Best of 2020: Top smartphones launched this year

Best of 2020: Top smartphones launched this year

Like the Spanish flu in 1918 that ravaged the world, this year, Covid-19 outbreak-induced distress saw thousands of lives lost and several millions of people are facing uncertainty in terms of livelihood. We hope the vaccine developed by pharmacy firms be able to stop the spread of coronavirus and also don't see any more such calamities recur again at least in this century.

The pandemic outbreak in early 2020 forced governments to impose lockdown around the world and the timing pushed people to embrace technology than ever before. Millions of people and children worked and studied at home with laptops and phones.

In India, a complete stringent lockdown was imposed from March-end to July. There was a lot of pent-up demand for feature-rich phones after the end of restrictions. The companies, which lost revenues for three months, too lapped up the opportunity and launched a lot of phones in the second half of the year. 

In addition to helping in completing the work or to get service delivered, phones with various features were able to offer a distraction to the people from the distressing news. They were able to enjoy watching their favourite movies, new TV series, and sports like Indian Premier League Cricket over OTT (Over-The-Top) apps.

DH lists top-class phones which excelled in categories such as performance, camera, utility, value-for-money, and more.

Best all-rounder mobile-- Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It is the most expensive phone in the Indian market but has the features to command such as a hefty price-tag. It has Apple A14 Bionic, the most powerful chipset on mobile in the industry. Whatever the task there is, it works smoothly without any sign of lag-ness. Also, it has the best photography hardware, and also it is easy to use. You just have to point the phone to the subject and click, rest assured the photo quality is just top-notch. Also, it offers 5G cellular connectivity and when the infrastructure gets ready in India, people will be able to enjoy a super-fast internet experience.

Read more | Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Big and powerful camera mobile

Best multi-utility phone-- Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Samsung's new Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G covers all bases and sets new standards to emerge as the top Android phone of 2020. For a starting price of Rs 1,04,999, it will serve you well for a minimum of three years thanks to long-term Android OS support, really good build quality, versatile S Pen (no phone brand can match its user-experience), and powerful processor. Also, it supports 5G, making the device future-ready in India. 

Must read | Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G review: Powerful, unique and future-ready

Best value-for-money flagship phones --Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition,  OnePlus 8 Pro, and Mi 10T Pro

Must read | OnePlus 8 Series – Worthy performers


OnePlus 8 series phones. Credit: DH Photo/ Vivek Phadnis

In this segment, Galaxy S20 FE, Mi 10T Pro, and OnePlus 8 Pro are tied. They come with a good set of specifications such as powerful processors, premium build quality, longer battery life, and also good quality photography hardware, but cost much less than flagship mobiles.

Must read | Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Gateway to premium S series

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Even the Mi 10T Pro 5G is a good option. It really loved the camera and battery life of the Xiaomi flagship device.

Must read | Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review: Power-packed premium phone


Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Best gaming phone -- Asus ROG Phone 3
Since the launch of the first generation Republic Of Gamers (ROG) series phone, Asus has improved the gaming user-experience with each new iteration. This year too, it has excelled again by offering top-notch configuration and also custom buttons in addition to value-added accessories.

The company has equipped AirTrigger 3 with Dual Partition and Motion sensor input around the chassis to offer five additional actions while playing games. The ROG Phone 3 also boasts a quad microphone for excellent noise cancellation, Multi-antennas for uninterrupted network connection while gaming and a Dirac-tuned ROG GameFX audio system with 7 magnet stereo Hi-Fi sound-system, directional audio while video recording capability, and next-gen enhanced X Mode software.

ROG Phone 3. Credit: Asus

Also, it boasts the RGB LED-backlit ROG Eye logo, which lights up when using the phone, making it one of the most unique phone designs in the market.

Furthermore, Asus has collaborated with online cloud gaming platform Google Stadia and game development platform Unity Technologies to offer an integrated gaming ecosystem. 

Must read | Asus ROG Phone 3: Everything you need to know

Best phone with long battery life-- Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung's new handset houses a mammoth 7,000mAh battery, the biggest we have seen in a tier-1 branded phone in India. With such a high capacity cell, the Galaxy M51 can be able to run for three days easily under normal usage.

The Galaxy M51. Credit: Samsung

It comes with a 25W super-fast charger that can charge the phone from zero to 100% under two hours. Also, it has a good processor and camera hardware.

Read more |  Samsung Galaxy M51: Everything you need to know

Best mid-range phone (Rs 35,000- Rs 15,000) -- Google Pixel 4a, OnePlus Nord & Redmi Note 9 Pro

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Like the previous Pixel 3a, the successor too, comes with exceptional photography hardware. What's amazing about the Pixel 4a is that despite having just one camera lens, Google has leveraged its top-notch Artificial Intelligence and machine learning tech in the photography application to deliver high-quality images compared to rivals, which come with three and sometimes four cameras on the back.

Must read | Google Pixel 4a review: Fantastic camera phone

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord was developed specifically for emerging markets like India. The company took a lot of feedback from consumers across major cities including Delhi and Bengaluru.

OnePlus Nord. Credit: OnePlus

It comes with an exceptionally good Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core CPU with a 5G modem and has got good camera hardware.

Must read | OnePlus Nord review: Bang for the buck

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (6GB RAM + 128GB storage)

It is not just a significant upgrade over the predecessor, but also one of the best phones mid-range segment. I particularly loved the device's design language, camera, battery life, and smooth processor performance.

Must read | Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 review: Champion mid-range phone

Note: Redmi Note 9 Pro series prices were increased due to the increase in GST (Goods & Services Tax) and inflation, lack of components supply due to Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Best budget phone (under Rs 15,000)-- Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power a really good value-for-money phone and in my opinion, the best among its class (Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 range).

As said before Covid-19 pandemic has led to the closure of schools and online classes have become a new normal. However, not all can afford to get a fancy big-screen phone just to attend virtual classes. Here, the affordable Redmi 9 Power comes in to play. It can last for several hours of video streaming and most importantly the big display is bright and has the technology to lessen the strain on the eyes.

And when free, you can take the Redmi 9 Power on a photography session with friends and family and be assured to get fantastic images in the light.

Must read | Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power review: Top-class performer

Honourable mention-- Vivo V20 Pro

Vivo S20 Pro. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Vivo V20 Pro 5G is a good value-for-money phone. It ticks all the key attributes we look for in the new mid-range mobile. Vivo device has got great looks and has a capable processor that performs smoothly not just day-to-day tasks, but also shines when playing graphics intense games and other heavy-duty tasks. The camera too takes stunning pictures.
Add to that, it has a 5G modem, making Vivo V20 Pro a future-ready phone. Whenever the infrastructure gets ready in India, users can experience high-speed internet (more than 1Gbps) on the device.

Must read | Vivo V20 Pro 5G review: Future-ready mid-range phone

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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