UPDATE April 4, 2019: We had high hopes for the ZTE Axon 9, but it won't be releasing in the United States. If you're in another area of the world, you can look into the ZTE Axon 9 Pro, but we cannot recommend this device to American readers due to carrier incompatibility. Below, we've saved the early rumored information on the Axon 9 for posterity.
In 2019, Sony is mixing up its design, attempting to stand out among the sea of familiarity. Instead of emulating Samsung with punch hole cameras, they decided to target a rare section of the market, content consumers. There's the Xperia 1 for those who want the best, and the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus for the budget crowd.
The iPhone XR has touched down alongside the XS and XS Max, and it utilizes tried and tested materials found on the iPhone 8, while being molded in the same vein as the iPhone X. The budget-friendlier flagship comes with its own set of design elements to set it apart from its more expensive brethren, but is powered by the same SoC, making it is a solid choice if you're thinking of upgrading.
The Moto G7 Power is a phone that screams battery life. From its display resolution to the massive battery, it was designed for those who hate to recharge each night. But unlike other battery-focused smartphones, it comes at a price almost anyone can afford.
The newly-announced Moto G7 Play offers some of the same upgrades as its sibling, the Moto G7, but at a much lower price. The upgrades are pretty significant when compared to last year's Moto G6 Play, taking this phone from the "only if you're on a strict budget" category into a great value option.
With the best selling phone on Amazon in 2018, Lenovo had big shoes to fill when making the successor of the Moto G6. Fortunately, Lenovo was up to the task. The Moto G7 continues to provide a high performance-to-price ratio, offering a worthwhile upgrade for G6 users while remaining budget friendly.
After months of waiting, it looks like HMD has finally answered the call. Nokia's parent company is finally releasing a true flagship phone — one that isn't just an enhanced version of a previous phone and actually brings something new to the table. That phone is the Nokia 9 PureView.
Similar to last year, LG is mixing up its releases. Instead of the G series in the first half of the year and the V series in the second half, LG is releasing both heavy hitters together. However, unlike last year, this is a true upgrade from its predecessor, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
For 2019, Sony is trying to shake its failures of the past and start fresh. Following the unsuccessful Xperia XZ series, Sony is changing the name of their flagship to a single number: Xperia 1. With the name change comes a few upgrades, one of which is its new look. Secondly, its new display is unmatched in the mobile space.
With all the controversy around the Pixel 3 XL, the regular-sized Pixel 3 might be the phone of choice for most users. Thanks to the huge boost in screen size, the little brother is now an easier pickup for those who like a bigger screen. And once more, the internals are the same, giving you the same experience as the 3 XL without the display notch.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is definitely a beast on paper. With a specs page that ticks virtually every box and a price point that undercuts the competition by hundreds of dollars, it's hard to overlook this phone. But before you get too excited, know that OnePlus has repeatedly shown to be misleading with their official specs.
After poor sales of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google needs to reinvigorate its Pixel lineup, devices it's been pushing heavily over the last couple years. On May 7, Google had the eyes and ears of the technology industry at its Google I/O keynote, making it the perfect time to announce new devices that would attract a different crowd of users. Meet the Pixel 3a and 3a XL.
When BlackBerry first announced the KEY2 back in June, the biggest gripe we heard was about the price. It was reasonable criticism, as BlackBerry was asking a lot of its consumers at $650. Knowing this, BlackBerry went back, made some downgrades, and cut the price, creating the KEY2 LE.
Once again, LG is mixing up its launch. Instead of the announcing the latest entry in G series later in the year, the LG G8 ThinQ was announced at Mobile World Congress 2019, shortly after Samsung's Galaxy S10 event. And instead of trying to match what other OEMs are doing, LG is once again trying to be different.
With Apple releasing the iPhone XR, it appears Samsung is looking to challenge this "budget flagship" option head-on. They brought their usual two phone releases this year, but also threw in another three for a total of five phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10e. And for many, this might be the option to look at.
In the battle for best stock Android flagships, there are really only two choices: Google Pixel phones and OnePlus phones. Although the latter isn't true stock Android, it is impressively close and usually paired with more impressive hardware than the Pixel lineup. The latest is the OnePlus 6T, which will be a bit controversial for fans this year.
Even with all the success HMD had with reviving the Nokia brand in 2017, it seems their second year is shaping up to be even better. Nokia has been steadily releasing sequels to last year's lineup, most with the new minimal bezel design language. The Nokia 7.1 is just their latest creation.
In this jam-packed October, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has flown under the radar in the US. Due to Huawei's lack of presence in the States, many are unfamiliar with the second largest OEM in the world. Huawei has continuously put out amazing mobile devices, and this year they released a phone that's nearly perfect on paper.
Ever since the announcement of the Razer Phone, a wave of gaming smartphones started to hit the market. With ASUS being such a big name in gaming, it made sense for them to throw their hat in the ring. The result is the ROG Phone. And with this first try, ASUS has topped the rest, creating a gaming phone others should try to emulate.
The "controversial" Pixel. No phone in the history of Google's Pixel lineup deserves this title more than the Pixel 3 XL. For some (including myself), the design is a welcome change that embodies the modern design of 2018 flagship phones. For others, it has an ugly huge display notch that destroys symmetry.