September 27, 2020

Top-Ten Best Smartphones of 2021

Are you looking to buy a new smartphone this March that will still be a powerful competitor by the next year 2021?

Regardless of the reason, you’re looking to buy a new phone; whether you want a phone with a better camera, or you want the best smartphone with more powerful processors for work or gaming, or just that you wish to invest in a new smartphone to keep up with the ever-changing technology trends, you need to have accurate information to guide your search for the best smartphone that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Deciding on the best smartphone to suit your needs is not easy considering the wide array of products available in the market. It is even harder to narrow down the list to the product you actually want, need, and suits your budget. This article is written with all these problematic factors in mind to help you make the perfect decision. You will get in-depth reviews of the top ten smartphones available right now.

Granted, the smartphone market is certainly not a market you want to navigate without informed guidance. According to Statista website, about 1.5 billion phones end up in the pockets and purses of end-users each year. Would you risk wading through a heap of a billion smartphones without knowing exactly what you are or should be looking for? In this article, you will get a straight-to-the-point jargon-free top ten best smartphone reviews as of 2021 to 2021.

Although there are other smartphones’ Operating Systems (OS) that powers each phone model, the most popular and more integrated OS are Android OS and IOS. Android OS is simply a mobile operating system that was developed by Google (GOOGL​) to be primarily used for touchscreen devices, cell phones, and tablets. While iOS is an operating system designed by Apple Inc. Apple iOS devices include iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. iOS is the 2nd most popular mobile OS after Android.

Now that we have narrowed down to the two main operating systems powering most of the best smartphones in the market today, we will now review the best top-ten Android and ios smartphones that are best suited for you according to performance, aesthetic, and price.

Best Smartphone Buyer’s Guide: Nine Points to Ponder

If you’re on the hunt for a new smartphone, chances are you’ve got a lot of devices on your shortlist. There are so many different options out on the market today that it can make finding the right one a nightmare. So, let’s take a look at the best Android phones you can buy today that will still be a competitive smartphone in 2021. Below are nine important points to ponder before investing in your new smartphone no matter the OS of the device.

               Build

The build is all about mobile longevity. The entire market for handsets is essentially divided into metal and plastic styles of build. There are even smartphones built with glass-coated panels. Unless you’re one of those susceptible to losing your smartphone, it’s best to opt for a handset made of metal or plastic. These can survive drops from 2-3 feet, while the glass-based handset would shatter for sure.

Storage

If you are the type of phone user who stores a larger number of apps in your handheld, then you should opt for smartphones with 64GB or 128GB storage variants. You also have the option of buying a 16GB model that supports microSD cards as well. But if you are an average phone user without need for extra-large storage space in your phone, you can go for a 32GB storage. Just be mindful that the apps pre-installed in your new phone eat up an ample portion of the advertised storage.

Display

These days, it seems that the bigger the screen, the more attractive. The best smartphone screen and resolution size for you depend on how you use your smartphone. If you regularly stream images, edit photos or images, or download and watch movies, then a 5.5-inch to 6-inch, full-HD, or QHD resolution smartphone display will be good enough for you.

The fact is smartphone displays larger than 6-inch ends up making the device bulkier and difficult to carry around.

If you are a regular user and largely use the smartphone for checking emails, chatting and browsing social media apps, then anything from 5-inch to 5.5-inch HD or full-HD display handsets is perfect.

Camera

If you didn’t know that already, then it’s about time for you to know that more megapixels in a smartphone do not necessarily translate to a better camera. The quality of your smartphone’s camera will doubtless be determined by specifications like ISO levels, pixel size, and autofocus. A 16MP rear camera will not necessarily be better than a 12MP camera. The same applies to both rear and front cameras.

Higher pixel count just means the image size is smaller and is clearer when viewed on a small screen. For quick shots even in low lights, a photography enthusiast may prefer a camera with 12 or 16MP sensors under f/2.0 or lower aperture. Even an 8MP 0r 12MP camera with an f/2.0-f/2.2 aperture will go by for a casual shooter.

Processors

Components like the version of the Operating System, Bloatware, UI, etc, determine the output of a smartphone’s processor. For heavy users who perform online image/video editing, play heavy games, or video streaming on their phones, then smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 or Snapdragon 820/821 is perfect for you.

On the other hand, light-users will be just as happy with smartphones running on Mediatek processors.

Interface

Your phone’s interface is shaped by the Operating System installed. When choosing a smartphone, the user interface and the OS version are also key factors to consider. These are the interfaces you will interact with every time you use your phone, so it should be smooth and fast.

Smartphones like Motorola handsets, Google Nexus / Pixel, or even Android One devices are perfect for the simple and easy Android experience. But there are interfaces such as ZenUI, Xperia UI, Samsung TouchWiz, EMUI and others that deliver more nifty features to organize apps and more style choices that are believed to make users happier.

Battery

Battery consumption varies from user to user depending on how the device is being used. If you’re a heavy user who works on phones, play games, stream videos and more, then your best option is a smartphone with a minimum battery of 3500mAh. If you’re an average or a moderate user, a 3000mAh battery handset will be good enough for a full day ride.

Security

These days, nearly all new smartphones are released with extra security features such as fingerprint sensors or even iris sensors. These are not only about locking/unlocking a smartphone but also about accessing other files, documents or even as password protection for software.

In 2020 and by 2021, a fingerprint sensor will be found even in so-called low-end smartphones. Devices with iris scanners are equally available. It’s preferable to buy a smartphone with these extra security features since most of us lodge personal information on our handsets these days.

Sound

Just like a smartphone’s camera capability, smartphone speakers and the audio output is way up there in importance to some smartphone users. Audio quality is often a significant parameter for those who rely on heavy video streaming or video conferencing. If you are this kind of user, then invest in a smartphone that has front-facing speakers for on-the-go entertainment.

A regular handset with speakers built in the rear of the device should be just fine for users without so much need of streaming media and video conferencing. Those with speakers placed at the back are also fine.

 

The Top-Ten Best Smartphones of 2020 at a Glance

Of course, I’m aware that high-cost and high-spec phones shouldn’t be all there is about smartphones all the time. so here’s a handy list of all the best smartphones you can get on the market right now, evaluating what will really be important to you as currently as this March and as far as in 2021.

PHONE MODEL FEATURES BUY IT NOW!
iPhone 11 Pro Max

 

Weight: 226g

Dimensions: 158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm

OS: iOS 13, upgradable to iOS 13.3

Screen Size: 6.5

RAM: 6GB/8GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 4200 mAh

Front Camera: 32 MP

Rear Camera: 40MP + 20MP + ToF

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
iPhone 11

 

Weight: 194g

Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm

OS: iOS 13

Screen Size: 6.1

RAM: 4GB

Storage: 64/128/256GB

Battery: 3110 mAh

Front Camera: 12 MP

Rear Camera: 12MP Wide-Angle + 12 MP Ultra-Wide-Angle

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

 

Weight: 222g

Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.9

RAM: 12GB/16GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Front Camera: 40 MP + 40 MP

Rear Camera: 108 MP wide + 48 MP periscope + 12 MP ultrawide + 0.3 MP TOF

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Huawei P30 Pro

 

Weight: 189g

Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm

OS: Anadroid 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.1

Screen Size: 6.47

RAM: 6GB/8GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 42OOmAh

Front Camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF

Rear Camera: 32 MP

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

 

Weight: 168g

Dimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen Size: 6.3

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 356GB

Battery: 3500 mAh

Front Camera: 10 MP f/2.2

Rear Camera: 12 MP f/1.5-2.4 + 12MP f/2.1 + 16MP f/22

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Huawei P30

 

Weight: 165g

Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.4 x 7.6 mm (5.87 x 2.81 x 0.30 in)

OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10.0; EMUI 10

Screen Size: 6.1 inches, 91.3 cm2 (~85.8% screen-to-body ratio)

RAM: 6GB/8GB

Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery: 3650 mAh

Front Camera: 32 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm

Rear Camera: 40 MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/1.7″, PDAF, Laser AF

8 MP, f/2.4, 80mm (telephoto), 1/4.0″, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS, 3x optical zoom

16 MP, f/2.2, 17mm (ultrawide), PDAF, Laser AF

 

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
OnePlus 7T Pro

 

 

Weight: 206g

Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm

OS: OxygenOS / Android 10

Screen Size: 6.67

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4085 mAh

Front Camera: 16MP F/2.0

Rear Camera: 48MP f/1.6 + 8MP f/2.4 + 16MP f/2.2

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

 

 

Weight: 210g

Dimensions: 162 x 77.2 x 9.3 mm

OS: Android 9.0 (Pie)

Screen Size: 6.6

RAM: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM

Storage: 256GB 8GB , 256GB 12GB

Battery: 4065mAh

Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0, 26mm (wide)

Rear Camera: 48MP f/1.7, 22mm (wide)

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Weight: 168g

Dimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen Size: 6.3

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 3500 mAh

Front Camera: 10 MP f/2.2

Rear Camera: 12 MP f/1.5-2.4 = 12MP f/2.1 = 16MP f/2.2

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON
OnePlus 7T

Weight: 190g

Dimensions: 160.9 x 74.4 x 8.1 mm

OS: Android 10.0; OxygenOS 10.0.7

Screen Size: 6.55

RAM: 128GB/8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 3800 mAh

Front Camera: 16 MP f/2.0, 25mm (wide)

Rear Camera: 48MP f/1.6, 22mm (wide), 12 MP f/2.2, 51mm (telephoto) 16 MP f/2.2, 17mm (ultrawide), AF

GET IT NOW ON AMAZON

 

The comparison table above provides a pretty good idea of what to expect from each smartphone model. However, let’s give each of these top ten smartphones of 2020 an up close and personal review.

The war between Android OS and iOS allegiance is as old as smartphones and still ongoing. Since you and I are not here for war, then let’s agree not to make any conclusions in this article whether you should go for Android smartphones or iOS smartphones. Both operating systems are powerful and full of impressive features to make life a lot more worth living for smartphone users.

iOS

iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max

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If you have your eye on an iOS device, then the iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max is the best iOS smartphone as of 2021. This is clearly the most advanced iPhone released by Apple so far. If cost is no issue, then the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max is the best high-end Apple smartphone you can buy and be proud to hold up to your ear in 2021.

This phone runs on Apple’s brand new A13 Bionic processor, with a larger battery and several power optimization smarts.

PROS CONS
iPhone 11 Pro sports a new display technology called Super Retina XDR, which offers a huge contrast ratio and enhanced HDR. The new technology also means that the display is energy-efficient by 15 percent which is a big help for battery life. The iPhone 11 Pro is a phablet-sized phone which could be a problem fitting into your skinny jeans or wallet. The large size of the 11 Pro smartphone also means you’re most likely to fumble around trying to use the device one-handed. If this is no trouble for you, then you will be perfectly happy with the product.

 

iPhone 11

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The iPhone 11 is the next big thing for an Apple enthusiast who can’t fork out the extra cost for the tri-camera awesomeness of iPhone 11 Pro. Seeing as Apple products are generally perceived by many as the best in the world, the iPhone 11 proves itself as the cheaper alternative to the best Apple smartphone of 2020.

PROS CONS
Superb dual-lens camera

Blazingly fast

Great battery life

Lovely design and build

Impressive audio

The notch is still enormous, and so are the bezels.

A higher resolution screen would have made it more competitive.

No fast charger. It comes with a meager 5W charger in the box.

No 3.5mm jack, and limited NFC implementation.

The file management and file transfer in iOS are unnecessarily complicated.

The camera photos come out bland.

The ultra-wide camera lacks autofocus and Night Mode.

No zooming telephoto camera.

Cheap build but still expensive Apple phone

                                 

                                    ANDROID OS

Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus

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It’s hard to ignore the S20’s hefty 5,000mAh battery which helps in no small way to keep your smartphone alive for as long as you want it to even with heavy-duty use. It’s hard to find any fault in what the S20 Ultra offers, and it’s hard to find a smartphone in 2020 that’s able to beat it in any of the key departments that matter and will matter by 2021.

It’s also hard to know where to start with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, because Samsung has really gone to town here, from the 100x digital zoom on the rear camera to the huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display you get around the front. It’s the priciest of the S20 models, and it shows both in its premium look and feels and in its performance.

PROS CONS
Huge, super-smooth 120Hz screen

Hyper premium internal hardware

Versatile, feature-packed camera

Ultra expensive.

Underwhelming battery life with a 120Hz refresh rate.

108MP Nonacell camera fails to live up to the hype.

‘Space zoom 100x’ is just for marketing.

Fingerprint sensor performance is way behind the competition.

 

 

Huawei P30 Pro 

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The Huawei P30 smartphone is the best bet for a photography enthusiast who is also a welcomed member of the Android family. Granted there are other smartphones of 2020 touting impressive kits for photography buffs such as Google’s Pixel range of phones, specifically the latest and greatest Pixel 3 XL, as these devices have become famous for their excellent camera systems.

But Huawei P30 sports a finger-licking quad-camera system that mostly outperforms Google’s range of smartphones mentioned above. Don’t forget the phenomenal 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom are unlike anything you’ve used before and allows you to capture photos that you simply wouldn’t be able to get with any other smartphone.

PROS CONS
Amazing camera system

Generous 6.47-inch Display

Fast In-Display Fingerprint Scanner

No 3.5mm audio port

No 4K at 60fps video capture

No stereo speakers

The selfie camera is fixed-focus

Huawei’s NM memory cards are still far from mainstream

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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Samsung Galaxy’s S Pen and 10-hour battery life plus air gestures remain a unique, unmatched feature in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus making the giving the smartphone a singular proposition on the market in 2020. It is a hyper-flagship that transitions from productivity powerhouse to essential creative tool in seconds.

PROS CONS
Perfect size

S Pen functionality

Versatile camera system

Excellent core hardware

Attractive design

No 3.5mm audio jack.

Controversial power button placement.

The in-display fingerprint reader needs more optimization (mostly software-wise).

Only 2x telephoto cam while competitors are already at 3x and even 5x.

The Night mode needs more work.

The ultra-wide-angle camera lacks autofocus.

 

 

Huawei P30

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All things considered, the P30 isn’t coming off as a lesser phone than the P30 Pro. Of course, it may not be as versatile as its bigger sibling, but it has battery life that most rivals are unable to match and a powerful triple camera that takes incredible low-light shots, plus the phone looks good in the process. We would say that would make it a worthwhile proposition.

PROS CONS
Excellent design, sizzling color options.

Fastest under-display fingerprint reader.

Class-leading battery life in the screen-on tests, properly fast charging.

Quality display with high marks across the board.

Flagship-grade performance.

Great image quality overall, some of the best low-light shots money can get you

No proper dust and water resistance.

No stereo speakers, no IR blaster (there is one on the Pro).

While technically the storage can be expanded, Huawei’s NM memory cards are still far from mainstream.

The selfie camera is fixed-focus and there isn’t really 32MP worth of detail in the images.

No 4K60 video recording while everyone else has it.

 

OnePlus 7T Pro

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The Oneplus 7T Pro is arguably one of the best-looking and most feature-packed smartphones that will still be piping-hot by 2021. What with the impressive pop-up selfie camera and fantastic 6.67-inch screen to boot, the OnePlus 7T Pro exudes quality.

PROS CONS
Beautifully well-designed phone

Top-end specs

OxygenOS really impresses

No official IP rating

No 3.5mm headphone jack

Generic-looking front design

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

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The phone’s availability is still comparatively limited, but if it’s offered in your market, it’s certainly worth giving a shot. Oppo isn’t afraid to innovate and do things its way – a risky strategy that has often backfired, but it’s paid off handsomely with the Reno 10x zoom.

PROS CONS
Fantastic and Brilliant design

Excellent AMOLED screen, large and notch-free

Captivating sharp fin notch

Extra-strong battery life, VOOC fast charging

Cutting-edge performance

Overall excellent photo and video qualit

Lack of enhanced water resistance

Missing 3.5mm jack or adapter in the box

Camera UI lacks 5x toggle, which aligns with focal length; you get digital zoom instead

The video recording is limited to the main camera only

No Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support even though the chipset supports i

 

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10

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Samsung built the Galaxy Note brand on delivering the best large-screen smartphones around, but the best thing about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is how delightfully small it is in comparison to the other members of the top-ten smartphones of 2020.

The 6.3-inch Note 10 is one of the most compact big-phones yet, thanks to its nearly bezel-Infinity-screen — and some features Samsung left on the cutting room floor. The Note 10 also boasts many S-Pen upgrades (including gestures), improved video recording capabilities and a new way to mirror the phone on a Mac.

PROS CONS
This is absolutely the most compact Galaxy Note ever.

Bright OLED screen with a small punch hole and razor-thin bezels.

Excellent battery life with fast charging.

Powerful surround-sound stereo loudspeakers.

S-Pen with tons of unique features.

Nice camera experience all-around, great image quality.

High performance, generous 256GB of storage.

The arbitrary feature cuts from the big model are at odds with the Note’s all-out ethos.

No 3.5mm audio jack.

Controversial power button placement.

The in-display fingerprint reader needs more optimization (mostly software-wise).

Only 2x telephoto cam while competitors are already at 3x and even 5x.

The night mode needs more work.

The ultra-wide-angle camera lacks autofocus.

 

ONEPLUS 7T 

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The OnePlus 7 T builds on the handset’s last-gen version with a 90Hz refresh rate screen, some camera upgrades, and faster charging. There are plenty of other small enhancements and all this makes up for a smartphone overall that is more refined and reliable. The 7T is a really strong low-cost flagship.

PROS CONS
Excellent display with strong brightness and great sunlight legibility

Snappy fingerprint scanner

Attractive new rear design

Fast and fluid Snapdragon 855+ performance and fast UFS 3.0 storage

Oxygen OS 10 is more customizable and faster than ever

Warp Charge 30T is awesome

No official IP rating

Missing 3.5mm headphone jack

Unimpressive front design

CONCLUSION

By this time, there is no doubt you’ve already found the smartphone that is a perfect fit for your needs and lifestyle. In that case, can I hear you say, ‘more power to you, Philip?’ Yeah, I hear that. More so, I don’t mind offering you a concluding highlight to help erase all doubt you might have about the device of your choice now that you’ve reached the bottom of this expansive Top-Ten smartphone reviews of 2020 going on 2021.

Any android fan ready to foot the high bill for a smartphone with all the bells and whistles of premium android handhelds, without sacrificing battery life needed to feed all that powerful features and mobile performance, the Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus is hard to beat. For all you Cammy-Snappy folks who are looking out for the best picture quality and camera features to serenade your Facebook and Instagram followers, go for the Huawei P30.

An Apple fan without Apple-Sized cash is not ready to be a true Apple fan. Having said that, the iPhone 11 is a premium 2020 to 2021 smartphone with a premium price tag. Add a little more of that cash and get yourself as happy as a larky with the iPhone 11 Pro Max. For you iOS slave, I say you could never go wrong with any of these two, I promise.

All the smartphones that made the list of this Top-Ten Best Smartphone of 2021 to 2021 are models built to deliver mind-blowing performance and experience which makes it almost a betrayal to pick one over the other. My honest and technical advice is to scan the comparison table above in this article and then make the hard choice of picking one smartphone over the others. I already did the hardest part of narrowing the list down to ten. More power to me, you say? Yeah, I hear that.