The best smartphone of 2019: 15 top mobile phones tested and ranked

Our best smartphone list brings you 15 of the best phones available right now, but if you already have your mobile OS alliance set you'll want to check out either our best Android phone or best iPhone ranking.

If what's on offer in our best smartphone list is a little too pricey for your taste, then don't fear, as we've also got a list of the best cheap 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. 

And now there's another new entry to our best phone list, with the OnePlus 7 Pro claiming a coveted spot in our 15 top smartphones rundown.

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.

Still here? Still thinking about which phone to go for? Don't worry… there are 15 excellent options to choose from.

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.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus deals

Best Android Phone

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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 colorful 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. 

Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review
Price comparison: The best Huawei P30 Pro deals

Samsung Galaxy S10

Image Credit: TechRadar

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. 

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10 review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy S10 deals

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.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review
Price comparison: The best Huawei Mate 20 Pro deals

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.

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 deals

Best phone

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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.

Read our in-depth iPhone XS review
Price comparison: The best iPhone XS deals

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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.

Read our full Huawei P30 review
Price comparison: The best Huawei P30 deals

Image Credit: TechRadar

OnePlus has grown up, and the OnePlus 7 Pro is the first fruit of its new-found maturity with a heap of features, plenty of power and yes, an inflated price tag over what we've come to expect from the 'affordable flagship' provider.

That said, the OnePlus 7 Pro is still cheaper than the top phones from Samsung, Apple, Sony and Huawei, so it's not going to break the bank – and with it's pop-up camera party trick and glorious all-screen design there's a lot of love.

Screen: There's a whole lot of screen on the OnePlus 7 Pro, with the 6.67-inch QHD display free of notches, punch-hole cameras and any over-sized bezels. The front of the phone is pretty much all screen and it looks great, with a colorful punch thanks to the AMOLED panel.

Battery life: We found the OnePlus 7 Pro could last more than a day on a single charge, which is great news and something not all handsets in our best phones roundup can boast.

Camera: There's a triple camera setup round the back of the OnePlus 7 Pro, with Sony's 48MP sensor your main snapper, but with telephoto and wide-angle secondary options too. It's a solid snapper, but it doesn't quite challenge the likes of Google's Pixel 3 range. However, there's something fun on the front – not that you can see the front-facing camera. That's because it's hidden in the body, and pops out of the top of the phone when required.

Mini verdict: The OnePlus 7 Pro is closer to delivering everything you want from a flagship phone than any previous OnePlus handset – while still being able to undercut the big-name competition.

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review
Price comparison: The best OnePlus 7 Pro deals

Image Credit: TechRadar

If you're looking for a the best camera phone on the market, look no further. The single rear snapper on the Google Pixel 3 XL (and the smaller Pixel 3) is the best we've come across.

You also get a big screen, decent battery life and plenty of power under the hood, making the Google Pixel 3 XL a great all-round flagship smartphone.

Screen: It's hard to ignore the 6.3-inch display which dominates the front the of the Google Pixel 3 XL, but it still offers a chin bezel providing space for one of the two stereo front facing speakers. The QHD resolution and HDR support ensure everything looks great, but the notch is a little ugly.

Battery life: The battery life on the Google Pixel 3 XL exceeds many of its rivals, comfortably lasting a day on a single charge, and sometimes getting halfway through the next too, depending on your usage.

Camera: You may only be getting a single camera on the rear of the Pixel 3 XL, but do not under-estimate it. The camera here is capable of producing some simply staggering results, making shooting great photos easy and fun.

Mini verdict: The Google Pixel 3 XL marries the best camera phone we’ve ever tested with a sizable OLED screen. It’s the right fit for people who don’t mind the notch cut out at the top and have already adjusted their grip for bigger smartphones in the past.

Read our in-depth Google Pixel 3 XL review
Price comparison: The best Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL deals

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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.

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10e review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy S10e deals

Image Credit: TechRadar

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.

Read our in-depth iPhone XS Max review
Price comparison: The best iPhone XS deals

The Honor View 20 is the best phone to come out of the Chinese brand, with a striking rear design (which may divide opinion), plenty of power under the hood, an impressive 48MP camera and a 'punch-hole' display which ushers in the post-notch revolution.

However, we're sad to say, it now comes with a huge caveat. After Google suspended parent-company Huawei's future access to Android Play Store and security updates, there are serious question marks over the future of Honor 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: There's a huge 6.4-inch display on the View 20, giving you plenty of space to play with. It's the location of the front-facing, 25MP camera within the screen which is the real talking point though, as rather than appearing in a bezel or a notch which juts into the screen, it's surround by screen. It's different, but will it catch on?

Battery life: The Honor View 20 has a big 4,000mAh and the result is a battery which will comfortably last through an entire day and into the next on a single charge.

Camera: The View 20 is the world's first smartphone to boast a 48MP rear camera, as the firm has used Sony's new sensor to provide a camera which really packs a punch.

Mini verdict: An ultra-high-resolution camera and punch hole screen are the highlights on the Honor View 20, and they set a standard this year’s more expensive phones will need to match.

Read more: Honor View 20 review
Price comparison: The best Honor View 20 deals

The price of flagship phones are rising every year, but you don't need to pay top dollar for a top-notch experience.

OnePlus offers flagship phones at a lower price point and while its first few handsets didn't trouble the established names, its more recent efforts have really pushed the likes of Samsung, Apple and co. 

The OnePlus 6T is the firm's best flagship offering yet, with a host of high-end features and a price tag which is comfortably lower than the competition.

Screen: This may be a "cheap" flagship phone, but you still get a huge 6.41-inch AMOLED display providing colorful, bright and punchy images. It may 'only' have a fill HD resolution – and there's a notch at the top – but for the price it's difficult to knock.

Battery life: OnePlus has increased the size of the battery in the 6T over the 6 it replaces, and that's resulted in improved battery life with the handset easily lasting a full day on a single charge.

Camera: There's a dual camera setup on the rear of the OnePlus 6T, and while it doesn't reach the same heights as the Google Pixel 3, Huawei P20 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S9, when you consider the price it's still an accomplished offering.

Mini verdict:  The OnePlus 6T is a good-looking and powerful smartphone that can compete with handsets from the larger and more established brands on the market while undercutting them in price.

Read more: OnePlus 6T review
Price comparison: The best OnePlus 6T deals

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The Google Pixel 3 is the smaller sibling to the Pixel 3 XL, with a smaller screen and battery, but the same power and excellent camera under the hood.

This is a great handset for those looking for a top-flight phone that can be used comfortably with one hand (although those with smaller palms may need both still).

Screen: At 5.5 inches, the screen on the Google Pixel 3 isn't exactly small, but it's one of the smallest in this list of the best smartphones. The full HD resolution isn't quite as sharp as its larger sibling's QHD panel, but it still looks great.

Camera: You get the same camera here as you do on the Pixel 3 XL, and that's great news as it's one of the best smartphone snappers we've ever tested. It's easy to use, extremely powerful and produces excellent shots.

Battery life: The Google Pixel 3 battery life isn't as impressive as the larger Pixel 3 XL which has a bigger power pack. It should give you a day of use, but don't expect for than that.

Mini verdict: If you're looking for a compact flagship smartphone with a class-leading camera experience the Google Pixel 3 is the best phone for the job.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 review
Price comparison: The best Google Pixel 3 deals 

Image Credit: TechRadar

The iPhone XR (pronounced 'ten R') is a cheaper smartphone from Apple aimed at opening up its mobile range to more consumers, with a range of colors, premium design and still a decent slug of power under the hood.

While it doesn't cost as much as the XS or XS Max, the iPhone XR isn't a cheap phone – it's just more affordable than the other two new iPhones.

Screen: The iPhone XR may be the cheapest of Apple's three new iPhones, but it sits in the middle of the trio in terms of screen size with its 6.1-inch display. This provides lots of space for movies and games, although its resolution is under full HD. 

Camera: The camera on the iPhone XR doesn't hit the same heights as its XS siblings, and portrait mode is a little lacking, but it still offers up the same intuitive Apple interface and an auto mode than makes the best of most scenarios.

Battery life: The shining light for the iPhone XR is its battery life. If you're looking for an iPhone with great endurance, this is it, with the XR easily lasting a full day on a single charge.

Mini verdict: The iPhone XR is one of the best handsets Apple has ever made, and that's mainly down to the excellent battery life.

Read more: iPhone XR review
Price comparison: The best iPhone XR deals

You're at the end of our best smartphone 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 deals page.

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Source: techradar.com

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