Top of the line: the best Android smartphones of 2019

Samsung reigns in first place, while Apple is second, followed by China's Huawei and Xiaomi

Photo: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus/YouTube screen grab

It’s 2019, and we expect nothing less than power, perfection and prettiness when it comes to the biggest and baddest Android smartphones in town. Competition in the smartphone market is fierce, and Google-powered Android handsets are among the best in the world, with Samsung reigning strongly in first place.

While Apple remains second best, China’s Huawei and Xiaomi are quickly catching up, showing that Android is the one to beat. These days, with a plethora of smartphone models available, and with top-of-the-line phone prices being rather exorbitant, comparison and research is critical.

It’s all about getting most bang for your buck and selecting the phone that does the most for you, your work and your lifestyle.

So here’s a hefty list of the top five hardest-hitters in today’s Android smartphone market, or the best Android smartphones of the year, as analysed by tech experts. Read on for comparisons on all specifications such as design, processor power, screen size and software features.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Photo: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus/YouTube screen grab

THE SPECS:

Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/512GB/1TB | Battery: 4,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP

THE PRICE:

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has by far the best smartphone screen on the market, the Super AMOLED 6.4-inch display with embedded fingerprint scanner. While the price probably made you gasp, the reigning monarch of Android smartphones delivers big time, with not one, not two, but three cameras of superior quality and shooting options; an improved big-boy battery at 4,1000mAh; and Samsung’s new Wireless PowerShare, which allows you to charge other devices wirelessly at the back of the handset. Make sure you get a good case for it, though, as the design is not very grippy. You definitely don’t want this beauty sliding

Huawei P30 Pro

Photo: Huawei P30 Pro/YouTube screen grab

THE SPECS:

Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.47-inch | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP

THE LOW-DOWN:
In terms of photography, the Huawei P30 Pro could be touted the best in the Android market, with its impressive 5x and 10x zoom capabilities and ability to deliver clear and crisp photos in extreme low light and nighttime conditions. For those who are serious about getting those close shots, the P30 Pro also boasts of a 50x digital zoom, which still thrills at a slightly lower quality. Set to battle Samsung’s Galaxy S10, it also has an in-display fingerprint scanner and Huawei’s Wireless Reverse Charging, which charges other devices from the rear of the device. It’s nearly nabbed the top spot, but experts say it still lacks the full glamour of Samsung’s sleek Galaxy S10 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S10
Photo: Samsung Galaxy S10/YouTube screen grab

THE SPECS:

Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/512GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP

The Samsung Galaxy S10 retails for a little less than the S10 Plus, with prices starting from US$785 (S$1066).
THE LOW-DOWN:
The Samsung Galaxy S10 comes in at a close third place, reaffirming the South Korean giant’s undisputed spot as the world’s top smartphone company. While the S10 Plus is definitely Samsung’s best phone, the S10 is not too far behind. The S10’s slightly smaller screen at 6.1 inches means it’s a size that fits slightly better in your hand, and it’s got almost all of the S10 Plus’ great features and capabilities. It’s also got the Wireless PowerShare feature, which is great when a mate needs a helping hand. If you want a powerful smartphone that easier on the pocket, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a fantastic choice.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Photo: Huawei 20 Mate Pro/YouTube screengrab

THE SPECS:

Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured, powerful smartphone that can do everything. It’s particularly perfect for watching movies and gaming, with it’s big 6.39-inch display and QHD resolution. Its three rear cameras are superb, with a particular focus on getting those usually-tricky wide and ultra-wide angle shots. With the Mate 20 Pro’s 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses plus a new, ultra-wide 16MP sensor, it’s photography made easy for those who love their horizon and landscape shots. With impressive specs and great features, the Mate 20 Pro is certainly competition.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Photo: Samsung Galaxy Note 9/YouTube screen grab

THE SPECS:

Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 2960×1440 | CPU: Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Samsung does it again, with three smartphones in the top five best list globally. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has much to offer, with its massive 6.4-inch display and power capabilities. The S Pen stylus, which is improved in performance, slides seamlessly into the body of the phone. It’s all about productivity with this device–it’s got all the features you need to keep your life going and more. If you’re looking for better battery life, reliability and power, the Note 9 is the smartphone for you. It’s a little on the hefty side, size-wise, so hang onto it carefully.

Remember, no two smartphones are the same, and no two users are, either. It’s all about finding your match.