waterproof smartphone 2019

IDC estimated that nearly 900,000 smartphones are damaged by liquids every day. However, there is no truly waterproof phone available on the market, even the so-called waterproof ones, which would more accurately be described as water-resistant. But today there are all kinds of water-resistant handsets that won’t give up on a rainy day. So let us review the best Waterproof Smartphone 2019 and cheap waterproof phones on the market.

IP67 and IP68 water-resistant phones

As no phone is completely waterproof, there are IP ratings to define different levels of water resistance, two of the most common ratings among smartphones these days are IP67 and IP68. IP67 means full dust resistance and a phone can survive up to 30 minutes in water at a 1m depth; phones rated IP68 guarantee protection in water that’s 2m deep for the same period of time.

If you want to know how water-resistant your phone is, check out the IP rating. But please remember that liquids can cause damage to your phone, so don’t test the limits, or you may have to buy a new one. Note: liquid damage is not covered under warranty for almost all smartphone brands.

Best Waterproof Phone 2019: Waterproof Phone Reviews

waterproof smartphone 2019

Huawei P30 Pro

Water Resistance: Yes; IP68
Display: 6.47-inch OLED
Rear camera: Quad-camera
(40MP f/1.6 OIS (RYYB filter) + 8MP with periscope 135mm f/3.4 OIS lens (5x optical zoom) + 20MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (16mm) + ToF camera; 4K video capture, 720@960fps slow-mo, Leica branding)
Front camera: 32MP
Release date: March 2019
Price: starting from $645

The IP68-rated Huawei P30 Pro can survive in up to 2 meter deep water for 30 minutes. This superb phone is definitely one of the best camera phones on the market today, sporting quad-lens rear camera, it can accommodate a variety of perspectives, from shallow depth-of-field portraits to faraway zoom shots and wide-angle panoramas. You can use the splash-proof phone while taking a shower or to capture beautiful moments in the rain.

  • Huawei P30 and P30 Pro Launched in Paris

OnePlus 7T Pro

Water Resistance: NO/Screen protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display: 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED;
Rear camera: Triple-camera
(48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x optical zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), AF)
Front camera: Motorized pop-up 16 MP
Release date: October 2019
Price: starting from $780

OnePlus claims that their phone is water resistant to some degree, despite the fact that it doesn’t have an official IP rating. Alongside the release of the OnePlus 7 series, the phone company even published a video to demonstrate its phone falling into a bucket of water, explaining that “waterproof ratings for phones cost your money”.

From the 90Hz display to the top-tier specs and the lightning-fast OxygenOS over Android 10, the OnePlus 7T Pro is one of the best android flagship phones of the year. It features 6.67 inch Fluid AMOLED Display (90 Hz Refresh Rate), powerful Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus, and rear triple-camera. News comes that a 5G version will come to the market.

  • Limited OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition Launched in China

To find out if OnePlus phones are “waterproof”, we put its predecessor OnePlus 6 into a glass of coca cola. Check out the video to see how that turned out.

$629 OnePlus 6 Dumped in Coca Cola

OPPO Reno 2

Water Resistance: NO/Screen protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Display: 6.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
Rear camera: Quad-camera
(48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
13MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.2″, 1.4µm
2 MP B/W, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm)
Front camera: Motorized pop-up 16 MP
Release date: September 2019
Price: starting from $420

Just like OnePlus, the OPPO phones also don’t have an official IP rating, but some Youtubers have tested OPPO Reno 2’s water-resistance by submitting the phone to splashing, soaking it in water, bringing it into the shower and the results suggest that the OPPO Reno 2 should have a waterproof rating of 5-6, which is enough for the average user. The OPPO Reno 2 sports waterproof Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and is coated with an oleophobic layer that effectively separates the water droplets.

OPPO Reno series smartphones have excellent camera performance. The Reno 2 houses a shark fin-like pop-up selfie camera and an updated quadruple camera configuration in the rear. Retailing at around $420, it is a viable option for those who want to have a robust alternative to premium flagships.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Water Resistance: Yes; IP68/Screen protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Display: 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
Rear camera: Triple-camera
(12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, AF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm, Super Steady video)
Front camera: 10 MP + 8MP
Release date: February 2019
Price: starting from $799

All of Samsung’s latest flagships sport IP68 rating water resistance, allowing them to stay protected under as much as 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy S10+ adopts a cutting-edge design with a gorgeous Infinity Super AMOLED display that takes up the entirety of the phone’s front side and its full-glass display assures its water-resistance to some degree. The Samsung flagship phone has a 6.4-inch display, triple rear camera setup, powerful Snapdragon 855 chipset, and an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Water Resistance: Yes; IP68 /Screen protection: Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
Display: 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED capacitive touchscreen
Rear camera: Triple-camera
(12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.0, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), SL 3D camera
Release date: September 2019
Price: starting from $1099

iPhones are mostly rated as IP67 or IP68, and all the three iPhone 11 models launched in 2019 are rated IP68 under IEC standard. According to Apple, the phones have been tested for splash, dust, and water resistance as follows:

  • iPhone 11: maximum depth of 2 meters up to 30 minutes
  • iPhone 11 Pro: maximum depth of 4 meters up to 30 minutes
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: maximum depth of 4 meters up to 30 minutes

iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max feature stunning OLED display, rear triple-camera with impressive Night Mode, industry-leading A13 Bionic processor, solid battery life and fantastic colors. If iPhone or Android phone users want to upgrade their handsets, the new high-end flagships from Apple are worth the splurge.

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A SMARTPHONE?

SMARTPHONE PERFORMANCE: PROCESSOR AND RAM

Your smartphone processor, also known as the chipset or the SoC, is the component that is responsible for just about everything functioning on your smartphone. It is essentially the brain of the system, and most of these processors also come equipped with AI capabilities that essentially make your smartphone as ‘smart’ it is today.

A capable processor not only allows your device to function seamlessly but is also capable of enhancing other factors. One example is image processing. Samsung phones, as an example, comes in two variants – one hosting the Snapdragon chipset (the latest one being Snapdragon 865+). In contrast, the other one employs Samsung’s in house Exynos processor (the latest being Exynos 990). Some reviewers have explicitly stated that there is a tangible difference in not just the processing power of the two variants, the Snapdragon being much snappier, but also the image-processing abilities.

So, when you choose your smartphone, it is integral to know what processor you’re getting along with it since the performance directly correlates with it. Popular ones include Snapdragon, Apple A13 Bionic, Exynos 990, and Kirin 990. Apple processors are known for their raw computing power, and Snapdragon processors are the closest equivalent in the Android realm. You also have lower-powered processors for mid-range and budget devices such as the Snapdragon 730 and 730G, Snapdragon 675, MediaTek Helio G90T and G85, and more, that are commonly found in lower-priced 2020 smartphones. If you’re on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing some power to save money, consider buying phones with one of these processors since they drive down costs quite a bit.

Coming to RAM, this refers to system memory that smartphones use to hold data that active applications are using. A portion of your smart- phone’s RAM is always used up by the operating system, to keep it run- ning. We’re not going to get into the nitty-gritty of RAM usage in a phone since it involves explaining terms such as kernel-space which will end up taking a lot of room in this article. Having sufficient RAM can allow you to have a larger number of apps running in the background, which significantly affects your multitasking experience. However, some smartphones are breaking all barriers and installing a whopping 12-16 GB of RAM in their smartphones. That’s definitely overkill for smartphones, especially if you don’t plan on switching between 10-20 apps at the same time. If you’re a light smartphone user, someone who only uses their phone for calls, texts, What- sApp and light browsing, you can easily get away with 3-4 GB RAM. For power users, something around the ballpark of 6-8 GB is perfectly fine.

CHOICE OF OPERATING SYSTEM

It boils down to two options – Android or iOS. The choice is actually more complicated than you imagine since both operating systems have a sizable list of pros and cons. If you’re someone who enjoys tinkering around with your device and customising it to your heart’s content, you’re Team Android. If you like a simple, powerful OS which gets constant software updates and is supported for a more extended period, you’re Team iOS. Nevertheless, Android is also almost as powerful but not quite as simple, although the current Android version has become much simpler to use than the days of Gingerbread. Just know that iOS, as an OS, is quite limiting, in some cases. For instance, you cannot sideload apps from the internet if they are not available on the App Store, the split-screen mode still isn’t a thing on iPhones (just iPads), you cannot customise your home screen (although iOS 14 may include widgets), and you definitely cannot use launchers to completely change the look of your phone. However, iOS comes with a plethora of advantages as well, such as iMessage, FaceTime, regular software updates, and the biggest of all, minimal bloatware, and no adware! We’re looking at you, Xiaomi!

PREFERED USER INTERFACE

You also have to keep in mind that numerous smartphones come with their own skin or UI (user interface) smacked on top of Android. OnePlus has OxygenOS, a clean skin that is quite close to stock Android, Samsung comes with One UI 2, which has improved by leaps and bounds from its TouchWiz days, MIUI on Xiaomi phones, which is an ad-fest but is well-optimised, ColorOS on Oppo and Realme smartphones, that is heavily inspired by iOS.

Remember to try and experience the UI before buying the device to see if it works for you.

A GOOD DISPLAY

Smartphone display sizes seem to be ever-increasing and are continually pushing the boundary of what we’d expect a smartphone display size to be. They’ve reached the ‘phablet’ realm with displays even reaching up to 6.9-inches!

However, in the age where content is being consumed increasingly on our pocket devices (hard to call them that now), this may not be a bad thing. We suggest anything above 5.7 inches so you can really immerse yourself into games and media. As far as display types go, you have LCD and AMOLED displays. AMOLED displays have variants such as OLED or Super AMOLED (in the case of Sam- sung) and have better contrast and darker blacks. They also assist in saving battery since they turn off all the black pixels on the phone to display ‘true black’.

Next, you also have various resolutions such as Full HD, Full HD+ Quad HD. While QHD does provide crisper images, the difference between FHD and QHD is not too jarring, especially to the untrained eye. You should also check the screen protection on your device. Gorilla 5 and 6 are usually used in current-generation smartphones, and they provide reasonable protection for your glass sandwiches. However, we still recommend a case strongly.

THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF STORAGE

The current standard is 64GB on lower-end models and 128GB to 512GB on flagships. With swift sharing apps and technologies, almost all of us import every single GB of data from our previous phones to the new ones. So, adequate storage is essential. We recommend that you do not go under 128GB since it will give you enough breathing room to keep your data as well as download apps to your heart’s content. Also, keep an eye out for phones with expandable memory storage.

BATTERY LIFE THAT FITS YOUR DAILY REQUIREMENTS

The golden standard of battery life in flagship smartphones is 6+ hours of screen on time. Anything with higher capacities can mostly allow even heavy-users to power through. Flagship phones, as well as some mid-range phones, can also reach 8-10 hours of screen on time, which is brilliant. The goal is to get a phone that can at least pull through one whole day of intensive usage. So, ensure to check battery tests online before purchasing a device. Also, try and research if the phone you’re planning on buying has a decent power-saving mode.

CAMERA QUALITY THAT JUSTIFIES THE PRICE

In 2020, multi-cameras are the norm and phones with just one rear camera are extremely rare now. You usually get a primary lens which sports the highest MP count, a portrait lens, and a wide-angle shooter. And then, you also have a few extras that some manufacturers add such as the ToF (Time of Flight) sensor, macro lens, and colour filter lens. We, at the Digit Labs, are fans of the wide-angle lens because of the magnitude of images you can now take on phones. Capturing sprawling scenes is not a problem anymore! The portrait lens, when done well, can produce spectacular bokeh shots too. However, if this trend just isn’t for you and the growing camera bumps enrage you, it would be best to buy older phones with one primary lens or newer ones such as the iPhone SE 2020. Also, don’t go MP hunting, higher megapixel-count doesn’t always mean better images since the sensor size is much more integral to producing good photos.

Smartphones have also been employing pixel-binning, which essentially turns four or more pixel into one big pixel, that adds clarity and detail to the image. Also, for now, try to stray away from the 108MP sensors since they’re pretty rough around the edges at the moment plagued with image fringing and autofocus issues.

MISCELLANEOUS THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Wireless charging
  • Gaming Mode
  • Fingerprint sensor vs Face Unlock
  • Bluetooth version
  • IP Rating
  • Dual sim
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • Stereo speakers
  • NFC
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi

WHAT NOT TO CONSIDER?

FOLDABLE DESIGNS

While the design evolution is innovative and smart, it is simply too early to be completely reliable. Our verdict? Hold off on buying foldable phones for a few years.

5G SMARTPHONES

In a country like the US which is slowly but surely seeing widespread 5G integration (low band or mmWave), sure, go for 5G phones to futureproof. However, 5G integration in India is still a ways away, and the proper rollout is years away. So, it makes no sense paying more to purchase a 5G phone.

Phone Brands Compared

No phone brand is perfect, and each comes with a set of pros and cons. Samsung phones have great hardware, but sometimes have issues when it comes to Android and its own UI. Apple, by contrast, has fantastic integration between hardware and its own operating system, but its phones are notoriously expensive.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each phone brand:

Samsung Phones

The Korean brand manages to produce brilliant phones across a range of prices – something few other companies can achieve. Whether you want to splurge on a wallet-busting Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy S20, or scrimp on a Galaxy A10, there’s something for everyone.

Samsung Galaxy S20

While there are three S20 models on sale, we think the S20 is probably the best choice. It has the same 120Hz refresh rate screen tech as the other phones in the series, as well as a lot of the same camera tech. However, at $999, it is significantly cheaper than the other S20 models — the S20 Ultra, for example, costs a whopping $1,399.

Plus, it has 5G as standard. The S20 is undoubtedly one of the best phones on sale at the moment (just don’t tell Samsung it’s better than the more expensive versions).

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

The S10 Plus is arguably the best phone on sale at the moment, and certainly our favorite. Its screen is brilliant, the cameras are top-drawer, and its performance is staggering. It is expensive at $999, but it’s way better value for money that some similarly-priced phones (we’re looking at you, Apple). Read our full S10 Plus review for more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

The Note 10 Plus is huge but brilliant phone. It has a dazzling 6.8-inch display with a small hole punch front camera. As ever with Note-series phones, it comes with a built-in stylus, but also packs four rear cameras and serious performance with a Snapdragon 855 processor and 12GB of RAM on tap. If you need a phone that could feasibly replace your laptop, this is the one to go for. Read our full Note 10 Plus review for more.

Verdict – Quality across the board means that Samsung has something for everyone

samsung galaxy s10 plus screen

Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusArguably the best phone on sale today5In Short

Pros

  • Fantastic screen
  • Great-looking design
  • Strong cameras
  • Speedy processor
  • OneUI is a huge improvement over previous Samsung skins

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Samsung can be slow to issue OS updates
  • Bixby isn’t very helpful

GalleryClick to expand

samsung galaxy s10 plus screen
samsung galaxy s10 plus screen

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Apple Phones

The one you love to hate, or indeed, love to love. Apple stands out from the crowd, being the only manufacturer on this list not to use Android. Its phones are unashamedly expensive, although that doesn’t seem to put anyone off buying one.

Not sure which iPhone to get? See our simple guide, Which iPhone Should I Buy?

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

The follow-up to the XS, the 11 Pro is (in our mind, at least) the best iPhone to buy. You get a pin-sharp 5.8-inch screen, high quality materials, and typically blistering performance. It might cost $1,000, but the 11 Pro is closer than ever to being able to justify that price. We’re big fans of its new triple rear cameras and improved front snapper, while the screen is better than ever. However, Apple is being a bit stingy offering just 64GB of storage as standard.

Apple iPhone 11

The new cheap iPhone is actually $50 cheaper than the phone it replaced. At $699, you get a 6.1-inch LCD (boo) display and the same rapid performance as the 11 Pro and Pro Max. You also get some upgraded cameras over last year’s XR and a brilliant choice of color options. Most pleasingly, though, you also get a larger, longer lasting battery compared to the XR. All told, it’s a good phone that almost everyone will be smitten with.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

The largest of the new iPhones, the Pro Max is a bit of a beast. It has a 6.5-inch AMOLED display and a very large 3,969 mAh battery. Compared to the 11 Pro, however, there aren’t too many differences beyond the larger screen and battery. As a result, we’d probably opt for the cheaper phone. That’s not to say the 11 Pro Max is bad, just that we’d rather save $100 and have a just-as-capable phone.

Verdict – Apple iPhones may be expensive, but they’re excellent across the board

iphone 11 front

iPhone XSIt’s still great but for $100 more, we’d still choose the iPhone 11 Pro4.5In Short

Pros

  • Great cameras
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Fantastic screen

Cons

  • Still expensive
  • Might be a touch too big for some

GalleryClick to expand

iphone xs max review in hand front

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Google Phones

It sounds surprising, but the current crop of Google phones is only the company’s third attempt at making a phone itself. However, the search engine giant excels in software, and it shows in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, with the powerful Google Assistant and excellent cameras making for awesome Android phones.

Google Pixel 4 XL

The Pixel 4 XL is, in our mind, a great phone. However, it’s proven to be one of the most controversial phones of 2019 with large bezels and decent, but not impressive battery life, and stingy storage space. Despite these concerns, it packs the best cameras of any current phone (despite the lack of ultra wide-angle lens) and remains as easy to use as all the previous Google phones.

Google Pixel 3a XL

The Pixel 3a XL is a new cheap version of a Google phone. You still get the same excellent camera quality, but it costs $420 less. The Pixel 3a XL isn’t the fastest phone on sale, and it loses the glass rear case found on the more expensive Pixel phones. But the Pixel 3a XL is still a remarkably good phone for just $479. Read our full Pixel 3a XL review to find out more.

Google Pixel 3a

Like the above, but smaller and even cheaper. Starting at just $399, the Pixel 3a is one of the best value phones on sale. The screen is smaller at 5.6-inches but it’s still a 1080p, OLED unit. Plus, you get the best phone camera on the market for a remarkably low price. Read our full Pixel 3a review here.

Verdict – Camera lovers and Android purists can rejoice, as Google Pixel delivers

google pixel 4 xl screen

Google Pixel 4 XLAn improvement over the Pixel 3 XL, but some problems remain4.5In Short

Pros

  • Stunning camera
  • Impressive screen quality with new 90Hz refresh rate
  • Snappy Face Unlock tech
  • Significantly better battery life than Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 4
  • Stock Android interface is easy to use

Cons

  • Design might not be to everyone’s taste
  • Gesture controls feel a bit gimmicky at the moment
  • No ultra wide-angle camera lens

GalleryClick to expand

google pixel 4 screen

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OnePlus Phones

Probably the first surprise entrant on the list, OnePlus has been quietly cranking out good phones for a while. It’s most recent 7 and 7 Pro models are its most expensive ever, but they’re still pretty good value compared to a lot of flagship phones.

OnePlus 7T Pro

OnePlus is famed for cramming all manner of headline-grabbing features into its phones and it’s managed to outdo itself with the 7T Pro. It has a 6.7-inch super-sharp AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and video playback. It also packs in a Snapdragon 855+ processor and 8GB of RAM. It doesn’t end there though, with triple rear cameras, and a motorized pop-up 16Mp selfie snapper. It was also one of the first phones to use Android 10. Our only sticking point is the lack of waterproofing and the $865 price tag.

OnePlus 7T

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the 7T is an updated version of the 7 which launched back in June. However, OnePlus effectively ripped up the script and started again. You get a larger screen with that all-important 90Hz refresh rate. It gets a new ultra wide-angle lens to give three rear facing in total, plus it gets a larger battery (3,700 mAh vs 3,800 mAh) and even faster fast-charging.

OnePlus 7

The 7 might feel like an ugly duckling in the company of the 7T and 7T Pro. However, it’s still a top quality phone with an AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855, and dual rear cameras including a 48Mp lens. In light of the newer models, the 7 has also had a price cut. It now costs around $410, making it a seriously impressive piece of kit for the price. Read our full OnePlus 7 review for more.

Verdict – Compelling flagship-killer phones at lower prices

oneplus 7 screen

OnePlus 7A seriously impressive phone for the price4In Short

Pros

  • Blisteringly fast
  • Good screen
  • Great cameras
  • Faster updates than bigger manufacturers
  • Cheaper than most similarly-specced rivals

Cons

  • OnePlus phones are becoming more expensive
  • Construction feels a little bit plasticky
  • No waterproof rating

GalleryClick to expand

oneplus 7 home screen
oneplus 7 rear case

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Huawei Phones

Huawei’s had some difficult times recently. In fact, its most recent flagship phones — the Mate 30 and P40 series — were banned from being able to use Google-made apps. This means no Play Store for your favorite apps and no integration with wider Google services. As a result, we can’t really recommend these phones. Fortunately, 2018’s Mate 20 series models are still available and still have access to Google services, and they’re cheaper than ever.

Huawei Mate 20

Another fabulous cut-price Android phone. The Mate 20 comes with an unusual square arrangement for its three rear cameras, a tiny notch and a pin-sharp OLED screen. It also comes in a range of delightful colors and packs the super-speedy Kirin 980 processor.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro is a real flagship rival with a Google and Samsung-rivalling price tag. It has a big 6.4-inch OLED display, runs the latest version of Android, and is available with either 6GB or 8GB Ram. You get the same triple-camera set-up at the rear, with one 40Mp, 20Mp and 8Mp lenses. It’s well worth considering if you’re in the market for an Android flagship.

Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro is a true powerhouse. It has a 6.47-inch OLED display, four rear cameras, the speedy Kirin 980 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a huge 4,200 mAh battery. If you need a phone to power through games and multitasking, while also lasting all day — the P30 Pro might be for you (if you can get one).

Verdict – Excellent phones, subjected to unusual geopolitical pressures

huawei mate 20 pro medium

Huawei Mate 20Lacks some top-end features but excells at the core jobs expected of a smartphoneIn Short

Pros 

  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent battery life
  • Huge screen

Cons 

  • LCD display isn’t as sharp as the Pro
  • Might be too large for some
  • Not as water or dust-proof as many phones

GalleryClick to expand

huawei mate 20 small

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Motorola Phones

You might think of Motorola as a brand relegated to the smartphone cemetry, but you’d be wrong. The brand that gave us the iconic RAZR is still knocking out some incredible mid-range phones, which are well worth taking a look at.

Moto G8 Plus

Motorola’s G-series phones have long been regarded as the best cheap phones on sale and, with the G7 Plus, the company has created another cut-price classic. It runs Android, a 6.3-inch 1080p display, triple rear cameras, and a tiny notch. It costs just $310 — yes, you read that correctly. Read our full review for more.

Motorola One Zoom

The One Zoom was launched at IFA in Berlin packing four (yes, four) rear cameras while costing just $449. That array of rear-facing lenses include a depth-sensor, a 117-degree ultra-wide angle lens, and a telephoto lens — meaning you should get great photos whatever the conditions. Find out more about the One Zoom here.

Motorola One Vision

The One Vision costs the same as the g7 Plus but is a very different phone. Firstly, it’s tall — the screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it three times taller than it is wide. Secondly, it takes incredible photos with dual rear cameras (including a 48Mp lens). Thirdly, it uses Android One, a version of Android that gives you speedy updates and minimal bloatware. It’s an unusual but impressive phone.

Verdict – The cheap G-series are a solid option for those one a budget, while its Android One series keeps getting better

motorola g8 plus rear case

Motorola Moto G8 Plus ReviewOne of the best cheap Android phones gets even better4In Short

Every year, it feels like we say the same thing. The latest phones from Motorola’s G-series are great, and arguably the best value for money phones on the market. And believe it or not, 2019 is no different. The Motorola G8 Plus is a great phone, and it costs just north of $300. When a phone this good is this cheap, why would you buy anything else?GalleryClick to expand

motorola g8 plus screen
image 568
motorola g8 plus rear case
image 569

Nokia Phones

Recently resurrected, Nokia has come back to life with a flurry of activity, launching some seriously impressive mid-range Android phones. They’re certainly not flagship killers – leave that to OnePlus – but they provide a compelling alternative to Samsung’s cheaper options.

Nokia 8.3 5G

The 8.3 is Nokia’s first 5G-enabled phone and starts from around $640 in the US — that’s cheap for a 5G device.

However, the 8.3 is more than just a 5G phone. It has a 6.8-inch display that upscales content into HDR-compatible formats for better clarity and contrast. It has four rear cameras: a 64Mp wide angle lens, a 12Mp ultrawide lens, a 2Mp macro lens for close-up shots, and a 2Mp depth sensor. Plus, it has a large 4,500 mAh battery for extra long battery life.

Nokia 7.2

The 7.2 is a very impressive budget option if you’re looking for strong camera quality. Costing $349, the 7.2 comes with a 48Mp main camera, an 8Mp ultrawide lens, and a 5Mp depth sensor. Plus, these cameras use Zeiss optics for the best clarity and image quality.

The 7.2 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor and 4GB of RAM, meaning it should be more than fast enough for most people. The 6.3-inch Full-HD+ display means it should be perfect for streaming TV shows and movies.

Nokia 3.2

The 3.2 is a remarkably cheap phone, costing just $150. It’s not perfect, with slightly sluggish performance and a finnicky face unlock system.

However, it has remarkable battery life — thanks to its efficient processor and large 4,000 mAh battery. It’s also extremely well-built, unseemingly so for a phone at this price.

If you’re looking for the perfect backup phone, the 3.2 might be the perfect fit. Find out more in our full Nokia 3.2 review.

Verdict – Buyers on a budget should definitely take a look at Nokia

Nokia 8.3 5G

Nokia 9 PureViewA left-field alternative with innovative camera set-upIn Short

Pros

  • Great cameras
  • Impressive pOLED screen
  • Stock Android
  • Powerful processor and healthy Ram figure

Cons

  • Battery isn’t the biggest at 3,320 mAh
  • Only IP67 is waterproof-rated, despite not having a headphone jack

GalleryClick to expand

nokia 9 pureview medium

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LG Phones

LG’s mobile division has fallen on hard times, and has failed to grab the imagination at the top end of the market. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some phones worthy of consideration, though.

LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen

LG has taken a different approach to folding phones compared to Samsung and Motorola. Instead of one screen which folds up, LG has decided to give its flagship phones two screens — no creases of reliability problems here — via a unique case attachment.

It costs $899 and, although you get the option of two screens, the rest of the spces aren’t that impressive. The primary screen has a 1080×2460 resolution — which is sharp, but not as sharp as other flagship phones. It has a large 5,000 mAh battery and uses a Snapdragon 865 processor. It gets three rear cameras including a 64Mp main lens, a 13Mp wide angle lens and a time-of-flight sensor for depth perception.

LG G8 ThinQ

The G8 ThinQ is LG’s answer to the leading flagship phones on the market. It packs a sharp 1440×3120 6.1-inch P-OLED display, a Snapdragon 855 processor for top-notch performance, and dual rear cameras. Price? At $849, it isn’t the cheapest, but it is certainly capable.

Verdict – LG is a bit of a leftfield choice, but not necessarily a bad one

LG G8 small

LG G8 ThinQ ReviewUnusual features but a way behind the compeitionIn Short

Pros

  • Interesting features such as HandID and in-display speakers
  • Decent battery life and cameras
  • Decent OLED display
  • MicroSD carad and headphone jack support

Cons

  • Fluctuating price makes it a difficult value proposition
  • Not as powerful as other rivals
  • Sluggish OS updates

GalleryClick to expand

lg g8 thinq

Buy from Verizon

Sony Phones

Sony has been stuck in a rut for a while now. However, with its new lineup of Xperia 10 phones, and the flagship Xperia 1, it’s look to change that. The phones are certainly head-turning, with overly tall displays. But are they actually any good?

Sony Xperia 10

The Xperia 10 seems like a pretty standard low- to mid-range phone. It has a Snapdragon 630 processor, dual rear cameras, and a 6-inch 1080p display. But that screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio and is, basically, just a bit too tall for one-handed use. Still, it’s good for watching films and it’ll set you back $299. Intrigued? Read our full review.

Sony Xperia 10 Plus

Like the above, but even bigger. It has a whopping 6.5-inch and it’s frankly too tall and heavy to be used with a single hand. Still, like its smaller brother, performance isn’t bad and that screen is great for watching TV shows and films, or playing games. There’s a significant price bump for that extra screen, though, as the Xperia 10 Plus costs $429.

Sony Xperia 1 II

The confusingly named Xperia 1 II is Sony’s latest flagship phone. Its main selling point is the 6.5-inch 4K 21:9 OLED display. This makes it perfect for watching movies or TV shows, as you’ll have plenty of screen real estate, as well as pin-sharp pixels.

However, you’ll pay a small fortune for that screen quality — the Xperia 1 II is expected to cost $1,300 when it goes on sale in the US.

Verdict – Sony produces decent phones at a range of prices

sony xperia 10 screen

Sony Xperia 10 ReviewA decent mid-range phone with an unusual screen3.5In Short

Pros

  • Tall screen makes watching some stuff better
  • Not too expensive

Cons

  • Plasticky design doesn’t feel brilliant
  • Underwhelming battery life

GalleryClick to expand

sony xperia 10 screen
Sony Xperia 10 screen
Sony xperia 10 plus rear
Sony Xperia 10 side on

Buy from Amazon

Phone Brands by Budget

These are the best phones you can buy, whether you have $300, $500 or over $1,000 to spend!

Best Phones Under $300 (Or $20 per month)

It’s safe to say that if you only have $300 to spend on a phone, you’re not going to be getting an iPhone. However, some brands offer great phones for budget-conscious buyers.

You should consider a phone from Motorola — anything from the G8 series would be perfect — or Nokia. Rather than looking to cut costs on the features and components, these companies produce phones that you could happily use every day. Some of the materials might not match those at the top of the market, but they have to save money somewhere.

motorola g8 plus screen

Best Phones under $500 (Or $30 per month)

While flagship phones now cost twice as much, there are some great phones to be had for under $500.

For this budget, we’d struggle to look past the Google Pixel 3a XL. It has strong performance, guaranteed software updates, and the best camera of any phone, at any price. If you’re not keen on a Google phone, you could look at a Samsung Galaxy A50.

Best Phones under $750 (Or $40 per month)

The $500-750 phone market doesn’t have the choice that you’d perhaps expect nowadays, with the market becoming polarized towards increasingly expensive or cheap phones – but that’s not to say you won’t find some good phones.

Again, in this price range, you’ll struggle to find a better phone than the OnePlus 7. However, if you’ve currently got an iPhone, we’d probably opt for the new 11.

oneplus 7 rear

Best Phones around $1,000 (or $50+ per month)

If you’re lucky enough to be able to drop a grand on a phone, you’ve got plenty of options. Not all of them are as good as others, though.

Of course, we’re now really entering iPhone territory. The 11 Pro is a great phone, though we’re not sold on the 11 Pro Max. If you don’t fancy something from Apple, we’d go Google or Samsung. If you need the best cameras, get the Google Pixel 4 XL. If you need incredible all-round capabilities, get the Samsung S20.

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