● Innovative dual screen design
● Screen-sound casting technology
● 10GB RAM + 128GB ROM
● Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
● Triple cameras
● AI assistant
While the Vivo NEX is a notable 2019 smartphone for a number of reasons, the phone’s groundbreaking design is the key feature that brought it to the forefront of our attention this year.
While the Vivo’s previous NEX model pushed the boundaries by featuring a hidden behind display front camera that would elevate when one needed to take a selfie, the NEX Dual Screen model takes things even further by offering us not one but two whole screens. It also features an in-display speaker and quite a few other notable features.
On the front, you get a 6.39-inch main display with 1080×2340 resolution and 19:9 ratio and on the back, there is a smaller 5.49-inch OLED screen with the resolution of 1920×1080. Both displays are fully functional and you will be able to switch between them either with physical buttons or assigned shortcuts. While there are still doubts as to the practicality of the dual screen design, it definitely makes it easier to do two things at the same time: for instance, you can be easily playing a game on the front of the phone while having a chat or camera open on the second screen.
Though undoubtedly impressive, the design is not the only thing that makes the Vivo NEX Dual Screen appear on our 2019 smartphone bestselling list. The phone is one of the few devices on the market to come with 10GB of RAM — which is probably way more than you may actually need on a daily basis but still very reassuring to have onboard. The phone runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with 128 GB of storage. The only letdown may be the standard 3500mAh battery, which does seem a bit underachieving for a phone with two screens.
● Magnetic sliding camera panel
● 6.39 inch 2340×1080 screen
● Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
● 6GB RAM+128GB
● Xiao AI assistant
If you are looking for an innovative full screen smartphone but are not quite ready to go on the double screen adventure with the Vivo NEX, the Mi Mix 3 may give you just that. The phone has achieved an impressive 93.4% screen-to-body ratio by placing its front cameras on a sliding panel that you can bring up whenever you need to take a selfie. Speaking of cameras, they are the true highlight of the Mi Max 3 — in fact, the phone is the best of Xiaomi’s camera phones. With the Mi Max 3, you will be getting two dual camera setups. This basically means that you will be getting four cameras on one phone. On the back, you are getting two 12MP sensors with the primary cam sporting a f/1.8 aperture lens, dual-pixel autofocus and optical image stabilization. The secondary camera is a telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture and 2X optical zoom.
On the front, the Mi Max 3 sports another dual cam: the main module is 24MP with 0.9µm pixels and the support for 4-in-1 pixel binning. There’s also a 2MP depth sensor for creating beautiful bokehs.
You get the same-sized screen as on the Vivo NEX — 6.39 inches. The display comes with 2340×1080 resolution and is noted for its 600-nit brightness and 103.8-percent NTSC gamut, making the it looks clear even outdoors and even in bright sunlight. Under the hood, there is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
● 48MP dual rear cameras
● 6.3-inch full screen with waterdrop notch
● 4000mAh large battery capacity
The Redmi Note 7 is Xiaomi’s first smartphone released independently under the Redmi sub-brand. It is also the cheapest phone you can get with a 48MP rear camera and an impressive spec list.
The Redmi Note 7 comes with a classic flagship design (similar to the ones we’ve seen the Oppo, Honor and Vivo models). There is a nice 6.3 inch FHD display with 2340 x 1080 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 409 pixels per inch. Though you do not get a completely full screen experience like with the smartphones we’ve listed earlier, the Redmi Note 7 comes pretty close with its waterdrop notch and very thin side bezels.
Under the hood, the Note 7 runs on the popular Snapdragon 660 — a popular choice for mid-range phones also featured on the Mi 6X, the Mi A2 and quite a few others. The basic model comes with 3GB of RAM paired with 32GB of storage and there are two more options to consider: 4GB RAM + 64GB of storage and 6GB RAM + 64GB. You can also expand the internal memory further up to 256GB on an SD card.
One of the other strong features of the Redmi Note 7 is the 4000mAh battery and the support of Quick Charge 4. This is a bigger battery than we’ve seen on some of the more advanced models in the list — so that’s definitely something worth looking into. The Redmi Note 7 can go from zero to a full charge in 1 hour and 43 minutes — but a fast charger that you can purchase separately will speed things up enabling the 9V/2A charging option.
● IP68 dustproof and waterproof; survives a 1.2 meter drop
● 5000mAh battery with up to 440 hours of standby time
● Large area coverage — up to 30 frequency bands
● 6.2-inch FHD+ full screen with a narrow notch
If you are looking for a phone that will have your back in even the harshest outdoor conditions, you should probably look right past all of the fancy full screen flagships and set your eyes on the Ulefone Armor 6 — a top of the line rugged smartphone with military grade protection against the elements. The Armor 6 is IP68 dustproof and waterproof — and this means that the phone can withstand being fully submerged in water for extended periods of time. It can survive a 1.2 meter drop onto a hard surface, extreme temperatures and even solar radiation exposure. In short, the phone is as close to indestructible as we could possibly get at this point — and this makes it the perfect choice for those working in harsh environments, outdoorsmen and women, adventure junkies — you get the idea.
Despite its tough exterior, the Armor 6 does quite well on the design and performance. The phone features quite a large 6.2 inch screen with 2246 x 1080 resolution and also aims to give you as much of a full screen experience as possible with a notch at the top of the screen. The smartphone runs on the Helio P60 octa core processor and sports 6GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.
One of the biggest highlights of the model is the 5000mAh battery (good for up to up to 440 hours of standby time) with wireless charging support. The large battery capacity will free you of the need to look for an outlet in the wilderness and will also let you use the phone as a mini powerbank for other small electronics. Another feature that will be important for the adventurer is the phone’s extensive coverage — up to 30 frequency bands (GPS/ A-GPS/Glonass/Beidou) location — in fact, you will be covered in 90% of the world’s territory.
So, which phone do you go for?
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder — especially when it comes to a device as personal as a smartphone. Our four picks for the best smartphones of 2019 could all come with strong recommendations — but they are also very different devices. The Vivo NEX would definitely be interesting to first adapters and those appreciating the true value of an innovative design. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the best camera smartphones in its price range — and you also get the fun pop up selfie cam experience. The Redmi Note 7 is, most probably, the best value for money device, and don’t forget that 48MP cam. Finally, the Ulefone Armor 6 is simply unbeatable when it comes to performing under pressure.
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