In this section we have brought you with top 17 best mobile phone comparison for 2021. With the new 12-series iPhones, Apple returned to the top of the smartphone leaderboard. Now Samsung is starting an attack on the podium with its Galaxy S21 trio. What’s the best smartphone? We have renewed the best mobile phone comparison procedure in 2020 : it is even more detailed and the test table is dynamic. This means that grade limits and test grades can change over time.
Samsung Galaxy S21 / Plus / Ultra: great again in our list of mobile phone comparison
Samsung’s Galaxy S class has been a guarantor for Android top models since 2010 and has ruled number 1 on the smartphone best list several times in the past. But here Apple has reported back with the 12-series iPhones. Samsung wants to change that – and it fails! All new additions to the trio, consisting of the Samsung Galaxy S21 , Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra , are good, but not better than the top iPhones in terms of results. The grade of the Galaxy S21 Ultra would be enough for 3rd place, but the OnePlus 8 Pro comes before that because the lower price is decisive for the placement with the same grade. The Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 Plus slide up to places 20 and – of course – 21. Bitter: The predecessorsThe Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus and their 5G variants (5G was still optional for the S20 and S20 Plus) are not only better placed because of their lower price, but also received a better test rating. The S20 won a draw in the comparison of the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S20. With the new S21 cell phones, the storm on the leaderboard will have to be postponed.
iPhone 12 family: Apple stays ahead in mobile phone comparison
Apple was always quite far ahead with its iPhones in mobile phone comparison, but for a few generations it hadn’t quite been enough for the top position against the top androids. The comeback succeeded with the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also showed no weakness in the laboratory and earned the same grade. The tiny iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 get the third best grade with 1.7. Because sales of the Mini are below expectations (by the way, we would have lost this bet), prices drop and the Mini slips through to 5th place, right in front of the Galaxy S20 squad. The order in the leaderboard can change daily, after all, the opponents are only separated by a few euros. The iPhone 12 is currently in 9th place.
The best mobile phone comparison of 2021
Here is the list of 17 mobile phone comparison that we have listed the best smartphones until this day of publication. Find out which phone best suites you:
1st place: Apple iPhone 12 Pro
With the good camera, the true-color OLED screen, the super processor A14 and the astonishingly long battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro scores decisive points in the test. In addition, the case has remained handy. Compared to the iPhone 12, it is characterized by a brighter screen, a telephoto lens and improved autofocus. For some, the more elegant design with muted colors and shiny stainless steel edges may be decisive.
2nd place: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Only the iPhone 12 Pro Max brings a real pro feeling to the iPhone with its large screen. Contrary to what we expected, the camera is not the main argument for the 12 Pro Max, but the extremely long battery life.
3rd place: OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a brilliant 120 Hertz display, very good photo quality from the main camera, a brisk work pace, long-lasting battery and quick charging function – nothing to be desired. There is even wireless charging for the first time in the OnePlus model history. The stylish, well-made case is waterproof. The smartphone does not show any significant weaknesses and collects a lot of points in the test with its strengths.
4th place: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is full of cutting-edge technology: 5G is always there, so the addition as a differentiation in the product name is unnecessary. A fast processor and a large, bright display with an adaptive screen refresh rate of up to 120 Hertz are also on board. The real selling point is the powerful camera. With its four lenses, the Samsung covers practically every zoom range from very far away to close. And don’t just take great photos in good light. If you measure it against the highest demands, however, there are also some points in which it is only “good” but not “very good”: The battery life could be even better in view of the large battery and the processor does not deliver the top speed every location.
5th place: Apple iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini is finally a small cell phone with great technology again. The OLED display shows strong colors and strong contrasts, the camera takes great photos day and night in all modes, the A14 processor is extremely fast. Compared to the iPhone 12, the performance is comparable in all respects, even the battery life is only a few minutes shorter. However, the display could be brighter and there is no telephoto lens for zoom shots – but both of these apply to the iPhone 12. The price, which is significantly lower by Apple standards, actually puts the iPhone 12 mini at the top of the devices with the test mark 1 , 7.
6th place: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Samsung phone of this model is at 6th place in our mobile phone comparison list. If you don’t necessarily need the monster zoom of the S20 Ultra, but want a large Galaxy with top technology, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the right choice. The screen is also very large and extremely bright, and the equipment is huge. The camera even takes better pictures than the Ultra’s in daylight. Battery life and pace are strong.
7th place: Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
In our list of mobile phone comparison this Galaxy S20 in 8th place and add 5G. The 5G variant should actually be more expensive, but the market is just twisted. Therefore, the handle to the better 5G variant at a lower price does not need to be considered if it is to be an S20.
8th place: Samsung Galaxy S20
The Galaxy S20 series trumps with a great display, excellent workmanship and enormously versatile camera. The battery is stronger than all previous models. The Samsung Galaxy S20 lacks the extreme zoom of the S20 Ultra, but if you are looking for a handy, top-quality Galaxy, you are well served with the small model. In Samsung’s S20 family, there is 5G as a model variant at an additional cost. If there is a tie or even a cheaper price, the 5G variant is preferable. In the comparison test between the Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 12 , the S20 proved its class.
9th place: Apple iPhone 12
Apple is always at the top of mobile phone and this iPhone model is at 9th place of our mobile phone comparison. The iPhone 12 is a significant leap compared to the iPhone 11: Finally there is a contemporary OLED display with strong contrasts and colors. The design is as high-quality as the Pro models, the chunky frames of the predecessor have shrunk. In the test, the iPhone 12 convinced with a good battery life. Thanks to 5G, it is future-proof. The camera takes good pictures. The display is not very bright and if you don’t have a suitable power supply at home, you have to get one – ideally with fast charging.
10th place: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G
See Galaxy S20 Plus in 6th place of our mobile phone comparison and add 5G. A question of price. This phone is one of the best phone at medium price.
11th place: Apple iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro scores with the most comprehensive camera technology in the 11 series. The A13 Bionic Processor enables image processing in real time. Our mobile phone comparison shows the photos from several lenses in parallel – viewing angles can be changed up to 30 days later. With the Pro series, the manufacturer is not only catching up with the top Android phones in terms of cameras, but also in terms of battery life. The 11 Pro is a little shorter than the 11 Pro Max, but significantly longer than the previous iPhone XS.
12th place: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (5G)
The brawny Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is only available in Germany as a 5G version. The lush camera was particularly impressive for zoom and night shots. The battery is stronger than other Galaxy S models. The display scores not only in terms of size, but also in terms of brightness and frame rate. However, 120 Hertz comes at the expense of battery life. The successor in 4th place is smarter with an adaptive control of 10-120 Hertz. The power smartphone is not particularly efficient, as the test of the phones with long battery life proved.
13th place: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is quite a breaker. The smooth surface and the dimensions make it difficult to handle. This is compensated by the great screen, the size of which harmonizes well with the stylus and the rounded edges simply look good. The fact that the maximum resolution is not available at 120 Hertz is bearable in everyday life. The pace is great “despite” Exynos. The periscope telecamera shows its strength in the Handy Zoom Test 2020 only at large zoom levels.
14th place: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
The iPhone 11 Pro Max offers a large 6.5-inch screen (OLED) with high brightness, better contrasts than the XS generation from 2018 and a great battery life. There is also the same triple camera as in the smaller model. This scores points during the day with really good image quality, and when it is very dark, thanks to the automatic night mode, it conjures up a surprising amount of image. And ultra-wide-angle and telephoto recordings offer new photographic possibilities. Last but not least, the A13 bionic processor ensures a lot of speed.
15th place: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi phone are leading Chinese phones that are growing fast in this industry. And this model is successful to be at 15th position of our mobile phone comparison. With the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, Xiaomi delivers a top smartphone. The camera, speed, battery life and especially the very bright OLED screen impressed in the test. The camera takes convincing pictures, scores among other things with depth of field effects and good zoom at medium distances. The model can actually do everything – except cheap: At just under $1,099 (RRP), it is not a bargain and underpins Xiaomi’s intention to be at the forefront, although Xiaomi is particularly strong in the price segment between 100 and 300 euros.
16th place: Xiaomi Mi 10
The Xiaomi Mi 10 is after the Mi Pro 10 in the top model Xiaomi’s Mi-10 model family. It is a 5G smartphone with an extremely fast processor and good features. The main camera delivers similarly good images as the larger Mi 10 Pro , but there is no telephoto lens for zooming. The model is not waterproof and will not swallow a second SIM card. The OLED display is very bright and rich in contrast. In the test, both the battery life and the strong fast charging capability were convincing. The Mi 10 is not only one of the best cell phones, but also one of the best 5G cell phones under $479.50. The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite is much cheaper, but just as stylish.
17th place: OnePlus 8T
This is last but not least mobile phone comparison of our list. The OnePlus 8T may not have got any faster, but that wasn’t necessary either. Working and operating speed are very high. The 8T is one of the absolute mobile phone quick chargers and offers the trained eye an even smoother display and scores with the current Android and Qxygen OS. Wireless charging, optical zoom and a waterproof housing are reserved for the OnePlus 8 Pro.
Speed: iPhones on speed
In benchmarks such as Geekbench or Sunspider, Apple’s 11 and 12 iPhones do extremely well and are among the fastest smartphones. In terms of work speed, the Sony Xperia 5 II, Poco F2 Pro and OnePlus 8 Pro get the best marks among the androids. The differences are smaller in the operating speed. Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro sets the best value here, but it comes without Google apps . In the end, this leads to a devaluation of a whole grade. But the last flagship Huawei P30 Pro equipped with Google applications does its job well: It can be operated almost as quickly as the current iPhones despite the weaker benchmarks. The affordable iPhone SEis no exception. In terms of operating speed, the OnePlus 8T, Sony Xperia 5 II and the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro are behind the Mate 30 Pro.
Endurance and charging time
The days when iPhones were chronically battery-poor are over since the 11th generation. Apple models have grown significantly and are now among the cell phones with long battery life . But the Sony Xperia 5 II shoots the bird – it breaks all records with intensive use with 13.4 hours. It even lasts longer than the previous endurance runners Samsung Galaxy M30s and Galaxy A21s, which compete with a weak processor and monster battery. The charging time, which is required with the included power supply unit, is also included in the rating. The phone with the fastest charge so far is the OnePlus 8T. Some models don’t even take an hour to fully charge. With the iPhone 11 you have to buy a fast charging power supply unit, the supplied one forces the cell phone on the line for almost four hours. Naughty at the price. But it can be even cheekier: For reasons of sustainability (and by no means to improve sales) iPhones will in future come completely without a power supply!
Photo quality: Kindly, please
The Google Pixel 4 XL deserves its name: It offers a great selfie camera , takes good photos day and night and, on the bottom line, comes out on top in the mobile phone camera test. The cheap Google Pixel 4a has similar qualities. In daylight, the comparatively simply equipped iPhone 11, the inexpensive Poco X3 and the Xiaomi Mi 10 provide the best measurements.
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro did the best to take photos with four times magnification, but you only really get your money’s worth with an even higher magnification. The first device with a monster zoom was the Huawei P30 Pro. Together with the P40 Pro, Galaxy S20 Ultra and Mate 40 Pro with their high-resolution sensors and periscope lenses, it is in a league of its own. The image quality suffers significantly, but at 50 or 100 times magnification (Ultra) these cell phones make details visible that cannot be seen with the naked eye! The iPhones suffered from zooming and self-portraits. But Apple shines with the best video quality.
Display: contrast monster
All OLED displays delight with extremely strong contrasts. In a direct comparison, the iPhone 11 with LCD technology does not keep up. The top smartphones cover the standard color space well. Maximum brightness is important for readability outdoors. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Ultra and the OnePlus 8 Pro shine the brightest and are therefore hot contenders for the title of ” best mobile phone with the best display”.
Mega resolution and 120 Hertz
There is no shortage of pixels in expensive smartphones: All displays with more than 300 pixels per inch (ppi, pixels per inch) offer a sufficiently sharp image. Only eagle eyes recognize a difference to even more pixels. Without virtual reality glasses (VR), however, a pixel density of more than 500 ppi is hardly an advantage in everyday life. The situation is similar with the particularly high frame rate of 90, 120 or 144 Hertz (Hz), which should result in a more fluid display. When scrolling, users definitely see a difference: The picture looks clearer and less “tattered”. However, S20 owners have to reduce the resolution to Full HD + for faster image changes and accept higher energy requirements. OnePlus regulates the frequency dynamically – and Samsung follows suit: The new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can do that too. The Sony Xperia 5 II showedthe downside of 120 Hertz is impressive: at 60 Hz it set a new record in the battery test, but at 120 Hz it lasted 4 hours shorter. That’s almost a third!
Features: Dual SIM, IP, 5G
Full of storage, wireless charging, water tightness, biometric unlocking options, WLAN, NFC, Bluetooth, LTE … In this top mobile phone comparison hardly show themselves here. There are differences, however, with the 5G option: Sometimes the corresponding model costs more, sometimes none is available. But now the fast cellular standard is also becoming the standard for cheaper cell phones. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite with 5G was even available for less than $225. For a second SIM card, Apple, Google and Samsung use an eSIM in their top smartphones. On top of that, Samsung’s devices or the Mate 40 Pro have a hybrid slot that can either swallow another SIM card or a memory card. The latter is the most common principle among dual SIM phones.
What is the perfect smartphone?
Thousands of test photos, days of battery tests, pages of measurement logs – and in the end the realization that the perfect cell phone does not exist. But what should it look like in theory? Well, it would take the speed of the iPhone 12 Pro, the camera of the iPhone 11 during the day, the Mate 40 Pro at night and for zoom shots and also the front camera of the Pixel 5. The device should have 5G, brightness, frame rate and game performance like an S20 Ultra, as grippy as a Google Pixel 4a and as robust as a Cat S62 Pro. At best, it combines the price of the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the stamina of the Sony Xperia 5 II. One should say again that COMPUTER BILD cannot achieve 1.0 in the test. Wink.