We get that choosing the right phone is unlike any other device. After all, it’s something you rely on and have to use every day. Trust us, we won’t steer you the wrong way in your quest for the best smartphone.
TL;DR – These are the Best Smartphones:
1. iPhone 11
Apple iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 is easily the best phone you can buy right now. While it might come at a slight premium of $650, you get one of the fastest mobile processors around along with a great looking 6.1-inch (929 x 1,792) screen that covers roughly 90% to 95% of its entire face.
Additionally, you get two capable cameras for wide and ultrawide shots along with some of the best 4K video you can take on a smartphone. Apple might have been criticized for selling underpowered hardware at a premium in the past, but the iPhone 11 is the company’s best handset yet that melds strong components and software with the biggest app ecosystem around.
2. Google Pixel 3a
Best Budget Smartphone
Google Pixel 3a
On Verizon Wireless
Google’s Pixel phones are often too expensive for their own good, which is exactly why we like that the Pixel 3a (read our review) goes for only $400. This phone fully delivers everything you would expect from a Pixel phone including the best camera photos, AI features, and a very sleek, minimalistic styling you won’t get from other handsets at this price range.
You do have to make some concessions for a Pixel phone this cheap though. It comes with a slightly crusty Snapdragon 670 processor and only 4GB of memory. But the good news is you still get a 5.6-inch HD (2,220 x 1,080) OLED display access to the latest Android updates before everyone else.
3. iPhone 11 Pro
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro (read our review) really is the best iPhone ever made and that’s not just because it’s the newest one. This iOS device packs a 5.8-inch (1,125 x 2,436) “Super Retina” XDR OLED display that hits a peak brightness of 1,200-nits, which allows it to support both HDR10 and Dobly Vision.
Android phones are fast, but Apple’s A13 Bionic processor feels like it runs on a whole another level letting you work with Photoshop and Lightroom as if you were using a bigger computer. The same goes for gaming, which can’t be beaten on iOS thanks to the huge library of games in the App Store and even more exclusives on Apple Arcade.
When you’re not tearing it up with serious work or gaming, the iPhone 11 Pro easily lasts through two days with its long battery life. And now that the iPhone 11 Pro has three cameras and serious 4K movie shooting capabilities, it easily keeps up with the best Android phones now.
4. OnePlus 7T
Best Android Phone
Spec for spec, the One Plus 7T (read our review) is the closest thing to an iPhone 11 Pro except that it doesn’t cost a grand. For a starting price of $599 this phone gives you a 6.55-inch AMOLED display that can both hit a peak brightness of 1,000-nits and supports a high-refresh-rate of 90 Hz.
It also comes running the fastest 855 Plus while giving you 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage from the get-go—double the amount seen on the base model iPhone 11 or 11 Pro. It also packs a big 3,800mAh battery plus three cameras to keep mobile photography enthusiasts happy.
5. Asus ROG Phone II
Best Gaming Phone
Asus ROG Phone II
If you’re a serious mobile gamer who wants the fastest smartphone and the most extensive family of accessories, you need the Asus ROG Phone II. It features a massive 6.59-inch (1,080 x 2,340) AMOLED display that runs at 120Hz for the silkiest screen you can get on a smartphone.
It also comes packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor paired with at least 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage—or max it out to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. To make this phone even more of a beast you can get a second screen case to turn it into a Nintendo 3DS, a controller case to turn it into a Nintendo Switch, or combine the two into freakish Voltron of gaming phones.
6. Google Pixel 4 XL
Best Camera Phone
Google Pixel 4 XL
The Google Pixel 4 (read our review) has too small of a battery to ever make it a good recommendation, which is exactly why we’re looking at the Pixel 4 XL as the best camera phone around. Google handset may have a lot of software kinks and features to work out, but it’s still the shoots the best photos out of any handset we’ve tested.
Whether its portraits with realistic bokeh or balanced low-light shots, Google still holds a slight edge when it comes to computational photography. We’ve also yet to see another camera phone that gives you usable 8x zoom shots thanks to the handset’s new 2x telephoto lens and Google incredible Super Res Zoom feature.
7. Sony Xperia 1
Best Smartphone for Streaming
The Sony Xperia 1 (read our review) is a curiously tall phone that looks more like a candy bar than a phone, but that’s exactly what makes it perfect for watching movies and other ultra-widescreen content. It’s one of the few phones to come with a 4K (1,644 x 3,840) OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio that lets you watch cinematic footage as it was meant to be seen.
This strangely, but handsomely tall phone also comes running the latest Snapdragon processor with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage, so it’s pretty capable as a gaming phone as well. Some of Sony’s incredible imaging technology has also trickled down from its mirrorless cameras to this handset and you get three 12MP cameras. These cameras allow you to shoot some 4K HDR footage of your own or 1080p footage at up to an incredibly slow-motion 960 fps.
8. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
If you’re just looking for the biggest screen phone you can possibly buy, nothing beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (read our review). The company has been seriously testing the limits of our pockets and its latest handset features a 6.8-inch (1,440 x 3,040) AMOLED display that’s big, gorgeous, and it supports HDR10+.
Of course, the Note 10 Plus’ other hat trick is it’s the best device for taking down notes thanks to its built-in stylus and refined software. Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is a serious powerhouse of a phone that can let you run up to three apps at the same time and not break a sweat while doing so.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam