We live in an exciting time for smartphones. Apple and Samsung both released their own highly sought-after devices to the market at large recently. Meanwhile, Google has plans of its own — with the mysterious Pixel 4 set to make its debut in the coming weeks.
For the first time in a while, the biggest names in tech all have outstanding devices that fiercely compete with one another for a spot in your pocket. That said, deciding which one is right for you can be tricky. Do you value a quality camera over speed and power? Do you prefer intuitive software or the ability to customize? No single phone will tick every box, so knowing the differences is critical to making an informed decision.
We’ve put together a detailed analysis of the best smartphones on the market right now, how they differ from one another, as well as the unique standout features that make each one worth buying. If you’re looking to switch to a new phone, our detailed guide and comparison chart of each company’s flagship device can help light the way. Which phone will you choose?
Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max
With Apple’s iPhone event fresh in our minds, most of us are likely fairly familiar with the iPhone 11 Pro Max to a certain extent. In fact, Kim even bought and gave her impressions on Apple’s flagship for herself.
The verdict: It’s very similar to the iPhone XS Max of last year, but it does have some notable improvements on the inside. Design-wise, however, you either love it or don’t. Most notably, however, the phone does not offer a 5G version, which is a major setback compared to its competition.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes in at around half a pound (7.97 oz) of weight and includes a 6.5 inch across Super Retina OLED display. It runs Apple’s very own iOS 13 software and is available in 64, 256, and 512 GB storage capacities.
Its biggest and most notable upgrade is the triple-lens wide-angle camera array on the back, which allows the phone to deploy some highly advanced image processing to its advantage. It also comes in unique, matte glass finishes similar to the Gold, Silver, and Black of last year. Now, Apple has included a cool Midnight-Green color as well.
Internally, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is nothing to sniff at. Because the hardware and software come from the same manufacturer, the iPhone is optimized for speed and performance with its own components. This results in it showing impressive performance thanks to its A13 Bionic chip and even edges out over Samsung in terms of raw speed despite only having 4GB of RAM.
Ultimately, it’s a strong entry from Apple, but it builds on a formula they’ve relied on for the past two years. Next year promises to debut a new body style as per Apple’s 3-year “supercycle,” but what it contains remains to be seen.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung’s entry in the smartphone wars is the colossal Galaxy Note 10+. Taking a page out of previous years’ models, the Note 10+ comes bundled with Samsung’s patented stylus, as well as advanced text recognition software for handwritten notes. Of the top tier smartphones on the market, nobody else is doing this — which helps Samsung carve out a unique niche among avid note-takers.
The sleek Galaxy Note 10+ is actually lighter than the iPhone at less than half a pound (6.91 oz) and contains a slightly larger 6.8 inch AMOLED display for crisp images. Resolution-wise, it beats Apple’s display significantly and packs 3040 x 1440 pixels.
It’s an Android phone and runs the 9th version of Google’s software, Pie. It is available in 256 and 512 GB memory configurations but does contain expandable memory in the form of a MicroSD card.
Performance-wise, the Note 10+ is an absolute heavyweight. It beats the majority of phones on the market, even Samsung’s other Galaxy products, but doesn’t quite match Apple in terms of performance optimization. Still, it packs an impressive 12 GB of RAM and a quad-lens wide-angle camera. Its front-facing camera, however, isn’t quite as robust as Apple’s at only 10MP.
Google Pixel 4 XL
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 12, 2019
This is the one everybody’s talking about right now — mostly because it hasn’t even been released yet. The Google Pixel 4 XL is hotly anticipated by fans and tech watchers alike and is poised to take a significant bite out of both Apple and Samsung’s market share.
Early leaks by both Google and supply chains promise a phone with a new body style that trades in the plastic for glass on the back. Curiously, the fingerprint reader is absent from the phone’s rear, which has led some to speculate that the phone will either use facial recognition or contain an in-screen fingerprint reader.
Benchmark tests show the phone packs up to 8GB of RAM, and comes in both 128 and 256 GB configurations. It includes a slightly smaller display at 6.3 inches, but has finally left the camera notch of its predecessor behind.
The most notable feature, as per usual with the Google Pixel series, is the phone’s camera. Based on early reports, the phone boasts a triple lens camera array with a wide-angle lens.
It also includes numerous color correction and image processing capabilities that leave its photos looking crisper and sharper than its competitors. It’s even said to contain a “motion mode” for crystal clear HDR shots while in motion, which would be a first for the Pixel line.
Google’s official unveiling of the phone should be taking place in the coming weeks, with October looking like the most likely time for an announcement. As always, we’ll be covering the official unveiling and bringing you even more detailed info on the latest smartphones and gadgets.
If you’re still looking for more detailed information on these flagship smartphone products, click or tap to visit our official comparison chart and find out more.