Discussion: What was your favorite smartphone of 2020?

Discussion: What was your favorite smartphone of 2020?

2020 has been an unusual year in many ways. The global pandemic threw a wrench in the execution of plans by smartphone brands, especially in countries where a total lockdown on all forms of non-essential economic activity was imposed. However, these barriers were not enough to contain the strong momentum of the smartphone industry that witnessed an almost usual release schedule — even though production and sales throughout the world were indisputably impacted. Despite this handicap, the smartphone industry saw great innovation and some of the best smartphones to buy in 2020. If you had to choose your absolute favorite smartphone for 2020, which one would that be? Let’s discuss!


CES 2020, which was the first and the last major tech event to happen this year, inaugurated the cursed year with some great launches. At the tech gala, OnePlus showcased the Concept One, an overhauled version of the OnePus 7T Pro McLaren Edition but with an invisible camera module on the back. Samsung dipped its feet in the affordable flagship stream with the Galaxy S10 Lite and the Note 10 Lite.

In the month of February, Samsung announced its first vertically folding phone — the Galaxy Z Flip — alongside the Galaxy S20 series that featured Samsung’s 108MP cameras and up to 100x hybrid zoom using the periscope camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Meanwhile, OPPO, the biggest company from China’s BBK Electronics Corporation, announced the Find X2 and the Find X2 Pro with stunning display and cameras. Soon after Huawei announced its camera-centric flagships of the year — the Huawei P40 series.

At the same time, pro-budget brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus left their comfort zone of flagship killers and moved closer to real flagships with devices such as the Mi 10 Pro and OnePlus 8 Pro. Meanwhile, relatively affordable brands jumped on the 5G bandwagon with devices such as the Realme X50 Pro and the iQOO 3. Xiaomi’s beloved POCO brand finally reemerged with the POCO X2 and launched then POCO F2 Pro after almost two years of waiting.

As the doomed year progressed, smartphone brands moved forward tirelessly and announced some great devices. Samsung launched its flagships for the second half of 2020, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as well as the next-gen foldable phablet — the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which happens to be the best phone in my opinion.

Google launched its second affordable Pixel — the Pixel 4a. A few months later, the tech giant also revealed the much improved Pixel 4a 5G alongside the company’s first flagship Pixel without a flagship chipset — the Pixel 5.

And, in case you missed it, XDA also launched its first phone and it runs either LineageOS or Ubuntu Touch OS out-of-the-box. Developed in partnership with F(x)tec and called the Pro1-X, the smartphone surpassed the crowdfunding goal by 10X.


Coming to mainstream brands, OnePlus made news and dominated the marketing scene with the OnePlus Nord — their first non-flagship device since the OnePlus X. Later in the year, they went on to launch the OnePlus 8T with a more conservative flagship killer design and great performance. Meanwhile, Samsung launched its improved flagship killer — the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) to compete with the likes of OnePlus. Vivo, at the same time, brought optical image stabilization inspired by Gimbals with the Vivo X50 Pro.

Technologies, especially fast charging, also received a huge amount of attention in 2020. While 65W fast charging was made commonplace by devices such as the OPPO Reno 4 Pro, Realme X50 Pro, and the OnePlus 8T, OPPO also announced their 125W GaN fast charging technology while sister company iQOO became the first brand to launch a smartphone with 120W fast charging technology. Variable refresh rate (VRR) technology was also seen on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. All of these make for great choices towards people’s favorite smartphone.

Of course, there were many other amazing smartphones launched this year and we haven’t even started talking about Xiaomi’s obsession with the number 9. But if you could choose just one phone out of the entire lot, which one would it be?

Comment with your favorite smartphone from 2020 and let us know why!

About author

Tushar Mehta
Tushar Mehta

I am a Senior Editor at XDA. I have been reviewing gadgets for over five years and gained experience by working for prominent tech publications in India before joining XDA. I enjoy fiddling with all smart objects and my love for software customization dates back to the Symbian S60 days. I like to devote my spare time idealizing the romantic union of technology and philosophy or spacing out on Pink Floyd. You may email me at [email protected]

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