The Best Smartphones of 2019

The Best Smartphones of 2019
The Best Smartphones of 2019

Hi, I want to tell you a secret: choosing a smartphone is a difficult task even for the experts, but if you are not, don't worry, you've probably just come to the right place.

I have passionately followed the evolution of the smartphone market over the last ten years, actively contributing to reviewing so many products, and following the main channels of Italian and foreign reviews. I witnessed first hand the boom of the first iPhone and the Samsung - Apple dichotomy, which reigned supreme for many years in the western market. I used iOS and Android as a user and developer, I witnessed with excitement the rise of Nokia Lumia and with amazement at their sudden decline. Within a few years the market has been renewed many times over, and in the last two years we have witnessed the inevitable expansion of Eastern brands, such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which currently reign supreme in the entry level and mid-range market.

I find that, after the first years of bombastic innovations and incredible technological ferment, we have reached a more mature and conscious phase in the production of smartphones. Fewer experiments, less creativity, but more concreteness, more power and reliability, and the possibility of ranging over a very large market, which offers good products for every price range. This is certainly good news for consumers.

The bad news is not long in coming. In fact, such a saturated and fragmented market has several side effects for the same end-users. First of all, the enormous quantity of models on sale creates an information surplus that ends up confusing the user himself, unable to compare the strengths and weaknesses of so many possible candidates. Where there are too many options of choice, you end up choosing badly, and being influenced by new releases and by the most pounding advertising. The manufacturers take advantage of this perverse mechanism, churning out new models every 3-6 months to attack the market, even at the cost of cannibalizing their own products. On the other hand, users will see their devices age rapidly: updates will be guaranteed only for top models. All the others, after the first few months, risk being abandoned, because no producer is willing to sacrifice time and resources to keep obsolete product lines up to date. It is much more convenient to turn out a new smartphone and ride the wave as much as possible. Meanwhile, the unfortunate owners of the models that are no longer up to date will be exposed to important security flaws, as well as seeing their device slow down visibly month after month.

Furthermore, I noticed that documenting to choose the best smartphone model for your needs is now becoming a business, especially for non-experts. Online reviews are increasingly influenced by the editorial logic and governed by the law of "those who arrive late to stay ill". What is it? The visibility bonus offered by large platforms such as Google or Youtube to anyone who is able to offer content before others. Here is that each review is drafted by mutual agreement between the publisher and the same manufacturers, and more and more hastily, often after a few days or even a few hours, in order to anticipate competitors. I worked so many years in this area, but never before have I felt so much confusion on the market. When I then read many readers' requests, more and more confused between an offer of a flyer or another part review, I realized that my perception was probably right: choosing a smartphone is becoming an increasingly difficult undertaking.

So I tried to put myself in the shoes of a simple user looking for the best smartphone, compatibly with their budget. So I decided to write a guide based on simplicity, offering the user advice on what I consider to be the best products in every price range, leaving out all the others. Only three products for each band, but the best, the most reliable, those that if purchased will be the most likely to turn out to be a successful purchase and to turn into an experience of positive use.

Here are the best smartphones on the market today, for every price range. But first, for those who want, a detailed guide to the choice. If you prefer to go directly to the products you will find them in the second part of the article, you can get there quickly by shaking, using the index or clicking here: the best smartphones.

Choice Guide

Here is a list of the basic elements you will need to consider when choosing a smartphone. If you think something is missing, don't hesitate to comment on the article! Each contribution can help us grow and keep this guide up to date.

We often tend to confuse the speed of a smartphone with the frequency of its processor, or with the hardware in general. Although there is obviously a correlation between the two, almost never looking at the technical data sheet will be able to effectively describe the speed of a smartphone. The reason is simple: the difference is made by the optimization of the software, in particular of the operating system and the firmware in general.

Extremely powerful hardware is comparable to a large highway: it costs a lot to build it, but if traffic flows are not well optimized, it will not allow you to avoid the traffic jam. A smartphone equipped with a well-optimized firmware can have surprising results, even with a medium-low level hardware. From this point of view, manufacturers like Apple are certainly at an advantage, working on the entire hardware-software production chain and succeeding in producing extremely optimized products.

Most manufacturers that work on Android must instead deal with a pre-wrapped operating system, above which to install their own customizations. The results can therefore be extremely variable, depending on the manufacturer and the specific telephone model.

A fast phone will first need to allow an almost instantaneous opening of the applications, a fast switch between them, as well as extremely fast access to the most used features, such as the camera, the phonebook and the gallery. Speed also often varies with the age of the phone. In some cases this is a physiological process, since the applications, with the updates, tend to become inexorably more and more complex and exorbitant in computational terms. In other cases, however, performance deteriorates too quickly, and this is almost always a symptom of a poorly designed smartphone, which you will probably look forward to changing.


Let's face it: for most consumers, the quality of a smartphone camera is more important than the ability to call. Shooting and sharing has become a religion, especially among the young. If a good software filter can allow an original rendering of the photo, nothing can replace a good sensor, which can work in the most disparate conditions: in the sun, backlight, in the dark and in motion. The choice of the camera is one of the most controversial aspects of a smartphone, because it is a little less objective than autonomy and speed. It is difficult to understand where a good camera ends and where a good photographer starts. Furthermore, the camera itself is not a completely hardware feature. Think of Sony: it sells CMOS sensors to most other smartphone manufacturers, but the main flaw in the Xperia line are the photos ... which are better for its competitors. Why? As a matter of software and optimizations.

Therefore, consider the technical characteristics of the camera well, but do not dwell only on these. If you are a true professional, check the options available in manual mode. If you are fanatic about the point and shoot, make sure you have all the optimizations and ritual effects: quick release button, bokkeh mode and a good optical stabilizer. In any case, the real judge is the subjective quality of the pictures taken: look at shots taken by others, compare with other phones and then judge yourself ... your eye is the real judge.

smartphone camera


One of the most important requirements, but also one of the most painful notes of today's smartphones is certainly the battery life. Many still remember the old Nokia, which became proverbial for their resistance, but also for their ultra-weekly autonomy. The comparison with a current smartphone will obviously always be unequal. Too many features on smartphones to ensure that a battery of acceptable size can afford such long runs, unless you accept to use the phone solely to call and receive calls, disabling everything else.

A good battery capacity is not enough to determine a good autonomy. If you don't want to remain "unloaded" on the most beautiful, consider this aspect well before buying.
However, the fundamental requirement of every current smartphone is that of autonomy that arrives at least, on average, for a whole day. However, this will depend a lot on the use you make of your smartphone. If you live among shots to share on Instagram, phone calls and video games, surely it will be hard to find a model that allows you to arrive until the evening without intermediate top-ups.

Furthermore, battery life and capacity, although related, are not necessarily two proportional quantities. Surely for batteries below 3000mAh it will be increasingly hard to keep up with the increasingly expensive features of the new smartphones.

What you can certainly do is check your phone usage. Usually the screen is the most energy-intensive component, so almost always the autonomy will be proportional to the number of hours in which the screen will be active. Usually the operating systems allow to verify this value. If the screen of your smartphone is active for more than 5 hours during the 24 hours, you will probably have to be very careful when choosing a smartphone with good autonomy. Also keep in mind that the very high resolution screens are also tremendously more greedy for the battery than the lower resolution ones.