Along with the remainder of 2020, it’s been a wild and unpredictable yr for smartphones. Samsung began the yr by delivery its costliest telephone ever within the S20 Ultra and completed with certainly one of its greatest bargains within the Galaxy S20 FE. Google dropped its flagship Pixel 5 to the mid-range and delivered its greatest design ever, whereas a OnePlus telephone topped a grand for the primary time. Plus Apple shipped its smallest iPhone for the reason that iPhone 5. And all the things got here with 5G on board.
But amid all that, which telephone emerged from the chaos because the champion of 2020?
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is Samsung’s greatest telephone up to now even when it has a barely inferior digital camera and a smaller battery than the S20 Ultra.
OnePlus 8 Pro: OnePlus went all out on its telephones this yr, attacking each the excessive finish and the low finish with extra fashions than ever earlier than. Even with the 8T arriving months later, the 8 Pro is my decide of the litter, particularly at its newly lowered price ticket.
Google Pixel 5: Google did an about-face with its smartphones this yr, however the Pixel 5 remains to be among the many greatest Android telephone, due to Android 11.
iPhone 12: You could make an argument that the $999 iPhone 12 Pro is price the additional cash, however except you’re taking plenty of zoomed pictures, the iPhone 12 is the candy spot.
Note: The Android telephones right here characterize the very best in North America. That means Huawei, which continues to innovate with its digital camera and velocity, and Xiaomi, which had a powerful entry with the Mi 10 Ultra, are out of the working.
iPhone vs Android: Design
The telephones right here won’t fold or swivel, however that doesn’t imply they don’t every have their very own distinctive identities. Their respective wheels most definitely haven’t been reinvented, however every telephone has sufficient little touches to each separate it from the others and lift it above the remainder of the pack.
First, let’s take a look at the scale and display proportions.
Dimensions (listed from largest to smallest)
Note 20 Ultra: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
OnePlus 8 Pro: 165.3 x 74.3 x 8.5mm
iPhone 12: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
Pixel 5: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm
Screen to physique ratio (listed from highest to lowest)
Note 20 Ultra: 91.63%
OnePlus 8 Pro: 90.79%
iPhone 12: 87.45%
Pixel 5: 86.75%
The Note 20 Ultra is unmistakably Samsung, with a large curved Infinity show, hole-punch selfie cam, and really skinny bezels above and under the display. Like earlier Notes, it has a really squared-off aesthetic that makes it appear a lot taller than it’s, whereas the digital camera bump within the left nook is sort of a bit massive and far more bulbous than the opposite telephones right here.
The greatest coloration is the brand new matte Mystic Bronze that’s a cross between gold and rose gold. But you’ll most likely need to put it in a case. For one it’s it’s made completely of glass, and for an additional, its dimension makes it difficult to carry even with two arms. The squared corners, flat backside, and digital camera bump look good, however they mix to create a really awkward and clumsy grip. It’s additionally extraordinarily heavy in comparison with the opposite telephones right here.
Weight (listed from heaviest to lightest)
Note 20 Ultra: 208g
OnePlus 8 Pro: 199g
iPhone 12: 164g
Pixel 5: 151g
The Pixel 5 isn’t simply the lightest on this group, it’s additionally one of many nicest. Google did an amazing job with its newest Pixel telephone, delivering the primary design that doesn’t have huge bezels. In reality, it’s the one Android telephone that I’m conscious of that has common bezels throughout, giving the Pixel 5 a balanced, symmetrical aesthetic just like the iPhone 12.
Otherwise, it’s very a lot a Pixel. The silhouette is similar because it’s been for the reason that unique mannequin, and the sq. digital camera array may be very a lot cribbed from the Pixel 4. With little or no bezel, the selfie cam is within the left-hand nook of the display and largely tucked out of sight.
The Pixel 5 is the one telephone right here that isn’t made from glass, however it’s not fairly aluminum both. The again is roofed in a plastic bio-resin that offers the telephone an odd texture and a less-than-premium really feel. The Sorta Sage coloration is good although and the chrome-wrapped energy backside is a pleasant contact.
The OnePlus 8 Pro might be the least recognizable of the group, however that’s to not say it’s a plain or boring telephone. It has a improbable curved show and is the one telephone on this bunch that doesn’t have a distractingly massive digital camera array. The corners of the show completely match the telephone’s form, and the bezels above and under the display are extraordinarily skinny, giving it a close to edge-to-edge aesthetic that feels nice to carry.
The again is made from glass however it’s frosted so it doesn’t decide up fingerprints as simply because the Note 20 and iPhone 12. The two new colours, Glacial Green (8GB RAM) and Ultramarine Blue (12GB RAM), wrap across the sides of the show and look improbable.
At first look, the iPhone 12 seems to be quite a bit just like the iPhone 11 it replaces, however the delicate adjustments Apple has made are significant. The most evident is the bezel dimension. On the iPhone 11, bezels had been fairly massive at 5.57mm throughout, however on the iPhone 12, they’re simply 3.47mm. The iPhone 12 can be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 11, and since Apple has returned to a “flat” design for the perimeters and the display, the telephone has an aesthetic that appears and feels even smaller than it’s.
It’s additionally quite a bit lighter than the opposite all-glass telephones right here. Granted, it has a smaller display than the Note 20 and OnePlus 8 Pro, however the distinction in each weight and distribution is palpable while you’re holding it. By distinction, the Note 20 may be very prime heavy and whereas the Pixel 5 is considerably lighter, feeling much less like a premium telephone and extra like a plastic price range one. The iPhone 12 strikes a pleasant stability between stability and construct high quality.
The somewhat massive notch stays as does the attention-grabbing digital camera array, however the iPhone 12’s total design is the nicest Apple has produced in years. It’s stable, symmetrical, and classy, and simply stands out in a crowded area of rounded rectangles. As telephones develop into homogenous with big screens and cameras, Apple continues to discover a strategy to paved the way with sensible iterations and character.
Our decide: iPhone 12
iPhone vs Android: Display
Premium smartphone shows have reached the purpose the place they principally all get A+ scores from DisplayMate, so irrespective of which telephone you get, you’re getting among the finest shows ever made.
Before we get into dimension, brightness, and and pixel density, the primary distinction between the Android telephones and the iPhone 12 is show velocity. While the iPhone 12 is caught at 60Hz, the Pixel 5 operates at 90Hz, and the Note 20 Ultra and 8 Pro have 120Hz refresh charges. Higher refresh charges imply scrolling must be quicker and gaming and movies smoother on these telephones, particularly while you swap between 60Hz and 120Hz on the Note 20 Ultra and OnePlus 8T. But Apple does such an incredible job with its show calibration and OS optimization that the iPhone 12 doesn’t really feel noticeably slower than the 120Hz telephones.
The identical goes for the decision. The iPhone 12 and the Pixel 5 each have Full HD+ 1080p shows whereas the Note 20 Ultra and OnePlus 8 Pro have Quad HD+ 1440p shows. (One caveat, nonetheless: it’s good to decrease the Note 20 Ultra’s decision to 1080p to make use of the 120Hz refresh price.) The distinction is negligible. While the Pixel 5 has separate points with coloration saturation and brightness, each shows are as crisp and pixel-dense because the QHD shows, and the iPhone 5 is each bit as wealthy and vibrant. If I didn’t see the spec sheet, I’d by no means know the iPhone 12 has fewer pixels.
Apple won’t have modified the decision for its “Super Retina XDR display,” however it did add a small change that elevates it even additional above the opposite telephones right here. Apple calls it Ceramic Shield and it’s designed to maintain your telephone’s display from cracks when dropped from a excessive distance. I fortunately didn’t have an opportunity to check that, however after a month of use with no display protector, I couldn’t see any micro scratches on my telephone’s display like on different telephones, together with the newest iPhones.
While the entire telephones right here fall into the “large” class, there’s practically an inch between the smallest and the most important. That won’t seem to be a lot on paper, however it makes an enormous distinction when utilizing them.
Screen dimension (listed from smallest to largest)
Pixel 5: 6-inch
iPhone 12: 6.1-inch
OnePlus 8 Pro: 6.78-inch
Note 20 Ultra: 6.9-inch
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra isn’t simply the most important among the many telephones right here, it’s one of many nicest shows I’ve ever used. Colors are vibrant with out being too saturated, pictures are wealthy and shiny (with a peak that touched 1,600 nits), and movies are dynamic and clean. It’s laborious to discover a criticism, besides maybe it’s a bit too large.
The stated, the OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t all that smaller than the Note 20 and it, too, is visually gorgeous. Like the Note 20, the perimeters are curved, and its Quad HD+ 3168 x 1440 is shiny and vivid. It’s shiny and crisp, however I discovered the white stability to be a bit off at instances and I seen a slight purple tint when in comparison with the opposite shows.
And as I stated above, the iPhone 12’s show is exceptional as effectively. But for velocity, readability, brightness, and depth, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra stands alone. Even with 1080p decision, Apple may be very near the Note 20 Ultra, and if the iPhone 13 good points a 120Hz ProMovement show as rumored, it can greater than seemingly catch up.
Our decide: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Next web page: Performance, battery life, and OS comparisons