In 2020, the biggest smartphone makers are again releasing new phones one by one, but the 2019 models are still good. Samsung has the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy M21, Apple the iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Pro, and there are top smartphones like the PocoPhone F2 Pro and the OnePlus Nord. We list the best smartphones of 2020 that you can buy now.
The winner: Apple iPhone 12Price from € 909,-
Colors Black, White, Red, Green, Blue
OS iOS 14.1
Screen 6.1 inch amoled (2532x1170)
Processor hexacore (Apple A14 Bionic)
Storage 64, 128 or 256 GB
Camera 12 megapixel dualcam (rear), 12 megapixel (front)
Connectivity 5G, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
Format 14.7 x 7.2 x 0.7 cm
Weight 164 grams
Other Lightning, esim
Website www.apple.com/nl 9 Score 90
- User friendly
- Low battery capacity
- Basic storage memory
- No audio connection
The best smartphones of 2020
- Apple iPhone 12
- Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
- OnePlus North
- Fairphone 3 Plus
- Moto G 5G Plus
- Samsung Galaxy M21
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra
- Xiaomi PocoPhone F2 Pro
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
- Apple iPhone SE (2020)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
This article will be updated as we get our hands on more smartphones. So check the list regularly!
Apple iPhone 12
The predecessors of the iPhone 12, the iPhone Xr and iPhone 11 seemed deliberately understated at some points to make the iPhone X and iPhone 11 Pro (respectively) more interesting. Especially with the screen. Something you can't talk about well with a smartphone worth about a thousand euros. The iPhone 12 is (finally) equipped with a full-HD OLED screen, which can rightfully compete with the best. The same can be said about the dual rear camera and the chipset that puts all Android competitors at a great distance in terms of performance, as well as future-proofing your smartphone due to 5G support. The fast and long-lasting update support from Apple are also still points that the competition just can't seem to get along with.
There are, however, a few concerns. For example, the basic storage memory is too low and the battery capacity is simply too small. You may get through the day on a charged battery, but due to the limited capacity, it will wear out faster, which means that you are looking at an unnecessarily expensive repair. Apple also still chooses to equip its smartphones with a hopelessly outdated Lightning connection instead of USB-C and there is no longer a power strip in the box to connect the cable to. For environmental reasons, Apple said. But because the smartphone is assembled under appalling conditions in a Chinese factory and it is easy to earn money from adapters, that argument is not convincing.
Nevertheless, you can also charge the new iPhone 12 wirelessly, for which a new MagSafe system has also been designed. You click this magnetically on the back of your iPhone 12, or on the case to charge the smartphone. Actually, the iPhone 12 as a smartphone is so good that you seem crazy to put down more money for the Pro version. The iPhone 12 has a nice size, which is not particularly large. But if smaller is nicer for you, you can also consider the iPhone 12 Mini. This smartphone is slightly cheaper and equivalent on almost all fronts, only the battery is even smaller. Keep that in mind. Especially if you use 5G, the already small battery is heavily loaded.
Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC
Xiaomi's Poco sub-brand makes a big impression when it comes to value for money. The Poco X3 NFC has a suggested retail price of 299 euros, but can be found for about a hundred euros cheaper. The smartphone is equipped with a particularly large battery, a large screen with a high refresh rate (120 hertz) and a high-quality chipset with more than sufficient working and storage memory. In addition, there is a pleasant fingerprint scanner in the on-off button.
Of course, in this price range, not everything can compete with the most expensive smartphones. The camera, for example, on paper three lenses sounds impressive. But that is only pleasant in terms of functionality, you will not take high-quality photos with it. Especially if you switch to the zoom or wide angle camera. It speaks for the device, Xiaomi wants to offer the user as much as possible. We already mentioned the 120 hertz screen panel (Full-HD LCD), there is a headphone port and even an infrared light with which you can also use your device as a remote control. However, it is the long battery life in combination with a super-fast USB-c charger that leaves the biggest positive impression.
However, you notice when you turn on the device how a smartphone like the Poco X3 NFC can be so cheap. What Xiaomi is doing to Android is not good. How it looks is a matter of taste. But the Miui shell that is placed over Android is cluttered with advertising and data collection. Fortunately, Xiaomi devices are (for Android terms) supported for a relatively long time.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The offer within the Galaxy S20 series is somewhat confusing. At the beginning of 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra appeared. In the autumn this was supplemented with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition), which probably did not get its name because 'fans' are waiting for an extra S20 version, but because it tastes better than a Galaxy S20 Lite. To complete the confusion, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE comes in two versions: a 4G version with Exynos 990 chipset and a 5G version with a Snapdragon 865. In this overview we are talking about the 5G version of the Galaxy. S20 F.E. The smartphones have suggested retail prices of (respectively) 649 and 749 euros, but those prices have already fallen considerably in practice. And that's a good thing. The smartphone is very good, but certainly not in relation to the suggested retail price.
You notice that the FE version is cheaper than the other Galaxy S20 versions, especially in the plastic design. The advantage of plastic, however, is that the device has a pleasant weight and that the back does not break or crack in a fall. The cameras and computing power have also been scaled back slightly, but still of impressive quality. As you are used to from Samsung, the image quality of the OLED screen is also impressively good, although it does not have a higher refresh rate. An audio connection is also missing.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has come out with Android 10, which is crazy. Because at the time of release, Android 11 was already available for a long time. An update is coming. Samsung provides its smartphones with version updates for three years. Samsung's Android skin looks nice, but it is overflowing with bloatware from Microsoft and Facebook, among others. The smartphone is also packed with Samsung apps, the majority of which you probably do not use, including Bixby (which is not available in Dutch and is therefore only useful to a limited extent).
OnePlus made a name for itself by making good smartphones that could compete with the top devices from Samsung and Apple, but for half the price. That time is long behind us, as are the sales highlights of OnePlus. With the OnePlus Nord, the Chinese smartphone maker returns a bit to its early days, with a powerful smartphone that is available from 300 euros. To be honest, that is also OnePlus at its best and the OnePlus as we like to see it.
The OnePlus Nord appears in two versions, one of 300 euros and a version that is one hundred euros more expensive and has more working and storage memory. Pay close attention to which version you choose, because unfortunately you cannot expand the storage memory with a memory card. Whichever version you choose: the device runs very smoothly. This is due to the good specifications, but also the screen that has a high refresh rate of 90 hertz. With the arrival of 5G, which is also supported by the OnePlus Nord, you have even more speed at home. The OxygenOS software shell of OnePlus is well developed, which also contributes to a smooth operation of the device. Although OnePlus is slowly but surely starting to renounce this, Facebook bloatware is suddenly present and background processes are truncated just a bit too rigorously.
The OnePlus Nord has a lot to offer, we have already mentioned the beautiful screen and powerful specs. But the camera setup at the back is also interesting. The regular camera takes the best pictures, but you can also switch to the macro or wide-angle lens if that offers a better composition. The downside is that the headphone port (as well as sensible argumentation why) is missing. This makes the OnePlus Nord one of the few devices in this price range. It is also good to know that OnePlus' update support is declining at the time of writing. Keep a close eye on these developments before you consider purchasing a OnePlus Nord.
Fairphone 3 Plus
Anyone who cares a bit about the well-being of people and the environment will quickly become depressed by the smartphone industry. Smartphones are disposable devices that have a short lifespan due to planned obsolescence (moderate update policy and delay) and making repairs unnecessarily impossible or expensive. Fairphone tries to make a different sound, the manufacturer is the only smartphone maker that does not have its devices manufactured under appalling conditions and that takes repairability into account when designing the smartphones. Suppliers, and you as a user, receive a fair price. Fairphone also wants to prevent the device from becoming obsolete after a short time with long-term update support.
The differences between the Fairphone 3 Plus and its predecessor, the Fairphone 3 are not very big. The camera has been improved a bit and more recycled plastic has been used for the housing. However, in terms of computing power, screen and camera, you are not ahead of the curve with a Fairphone 3 Plus. The design is also less attractive due to its repairability.
The Fairphone 3 Plus runs Android 10, to which little has been added. That is a big plus, and it also makes it easier for the developers to support the Fairphone for as long as possible. It is intended that this will take about five years and you can expect an update to Android 14 in any case. Should a part break (or need an upgrade) in the meantime, such as the screen, the back, the camera or the battery. Then you can easily order these parts from Fairphone, and even someone with two left hands can perform this repair.
Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
Since the summer of 2020, the 5G networks have finally been turned on. At the moment 5G offers a nice bit of speed gain, but it is anything but indispensable. Nevertheless, you will notice a big difference in the coming years and if you are now looking for a smartphone that you want to use for a long time, it is useful to think about 5G. The Moto G 5G Plus is an affordable smartphone that makes 5G available to everyone.
With a suggested retail price of 349, the Moto G 5G Plus is, just like the OnePlus Nord, an accessible 5G smartphone. This immediately points out the biggest competitor of this Motorola smartphone. The smartphones do not differ much, OnePlus wins with the screen, Motorola has a better battery life again. In addition, the Moto G 5G seems to be discounted more often as a good offer.
Still, it could well be the last Motorola smartphone in our overview. Since the brand was taken over by the Chinese Lenovo a few years ago, the market has been flooded by Motorola smartphones, whereby Lenovo seems to take its update responsibility less and less seriously. You can only expect one Android version update to Android 11, the Android version with which this smartphone should have appeared in the store. That is quite embarrassing and where 5G makes your smartphone future-proof, Motorola takes care of itself to nullify that plus.
Samsung Galaxy M21
You may notice the Samsung Galaxy M21 because it is an affordable device with a price tag of 230 euros, which is also from a trusted brand. Those are two interesting points in any case, but the battery stands out the most. It has a capacity of 6,000 mAh(!). For comparison: most top smartphones have a capacity between three and four thousand mAh. With this, a full battery can last for days, as if you are going back to the mobile phone days of yesteryear. Depending on your use, a charged battery lasts about two to five days.
For the price range, you get a smartphone that is equipped with an excellent AMOLED screen, which in turn is also energy-efficient. Also in terms of specifications, the Galaxy M21 offers what you can expect in its price range: spacious enough to run all apps smoothly. The three cameras at the back (regular, wide-angle and depth camera) also offer plenty of opportunities to share simple photos, which may be difficult to paint in difficult lighting conditions. The plastic housing betrays that it is a budget smartphone. It may feel a bit cheaper, but makes the smartphone not as fragile as devices with a glass back.
The Samsung Galaxy M21 runs on the most recent Android version (Android 10) and can expect an update to Android 11. About Android, Samsung has installed its OneUI shell, which is very recognizable. But it is packed with unnecessary apps and bloatware.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Is money no problem, then with the most expensive smartphone you can get also the best? With this statement, you might wonder why the iPhone 12 Pro Max isn't at the top of this list. That's actually because the extra price is in no way in proportion to the regular iPhone 12.
Of course, for that price from 1,259 (!) euros, you get more in return compared to the iPhone 12 (from 909 euros). For example, the screen is a lot bigger and the image quality is just that little bit better. If you don't like that large size, you can of course consider the regular iPhone 12 Pro, which is available from 1159 euros. However, that device also has the same somewhat weak battery capacity, while the Pro Max has a higher battery capacity due to its size. Unfortunately, this capacity is still somewhat limited. The Pro version also has a third camera lens, in addition to the wide-angle and regular camera, which makes zooming possible. Because this lens also takes high-quality photos, it is a great addition. The iPhone 12 Pro versions also have more basic storage memory, which is a bit sparse with the iPhone 12.
With the iPhone 12 Pro Max you have a smartphone with the best screen, cameras, update policy and chipset (which also supports 5G). So that is quite okay. But to justify the Pro stamp and its associated price, Apple should have added more. A screen with a high refresh rate, or a USB-C connection, for example. These are not unfamiliar areas for Apple either, since these features can be found on the iPad Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra
The Galaxy Note series from Samsung is known to many. The recipe of the large screen in combination with a stylus has proven to be leading, also for competitors Microsoft and Apple. Despite this, the rumors are getting more and more persistent that the Note20 series could well be the last. The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra can no longer be labeled as leading, but it can be described as very good. And that Ultra, that seems to apply more to the price.
However, Ultra can also be said about the screen. Sure, the 6.9-inch size is ultra-large. But the image quality of the OLED panel (sharpness, color reproduction, 120 hertz refresh rate) is also ultra-beautiful. Of course, nothing is missing in the computing power, working memory (12GB!), storage capacity and the possibilities of the S Pen. Although such a stylus is not of added value to everyone.
In use, keep in mind that the battery life is somewhat disappointing. Such a beast of a smartphone needs a huge battery, but the capacity of 4,000 mAh is a bit sparse for this. If you lower your screen settings a bit, the battery life is acceptable. If not, luckily you can fast charge your Note20 or charge it wirelessly.
Xiaomi PocoPhone F2 Pro
It is the trend that a top smartphone carries an over the top price tag. That's why Xiaomi's PocoPhone F2 Pro stands out. Many features of a smartphone of 1000 euros come to the fore. In fact. The Xiaomi PocoPhone F2 Pro is in many ways more complete than the most expensive devices. Think of the huge battery, infrared port, headphone port and pop-up camera on the front. The price tag fluctuates around 500 euros. Waiting to go for a good deal can save you quite a bit. Please note, although the device supports 5G, this does not happen on the frequencies that we use in the Netherlands. This smartphone is therefore not suitable for 5G.
The PocoPhone F2 Pro is quite substantial in weight and size. This is thanks to the large amoled screen, which, thanks to the pop-up camera, does not need weird notches or cutouts for the selfie camera. This screen has a good display quality, only it lacks a high refresh rate. Although this is not a big loss and usually demands quite a lot from the battery. That battery, that is the other reason why the device feels substantial. But the battery life is wonderful! At the back you will find four lenses: a regular 64 megapixel sensor, zoom lens, wide-angle lens and a depth camera that helps you take good portrait photos with a depth of field effect. In short, you have various photo opportunities. However, when you switch to the wide-angle or zoom lens, you will notice that the quality of the photos is a lot less good.
Yet you start to wonder why such a good, versatile smartphone can be so cheap. That answer can probably be found in the software that runs the Xiaomi PocoPhone F2 Pro. Although the smartphone has been supported for a long time with updates, the shell that is placed around Android 10 is doom and gloom. It looks childish and cluttered, and Android has been tweaked (not for the better) down to the tiniest details. In addition, there is advertising and unnecessary bloatware. An alternative launcher like Nova Launcher makes this more bearable.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi stands out in the lower price range, especially because Huawei is dropped from the list because this brand is no longer allowed to supply smartphones with Google's Play Store and Google Apps. The entire Redmi Note series from Xiaomi is extremely affordable and has a nice large screen. This Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro stands out the most in our opinion.
For about 269 euros you get a smartphone that is affordable, but also very complete. We mentioned as the large (6.7 inch) full-HD display. But the huge battery and fast charger also catch the eye. There is a relatively smooth Snapdragon 720G chipset present, with a large amount of RAM. The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the on-off button on the side and three cameras and a depth sensor at the rear, which shoot excellent pictures. Just having a bit of trouble with low light. The housing also looks luxurious and the smartphone is available in beautiful colors, only sensitive to greasy fingers. A case is therefore necessary.
Like the other Xiaomi smartphones, the compromise is in the MIUI software shell that has been rolled out over Android 10. Here you will find bloatware and advertising, which probably explains the low price of the smartphone. While Xiaomi's update support is decent, there's a lot to like about the skin.
iPhone SE 2020
Smartphones in the middle class are usually little inferior to smartphones of around a thousand euros. Manufacturers compete fiercely with each other, which means that you will actually find the best value for money in this price segment. Apple has recently also been seriously participating in the middle class with the 489 euro Apple iPhone SE (2020); in fact a souped-up iPhone 8. Because even the case of the older iPhone fits around it. With the ease of use and the long support of iOS, Apple has an interesting trump card to compete with (mainly) Samsung, Xiaomi and OnePlus.
Apple really makes the iPhone SE (2020) a basic model, with a compact size and a very simple 720 p LCD screen. Despite this, Apple has equipped the smartphone with the best processor they have available, which is also placed in the iPhone 11 Pro. Not only does this processor run laps around the fastest Snapdragon and Exynos chipsets that the most expensive Androids are equipped with. Apple also shows that it also wants to be able to continue to support the iPhone SE (2020) with updates for a long time, an achievement that makes Apple embarrass other Android manufacturers (including Google).
Compared to its competition, the single camera on the back is somewhat limited in its possibilities. The headphone port had to give way and the battery with which the device is equipped is actually too small. Fortunately, you can charge this battery wirelessly and you have the option of an e-SIM in addition to your regular SIM card.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung's Galaxy S line is generally the best Samsung has to offer in terms of smartphones. But the Galaxy S line also consists of a series. The Galaxy S20 has three flavors: the regular Galaxy S20, which is the most accessible in terms of size and price. The Galaxy S20 Plus is already a bit bigger and has a better camera. However, this (most expensive) Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the largest and best. But also spicy priced, because Samsung always seems to blindly adopt the prices of the latest iPhone for their top devices. Talk about blindly taking over from Apple. The S20 series is the first from Samsung's Galaxy S line where the headphone port had to give way.
For that money you get a lot in return: the display has a fantastic display quality and a high refresh rate of 120 hertz, which makes everything run a little smoother. There is a version with 5G, making you ready for the future and on the back you will find one of the best cameras you can find on a smartphone. In addition, you have many photography options, because the periscopic camera can zoom in very far and thanks to the depth camera you can take good portrait photos with a depth of field effect.
Samsung's OneUI skin, which has been rolled out over Android 10, is quite drastic. But everything works stable and smoothly. It is annoying that there is a lot of bloatware present, from Facebook and the useless virus scanner from McAfee, for example. On a smartphone in this price range, this extra income from Samsung feels like a kick to the user who already has to put down so much money for the smartphone.