If you have a limitless budget or if you are looking for the best features money can buy, 2019 saw some really interesting smartphones. This year we saw foldables, waterfall displays, 60x zoom cameras, and even a fast-charging 30W wireless charging solution on a smartphone.
Unlike our previous Best Budget, Mid-Range and even Flagship Killer lists, this one has no real surprises. Huawei, Samsung, and Apple dominate the flagship segment, as always. However, one new addition in this product category is OnePlus, all thanks to its new dual-smartphone strategy. The Chinese smartphone maker has slowly sneaked its way over to the premium segment this year and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its flagship is the cheapest one in this list.
So let’s look at our picks for the Best Flagship Smartphones of 2019.
1Oneplus 7T Pro
Unlike most other smartphone companies, OnePlus‘ limited product portfolio helps it to perfect its existing products in the market. So OnePlus smartphones are one of the most fluid devices in the Android segment. That rubs off on the new OnePlus 7T Pro as well.
The 7T Pro looks beautiful, is superfluid, comes with powerful rear cameras, and a fancy dual-curved display. It is powered by the fastest flagship processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855+ with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. It features a slightly better camera setup as compared to its cheaper sibling which includes a 48MP primary shooter paired with an 8MP telephoto lens (3X optical zoom) and an ultra-wide 16MP lens. This setup enables the 7T Pro to capture amazing shots, coming closer to flagships like the Huawei P30 Pro and the Galaxy Note 10+. The flexible curved display up front with 2K+ resolution looks exceptional and is my favorite feature of this phone! You get all this for at least Rs. 10,000 or €150 cheaper than the other models in this list. We do miss wireless charging on the 7T Pro, but it won’t be a deal-breaker for most users.
The OnePlus 7T Pro starts at Rs.53,999 in India and costs around €759 in Europe.
2Huawei P30 Pro
If there was one Huawei phone that stood out in 2019, it would be none other than the Huawei P30 Pro. Huawei stunned us all with the amazing periscope camera setup and the fancy moon mode, never before seen on a smartphone of its size.
The P30 Pro is one of the best camera smartphones of 2019. The phone features a powerful quad-camera setup with a Leica lens that includes a 40MP primary camera, an 8MP periscope lens, a 20MP ultra wide-angle shooter, and a 3D ToF sensor. It was a product of innovation, being the world’s first phone to employ the RYYG based Sony’s new IMX650 sensor instead of a traditional RGB Bayer color filter.
But the P30 Pro was not all about cameras. The phone camera with the powerful Kirin 980 octa-core processor, up to 8GB RAM, a beautiful 6.4-inch OLED display, and a 4200mAh battery with fast wireless charging. The phone also featured relatively fast 15W wireless charging and even reverse wireless charging, just like the Mate 20 Pro!
You can get the P30 Pro as less as €579.65 in Europe through sites like Amazon right now! Unfortunately, in India, it’s mostly out of stock or still pretty expensive at around Rs. 68,000. With Google Apps onboard, the P30 Pro is one of the best flagships money can buy in 2019.
3Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
What’s the Best Flagship Phones list without a Galaxy Note device, right? Samsung made a solid comeback this year with the Galaxy Note 10+. The phone comes with Snapdragon 855 (or Exynos 9825) with 12GB of RAM, a large 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED flexible display and 45W 4300mAh battery on board. The Galaxy Note 10+ camera isn’t all fancy like the P30 Pro but its quad-camera setup featuring a 12MP primary (dual-pixel) sensor, another 12MP telephoto sensor for 2x optical zoom, a 16MP ultrawide lens, and a ToF 3D VGA camera takes consistent high-quality images. For the past few years, Samsung Galaxy Note devices have featured one of the best cameras in the market, and the 2019 Galaxy Note 10+ is no exception. It’s also IP68 certified like its predecessor and comes with 15W wireless charging (reverse wireless charging too!).
The Galaxy Note 10+ is available for around Rs. 79,999 in India and around €899 in Europe.
4Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Traditionally, the iPhone series wouldn’t have made it to our Best Flagship Smartphones list. But in 2019, things are different and Apple has clearly upped its game. The Apple iPhone 11 series features one of the best smartphone cameras in the market today. And the 11 Pro Max takes things to another level. The phone features a beautiful 6.5-inch 1242 x 2688 pixel resolution XDR OLED display with 120Hz touch sensing for fluid touch response. The Hexa-core A13 Bionic chip is one of the fastest smartphone processors in the market right now and that’s paired with a 4-core Apple GPU. The 4000mAh battery inside the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the largest battery capacity on an iPhone, ever!
All these features are top of the line, but the real reason this phone makes it to the Best Flagship Smartphones of 2019 is because of its triple camera setup at the back. The 11 Pro Max features three 12MP shooters, a primary dual-pixel sensor paired with a 2x optical zoom telephoto sensor and an ultrawide lens. The setup enables the phone to capture amazing photos. And the phone shoots videos better than almost all other smartphones on this list. Clearly, it wouldn’t be a fair Best Flagship Smartphone list without including the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Did you know the phone is IP68 dust and water-resistant too?
That should give you some peace of mind, especially when you are shelling out nearly Rs. 1,24,000 in India or around €1,399 in Europe!
5Samsung Galaxy Fold (Special Category)
Honestly, we were not sure whether to include the Galaxy Fold to our list of the Best Flagship Smartphones of 2019. We were even more confused when the Fold made it to the Verge’s Biggest Fails of the Decade. However, after discussing the Pros and Cons of the Galaxy Fold, we decided to include it as a special category. After all, it is the world’s first commercial foldable in the market right now and selling more than 500,000 units of an experimental smartphone is success in itself!
The Galaxy Fold is the world’s first true commercial foldable available for purchase. Despite its ups and downs, Samsung has managed to create a phone that’s relatively durable, powered by top-end hardware, and features a display that transforms into a tablet with a simple unfold. If you have an eye for revolutionary technologies and an unlimited budget, the Galaxy Fold is the smartphone to buy in 2019.
The Galaxy Fold features two displays, a traditional 4.6-inch AMOLED panel outside and a Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 7.3-inch display inside. There are SIX cameras on board, three at the back which is very similar to the Note 10+, dual 10+8MP cameras on top of the flexible display inside, and another 10MP shooter on top of the cover display outside. A 4350mAh battery with 15W fast wired and wireless charging powers up the two displays. The software is one of the highlights of the Galaxy Fold, with the customized UI enabling a seamless transition between the two displays and allowing users to take full advantage of the tablet-sized display inside.
Next-gen technology often comes at an expensive price. And the Galaxy Fold starts at a staggering Rs. 1,64,999 in India or around €2000 in Europe! We have to add that, unlike other flagships, it won’t be easy getting hold of a unit.
So these were our picks for the Best Flagship Phones of 2019? Do you think any other device deserves a place on this list? Let us know through comment section below…