Top 5 Flagship Smartphones of 2019!

Staff Writer / 10-01-2020 / News

Every year, smartphone manufacturers scramble to outdo each other when it comes to their flagship smartphones, packing in as many hardware upgrades and features as possible. Leading this pack for the last several years is Samsung and Apple, with Chinese manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi closing the gap quickly thanks to their ranges of high-quality, feature-packed smartphones that are much more affordable. As a result, smartphones are evolving faster than we can keep up, and 2019 definitely had its share of incredible devices.

Here is our list of the top 5 flagship smartphones to have graced us this year:

Apple iPhone 11

Apple sprung their brand-new smartphone offering on us in September this year, loaded with the latest iOS 13 software which has been well received by users. In terms of looks, it’s available in 6 new colours (White, Black, Red, Lavender, Yellow and Green) with an aluminium and glass design and 6.1-inch Liquid Retina Screen.

The iPhone 11 supports faster charging and the battery will last longer (approx. 1 hour) than in the previous iPhone XR. The 2 rear camera lenses, one of which is a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and the other, a new 12-megapixel ultra wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, will no doubt be irresistible to those who want to take their mobile photography to the next level. For selfie fans, Apple has introduced a feature called ‘slowfies’ into the front facing camera, adding a whole new dimension to your selfies.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

These smartphones are being touted as the most powerful iPhones ever made. Both sport the all new surgical-grade stainless steel exterior with a matte finish available in gold or even midnight green, among other new colours. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max both house triple cameras at the rear, including an awesome 12MP wide angle camera which will allow you to cram more into a single photo. On the downside, you will have to deal with a slightly bulgier iPhone because of the extra camera. Apple is promising loads of power with this range, but they’re also offering four more hours of battery life than its predecessor, the iPhone XS).

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung’s flagship smartphone is undoubtedly the Note range and this year it provided us with the Note 10. In terms of screen size, the Note 10 has a 6.3-inch screen which is actually smaller than its predecessor, but it has a dynamic AMOLED+, HDR10+-certified screen made of Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 6. At only 168 grams, it’s really nifty and compact which makes the phone easy to handle. The Note 10 features three rear cameras - a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel wide angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. There's a 10-megapixel selfie camera at the front. Added to that, it has Live Focus Mode which auto focuses on subjects while shooting video. It also has a Zoom-In Mic feature which cuts out all background noise when recording audio.

The Note 10 is an upgrade to the Note 9 in that it has 256GB of onboard memory but doesn’t have a slot for an SD Card. The 8GB of RAM is decent enough to run applications on the device without any delay or lag. On the battery front, it is smaller than the Note 9 at just 3500mAh.

Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro helped the Chinese company raise the bar this year. The first feature that stands out is the quad camera setup. The Leica quad-camera setup consists of a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide camera, an 8MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and a “time of flight” camera. It has a larger screen at 6.47 inches with OLED display. The P30 Pro is available in a variety of colours and also is a dual-SIM smartphone. The slot also doubles up as Huawei’s nano memory (NM) card slot. It is powered by Huawei’s next-generation Kirin 980 chipset, comes with 8GB of RAM and a bumped-up 256GB of storage that is expandable using an NM card.

Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus

Regarded as a more affordable, compact version of the Note 10, the Galaxy S10 range was one of the most talked about smartphones of 2019. Both the S10 and S10 Plus have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, Super AMOLED Infinity-O display, 8GB RAM (with 12GB option), 128GB to 1TB storage options with a microSD slot for even more capacity, five cameras, IP68 rating, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and a stunning design with Prism colour options. The S10 plus come with high level water resistance and also the popular fast wireless charging. The additional capabilities to charge up other devices and gear via wireless technology on the back of the S10 Plus is ideal for people on the go.

There’s no doubt that 2019 has served up some really awesome smartphones that promise to get even better when 2020 rolls around. For now, though, it all comes down to the features you’re looking for, your brand preference and, of course, the price you’re willing to pay.


The New Sony Xperia 1 IV Experience

Sony’s latest smartphone release is spec-ed out and ready to take on the iPhone 13 range.The Sony Xperia 1 IV 5G launched in May and has excited tech-heads everywhere thanks to its impressive capabilities.Flagship ProcessorThe Sony Xperia 1 IV runs on the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon (SD) 8 Gen 1 chipset, making for a powerful, advanced machine with increased learning capabilities.It comes ready with Android 12 and boasts 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, which can be expanded with the help of a microSD card.Dynamite DisplayWith this flagship device you get a 6.5-inch 4K OLED display and a 120Hz refresh rate. This smartphone has the honour of being the first phone of 2022 to boast 4K HDR resolution. It also come equipped with a 3840 x 1644 screen resolution – that’s higher than even the iPhone 13 Pro Max – making for a sharper viewing experience.Battery BonanzaThe Sony Xperia 1 IV has a large 5000mAh battery under the hood. It offers 30W wired fast charging like its predecessor and supports wireless charging, keeping up with its own flagship standards.Camera QualityBased on the Sony Xperia 1 III, the IV didn't have to try too hard to deliver a superior camera. It doesn’t disappoint. Like the iPhone 13, it sports a 12MP triple camera setup with four lenses – 12MP Main, 12MP Telephoto with 5 x zoom and a 12MP Ultrawide lens.Sony has set out to rival the best with the Xperia 1 IV. Only time will tell, but with specs like these, they could achieve the impossible!Looking for the hottest mobile and data deals from SA’s leading networks? Be the first to be in-the-know when you sign up for our newsletter.


Huawei P50 Hits The Market

The flagship Huawei P50 series has finally launched worldwide.Debuting in in July last year, the P50 is the most affordable phone from the series.The P50 sets the standard for the range. It packs in sought-after features while still being light on your wallet. You get a new design, new software and new technology that makes it a worthy successor to the standout P40s and Mate 40 series.A+ Camera SpecsAs with most Huawei’s, the camera specs are outstanding. The P50 boasts three shooters at the back, including a 50MP primary camera with OIS and a colour sensor, a 12MP periscope zoom with 5x optical magnification and a 12MP ultra-wide snapper. The front-facing camera is a 13MP, and although this is a little modest compared to other standard smartphones on the market today, it’s more than enough for eye-catching selfies. Altogether, the camera hardware offers a solid performance that captures vibrant, detailed and accurate photos day or night.Just Keep ScrollingThe display on the P50 is impressive with its flat-edge OLED 6.5-inch screen that's bright and efficient, featuring a smooth refresh rate of 90Hz and a touch input rate of 300Hz for easy scrolling and quick switching between apps. The P50 is dust and water resistant at a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. Overall, it offers a decent display and fast refresh rates for a great user experience.Super-Fast Wired ChargingThe P50’s battery is in line with the current market standards at 4 1000mAh. It features 66W wired charging and goes from 0% to a full charge in 30 – 40 minutes. If you’re looking for a wireless charge, this feature is only available on the flagship P50 Pro. However, if you don’t mind wired as the only option, the standard P50 delivers quickly for the ultimate convenience.Creative ConnectivityPowering the P50 is the top-end Snapdragon 888 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. This can be expanded thanks to a pro nano memory card slot, which is ideal for those who need the extra storage for videos, photos, music and apps. Although the processor supports 5G, it is not enabled in this new series. But if you’re content with a 4G LTE connection or using WiFi 6, the P50 packs a punch without compromising on storage.Updated HarmonyOSThe phone runs on HarmonyOS 2, which was recently revealed as the rival to Android. The operating system shares many similarities with Android but comes with one big difference. It features Huawei AppGallery instead of Google Play. Huawei’s app store has around 45 000 apps but lacks all Google apps. Fortunately, there’s a workaround as you can install apps directly from the web using Petal Search. The best part about the operating system is that it works seamlessly with other Huawei devices, ensuring that those with tablets, smartwatches etc., can easily integrate their devices.If the Huawei P50 striking all the right notes with you, find the right deal here.Sign-up for our newsletter for updates on the hottest mobile and data deals from SA’s leading networks.


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Rumours Unlocked

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is expected to be announced in August but there is already a whirlwind of talk about what it could offer.The new flagship series has big shoes to fill as the successor of the trailblazing Galaxy Z Fold 3. If the rumours prove to be true, the Fold 4 is set to continue the legacy into the next generation.An Affordable Foldable?The new series could become the most affordable foldable by the South Korean tech giant.  The Z Fold 3 hit the South African market at a hefty R 37 999. If these guesses hold any value, we could see this price reduced.S22 Camera SpecsThe Z Fold 4 may be adopting the camera setup from the Galaxy S22 range with its stellar telephoto lens boasting 3x optical zoom, a 50MP main shooter and 12MP ultra-wide cameras. A new rumour, by leaker Dohyun Kim, claims that the new model will get the S22 Ultra’s massive 108MP main camera. Samsung’s innovative under-display camera may also get a boost as the tech giant may be adding another to the Fold 4.Two Hinges Become OneKorean blogging site Naver says Samsung is considering ways to reduce the phone’s weight by decreasing the number of hinges at the centre of the handset from two in the Z Fold 3, to just one in the new series. This will make the Z Fold 4 thinner, lighter and more durable. Samsung could also completely ditch the book-style fold format for an s-fold design!Same Size, Bigger ScreenThe weight reduction may also mean that the Z Fold 4 will not be bigger than its predecessor. A leading tipster, Ice Universe, claims that the screen size will remain the same, but there may be more screen area as thinner bezels, and a reduced outside dimension is being considered.Reimagined DisplayTurning to the inner display, Samsung may be upgrading the current Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) material with a tougher and higher quality option.Axed S Pen?The S Pen’s future with the Fold series is… complicated.  There are rumours of a built-in stylus, no stylus at all and the most frustrating option, no silo slot for the accessory – meaning that finding a place to store your S Pen could become an issue, especially when travelling.All in all, the latest rumours about the Z Fold 4 indicate that it’s poised for greatness, just like the generations before. For the latest updates on the new series, sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know.