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Review: Best smartphone of the year

The best smartphones of the year!

Camera technology is developing fast, and the latest mobile phones take better pictures than ever before.

forfatter
Published 2019-08-17 - 8:25 am

Mobile phones have gone from being a necessary communication tool to becoming an important extension of ourselves.

We keep track of our friends on social media, get restaurant tips, find our way through unfamiliar places, order taxis, check in at airports, listen to music on the bus, watch movies on the plane, play games during the break, listening at the pod-broadcasts on the hammock, check e-mails on the go, write shopping lists, schedule meetings and manage the connected home.

And then we take pictures on top of that as well. It is estimated that we took 1.2 trillion (!) pictures with cell phones last year.

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It is said that the best camera is the one that is brought along, and the mobile phone is always in the pocket to forever capture the unexpected moments. Therefore, it is no big surprise that we are still placing higher demands for photo quality in our mobile phones. And mobile phone manufacturers have responded to the demand. They put a lot of research on how to get better pictures from the small optics. In recent years, development has moved ahead at furious speed. First we got higher resolution, until the pictures had unnecessarily high-resolution. Then they worked with image stabilisation and faster processing, which in combination with more light-sensitive sensors has made it possible to take pictures even in dim lighting.

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The latest trend is even more cameras. What the extra camera is used for, however, varies among manufacturers. Huawei used previous extra cameras for creative effects, like giving the portrait a fuzzy background by measuring the depth of the subject. Others, like LG, have added a wide-angle lens so that one can take group shots without having to go further back. However, the vast majority have added a telephoto lens. You can then get closer to the subject without having to go closer, which is not always possible. It’s perfect for holiday pictures when you want to snap a photo of a sight, even if you are slightly far away. This has been taken to the extreme in Huawei’s new P20 Pro, which has three entire cameras!

 

Products in this test

Apple iPhone X

X-tremely impressive iPhone

Apple is back on the throne with the first iPhone in years that feels revolutionary.

Facial recognition that actually works. Brilliant display and excellent camera. Great to use without the home button.
Very pricey.

Asus Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL)

Top quality at low price

Asus delivers the most one could wish for at a very attractive price.

Approved facial recognition. Surprisingly good performance. Taking excellent pictures under most conditions.
The design is very similar to the iPhone. No wireless charging.

Nokia 8 Sirocco

Nokia is back in the fight again

Sirocco is awfully close to being a winner, but has been surpassed at the finish line.

Well built and feels luxurious. Excellent performance. Takes nice pictures under most conditions.
Not the latest processor. No optical image stabilisation.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

The best Galaxy yet

Samsung certainly increases the speed, without much trouble.

Best all-round mobile phone with Android at present. Outstanding camera and fast hardware.
Not the best battery. Facial recognition is slow and inaccurate.

Sony Xperia XZ2

A sleek sports car

With slimmer and softer lines along with great performance, XZ2 Xperias is a sports model.

Elegant, new rounded design. Smaller edges and larger display. A performance monster.
No headphone jack. Smooth back. Pictures taken in the dark are not in top of the class.

Huawei P20 Pro

The new king of cameras

Huawei shoots wells, sweeping aside the competition.

The absolute best camera on a phone to date. Super fast facial recognition, very good battery, hug and beautiful display.
No SD card slot. Greasy and slippery back. No wireless charging.
Best iPad Air yet

The latest iPad Air almost takes iPad Pro's place as the best tablet on the market. Unfortunately, the screen is still based on old technology.

Same recipe for success as last year

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is not going to revolutionise the mobile market. But for geeks and semi-professionals, it's probably the best smartphone choice right now.

For the adventurer

Garmin knows how to combine smart and training. The new kid on the block is a premium multisport watch for active people who love adventure.

SUV with a moped engine

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro looks like a low-cost luxury phone. But while it has all the cool features, it lacks the power to utilize them.

Top performance at a bargain price

The Motorola Edge 30 Pro is the fastest Android phone on the market at the time of writing, and the price is almost unbeatable.

Phone with a green conscience

Fairphone 4 is a smartphone without built-in obsolescence. You can replace the parts yourself. Unfortunately, you can't upgrade to a faster processor.

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