Best premium all-rounders 2020 - buyer’s guide
A bit of an arbitrary distinction here - what's a premium phone that can do it all, how does it differ from the true top-dogs, where do the aggressively-priced models that can pass for 'flagship killers' go? Well, we tried to make some sense out of it, so here's our selection of all-around excellent smartphones at premium prices.
Samsung Galaxy S20
- 128GB 8GB RAM $ 775.00
- High-res display, 120Hz, HDR10+
- Triple camera in a compact flagship body
- Tough to match feature set - microSD slot, IP68, stereo speakers, two-way wireless charging
- Fingerprint performance is behind the curve
- Battery life is merely average
- No 3.5mm audio jack
It is quite simple with the Samsung Galaxy S20 and choosing it as the best in this category - it is a current flagship with a price tag of an upper mid-ranger. You get the premium screen, the top of the line chipset, the stereo speakers - we are talking the ultimate hardware package on what it seems unbeatable price at the moment. It shares almost all the goodies with the big boys.
Unfotunatley, it also shares some of their shortcomings of the top-tier Galaxies, too. Its fingerprint sensor is hard to love (or tolerate, depending on who you are). The latest Samsung chip gets really hot under load and the CPU throttles considerably eventually. Finally, the battery life is quite unimpressive for a 4,000 mAh battery.Read full review
- Awesome display - 90Hz, very bright, can be quite accurate too
- Great battery life, 30W Warp fast charging
- High-end internals, performance-oriented thermal policies
- Very capable camera overall, ultra wide has autofocus too
- No official IP rating
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Single color option
Our previous editor’s choice in this category, the OnePlus 7T is good in so many areas that we can't stop recommending it.
It is no longer the champ in this category, sure, dethroned by the Galaxy S20, but it still remains among our top picks for an almost-flagship - a premium device with a lot of the makings of the high-end models, but not quite as all-out. As such, it's missing few things from the 7T Pro - most notably the 3x telephoto, opting for a standard 2x instead. In any case, all three cams on the 7T are bound to leave a smile on your face.
Then there's the OP7T's awesome 90Hz display with high brightness and great color accuracy. Battery life is also robust and the 30W Dash charging is plenty fast. It also comes with a Snapdragon 855+ which was Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line offering last autumn, and you'll be able to enjoy its performance over long periods thanks to OnePlus' relaxed throttling policies. Software updates are one of the fastest in the industry too and the UI runs silky smooth.
The 7T keeps some of the Pro's drawbacks also - it's missing official ingress protection, a headphone jack, and a microSD slot. And if you like being spoilt for choice when it comes to colors, the OnePlus 7T doesn't quite cut it - it only comes in a single color option.
The OnePlus 8 is already around but the 7T still remains a solid – if not the better - option. But hurry up as older OnePlus models are only sold while stocks last once the new model is released.Read full review
Apple iPhone 11
- Robust design with improved resistance to the elements
- The chipset is among the most potent on the market
- Excellent battery life, fast charging support
- Very good image quality, Night mode is pretty capable, selfies are great too
- Class-leading video quality and stabilization
- Unchanged looks, huge notch, thick bezels
- Low-res screen, particularly for the asking price
- 5W charger in the box is an insult
- No telephoto camera, ultra wide cam lacks autofocus
No high-end phone with any amount of self-respect can be seen with a 5W charger in the box, except the iPhone 11. It's also on the bottom of the list when it comes to pixels on a screen per dollar spent, plus it's one of the most expensive phones with an LCD. It's not exactly a looker either, sporting a dated design made even less premium by the thickest of bezels.
Ah, but the iPhone 11 has a lot going for it if you look past all that. If you don’t count the ultra compact iPhone SE 2020, the iPhone 11 is the most affordable of this year's Apple crop. You get a beast of a chipset, industry-leading video recording quality, and Night mode, albeit with one camera short of the Pros. The superb battery life can't hurt its case either.Read full review
Huawei P30 Pro
- Great battery life, speedy top-ups
- 5x periscope tele is the longest around, AF on the ultra wide cam
- Excellent image quality, day and night
- No stereo speakers
- No 4K60 and overall non-competitive video recording
While Huawei launched the so-called Huawei P30 Pro New Edition with faster storage and RAM, we are feeling it is charging extra for the wearable "freebies". That's why we are including its regular P30 Pro version, about €200 cheaper than the New one at €550. It has an excellent OLED screen, flagship-grade hardware even one year later, and of course, and its Leica camera is still one of the best around.
Indeed, the P30 Pro takes superb photos with all its cameras and in all conditions. It gets points for having the longest telephoto camera on the market, and an autofocusing ultra-wide, which the big names are yet to come up with. The P30 Pro can also last a lot on a single charge and doesn't waste time topping up either.
The P30 Pro was updated with Android 10 and EMUI 10 and all Google Services are available. You will not lose the GMS on this phone no matter what happens between USA and Huawei war. But Android 11 update is looking hardly unlikely, at least not if Google has to say anything about it.
This phone does have its shortcomings too – like the lack of stereo speakers or the less-than-impressive video recording capabilities.Read full review
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
- 256GB 8GB RAM $ 1,206.00
- It's a compact and very much usable flip phone, nostalgia points
- Well-executed folding display
- Flagship camera
- Snapdragon 855+ chip is ideal for everything
- Galaxy Concierge Premier customer care
- Average battery life
- Screen is susceptible to scratching
- Still too expensive
Well, the Galaxy Z Flip didn't make the cut as a full-featured contender on this list, but it is a unique device. It’s a premium all-rounder nonetheless too and we've grown to like in spite of our adventures during the review process. It is one small and powerful phone, with excellent performance and camera, gorgeous build and screen, and its foldable design takes us back to another era (or the future, depending on how you look at it).
The hardware specs of this phone are not flagship-grade but are still well rounded and would not leave you wanting for much else.
The folding screen is the centerpiece of this device, but it’s also its weakest point. The repairs aren't a piece of cake with this phone, even with the Premium service that comes with the phone. Finally, the Z Flip is quite expensive despite its caveats, but can you really put a price tag on the unique form factor? Apparently, yes!Read full review
Best phones by category
I agree. Don't understand how the s10 made it but not the Note 10 plus. Looks like someone fell asleep
- 07 May 2020
How could they exclude lg g8x
- 07 Jan 2020
Im so glad they put p30 pro on the list. Finally something innovative. Yeah recording sux. But you have so much options to record video, you can blure it and its 200 times better then note 10! As for google i dont know.. im in dilemma my self shall i...
- 28 Dec 2019