A big phone with a few new features
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 175g / 198g (ceramic) | Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm | OS: Android Pie | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 3040×1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/512GB/1TB (up to 1.5TB with card) | Battery: 4,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the best phone you can get for Android right now, if you're just going by specs. Naturally, as the first flagship of 2019, its new Snapdragon 855 processor is the big standout here with even better performance than the phones that closed out 2018. Add in a few cool new (but not essential) features, Samsung's stunning-as-ever display and design as well as top specs and you have a true flagship – for a true flagship price, of course, starting at $999.
Screen: The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is gorgeous, but that's not surprising. it's the same size as the Galaxy Note 9's screen, and far larger than the Galaxy S9 Plus' 6.2-inch display. The 'Infinity O' display ditches the notch for a punch-h*** in the top right corner. Yes, it's twice as wide as the h*** in the S10 and S10e, but how else will you fit in the extra selfie camera? This choice (and thin bezels) enable a stunning 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, which keeps the phone as slim as possible.
Battery Life: The S10 Plus' 4,100mAh battery is Samsung's largest yet, just nudging past the Note 9's 4,000mAh and far beyond the 3,500mAh one in the Galaxy S9 Plus. While that didn't lead the new phone's battery life to outpace its predecessors, it still kept it going through the full day with 10%-30% to spare in our casual testing. This is, of course, with standard settings: bump up the resolution from Full HD+ to QHD+, brighten the display or keep it on longer, and the battery will drain faster.
Camera: The S10 Plus has three cameras on the back: a 12MP regular lens, a 12MP optically zoomed telephoto lens, and a new 16MP ultra-wide lens. We found the photo quality to be a bit variable – perhaps due to the dual-aperture main lens – with good but not consistent low-light performance. It's not quite up to par with the Google Pixel 3's Night Vision mode, but it still outpaces most other phone cameras on the market. The two front-facing cameras allow depth for Portrait mode-style photos, which is worth the wider punch-h*** gap in the display.
Mini verdict: After some time with the standard Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e, we can say for sure that the S10 Plus beats them out. It has the best specs, cameras and battery life of the whole set, and it's not too much more expensive than the other models. If you want a phone that will blow every other device out of the water in early 2019 – as well as its in-screen fingerprint sensor and reverse charging – this is your only real option.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review
The best new iPhone for most people
Weight: 194g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 828 x 1792 | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: Unknown | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 12MP
The iPhone 11 isn't technically superior to the iPhone 11 Pro series, but it's priced so well (for an iPhone) and has most of the key features you'll won't need much else from an Apple device. It takes the place of the iPhone XR with the same 6.1-inch screen, but a new dual-lens camera on back.
Screen: The 6.1-inch screen fits in between the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max sizes, making it an appealing choice if you want a large screen, but not the biggest. While it doesn't have the perks of the OLED display on the Pro models, some people won't notice a difference unless you see all of the phones side-by-side. It's still a brilliant-looking phone, if you don't mind the notch.
Battery life: This iPhone can delivery all-day battery life, and it's slightly better than the iPhone XR battery, which we thought was stellar last year. The iPhone 11 Pro does last a bit longer and comes with a fast charger in the box – the iPhone 11 does not.
Camera: This is close to the best iPhone camera, with both a 12MP main camera and a new 12MP ultra-wide camera to cram more into the frame. It's missing the triple-lens camera on the Pro models, which adds in a telephoto lens, but you're getting the two essential cameras from that pairing, and it includes a long exposure night mode that will automatically bright up dark photos.
Mini verdict: The best thing about this new iPhone is that it costs $699, cheaper than the XR at launch a year ago.
Read more: iPhone 11 review.
The best if you enjoy really big phones
Release date: August 2019 | Weight: 196g | Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.8-inch | CPU: Exynos 9825 / Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256/512GB | Battery: 4,300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP + ToF | Front camera: 10MP
This is Samsung's most expensive non-foldable phone, and the big perk is that it comes with the handy S Pen that does new tricks. The screen is the most exquisite part of this really big phone, but you'll have to be able to handle its large size and equally big starting price.
Screen: Can you handle a phone with a 6.8-inch display? If the answer is yes, then you'll really enjoy this big-and-tall curved Infinity Display. It's immersive and easy to ignore the small front-facing camera h*** at the center-top of the screen. It's the best display we've seen on a big phone.
Battery life: The Note 10 has a 4,300mAh battery, and we found that it goes a day and a half with normal use without a problem. Samsung has improved its underlying battery saving tech and it's also equipped its phone with a 25W fast charger in the box and, there's compatibility with 15W fast wireless charging now.
Camera: This is where the Note 10 Plus shines, even if it isn't the best camera phone – it's the camera we had the most fun playing with. Some of that it thanks to the five cameras: four on the back and one on the front. You have the standard wide lens, the 123 degree field-of-view ultra-wide lens, and the 2x optical zoom telephoto lens. But we really liked the selfie camera here thanks to fun filters like Color Point that keep you in color but isolate the background in black-and-white.
Mini verdict: The Note 10 is impressive and certainly impressively big. The S Pen is used for more than taking notes these days, and contains some tricks like trigger a remote camera shutter and a few new gesture controls. These won't sell you on the phone, though. They're nice-to-haves. What will tempt you is that immersive screen and great battery life.
Read our in-depth: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
The best Huawei phone
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.47-inch | Resolution: 2340×1080 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP
Here in the US, Huawei phones are not as familiar to shoppers as Apple and Samsung's best phones. But, that doesn't mean they don't have as much to offer. From Hauwei's Mate line to it's P series, it is making some of the very best phones, and the P30 Pro is is a true champion from the Chinese manufacturer.
Screen: The P30 Pro has a large, 6.47-inch display with only a thin chin bezel at the bottom of the screen and a teardrop notch at the top. It's a sharp OLED display, and though it doesn't have as high a resolution as some others, we'd be hard pressed to see the difference.
Camera: While plenty about the P30 Pro is of flagship quality, the cameras are where it really stands out. Its suite of cameras make it among the very best camera phones in the world. It combines a high-resolution main camera, a camera with powerful zoom, an ultra-wide angle camera, and a time-of-flight sensor to handle depth. This makes it incredibly versatile, capable of taking better long-distance and low-light photos than most other phones.
Mini verdict: If you're after a phone with great looks and a camera that's ready for just about anything, then the Huawei P30 Pro is an excellent option. It also offers a price that stays below a lot of its competition. However, availability concerns in the US hold it back a bit.
Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review