Smartphone manufacturers launched a lot of devices during the COVID-19 outbreak. The difficult part, however, is bringing it to the hands of consumers.
The demand for smartphones dropped due to the pandemic. Smartphones are an essential tool for communication, entertainment, and work. But it is not a priority for a lot of consumers today.
Once the global lockdown ends, it might take some time before the smartphone market recovers. The great thing is, there will be a lot of devices to choose from once it happens.
1. Apple iPhone SE 2020
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Who would have thought that the flagship killer this year will come from Apple?
The California-based company surprised a lot of people when it announced the new iPhone SE. It packs an A13 Bionic chip, 3GB of memory, and a 64GB base storage all for US$400 [AU$625].
This is insane, considering that the A13 chip is one of the fastest processors available, if not the best.
Apple did not modify the 4.7-inch form factor of the iPhone 8 for the SE. It retained the 12-megapixel single camera at the back, and it shoots as good as other 2020 flagships. There is no night mode available, though.
For someone who has not tried an Apple smartphone before, this is the best option to finally enter its ecosystem. A flagship processor at a mid-range price? What more can you ask for?
2. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is an affordable mid-range device packed with a lot of power. It will launch by the end of the month and retail for around $200.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, with the option for a 64GB/6GB, 128GB/6GB, or 128GB/8GB storage-memory combo. The display is a 6.67-inch 2400 x 1080 IPS LCD Display that looks stunning.
Considering that there is an economic crisis going on, this mid-range device is a great option for people on a budget.
3. OnePlus 8 Pro
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OnePlus released the OnePlus 8 Pro last April 21. The company swayed away from its “flagship killer” mentality and released its own flagship device this year. It was expected.
But the huge jump in price might bother some loyal OnePlus users who are used to its affordable price.
Either way, the OnePlus 8 Pro enters our list as a great flagship Android smartphone. The display looks amazing with 1440 x 3168 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This display is the smoothest Android display available in the market right now.
It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, and it supports 5G as expected. There are two variations to choose from: One with a 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM or the 256GB storage, 12GB memory option.
Both of these run multiple apps with no hiccups, thanks to Android 10 (Oxygen OS 10).
The camera is the biggest improvement over last year’s model. It has a quad-camera module that houses a 48-megapixel sensor with OIS and laser autofocus, an 8-megapixel 3x optical zoom lens, another 48-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor for better portrait modes.
OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $870. If it is out of the budget, the OnePlus 8 is also worth considering. However, if budget is not a concern, then the 8 Pro provides better value.
4. Honorable mentions: Samsung 20 Ultra & Huawei P40/P40 Pro
The Samsung S20 Ultra and both Huawei devices are great. There is no argument in that. However, there are problems that plague these devices that push them to the bottom of this list.
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The Samsung S20 Ultra rocks the best hardware available for an Android device. It has a top-tier processor with a display that is the best in its class. The storage-memory options are great. Its build quality is excellent as well.
But, here is the catch: There are reports that the S20 Ultra is having a green tint on its display and Samsung released a software fix the other day.
That is not the only problem. The camera is experiencing auto-focus and zoom issues as well. This is a hardware problem, and despite how the company tries, it will be difficult to fix.
Unless Samsung fixes everything before the devices ship out, the S20 Ultra is not a top-pick.
Moving on to Huawei. The Huawei P40 and P40 Pro is a contender when it comes to Android flagships. Just like the other devices, it rocks a powerful processor and top-tier internals.
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The problem with these devices is, it lacks access to the Google PlayStore. Sure, Huawei has its own AppGallery, but it is not enough to justify its huge price tag.
A lot of developers are focusing on Google and iOS applications. Creating a version for Huawei takes a lot of time. This means that some of the best apps on Android and iOS might not be available on Huawei’s AppGallery. So for someone who has a lot of purchased apps, it will be difficult to migrate into the new ecosystem.
Both devices are not bad. However, the quirks mentioned are a huge deal-breaker.
Featured image courtesy of ReadyMade/Pexels