The best smartphones Q3 2020 - 37 phones in review

Smartphone Editors Choice Awards Q3 2020. 37 smartphones of various brands were thoroughly tested by us in the summer quarter of 2020. Which cell phones were particularly convincing? In the following cell phone comparison you will find the recommendations of our editorial team and current smartphone bargains.
Redaktion, 👁 J. Simon Leitner, Daniel R Deakin (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy),

In the months July to September 2020, smartphone manufacturers were by no means idle despite hot temperatures and presented numerous new cell phone models. The global COVID-19 crisis hardly seems to have had any impact on the number of models released, and a constant flow of new introductions reached us.

The best of the best - These smartphones received the highest overall scores

A total of four devices were able to achieve the highest rating of "very good" in our demanding tests and thus also receive the Top Rated Award badge.

The Huawei P40 Pro Plus is also included, although at 89% it achieves the same rating as the P40 Pro, which is almost 400 Euros (~$475) cheaper. The differences include an improved zoom, twice as much memory, faster wireless charging and a ceramic back panel. All this is nice, but the manufacturer would also like to have just under 1,400 Euros (~$1,662) for it, which is quite an announcement. In addition, Huawei still has the problem that it has to deliver its smartphones without Google services. Even though the App Gallery fills up with new popular apps every day, Google's own apps are not available and the choice is still limited. So you should consider very carefully whether you really need the more expensive Plus model. You get a very good smartphone with both Huawei top devices.

Asus is a rather minor manufacturer at least in the smartphone sector. Nevertheless, the Taiwanese company delivers a great smartphone with the ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition, which is aimed at gamers. Among other things, we especially liked the very good battery life and the strong speakers.

Of course, Samsung's top Galaxy Note series should not be missing here: The Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra are very high-quality cell phones, which bring along the S Pen operation as a special feature. All specs are again on a top level, particularly with the Ultra model, and the smartphones are fast, offer most modern communication modules and have great cameras. Once again, however, Samsung trips itself up by using different SoCs for different markets: In Europe, smartphones come with Samsung's own SoCs, which offer less performance and battery life. Other regions get the Snapdragon 865 from Qualcomm, which offers more.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus: 89%
Huawei P40 Pro Plus: 89%
Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition: 89%
Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition: 89%
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra: 89%
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra: 89%
Samsung Galaxy Note20: 88%
Samsung Galaxy Note20: 88%

Our favorites - Editors Choice Awards Q3 2020

On the basis of our test results in the period under review, we conduct an editorial vote and then present the Editors Choice Award. The award will be given to those smartphones that stand out due to their successful overall package, absolute top performance in special rating areas or a particularly good price-performance ratio, which represent an attractive purchase option for our editors in the respective category.

OnePlus Nord

The Chinese manufacturer wants to reconcile its fans with the OnePlus Nord: After ever more expensive innovations, the company is to return to its roots with a flagship killer at an affordable price.

The OnePlus Nord delivers: For less than 400 Euros (~$475) you get a lot of memory, fast WLAN, good positioning accuracy, 5G, a 90 Hz display and decent cameras. The system performance is also good for the price range, but of course not at the level of high-end devices. There is also no Wi-Fi 6 and the screen could be brighter.

All in all, the OnePlus Nord is a very high-quality smartphone at a great price, just as the manufacturer promised.

OnePlus Nord: Editors Choice Award Q3/2020
OnePlus Nord: Editors Choice Award Q3/2020
Notebookcheck Editor's Choice Award

Samsung Galaxy M51

This year, Samsung is expanding its middle class with numerous models. In addition to the more widely available Galaxy-A series, the Galaxy-M models are available primarily from Samsung itself and from special partners. Nevertheless it can be worthwhile looking for these smartphones, as the Samsung Galaxy M51 proves.

The large cell phone with the high-capacity 7,000-mAh battery actually lasts for over 25 hours in our WLAN test and even 6 hours under full load. These are great values that hardly any smartphone can achieve across all classes. The bright display, good positioning capabilities and neat cameras also make the Galaxy M51 suitable for everyday use. You won't find 5G or a 90 Hz display, however, and the smartphone is also relatively large, making it unsuitable for small hands.

All in all, the Galaxy M51 is a great mid-range smartphone for all those who are looking for long battery life and don't need peak performance and high-end cameras.

Samsung Galaxy M51: Editors Choice Award Q3/2020
Samsung Galaxy M51: Editors Choice Award Q3/2020
Notebookcheck Editor's Choice Award


Note: The commercial use of the award graphics may be subject to licensing. Further details.

The following table shows all smartphones tested in the period under review with their overall and partial ratings in our detailed test as well as a selection of important parameters and benchmarks. All results and details can be found in the linked test reports.

The table can be sorted in each column by simply clicking on the respective column title, for example "Weight". In addition, the table can be restricted with an entry made via the "Search" field. Example: "120 Hz" or "AMOLED".

The best smartphones - reviewed in Q3 2020

Overall rating
Model
Image
Price from
Housing rating
Size
Thickness
Weight rating
Weight
Display rating
Display Type
Resolution
Pixel Density
Screen-to-Body-Ratio
Screen Brightness
DeltaE ColorChecker
Refresh Rate
Camera Rating
DeltaE ColorChecker lowlight
DeltaE ColorChecker daylight
Application performance rating
PCMark for Android Work 2.0 Score
Gaming performance rating
3DMark for A. Sling Shot Ext. (ES 3.1) Un.
GFXBench Aztec Ruins HT Onscreen
PUBG Mobile HD
Battery life rating
Battery life WiFi 150 cdm2
Temperature rating
Top idle
Top load
Audio rating
max. Audio output (dB)
Touchscreen input rating
Connectivity rating
76 %Nokia 5.3
SD 665, Adreno 610
Nokia 5.3
76 %6.55"8.5 mm89 %185 g82 %IPS1600x720268 PPI20:9482 cd/m²6.2260 Hz44 %46.810.9564 %677515 %11488.890 %876 min78 %34.8 °C51.7 °C62 %76.1 dB94 %43 %
76 %Alcatel 3L 2020
Helio P22 MT6762, PowerVR GE8320
Alcatel 3L 2020
76 %6.22"8.45 mm91 %165 g82 %IPS1520x720270 PPI19:9449 cd/m²660 Hz59 %23.837.4853 %52277 %4944.895 %1456 min93 %26.4 °C35.6 °C70 %80.9 dB84 %37 %
84 %realme X3 SuperZoom
SD 855+, Adreno 640
realme X3 SuperZoom
81 %6.60"8.9 mm88 %202 g82 %IPS2400x1080399 PPI20:9414 cd/m²6.5120 Hz67 %32.711.9779 %1009655 %54116094 %1311 min91 %28.9 °C38.5 °C76 %88.2 dB86 %48 %
80 %Samsung Galaxy M31
Exynos 9611, Mali-G72 MP3
Samsung Galaxy M31
80 %6.40"8.9 mm89 %191 g89 %Super AMOLED2340x1080403 PPI19.5:9615 cd/m²2.2560 Hz61 %34.713.0750 %558717 %16595.73393 %1324 min88 %28.1 °C43.6 °C68 %81.7 dB96 %46 %
89 %Huawei P40 Pro Plus
Kirin 990 5G, Mali-G76 MP16
Huawei P40 Pro Plus
93 %6.58"9 mm88 %226 g90 %OLED2640x1200441 PPI22:10672 cd/m²1.590 Hz84 %18.638.6883 %1150958 %6508263090 %750 min93 %29.6 °C33.3 °C72 %83 dB95 %70 %
77 %Motorola Moto G Pro
SD 665, Adreno 610
Motorola Moto G Pro
82 %6.40"9.2 mm89 %192 g82 %IPS2300x1080399 PPI19.2:9732 cd/m²5.8463 %33.6410.7259 %696213 %11375.190 %792 min87 %28.4 °C43.9 °C77 %81.9 dB87 %43 %
85 %Xiaomi Black Shark 3
SD 865, Adreno 650
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
84 %6.67"10.4 mm88 %222 g86 %AMOLED2400x1080395 PPI20:9616 cd/m²3.7490 Hz71 %26.7110.1680 %982262 %8105306089 %703 min88 %31 °C41.8 °C68 %80.8 dB94 %50 %
77 %Oppo A72
SD 665, Adreno 610
Oppo A72
76 %6.50"8.9 mm89 %192 g82 %IPS LCD2400x1080405 PPI20:9482 cd/m²6.360 Hz59 %38.325.0362 %11432, 13 %1097491 %1018 min92 %30 °C36.3 °C75 %86.2 dB87 %48 %
80 %ZTE Axon 11
Helio P70, Mali-G72 MP3
ZTE Axon 11
87 %6.47"7.9 mm91 %165 g85 %AMOLED2340x1080398 PPI19.5:9614 cd/m²4.860 Hz61 %45.823.7962 %836514 %13544.488 %606 min94 %25.1 °C34.4 °C74 %88.8 dB94 %47 %
86 %Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
SD 865, Adreno 650
Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro
85 %6.67"8.9 mm88 %219 g90 %Super AMOLED2400x1080395 PPI20:9801 cd/m²1.4660 Hz70 %38.857.1482 %1034761 %8145296092 %923 min86 %34.5 °C42.3 °C75 %83.7 dB94 %49 %
83 %OnePlus Nord
SD 765G, Adreno 620
OnePlus Nord
83 %6.44"8.2 mm89 %184 g88 %AMOLED2440x1080414 PPI20:9531 cd/m²2.5390 Hz71 %35.4412.377 %942736 %3553133090 %869 min86 %28.3 °C45.8 °C76 %84.9 dB94 %47 %
84 %Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
SD 765G, Adreno 620
Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
84 %6.57"7.9 mm89 %192 g90 %AMOLED2340x1080392 PPI19.5:9583 cd/m²1.1760 Hz72 %37.645.3773 %778637 %3605133092 %884 min89 %30.4 °C40.7 °C74 %81.5 dB93 %50 %
83 %Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
SD 730G, Adreno 618
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
86 %6.47"9.67 mm88 %204 g87 %AMOLED2340x1080398 PPI19.5:9608 cd/m²0.8460 Hz68 %41.527.3868 %762828 %2577113092 %1095 min89 %33.6 °C40.1 °C76 %83 dB96 %48 %
74 %Huawei Y5p
Helio P22 MT6762, PowerVR GE8320
Huawei Y5p
76 %5.45"8.35 mm93 %144 g83 %IPS1440x720295 PPI18:9502 cd/m²5.8560 Hz41 %46.474.9647 %42926 %4564.690 %812 min91 %27 °C39.3 °C70 %82.5 dB86 %37 %
80 %Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
SD 765, Adreno 620
Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
80 %6.70"9 mm88 %207 g93 %LTPS2520x1080409 PPI21:9458 cd/m²1.0190 Hz59 %35.5712.2272 %875633 %3236113087 %914 min86 %29.6 °C44.1 °C71 %86.2 dB89 %53 %
73 %CAT S42
Helio A20 MT6761D, PowerVR GE8300
CAT S42
80 %5.50"12.7 mm88 %220 g83 %IPS1440x720293 PPI18:9532 cd/m²5.8960 Hz39 %44.257.2342 %48893 %2632.590 %836 min92 %33.4 °C35.9 °C64 %80.4 dB89 %43 %
75 %Sony Xperia L4
Helio P22 MT6762, PowerVR GE8320
Sony Xperia L4
81 %6.20"8.7 mm90 %178 g83 %IPS1680x720295 PPI21:9404 cd/m²6.1460 Hz53 %46.148.6155 %52517 %5364.190 %783 min88 %32 °C41.1 °C46 %75.6 dB93 %39 %
78 %Sony Xperia 10 II
SD 665, Adreno 610
Sony Xperia 10 II
86 %6.00"8.2 mm92 %151 g90 %OLED2520x1080457 PPI21:9590 cd/m²1.4249 %38.875.3555 %618913 %11403.989 %743 min88 %30.2 °C41.9 °C74 %83.8 dB91 %46 %
77 %Honor 9X Lite
Kirin 710, Mali-G51 MP4
Honor 9X Lite
78 %6.50"7.8 mm89 %188 g86 %IPS2340x1080396 PPI19.5:9422 cd/m²3.3160 Hz55 %11.97.7464 %688713 %9924.290 %793 min85 %33.6 °C44.6 °C66 %78.6 dB91 %44 %
76 %Samsung Galaxy A21s
Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP2
Samsung Galaxy A21s
75 %6.50"8.9 mm89 %192 g82 %PLS1600x720270 PPI20:9509 cd/m²6.5860 Hz57 %43.6513.5251 %545710 %9147.22991 %943 min88 %33.3 °C39.1 °C64 %79.5 dB94 %45 %
89 %Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition
SD 865, Adreno 650
Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition
88 %6.59"9.85 mm87 %240 g88 %AMOLED2340x1080391 PPI19.5:9630 cd/m²2.6144 Hz70 %39.3818.2385 %1529961 %8119306093 %964 min92 %27.6 °C36.9 °C85 %89.9 dB99 %72 %
74 %Huawei Y6p
Helio P22 MT6762, PowerVR GE8320
Huawei Y6p
80 %6.30"9 mm89 %185 g84 %IPS1600x720278 PPI20:9538 cd/m²4.5260 Hz45 %46.889.5148 %43236 %4574.391 %953 min89 %29.9 °C40.5 °C60 %83.7 dB89 %39 %
89 %Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra
Exynos 990, Mali-G77 MP11
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra
96 %6.90"8.1 mm88 %208 g88 %Dynamic AMOLED3088x1440494 PPI19.3:9878 cd/m²4.5120 Hz80 %26.475.9880 %1178457 %6830344089 %644 min94 %27.1 °C33.8 °C83 %88.8 dB98 %70 %
86 %Motorola Edge Plus
SD 865, Adreno 650
Motorola Edge Plus
86 %6.70"9.6 mm88 %203 g86 %AMOLED2340x1080385 PPI19.5:9582 cd/m²3.1690 Hz71 %30.019.0484 %1177459 %8269324091 %945 min84 %32.8 °C44.9 °C70 %80.4 dB94 %48 %
78 %Xiaomi Redmi 9
Helio G80, Mali-G52 MP2
Xiaomi Redmi 9
80 %6.53"9.1 mm88 %198 g84 %IPS LCD2340x1080395 PPI19.5:9436 cd/m²3.5160 Hz60 %46.8513.4662 %879514 %3091 %804 min86 %31.8 °C43.9 °C75 %83.7 dB89 %48 %
77 %Oppo A52
SD 665, Adreno 610
Oppo A52
76 %6.50"8.9 mm89 %192 g86 %IPS2400x1080405 PPI20:9472 cd/m²3.960 Hz57 %42.5116.7459 %622011 %4.391 %987 min93 %30 °C35.3 °C75 %91.2 dB86 %48 %
85 %Sony Xperia 1 II
SD 865, Adreno 650
Sony Xperia 1 II
86 %6.50"7.6 mm90 %181.4 g87 %OLED3840x1644643 PPI21:9561 cd/m²2.8670 %29.986.5281 %976261 %8037276084 %467 min84 %34.6 °C44.8 °C73 %78.3 dB94 %50 %
74 %LG K61
Helio P35 MT6765, PowerVR GE8320
LG K61
81 %6.53"8.4 mm89 %191 g83 %IPS2340x1080395 PPI19.5:9511 cd/m²5.7660 Hz44 %44.1711.3445 %38146 %5092.390 %842 min90 %26.8 °C40.3 °C50 %79.6 dB93 %41 %
85 %LG Velvet
SD 765G, Adreno 620
LG Velvet
95 %6.80"7.85 mm90 %180 g88 %P-OLED2460x1080395 PPI20.5:9587 cd/m²2.860 Hz72 %31.025.3373 %780833 %29341289 %741 min93 %29 °C34.5 °C80 %86 dB93 %56 %
80 %Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
87 %6.53"8.9 mm88 %199 g87 %IPS LCD2340x1080395 PPI19.5:9527 cd/m²3.860 Hz66 %38.345.2664 %869814 %3091 %867 min92 %32.1 °C35.8 °C77 %92.4 dB89 %50 %
84 %Google Pixel 4a
SD 730G, Adreno 618
Google Pixel 4a
80 %5.80"8.2 mm93 %143 g92 %OLED2340x1080444 PPI19.5:9707 cd/m²0.960 Hz67 %36.797.0472 %868328 %2615113090 %669 min92 %27 °C38.2 °C78 %86 dB94 %51 %
84 %Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G
Dimensity 820, Mali-G57 MP5
Xiaomi Redmi 10X 5G
85 %6.57"8.99 mm88 %208 g87 %AMOLED2400x1080395 PPI20:9608 cd/m²3.9960 Hz69 %31.47.1177 %1126344 %4497184090 %804 min88 %28.6 °C43.5 °C66 %80.5 dB94 %52 %
80 %Samsung Galaxy M21
Exynos 9611, Mali-G72 MP3
Samsung Galaxy M21
80 %6.40"8.9 mm89 %188 g89 %Super AMOLED2340x1080403 PPI19.5:9614 cd/m²2.1160 Hz60 %40.358.1157 %589217 %16505.62493 %1298 min89 %28.4 °C42.5 °C68 %83.8 dB94 %46 %
76 %LG K51S
Helio P35 MT6765, PowerVR GE8320
LG K51S
80 %6.55"8.2 mm88 %195 g84 %IPS1600x720270 PPI20:9393 cd/m²4.1760 Hz58 %39.88.9653 %49827 %5254.490 %803 min91 %28.4 °C38.3 °C75 %80.5 dB87 %38 %
75 %Blu G90
Helio A25, PowerVR GE8320
Blu G90
77 %6.50"8.8 mm89 %185 g83 %IPS1600x720270 PPI20:9498 cd/m²4.7660 Hz54 %45.857.7653 %50275 %4294.391 %897 min91 %26.8 °C39.2 °C48 %80.3 dB89 %40 %
88 %Samsung Galaxy Note20
Exynos 990, Mali-G77 MP11
Samsung Galaxy Note20
91 %6.70"8.3 mm89 %192 g88 %Super AMOLED Plus2400x1080393 PPI20:9621 cd/m²2.460 Hz74 %38.836.1977 %1000859 %7076274090 %589 min93 %26.7 °C35.5 °C82 %87.9 dB94 %66 %
81 %Samsung Galaxy M51
SD 730, Adreno 618
Samsung Galaxy M51
77 %6.70"9.5 mm88 %213 g87 %Super AMOLED2400x1080385 PPI20:9632 cd/m²2.8860 Hz63 %40.0812.7670 %791327 %26198.33095 %1508 min87 %24.7 °C46.9 °C64 %89.9 dB97 %47 %
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The best smartphones Q3 2020 - 37 phones in review
Redaktion, 2020-11-18 (Update: 2020-11-18)
J. Simon Leitner
Editor of the original article: J. Simon Leitner - Founder, Editorial Director
After my studies at the Vienna Technical University I dedicated myself completely to the project Notebookcheck as a co-founder. Since Commodore C64 and Atari 1040 ST, computers have been an integral part of my daily activities. Beside new technologies, especially electric mobility, my interest also belongs to architecture and construction engineering.