Wirecutter lists the best gear and gadgets for people who want to save the time and stress of figuring out what to buy. Their recommendations are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists and scientists.
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1. Google Pixel 3
The Google Pixel 3 is a great choice for those who want a top-of-the-line smartphone with excellent camera capabilities but don’t necessarily need to spend much money. It also offers a few extras that enhance the Google experience – like wireless charging, great stereo speakers, and average battery life – that other flagships don’t offer at this price point.
The Pixel 3’s camera can take impressively high-quality photos – especially in portrait mode. This is thanks to a new feature called Super Res Zoom, which makes it possible to use just the front-facing camera to zoom in without losing image quality. Other camera improvements include Night Sight and Top Shot, which can help you get the best picture before you press the shutter button.
2. Google Pixel 3 XL
The Google Pixel 3 XL is one of the best Android phones you can buy now. It may not be as premium as the iPhone XS Max or Galaxy Note 9, but its camera, software fluidity, and updates make it a first-class phone.
The Pixel 3 XL is available in 64GB and 128GB storage variants, costing $899 and $999, respectively. Both models run on the Snapdragon 845 processor and offer 4 GB of RAM.
It has a 6.3-inch OLED display with a 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The Pixel 3 XL is also packed with a 3.430 mAh battery, which should be enough to get through a day of heavy usage or about two days of light use.
3. Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, brings many features and a design to match. The Galaxy S9’s screen design is virtually unchanged from the S8; its 5.8-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and tapers into the phone’s edge.
One of the best new features on the S9 is the Edge menu, which lets you drag and drop shortcuts for apps and people anywhere you want on your screen’s left or right sides. It’s also got gesture support for the fingerprint sensor, so you can swipe down to open a notification or up to launch Samsung Pay.
Other stand-out features include the improved camera, which boasts a variable aperture and super slow-motion videos up to 960fps. There are also AR emojis, which allow you to create a virtual simulation of yourself that can be sent to friends.
4. Samsung Galaxy S9+
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is a fantastic Android phone with lots of features. It’s an excellent device for anyone looking to upgrade from their current smartphone, especially if they’re on a budget.
The Galaxy S9+ offers several improvements and refinements over the previous year’s model, including a faster Snapdragon 845 processor and improved front and rear cameras. It also has a larger 6.2-inch curved display and a bigger 3,500mAh battery.
The S9+ has many features and is an excellent phone for those who like to take pictures. However, it may not be the best choice for everyone.
5. Apple iPhone XR
Apple’s iPhone XR is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t need the extra power of the XS or XS Max but still wants a big-screen phone with many features. It’s also a solid option for iPhone owners who want to save money while keeping their phones working well.
The iPhone XR comes in various colors, including yellow, blue, coral, and red, so you’ll find one that suits your tastes. It’s also IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, meaning it can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes without a problem.
Its 6.1-inch LCD screen isn’t an as high resolution as the OLED screens in the XS and XS Max, but 1,729 x 828 pixels don’t look pixelated and are very bright, with sound color reproduction and wide viewing angles. Plus, it has all the features you expect from a modern iPhone, like Face ID and Tap to Wake.