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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

So, its techtember and techober and with holiday season right around the corner, almost every brand is launching their flagships and upgrades to their other accessories, so Google has launched the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G and also the new Chromecast with Google TV and the Nest Audio Speaker. But the main highlight of the show was the new edition to the top-of-the-line, vanilla Android, Pixel 5.

First, let’s talk specs, it has a 6.0″ 90hz OLED display with 1080×2340 pixels and 432 ppi density. It comes HDR10+ certification and for protection, it has Corning Gorilla 6 with aluminium frame all around. It comes with Android 11 out-of-the-box and powering this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip, which I’ll come back in a sec. Like the Pixel 4a, it also comes in one varient of 128GB of storage with UFS 2.1 8GB of RAM.

Now, the Pixels are known for their software and their cameras. So, it has a 12.2MP(f/1.7) with OIS and finally, a 16MP(f/2.2) ultrawide lens with 107° field of view. It can shoot upto 4k@60fps from the rear and 1080p@30fps from the front. The front camera is 8MP(f/2.0) shooter embedded in the tiny hole punch cutout on the screen. It has a 18w fast charger powering the 4080mAh cell with wireless charging and reverse wireless charging to charge your Pixel Buds or something like that. It is also IP68 water and dust resistant.

Now some might say that how’s the Pixel 5, the flagship without the flagship Snapdragon 865+? Well, unless you’re a techie like me or used to the flagship performance then only you can notice the difference but a average consumer would worry about it. The Snapdragon 765G is a great chip, it is the upper-midrange processor and its 5G ready, if you live in that region. The Pixels are the best still image shooter and combining it with an ultrawide angle lens, it will kill its competition. Also, all the radar stuff is gone, so the bezels are very small all around with a hole punch for the front camera and because there is no 3D face scanner anymore, Google gave us back the classic rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It’s really fast and secure than a optical in-display scanner.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that this is, for me, is the best android phone of 2020. Now, please don’t start on that the best flagship android is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, I know it has all the bleeding edge tech with everything twice as premium as the Pixel 5 but it costs twice as the Pixel 5 and if can buy that, I’ll not stop you, it is a great phone but if you don’t have $1300 and still want that pure stock android with best photo shooter, this is the phone. I know the iPhone 12s and the OnePlus 8t are coming very soon but leaks shows that iPhones this year are not going ProMotion with the same notch as the last 3 generations, so this seems a pretty good deal. I did hope for a Clearly White or Purple-ish color but the green, sorry Sorta Sage is quite good

Now, comparing this to the direct competitor, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, which has more cameras, flagship chipset and higher refresh rate. Well, both have their pros and cons, the Pixel will get faster updates but the FE is made from plastic whereas the Pixel 5 is made from more premium aluminium all around. At last, it comes down to personal preference. I say 90hz is a major jump from 60hz but 120h is not from 90hz, so most people won’t notice the difference but I personally would pick the Pixel 5 because of the pure, vanilla, stock android, faster updates and more reliable physical fingerprint scanner along with better low light camera. Also, both phones are priced at $699(~₹51,237).

I’ll be doing a full comparison of the Pixel 5 with the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition and Apple’s latest iPhone and OnePlus’s 8t whenever they come out, so stay tuned for that one. Now, if you liked any of this above, then like, subscribe and share and also follow me on Instagram scuderiavedang.

Its 2020 and people don’t have much money lying around to spend on a $1400 flagship. So, the race to the middle is on, with more and more brands launching $400 mid range phones and they’re quite good.

So far, we have OnePlus going back to its roots with the Nord, Google, after a billion years of leaks, coming with the Pixel 4a and, in all weirdness, Apple with the new 2020 iPhone SE. Now, let’s dive into specs.

OnePlus Nord

So, first up we have the Nord, deriving it name from the direction North, it’s pretty great. It has a great display, many cameras, fast charging and a great packaging. Talking about numbers, for the display we have a 6.44″ FullHD+ 408 PPI 90hz AMOLED screen with a pill shaped hole punch camera in the top left corner. It has edge-to-edge display which is on par with 2020 standards. The screen resolution is 2400×1080 with 20:9 aspect ratio with HDR10+ support.

Now, the cameras, six, that’s right, it has six cameras in total, four on the back and two on the front. The main shooter is 48mp(f/1.8) with OIS, an 8mp(f/2.3) 119° ultrawide, 5mp(f/2.4) depth sensor and 2mp(f/2.4) macro lens, the front has a 32mp(f/2.5) main lens and a 8mp(f/2.5) 105° ultrawide. I said many cameras and not great ’cause they aren’t. The main lens is good, when you give it well lit conditions, it will give you a good and sharp images. Things go south when we check out the other lenses, the ultrawide is good at capturing more into the shot without making you go further back but the sharpness takes a hit, the images are a bit too soft shifting from the main lens and the depth camera is absolutely useless because even if you cover the depth sensor with your finger or anything else, it will still the portrait shot and the macro lens is just bad. Coming at just 2mp, even if you shoot in sunlight, it will struggle to focus and because of that low rez camera, the photos does not have any sharpness.

So what if the cameras not as good but it still has many great stuff. The Warp Charging 30T is fastest charging in its competition. It has on-screen fingerprint sensor which is really fast to unlock along with face unlock which also very fast. Its future-proof with 5g. It does not a official IP rating but it has rubber rings on every opening of the phone. With the 4115 mAh battery, it should last you a whole day but if it doesn’t then the Warp Charge can give it 70% juice in 30 minutes. It is a Corning Gorilla 5 sandwich with metal buttons but plastic frame. It is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which is a pretty good processor for mid range phone and it starts from €399 or ₹27,999 for 8GB+128GB.

Google Pixel 4a

After months and months of leaks and rumors, its finally here and it checks all the boxes while costing $50 less than iPhone SE at $349(~₹25,914). First let’s look at the thing you will look at the most, the display, it is a 5.8″ OLED panel 60hz with 443 PPI and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Pixel’s display is also very 2020 with minimum bezels and a single hole on top left corner of the screen and 2340×1080 screen resolution.

Google’s Pixel is known for it’s still and low light photography even in the budget range and the 4a keeps tradition going with exceptional camera. It has only two cameras, one on the back and one in the front. The rear has a 12.2mp(f/1.7) with OIS and a 8mp(f/2.0) front camera. You expect a ultrawide angle lens but that really, really good camera makes up for it. I shoot many stills and low light photos and it’s really good at that. The front camera is, although a not very high rez but clicks decent shots.

It comes Google’s stock android with a promise of at least 3 years of software updates. It has stereo speakers who quite loud. This time Google kept the Pixel extremely simple with no XL version and only one color, Just Black, and only one storage option at 128GB of ROM and 6GB of RAM. It get a mid range processor I.E. Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, which might not be 5g or a gaming processor but snappy in day-to-day tasks and would not give you trouble. It comes with an 18w fast charger out-of-the-box *Coughs*Apple.

iPhone SE 2020

Apple finally went to the drawing boards and designed an iPhone and 3 years later, we have the iPhone SE. I won’t go in-depth ’cause I already wrote a whole blog on that. If you wanna read that just Click here.

Comparison

Now, stacking them up against each other, which will come out on top?

Display

The OnePlus Nord is the only phone with a high refresh rate at 90hz, the other two are maxed out at 60hz. Both the Nord and Pixel has a OLED screen but the iPhone has a LCD, sorry, Super Retina Display, but the highest pixel density is in the Pixel, but it is very difficult to pick out pixels on the trio. iPhone might be LCD but has Apple has the LCD panels in the industry, you see the difference in high contrast content and blacks of the content. For me, the winner in the display department is the OnePlus Nord, because the OLED display and a high refresh rate.

Build Quality

Breaking down each of the phones, not literally, the Pixel 4a is all plastic build and Google didn’t tried to hide it, which is good, it will not break if it falls off your hand and much more durable than glass. The OnePlus Nord is a glass sandwich with metal buttons but a plastic frame, so it feels more premium than the Pixel but then iPhone SE enters the room with most premium in-hand feel among these, it is a metal and glass sandwich with full metal front and back with aluminium frame. So, the iPhone SE takes this one.

Cameras

Even with the most numbers of cameras, the Nord lags behind the Pixel and the iPhone. First, lemme give you the video specs, the OnePlus Nord can shoot upto 4k@30fps at the rear and 4k@fps on the front. The Pixel 4a can also shoot 4k@30fps at the rear but only 1080p@30fps at the front. The iPhone SE is the only phone which can shoot 4k@60fps from the rear but only 1080p@30fps from the front. Now, iPhone is the only one who does not have a night mode, there’s Night Sight and Nightscape on Pixel and Nord, respectively. Pixel has one more trick up its sleeve, that is the Astrophotography, if you don’t know what that is, if you put it on a tripod and click the shutter button then it captures light in most darkest areas and can shoot the stars clearly. So, in stills and low light, the Pixel wins, but when it comes to video, iPhone takes it home with highest resolution and high dynamic range. The Nord is still not lost, it has the most versatility.

Performance

When it comes to performance, I don’t even have to say who is the winner ’cause the iPhone SE has the chip which runs ahead of both OnePlus and Google flagship, the A13 Bionic is world’s most powerful processor. The Nord has the Snapdragon 765G which is a upper mid range chip and the Pixel has the Snapdragon 730G which totally mid range and should able to handle your daily tasks with ease.

Battery Life

While winning by miles in performance the iPhone lags way behind in battery with just 1821mAh which is lot smaller than Pixel’s 3140mAh and Nord’s 4115mAh, now even though the A13 Bionic is very power efficient processor but the battery is just too small even for that and Apple bundles a whopping 5w ultra fast charger*sarcasm*. The Pixel gets a 18w fast charger and the Nord has the 30w Warp Charger. So, among these Nord wins.

Special Features

Each of these phones has unique to themselves. Like the Astrophotography in the Pixel, 90hz refresh rate in the Nord. So, the SE is only one who has an official IP rating and wireless charging. Both the Pixel and iPhone has stereo speakers. Only the Nord has a in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Now, you wouldn’t be wrong going with any of these devices. Like, if you want OLED screen but not too big, you got the Pixel 4a. You want an iPhone and the A13 Bionic but wanna spend a $1000, get the iPhone SE. You want good value for money phone, get the OnePlus Nord.

If you liked any of this above then, please like, share and follow for more and also follow me on Instagram @scuderiavedang.

Check out the link below, it won’t cost you extra to buy but it helps the blog.

OnePlus Nord