who want the latest Apple features at the lowest cost. 

Screen & Design: The iPhone 11 sports the same 6.1-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display as last year’s iPhone XR, placing it right in between the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max in terms of size. That makes it an appealing choice for those who want a large screen, but not the absolute largest.

Sure, it doesn’t offer the same deep blacks and infinite contrast found in the OLED displays on both Pro models, but chances are you won’t notice the difference as this is a gorgeous display regardless. That said, the iPhone 11 still sports the same enormous notch that’s been present on every Apple handset since the iPhone X.

Performance: You’ll be pleased to hear that the iPhone 11 can easily deliver all-day battery life. We’ve even found it to be an improvement on last year’s iPhone XR battery, which was already very impressive. Admittedly, the iPhone 11 Pro models boast larger batteries, and it’s a bit disappointing to see that the iPhone 11 does not come with a fast charger in the box like its bigger siblings.

That said, general performance is absolutely stellar on the iPhone 11, with the new A13 Bionic chip providing incredibly snappy navigation in the latest iOS 13 update, along with exceptional gaming prowess. 

Camera: This is close to the best iPhone camera, boast a dual lens 12MP + 12MP setup that includes a new ultra-wide camera that makes photos appear larger than life. Sure, it's missing the telephoto lens that’s included on the Pro models, but you're still getting the two best cameras from that particular combination, and it’s also got a long exposure night mode that will automatically brighten up dark shots.

Mini verdict: The iPhone 11 isn’t technically the most advanced Apple handset to be released this year, but thanks to its more affordable price point, it’s sure to be the most popular.

Read the full review: iPhone 11
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Now in its tenth generation, Samsung’s Galaxy S range has just about reached the pinnacle of traditional smartphone design with the Galaxy S10 Plus. Boasting the world’s best display, advanced ultrasonic security, reverse wireless charging, exceptional performance and its most impressive camera setup to date, it’s difficult to see where non-folding smartphones can go from here. Combined with Samsung’s new Android 9 Pie-based One UI, the S10 Plus really feels like the ultimate Galaxy phone – it’s no wonder the South Korean electronics giant is ready to embrace a foldable future.

Screen: Regardless of where you stand on the notch vs pinhole debate, you’re likely to be floored by the S10 Plus’ almost completely bezel-free display when you see it in person for the first time. 

With its 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, the S10 Plus’ pill-shaped pinhole camera is far less obtrusive than you might assume from simply seeing renders of the device – with One UI’s dark mode switched on, the pinhole practically disappears during a large portion of the phone’s daily usage. 

As we’ve come to expect from each new Galaxy phone, the S10 Plus’ QHD+ Super AMOLED screen is brighter and more vibrant than ever before (it’s the first Samsung phone to support HDR10+), though its biggest update comes in the form of an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which uses sound waves to create a 3D scan of your prints for more accurate and secure unlocks.

Design: In terms of build quality, the Galaxy S10 Plus is still sandwiched between two gorgeous pieces of Gorilla Glass, although the device’s frame has seen an upgrade from aluminium to stainless steel, making this year’s model altogether more sturdy. 

The 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot each make a very welcome return this year, though the S10 Plus’s design isn’t without its flaws – Samsung’s still sticking with its dedicated Bixby button this year, and for some reason, the power button’s placement is now awkwardly high on the device’s right edge, making it difficult to reach unless held a specific way.

Performance: A significant step up from the 3,500mAh battery featured in last year’s S9 Plus, the S10 Plus’ whopping 4,100mAh battery takes the crown previously held by the Note 9, making it the largest Samsung has ever placed in a phone. Even at 80% brightness and with the display’s resolution set to QHD+, we’ve always managed to get a full day’s use out of the device with some battery to spare.

The Exynos 9820 chipset and 8GB of RAM featured in the base model S10 Plus offers snappy app-switching, effortless multi-tasking and excellent gaming performance, producing buttery smooth gameplay in Fortnite at 60FPS while on the ‘epic’ graphics setting. Of course, Galaxy S10 Plus models with up to 12GB of RAM are also available.

Camera: Samsung pulled out all the stops for its latest flagship’s cameras this year, sporting a triple lens setup on the device’s rear – that’s a 12MP regular lens, a 12MP optically-zoomed telephoto lens, and an eye-opening 16MP ultra-wide lens which is said to have a field of view that’s similar to the human eye.

On the front of the device, the S10 Plus features a dual lens camera setup, with a 10MP primary camera and an 8MP depth sensor, allowing users to take bokeh self-portraits and photos with other effects. All of this is once again backed by Samsung’s AI-based scene optimiser, which is able to recognise objects and automatically adjust the camera’s settings, as well as show shot suggestions to improve your photos.

Mini verdict: Until the Note 10, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus was the best phone of 2020, impressing with its breathtaking display, refreshed user interface, excellent battery life, terrific performance and carefully considered design choices. Simply put, the Galaxy S10 Plus is up there with the best phones currently available.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
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The Google Pixel 4 XL came out late last year, bringing a long-awaited second camera lens, new radar technology with face unlock, and a better screen. While it's still one of our top smartphone cameras, the loss of the rear fingerprint sensor and middling new features like the erratic Face Unlock and aerial gesture control Motion Sense makes this Pixel iteration less of a generational leap than its predecessors. 

Screen: The Pixel 4 XL has the same 6.3-inch screen as the Pixel 3 XL, though it's been stretched to a 19:9 aspect ratio and its refresh rate has been upped to 90Hz for smoother app browsing and gaming. Last year's notch has been ditched for a return to a solid black bar. Colors are rich on the OLED display, and thanks to the dual front-facing speakers, it makes for a handy streaming device.

Battery life: While the 3,700mAh capacity sounds like a lot, we found the battery lasted less than a day with even moderate use - any extreme GPS or photo sessions will drain it even faster. If you’re not taking a lot of photos, it may be easier to get a full day of battery, but with such a good camera, it may be tough to avoid.

Camera: The Pixel 4 XL’s cameras are its best selling point. On back, the 12.2MP sensor paired with Google’s brilliant software optimization make for stunning photos in most situations, and the added 16MP telephoto enables respectable hybrid zoom clarity with its Super Res Zoom feature. Best of all, the Night Sight mode has been improved - and can even snap shots of the heavens with its Astrophotography function.

Mini verdict: The Pixel 4 XL is powerful and its camera capability is still great, but its middling new features and compromises make it a bit less of a standout iteration. Still, with Google’s knack for photo optimization, this phone can almost sell itself with the camera alone.

Read the full review: Google Pixel 4 XL
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The iPhone 11 Pro is Apple's latest iPhone that has people asking us "What's really changed?" It's a fair question because it looks very similar to last year's iPhone. But use the new cameras for a few minutes and both that question and inquisitive looks from doubters quickly fade.

Screen & Design: Even with the unchanged 5.8-inch screen size, the iPhone 11 Pro display has been re-worked to be brighter, and it's noticeable when viewing the phone outdoors in sunny conditions. Its maximum brightness reaches 800 nits with normal content onscreen.

That's taken to another level when viewing HDR video content, with Apple claiming a max brightness of 1200 nits. Its returning support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 video is best viewed at 100% brightness. 

In terms of design, the iPhone 11 Pro isn't all that different from last year's models; it looks nearly identical to the iPhone XS before it and the iPhone X before that, which is somewhat lazy on Apple's part.

There is, however, a more refined looking frosted matte finish on back, which offers at least a subtle change from the clean glass backs we've become accustomed to on most modern phones. As an added bonus, the matte finish makes it easier to grip the phone and hide smudges. While it's very familiar in most regards, it's still the best-looking iPhone we've tested to date.

Camera: Its rear camera trifecta offers wide, 2x optically zoomed and all-encompassing ultra-wide perspectives, the latter being a first for the iPhone. We found the iPhone  11 Pro cameras tout incredible versatility.

Of course, there's also a new Night Mode this year, which might be the very best reason to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro or its siblings. It's baked into Apple's main photo mode, not a separate mode like we see on Android rivals, and that makes the feature wholly more useful.

Performance: Apple's A13 Bionic chipset makes unsurprising gains, offering performance you won't find on Android phones. Every new phone is snappy in the beginning, sure, but we found video editing and exporting to be noticeably faster on the iPhone 11 Pro.

We did notice some slowdown in booting up the camera app – although it could be an iOS 13 problem more than an issue with the A13's performance. Our Geekbench 5 benchmarking score tells us that it's the fastest phone around along with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, with a multi-core score of 3,431.

Mini verdict: Thanks to some nifty camera and battery upgrades, we can wholeheartedly recommend the iPhone 11 Pro – even for those who already own last year's iPhone XS. That said, we wish Apple had done more to distinguish its iPhones this time around.

Read the full review: iPhone 11 Pro
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Undoubtedly the most advanced smartphone Samsung has ever produced, the Galaxy S10 5G may actually offer more than many users will arguably need this early in our 5G network's infancy. 

At present, there's not a lot of 5G coverage outside of a few key metropolitan spots, so you could be forgiven for wanting to wait until the network establishes itself a bit further. The handset isn't currently available for outright purchase, either – the only way to get one is to go on a 24/36-month contract at Telstra – something which may put off potential buyers.

That said, Telstra is at least offering customers a free trial of its 5G network on its entry-level Small and Medium plans until June 30, 2020, after which users can choose to keep their 5G access for an extra $15 per month (the fee is waived on the telco's pricier Large and Extra Large plans).

Of course, it's only a matter of time before 5G coverage expands its reach across Australia, so if you're the type who likes to get in early on next generation technological advancements and are willing to sign up to an expensive contract for the privilege, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is absolutely the way to go. 

Screen: The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus already offered an amazing screen, and the S10 5G offers even more of it – boasting a slightly larger 6.7-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy S10 5G is directly comparable to the Note 9 in terms of screen real estate, making it ideal for consuming media, playing games and browsing the web. Like the other phones in the S10 range, it's incredibly vibrant, offering HDR10+ support for fantastic colour accuracy and exceptional brightness.

Design: In the hand, Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is as premium as they come, feeling weightier than the S10 Plus and sporting two new striking colour options in Majestic Black and Crown Silver. Obviously the phone is larger than its siblings, however there are a few other changes to take note of.

In our S10 Plus entry on the previous page, we noted that its power button is a little too high up on the phone, making it slightly awkward to reach. This has been remedied with the S10 5G, as the button is now placed around a third of the way down along the right edge of the handset.

The phone's in-display fingerprint sensor has also moved, only this time it's in the opposite direction – it's now slightly higher at a more ergonomic position about an inch and a half from the bottom of the device, meaning you won't have to force your thumb downwards when unlocking with one hand.

Of course, one change is sure to rub longtime Galaxy users the wrong way – the S10 5G has unfortunately dropped its microSD card slot, meaning you'll have to make do with the onboard storage on offer. Thankfully, there's a lot of it, with options for 256GB and 512GB of space. Fans will also be happy to hear that the 3.5mm headphone is also still around.

Performance: Previously, we noted that the S10 Plus’ 4,100mAh battery was the largest Samsung has ever placed in a phone. Well, that record has already been beaten, as the S10 5G's battery is even larger at a staggering 4,500mAh.

As for its internals, the S10 5G is pretty much identical to its siblings, offering the same Exynos 9820 chipset. That said, the S10 5G only offers 8GB of RAM, so you'll have to stick with a top-tier Galaxy S10 Plus model if your heart is set on having 12GB of memory at your disposal.

Camera: It would've been easy for Samsung to just bring the S10 Plus' triple-lens system (12MP primary + 12MP telephoto + 16MP ultra-wide) over to the S10 5G, however, it's opted to upgrade the handset's camera's even further, adding a fourth 'Time of Flight' (ToF) 3D lens to the phone's rear.

Like the S10 Plus, the S10 5G has a pill-shaped cutout for its front-facing cameras, and if you look closely, you'll notice that it's slightly longer than the one featured on its sibling – this is to accommodate a new dual-pixel autofocus system, which allows the phone to judge depth in selfies more accurately.

Mini verdict: Unquestionably the most impressive handset Samsung has ever released, there are a few reasons why it's still easier to recommend the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus over the 5G. For starters, it isn't available to purchase outright (yet), meaning your only way to get one is to sign up for a two or three-year contract with Telstra. There's not a lot of 5G coverage at the moment, either. That said, the S10 5G does offer an enormous battery, unrivalled design, beastly performance, a fantastic camera and a stunning OLED screen, making it the most impressive Galaxy handset we've ever used.

Read the hands on review: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
See the best Samsung Galaxy S10 5G telco plans

UPDATE: While we'd previously placed the Huawei P30 Pro in a higher position, the ongoing trouble the company faces with the US Government casts a great deal of uncertainty on the degree of support its products will receive into the future. As such, we've moved Huawei's handset lower on our top 10 recommendations list.

We're starting to sound like a broken record at this stage, but Huawei's latest handset is the Chinese phone maker's greatest to date. It's got a gorgeous build, fantastic specs and the best photographic capability of any phone on the market.

Screen: This year's P-Series handset once again features a vibrant Super AMOLED display which delivers crisp images and gorgeous colours. If there's one downside to the P30 Pro's screen, it's that Huawei has opted to go with a FHD+ display – last year's Mate 20 Pro featured a QHD+ display and the difference is noticeable. 

It's a curious decision given the P30 Pro's premium price point and focus on photo-taking, but we can't complain too much given the other high-end features found in the handset. Under the display, you'll also find a speedy fingerprint scanner that's pretty much identical to the one featured on the aforementioned Mate 20 Pro.

Design: As one of the only non-Galaxy handsets employing curved glass on its display, Huawei's P30 Pro looks very slick and premium from the outset. That commitment to luxury carries over to the back of the phone, which also features curved glass (perfect for the device's power-sharing functionality). Sandwiched in-between the two panes is an aluminium frame that's a touch thicker than some of the other flagship phones on the market (8.4mm), resulting in a bit of added weight, too (192g).

Like last year’s P20 Pro, the P30 Pro lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack – a strange design choice given how thick the phone is. That said, we’re glad Huawei has opted to include support for expandable storage via the device’s SIM tray, even if that means being forced to use the company’s relatively obscure NM (Namo Memory) card format. 

Performance: If the camera setup on the Huawei P30 Pro is the headline feature, its battery life is the device’s unsung hero. This thing lasts, thanks to a huge 4,200mAh battery, which is larger than those in pretty much all of its rivals – that's also handy when it comes to sharing power via the P30 Pro's reverse wireless charging feature.

The P30 Pro packs in Huawei’s latest Kirin 980 chipset and 8GB of RAM, giving the handset plenty of grunt under the hood. This means the handset is capable of handling any app you throw at it, with swift load times and the ability to render graphically demanding games such as PUBG on the highest settings without skipping a beat.

Camera: Thanks to an ongoing partnership with German camera company Leica, we've come to expect incredible photographic capability from Huawei's flagship handsets, and the P30 Pro is no exception. In fact, it wouldn't be overstating things to describe the P30 Pro's triple lens setup as the best smartphone camera implementation to date. 

First off, you have a 40MP main sensor which is capable to taking unmatched photos at full resolution (without any zoom) — perfect if you’re planning on professional-grade editing or producing prints later on. Of course, photos are captured at 10MP by default, and look pretty darn good at that resolution, too.

The big new camera feature in this year’s model, however, is its 5x optical zoom functionality, which cleverly employs a periscope-style mirror array to achieve zoomed-in shots without any image degradation. Push past that barrier though, and the camera implements an optical/digital hybrid zoom up to 10x, followed by a staggering 50x purely digital zoom. Surprisingly, the P30 Pro is able to maintain a steady picture even at full zoom capacity – something that can be attributed to the camera’s exceptional image stabilisation tech. 

Mini verdict: While it's let down slightly by a couple of its design choices, the P30 Pro is steadily closing the gap and getting closer to that highly coveted 'best phone' crown. 

Read the full review: Huawei P30 Pro
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UPDATE: While we'd previously placed the Huawei Mate 20 Pro in a higher position, the ongoing trouble the company faces with the US Government casts a great deal of uncertainty on the degree of support its products will receive into the future. As such, we've moved Huawei's handsets to the bottom of our top 10 recommendations list.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the supercharged version of the 'standard' Huawei Mate 20, and while its specs are similar to its less expensive counterpart, with both handsets boasting Huawei's latest Kirin 980 7nm processor, 128GB of onboard storage and 6GB of RAM, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is able to justify its higher cost with several impressive additional high-end inclusions.

Sporting a number of futuristic features (including one world-first) and a more premium price point than we're used to seeing from the Chinese manufacturer, the Mate 20 Pro is clearly Huawei's play for the 'best smartphone in the world' crown – and for once, the company is very much within reach, offering a handset we think belongs in the same league as the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Screen & Design: With its curved glass display and coloured aluminium frame, it's very easy to mistake the Huawei Mate 20 Pro for a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus at first glance. Look closer, and you'll start to notice Huawei's signature styling and other, more subtle differences. 

Yes, it's got a notch, but it's for the inclusion of a second sensor to allow for 3D facial recognition functionality, which is said to provide more security than the standard Mate 20's image-based facial unlock.

Although our tests have shown the Mate 20 Pro's 3D face unlock to be exceptionally fast (way speedier than Apple and Samsung's equivalent implementations), the Pro also offers an in-display fingerprint scanner that you can use instead. 

Camera: Of course, being a Huawei phone, it's photographic capability is also off the charts. Once again sporting Leica branding, the Mate 20 Pro has ditched the monochrome sensor this year, instead opting for a primary 40MP sensor that handles both RGB and monochrome modes.

With this ultra-wide sensor and Huawei’s 3X fixed and 5X hybrid zoom, you can not only close in on any subject (macro photography allows for photos from just 2.5cm away), but also pull out to get a much wider view, making the Mate 20 Pro the most versatile camera we’ve yet seen on a flagship smartphone.

Performance: While Google's Pixel 3 handsets have only just received wireless charging functionality, Huawei has taken things a step further with the inclusion of reverse wireless charging – and yes, you read that correctly. Compatible with any phone that boasts Qi functionality, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is actually able to wirelessly charge another device when you place the two back-to-back. 

Easily the most advanced phone that Huawei has produced to date, the Mate 20 Pro is premium in every sense of the word. Throw in a massive 4,200mAh battery, and what you have is a handset that's very hard to resist.

Read the full review: Huawei Mate 20 Pro
See the best Huawei Mate 20 Pro telco plans
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While LG may have left behind any notion of being a game-changing phone maker in recent years, the company’s become quite reliable at producing exceptional all-rounder handsets that are good at pretty much everything. 

Screen & Design: With the new LG G7 ThinQ, the South Korean manufacturer has delivered a phone with sophisticated AI smarts, a fantastic dual lens camera, a stylish design, a super bright QHD+ 18.9:5 display (complete with iPhone X-style notch that can, thankfully, be hidden), terrific audio performance and top-end specs. 

That said, unlike most other notch-bearing handsets, the G7 ThinQ sports an LCD display, meaning it's unable to reach the pure-blacks of an OLED, something that becomes apparent when you first try to hide the notch with a fake bezel and immediately notice the backlighting behind them. Still that does allow the G7 ThinQ to get extremely bright, which means you can always see the screen perfectly, no matter how sunny it happens to be. 

Performance: Admittedly, it's not quite as strong as some of the other handsets on this list in terms of performance, and its battery life left us wanting — we got around 6 and a half hours of heavy usage, which is around an hour or two less than most flagship phones available right now.

LG wants its awkwardly-branded ‘ThinQ AI’ functionality to be the big drawcard here, but having spent some time with the phone, it’s clear that it’s perhaps better suited to music lovers and audiophiles. Thanks to its built-in hi-fi quad DAC and DTS:X 3D Surround functionality (both of which require headphones to be plugged into its 3.5mm socket), the LG G7 ThinQ delivers an unrivalled audio experience in the smartphone arena. 

Switching on the quad DAC instantly makes audio richer and deeper, providing additional bass in the process, while the latter DTS feature also impresses by offering virtual three-dimensional surround sound regardless of the headphones you’re wearing. It also packs an especially loud built-in speaker, for occasions when you want to listen to something without cans. 

Camera: LG is bound to win fans with its terrific AI-powered camera this year, offering similar functionality to the Huawei P20 Pro — simply point at a subject and the LG G7 ThinQ will automatically identify it, adjusting its settings to make sure your picture looks as good as can be. And, thanks to its dual camera setup, the G7 ThinQ can also take those blurry background portrait shots that have become all the rage.

Its Super Bright Camera mode also makes it especially adept at low light photography, and just like the G5 and G6 before it, the G7 ThinQ can take super wide angle photos that fit more into the frame. 

Mini verdict: Minor quibbles aside, there's plenty to love about the LG G7 ThinQ. We think it's the best phone the South Korean company has released in years.

Read the full review: LG G7 ThinQ
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You're at the end of the guide, but that doesn't mean we can't help you still - if you're stuck on which model is for you, we've got a tool that can compare all the phones together and you can decide which one suits you best based on the cost.

If you want to get all the info, then use the tool below or check out our full mobile phone plans page.

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