The best smartphones for Q1 2020 - 36 mobile phones in review

Smartphone Editors' Choice Awards Q1 2020 Believe it or not, 36 smartphones in various price categories have been extensively tested by our editorial department over the past weeks and months. Now it's time to look back and reveal the best devices in their respective classes. In the following mobile phone comparison you will find the recommendations of our editorial team and current deals.
Editorial staff, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain),

The first three months of 2020 began rather leisurely: After Christmas sales, manufacturers take it easy before Mobile World Congress brings all the important new releases at the end of February. But things turned out differently, the coronavirus wasn't stopped by this event.

In this way, the first three months of the year were mainly the quarter of live streams and online presentations: Samsung presented its Galaxy S series online, and Huawei also introduced the innovations in the P40 series in a live stream.

But there were also interesting side notes: For example, the small Berlin-based company Carbon Mobile presented the Carbon 1 Mark II; a smartphone made entirely of carbon fiber. The concept is interesting, and if the coronavirus doesn't get in the way, a test device should also be available in the next quarter.

Foldable smartphones and lite models

A clear trend can be observed in the premium segment: Instead of a high-end smartphone, there are more and more devices in a series. For instance, Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 Ultra this year, a particularly high-quality smartphone that comes with 5G and costs up to 1,549 Euros (~$1,672), in addition to the two normal high-end smartphones, the S20 and S20+.

The Koreans also presented the new models of their A series for the mid-range and launched lite models: The Galaxy S10 Lite and the Galaxy Note10 Lite are exciting mid-range devices that also did well in our tests. 

It gets expensive with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the second attempt of a folding smartphone from Samsung. The Galaxy Fold was an exciting device despite its enormously high price and sensitive technology, but you could hardly recommend purchasing it with a clear conscience. However, the Galaxy Z Flip does a lot of things better. Certainly, there are still shortcomings here, but flip smartphones have become fun and should be really mature in a generation or two.

No new iPhone for the first time

While the first quarter regarding smartphones and tablets is usually not very exciting for Apple customers, there was hope for a budget iPhone 9 this time, but the Corona pandemic has probably destroyed that hope for the time being. There were new models of the iPad Pro in two sizes, at least, and we will be receiving the review devices in these days.

While the Chinese manufacturer Oppo is stepping up its market activities in Europe, and we reviewed several of the manufacturer's devices in this quarter, a completely new manufacturer from China, realme, also entered the western market. We have taken a look at the first devices here too. 

Finally, with Xiaomi, another smartphone manufacturer entered the direct sales market in the first quarter and opened its own German online shop.

Our favorites - Editors' Choice Awards Q1 2020

Based on the review results obtained in the period under consideration, we conduct an editorial vote and then present the Editors' Choice Award. The award will be given to those smartphones that stand out through their successful overall package, absolute top performance in specific rating areas or a particularly good price-performance ratio and that represent an attractive purchase option for our editors in the respective category.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite makes a very good impression in terms of price/performance: Unlike with the Galaxy Note10 Lite, you finally get a fast Snapdragon processor, which has a very positive effect on battery life. Even the more expensive S10 models can't keep up in this area. 

You can currently buy the smartphone on the internet for around 500 Euros (~$540), but you will of course have to live with a few limitations compared to the normal Galaxy S10: There is no wireless charging, no 45-watt charger is included and there is also no IP certification. But the differences are most obvious with the camera; the image quality can't compete but is still very good for a mid-range device.

Nonetheless, the bright display, great voice quality, fast WLAN, modern software and low heat development still make the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite our price-performance winner and grant it the Editors' Choice Award.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro shines in the upper mid-range with its strong price-performance ratio. Alongside a powerful storage configuration, it's particularly convincing with its modern camera setup, which features a main sensor offering a whopping 108 megapixels. In addition, an ultra wide-angle, a zoom lens and a macro lens are also included. 

The large battery, which has an impressive capacity of 5,260 mAh, is also able to convince in the test and delivers extremely long battery life. Small compromises need to be made with system performance; Although the Snapdragon 730G offers good performance, a little stuttering is definitely noticeable in demanding games and also in the system. Competitors like the OnePlus 7T or the Galaxy A90 have more power under the hood but also weaker batteries and more watered-down cameras. 

In addition, Xiaomi is more likely to encounter problems with software updates, and security patches arrive at irregular intervals. Nevertheless, the Mi Note 10 Pro leaves nothing to be desired in terms of equipment.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

With the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung is orienting itself towards classic flip phones and is pursuing a different concept than with the Galaxy Fold. The external display is much smaller, but it can also be used as a mini viewfinder for the main camera. When folded, the flexible display is quite well protected from external influences and is also very compact. 

Due to the folding mechanism, the smartphone can be used as a stand, which is especially practical for video calls and ensures that your hands remain free. Consequently, the folding mechanism is also used to accept or end calls. A disadvantage of the Galaxy Z Flip is certainly the foldable display as such since it's still very sensitive. The integrated glass protects the panel better, but a non-removable protective film is still glued on top of it, which is susceptible to dirt and scratches.

Nevertheless, Samsung has one of the most mature foldable smartphones in its portfolio with the Galaxy Z Flip; due to its Snapdragon base, it allows for suitable runtimes despite its small battery.

Note: Commercial use of the award graphics may require a license. More details.

The following table shows all smartphones tested in the period under consideration with their overall and partial ratings in our detailed review as well as a selection of important parameters and benchmarks. All results and details can be found in the linked review articles. The table can be sorted in each column; just click on the respective column title, for example, on "Weight". In addition, the table can be filtered; the input is done via the "Search" field. Example: "120 Hz" or "AMOLED".

The best smartphones - reviewed in Q1 2020

Overall score
Model
Image
Starting price
Chassis score
Size
Width
Weight score
Weight
Display score
Display type
Resolution
Pixel density
Screen-to-body ratio
Display Brightness
DeltaE Colorchecker
Refresh rate
Camera score
DeltaE Colorchecker low light
DeltaE Colorchecker daylight
Application performance score
PCMark for Android Work 2.0 Score
Gaming performance score
3DMark for A. Sling Shot Ext. (ES 3.1) Un.
GFXBench Aztec Ruins H.T. Onscreen
PUBG Mobile HD
Battery life score
Battery life Wi-Fi 150 cd/m²
Temperature score
Top idle
Top load
Audio score
max. Audio Output (dB)
Touchscreen input score
Connectivity score
77 %CAT S52
Helio P35 MT6765, PowerVR GE8320
CAT S52
85 %5.65"9.7 mm88 %210 g89 %IPS1440x720285 PPI18:9530 cd/m²2.6960 Hz55 %34.067.8549 %57946 %5634.789 %637 min90 %27.9 °C40.3 °C75 %82.9 dB94 %45 %
78 %Nokia 6.2
SD 636, Adreno 509
Nokia 6.2
87 %6.3"8.25 mm90 %180 g83 %IPS2340x1080409 PPI19.5:9582 cd/m²5.260 Hz58 %46.349.9753 %596511 %9772.388 %611 min92 %31.2 °C37.7 °C67 %83.9 dB91 %49 %
71 %Motorola Moto E6 Play
MT6739, PowerVR GE8100
Motorola Moto E6 Play
68 %5.5"8.3 mm93 %140 g82 %IPS1440x720293 PPI18:9433 cd/m²5.9160 Hz43 %46.216.2841 %36712 %1281.288 %584 min92 %29.9 °C35.2 °C56 %82 dB81 %34 %
80 %Samsung Galaxy A51
Exynos 9611, Mali-G72 MP3
Samsung Galaxy A51
83 %6.5"7.9 mm90 %172 g88 %AMOLED2400x1080405 PPI20:9589 cd/m²2.2260 Hz63 %37.615.9450 %564917 %16545.589 %698 min91 %26.6 °C39.9 °C71 %81.7 dB94 %46 %
80 %Motorola One Hyper
SD 675, Adreno 612
Motorola One Hyper
79 %6.5"8.9 mm88 %210 g85 %IPS2340x1080396 PPI19.5:9444 cd/m²3.8660 Hz68 %19.8414.2675 %785216 %12745.289 %753 min86 %34.1 °C42.3 °C80 %82.6 dB96 %46 %
89 %Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Kirin 990, Mali-G76 MP16
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
95 %6.53"8.8 mm88 %198 g89 %OLED2400x1176409 PPI18.37:9605 cd/m²2.560 Hz81 %6.6611.2281 %1032256 %6382264090 %823 min91 %27.4 °C39.8 °C68 %82 dB97 %68 %
79 %realme XT
SD 712, Adreno 616
realme XT
84 %6.4"8.6 mm90 %183 g83 %Super AMOLED2340x1080403 PPI19.5:9414 cd/m²4.460 Hz56 %44.937.464 %827623 %2108989 %718 min94 %26.9 °C33.6 °C73 %88 dB91 %50 %
80 %TCL Plex
SD 675, Adreno 612
TCL Plex
86 %6.53"7.99 mm89 %192 g86 %IPS2340x1080395 PPI19.5:9418 cd/m²3.460 Hz66 %30.315.0676 %795014 %10574.988 %616 min88 %35.7 °C40.9 °C75 %88.7 dB91 %53 %
76 %Xiaomi Redmi 8
SD 439, Adreno 505
Xiaomi Redmi 8
82 %6.22"9.4 mm89 %188 g88 %IPS LCD1520x720270 PPI19:9516 cd/m²2.660 Hz52 %43.385.1445 %46646 %505491 %1157 min95 %29.7 °C30.7 °C76 %88.6 dB88 %42 %
79 %Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
SD 665, Adreno 610
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T
84 %6.3"8.6 mm88 %200 g88 %IPS2340x1080409 PPI19.5:9631 cd/m²260 Hz60 %39.967.5464 %658715 %11394.490 %764 min94 %30.6 °C32.8 °C77 %87.9 dB91 %49 %
84 %Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro
SD 730G, Adreno 618
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro
86 %6.47"9.7 mm88 %208 g85 %AMOLED2340x1080398 PPI19.5:9576 cd/m²4.6160 Hz75 %19.944.9572 %755131 %25671092 %1112 min90 %30 °C39.8 °C74 %81.7 dB96 %49 %
77 %Blackview BV9800 Pro
Helio P70, Mali-G72 MP3
Blackview BV9800 Pro
87 %6.3"14.8 mm86 %322 g82 %IPS2340x1080409 PPI19.5:9508 cd/m²8.160 Hz52 %45.457.9761 %807414 %12684.695 %1492 min93 %34.8 °C36.2 °C77 %84.7 dB82 %50 %
75 %Huawei Y6s
Helio P35 MT6765, PowerVR GE8300
Huawei Y6s
74 %6.09"8 mm92 %150 g82 %IPS1560x720282 PPI19.5:9397 cd/m²6.4560 Hz52 %43.777.2845 %39366 %5094.289 %743 min89 %34 °C39.9 °C76 %82.6 dB92 %35 %
74 %Wiko Y80
SC9863A, GE8322 / IMG8322
Wiko Y80
74 %5.99"8.55 mm89 %185 g82 %IPS1440x720269 PPI18:9417 cd/m²5.760 Hz44 %47.086.4247 %46947 %3.889 %696 min94 %31.1 °C34 °C73 %83.6 dB86 %39 %
74 %Nokia 2.3
Helio A22 MT6761, PowerVR GE8300
Nokia 2.3
80 %6.2"8.68 mm90 %183 g82 %IPS1520x720271 PPI19:9488 cd/m²6.160 Hz46 %46.666.4753 %48684 %2992.891 %919 min96 %27.6 °C28.9 °C68 %85 dB85 %39 %
79 %Huawei P30 Lite New Edition
Kirin 710, Mali-G51 MP4
Huawei P30 Lite New Edition
85 %6.15"7.4 mm92 %159 g86 %IPS2312x1080415 PPI19,27:9481 cd/m²4.7260 Hz63 %38.815.7260 %604211 %9674.289 %719 min86 %34.7 °C42.5 °C73 %80.8 dB90 %50 %
69 %Blackview A60
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2
Blackview A60
66 %6.1"9.8 mm91 %171 g81 %IPS1280x600232 PPI19:9448 cd/m²6.9560 Hz34 %46.699.9332 %1 %89 %726 min92 %31.1 °C36 °C69 %79.1 dB83 %28 %
82 %Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
Exynos 9810, Mali-G72 MP18
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite
76 %6.7"8.7 mm88 %199 g82 %AMOLED2400x1080393 PPI20:9536 cd/m²6.660 Hz73 %29.867.9763 %585142 %42911791 %904 min90 %29.3 °C39.4 °C72 %83.6 dB96 %51 %
82 %Samsung Galaxy A71
SD 730, Adreno 618
Samsung Galaxy A71
85 %6.7"7.7 mm90 %179 g88 %AMOLED2400x1080393 PPI20:9646 cd/m²2.760 Hz64 %45.7510.9966 %777324 %2214103091 %815 min94 %26.3 °C34.4 °C77 %85.2 dB94 %49 %
74 %Cubot Kingkong Mini
Helio A22 MT6761, PowerVR GE8300
Cubot Kingkong Mini
79 %4"12.1 mm95 %124 g81 %IPS1080x540302 PPI18:9545 cd/m²6.4660 Hz43 %47.115.5650 %46573 %2573.791 %997 min82 %39.9 °C45.6 °C50 %86.7 dB86 %38 %
82 %Xiaomi Redmi K30 5G
SD 765G, Adreno 620
Xiaomi Redmi K30 5G
88 %6.67"8.79 mm88 %208 g88 %LCD IPS2400x1080395 PPI20:9643 cd/m²1.8120 Hz61 %46.915.3676 %998936 %34128.93089 %802 min93 %33.1 °C34 °C72 %85.9 dB91 %50 %
77 %Fairphone 3
SD 632, Adreno 506
Fairphone 3
86 %5.65"9.89 mm89 %189 g81 %IPS2160x1080427 PPI18:9489 cd/m²7.460 Hz54 %46.775.8652 %59137 %5682.189 %662 min90 %34.4 °C37.3 °C78 %87 dB90 %47 %
86 %Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
SD 855, Adreno 640
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
90 %6.7"8.1 mm89 %186 g88 %Super AMOLED Plus2400x1080393 PPI20:9630 cd/m²2.760 Hz63 %43.5711.2977 %1009357 %6285256091 %823 min93 %28.8 °C35.1 °C76 %88.9 dB95 %50 %
78 %Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Exynos 9611, Mali-G72 MP3
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
89 %6.3"9.94 mm88 %218 g84 %IPS2340x1080409 PPI19.5:9562 cd/m²6.1460 Hz59 %38.766.9353 %535117 %16205.689 %731 min90 %29.3 °C40.4 °C50 %87.1 dB95 %47 %
79 %Oppo Reno2 Z
Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446
Oppo Reno2 Z
86 %6.5"9.01 mm88 %195 g81 %AMOLED2340x1080396 PPI19.5:9394 cd/m²4.960 Hz62 %44.3712.4866 %965420 %23653.52988 %578 min95 %25.3 °C32.7 °C72 %87.6 dB89 %48 %
81 %Sharp Aquos V
SD 835, Adreno 540
Sharp Aquos V
79 %5.9"9 mm90 %173 g85 %IPS2160x1080409 PPI18:9486 cd/m²4.4360 Hz53 %46.857.4570 %751048 %40541589 %718 min90 %29.3 °C40.8 °C60 %80 dB91 %45 %
75 %Wiko View 4
Helio A25, PowerVR GE8320
Wiko View 4
74 %6.52"8.85 mm90 %180 g86 %IPS1600x720269 PPI20:9504 cd/m²4.1960 Hz55 %42.875.5948 %53645 %4974.592 %1074 min93 %28.4 °C36.3 °C56 %79.2 dB93 %34 %
75 %Blackview A80 Pro
Helio P25, Mali-T880 MP2
Blackview A80 Pro
77 %6.49"8.8 mm90 %180 g83 %IPS1560x720265 PPI19.5:9554 cd/m²6.8460 Hz51 %45.267.4455 %55058 %7094.591 %952 min91 %32.3 °C37.4 °C40 %79.6 dB92 %37 %
81 %Oppo Reno2
SD 730G, Adreno 618
Oppo Reno2
87 %6.5"9 mm89 %189 g86 %AMOLED2400x1080405 PPI20:9683 cd/m²3.560 Hz64 %44.098.8564 %713427 %25651090 %616 min94 %25.9 °C33.5 °C76 %87.5 dB89 %49 %
82 %Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
SD 855+, Adreno 640
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
81 %6.7"7.2 mm90 %183 g88 %Dynamic AMOLED2636x1080425 PPI22:9709 cd/m²3.160 Hz69 %43.817.3679 %1026152 %5141344083 %647 min92 %27.7 °C38.8 °C70 %86.4 dB85 %50 %
78 %Motorola Moto G8 Power
SD 665, Adreno 610
Motorola Moto G8 Power
80 %6.4"10 mm88 %197 g83 %IPS2300x1080397 PPI19:9483 cd/m²5.760 Hz59 %40.397.5859 %696313 %11514.591 %1002 min90 %25.4 °C41.5 °C75 %85.1 dB95 %41 %
88 %Samsung Galaxy S20
Exynos 990, Mali-G77 MP11
Samsung Galaxy S20
88 %6.2"7.9 mm91 %163 g90 %AMOLED3200x1440566 PPI20:9740 cd/m²2.67120 Hz78 %26.858.7575 %1043156 %6638224089 %726 min84 %32.6 °C46.7 °C80 %85.9 dB97 %51 %
73 %Blackview BV5900
Helio A22 MT6761, PowerVR GE8300
Blackview BV5900
85 %5.7"15 mm87 %268 g83 %IPS1520x720295 PPI19:9473 cd/m²635 %46.648.2951 %49624 %3012.892 %1153 min91 %32.1 °C36.7 °C48 %81.2 dB93 %33 %
86 %Oppo Find X2 Pro
SD 865, Adreno 650
Oppo Find X2 Pro
91 %6.7"9.5 mm88 %202 g85 %AMOLED3168x1440519 PPI19.8:9775 cd/m²4.4120 Hz72 %24.67.8181 %1138761 %7982184089 %654 min91 %34 °C36.1 °C72 %85.9 dB93 %53 %
88 %Samsung Galaxy S20+
Exynos 990, Mali-G77 MP11
Samsung Galaxy S20+
88 %6.7"7.8 mm90 %188 g91 %AMOLED3200x1440524 PPI20:9747 cd/m²2.6120 Hz78 %24.598.4675 %1058357 %7459334090 %794 min85 %32.4 °C44.8 °C80 %85.6 dB97 %52 %
89 %Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Exynos 990, Mali-G77 MP11
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
94 %6.9"8.8 mm88 %219 g89 %Dynamic AMOLED 2X3200x1440509 PPI20:9748 cd/m²3.2120 Hz75 %42.548.1479 %1025559 %7412334090 %720 min92 %32.1 °C35 °C77 %84.4 dB98 %69 %
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The best smartphones for Q1 2020 - 36 mobile phones in review
Editorial staff, 2020-04- 8 (Update: 2020-04-10)
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.