Weekly poll part 1: the best premium and 5G flagships of 2019 so far

16 June 2019
These are the best phones to launch in the first 6 months of this year, but only one can be on top.

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Shui8, 17 Jun 2019When u talks about Samsung has DeX, Huawei has Desktop Mode... moreSamsung has the Note 2 smart dock many years before Huawei.

LG Superfan, 20 Jun 2019Isocell and exmor difference is not something average user ... moreLook I'm not defending LG for having separate models of the G8.
I think its wrong, and I equally hate Samsung's position on it. Especially as someone who's paying to the teeth, knowing that some models are better/worse, it's practically "false advertising" (or exaggerating the truth) which can be interpreted as a crime known as fraud.

Xperia 1 has comfortable 1.5 days of use, when used moderately. If there's anything power-sapping it won't make it through the day. The other flagships are more resistant to this because they have the benefit of larger capacity, it's as simple as that. The Sony device is physically large, there was a lot of space to put in more energy density/battery but they chose against it and sealed it up.

Camera hardware doesn't matter as much for the second, third, fourth, or fifth camera. The main camera unit is the most important factor here. On that front, they all have identical (or equally matched) sensors. It's why the old Nokia phones remained the best for such a long time, the single/main camera was much larger and powerful than regular ones, it's only surpassed because the new small sensors are more advanced at capturing light. In case you weren't aware, Google's computational photography was built upon LG's initial program. So no, getting software updates to improve the camera performance is likely not going to help the G8 but its not going to help the others either. This is the more likely assumption to take, otherwise you risk yourself from having a worse camera than required. Overall, these flagships really are comparable in their photography competence, anyone telling you different is lying to you.

Preference is subjective, as I said before. However there is something as good design and bad design. And it doesn't excuse the fact that the P30 Pro is the more fragile unit which lacks key features.

As I said, look past the logo. Stop focusing on the brand. And judge the phone based on its merits. You will come to realise the LG G8 is a true flagship in the sense of the word, and its up there with the competitors. However, availability is limited (LG has been losing money in its mobile division, like Sony, so they're pulling back support to limit how much money is wasted). On top of this, the LG G8 is undercutting the others on price. I don't know which region your from, because it may not apply to you. And ZTE Axon10 Pro is almost as good as the LG G8, and that's undercutting the LG G8 even further, making it the king of value in the flagship category (I see some upper-midrange devices more expensive than the Axon10).

The Oppo Reno Zoom, Huawei P30, Huawei Mate 20, and the rest in that list are not flagships. They are Upper-Midrange devices. They do not have User Removable Batteries, it's sealed, and they're not IP68 Water resistant. But this category is different from the usual "Midrange devices" because they're including the flagship processor. It was in the footnote as the "2019 Upper-Midrange Qualifier" in case you missed it. The QSD 636 is at the bottom of the Midrange device list, anything slower would be using Cortex A53/A55 small cores. So the Low-End Device list would probably have the QSD 632 at the top, and the QSD 450/625 as the most often seen.

Kangal, 19 Jun 2019S10. Battery life and speakers are still better on the G8.... moreIsocell and exmor difference is not something average user will feel just think about it you and your friend buy S10 you have isocell and friend has exmor the difference in image quality would be barely noticeable now think you buy G8 your has dual camera while your friend has triple camera that sucks right? On top of that you have stereo speakers while your friend has wireless charging or Quad DAC
Now.to confuse things even more there is a G8s which is G8 with tradition earpiece 50mah more battery FHD screen and no front ToF camera
Xperia 1
1.5 days of comfortable use puts it ahead of G8 because X1 has 4k display
Hardware used to be best now its Huawei which has best camera hardware but X1 hardware is better than G8 and a little software tweak is all it need to become.great something which G8 inferior hardware can not overcome unless they work with Google to bring there awesome computational photography
P30 Pro
Everyone has their own preference in design so lets tie it
Official launch price of G8 was $800 (if I remeber correctly) and S10 was $850 now consider all of LG region dependent BS, No support no resale nothing and their poor OLED screen and never ending bootloop issue (though its betting better) it becomes quite overpriced even its far better than S10 or as innovative as X1 or P30 Pro and for half of G8 you can get K20 Pro which is equal if not better and there is Mi9, Oneplus 7 and 7 Pro Honor 20 and 20 Pro all priced below and have something special
Haven't read ZTE Axon 10 Pro review so wont comment on that
LG G8 is a capable device and imo LG couldhave used SD 7xx or 675 and priced it as mid range it would be great
And I dont see how Reno Zoom, P30 and Mate 20 are upper midramge and how did View 20 got higher than Honor 20 Pro
SD 636 is low end now

LG Superfan, 18 Jun 2019S10 has only has region dependent SoC which will not be fel... moreIn my opinion, without considering the prices...
...here's how I would roughly rate the 2019 phones:

Flagships (I think that's all of them):
Samsung S10+ (Snapdragon)
LG V50
Samsung S10+ (Exynos)
Samsung Note10 (if they remove the headphone jack)
Huawei Mate20 Pro (this qualifies as 2019)
Samsung S10 (Snapdragon)
ZTE Axon10 Pro
Huawei P30 Pro
Samsung S10 (Exynos)
SONY Xperia 1
LG G8s-ThinQ
OnePlus 7 Pro (honorable mention, has *some * waterproofing, but has some durability concerns, great phone though)

Upper Midrange (I think that's all of them):
Nubia RedMagic 3
Lenovo Z6 Pro
Redmi K20 Pro
Oppo Reno Zoom
Vivo iQoo
Huawei P30
Huawei Mate 20
ASUS ZenFone 6
Xiaomi BlackShark 2
Honor View 20
OnePlus 7
Meizu 16s
Xiaomi Mi 9
Honor 20 Pro
Honor 20

...ugh, no way there's too many phones in this category!

QSD 855, AMOLED, microSD, Headphone Jack, Stereospeakers, Big Battery, Durable
Kirin 980, IPS, No microSD, No Headphone Jack, Monospeaker, Regular Battery, Fragile

2019 Flagship qualifier:
IP68 protection and/or User Removable Battery, and the best processor QSD 855/Kirin 980/Exynos 9820.
2019 Upper Midrange qualifier:
Best processor QSD 855/Kirin 980, but no IP68 protection or User Removable Battery
2019 Midrange qualifier:
Any processor from the slowest QSD 636 to the fastest QSD 730.
2019 Low-end qualifier:
Basically cheap but functional
2019 Entry-grade qualifier:
Even cheaper and less capable

LG Superfan, 18 Jun 2019S10 has only has region dependent SoC which will not be fel... moreS10.
Battery life and speakers are still better on the G8.
Samsung has region dependant cameras, and there is a difference between the Isocell units and the Exmor units.

Xperia 1.
Has the best efficiency (excluding iPhones), but that cannot make up for the small battery, large display, and big resolution. I've heard many people getting a 1-1.5 days comfortable use out of it, whereas the others are getting 1-3 days use, thanks to that battery.
Probably has the best camera hardware, but the software is not quite there.
This has been the issue with Sony's flagships dating all the way back to the original Xperia Z1, but I must say this latest iteration is their best improvement yet. Still, its the weakest performer between the four, BUT the gap is much smaller this generation than the previous generations.

P30 Pro.
Yes, I already agreed the P30 Pro is overall the best cameraphone. But its not a unicorn, and the gap between it and the Samsung, LG, and Sony is smaller than you think. If you go back to 2014-2016, we had huge differences between the flagships, now not so much anymore. You could say camera technology is hitting a plateau the way display technology did.
The design as you admitted, the P30 Pro LOOKS good, but in practicality it isn't very. Just because usability and longevity aren't factors to you, doesn't mean you can discount them, as its an important factor for most buyers. I would love the chance to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S10 Active, and use that naked without a case, unlike the other flagships.

I don't know what (grey market?) price you're seeing the LG G8, but from the official price I have seen, it undercuts the S10, P30 Pro, S10+ and the Xperia 1, and sometimes by a significant margin. This means while these phones could be equal to the G8, they cannot be equal/better whilst being same price/cheaper. Hence, why I said this is one of the most underrated devices out there. Unless you're comparing say the S10+ on a discount price, compared to the G8 on an upscaled/grey market price, but that's not a fair comparison anyway.

I mean for the price of the LG G8, you have the upper midrange devices like the Oppo Reno Zoom. And in that contest, the LG wins despite being slightly cheaper/same price. What I do know that beats the LG G8 in terms of value, is by only one other flagship, and that's the ZTE Axon10 Pro. The ZTE Axon10 Pro comes in slightly cheaper than the LG G8, has IP68 waterproofing, roughly equal camera performance, better battery life, slightly better display but lower resolution, slightly louder speaker but more distorted, but it lacks the headphone jack. The Axon10 Pro is the secret flagship that no-one's heard of, as its so limited in availability even by comparison to the LG G8, but its definitely good enough to contend with the big boys while coming in at the lowest price of the bunch.

Kangal, 18 Jun 2019First, S10 also has region dependant BS. The battery life ... moreS10 has only has region dependent SoC which will not be felt by average user but G8 has region dependent cameras which will be fealt by average user (who the hell came up with this idea?) and I checked gsmarena battery score both are equal
Audio might be better but loudspeaker on s10 is better (and G8 has region dependeng stereo speakers)
And I have used S10 and its just better designed phone, the look and feel are just great

Xperia 1
Its cameras are comparable to Samsung and better than G8 look at reviews (can't confirm real world because haven't used them)
Battery has to power 4k resolution and gets equal score that makes it better

P30 Pro
Display is worse than Samsung and Xperia (can't say aboy oneplus) but better than LG though lower resolution so I'll agree on tie
Camera is far better than G8 have you seen reviews? It can take great pictures at low light in auto and switch to night mode and its just unmatched and wide angle is better than most flagships it even has autofocus and can capture macro shots and zoom doesn't need explanation
About design I have used P30 Pro and its slippery and fragile but its looks are just great and there are no accidental touches etc and it fits in hand quite nicely for being 6.5" its quite compact and pocketable though G8 flat design is better in handling its cons outweighs pro and design or handling has never been purchasing factor for me

I agree G8 has better protection but its only pro I see

Same here G8 is only available in grey market (same with Xperia 1)
Oneplus invite system was critised because there was no flagship at that price and people can't live without finding fault in something but for G8 price there are equal if not better flagships

LG Superfan, 18 Jun 2019Buil quality is on par, display is ok, cameras are decent c... moreFirst, S10 also has region dependant BS.
The battery life on the S10 is actually behind the G8.
The audio on the G8 (QuadDAC) is better than the S10.
The speakers are worse on the G8 than G7, but S10 is now equal to G8.
But I agree on the display and customer support.
I also agree the S10 looks better, until you use it, and you realise the G8 is the better designed phone. Please do not rely on renders and promotional images from Samsung or Apple.

Now, Xperia 1.
It actually has a worse camera. I know wtf, but you need to try it.
The battery life on the Xperia 1 is noticeably worse than the G8.
I agree with the rest though (display, speakers, region).

And the P30 Pro.
I would say the speakers are little louder, but less clear, so its a tie.
It's display is not as good as the Samsung or Xperia or OnePlus devices.
I would say the display is slightly better, but lower resolution, so a tie.
The camera is the best, but its not that much better than the S10/G8.
I agree with the rest (battery life, charging, region).
...Now for design, its quite subjective. However, the G8 is better. Why?
Because its more compact, the more flatter sides, front and back means its less slippery.
The curved display of the Huawei is similar to Samsung, and you get accidental touches, light glares off the sides, and distortion in the edge of the screen. The curved display is great for renders and marketing, and your first week of use, but it gets overrated and annoying after that, not worth the compromise to the durability. Also the G8 has some drop protection unlike the rest of the flagships. Plus there's no camera bump. On top of that, they're including a headphone jack and a DualSIM/microSD slot. The P30 Pro is the worst design compared the LG G8, Samsung S10, and even the Xperia 1.

I know you're pissed at LG for the limited release of the G8, but don't take out your frustrations on the device itself. It's a very great device, that I'm not buying because I don't have it here in my country (grey market = no warranty). You need to judge the device based on its merits. It reminds me of the day when people used to make fun of the OnePlus One, they couldn't fault the device, so they were venting about the invite system.

However, I do agree with you on the price. The P30 Pro, Xperia 1, G8, S10, and S10+ should all be priced between USD $499 - $699 unlocked. But we're seeing them priced closer to USD $599 - $950, about an increase of roughly $200 (or 30%), and that's a rip-off if you ask me. Not to mention, the price of parts and repair for the phones has also gone up tremendously.

PS: There's the LG V50, and the ZTE Axon10 Pro, also flagship devices you may want to consider.

Kangal, 17 Jun 2019Wrong. The LG G8 is so underrated, it's kinda sad. The bui... moreBuil quality is on par, display is ok, cameras are decent can't compete with other three, loudpseaker is fine, audio quality is average, battery life is poor, display has low brightness is manual mode and average in auto and now consider the region dependent features like camera setup, QuadDAC, stereo speaker and its launch price was not far from S10 so only pro I see is MLT rating
Lets compare with three phone you mentioned
First S10
It has better display
Better cameras
Better batterylife
Better support
No region dpendent BS
Better looks
Better speakers
Better audio quality
Now Xperia 1
Better cameras
Better display
No region dependent BS
Same battery life
Similiar speakers
G8 has better design though
P30 Pro
Better design (possibly the best)
Better display though lower resolution
Best camera
Better battery life
Better charging
Better speakers
No region dependent BS

So yes G8 might be a capable phone its good at everything but netter at nothing its just not up with the best its lacking behind and region dependent sh%t is a major con and does not deserved to be priced higher than $550

  • AnonD-819322

Anonymous, 16 Jun 2019Samsung - overrated, sony - overratedPeople barely praise or review Sony phones.

Kangal, 17 Jun 2019I can't remember who it was (xda ?) but they tested the Wir... moreWhen u talks about Samsung has DeX, Huawei has Desktop Mode since Mate 10.

Sure they both got ups & downs. While Huawei can use it wired or wirelessly, Samsung has to use the deck, causing extra money & hassle of bringing it around, but good thing it works as charger as well.

About One UI, try it, its just not my taste (Bixby, plus my country only has Exynos version). Dont have a single problem using EMUI. Experience it myself, funny that bad things about EMUI reviewers mention is easily solved, with a tweaks here & there, especially its notification & aggresive memory saved situation. Not to say even after more than 2 years, its as fast as day 1. I even customized the launcher as Xperia 1 looks - http://imgur.com/gallery/BQ2D62B

TouchWiz has been known slowing down & lag after long term of usage, so a bit skeptical about One UI. Have to wait at least one year to find out (playing around with S10+ Exynos, minor stutter still persist here & there)

And agreed, Oxygen OS is definitely the most fastest, fluid, customizable freedom i've ever seen. Eventhough it'll be better once root, nahhhh i dont root & unlock bootloader phone anymore, as today most flagship already has almost all of the features without unlocking (also maybe i'm getting old lol). But as overall 'proper flagship' device, Oneplus still not there, & never intended to.

Take 2 blind guesses why Samsungs are at the top in this poll :) LG peers have *guess #1* too, but they also have *guess #2* that quite a few people are annoyed with, to this day ;) (Though I feel kinda bad for the ThinQ range, perfectly adequate underrated phones)

Shui8, 17 Jun 2019- https://youtu.be/SaceWOjSbbs - https://youtu.be/YoSYD_bO... moreI can't remember who it was (xda ?) but they tested the Wireless Charging on Samsung compared to the other phones, and found the Samsung was actually able to pull almost 15W from wireless. The other devices were only pulling around 10W, despite the higher certification. Apple was the worst. I will link the comparison when I can find it.

But overall, I would prefer a faster wallcharger than a faster wireless charger, but that's just me. Besides fast charging doesn't necessarily equate to better battery life, its just another feature-set (so, you could make the same illogical argument that Samsung has DeX which makes it better than the P30 Pro). Although I think the 27W charging versus the 40W charging may have been a deliberate choice/fear on Samsung's part, just like ASUS did for the ZenFone 6.

As I said earlier, Huawei's EMUI OS is quite harsh when it comes to memory management, this is bad for the user, but its good for the battery life. Samsung's OneUI OS is more balanced when it comes to this. And OnePlus' OxygenOS favours performance over battery life.

As for battery life, please do NOT believe Mrwhostheboss. I know he's a good guy, but his tests aren't very precise and not very scientific. Just like his speed tests. I would rather you watch the speed test from PhoneBuff, or even better Gary Explain's SpeedTest-G.

As for trying to find an answer to the battery life question, this is the best I could do:

Me, I'm going to wait for the ASUS RoG Phone 2.
I don't want to buy a Google Pixel 4. Nor the Samsung phones (very fragile), nor do I want to buy Huawei (bad audio). LG is usually great, but they suck at software support, and since they've closed their official tool to unlock the bootloader, they're disqualified. I'm very tempted by the OnePlus 7 Pro for having "some" water resistance, and great display, big battery... but the fragility of that pop-up camera hinders me, and the lack of the microSD and headphone jack just seals the deal. The ASUS RoG Phone 2 may be the only phone in 2019 which has a QSD 855 SoC, IP68 protection, more durable flat glass, microSD slot, headphone jack, and front-firing stereo loudspeakers. Heck I could overlook the ugly "gamer" design of the phone/aesthetics, if it gave me the features I use and want. Also if it has a Stock Android OS (or better AndroidOne), and if it can be rooted then it will be the very best like no phone ever was.

Anonymous, 17 Jun 2019Still a better and more realistic solution than faulty pop-... moreI still prefer the conventional camera setup at the bezel. If not, I choose the motorized/flipped camera over the waterdrop notch camera. I only take a selfie once a year or two, so I will not be using the front camera that much. It means I will be enjoying the bezel-less screen that comes with motorized/flipped ones. But I am also aware that not all consumers are like me, so I respect your opinion.

  • AnonF-85937

Anonymous, 17 Jun 2019really? kirin vs snadragon...SD always wins, so how can hu... moreEasy, a phone is made up of more than just an SoC. Battery Life, Camera etc... Are also important aspects.

The P30 Pro has by far the best Battery Life, with the fastest charging, the best Camera

ProJames-CHM, 17 Jun 2019The hole looks like someone cut through your screen to spy ... moreI understand. To best honest, I still prefer the conventional camera setup at the bezel. And yes, those Samsung flagships are beautiful.

Kangal, 17 Jun 2019No, the Honor phone has a noticeably better battery life th... more- https://youtu.be/SaceWOjSbbs
- https://youtu.be/YoSYD_bO3q8
- https://youtu.be/zYR0ljnsl20
- https://youtu.be/k-NBrsD5zRE

There u go. While both has the 15w fast wireless charging, P30 Pro got the upper hand along with 40w wired charging out of the box. Cant say anything about the S10+ SD855 version turns out as i have no experience about it. But in my country S10+ Exynos version 6gb+128gb is the same price as P30 Pro 8gb+256gb variant. Thats saying a lot.

Agree about the Sony goodness, been used to it but i cant deny that Xperia 1 are still not up to the level of both P30 Pro & S10+. We share the same boat, i dont stick to the brand, but stick to the features provided base on my most needs.

Came from Sony, switch to Huawei, plan to stick with it until next year, see how things turns out. Oh my brother has S10+ Exynos version that i've compared with & thus came with the opinion.

Shui8, 17 Jun 2019100h & 104h is not very far off. If tested various of t... moreNo, the Honor phone has a noticeably better battery life than the Huawei P30 Pro / Mate 20 Pro.

As for the comparison between the S10+ vs P30 Pro.
The Exynos S10+ has a highly-tuned 14nm processor (dubbed "8nm") with a less efficient Mongoose M3 core processor. However, the Samsung OneUI OS is definitely more polished. The Huawei software isn't as polished, but its unusually aggressive on the memory (kind of a cheat though). However, where Huawei has the edge is with the Stock Cortex A76 processor which is more efficient, and it is on the new-generation 7nm node. Despite all this, the P30 Pro's battery life isn't that significantly better than the Exynos S10+ even GSMArena said so. I will give you that the in-the-box charger of the P30 Pro is better than the S10 devices, but then again, they have wireless chargers which are faster, so some tradeoffs there.

Compared to the QSD 855 phone of the S10+, there's no comparison, Samsung easily wins on battery life there. So no, you are wrong here mate.

However, just to play fair I rightfully put the QSD-S10+ in first, followed by the P30 Pro, then the LG G8, and then finally the regular S10-Exynos, and in last place is the Xperia 1 which has pretty bad battery life (if they bumped it up by another 1,000mAh it wouldn't have been so bad).

With that all said, none of these are "bad phones". Sure some lack basic functionality. Most of them are fragile. Others are very expensive. And none of them champion developers. So it all comes down to NOT blindly following any brands, and choosing the best compromises and phone for you personally.

However, if you're talking about "overall best" then the Samsung S10+ (QSD) would easily take it, followed by the LG G8, then a tie between the Samsung S10 (Exynos) and Huawei P30 Pro. I would actually slot in the ZTE Axon10 Pro after that tied with the OnePlus 7 Pro. Last place would go to the Sony Xperia 1. And I'm usually a big fan of Sony (the Z3 compact !!) and OnePlus (Custom Roms on the 3 !!), and I'm quite critical of LG (poor software updates) and Samsung (very fragile). So that's how you know I try to put my own biases aside, and look at the product and NOT the brand.

(Note: the Honor 20 Pro, the Oppo Reno Zoom, and the Xiaomi Mi9 don't belong in this category. They aren't flagship devices, they're actually midrange devices that are more premium. The reason being is that they do not have a User Replaceable Battery AND lack proper water resistance.)

  • Anonymous

AnonF-85937, 16 Jun 2019Huawei P30 Pro - best flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - best 5G really?
kirin vs snadragon...SD always wins, so how can huawei be the best flagship?

Answer to all this is pretty simple.
Xiaomi is the only winner.
Other phones offers nothing extra worth the difference in money.
Samsung phoe is too much overpriced.
Water resistance and curved screen are not worth 600 euros difference from Xiaomi flagship.
And the logo of company means nothing.

Anonymous, 16 Jun 2019S10 plus literally beats xperia 1 in every department. May ... moreExcept it doesn't so stop trolling maybe?