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Five Flagships You Have to See to Believe

Five Flagships You Have to See to Believe

Smartphones are some of the most important pieces of technology on the open market. In fact, more computing is done today with just a device that can fit in your pocket than was ever done when all there was were PCs. For this reason, people are buying smartphones that are priced much like high-end PCs. Manufacturers have responded to this demand by upgrading their devices every year.

This year’s batch of smartphones are more impressive than they’ve ever been, as you’d expect. Some of the most popular manufacturers are gone, but some sustain, and are building devices that are being leveraged for social, entertainment, and business uses. Today we will look at five of the strongest smartphone options on the market.

Apple iPhone XS Max
Things are looking up at Apple. They sit, once again, atop the U.S. market, and are currently in a battle with Amazon and Microsoft to see who the world’s most profitable company is. Their newest flagship smartphone, the iPhone XS Max is undeniably going to be a best-seller. Not because it has innovated a lot on last year’s iPhone X, but rather because it hasn’t. Over 63 million iPhone X’s have been sold as of this writing, and its popularity is sure to bleed over to this model.

The iPhone XS Max features Apple’s A12 Bionic processor (7nm) that enhances the machine learning capabilities of the device through a larger-than-ever neural engine. Made on a stainless-steel chassis and covered completely by glass, the iPhone XS Max is hard to differentiate from the iPhone X at first look. Its high-quality edge-to-edge display measures 6.5-inches with a ppi of ~458.

The device features three lenses: one 12 MP wide-angle lens, one 12 MP telephoto lens, and one 7 MP front-facing lens. With improvements also made to iOS and the battery, the iPhone XS Max is a serious contender for best smartphone on the market. It is available in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold, and can be had for $1,099.99 on any of the major carriers.

Specifications
Build - Stainless Steel with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.5” Super AMOLED with ~458 ppi
Chipset - Apple A12 Bionic
Memory - 4GB RAM
Storage - 64/256/512 GB
Software - iOS 12/iOS 12.1
Cameras - 12 MP (26mm); 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom and optical image stabilization; 7 MP front-facing
Battery - 3,174 mAh (78 hours)
Additional Features - Face ID

Google Pixel 3 XL
The Google Pixel 3 XL is a nice smartphone, if not remarkable. It has clearly been upgraded from last year’s Pixel 2 XL, but all anyone can seem to talk about when they mention the Google Pixel 3 XL is just how much better the camera is than the other options available. The single 12.2 MP camera is again the best available on any smartphone this year; and, is especially strong in low-light situations.

Featuring a 6.3-inch OLED display and front and back glass are nice improvements from last year’s device, but for consumers, the selling points of this phone are definitely the camera and the fact that as soon as a new version of Android is developed or released, the Pixel 3 XL will get priority over competing smartphones. Currently, the Pixel 3 XL runs Android’s newest OS, 9.0 Pie. It is available in White, Black, and Not Pink. With a few neat features that aren’t found on many other phones, and a price tag that is at least $100 less than both the Samsung and Apple flagships suggests that the Pixel 3 XL will be popular.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.3” P-OLED with ~523 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 4GB RAM
Storage - 64/128GB
Software - Android 9.0 Pie
Cameras - 12.2 MP (28mm) with optical image stabilization
Battery - 3,430 mAh (69 hours)
Additional Features - Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, squeeze to call Google Assistant, Call screen feature, Flip to quiet notifications

Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Have you heard of Huawei? You probably have as the Chinese company who makes world-class consumer electronics that aren’t available in the west. This is because some political entities find that since the Chinese government has such a large stake in the success of the company, lawmakers see it as a potential security breach. These fears can’t stop the Mate 20 Pro from being one of the best phones ever created.

The Mate 20 Pro features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with an octa-core Kirin 980 processor. It has four cameras, a 40 MP fixed wide angle lens, a 20 MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8 MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. Other options include a first-in-class in-display fingerprint reader and the ability to charge other Qi-enabled devices from the device. It is available in Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black and can be found for $1,100 on the Internet.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum frame with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” AMOLED with ~538 ppi
Chipset - HiSilicon Kirin 980
Memory - 6/8GB RAM
Storage - 128/256GB with Nano Memory slot up to 256GB
Software - Android 9.0 Pie, Huawei UI
Cameras - 40 MP (27mm); 20 MP (16mm); 8 MP (80mm) with 5x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Front facing 24 MP.
Battery - 4,200 mAh (85 hours)
Additional Features - Face ID, In-display fingerprint scanner, Qi wireless charging broadcasting, 40-Watt fast charging

LG V40 ThinQ
LG’s V40 ThinQ may have kind of a weird name, but it is an innovative continuation of the V-line that has impressed with the V20 and V30 from the past two smartphone cycles. The V40 ThinQ features a bezel-less 6.4-inch, OLED display. It is the best display any LG phone has ever had by a wide margin.

In lieu of a dual camera setup, LG has integrated three cameras onto the back of the phone, and two more on the front. With two 12-megapixel lenses (one wide-angle and one telephoto), and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens on the back, the phone is capable of doing quite a bit. The camera app features a “triple-preview” that allows users to see which camera will work best for the shot they are framing. Another feature, called “triple shot” allows users to take one picture and have a small video created that incorporates still photos from all three cameras. The LG ThinQ is available in New Platinum Gray, Carmine Red, New Aurora Black, and New Moroccan Blue and can be had for around $900.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” P-OLED with ~537 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 6 GB RAM
Storage - 64/128GB, microSD up to 512GB
Software - Android 8.1 Oreo
Cameras - 12 MP (27mm) optical image stabilization; 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom and optical image stabilization; 16 MP (16mm); 8 MP (26mm) and 5 MP (21mm) front-facing.
Battery - 3,300 mAh (64 hours)
Additional Features - Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
When Samsung makes a flagship phone, it’s typically ranked as one of the best phones of that smartphone cycle. The Galaxy Note 9 is no different. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with either six or eight GBs of RAM and 128-to-512 GBs of onboard storage. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display provides 516 pixels per inch. Currently, the phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo with The Samsung Experience software skin over it.

Not quite jumping in with both feet on the camera, Samsung still offers two 12 MP lenses, and 4K video capability. The front-facing camera is 8 MP. The improved battery comes in at a respectable 4,000 mAh and has an industry endurance rating at 97 hours, the best in this class of smartphones. It has an onboard “S Pen” that provides a lot of additional functionality including remote control over many of the phone’s applications. It is available in Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Pure White, and carries a $1,100 price tag.

Specifications
Build - Aluminum with Glass Front/Back
Display - 6.4” Super AMOLED with ~516 ppi
Chipset - Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Memory - 6 or 8 GB of RAM
Storage - 128 or 512 GB of onboard storage and microSD up to 512 GB
Software - Android 8.1 Oreo
Cameras - 12 MP (26mm); 12 MP (52mm) with 2x optical zoom; optical image stabilization; 8 MP front-facing
Battery - 4,000 mAh (97 hours)
Additional Features - Samsung S Pen, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, iris scanner.

This was the first year that the entire smartphone market saw decline, and it continued to decline for four consecutive quarters. Hundreds of millions of people are using this technology today, so it will be up to these manufacturers to adjust to market demands. That may slow innovation (more than it already was). Only time will tell what will come of the smartphone, but if you are looking for one of the best ones out today, you can do a whole lot worse than these five devices.

What smartphone do you use? Do you like it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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