Weekly poll: vote for the best new flagship, including 4G, 5G and foldable phones

Peter, 25 February 2019

The major announcements of the MWC are essentially over - in the span of a few days we saw amazing things, including plenty of flagships. We each have our favorite, but we were wondering which one is yours.

Note that we'll include everything from last week, including the Samsung, Xiaomi and vivo announcements. Technically, the MWC starts today, so we're going to be a bit loose with the time frame and include the phones from Wednesday and Sunday.

Let's split things up in three categories: 4G flagship, 5G flagship and foldable phones.

Starting with the 4G entries, we'll pick the Galaxy S10+ to represent Samsung's lineup. Samsung upgraded the screens with HDR10+ and ultrasonic fingerprint readers. The new triple camera on the rear has dual OIS. Samsung also introduced fast reverse wireless charging.

It goes head to head with the Xiaomi Mi 9 whose 48MP triple camera delivers the best video recording (according to DxO). The 20W wireless charging is the fastest in the world, currently. The Mi 9 costs €450, less than half the cost of the S10+, €1,000.

The Sony Xperia 1 brings the world's first 4K OLED display (with HDR to boot) and Sony's first triple camera (also with dual OIS). We're yet to see a price for this one.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Xiaomi Mi 9 Sony Xperia 1
Samsung Galaxy S10+ • Xiaomi Mi 9 • Sony Xperia 1

Nokia 9 PureView LG G8 ThinQ vivo V15 Pro
Nokia 9 PureView • LG G8 ThinQ • vivo V15 Pro

The Nokia 9 PureView delivers some stunning shots with the first penta-camera on a smartphone, not to mention the first to use Light's computational photography ASIC. The older chipset, Snapdragon 845, isn't ideal and neither is the news that HMD will only do a limited production run.

The LG G8 ThinQ does have the S855 chip and it adopts an OLED screen (previously a feature of the V-series). With a triple camera (dual in some markets) and 3D ToF sensors on the front and back, LG has continued to evolve its multi-camera setup.

The vivo V15 Pro eschews the notch in favor of a pop-up selfie camera - the best one yet thanks to its 32MP sensor. The rear camera isn't half bad either, a triple shooter with a 48MP main sensor. The Snapdragon 675 chipset pushes this closer to the premium mid-range segment than the flagship segment.

Best 4G flagship
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Xiaomi Mi 9
Sony Xperia 1
Nokia 9 PureView
LG G8 ThinQ
vivo V15 Pro

Let's do 5G phones next - whether you're convinced that 5G networks (the few that are live) are worth it or not, the 5G-enabled models have other advantages.

Xiaomi delivered the promised 5G version of the Mi Mix 3. As part of the upgrade, the slider phone switched to the Snapdragon 855 chipset (up from the 845), but is otherwise unchanged. Still, at €600 it may be the most affordable 5G offering for a while.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is the best S10 phone, the largest too with a 6.7" screen. It's the first Galaxy in years to improve on wired charging speeds, going up to 25W. This has the camera setup from the Galaxy S10, but with 3D ToF sensors on the front and back.

The LG V50 ThinQ 5G wanted to sneak into the foldable category - a trademark accessory is the flip cover that houses a second screen. Anyway, a Snapdragon 855, larger battery and stereo speakers improve on the V40.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 5G LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G • LG V50 ThinQ 5G

ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G Huawei Mate X
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G • Huawei Mate X

The Axon 10 Pro 5G has a large 6.47" AMOLED screen, though the 1080p+ resolution holds it back a bit. Still, it has a triple camera on the back with a 48MP main sensor and a Snapdragon 855, so it's ready to mingle with the big players. There's no word on price yet, though.

Finally, the Huawei Mate X which will feature in the next category too. This is a strictly "money is no object" phone ($2,600 worth of it), but the foldable 8" screen is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Same for the 55W wired fast charging.

Best 5G flagship
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
LG V50 ThinQ 5G
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
Huawei Mate X

We saved the best for last - foldable phones.

Continuing from what we were saying about the Mate X, it folds down to just 11mm thickness. Not bad at all. Plus, Huawei checked off two firsts with this one - first foldable and first 5G phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is thicker and only has 4G connectivity. While not as attractive, this phone is more practical as it tucks the fragile plastic screen safely inside. And durability is important when we're talking about a $1,980 phone (yes, the Fold is $600 cheaper than the Mate X).

Huawei Mate X Samsung Galaxy Fold
Huawei Mate X • Samsung Galaxy Fold

Note that we've excluded prototypes from these polls.

Best foldable phone
Huawei Mate X
Samsung Galaxy Fold


Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 01 Mar 2019
  • 81X

The punch-hole camera design is worse than a notch because it calls attention to itself by being surrounded by lit pixels, while a notch has a way of 'blending' with the frame in your mind and being dismissed. It's like a stuck pixel on a monitor, o...

Wow. And the proof for all these great claims is???

  • Yeti
  • 26 Feb 2019
  • P%A

Galaxy Fold would have got my vote if they just could have gotten over their obsession with needing to stick a massive array of cameras everywhere resulting in a massive notch on the main screen. I would have accepted a single (s10) or maybe, slim ma...

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