UPDATE: While we’d previously placed Huawei’s P30 Pro and Mate 20 Pro in much higher positions, the ongoing trouble the company faces with the US Government casts a great deal of uncertainty on the degree of support its products will receive into the future. As such, we’ve moved Huawei’s handsets to the bottom of our top 10 recommendations list.
Apple may have kick-started the smartphone revolution when it launched its very first iPhone back in 2007, but it was Google’s Android operating system that truly took it mainstream.
With an open platform and multiple manufacturers using the operating system, Android was always destined for greatness. Today, Android is easily the biggest OS in Australia.
With only a couple of exceptions, all the companies that were making mobile phones before iOS was launched now run Android.
Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, Huawei, Google and Motorola all wave the Android flag proudly on their devices.
Still, the many variations in screen size, processing power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone that suits your needs extremely tough.
To help find the Android handset that’s right for you, we’ve rounded up the best phones out there running that operating system, rating each one on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
So here they are – the best Android phones money can buy in 2019 – for many, many different reasons.
1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
The new king of Android phones has been crowned
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 175g (Ceramic 198g) | Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8GB / 12GB | Storage: 128GB/512GB/1TB | Battery: 4,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP
in-display fingerprint sensor
Reverse wireless charging
Awkward power button placement
Bixby button still around
Samsung’s Galaxy S range has pretty much reached the pinnacle of traditional smartphone design with the Galaxy S10 Plus, sporting the world’s best display, advanced ultrasonic security, reverse wireless charging, exceptional performance and its most advanced camera setup to date.
Screen: With its 93.1% screen-to-body ratio, the S10 Plus’ pill-shaped pinhole camera is far less obtrusive than a traditional notch, and with One UI’s dark mode switched on, it practically disappears from the screen the majority of the time.
As we’ve come to expect from each new Galaxy phone, the S10 Plus’ QHD+ Super AMOLED screen is brighter and more vibrant than ever before (it’s the first Samsung phone to support HDR10+), though its biggest update comes in the form of an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which uses sound waves to create a 3D scan of your prints for more accurate and secure unlocks.
Design: This year’s model has seen an upgrade from aluminium to stainless steel, making the Galaxy S10 Plus feel stronger and sturdier as a result. We thankfully still get a 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot on this year, though Samsung’s still sticking with its dedicated Bixby button, and the power button is now placed awkwardly high on the device’s right side, which takes some getting used to.
Performance: The S10 Plus’ battery takes a huge leap from the 3,500mAh battery featured in last year’s S9 Plus, sporting a massive 4,100mAh battery that should keep the phone juiced all day.
General performance is also excellent, thanks to the new Exynos 9820 chipset and 8GB of RAM featured in the base model S10 Plus. It offers snappy app-switching, effortless multi-tasking and excellent gaming performance at all times, and is terrific for playing intensive games like Fortnite on the fly.
Camera: Samsung has delivered a major upgrade to its photographic capability this year, with its primary camera offering a triple lens setup – that’s a 12MP regular lens, a 12MP optically-zoomed telephoto lens, and an eye-opening 16MP ultra-wide lens.
As for selfies, Samsung’s latest flagship sports a dual lens camera setup, with a 10MP primary camera and an 8MP depth sensor, allowing users to take bokeh self-portraits.
Mini verdict: Without mincing words, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus is the best phone of 2019 so far. It’s got an amazing display, a terrific OS, great battery life and performance and unrivalled design.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
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