The best phone for most people
Weight: 194g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 6.1 inches | Resolution: 828 x 1792 | CPU: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm) | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 3,110 mAh | Rear camera: 12MP Wide-Angle + 12 MP Ultra-Wide-Angle | Front camera: 12MP
Superb dual-lens camera
Blazingly fastGreat battery life
Lovely design and build
If you’re an Apple fan and can’t stretch financially to the tri-camera-toting awesomeness that is the iPhone 11 Pro, then the iPhone 11 makes a great case as a cheaper alternative – and its balance of power and price makes us think it’s the best phone for most people in 2020.
The iPhone 11 comes in a variety of attractive, bright colours, and features a quality 6.1-inch HDR Liquid Retina display, Apple’s latest and greatest A13 Bionic chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 3,110 mAh battery, and 64GB of storage space in the entry model (which can be taken up to 256GB with extra spend).
It is, across the board, a well-equipped and very well made phone that, straight out of the box, feels great in the hand. Apple has really caught up and gone past its rivals with the iPhone 11 series, though admittedly these are still pricey phones.
What you don’t get in the Apple iPhone 11 is the same flexibility of camera that you get in iPhone 11 Pro – and that’s because it has a dual-camera, rather than a tri-camera. Plus, the screen (while large and clear) is also trumped by the Pro range and some other, equally-priced devices.
Regardless, though, as T3 concluded in our official review of the phone, the “iPhone 11 strikes a brilliant balance between features and price. You wouldn’t know it’s the cheaper of Apple’s phones from its build, camera and speed. If only it had an OLED screen…”
As such, we feel the iPhone 11 is the best phone Apple currently makes in terms of bang for your buck, and as such is an easy recommend for most users (unless you have to have Android as an operating system on your phone).
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
The best premium phone
Weight: 199g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mm | OS: OxygenOS 10.5 / Android 10 | Screen size: 6.78 inches | Resolution: 1440 x 3168 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB / 12GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4510mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MPAstonishing 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ screen
Rapid internal hardware
Next-gen 5G connectivity
Stylish design with great ergonomics
OnePlus’ ascension to the top smartphone table is complete with the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is a simply jaw-dropping handset that delivers across the board. It is, simply put, the best phone on the market for those shopping for a premium Android handset.
There are so many reasons why the OnePlus 8 Pro is so special, but first among them is its simply astonishing 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ screen, which is the best display ever seen on a mobile phone. Other premium phones have delivered part of that holy trio of screen features, but none has managed to do them all at once.
The OnePlus 8 Pro also comes with a simply rapid suite of top-shelf internal hardware, next-gen 5G connectivity and a selection of advanced phone features like reverse wireless charging and IP68 water and dust proofing. Naturally, as this is a phone from OnePlus, the design and ergonomics are also fantastic.
With super benchmark scores and a battery that goes the distance to back it up, as too the best camera system OnePlus has put out to date, there is simply no reason why those shopping at the premium end of the smartphone market shouldn’t consider the OnePlus 8 Pro first and foremost. It is a true flagship phone in every sense of the word and the best Android phone (and best premium phone full stop) available today.
3. Apple iPhone SE (2020)
The best budget phone
Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 4.7 inches | Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels | CPU: Apple A13 Bionic | RAM: 36GB | Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB | Battery: 1,821 mAh | Rear camera: 12 MP f/1.8 | Front camera: 7 MP f/2.0
It is fair to say that Apple’s iPhone SE (2020) handset has taken this year by storm in terms of praise, with the hot new handset winning critics over worldwide with its brilliant balance of features, quality and performance for a very attractive price point. Retailing for under half what Apple’s flagship phones do, this is easily the best budget handset we’ve ever seen from the American maker.
And, be under no illusion, this phone delivers. It’s CPU, for example, is the exact same A13 Bionic chipset that sits in all of Apple’s flagship phones, while it comes running Apple’s iOS 13 operating system just like those phones do, too. It is in many respects a full fat new iPhone experience but for a shockingly low price point.
Now, of course, you don’t get all the bells and whistles that you do with a true flagship iPhone, and the camera, battery and display isn’t quite as good as those on the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, but they all work and deliver strong results, so at the iPhone SE’s bargain price we feel that is a very fair trade-off.
If you are an Android user and are looking for a great new budget phone then, sure, there are even cheaper Android options on the market, but if you sit on the iOS side of the ecosystem divide and want a brand new phone upgrade for cheap, then the 2020 iPhone SE is an absolutely not brainer purchase.
4. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
This is the best Galaxy phone Samsung has ever put out
Weight: 222g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9 inches | Resolution: 1440 x 3200 | CPU: Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 5,000 mAh | Rear camera: 108 MP wide + 48 MP periscope + 12 MP ultrawide + 0.3 MP TOF | Front camera: 40MP + 40MPHuge, super smooth 120Hz screen
Hyper premium internal hardware
Versatile, feature-packed camera
It’s hard to know where to start with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, because Samsung has really gone to town here, from the 100x digital zoom on the rear camera to the huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display you get around the front. It’s the priciest of the S20 models, and it shows.
Of course it’s a stunning phone to look at, something you would expect from Samsung at this stage. Inside you have some of the best internal components you’re going to find in a handset in 2020. And then around the back is one of the best and most versatile cameras on the market.
Don’t forget the hefty 5,000mAh battery here either, ensuring the phone will be able to run and run no matter what you put it through. It’s hard to find any fault in what the S20 Ultra offers, and it’s hard to find a phone in 2020 that’s able to beat it in any of the key departments that matter.
The only real downside is the price, which is undoubtedly top tier. As we said in our review, though, “if you are a tech enthusiast and have pockets deep enough to wield it, then the S20 Ultra is impossible not to recommend”.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10
The best phone with digital stylus functionality
Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm | OS: Android 9.0 | Screen size: 6.3-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9825 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 3500mAh | Rear cameras: 12 MP f/1.5-2.4 + 12MP f/2.1 + 16MP f/2.2 | Front camera: 10 MP f/2.2
Perfect sizeS Pen functionality
Versatile camera system
Excellent core hardware
With its absolutely stunning 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, powerful internal hardware suite, and advanced S Pen digital stylus, the Note 10 is undeniably one of the best Android phones available today. There isn’t an area where it doesn’t punch hard and, despite lacking a few features of the larger Galaxy Note 10 Plus, it is the model to plump for due to its more reasonable price point and sensible dimensions.
The new S Pen with a 10-hour battery life and air gestures remains a unique, unmatched accessory, too, making the Note a singular proposition on the market. It is a hyper-flagship that transitions from productivity powerhouse, to essential creative tool in seconds.
Things that could make you look at the Note 10 Plus over this phone are the former’s 5G variant, which allows it owner to tap into the super-fast new network connections available in most of Britain’s major cities, its humongous 6.8-inch AMOLED screen, and slightly better camera system, which comes with a Time-of-Flight sensor.
As T3 noted in its Note 10 review, though, “the more compact design of the Galaxy Note 10 just feels right”, with “the smaller footprint infinitely more manageable and enjoyable”. It is also cheaper, too, by quite a lot, and delivers 90-95 per cent of the functionality of the bigger phone, so for our money, the Note 10 is the model to choose, and especially so if you live in an area where 5G is not a thing.
6. iPhone 11 Pro
The best smartphone for Apple users shopping at the premium end of the market
Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 5.8-inches | Resolution: 1125 x 2436 | CPU: Apple A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 3,046mAh | Rear camera: Triple 12MP Ultra Wide-Angle + 12MP Wide-Angle + 12MP Telephoto | Front camera: 12MP + TOF 3D Depth Sensor
The best phone camera so far
Incredible OLED screen
Fantastic battery life
We’ll cut to the chase: the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is one of the best smartphones money can buy if you’re shopping at the premium end of the market.
It’s also the most advanced iPhone the Apple has ever released, driven by a brand new A13 Bionic processor. Pair this with a larger battery and several power optimisation smarts baked into iOS 13 itself, and you have an iPhone that can last all day without having to be hooked up to a power outlet – and that’s with heavy usage. Be frugal with the device, and you could easily squeeze two days out of it.
But the headline act is the tri-camera. Notably, the third sensor is a wide-angle lens, bringing a 120-degree field of view, which is ideal for landscapes. The other two remain largely unchanged, with two small but impactful updates – the telephoto lens now has a larger aperture, letting in 40% more light, and the wide-angle sensor now has 100% focus pixels, which essentially means it’s better at focusing in low-light.
Mix that all together and throw in an OLED screen for good measure and you come out with a versatile smartphone that will handle just about every task you throw its way, without stopping to take so much as a single breath. However, that’s not to mean it isn’t without its fair share of faults – the biggest of which is the lack of support for 5G. Although, that’s not as big of a deal as one would have thought.
5G is still a long way off being the nation’s standard. In fact, it’s only available in a handful of cities nationwide at the moment and even then, only in really small surface areas within. Even if the iPhone 11 Pro supported 5G, you probably wouldn’t be able to use it. And let’s not forget that 5G tariffs are about as expensive as can be, so the fact it doesn’t work with the network actually brings the price down.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro also comes bundled with an 18W charger for fast-charging. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t get much better than the Apple iPhone 11 Pro right now, and for anyone looking to upgrade their phone right now, its quality mandates that it is one the very first devices to be considered.