Guide to 2019's Most Impressive Smartphones
It's difficult to find anyone who doesn't consider the smartphone an important asset in their everyday lives.
13:04 27 August 2019
From communication and entertainment to controlling your smart devices at home, it’s contemporary society’s pocket-sized connection to the modern world.
With technology advancing at great pace, manufacturers are battling for supremacy in key markets. Here we check out three of 2019’s most impressive smartphones from the world’s first foldable phone to a desktop in your pocket and an indestructible device capable of going underwater.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
The foldable phone as a concept has been around for some time. But now hardware has caught up with the creative ambition. We now have at least two devices in 2019 worth your time and money; the Huawei Mate X being one, the Samsung Galaxy Fold being the other.
The 4.3-inch Samsung phone, in its “normal” configuration, looks like pretty standard fare. But open it up and you reveal a 7.3-inch tablet. The Galaxy Fold boasts a first in that it is capable of displaying three apps at the same time. Although impressive, developers still need to catch up to optimise their apps for this functionality. Given foldable phones are still in their infancy, it could be a while until they catch up.
However, those considering spending £1500 will want to know it’ll last. Samsung has worked tirelessly to ensure the foldable mechanism has a lifespan that brings long-term value to the user. It has therefore been developed to be robust enough to tackle more than 200,000 switches from its folded and unfolded states. That works out at around 100 per day for five years.
Far heavier than the fairly hefty iPhone XS Max, and over 160mm thick when folded, those wanting a slim, lightweight device will be sorely disappointed. But this is a phone for those wanting cutting edge design and that’s where the Galaxy Fold delivers.
The AMOLED is bright, detailed and colour-rich, the app transition between folded and unfolded states is seamless, and the 7nm octa-core processor coupled with 12GB of RAM gives it the processing power to handle resource-rich apps and games. There’s also an incredible 512GB of storage, powerful camera capability including a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens and the all-day power of a 4,380mAh capacity battery.
Huawei Mate X
The Huawei Mate X claims to be the world’s fastest foldable 5G phone and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. It is powerful and feature-packed, boasting Huawei’s impressive use of new technology to deliver a device that distinguishes itself both in appearance and performance. Indeed, its Kirin 980 chipset and 4,500 battery capacity puts it at the forefront of smartphone hardware in 2019.
It might not be the first foldable smartphone but it has taken the concept to another level. The 5G connectivity is just part of the appeal because the OLED’s expansion to 8 inches means it becomes a formidable tablet small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. If you want it to revert back to its more traditional-looking phone, you get a 6.6-inch screen on one side and a 6.38-inch on the other.
With a price tag of around £2,000 it’s a device for those that demand possessing technology at the forefront of smartphone engineering. Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu envisages accessorising the device with mice and keyboards, making it ideal for business users who can combine the efficiency of a pocket-sized phone with the capabilities and increased scale of a tablet.
That economy of scale means it's particularly well-suited to those travelling abroad. That means a comprehensive insurance package that covers the phone against damage, theft and operating errors while you’re overseas is a must when using this very expensive piece of kit. Yet, perhaps surprisingly for a brand noted for its affordable tech, you get plenty of value in a smartphone that looks and feels ahead of the game.
The CAT-branded range of smartphones saw the S48c released in 2019, a seemingly indestructible device targeted at users who favour physical toughness and durability over performance specs. It’s a smartphone for extreme conditions and is built to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
Two versions exist, with the Sprint possessing 32GB storage and the Verizon variant boasting 64GB. Both phones are capable of supplementing their storage via a microSD card. The 13MP rear camera is also pretty powerful while the battery size is 4,000 mAh. Where the phone struggles against its popular consumer rivals is its relatively small 5-inch screen and hefty weight (nearly 10 ounces).
Possessing the Adreno 508 GPU under the hood ensures simple uses like browsing the internet are no problem. In fact, resource-hungry apps like Google Maps showed no signs of slowness. But this isn’t a phone for those who want to play games.
Instead, it’s a smartphone for those who’ll be taking it with them in environmental conditions that would cause an iPhone to freeze in fright. The IP68-built S48c laughs in the face of heights, brushing off a fall with the grace of a Hollywood action hero. You can even take it underwater where it’ll confidently survive for up to 30 minutes. CAT-branded smartphones are made for a particular user and, by sticking to strengths, certainly satisfy expectation.
From the new-age to the indestructible, three powerful phones for 2019 for users who love to be ahead of the game. Given that they’re each pioneering in their own ways, they do have the odd drawback. But crucially, this trio represents some of the best smartphone tech on the market right now, accommodating their shortcomings with sparkling innovation.