Best smartphones of 2020 - buyer’s guide

GSMArena team, Last updated 1 December 2020.

Last updated: Jan 05, 2021

Welcome to the always-up-to-date GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide where we round up the best smartphones you can buy.

You will find the different categories of phones below with our top pick as a highlight. Click on the category to see the other suggested options.


Flagship phones Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Specs

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra gathers all the cutting edge tech Samsung can offer to the public, short of a foldable screen. The latest in the Note lineup has a superb display, great battery life and a very capable tri-set of cameras. But it's the S Pen that makes it a unique proposition for any type of creative use as well as general note-taking.

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Flagship killers Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Specs

Samsung itself is doing some flagship killing with the Galaxy S20 FE (for Fan Edition). It comes with a 120Hz Super AMOLED display, bringing a flagship-grade refresh rate to the masses. It's also the easiest way to get a Snapdragon version of a mainstream Galaxy (Folds don't count) in Europe by getting the 5G variant. We measured top-class battery life and we were also really happy with the camera output.

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Camera phones Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra isn't just the best Galaxy or the best Note on the market. It also packs the absolute best Samsung camera and that triple arrangement on the back offers spectacular photos. The big sensor on the main camera gives it an advantage in challenging light. That telephoto offers a proper 5x optical zoom and excellent image quality, too.

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Gaming phones Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS

Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS

Specs

The ROG Phone 3 took everything that made the ROG Phone II great and elevated it further. On the surface, it is still, very-much the same phone, even maintaining nearly identical dimensions. That’s an entirely deliberate choice, since Asus successfully managed to maintain compatibility with the already industry-leading accessory ecosystem of the ROG Phone II.

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Battery life champions Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro

Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro

Specs

Our top pick for a battery life champ remains the Poco F2 Pro for being one of the most powerful smartphones and the most dependable performer when it comes to battery life.

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Compact phones Apple iPhone 12 mini

Apple iPhone 12 mini

Specs

We sure thought Apple was done with the small iPhones this year after the new iPhone SE premiere. Yet, Apple managed to surprise us with a proper mini flagship with no missing features. Indeed, the new iPhone 12 mini is a smaller version of the iPhone 12 and it's lost nothing.

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Premium all-rounders Motorola Edge

Motorola Edge

Specs

The Motorola Edge is our new to pick in this niche category. It is a premium all-rounder however you look at it - the curved OLED screen has 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10 support. The Snapdragon 765G is great for gaming and multimedia and will not disappoint anyone in terms of speed and performance.

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Midrange all-rounders (up to €300) Realme 7 5G

Realme 7 5G

Specs

The Realme 7 5G is among the cheapest 5G phones priced at around €300 and it is our new top suggestion. It offers a large LCD screen with 120Hz refresh rate and runs on the Dimensity 800U 5G chip that provides decent performance. You can also rely on a pretty good quad-camera on the back. And the battery life is pretty amazing, too.

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Midrange all-rounders (up to €250) Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

Specs

There is no better mid-ranger than the Poco X3 NFC if your budget is around the €250 mark. The phone offers unbelievable bang for the buck - you get a large 120Hz display within a splash-proof body, snappy performance, a very good (mid-range) quad-camera, and pretty amazing battery life.

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Midrange all-rounders (up to €200) Realme 6

Realme 6

Specs

Our new top pick for this under-€200 mid-range category is the Realme 6. Its price has already dropped to some bargain numbers and it is easily the most feature-rich phone you can buy for as low as €170. The Realme 6 is better suited that many more expensive mid-rangers - it offers a 6.5" 1080p screen with 90Hz refresh, there is gaming-capable Helio G90T chipset and 4GB or 6GB of RAM.

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Entry-level phones Xiaomi Redmi 9

Xiaomi Redmi 9

Specs

Our top pick to buy in the most affordable category is the Redmi 9. It is a great budget smartphone with a large 6.53" 1080p screen and powerful enough Helio G80 chip. It has four cameras on its back - wide, ultrawide, macro and depth.

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Best phones by category

Reader comments

Yeah, enjoy your notches and no headphone socket! :P Only phone worth considering is the Sony Xperia 1 II.

  • Anonymous

I don't think s20 fe is flagship killer it's more like a high end

nokia 3310 would win ALL THE TIME lol