After the opening day of MWC 2019 and with the main presentations already finished, it is the ideal time to highlight the novelties that we already have in 2019 in the high-end smartphone market.

The new Sony Xperia 1, Nokia 9 Pureview or the duo of LG terminals join the Galaxy S10, Xiaomi Mi 9 and the high-end terminals of Apple or Huawei in search of being best smarpthone of 2019.

The best high-end smartphones of 2019

The MWC and increasingly, the week before, is usually the peak of the year in presentations of new high-end. This year they have not missed the appointment Xiaomi, Samsung, LG or Sony. In addition, among the candidates we also include models that were launched in 2018 and do not yet have a replacement in the manufacturer’s catalog within the high-end range.

These are the smartphones that we have chosen for this comparison:

Large terminals, contained dimensions

The high-end of all the major smartphone manufacturers has definitely embraced the diagonal range that goes from the 5.8 inches of the iPhone XS to the 6.5 inches of the new Sony Xperia 1 or the XS Max. In that margin are all the flagship without exception.

But if you look at the comparison table, all have managed to adjust their dimensions in a fantastic way, especially in thickness and width. The elongated screen format has worked the miracle, although along the way it leaves us some peculiar models such as the LG V50 and its almost 16 cm long.

Screen

Height (mm)

Width (mm)

Thickness (mm)

Weight (g)

Battery (mAh)

Sony Xperia 1

6.5 “

167

72

8.2

180

3,300

Nokia 9 Pureview

5.99 “

155

75

172

3,320

LG V50

6.4 “

159.2

76.1

8.3

183

4,000

LG G8

6.1 “

151.9

71.8

8.4

167

3,500

Samsung Galaxy S10

6.1 “

149.9

70.4

7.8

157

3,400

Samsung Galaxy S10 +

6.4 “

157.6

74.1

7.8

175

4,100

Xiaomi Mi 9

6.39 “

155

75

7.6

173

3,300

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

6.3 “

157.8

72.3

8.6

190

4,200

Honor View 20

6.4 “

156.9

75.4

8.1

180

4,000

Google Pixel 3 XL

6.3 “

158

76.7

7.9

184

3,430

iPhone Xs

5.8 “

143.6

70.9

7.7

177

2,658

iPhone Xs Max

6.5 “

157.5

77.4

7.7

208

3,174

Another great figure that almost all terminals can boast of is weight, where Samsung is the best positioned with its Galaxy S10. The biggest penalty is suffered by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but with the added bonus of a very large battery. Surely the most balanced in weight / battery is the Galaxy S10 +, facet where Samsung once again demonstrates its power.

OLED technology is the queen of the high-end

Only one terminal, from Honor, has crept into our comparison of high-end smartphones without having a screen with OLED technology. This type of panel, with its contrast, brightness and in many cases HDR, have come to absolutely dominate the catalog of the best phones from the most prominent manufacturers on the market.

The new Sony Xperia 1 It enters our table with the power that its OLED HDR panel with 4K resolution gives it, the only one that dares with this combination. That is worth having the best pixel density by far.

Comparison Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Xiaomi Mi 9 vs iPhone XS vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro

On the other hand, we have Xiaomi with its Mi 9, which is more than 200 dpi behind Sony. Even the iPhone XS and XS Max are better, although Apple terminals offer on average about 100 dpi less density than most of the high-end.

Size

Technology

Appearance

Ratio

Resolution

PPP

Glass protection

Sony Xperia 1

6.5

OLED HDR

21: 9

82%

1644 x 3840 px

643

Gorilla Glass 6

Nokia 9 Pureview

5.99

POLED

18: 9

79.7%

1440 x 2960 px

538

Gorilla Glass 5

LG V50

6.4

YOU ARE

19.5: 9

83%

1440 x 2960 px

537

Gorilla Glass 5

LG G8

6.1

YOU ARE

19.5: 9

83.5%

1440 x 3120 px

564

Gorilla Glass 5

Samsung Galaxy S10

6.1

Dynamic AMOLED

19: 9

88.3%

1,440 x 3,040 px

550

Gorilla Glass 6

Samsung Galaxy S10 +

6.4 “

Dynamic AMOLED

19: 9

87.5%

1,440 x 3,040 px

526

Gorilla Glass 6

Xiaomi Mi 9

6.39 “

Super AMOLED

19: 9

85.2%

1,080 x 2,280 px

403

Gorilla Glass 6

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

6.3 “

AMOLED

19.5: 9

87.9%

1,440 x 3,120 px

538

Gorilla Glass 5

Honor View 20

6.4 “

IPS

19.25: 9

85.7%

1,080 x 2,310 px

398

Gorilla Glass 5

Google Pixel 3 XL

6.3 “

P-OLED

18.5: 9

82.8%

1,440 x 2,960 px

523

Gorilla Glass 5

iPhone Xs

5.8 “

Super AMOLED

19.5: 9

82.9%

1,125 x 2,436

458

Gorilla Glass 6

iPhone Xs Max

6.5 “

Super AMOLED

19.5: 9

84.4%

1,242 x 2,688 px

458

Gorilla Glass 6

With glass bodies in most cases, the screen and body protection is well covered with Gorilla Glass in all cases. These “all screen” designs are used to obtain a screen percentage above 80% in all cases, although the king is still the Samsung Galaxy S10 with almost 90% screen on the front.

The 6 GB of RAM is the starting point for 2019

Paying around 1000 euros on average for many of the high-end models does not support halftones with the interior of these phones. The user wants the maximum performance for the euros they pay, and here 2019 starts with all the terminals having at least 6 GB of RAM and many models with a starting point of 128 GB internal memory. To highlight once again the Samsung Galaxy S10, with specifications that start from 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory.

Comparison Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Xiaomi Mi 9 vs iPhone XS vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The exceptions are curiously those of two models launched last year: Google’s Pixel and iPhone XS and XS Max. The one that can be penalized the most is precisely the Google model, the only one that is directly compared at the level of specifications with the other Android.

Processor

GPU

RAM

Storage

Micro SD

Sony Xperia L1

Snapdragon 855

Adreno 640

6 GB

128 GB

Yes, up to 512GB

Nokia 9 Pureview

Snapdragon 845

Adreno 630

6 GB

128 GB

Not

LG V50

Snapdragon 855

Adreno 630

6 GB

128 GB

Yes, up to 2 TB

LG G8

Snapdragon 855

Adreno 630

6 GB

128 GB

Yes, up to 2 TB

Samsung Galaxy S10

Exynos 9820

Mali-G76 MP12

8 GB

128/512 GB

Yes, up to 512GB

Samsung Galaxy S10 +

Exynos 9820

Mali-G76 MP12

8/12 GB

128 / 512GB / 1TB

Yes, up to 512GB

Xiaomi Mi 9

Snapdragon 855

Adreno 640

6/8/12 GB

64/128/256 GB

Not

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Kirin 980

Mali-G76 MP10

6/8 GB

128 GB

Nano Memory up to 256GB

Honor View 20

Kirin 980

Mali-G76 MP10

6/8 GB

128/256 GB

Not

Google Pixel 3 XL

Snapdragon 845

Adreno 630

4GB

64/128 GB

Not

iPhone Xs

Apple A12 Bionic

Apple GPU

4GB

64/256/512 GB

Not

iPhone Xs Max

Apple A12 Bionic

Apple GPU

4GB

64/256/512 GB

Not

Also those models from last year are somewhat lagged by the available processor. The only unpleasant surprise comes from the Nokia 9 Pureview, which despite being announced at MWC 2019, does not release the Snapdragon 855 Instead, it opts for the previous generation, which on the other hand allows it to go on the market with a more than interesting price compared to its rivals.

As expected, both the Honor View 20 and especially the Xiaomi Mi 9, are the absolute winners in terms of performance / price.

The big battle in the high-end is in the cameras

With more or less preference for a design, operating system or even price, the clearest differentiation between the current high-end can be found in the configuration of your camera system. Talking about one is the past, and now the terminal that does not have at least two cameras is rare. This is the case with the iPhone XS, while the Google Pixel 3 XL is the very honorable exception that you can still do a lot with a single camera.

Comparison Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Xiaomi Mi 9 vs iPhone XS vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Logically with less than three cameras we lose a lot of versatility. The inclusion of more than two sensors is not giving more overall quality for now, but rather possibilities, being normal to have the main camera, a second wide angle and a third with tele mode. That is why most new phones are betting with the exception of the Nokia 9 Pureview and its 5 cameras.

Main chamber

Secondary cameras

Front camera

Sony Xperia 1

12 MP (f / 1.6, Angular 26mm, Dual Pixel, OIS)

12 MP (f / 2.4, Tele 52 mm, OIS), 12 MP (f / 2.4, Wide angle 16 mm)

8 MP f / 2

Nokia 9 Pureview

12 megapixels RGB f / 1.8 12 megapixels RGB f / 1.8 12 megapixels BN f / 1.8 12 megapixels BN f / 1.8 12 megapixels BN f / 1.8

20 MP

LG V50

12 MP (f / 1.5 / 1.4μm / 78˚)

16 MP (f / 1.9 / 1.0μm / 107˚) + 12 MP (f / 2.4 / 1.0μm / 45˚)

8 MP (f / 1.9 / 1.12μm / 80˚) + 5 MP (f / 2.2 / 1.12μm / 90˚)

LG G8

12 MP (f / 1.5 / 1.4 microns / 78 degrees)

16 MP (f / 1.9 / 1 micron / 107 degrees) + 12 MP (f / 1.7 / 1.22 microns / 80 degrees with AF)

8 MP (f1.7 / 1.22 microns / 80 degrees with AF)

Samsung Galaxy S10

16MP, f / 2.2 (wide angle)

Dual Pixel 12MP, f / 1.5-2.4 + 12MP, f / 2.4 (tele)

10MP f / 1.9

Samsung Galaxy S10 +

16MP, f / 2.2 (wide angle)

Dual Pixel 12MP, f / 1.5-2.4 + 12MP, f / 2.4 (tele)

10MP f / 1.9 + 8MP f / 2.2

Xiaomi Mi 9

48 MP f / 1.8

16MP f / 2.2 (wide angle)

12MP (tele)

20MP

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

40 MP f / 1.8

20MP f / 2.2 (wide angle)

8MP f / 2.4 (tele)

24MP, f / 2.0

LG V40 ThinQ

12MP f / 1.5

16MP f / 1.9 (wide angle)

12MP f / 2.4 (tele)

8MP f / 1.9 + 5MP f / 2.2 (wide angle)

Honor View 20

48MP f / 1.8

TOF 3D

25MP, f / 2.0

Google Pixel 3 Xl

12.2 MP f / 1.8

8MP f / 1.8 + 8MP f / 2.2

iPhone Xs

12 MP f / 1.8

12 MP f / 2.4 (tele)

7MP f / 2.2

iPhone Xs Max

12 MP f / 1.8

12 MP f / 2.4 (tele)

7MP f / 2.2

Except for surprises, these 13 high-end smartphones will be at the top of the catalogs at least until the last quarter of the year, when news will arrive from Apple and Google, if they do not anticipate as it seems that Huawei will shortly.