Apple’s iPhone 11 is selling like hotcakes, but you shouldn’t buy it. The same is true for Samsung’s Galaxy S10, Note 10, the OnePlus 7T and Google’s infuriating Pixel 4. Why? Because the best smartphone of 2019, in my opinion, is something else. And my choice may surprise you.
In a year dominated by iteration and fine-tuning no smartphone stands out more than the iPhone 11 Pro for one simple reason: there’s nothing else like it.
Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro range was the most well rounded smartphone series of the year. But whereas the iPhone 11 Pro Max has serious contenders in the form of the Galaxy S10+, Note 10+, Huawei Mate 30 Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro, they all share one thing in common: they’re the size of a Winnebago. By contrast, the iPhone 11 Pro stands by delivering the same prowess in a near-desolate category of premium sub 6-inch devices.
Gordon’s Top Apple Daily Deals:
- STAR DEAL – iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro – save up to $800 with AT&T / $700 when you buy two iPhones on Verizon – Membership Wireless – shop deals now
- iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus – Unlocked – 32GB – Total Wireless or Straight Talk – $99 / $149.99 – Walmart – shop deals now
- AirPods Pro – (typically $249.99) – Amazon: $249 (12/27 – out of stock) / B&H: $249.99 (availability 6-10 weeks) / Best Buy: $249.99 / Staples: $249 (available in some stores) / Target: $249.99 / Walmart: $249 (out of stock)
- AirPods with Charging Case – (typically $159.99) – Amazon: $139 / B&H: $144.95 12/27 – ( $5 price reduction) / Best Buy: $144.99 / Staples: $139 / Target: $144.99 / Walmart: $139
- AirPods with Wireless Charging Case – (typically $199.99) – Amazon: $168.95 / B&H – $174.95 / Best Buy: $199.99 / Staples: $189 / Target: $169.99 / Walmart: $169 (out of stock)
- 10.2-inch 2019 32GB iPad – (typically $329.99) – $319 (12/29 – back in stock) / Best Buy: $249.99 (out of stock) / Staples: $289 / Target: $249.99 / B&H: $299
So am I saying this a win through a lack of competition? No. It’s a win because it’s a spectacular achievement. The competition has failed so spectacularly to shrink flagship specifications into truly one-handed devices that most of them don’t even try anymore (see: OnePlus, Huawei, Asus, LG, Sony, etc).
And of those that do, they come with severe compromises. Samsung’s 5.8-inch Galaxy S10e is the designated budget model with design, camera, battery and biometric limitations (the latter two of which also apply to the 6.1-inch Galaxy S10 and the former two to the iPhone 11). Meanwhile, Google’s 5.7-inch Pixel 4 is a hot mess of questionable decisions, including shambolic battery life.
Downsizing flagships is HARD. Apple itself has failed in both 2017 and 2018 because both the iPhone X and iPhone XS came up short in battery life and their cameras dropped below the standards set by rivals. Only Google’s original Pixel, Apple’s iPhone 4 and Sony’s early Xperia Compact models (when they still had flagship specs) could fit the bill.
So while I admire the iPhone 11 Pro Max for its premium design, great camera(s), class-leading performance and biometrics, slick software with fast updates (iOS 13 problems aside) and superb battery life as well as the Galaxy S10, Note 10+, OnePlus 7T / 7T Pro and Huawei Mate 30 Pro for nailing most (but certainly not all) of these things, they achieved them with plenty of room to manoeuvre.
As such, there’s only one phone on the market which successfully shrunk all these attributes. Yes, it’s expensive but it stands alone as an example of what can still be achieved in a compact chassis. Ladies and gentlemen, my smartphone of 2019: the iPhone 11 Pro.