The best 2020 phones still worth buying in 2021


Who says you completely have to purchase the latest and greatest smartphone? Certainly not us. Sure, it’s all the time enjoyable to have the most recent and best tech, however it can save you loads of money by going for final yr’s units as effectively.

Now that we’re midway by way of the yr, we thought it might be a very good time to look again and select the best 2020 phones which can be still extremely advisable in 2021.

Best 2020 phones worth buying in 2021:


1. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series earlier this yr, and it looks as if a stable improve on paper over the S20 FE at first look. For $100 further, you get a greater processor, extra RAM, and 8K recording capabilities. But the S20 FE is definitely higher in some methods, and it’s undoubtedly one of many best 2020 phones still worth getting as we speak.

Aside from being cheaper at $600 proper now (or $700 at launch), the S20 FE additionally brings a correct telephoto digicam, microSD storage (lacking on the S21), an in-box charger (lacking on the newer telephone), and a much bigger battery. Samsung has additionally since ditched the underperforming Exynos 990 chipset in the 4G model in favor of the Snapdragon 865. 

This telephone may even obtain three years of Android model updates and 4 years of safety patches, making it effectively worth getting if you wish to maintain on to the gadget for a very long time. 


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 8MP
  • Front cameras: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. LG V60

LG V60 rear cover

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

LG is not in the smartphone sport, because it selected to exit the market earlier this yr. It’s actually the tip of an period, however you may still discover some nice LG phones on the market. And final yr’s V60 is likely to be the best deal of the bunch.

The 2020 flagship is provided with some nice core specs, together with a Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB to 256GB of expandable storage, a 6.8-inch OLED panel, and a 5,000mAh battery that lasts for some time. It additionally comes with a couple of options you may not count on, resembling IP68 water/mud resistance, a 3.5mm headphone jack, wi-fi charging, and quad DAC audio {hardware}.

More studying: The 5 best LG phones you can buy right now

LG’s telephone isn’t good although, because it lacks a excessive refresh fee panel, charging is sluggish in comparison with rival units, and it’s awkwardly massive. Camera high quality can be still a step behind main manufacturers, though LG has narrowed the hole. Nevertheless, the gadget might be had for effectively underneath $500 lately, making it a steal.


LG V60 specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64 and 13MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Sony Xperia 5 II

Sony Xperia 5 II face

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Sony launched the Xperia 1 III and 5 III a couple of months in the past, they usually each appear like fairly helpful flagship phones for the Japanese producer. But the Xperia 5 II is still an amazing flagship gadget, and it’s gotten cheaper as effectively.

Sony’s late 2020 launch packs a reasonably spectacular spec sheet general, together with a Snapdragon 865 SoC, a 6.1-inch 120Hz OLED display screen, a versatile triple rear digicam setup (three 12MP cameras), and a 4,000mAh battery that really lasts for some time.

Toss in a 3.5mm port, microSD help, and IP65/68 water and mud resistance and also you’ve acquired a very good bundle in basic. It does lack a couple of options like wi-fi charging and sooner wired charging, nevertheless it’s simpler to excuse these omissions on the present ~$710 price ticket on Amazon.


Sony Xperia 5 II specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

4. OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro camera macro 1

The OnePlus 8 Pro represented a brand new peak for OnePlus, because it was the primary correct premium flagship launched by the producer. It wasn’t low cost at a launch worth of $899, nevertheless it still packed a number of premium extras. This included 30W wi-fi charging, an IP68 score, and a QHD+ 120Hz OLED display screen.

More OnePlus protection: How the price of OnePlus phones changed over the years

Other options worth speaking about embrace a 4,510mAh battery and a typically well-rounded quad-camera system (together with a 48MP IMX689 essential sensor and a 48MP IMX586 ultra-wide digicam). We had been actually pleased with picture high quality right here and it’s maybe the primary OnePlus gadget that genuinely took it to main manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, and Google.

The OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t good although, because the 5MP colour filter digicam was undoubtedly a gimmick. But the telephone is definitely worth contemplating at its present $699 worth for the 12GB/256GB variant. It’s additionally cheaper than the OnePlus 9 in some markets in consequence, shedding out on sooner charging and the Snapdragon 888 SoC however gaining water resistance, a QHD+ display screen, and a zoom-focused digicam.


OnePlus 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 48, 8, and 5MP
  • Front cameras: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,510mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a screen in hand 3

David Imel / Android Authority

The Pixel 4a hasn’t seen a successor but, however Google confirmed a Pixel 5a was in the works a couple of months in the past. Unfortunately, the upcoming telephone might doubtlessly be restricted to Japan and the US. It’s additionally worth contemplating for those who merely need an affordable Pixel in basic, because it’s one of many best low cost phones of 2020.

Google’s mid-ranger doesn’t supply a ton of specs for the value, however you’re getting a Snapdragon 730 chipset, 128GB of storage, a 12MP single rear digicam with nice picture high quality, and three years of Android model updates. We’re additionally joyful to see a clear tackle Android right here, Google’s Pixel-specific inclusions (e.g. Google Camera app, name screening), and a rear fingerprint scanner. 

There are a few downsides although, specifically the three,080mAh battery and the shortage of a multi-camera setup on the again. In the case of the previous, we thought endurance was ok, however we do have our reservations about battery life down the road. Still, it’s a reasonably whole lot for most individuals at $349.


Google Pixel 4a specs:

  • Display: 5.81-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,080mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Asus Zenfone 7

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro laying on a table at an angle

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Asus launched two drastically totally different Zenfones in 2021, specifically the Zenfone 8 and the Zenfone 8 Flip. The former is a compact flagship with a standard kind issue whereas the latter retains the flipping digicam setup seen on earlier Zenfone fashions. But we expect final yr’s Zenfone 7 is a greater purchase than the Zenfone 8 Flip.

Related: Zenfone 8 Q&A — Asus talks compact challenges, possibility of future small phones

You solely miss out on a brand new chipset and a barely extra sturdy digicam motor by choosing the previous telephone over the brand new telephone. Otherwise, the 2 units share a ton of options, together with a 5,000mAh battery with 30W charging, a full-display 90Hz OLED display screen, and a flipping digicam system containing the identical versatile triple sensor setup (64MP essential, 12MP ultra-wide, 8MP 3X telephoto).

The best half is that the Zenfone 7 retails for round $650 lately, in comparison with the Zenfone 8 Flip’s €800 (~$973) price ticket. So you’re mainly paying ~$300 further for the chipset. 


Asus Zenfone 7 specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 8MP
  • Front cameras: Same as rear cameras
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

That’s it for our information to the best 2020 phones still worth buying in 2021. Are there some other units you’d advocate? Let us know under!


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