The rollout of 5G continues to grow across the US. And with the coronavirus pandemic leaving many of us still trapped in homes sharing restricted Wi-Fi bandwidth, it is increasingly crucial for fast wireless technology. Here are the top 10 best smartphones 2020, the top picks in our list all endorse 5G technology and finally seeing Apple join the party is fantastic.

On the other hand, some tech experts say In this Spotlight, we look at the effects of electromagnetic fields on our bodies and explore why some 5G tech may not be safe.

The word 5G refers to the fifth mobile technology generation. 5G will seem like a natural progression for our increasingly tech-reliant society with promises of faster browsing, streaming, and download rates, as well as improved connectivity.

We’ve seen new phones and more yet to come from Google, Samsung, Apple, OnePlus, and LG in 2020. Given the compelling releases we have seen in 2020, it was tough to restrict this list to 10 phones. 5G is a staple of most phones, but without 5G, there are a few on this list that still warrant attention.

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G

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SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 2 5G

The Z Fold 2 serves as a very capable smartphone and small tablet, providing an extremely strong and fast 5G connection in both modes. The outside display offers a typical 6.2-inch smartphone experience while the large 7.6-inch main display is stunning with 120Hz refresh rate and Samsung’s lovely AMOLED technology.

You get the fastest RAM and internal storage speeds available today, triple rear cameras, two other 10MP cameras, and much more. The 4500mAh battery easily gets you through a full day, even when using the large main screen.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra 5G

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra 5G

A few months ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 20 series and it is obvious that the Note 20 Ultra is one of the best phones for productivity and a simple recommendation for those who love the S Pen.         

The Note 20 devices bring everything we saw on the S20 series with some improvements in the cameras. Of course, the S Pen is a staple of the Note series, and with the Note 20, we see more Air Actions that are actually proving to be quite useful and reliable this year.

Samsung’s two Note 20 series devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, unique AMOLED 6.7- and 6.9-inch 120Hz refresh rate displays that automatically adjust for the content being displays, 8GB and 12GB RAM, 128GB with a 512GB storage option for the Ultra with a microSD for even more capacity, three rear cameras, IP68 rating, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. Battery capacity is 4,300mAh and 4,500mAh. $988 AT AMAZON$1,000 AT BEST BUY$1,000 AT B&H PHOTO-VIDEO

3. Apple iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max

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Apple iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup includes four models, all sporting support for 5G networks. New Apple processors, improved camera performance, and a more square-shaped design (similar to the iPhone 4 and iPad Pro) are found on all four models. 

The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same size 6.1-inch display and this year that also means the exact same OLED panel. The only differences between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are the additional telephoto camera, LiDAR support, and likely more RAM found on the iPhone 12 Pro model for the more than $120 difference in price.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest iPhone with a 6.7-inch display. This year Apple also has the 12 Pro Max having slightly better cameras when compared to the 12 Pro.

Pricing for the new iPads starts at $699 for the iPhone 6 Mini and ranges up to $1,399 for the 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max. Pricing varies by storage capacity with some new carrier pricing differences. The iPhone 12 mini and 12 are available in white, black, blue, green, and PRODUCT(Red). The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are available in graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue.

$829 AT AMAZON$800 AT BEST BUY

4. Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus/S20 Ultra

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Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus/S20 Ultra

The focus on the S20 line this year is universal 5G and improved camera experiences. The S20 Ultra saw some software updates to improve its camera, but it is a very large device that went a bit overboard with a high price to boot.

Samsung’s S20 series phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, AMOLED 120Hz refresh rate displays ranging from 6.2 to 6.9 inches, 12GB RAM (with 16GB option), 128GB to 512GB storage options with a microSD for even more capacity, three rear cameras (the Ultra has unique camera specifications), IP68 rating, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5. Battery capacity ranges from 4,000mAh to 5,000mAh. The S20 does not support high band (mmWave) faster 5G networks so make sure you pick the device that will fit your network needs.

$1,200 AT AMAZON$1,400 AT WALMART$1,397 AT SAM’S CLUB

5. Google Pixel 5

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Google Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5 is Google’s first available 5G smartphone and appears to cheque the boxes needed for a competitive smartphone. It is not designed to compete with the flagships of Apple, Samsung, and others, unlike previous Pixel phones, but offers the basics with the tech chops of Google.

Google’s previous Pixel phones have still lacked certain features and have not been able to compete with the flagships of Apple and Samsung, so this strategy makes much more sense. Priced at $699, the Pixel 5 is a great choice with Google apps to get 5G in your hands and rely on daily updates for years.

The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB internal storage, 4000mAh battery, dual rear cameras (12MP and 16MP ultrawide), 8MP front camera, and more.

You can pick one up in black or an interesting green color (Sorta Sage). The back is aluminum and we also see the return of a rear fingerprint sensor.

$699 AT AMAZON$700 AT BEST BUY$699 AT B&H PHOTO-VIDEO

6. OnePlus 8/8 Pro

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OnePlus 8/8 Pro

With the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, both compliant with 5G networks, OnePlus has launched its new 2020 phones. Although Verizon has a special variant with 5G mmWave support, T-Mobile carries the OnePlus 8.

With its 90Hz and 120Hz displays, quick UFS 3.0 internal storage, generous RAM and the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processes, this latest OnePlus flagship offers extremely sensitive efficiency.

The phones are lovely with Interstellar Glow, Glacial Green, and other color options available. There are a couple of different RAM and internal storage options for each phone. With the size and battery capacity differences between the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, we also find some differences in cameras, display refresh rate, and wireless charging functionality.

The OnePlus phones now have Android 11 and are very responsive. They still lack an IP rating so be careful using them outside as inclement weather season approaches.

$999 AT ONEPLUS

7. LG V60 ThinQ 5G

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LG V60 ThinQ 5G

The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is available from T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. It’s only available in the US from one of these wireless carriers, but it may appear as an unlocked model on Amazon in the future.

This latest LG V series device continues to focus on video creation with a triple rear camera system, 8K video recording, four microphones, ASMR and Voice Bokeh audio technology, and advanced camera software. It’s also powered by a massive 5,000mAh battery with a 1080p display so it is sure to help you capture hours of video content.

The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is composed of two pieces of Gorilla Glass 5 with a metal frame and is certified for shock resistance to MIL-STD 810G. LG’s new phone has a 6.8-inch OLED panel, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage with a microSD card, and 5G. A Dual Screen cover is included for the $900 price and gives you a large platform for serious productivity.

Along with 5G and a focus on video capture, the LG V60 continues LG’s tradition of audio excellence with a 3.5mm audio port with quad DAC support and stereo speakers. It sounds great through the speakers, but the wired headphone experience is even better. It’s one of the last phones remaining with a 3.5mm audio port so audiophiles are sure to be pleased.

$900 AT BEST BUY$900 AT LG

8. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

While the Galaxy S20 series that launched in early 2020 provide compelling options, they are flagship phones priced in the $1,000 and higher range. In order to offer customers another alternative, Samsung recently released the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) 5G phones. The S20 FE is available in five lovely colours to suit your style. Which is AWESOME

Priced at $699.99, you may think Samsung compromised a lot to offer a powerful 5G phone. However, we see a 6.5-inch Infinity-O display with 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate, high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, large capacity 4500mAh battery, 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage with a microSD card slot, IP68 dust/water resistance, three rear cameras (one with 3X optical and 30x super-resolution zoom), and a high resolution 32MP front camera.

Where are the compromises? Exactly, there really aren’t any and yet the $700 price is where we see phones in the upper mid-range with less capable specs appear. The S20 FE challenges Google’s new Pixel 5 and other phones.

$343 AT AMAZON$280 AT WALMART

9. Microsoft Surface Duo

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Microsoft Surface Duo

With the Microsoft Surface Couple, there seems to be a love it or hate it feeling, and while I found it very productive, I ended up returning mine in favour of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Although the Surface Pair has specs and bold bezels for 2019, it is a productivity workhorse in the correct hands.

The Surface Duo does not support 5G networks, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is powered by it. When you open it up, it has two 5.6-inch screens with no ability to see anything on the outside of the unit. The Surface Duo has 6GB of RAM, internal storage of 128/256GB, and a single 11MP sub-par sensor.

However the problem is not about the hardware and its capacity rests on the technological improvements provided by Microsoft. To boost the experience, there have been a few improvements and this first generation is a successful first attempt. The starting price of $1,400 is difficult to swallow, which is one reason why it is put at the bottom of this list.

$1,399 AT BEST BUY

10. Google Pixel 4A 5G

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Google Pixel 4A 5G

Take a look at the inexpensive Google Pixel 4A 5G if you want an Android phone that will always have the latest firmware and security updates, while also providing a reasonably stock experience and also now getting 5G support. It’s the most affordable 5G phone we’ve seen launched, at $499.

The Google Pixel 4A 5G has a large 6.2-inch, Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB, and 128GB integrated storage, 12.2MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera, and a 3,800mAh battery.

The camera is another justification for buying the Pixel 4A 5G over other better smartphone hardware, in addition to the app being a priority for Google. However, while others have phones with three or four rear cameras, Google only provides one, so its capability as a regular shooter is minimal.

Android 11 powers the phone and it will receive OS upgrades for three years. Monthly Android security updates are the most important software support for the enterprise since major firmware updates tend to break things and be less stable immediately after release.

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