Compiling a definite smartphone leaderboard is difficult. The “best” for everyone just does not exist. The one wants the best smartphone in 2019 with fastest processor, the next a particularly bright and high-resolution display, the best camera, above average battery life, etc. Even our smartphone tests are always a subjective story. You can compare components and features, but the overall judgment will always depend on the personal taste of the tester.
Nevertheless, we have looked at what are currently the best for our mobile phones for various reasons. Meanwhile, we arrived in 2019 and tested some very strong new devices again last year and updated our list accordingly. We refrain from a ranking here, but we can recommend all handsets in the list without restriction.
The CES and the MWC are back in the house in the first quarter of this year, so probably new smartphone highlights will soon be on display, which we will then consider in the next update. Until then, you have the smartphones in our list, which currently belong to the best, what you can currently buy.
Here is the list of top best smartphones in 2019.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 +
The South Koreans, who had a difficult year just because of the Galaxy Note 7 battery disaster in 2016, have managed the feat of getting out of the lot with almost no image damage. The release of the Galaxy S8 and the S8 + in the penultimate year certainly contributed to this, because with these two smartphones, Samsung has succeeded in raising the bar in terms of design a little more, not forgetting that technology is at a similar level have to be.
With the Galaxy S9 and the S9 + Samsung succeeds in an update in which a very good smartphone was selectively made a little better again. The design is based almost 1: 1 on the predecessor, apart from the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back. That is now located below the camera sensor and not next to it.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S9 Features
Display 5.8 inch Curved Super AMOLED display with QHD + resolution of 1,440 x 2,960 pixels, 18.5: 9 format.
Processor Samsung Exynos 9810, Octa-Core SoC (4 x 2.7 GHz + 4 x 1.7 GHz) (Europe), Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-Core SoC (4x 1.7 + 4x 2.6 GHz) (US, other regions)
Memory 4 GB
Main memory 64 GB UFS 2.1, expandable by microSD card up to 400 GB.
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo
Main camera 12 MP, 2 apertures: f / 1.5 and f / 2.4, laser and dual-pixel autofocus, OIS
Front camera 8 MP with f / 1.7 aperture and autofocus
Battery 3,000 mAh, wireless charging
IP certification certified to IP68
Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 and 5 GHz), VHT-80-MU-MIMO, 1024 QAM, Bluetooth 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps), Ant +, USB Type-C Connection, NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, LTE Cat. 18.
Special features Iris scanner sensors (Iris Camera), fingerprint reader, face recognition, stereo speakers, dual SIM optional, heart rate monitor, wireless charging.
Dimensions and weight 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm, 163 grams in weight.
Cololur Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue
Top Smartphone 2019 SAMSUNG GALAXY S9+ Features
Display 6.2-inch Curved Super AMOLED display with QHD + resolution of 1,440 x 2,960 pixels, 18.5: 9 format
Main Camera Dual camera with laser and dual-pixel autofocus, OIS, sensor 1: 12 MP f / 1.5 & f / 2.4 aperture; Sensor 2: 12 MP f / 2.4 aperture
Battery 3,500 mAh, wireless charging
Measurements and weight 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm, 189 grams in weight
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
It is one of the best smartphone in 2019. By asking for innovations, we ask smartphone manufacturers to raise prices. Meanwhile, every manufacturer is very close to the 1000-euro limit and some have even exceeded it. Of course, Apple is the pioneer as it is every year, but they can afford that, even if they have not been innovative for a long time. That’s something we’ve had to put up with for a long time.
So we need not be surprised that something like the Notch spreads itself more and more as an innovation (no I am neither Notch opponents nor advocates), because by always the comparison with Apple is drawn, we always ask for the crassest innovations and already speculate on the launch of a smartphone with unrealistic expectations and show the manufacturers: Look, we want something like that and we are ready to pay so much, we give manufacturers a free ticket to raise prices.
Features of top smartphone in 2019.
Display 6.4-inch Infinity Edge Display, Super AMOLED, Quad HD + (2960×1440), Always on-Display, 18.5: 9 Ratio. PCI-P3 standard, 516 ppi.
Processor graphics chip Samsung Exynos 9810, Octa-Core SoC (4 x 2.7 GHz + 4 x 1.7 GHz) (Europe), Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-Core SoC (4x 1.7 + 4x 2.6 GHz) (US, other regions).
Memory 6 or 8 GB RAM, LPDDR4.
Internal memory 128 or 512 GB UFS 2.1 memory, expandable by microSD card by up to 512 GB.
Rear camera Dual camera with laser and dual-pixel autofocus, OIS, sensor 1: 12 MP f / 1.5 & f / 2.4 aperture; Sensor 2: 12 MP f / 2.4 aperture.
Camera front 8 MP wide angle, f / 1.7, OIS.
Operating system Android 8.1 Oreo, Samsung Experience.
Battery 4,000 mAh, non-exchangeable, adaptive fast charging (fast charging), wireless charging (wireless)
Connectivity LTE Cat.18 Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT +, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou) (Duo version with Dual-Sim (Hybrid Sim slot – second Nano SIM or microSD card)
- Iris sensor
- Pressure sensor
- Fingerprint sensor
- Gyro sensor
- Geomagnetic sensor
- Hall sensor
- Heart Rate Monitor
- RGB light sensor
Dimensions 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
Weight approx. 201 g
More details S Pen: Bluetooth support Bixby key for additional functions Samsung DEX support Heatpipe cooling Dolby Atmos tuned at AKG
It is also the new smartphone in 2019. Qualitatively not far away from the Samsung handsets and other competitors, we locate this smartphone from Xiaomi. With the Xiaomi Mi6, the young company once again manages to combine stunning technology with a price set so low that one rubs his eyes in amazement. Converted for less than 400 euros you can buy here namely a high-end smartphone, which leaves the memory of the memory, the flash memory and the battery even the Galaxy S8 behind.
In addition, it looks great and also camera and the display quality know to convince, although here Samsung is currently unbeatable for Xiaomi. For that you get the device with multi-language support, as so often the support for volume 20 is missing.
- Display: 5.15 inch IPS LCD display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels / 428 PPI / 71.4% screen-to-body ratio)
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa-Core (4 × 2.45 GHz Cryo & 4 × 1.9 GHz Cryo)
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM Memory: 64/128 GB of internal memory (not expandable)
- Operating System: MIUI 8 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- Camera: main camera 12 MP dual camera Sony IMX386 (f / 1.8, 4 axis OIS) and Samsung S5K3M3 (f2.6), front camera with 8 MP
- Connections: USB-Type-C (no 3.5mm headphone jack, supplied adapter)
- Battery: 3,350 mAh, supports Quick Charge 3.0
- Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Compass, Barometer, Light and Proximity Sensor
Google Pixel 3
The Google Pixel 3 XL costs 725 Euro RRP and the best smartphone in 2019 ever. Now after about a month you can find it cheaper for 200 euros, which is better, since 725 euros is simply too high for a smartphone that is indeed good, sometimes unbeaten, in many areas, but where some design decisions, the battery and functions cannot justify the price. In addition, some software features that were touted during the presentation are dependent on accessories.
If the significantly better display and some small details are not so important, could also grab the Pixel 2 XL, because the software is almost identical and it does the same thing in the camera etc.
The Google Pixel 3 XL (or the Pixel 3) is in the end still a great package, where the positive points outweigh and make it a good Daily Driver, provided you have a fantastic snapshot camera (the Camera King 2018 our community), great Video camera, Puritic software with the Pixel Launcher and more. I can well imagine using it as a daily companion and have it at least always with it, even if I’m not actively using it, because the camera is just too good.
Features of best smartphone in 2019
- 3 inches P-OLED
- 1440 x 2960, 523 ppi
- 8% display
- Gorilla Glass 5
- Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845
- Octa-core (4 × 2.5 GHz Cryo 385 Gold & 4 × 1.6 GHz Cryo 385 Silver) Adreno 630
Memory 4 GB of RAM Internal memory 64/128 GB memory, not expandable
Camera rear 12.2 MP, f / 1.8, 28mm (wide), 1 / 2.55 “, 1.4μm, OIS, dual pixel PDAF
Camera front 8 MP, f / 1.8, 28mm (wide), PDAF 8 MP, f / 2.2, 19mm (ultra wide), no AF
Operating system Android Pie 9.0 Battery 3430 mAh 10 watts wireless charging links
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Bluetooth: BT 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO USB connection: USB Type-C 3.1, PD 2.0 USB functions: loading, OTG, tethering
- Gyro sensor
- Proximity sensor
Audio Type C, no jack Weight 184 grams Size 76.7 x 158 x 7.9 mm more details
LG V40 ThinQ
The V40 costs almost as much as the Note 9, but has only half the space, a slightly weaker display, lower lowlight performance and a slightly shorter battery life. However, many people will prefer the flexible wide-angle camera and the superb selfie camera to the S Pen; it depends on the requirements you have on your smartphone. The LG V40 ThinQ is a high-end smartphone with fast performance and good cameras. The price is difficult to ignore.
Although the Note 9 costs just as much, its stylus specifically targets business users and people who prefer to work on smartphones rather than computers. Although the audio features of the LG V40 are not to be surpassed, even audio enthusiasts are just not among the mainstream consumers. And the LG V40 is aimed at exactly this target group – despite the high price.
The V40 is extremely versatile and flexible and best smartphone in 2019 – mainly because of the audio features and the triple camera. It is the ultimate smartphone for people who like to take pictures (especially landscape and architectural shots) and otherwise fit into any other target group.
Although the V series does not always offer the best of the best, it always looks good. Due to the wide-angle camera, I am personally willing to make some compromises. I travel a lot, like to take pictures and need a rechargeable battery to get through the day. As a smartphone tester, I usually have two devices in the bag and because of the wide-angle camera, it is always a LG.
Case: front and back are made of Gorilla Glass 5, the frame is made of aluminum; Drop test according to MIL-STD-810G; protected against water and dust according to IP68.
Display: 6.4 inches QHD + FullVision OLED; 19.5: 9 screen aspect ratio with Notch (LG calls the whole thing “Second Screen”), 537 ppi; HDR10 support.
Camera: main camera: 12 megapixels, 1.4μm pixels; f / 1.5 aperture, 78 degree field of view, 25mm equivalent focal length lens, OIS, Dual Pixel Phase Detection AF; Ultra wide-angle camera: 16 megapixels, f / 1.9 aperture, 107 degree field of view, lens with equivalent focal length of 16mm, fixed focus.
Telephoto camera: 12 megapixels, f / 2.4 aperture, 47-degree field of view, 50mm equivalent focal length lens, 2x zoom, phase detection AF.
Selfie camera: Main camera: 8 megapixels, f / 1.9 aperture, 80-degree field of view; Second camera: 5 megapixels, f / 2.2 aperture, 90-degree field of view.
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845: 8-core CPU (4 x 2.8 GHz Cryo 385 Gold & 4 x 1.7 GHz Cryo 385 Silver), Adreno 630 GPU.
Memory: 6 GB RAM; 64 GB of storage space; MicroSD card slot.
Operating system: Android 8.0 Oreo with LG UX; Update on Android P is planned. Battery: 3,300 mAh lithium-polymer battery (sealed); Quick Charge 3.0 / Fast Charging; Wireless charging to Qi standard.
Connectivity: Single SIM, Dual SIM is only available in some selected regions; LTE-A, 3-band Carrier Aggregation, Cat.16 / 13 (1 Gbps / 150 Mbps); USB Type-C; WLAN a / b / g / n / ac; GPS; Bluetooth 5.0; FM radio.
Apple iPhone XR
The iPhone XR was the best value smartphone in 2019. For your money you get a smartphone that provides 90 percent of the functionality of an iPhone XS. Above all, the LCD display ensures the missing ten percent.
This has namely a slightly lower resolution, larger display edges and dispenses with 3D Touch. The device is also a little thicker and heavier and is not made of stainless steel, but aluminum. Also, the portrait mode is not quite as good and lacks a second lens for optical zoom.
The other differences, such as the slightly lower water resistance, the lack of support for 4G LTE Cat 16 (only Cat 12 is supported) and the slightly heavier and thicker aluminum housing, do not really affect the user experience. Most people will be satisfied with these compromises, because with the iPhone XR you get a flagship iPhone for a reasonable price.
Apple iPhone X
Man, what was talked about this smartphone in advance and also reported. In the meantime, the iPhone X has long been on the market and actually differs significantly in design from all the predecessors from Cupertino. Nevertheless, Apple does not sell as much as one had secretly hoped for – which is at Apple but whining on the highest possible level.
Technically it is no less than the best iPhone ever and comes for the first time with an OLED display, which shows a screen size of 5.8 inches. The design I think is very successful, Apple heaves his smartphone at last on a current design level, because recently Samsung and Co were clearly enteilt.
Anyone who is at home in the Apple Cosmos anyway with its hardware and the corresponding small change (from 1 149 euros) left, can do virtually nothing wrong with this smartphone: performance, design and the camera are above reproach.
Getting used to is u.a. the “Notch” baptized notch in the upper display and the new operation by the dropping home button. But you get used to it very quickly, even unlocking via Face ID seems to work fine and there is not much to complain about. Thus, it comes with us with 8.5 points on a higher rating than the simultaneously featured iPhone 8 models.
Features of the best smartphone in 2019
- Display: 5.8 inches, OLED display, 2436 x 1125, 458 ppi
- Processor: A11 Bionic Chip with 64-bit architecture (Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral), M11 motion co-processor
- Memory: 3 GB Memory: 64 GB / 256 GB, not expandable
- Operating system: iOS 11.1 Rear camera: 12 MP with wide-angle and telephoto lens, dual OIS image stabilization, wide-angle: f / 1.8 aperture, telephoto lens: f / 2.4 aperture, 2x optical zoom, up to 10x digital zoom, 4x LED True Tone synchronized flash, lens cover made of sapphire crystal, autofocus with focus pixels
- Front Camera: 7 MP f / 2.2 FaceTime HD Camera, Retina Flash (Screen)
- Connectivity: 802.11ac WLAN with MIMO, LTE, VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS
- Battery: 2716 mAh with Quick Charge and Fast Charging
- IP Certification: IP67 Other: Siri as voice assistant, Lightning headphones included (EarPods), Colors: Silver, Space Gray
Here again we have a China smartphone and one of the newest in our series of recommendations. The top smartphone in 2019 Honor 10 fits seamlessly into the Chinese portfolio, which repeatedly combines strong technology with a surprisingly low price. More and more often I notice that the top models of Honor cannibalize the standard models of the parent company Huawei.
I have the impression here again. The Huawei P20 Pro Honor 10 is not enough, compared to the “normal” P20 you could already ponder. Of course, this is not least because the Honor 10 in its entry-level version is already available for less than 400 euros.
For this price you have to live with the fact that in contrast to the Huawei lace models no “Leica” emblazoned on the camera and the display is a bit paler. Nevertheless, the Honor 10 is just for the slightly smaller budget a top recommendation on our part.
- 84 inch IPS LCD display
- 19: 9 ratio – Notch Design
- Full HD + resolution (2280 x 1080)
- Display to body ratio: 79.9%
- 432 ppi pixel density
- Corning Gorilla Glass (version unknown).
Processor graphics chip HiSilicon Kirin 970 Octa-core (4 × 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4 × 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) Mali G72 MP12.
Huawei P20 Pro
If you currently have an objective view of the strongest smartphones in the world, there is no way around the Huawei P20 Pro.
Everything seems to be right with this smartphone, but the incredibly powerful camera, made up of three individual cameras on the back, is particularly impressive. This combined with cleverly used artificial intelligence makes the Huawei P20 Pro a top recommendation smartphone in 2019 with virtually no weaknesses.
Of course, there are synonymous – for example, because of the non-expandable memory. But in addition to the sensational cameras, it also has a fat battery (4,000 mAh), Dolby Atmos sound, very responsive sensors for facial recognition and fingerprints, a strong design and a beautiful display.
Meanwhile, the price goes down a bit, so that instead of the original 899 euros you can find offers below 600 euros. And yes – in terms of equipment, the Huawei P20 Pro is worth every penny of it.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
Probably the advance smartphone in 2019 is Apple iPhone 8 Plus. Compared to the Android competition, Apple hangs this year in some respects (memory or battery) behind – viewed on paper. In practice, however, Apple always brings back the feat of matching all the components including the software so perfectly that the end result is better than the assembled, highly bred Android camp.
In the case of the iPhone 8 Plus, this time Apple not only offers the powerful dual cam with 2x optical zoom, 4x LED flash and optical image stabilization that we know from the previous year, but packs it again.
New is, for example, the portrait light mode, which we demonstrate in our test also using example photos. Also new and long desired: You can load the new iPhone also inductively, this Apple uses specifically to a glass back instead of metal.
The relatively low score of 8.4 in our test owes the iPhone 8 Plus its stale design and the not really outstanding battery in combination with the high price. At 909 euros, the fun starts at the Plus model and who wants to charge the smartphone wirelessly, must invest properly for the charging station again money.