THE LATEST NEW SMARTPHONES WORTH THE UPGRADE IN 2019
The 5.8-inch iPhone Xs and the 6.5-inch iPhone Xs Max are Apple’s best smartphones to date. They are elegant, luxuriously crafted, and more powerful than any rivals. They also delivers an amazing camera experience. Yes, they are pricey, but it’s well worth it if you can afford them.
The Galaxy S9+ by Samsung is the best Android phone for most consumers available today. It’s sleek, powerful, and it packs one of the best mobile displays in the business. The phone also offers handy features such as waterproof body and wireless charging, among others.
The Moto X4 Plus has a waterproof body with build quality worthy of a higher price tag, excellent performance, stock Android interface, and simply good battery life. If you’re shopping for a smartphone on a tight budget, this is the one to get.
With the best display in the business and more hardware features than any rival, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is hands-down the best big-screen Android phone you can buy. It’s pricey, but its performance and productivity capabilities are unmatched in the Android realm.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL by Google are the best phones for Android purists, thanks to the latest and most advanced iteration of the platform available at the moment, free of any bloatware. The phones have cool dual glass finish, powerful hardware, and the best single camera in the business.
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Please note that all phones included on this list are carrier-unlocked variants. The benefit of buying an unlocked device is the ability to take it with you in case you decide to switch carriers. Even more importantly, when it comes to Android phones, it also means that you don’t have to deal with annoying and performance-reducing carrier bloatware.
Pretty much every phone you buy today will deliver stellar performance and a full day of battery life between charges. When shopping for your next device, consider carefully the additional features that you need the most (e.g. great camera, waterproof body, stylus, stereo speakers, etc.).
We’ve broken down the best smartphones for your needs and budget below.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
Pros: Exceptional design and craftsmanship, class-leading display, industry-crushing performance, superb camera experience
Bottom Line: Buy one if it fits your budget to experience top-of-the-line design, performance, and photos.
- Apple A12 Bionic chip
- 64/256/512 GB of storage
- 5.8- and 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED display with HDR support
- Two 12 MP camera sensors (wide-angle and telephoto) with optical image stabilization, 7 MP selfie camera
- Face ID with TrueDepth camera sensor
- Built-in stereo speakers
- IP 68 rating for water and dust resistance
- Wireless charging capability
The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are Apple’s finest smartphones to date. Available in a 5.8- and 6.5-inch guise, their gorgeous OLED SuperRetina display without bezels is the best on any smartphone. The display panel of both phones is stunning to look at, as well as compatible with Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.
Thanks to its vast 6.5-inch display, the iPhone Xs Max is finally in proper big-phone territory. If you are obsessed with watching videos, gaming, and staying productive on the go, it’s a better option than the iPhone Xs.
The same goes for the A12 Bionic chipset, which is most powerful in the business. Thanks to a vastly improved Neural Engine, it makes both smartphones feel noticeably more responsive than the already snappy iPhone X.
Thanks to their shiny stainless steel frames, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max also feel like a bona fide luxury objects. The phones are available in an all-new gold color, which suits them quite well.
Like the iPhone X, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max ditch the fingerprint sensor for a sophisticated facial recognition setup, dubbed Face ID. Thanks to the updated A12 chip and its all-new Neural Engine, using the feature feels even more seamless than in last year’s iPhone X.
As expected, the dual camera setup of the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max is one of the best in the business. By creating a direct link between the updated Neural Engine and the image signal processor, the latest iPhones can capture vastly superior images with faster focus and enhanced dynamic range.
The phones can also capture amazing portrait images, including with its selfie camera. The latter utilizes the Face ID hardware and the Neural Engine to deliver a variety of cool lighting effects in real time.
With iOS 12 on board, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max offer even more interactive augmented reality apps and games. They can also keep you entertained with seriously fun Memoji, too.
A Closer Look at the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
In line with their price tag, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have a fully waterproof body, fantastic stereo speakers, and wireless charging. Like all Apple products, they also come with the best selection of accessories in the industry.
With starting price tags of $999 and $1,099 respectively for a 64 GB variant, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are really pricey. However, they’re also the most advanced iPhones to date, so we recommend them if they fit in your budget.
In case you don’t want to splurge on an iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs, consider the iPhone XR instead. It will deliver a similar performance and user experiences in a more affordable package.
More: Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max
Best Android Phone
Pros: Fantastic dual camera, amazing performance, sleek design
Con: Slow Android updates
Bottom Line: The best Android phone for most buyers out there.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB of expandable storage (via microSD card slot)
- 6.2-inch QHD+ (2,960 by 1,440 pixels) Infinity Super AMOLED display
- Two 12 MP camera sensors (a wide-angle one with adjustable aperture, and a telephoto one) with optical image stabilization, 8 MP selfie camera
- Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
- Standard audio jack, bundled AKG premium earbuds
- Fingerprint sensor, iris scanner
- 3,500 mAh battery
- Wireless charging
- IP68 rating for water and dust resistance
Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ is the best Android smartphone for most buyers available now. It offers a powerful chipset, a large and vibrant display, a superb dual camera, and stereo speakers. The smartphone also has great battery life, thanks to a large 3,500 mAh battery.
Most importantly, a few months after its debut, the handset is more reasonably priced free of contract than it was at launch. For the time being, this is the only reason why we give the Galaxy S9+ a tiny edge over the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
The most exciting bit about the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is its dual camera. One of its 12 MP sensors has mechanical aperture, which can adjust between f/1.5 and f/2.4, depending on the lighting. Changing the aperture is automatic, though advanced photographers can toggle it manually in pro mode.
Having an aperture as bright as f/1.5 enables the Galaxy S9+ to capture low-light photos with exceptional quality; the daytime photos are predictably excellent, too. The secondary 12 MP camera of the Galaxy S9+ has a versatile zoom lens. Both camera sensors of the phone have optical image stabilization.
The Galaxy S9+ can also capture ultra slow-motion clips at a rather impressive 960 frames per second. You can edit and easily share the videos after you capture them.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset will be this year’s most powerful option for the Android smartphone. Coupled with 6 GB of RAM, it ensures that the Galaxy S9+ will handle any task you throw at it without even a hint of slowing down. You can even pair the smartphone with a DeX docking station and use it as a desktop computer.