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Smartphone Awards 2020: Best Smartphones of the Year

Nikhil is a BCA graduate by education and a technical writer by passion and choice. He loves staying up to date with the latest technologies

Smartphone Awards 2020

Approximately 130 smartphones were launched by 13 different brands in the pandemic year in India. These include brands like Samsung, Realme, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Motorola, Apple, and others. But less than half of them were any good. Most of the smartphones launched in 2020 were either rebranded or was launched with some minor changes in specs.

However, there were some smartphones that deserve separate recognition. These are the smartphones that either provide the best value for the money, the best overall experience, or the combination of both.

So, here is the Smartphone Awards 2020, my first ever, which showcases the smartphone winners in 10 different categories.

smartphone-awards-2020

So, out of all the smartphones launched in the pandemic year 2020, I've picked up the bests of best and compiled them in this list under different categories.

Please note that this Smartphone Awards 2020 is based on my personal preference and is completely unpaid. So, your opinion can vary from mine and, therefore, you might think the winner to be some other smartphone.

So, considering all of these points in mind, let's begin with the Smartphone Awards 2020:

Here are 10 different categories on which I'll give winners to smartphones:

  1. Best Smartphones Under Rs 10,000
  2. Best Smartphones Under Rs 15,000
  3. Best Smartphones Under Rs 20,000
  4. Best Smartphones Under Rs 25,000
  5. Best Smartphones Under Rs 30,000
  6. Best Flagship Smartphones of 2020
  7. Best Design Smartphones
  8. Promising 5G Smartphones
  9. Best Camera Smartphones
  10. The smartphone of the Year 2020

So, without any further wait, let's crown the Best Smartphones of 2020.

1. Two Best Smartphones Under Rs 10,000

The budget segment of smartphones has always been the most challenging segment for companies and customers alike. While companies had to lower their prices as per the competition, buyers tend to get confused as to which one to buy.

So, considering all the factors that a buyer sees in a budget segment, we had two clear winners:

Redmi 9 Prime (Price Rs 9,999)

  • FHD+ Display
  • Big 5,020mAh battery
  • Good processor Helio G80
  • Quad camera (13MP main sensor)
  • Symmetry design
  • Dedicated microSD card slot

Realme Narzo 20A (Price: Rs 8,499)

  • Attractive design for youngsters
  • Comparatively better Snapdragon 665 Processor
  • Big 5,000mAh battery
  • Rever charging support
  • Triple slot (Dual SIM + microSD)

If you're looking for a stock Android smartphone at this price, you have Motorola Moto G9 available at Rs 10,999.

Redmi 9 Prime and Realme Narzo 20A

Redmi 9 Prime and Realme Narzo 20A

2. Two Best Smartphones Under Rs 15,000

In this category, we have winners from Realme and Poco.

Realme 7 (Rs 14,999):

  • Powerful MediaTek Helio G95 Processor
  • FHD+ 90Hz display (almost rare at this price segment)
  • Quad camera (64MP main sensor)
  • 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging
  • Triple slot (2 SIMs + microSD card)

Poco M2 Pro (Rs 12,999):

  • Powerful mid-range processor Snapdragon 720G
  • Appealing glass design with Gorilla Glass 5
  • 5,000mAh battery with 33W charging
  • Quad rear camera with 48MP main sensor
  • Dedicated microSD card slot
Realme 7 and Poco M2 Pro

Realme 7 and Poco M2 Pro

3. Two Best Smartphones Under Rs 20,000

This is one of the highly competitive price segments of smartphones. At this price, consumers generally look for a complete smartphone without comprising much on features.

So, in the year 2020, according to me, there are two smartphones that clearly wins this race. Yes, you guessed it right. They are Poco X3 and Realme 7 Pro:

Realme 7 Pro (Rs 19,999):

  • Matt finish plastic, lightweight and compact
  • 6.40-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display
  • Powerful mid-range Snapdragon 720G processor
  • Impressive quad-camera (64MP main sensor)
  • Decent 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Triple slot (Dual SIM + microSD card)

Poco X3 (Rs 16,999)

  • Shiny plastic, comparatively heavy and bulky, subjective design
  • 6.67-inch large FHD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • New mid-range Snapdragon 732G processor
  • IP53 water and dust-resistant rating
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Huge 6,000mAh with 33W fast charging
  • Impressive quad-camera performance (64MP main sensor)

If you're especially looking for a cleaner software experience and decent camera performance, then Motorola One Fusion+ is the second-best option in this price segment.

Realme 7 Pro and Poco X3

Realme 7 Pro and Poco X3

4. Two Best Smartphones Under Rs 25,000

In this upper mid-range segment, we have winners from Samsung and Realme. Can you guess who they are? Well, they are Samsung M51 and Realme X3.

Samsung M51 (Rs 23,999):

  • 6.7-inch huge Super AMOLED+ display with Gorilla Glass 3+
  • A similar plastic design like other mid-range smartphones
  • Powerful Snapdragon 730G processor
  • Triple slot (2 SIMs + microSD card)
  • Quad camera setup (64MP main sensor)
  • 4K video recording from the front camera
  • Humongous 7,000mAh battery with 25W fast charging
  • Reverse charging support, NFC support

Realme X3 (Rs 24,999):

  • 6.6-inch FHD+ IPS display with Gorilla Glass 5
  • Attractive glass build and design
  • Previous flagship Snapdragon 855+ processor
  • Quad camera setup (64MP primary sensor)
  • EIS support for front and rear camera
  • Decent 4,200mAh battery with 30W fast charging

If you care more about the software experience and are looking to buy a smartphone with an overall package, you can choose OnePlus Nord. It is one of the complete overall smartphones in this price segment. It is also future proof with 5G technology enabled.

Samsung M51 and Realme X3

Samsung M51 and Realme X3

5. Two Best Smartphones Under Rs 30,000

Vivo V20 Pro 5G (Rs 29,990)

  • 6.44-inch AMOLED display with HDR10
  • Upper mid-range powerful processor Snapdragon 765G (5G)
  • Premium glass build with attractive gradient finish
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor, 4K selfie camera recording
  • Quad camera setup (64MP main sensor)
  • Decent 4,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging

Realme X3 SuperZoom (Rs 27,990)

  • 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Previous flagship processor Snapdragon 855+, UFS 3.0 storage
  • Quad camera setup (64MP primary sensor) with 5x optical zoom
  • Glass build with catchy design
  • Decent 4,200mAh battery with 30W fast charging

Honorable mention: If you're looking for a cleaner and bloat-free software experience with impressive camera performance, Google Pixel 4a is the best option at Rs 31,999.

Vivo V20 Pro 5G and Realme X3 SuperZoom

Vivo V20 Pro 5G and Realme X3 SuperZoom

6. Two Best Flagship Smartphones of 2020

Choosing the best flagship is really a difficult task. In 2020, many flagships were launched, and here are our two best winners for this category:

OnePlus 8T (Rs 42,999)

  • 6.55-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Flagship processor Snapdragon 865, UFS 3.1 storage
  • Impressive quad-camera module (48MP primary sensor), OIS, Dual-LED flash
  • Premium glass build, compact, and lightweight
  • Stereo speakers, NFC support, under-display fingerprint
  • Decent 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging

Mi 10T Pro (Rs 39,999)

  • 6.67-inch IPS LCD display with 144Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Premium glass build and minimal design
  • Flagship processor Snapdragon 865, UFS 3.1 storage,
  • Flagship camera setup (108MP main sensor), OIS, 8K video recording @30fps
  • Stereo speakers, NFC support, infrared
  • Adequately big 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging
OnePlus 8T and Mi 10T Pro

OnePlus 8T and Mi 10T Pro

7. Two Best Design Smartphones of 2020

In the best design smartphones category, we look at the overall form factor of a smartphone, attractiveness in the design, and innovation (if any) in lieu of a feature. So, in this category, we've picked two winners as iPhone 12 and Vivo X50 Pro:

iPhone 12:

  • Premium and durable ceramic shield
  • Aerospace aluminum edges
  • IP68 water and dust resistant
  • MagSafe accessories

Vivo X50 Pro:

  • Ultra-premium glass design with AR Frosting technology
  • Gimbal camera system for ultimate stabilization (claims 300% more stabilization than traditional OIS)
  • Curved edges on the display
iPhone 12 and Vivo X50 Pro

iPhone 12 and Vivo X50 Pro

8. Best Camera Smartphones of 2020

iPhone 12 Pro

  • 12MP primary sensor with excellent image processing technology
  • Detailed photography with audio zoom feature
  • Impressive night mode photography (industry's best) with LiDAR technology
  • Deep Fusion technology for portrait mode, sensor-shift OIS, HDR video recording

Samsung Galaxy S20+

  • Quad camera setup (12MP primary sensor and 64MP telephoto) with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Up to 8K video recording @24fps, HDR10+, gyro-EIS, and OIS
  • Front camera up to 4K video recording @60fps
  • Excellent daylight and night photography with ample details and accurate colors
iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20+

iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20+

9. Two Best Promising 5G Smartphones of 2020

In this category, we picked the two best promising 5G smartphones that come with the overall package of features. So, the winners are OnePlus Nord and Moto G 5G.

OnePlus Nord (Rs 27,999)

  • 6.44-inch AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Glass design and build
  • Powerful mid-range processor Snapdragon 765G (5G)
  • Quad camera module with 48MP main sensor, OIS, 4K video recording
  • Decent 4,115mAh battery with 30W fast charging

Motorola Moto G 5G (Rs 20,999)

  • 6.7-inch FHD+ IPS display with HDR10
  • Powerful Snapdragon 750G Processor (5G)
  • Quad camera setup with 48MP primary sensor, up to 4K video recording
  • Large 5,000mAh battery with 20W fast charging
  • Support for microSD card
OnePlus Nord and Motorola Moto G 5G

OnePlus Nord and Motorola Moto G 5G

10. Smartphone of the Year

OnePlus 8 Pro

  • 6.78-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+
  • Gorilla Glass 5 protection, IP68 dust, and water-resistant
  • Premium glass build with minimal design and minimum bezels
  • Powerful flagship Snapdragon 865 processor
  • Quad camera setup with 48MP primary sensor, OIS, Laser AF
  • Stereo speakers, NFC support
  • Cleaner and bloat-free software experience with OxygenOS 11
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor
  • Decent 4,510mAh battery with 30W fast charging
OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro

Conclusion

The year 2020 was filled with many rebranded smartphones or smartphones with very minute changes. I hope that in 2021 this changes and smartphone companies will launch truly valuable and original smartphones for consumers.

Do you agree with all the smartphone winners crowned above? What smartphone could have been the best smartphone of the year 2020 apart from the OnePlus 8 Pro? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Nikhil Sharma

Comments

Amit Masih from Jaipur, India on January 05, 2021:

Wow!! This is an amazing piece of information! Thank you for sharing this, Nikhil!

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