It’s time to raise a glass to the finest phones of 2020, as selected by you in two rounds of voting. Thank you to everyone who took part; now, without further ado, please accept our congratulations on the winners and runners-up in each category.
Best Flagship of 2020 – Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, which won with a clear lead, deserves congratulations. It succeeds the Note10+, which won in 2019, and the Note 9, which won in 2018. This winning streak is no fluke; the Note series has consistently outperformed the competition. As a result, Samsung’s denial of speculations of its demise is welcome news.
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comes in second place. Last year’s 11 Pro Max came in second place by a hair, so Apple’s adjustments for 2020 have paid off.
Best Flagship Killer of 2020 – Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
This feels like something out of a fantasy novel: one Galaxy reigns as king, while its brother plots to assassinate him. That would be the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, which win may reflect public sentiment on the Snapdragon vs. Exynos debate. Or it won because it’s a fantastic phone. In any case, it wins the award for Best Flagship Killer.
The OnePlus 8T is the runner-up, having outperformed larger-brand competitors. The 8 Pro didn’t quite make it to the top two spots in the flagship category, but the 8T is one of 2020’s greatest flagship killers.
Best Camera phone of 2020 – Huawei Mate 40 Pro
The company has emerged as a market leader in this category, so Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s victory comes as no surprise. Sony sensors, Leica know-how and Huawei engineering have proven to be a winning combination, it’s a shame that the politics of 2020 will prevent the Mate from becoming as popular as it could have been.
The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is not only a great all-rounder, it’s one of the best camera phones to come out in 2020. It narrowly beat out the iPhone 12 Pro Max, a second victory over the Apple phone.
Best Mid-ranger of 2020 – Poco X3 NFC
Poco established its independence in January, winning a category that had previously been dominated by Xiaomi: the Poco X3 NFC is the greatest mid-ranger of the year, a title previously held by a Redmi Note. In fact, the new Redmi Note only made it to fourth position, demonstrating that Poco can compete with its former parent company for market share.
The Samsung Galaxy A51 (original 4G version) came in second, considerably ahead of the A70, which was the runner-up in 2019. (but a very distant second).
Best Affordable 5G phone of 2020 – OnePlus Nord
It was a risk, but it paid off: the OnePlus Nord is the company’s second mid-range phone, and the first’s story is legendary. Despite this, the Nord won its category by the largest margin of any phone, demonstrating that “Never Settle” never meant “only flagships.”
In just a few months, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G has amassed a sizable following, easily defeating its brother, the Mi 10 Lite 5G (no T), in the preliminary round and defeating the Galaxy A51 5G in the final round to place second in the inexpensive 5G category.
Best Gaming and Trailblazer phones of 2020
If you missed it last week, the Asus ROG Phone 3 ZS661KS was named Best Gaming Phone, while the LG Wing 5G was named 2020 Trailblazer Phone.
These are the winners and runners-up; if you’re interested in seeing how the rest of the Top 5 phones fared in each category, check out the preceding page.