We want to go through the current mobile phone top ten from Stiftung Warentest with you. Are the best smartphones 2020 also our favorites? The product finder should serve as the basis for this – a continuously updated cell phone best list from Stiftung Warentest.
Table of Contents
- Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Google Pixel 4 XL
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
- Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
- LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen
- OnePlus 7T
- Samsung Galaxy A51
- These smartphones are missing
- What about the iPhone 11?
1st and 2nd place: Samsung Galaxy S20 (5G)
The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is currently in first place with a rating of 1.8. We can confirm the perfect score (1.0) for the display. The 2.0 for the camera is also understandable. We are a little surprised that the battery should only be “satisfactory.” You can get through the day well even when the 120 Hz display runs at the maximum frame rate with regular use. An excellent result. Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 (5G) the best smartphone 2020 so far? In any case, it is shortlisted.
The Galaxy S20 without 5G currently ranks second in Stiftung Warentest, with a rating of 1.9.
Our opinion: As is well known, the new mobile radio standard has not yet arrived in Germany. At the moment, you can do without 5G support if you want to save. On the other hand, the surcharge of 100 euros makes the cell phone a bit more future-proof. So if you don’t change your smartphone regularly, the investment is well worth it.
3rd place: Google Pixel 4 XL
The Google Pixel 4 XL comes in just behind the top duo. The slightly worse rating of 2.1 is due, among other things, to the camera and the display. Here the Pixel Stiftung Warentest was not quite as convincing as the Samsung flagship. We can agree with that.
The Pixel 4 XL also has a great camera, but it only contains two lenses. The missing ultra-wide-angle lens is particularly noticeable in group and landscape photos. Similarly, Google hurts not to have a 120 Hz display. The pixel “only” sets to 90 Hz, a big plus compared to most other smartphones. We can understand the battery rating of 3.1 because the runtime is only average.
What does not directly result from the assessment of Stiftung Warentest: The Google Pixel 4 XL offers Android first-hand – without any adjustments, as other manufacturers usually make. It gets big Android updates months before the devices from Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Co.
4th place: Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
While you can leave the first three places like this, the Galaxy S10 Lite is surprising for us in fourth place. Don’t get us wrong; the smartphone is recommended. But it is not on a par with the absolute top devices. So you have to make significant cuts in the display resolution and the camera. In these areas, the smartphone cannot keep up with the standard S10. It is a mid-range smartphone.
You won’t get wireless charging and IP68 certification either. It beats the standard model in terms of battery life. But for a bit more money, you get the much more complete device with the standard S10.
Our opinion: The price-performance ratio is okay, and if you are looking for a mid-range cell phone, you are well-advised here. Compared with the best and partly similarly cheap flagships from 2019, what is offered is not good enough to justify such a high ranking.
5th place: Samsung Galaxy 20 Ultra 5G
Samsung’s flagship product “only,” made it to 5th place at Stiftung Warentest. Why did it end up relatively clearly behind the standard model? The much higher price may have played a decisive role. You will get a much better (108 MP) camera on paper. But according to the DxOMark test, it is not as excellent as advertised.
Among other things, there are autofocus problems that should not occur with the standard model. That alone speaks against actually paying the surcharge for the Ultra model. Almost all users should be better advised with the standard S20.
Stiftung Warentest seems to have little to complain about on the camera of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Instead, the device’s unstable stability (3.8) was doomed. And indeed: A drop test for the Galaxy S20 Ultra also came to an unflattering result. The well-known hardness test by JerryRigEverything has again passed the test quite well.
Our opinion: The Galaxy S20 Ultra deserves to land behind the smaller model. The price-performance ratio of Samsung merely is better with the S20.
6th place: Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
Stiftung Warentest sees the Galaxy A90 5G in sixth place among the best smartphones in 2020. Here, too, we’re not quite as euphoric. The device is positioned just below the Galaxy S20 – almost on the border between the upper-middle class and the premium segment. The excellent battery life, the flagship chipset, and the low price for a 5G smartphone speak in particular for the mobile phone. However, if the fast cellular standard is not so important to you, you are better served with the Galaxy S10, which is now about the same price.
Our opinion: The surcharge for the Galaxy S20 is less than 200 euros. Anyone looking at the A90 should compare the price-performance ratio with that of the premium model. In any case, we do not see the A90 in 6th place among the best smartphones, even if it is a good cellphone.
7th place: Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is currently in seventh place. Its most striking feature is a substantial OLED display. With a screen size of 7.2 inches, it surpasses other large smartphones. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether that’s too big. However, the monster screen is one reason that the battery life leaves something to be desired.
The camera is at a high level, and Google services are on board – which is unfortunately no longer a matter of course for a Huawei device. Other plus points are the high-speed charging with 40 watts and the combination of 5G and dual SIM. Because: With some smartphones, you have to choose between a 5G and a second SIM card.
Our opinion: The Huawei Mate 20 X is also a good smartphone. Due to weaknesses in battery life, we would not have made it into the top 10. Especially since the vast screen is not ideal for every user – especially if you want to operate the phone with one hand.
8th place: LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen
For us, the most surprising representative in the top ten of Stiftung Warentest. Sure, the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen did a better job than we thought it would be. But in our opinion, the top ten smartphones don’t have anything to look for.
Our opinion: The second screen may be useful for multitasking. But for everyday use, there are several better devices – in almost every way. The device is not wrong, but it is not one of the best smartphones in 2020. LG sometimes needs too long to supply its machines with new updates.
Also worth mentioning: The LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen does not have a foldable display like the Galaxy S Fold, but two individual screens like the announced Microsoft Duo. We recently also expressed our opinion.
9th place: OnePlus 7T
The ninth place should also be used with caution. Yes, the OnePlus 7T is a useful device with an attractive price-performance ratio. It has been on the market since autumn 2019 and already has a successor with the OnePlus 8. Although it is no longer completely new, it already comes with a 90 Hz display. The top performance is also positive. However, the camera cannot quite keep up with other flagships.
Our opinion: OnePlus has been delivering good “flagship killers” with good value for money for several years. However, we would delete the OnePlus 7T from the list of the best smartphones. The OnePlus 8 Pro should be on the list here – but then with better placement.
Rank 10: Samsung Galaxy A51
The tenth place is justifiable for us: The Samsung Galaxy A51 made it here. After all, it is not for nothing that the series sells dazzling. A big plus is the excellent price-performance ratio. The 6.5-inch OLED display, in particular, is ideal for the price range – and the artistry is also right.
Performance and camera are not nearly as good as premium smartphones à la Galaxy S20, iPhone 11 Pro, or Huawei P40 Pro. But these devices also cost up to four times as much as the A51. Overall, Samsung delivers a price-performance ratio that only a few competitors can match.
We miss these top smartphones.
We miss some of the best smartphones in the top ten of Stiftung Warentest. For example, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, whose camera is one of the absolute elite, according to DxOMark. The lightning-fast wireless charging is also a good argument for the smartphone, especially since there are hardly any weaknesses.
You could have also considered adding the Huawei P40 Pro to the leaderboard – albeit at the very end. The smartphone currently has the best camera by far and is generally at an enormously high level. However, Google services are missing on the top model. Therefore, you will need to get used to it if you want to buy your cell phone. As soon as Huawei has an Android license again, the P40 Pro is one of the top 5 best cell phones in 2020.
We see the iPhone SE (2020) further ahead. At least against the background that with the S10 Lite, a similarly equipped device can be found in the top ten from Stiftung Warentest. The new SE is not only one of the best Apple deals in years, but also generally a good deal. The most significant advantages are the long-term supply of iOS updates and the fast A13 chip, which is also in the top model iPhone 11 Pro. Also, the iPhone SE camera (2020) is one of the best performers in the price range.
What about iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro?
Where’s the iPhone 11 Pro? This device does not list Stiftung Warentest among the best smartphones in 2020 because it had to start testing in 2019. At that time, another test method was used, so the rating cannot be compared with the current one. But: Among the best smartphones in 2019, the Max version takes 2nd place. In 2020, too, the cell phone would have had a good chance of moving into the top 3.
The standard model ended up clearly behind due to the alleged lack of stability in the drop test. Whether there is anything, there is an open question. We doubt that there are significant differences in equilibrium between the devices – even without having carried out a drop test (this would have led to Apple’s uncomfortable questions when returning the test device). And even if: Serious damage only occurred after 50 falls. The display of the S20 Ultra, for example, jumped immediately in the drop test mentioned above. It would be new to us that the iPhone 11 Pro is less stable than other flagships.
That being said, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max cameras won the test at the time. Stiftung Warentest also ranked the significantly cheaper iPhone 11 among the best camera smartphones.
Editor’s tip: We have all iPhone 11 models in a cheap bundle that ideally fits the respective device for a short time. The iPhone 11, for example, with the o2-Free M tariff, which contains 40 GB of data and is currently 240 euros cheaper. iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are even available for an exceptional deal for a minimal time: They bring the o2 Unlimited Max tariff with a considerable discount, which even lets you surf and stream endlessly. The ideal opportunity for everyone who wants to use YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and Co. on the go without restricting themselves.