The Best Smartphone of 2019: So Far


By: Staff Reporter

  • We compare 9 of the best phones available right now.
  • You'll want to check out our best Android phone or best iPhone ratings.
  • We've also got a list of the best cheap phones available right now.
Leading Smartphones in the marketcurrently

Our best smartphone list brings you 9 of the best phones available right now.

We're well into 2019, and we've seen a huge number of smartphone launches, which means our best smartphone list has seen plenty of new entrants over recent months.

We know that it's not all about the high-cost, super spec phones all the time so we've made you a handy list of all the top smartphones that you can get on the market right now, assessing what really matters to you, the buyer.

We test these phones rigorously, making sure that we check every angle and feature - but most importantly, considering whether they've got a decent battery, great screen, strong design and a cracking camera.

On top of that, they can't be too exorbitant in price either - not everyone wants or can afford a supercar of a handset, so we've made sure there are plenty of options for you there.

1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

The best smartphone around

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/512GB/1TB | Battery: 4,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP

SAMSUNG Galaxy 10 Plus

The best smartphone screen around
Excellent cameras
It's not cheap
Design offers little grip

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the best smartphone available right now, still.
It's a big phone that's designed for big hands - and it takes the very best of what's on the smartphone market and puts it together in a compelling package that we've loved testing.

Screen: The Super AMOLED 6.4-inch display has been measured as the very best around, with super colours, great dynamic range and, essentially, the very best viewing experience you can have on a mobile phone.
Plus, there's a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

Battery life: The battery life on the Galaxy S10 Plus is and improvement over the S9 Plus, thanks to the larger 4,100mAh battery inside. It'll easily reach bedtime with double digits still left in the tank.
The S10 Plus also offers Samsung's new Wireless PowerShare, allowing you to wirelessly charge other devices on the rear of the handset.

Camera: The trio of cameras on the Galaxy S10 Plus are among the best on the market, building on the excellent setup on the S9 series by offering more features, shooting modes and overall clarity.

Mini verdict: The Galaxy S10 Plus is packed full of the best Samsung has to offer, and it comes together to give you the best smartphone experience around right now.

Image Credit: TechRadar

2. Huawei P30 Pro

The best smartphone when it comes to photography

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.47-inch | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB |v Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP

HUAWEI P30 Pro

Fantastic cameras
Eye-catching design
Display 'only' Full HD
EMUI lacks polish

The Huawei P30 Pro is so close to being the best smartphone right now, and for some it will take top spot in their minds.

It's the best phone we've used when it comes to photography with 5x and 10x zoom capabilities and fantastic low-light performance.

However, we're sad to say, it now comes with a huge caveat. After Google suspended Huawei's future access to Android Play Store and security updates, there are serious question marks over the future of Huawei phones.

While Google and Huawei have promised to support phones currently on the market, it's not clear how long they'll receive Android updates or access to the Google Play Store, which would severely curtail their usefulness compared to the competition.

Screen: The large 6.47-inch screen on the P30 Pro may 'only' have a Full HD+ resolution, but it's bright, clear and colourful providing an excellent canvas for your apps and games.

Battery life: There's no worry when it comes to the P30 Pro potentially running out of juice, the battery life here is excellent. We regularly got to the end of the day with 30% or more left in the tank.

Camera: The cameras are the P30 Pro's real party piece, providing staggeringly good 5x and 10x zoom, and a digital 50x zoom with gets you insanely close to objects far off in the distance. Its low-light capabilities are also top-notch.

Mini Verdict: The P30 Pro not only sets a new standard for Huawei, it sets a new standard for the entire mobile industry. Its cameras are quite simply astonishing, the design is eye-catching and the power plentiful. It’s a true flagship smartphone.

3. Samsung Galaxy S10

Almost the best phone in the world, overshadowed by its big brother

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/512GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP

SAMSUNG Galaxy S10

Great screen-to-body ratio
Wireless PowerShare perk
S10 Plus is better
Bixby button not needed

It's close at the top, with Huawei snapping at Samsung's heels it's never been tougher for the South Korean firm, and the S10 is getting elbowed.

The bigger S10 Plus is by far Samsung's best phone, but the standard S10 backs almost all the same top-end features into a more compact form factor and slightly lower price tag (but still steep).

Screen: With a 6.1-inch display you're not exactly getting a small screen with the standard S10, but Samsung has reduced bezels even more over the S9, keeping the dimensions surprisingly compact. You also get a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

Battery life: The battery in the S10 has grown versus the one in the S9, but with the increased screen size as well you're still looking at all-day battery life with a nightly charge. The S10 also has Samsung's new Wireless PowerShare, allowing you to wirelessly charge other devices on the rear of the handset.

Camera: Like the S10 Plus, the trio of cameras on the Galaxy S10 are among the best on the market, building on the excellent setup on the S9 series by offering more features, shooting modes and overall clarity.

Mini verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S10 gets proper under-the-hood upgrades. You’ll like all of these powerful features, while your friends will like the new Wireless PowerShare perk – it helps them out more than you.

4. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

A top phone with plenty of power

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP

HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro

In-screen fingerprint scanner
Great triple cameras
The UI needs refinement
High price

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is still one of the best phones from the Chinese firm to date, offering up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a few party pieces thrown in too.

It builds on the P20 and P20 Pro, offering up even more screen, enhanced triple rear cameras and an in-display fingerprint scanner.

However, we're sad to say, it now comes with a huge caveat. After Google suspended Huawei's future access to Android Play Store and security updates, there are serious question marks over the future of Huawei phones.

While Google and Huawei have promised to support phones currently on the market, it's not clear how long they'll receive Android updates or access to the Google Play Store, which would severely curtail their usefulness compared to the competition.

Screen: The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a huge amount of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great. There is a wide notch at the top of the display though.

Battery life: You'll get great battery life from the Mate 20 Pro, and we regularly achieved a day and a half of usage from a single charge during our review time with the handset.

Camera: The Mate 20 Pro comes with three cameras on the rear, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro - but the third sensor is new. It's an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.

Mini verdict: The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price - it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The best phone for productivity-minded power users

Release date: August 2018 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 2960×1440 | CPU: Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 9

Much better battery
Improved S Pen
Hefty device to hold
Mostly iterative upgrades

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best phones we've ever tested - and also one of the most expensive.

However, for that money you're getting an extraordinary spec list, including the first mainstream phone to offer 1TB of storage and an incredible screen.

Screen: Let's get right to that screen: it's beautiful. Yes, it's a bit narrow if you're coming from the Note 5 or similar, but the way it wraps around the frame, the smaller bezels and the impressive color reproduction and brightness make it a real favourite.

Battery life: With 4,000mAh under the hood, the Note 9 has one of the biggest batteries Samsung has ever thrust into a device, meaning it can easily last through the day (plus it has new cooling tech to help it last longer in gaming sessions, although we've not seen much proof of that). You can also charge over wireless easily, and fast charging boots in 17% battery in 15 mins.

Camera: The cameras on Samsung phones are part of the reason they rank so highly in our list - the sheer capability and low light performance is impressive. Photos are definitely more on the colourful side, but there are more AI smarts in the mix to help you get the right shot at the right time.

Mini verdict: It's hard to wrap the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 into a mini verdict - it does so much and we've not even touched on the new, camera-remote-enabled Bluetooth S Pen. The expansive, quality screen, the battery life and the camera all combine to make this a stunning smartphone... if you can afford it.

6. Apple iPhone XS

The best phone for iPhone fans

Release date: September 2018 | Weight: 177g | Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1125 × 2436 | CPU: Exynos A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 2,658mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 7MP

Apple iPhone XS

Fast operation in the hand
Slick camera
Design not altered
Battery life not best-in-class

There's a new hero for iPhone fans, with the iPhone XS offering the best mix of features and price from Apple.

The larger screen and battery of the iPhone XS Max may attract some, but the standard XS provides better bang for your buck if the huge display isn't a must for you.

Screen: The 5.8-inch display looks fantastic, with excellent colors and Apple's True Tone technology ensuring it automatically adjusts for the best visuals depending on your current environment.

Battery life: The easiest way to describe battery life on the XS is: just a touch below average, but far better than any other (non-Plus / Max) iPhone we've tested. Which, in short, means you should get a day from a single charge.

Camera: The shots we created with the iPhone XS were incredibly detailed and packed with color and sharpness, leaping off the screen with the vibrancy. It may not be the very best camera phone on the market, but these are the best snappers you'll find on an iPhone.

Mini verdict: The iPhone XS is easily the best iPhone Apple’s ever made - it’s got the fastest processor, top screen and least bezel out there. It's not a huge advancement over the iPhone X (if you have this, there's no need to upgrade), but the upgrades Apple has delivered are welcome.

7. Huawei P30

Another top Huawei phone

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.4 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 64/128/512GB | Battery: 3,650mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 16MP + 8MP | Front camera: 32MP

HUAWEI P30

Great camera
Powerful processor
No wireless charging
P30 Pro is superior

What's this? Another Huawei phone in the top ten? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P30 really is seventh in our best phone rundown.

It has a smaller screen than the P30 Pro, and makes do with just the three rear cameras (rather than four) and a maximum zoom of 30x, but it's still a great Android phone

However, we're sad to say, it now comes with a huge caveat. After Google suspended Huawei's future access to Android Play Store and security updates, there are serious question marks over the future of Huawei phones.

While Google and Huawei have promised to support phones currently on the market, it's not clear how long they'll receive Android updates or access to the Google Play Store, which would severely curtail their usefulness compared to the competition.

Screen: With a 6.1-inch display the P30 is a little easier to manage in the hand than its larger sibling, and with a Full HD+ and plenty of colour it's a top smartphone screen.

Battery life: You can expect to get excellent battery life from the Huawei P30, with the phone often lasting a day and a half on a single charge without issue.

Camera: While the three cameras on the rear aren't quite as good as the four on the P30 Pro, they still offer up an impressive shooting experience with 5x, 10x and 30x zoom and great low-light abilities.

Mini verdict: There's heaps of power, a handy headphone jack (something the Pro can't boast) and a more manageable form factor for one-handed use. And of course, it's a little cheaper too.

8. Samsung Galaxy S10e

A palm-friendly smartphone with a range of flagship features

Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 150g | Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+16MP | Front camera: 10MP

SAMSUNG Galaxy S10e

One-handed use possible
Great camera for the price
No in-screen finger scanner
Noticeably thicker than the S10

Like the look of the new S10 and S10 Plus, but not a fan of their lofty price tags? Well fear not, as Samsung has catered for you with the Galaxy S10e.

The Galaxy S10e has many of the flagship features of its pricier siblings, while offering a more palm-friendly size and a few compromises to help keep the cost down.

Screen: You don't get a QHD resolution here, instead you'll have to accept a Full HD+ 5.8-inch screen - but the Super AMOLED display provides plenty of colour and pop.

Battery life: We found battery life lasted a day on a single charge - which is what we've come to expect from phones - plus its wireless charging and Wireless PowerShare making topping it up, and you other devices, even easier.

Camera: The dual camera setup on the S10e isn't quite as good as the triple cameras on the S10 and S10 Plus, but they're still highly capable snappers producing quality photos with ease.

Mini verdict: It’s hard not to recommend the S10e to anyone who prefers a smaller phone. Size queens, look elsewhere - this smartphone is for folks who want to text and browse apps one-handed without compromising performance.

9. iPhone XS Max

The super-sized iPhone is a great phone

Release date: September 2018 | Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1242 x 2688 | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 3,174mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 7MP

Apple iPhone XS Max

Excellent screen for media
More powerful again
Battery life not world-beating
Super expensive

Pronounced ten S (like tennis) Max, the iPhone XS Max is part upgrade over Apple's game-changing iPhone X and part upgrade over the larger iPhone 8 Plus.

It builds on the all-screen, notch-laden, almost bezel-free design with more power under the hood, improved cameras, a new storage option and a huge screen and even huger price tag.

Screen: The 6.5-inch OLED screen on the iPhone XS Max really grabbed our attention - it's fantastic for video streaming and gaming.

Battery life: It's has improved a little on both handsets over the iPhone X, but you'll still find yourself plugging both of these phones in each night to ensure you'll get through a whole day in the morning.

Camera: The dual camera setup on the iPhone XS Max is fantastic. The Smart HDR mode makes images even clearer, brighter and more detailed, and Apple's famously intuitive interface makes snapping great shots a breeze.

Mini verdict: If your hands are as big as your bank balance, the iPhone XS Max takes Apple's smartphone to a whole new level with plenty of additional screen space.