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Smartphone Flagships to Consider Going into 2021

Smartphone Flagships to Consider Going into 2021

The modern smartphone user is dedicated, spending an average of three hours and 15 minutes per day using them. On average, people check their phones 58 times a day. With this amount of traction, it’s not a surprise that people want to get the best devices they can. Today, we will take a look at what makes a flagship phone, and give you a couple of popular options that are available for the power user right now.

Flagship Phones

The flagship smartphone gets its name from a military nautical tradition where the ship that holds the commanding officer would be the best, strongest, and most capable ship in the fleet. When discussing smartphones, it typically describes the best available device that any manufacturer has released for the year. Let’s take a look at some of 2020’s flagship smartphones:

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max has a lot of names, but it is a steady improvement over 2019’s Apple flagships. Built on a stainless steel frame with Gorilla Glass 6 front and back, the iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with a crystal clear 6.7-inch Super Retina Display.

Internally it runs on Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset that is the first 5 nanometer processor available in a smartphone in the west. It comes with 6 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of onboard storage. The 3,687 mAh battery teams with settings in iOS 14.1 to create one of the most reliable smartphone experiences for users looking to be productive throughout the day without charging. It does support wireless charging and 20-watt fast charging.

The device has three rear-facing cameras and the additional time of flight sensor to create crisp and clear photos. It is also IP68 dust and water resistant. Available in Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue, the iPhone 12 Pro Max—along with the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12, and the iPhone 12 Pro—will be available this week in November. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Body: Stainless Steel with Gorilla Glass 6
Display: 6.7-inch Super Retina OLED (~458 ppi)
OS: iOS 14.1
Chipset: A14 Bionic
Memory: 6 GB RAM, up to 512 GB onboard storage
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: Rear: 12 MP (wide), 12 MP (ultra wide), 12 MP (telephoto) 2.5x Front: 12 MP (wide)
Sounds: Stereo Speakers, no headphone jack
Battery (battery endurance rating): 3,687 mAh (~100 hours)
Security: Face ID
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, compass, barometer, Siri assistant, IP68 dust/water resistant
Other versions: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro

The OnePlus 8 Pro is built on a lightweight aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 5 front and back. The device is curved more than 2019’s OnePlus 7 Pro. It features a 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display, a pretty clean version of Android 10, and a cutting-edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with 12 GB of RAM and features a 120hz refresh rate, hastening the already snappy user experience.

The OnePlus 8 Pro features two 48 megapixel cameras and a 8 MP telephoto lens. The battery comes in at a beefy 4,510 mAh. Available in Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Onyx Black, the OnePlus 8 Pro can be had from many major carriers.

OnePlus 8 Pro
Body: Aluminum with Gorilla Glass 5 Front and Back
Display: 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED (~513 ppi)
OS: Android 10, upgrade available to Android 11
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Memory: 8-to-12 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: No
Cameras: 48 MP (wide); 8 MP (telephoto) 3x; 48 MP (ultra wide) Front: 16 MP (wide)
Sounds: Stereo speakers, no headphone jack.
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,510 mAh (103 hours)
Security: In-screen fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Compass, IP68 dust/water resistant
Other versions: OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8T

Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra

Samsung has been known to build the very best Android smartphones on the market for several years. The Galaxy s20 Ultra is no exception. It is built on an aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 6 front and back. A 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display with a 1440 x 3200 resolution is an improvement over the s10 Plus’ screen from 2019. 

Running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, the Galaxy s20 Ultra has options available with up to 16 GB of RAM, top of the line for any smartphone. The whopping 5,000 mAh battery can be recharged using 45-watt fast charging or Qi wireless charging.

The Galaxy s20 Ultra has a 10x 48-megapixel telephoto lens, a 108-megapixel wide angle lens, a 12-megapixel ultra wide angle lens, and a DepthVision Time of Flight camera. It is capable of recording 8K video. 

Available in Cosmic Grey, Cloud White, and Cosmic Black, the Galaxy s20 Ultra is available now on many major carriers. 

Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra
Body: Aluminum with Gorilla Glass 6 Front and Back
Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x (~511 ppi)
OS: Android 10
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Memory: 12-to-16 GB RAM
Expandable Memory: Yes (microSDXC)
Cameras: Rear - 108 MP (wide), 48MP (periscope telephoto) 10x, 12 MP (ultra wide), .3 MP( Time of Flight). Front - 40 MP wide.
Sounds: Stereo Speakers, No Headphone Jack
Battery (endurance rating): 5,000 mAh (87 hours)
Security: In-screen fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Barometer, Compass, Bixby assistant, IP68 dust/water resistant
Other versions: Galaxy s20, Galaxy s20+, Galaxy s20 FE

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 

Samsung is also the manufacturer of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which might just be the best all-around smartphone available right now. With a stainless steel chassis with Gorilla Glass Victus front and back, the Note 20 Ultra is a productivity monster.

Running Android 11 with an industry-best Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, the Note 20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, 12 GB of RAM, and 4,500 mAh battery. 

The camera experience, something that was notably less-than-stellar on the Note 10, includes a 50x zoom telephoto lens and a 108-megapixel wide angle lens. With an integrated s-pen, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers software features no other smartphone provides. 

Available only in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White, this year’s Note can be found prominently on almost every carrier’s roster.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Body: Stainless Steel with Gorilla Glass Victus
Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 
OS: Android 10, One UI 2.5
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Memory: 12 GB RAM
Expandable Memory:  Yes
Cameras: 108 MP wide, 12 MP (periscope telephoto) 50x, 12 MP (ultra wide) Front: 10 MP wide 
Sounds: Stereo Speakers, no headphone jack
Battery (battery endurance rating): 4,500 mAh (88 hours)
Security: In-display fingerprint reader
Miscellaneous: Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity, Compass, Barometer ,IP68 dust/water resistant 
Other versions: Samsung Galaxy Note 20

These aren’t the only devices available. There are some additional devices that may not be as widely available including: the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, the Sony Xperia 1ii, and the Google Pixel 5.

Will you be buying a new smartphone this year? Are you considering a flagship? Let us know in the comments section below.

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