The best smartphones of 2019

2019 certainly had its fair share of powerful new smartphones.

All the biggest players – Samsung, Huawei and Apple – came to the table, while smaller manufacturers and old favourites also weighed in with unique and interesting devices.

The mid-range segment showed extensive growth, with Samsung and Huawei exchanging blows via their A-series and Y-series devices respectively.

New flagships boasted bigger and better cameras, with improvements in performance and battery life optimisation also making their way to top-end handsets.

Foldable craze

The hype over foldable displays, meanwhile, was met with the reality of the developmental challenges presented by this new technology.

Samsung had to delay the release of its Fold after various design issues caused malfunctions.

Huawei finally released the Mate X, although it has so far only been launched in China with no support for Google services or apps.

The foldable Motorola Razr was also launched, but will only be available from January 2020.

Until these devices become more widely available, we can appreciate the more traditional flagship smartphones which headlined the past year’s releases.

The following is a list of five of the best smartphones from 2019.


Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – R21,999

 Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Display 6.4-inch 1,440 x 3,040 OLED
OS Android 9.0
Processor Exynos 9820 octa-core
RAM 8GB/12GB
Internal storage 128GB/ 512GB/ 1TB
Camera 16MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera 10MP + 8MP
Battery 4,100mAh
Charging 15W Fast Charging
Biometrics In-display fingerprint sensor
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm (198g)
Price R21,999

Huawei P30 Pro – R17,999

Huawei P30 Pro header

Huawei P30 Pro
Display 6.47-inch
OS Android 9.0
Processor Kirin 980 octa-core
RAM 6GB / 8GB
Internal storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Camera 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + 3D TOF
Front camera 32MP
Battery 4,200mAh
Charging 40W wired, 15W wireless
Biometrics In-display fingerprint
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm (192g)
Price R17,999

iPhone 11 Pro – R22,299

iPhone 11 Pro 4

iPhone 11 Pro
Display 5.8-inch 1,125 x 2,436 OLED
OS iOS 13
Processor A13 Bionic
RAM 4GB
Internal storage 64GB / 256GB / 512GB
Camera 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera 12MP + 3D camera
Battery 3,046mAh
Charging 18W Fast Charging
Biometrics Face ID
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm (188g)
Price R22,299

Huawei Mate 30 Pro – Not available in South Africa

Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Display 6.53-inch 1,176 x 2,400 OLED
OS EMUI 10 based on Android 10 (no Google services)
Processor Kirin 990 octa-core
RAM 8GB
Internal storage 128GB / 256GB
Camera 40MP + 40MP + 8MP
Front camera 32MP + 3D TOF sensor
Battery 4,500mAh
Charging 40W Fast wired, 27W wireless
Biometrics In-display fingerprint sensor
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions 158.1 x 73.1 x 8.8 mm (198g)
Price Not available

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus – R21,499

Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Display 6.8-inch 1,40 x 3040 OLED
OS Android 9.0
Processor Exynos 9825
RAM 12GB
Internal storage 128GB/ 512GB
Camera 12MP + 16MP + 12MP + 3D TOF
Front camera 10MP
Battery 4,300mAh
Charging 45W fast Charging
Biometrics In-display fingerprint reader
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm (196g)
Price R21,499

Now read: The best smartphone cameras in the world

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The best smartphones of 2019