Smartphone Awards 2020

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So, its finally december and a fullstop to the year 2020 and while this might not be great for everybody, its been awesome for tech. We had many launches/unveiling ranging from smartphones to tablets to the new Next-Gen consoles. A bit of disclaimer, the choices below are my personal preferences and what I think might be the best for your buck. So, let’s get into it, I’ve divided the categories into six parts, Budget, Mid-Range, Flagship, the best overall package, the most innovative and the bust of 2020. I’ll be sharing my personal favorite in the end.

Budget(~$400 or less)

The participants for this round are the OnePlus Nord, Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE. I’ll not dive too deep here, if you want to see the comparison just click here, The Midfield Battle. Anyway, for me the Pixel wins the battle because it has the vanilla android with first in line for updates, a killer still camera without any useless 2mp lenses, stereo speakers and its the best of both worlds, the compact form-factor as the iPhone SE and a great OLED display like the Nord. Now, I know that the Nord got a high refresh rate, glass back and faster charging but most people will slap a case on the back, so it doesn’t matter and iPhone SE, in the same category, has got the 5w ultra slow charger in 2020, this makes the 18w decently fast charger of Pixel look pretty good.

Mid-Range($500 to $800)

In the ring for this round are, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, OnePlus 8/8T, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 and the Google Pixel 5. Now, this segment has been the most tricky one, because the S20 FE and 8T are value kings and the iPhones are more of a premium devices. So, I choose the iPhone 12 Mini as the winner, its a massive refresh to see a phone, at this price point, as small as this, with a screen size of just 5.4″, the phone, physically, is smaller than the iPhone SE but has a much larger display. The features are exactly same as the OG 12 but just smaller in size. To read in detail, just click here, iPhone 12 series.

Premium Flagships(~$900 or above)

Now, this is where things get interesting, this is the bracket where brands doesn’t hold back and give us everything their R&D teams can squeeze out of the technology available. The contenders are the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, OnePlus 8 Pro and the Motorola Edge. Now, Apple says that the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets a 47% larger sensor than the 12 Pro but its still quite small compared to the Note 20 Ultra, it still gets a new Sensor Shift Stabilization which can stabilize a footage 5k times per second than the usual 1k times in normal OIS, pretty impressive, but the winner of this round is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra because it has a much faster refresh rate at 120hz, a 9ms latency S pen, much bigger main camera sensor at 108mp and a fast charger included in the box(*last point is just for humor).

The Bust of 2020

This does not come as a surprise, the worst smartphone of 2020 is the regular Galaxy Note 20, while its big brother is best android phone on the planet(if you can afford one), it does not live up to any standards of a $1000 phone. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a better spec sheet and is still cost less. It has a 1080p 60hz display which is exactly the same as Samsung’s own budget smartphone, the Galaxy A51/A71. The back is made up of Plastic, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with plastic but at that price, I would want my phone feel a bit more premium. It has faster S pen than the last gen at 26ms latency but still slower than 9ms of the Ultra.

The Best Overall Value

It was a close call but the best value smartphone of the year is the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. The only two phones in the race were S20 FE and the OnePlus 8T. Both trade blows in features and also cost around the same price. The S20 FE doesn’t support the crazy 65w charging of the 8T but the S20 FE has more pros, it has wireless and reverse wireless charging, an official IP rating and better cameras. The third camera on the S20 FE is a telephoto lens than a useless 5mp macro and 2mp monochrome lens as the 8T. The OnePlus 8T is a bit more premium because it has a glass back but the S20 FE has a plastic back. Both the phones have a 120hz refresh rate and have a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, in the case of S20FE including European regions, too but not India and other international markets.

The Most Innovative of 2020

Most people are saying that smartphones are all the same and boring now, well, Samsung, LG, Microsoft and Motorola has just the answer for you. Last year, Samsung started the trend of folding phones and it caught on fairly quickly. This year Samsung and Motorola is back with their 2nd generation as the Z Fold2 5G and Razr 5G but this year Microsoft and LG also threw their hats in the ring as the Surface Duo and Wing, respectively. Now, all the Fold, Surface Duo and Razr and a folding phone but the LG Wing is a device that I’m out of words to explain the mechanism on paper, basically the main screen swivels revealing half a screen and forming a T-shaped device but it still a 1st gen product, so while being great, developers still need to optimize apps to work with it. The winner is this category is the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G because Samsung really took customer’s feedback on-board and improved it from the OG Fold. It now gets a bigger cover display, shrunk the cut-out on the inner display to just a tiny punch hole, made the inner display 120hz, now it might not be as durable as a mainstream smartphone but seeing that the tech is still improving, I’m gonna let that slide.

My Personal Favorite

As you’ve seen in the above image, its the iPhone 12 Pro, not the Pro Max, just the Pro. Now, there’s a reason why this is my favorite, the flat edges, the cameras and the colors. Apple’s decision to go back to the flat edges really makes the new iPhones feel much more premium plus the stainless steel makes it the durability champ. I know the 12 Pro Max has the jump in cameras but its really not that much and the they both the LiDAR sensor which really helps in AR, depth mapping and low light portraits. I do miss the Sensor Shift Stabilization but considering, both the Pros can shoot Dolby Vision HDR, I’m not too worried. Now, colors might not be a big advantage in terms of use but I’m in love with the Pacific Blue. This year all the new iPhones upgraded to 5G so this plus Apple’s track record of 5-year updates really makes it future proof.

So, that’s been it for the 2020 Smartphone Awards. If you liked any of this above then like, share, subscribe and follow, also follow me on Instagram at scuderiavedang. I’ll be leaving the Amazon links for the winners of each category down below.

iPhone 12 Mini Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G (Mystic Bronze, 12GB RAM, 256GB Storage) Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (Mystic Blue, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) Galaxy S20 Fan Edition Samsung Galaxy ZFold 2 5G

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