If you are in the market for a smartphone, you would have come across many different offerings from various companies such as Apple, Samsung, etc. Some offer photo and video options that even rival professional cameras, while others offer high refresh rate screens and beastly internals for exceptional performance. But the question of what is the fastest phone for your daily multitasking and productivity task than arises. Therefore, in this article, we have curated a comprehensive list of the fastest phones in the world.
These smartphones offer not only excellent performance and faster displays but also factors such as great software, camera quality, and enable you to play demanding games at high resolutions with ultra-smooth refresh rates for the best possible mobile experience.
What comprises a fast phone
There are three main factors that work in tandem with the phone’s software that determine if is is indeed a fast phone: The processor, memory, and refresh rate of the phone’s display.
Firstly, the processor, which is the brain of the smartphone, is the most important. The fastest phones employ processors like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 or Apple’s A14 Bionic or better, which are crucial for a snappy experience. A slower processor will cause the phone to lag and stutter, which is not ideal.
The amount of RAM a phone has can positively or negatively affect its multitasking capabilities. Though, for highly optimized operating systems like iOS, you won’t require as much RAM compared to Andriod OS. Other benefits include better processing of captured photos and videos and better battery life as these processors are much more efficient.
The next factor is the screen’s refresh rate. A higher refresh rate will allow for much smoother animations and gameplay, but keep in mind that this will significantly affect your battery life. Similarly, a high touch latency will improve the responsiveness of your smartphone, even at lower refresh rates. Finally, support for the latest 5G connectivity will allow for faster network speeds, although the technology is not as widespread yet.
1ASUS ROG Phone 3
OS: Android 10 (ROG UI) | Screen size: 6.59-inch | Resolution: 2340×1080 pixels | Refresh rate: 144 Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865+ | RAM: 8/12/16GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP+13MP+5MP | Front camera: 24MP | Weight: 240g | Dimensions: 171 x 78 x 9.9 mm
ASUS, a manufacturer typically known for its gaming desktop hardware and laptops, decided to enter the smartphone space with its ROG phone in 2018, a phone that was known for its gamery aesthetic and hardware. In 2020, the third generation of the ROG phone presents a more refined design along with the best specs you can get on a smartphone yet.
Starting with the Snapdragon 865+ processor, which provides a 10% performance improvement over the 865, nothing should hold you back from enjoying the latest gaming titles on your smartphone. Add to this the insanely fast 144 Hz display with a 1ms response time and 270Hz touch sampling rate that should allow for extremely smooth animations and gameplay, providing a superior viewing and touch experience.
With a maximum memory capacity of 16 GB, you can now store more apps in memory, allowing for lesser interruptions. The UFS 3.1 storage is pretty fast, and coupled with the 5G support, games should download pretty quickly, with visible improvements in loading times. Besides the performance, the battery is also one of the largest you can get on a smartphone, with a massive 6,000 mAh capacity that can easily last you for two days on regular use. The 30W fast charging is also respectable, although wireless charging is sadly absent.
The ROG UI software on the smartphone will give you a near vanilla experience save for the gamer-oriented features letting you play around with several settings to fine-tune your experience. The smartphone also features a touch-sensitive side known as Air Triggers, which are remappable to use in-game, great for FPS titles like Fortnite. Sadly, the headphone jack’s lack due to space restrictions will prevent you from enjoying a lag-free audio experience.
The ROG Phone 3 is an excellent option if your phone’s primary use case is gaming, especially FPS titles that play well with the fast screen and air triggers. With a price of $1,159.99 for the top-end model, it is definitely in flagship territory, but if you can make the best use of its features, we are sure it will not disappoint.
2Nubia Red Magic 5G
OS: Android 10 (Red Magic 3.0) | Screen size: 6.65-inch | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8/12/16GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP+8MP+2MP | Front camera: 8MP | Weight: 218g | Dimensions: 168.6 x 78 x 9.8 mm
If you are in the market for a solid mid-range smartphone that gives you the best performance, the Red Magic 5G is the one to go. With its distinct gamely look and RGB lighting, it is sure to turn many eyes. It even includes an actual fan with cooling vents to cool the Snapdragon 865 present inside and offers up to 16 GB RAM to give the absolute performance among any other smartphones.
But where the phone shines is the 144 Hz FHD AMOLED display, which is sure to take on games to the next level. Also, the inclusion of 5G support at this level is commendable, considering even high-end phones do not provide the feature. The 4500 mAh battery shouldn’t be a problem if you keep the screen at 60Hz, and the 55W charging support is also a great bonus.
Apart from these great features, the Red Magic fails in camera quality, primarily due to the poor software processing. Also, the RedMagic 3.0 running on Android 10 won’t make for a great software experience, considering the $580 starting price and orientation toward gaming. We suggest what possibly is the fastest phone in our list to those looking for a smartphone for gaming. If you are looking for the overall package, it would be great to consider other options on our list.
3Black Shark 3 Pro
OS: Android 10 (JOYUI 11) | Screen size: 7.1-inch | Resolution: 3120×1440 pixels | Refresh rate: 90Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865+ | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 256/512GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 64MP+13MP+5MP | Front camera: 20MP | Weight: 253g | Dimensions: 177.8 x 83.3 x 10.1 mm
The Black Shark 3 Pro is aimed primarily at gamers who are looking for the ultimate smartphone without any compromises. You can be sure of the smartphone’s quality since the brand belongs to Xiaomi, a reputable smartphone manufacturer.
The Snapdragon 865+ inside is a powerful SoC, managing to achieve significant performance gains over the 865, great for resource-intensive tasks like gaming that can make the best use of it. The massive 7.1-inch screen is one of the largest on the smartphone, and with a weight of 253 grams, the smartphone is pretty heavy compared to other offerings.
The screen features a 1440p resolution, though, and should be excellent in games that make use of the extra real estate while making content appear much crispier thanks to the higher resolution. The 90Hz refresh rate and 270 Hz touch response rate, should make gaming and animations way smoother and let you play more competitively in FPS titles by reducing your reaction time.
The maximum of 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM is more than enough for daily use, and heavy workloads and paired with the UFS 3.0 storage should manage to launch apps and games more quickly. The integrated 5G and WiFi 6 should also allow for fast downloads of apps and games once the technology goes mainstream and sufficiently future-proofs the device. The phone also includes a headphone jack, albeit rare nowadays, still provides a lag-free audio experience.
The 5,000 mAh battery is a significant upgrade over the options found in other phones and should easily last you a day, although the large screen and high refresh rate will chew through it pretty quickly. The 65W fast charging is pretty good and one of the fastest charging speeds you can get right now and is excellent for a quick top-up between gaming sessions. A magnetic charging port on the back also allows for a clip-on charger that supports 18W charging.
The Black Shark 3 Pro’s software, JoyUI 11, runs on Android 10 and includes features to aid in gaming like Shark Time, Ludicrous Mode, and Gamer Studio, to name a few. The two mappable mechanical trigger buttons on the edge of the phone are a great addition if you play games like FPS titles that can make use of them.
For the features that it provides, the Black Shark 3 Pro is most certainly a fast smartphone, excellent for playing games. The larger and higher resolution screen also makes it great for media consumption, while the large battery coupled with a 65W charger included in the box is a great selling point.
4Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
OS: iOS 14.1 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 2778×1248 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | CPU: Apple A14 Bionic | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 3,687mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP+TOF 3D LiDAR | Front camera: 12MP | Weight: 228g | Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm
The iPhone 12 Pro Max from Apple features an all-new design and more powerful internals. Although a bit on the pricer side of the spectrum, the smartphone is sure to make no compromises in speed and reliability even over long periods.
The all-new A14 Bionic features a 40% improvement in CPU performance and a 30% graphics boost over the previous generation, making it excellent for power-hungry workloads like gaming, with Apple even going to lengths by claiming a console-level experience. The 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display features HDR and True Tone support but lacks a high refresh rate, common amongst the fastest phones available today, though the viewing experience is among the best you can get.
The 6 GB of RAM is well enough for the iPhone to handle, considering the various optimizations instilled through the software. Storage starts from 128GB and maxes out at 512GB, enough for the everyday needs of any user. The iPhone is one of the first to integrate 5G support, which will allow for high-speed networking in regions that support the network.
The 3,687mAh battery is pretty dismal compared to other options, though we can trust the efficient chipset and software to allow for a day-long battery on regular use. Gaming and other resource-heavy applications will drain the battery pretty quickly. The iPhone also supports 20W fast charging, though you will not get a charger in the box. Apple also decided to introduce a MagSafe charger that magnetically attaches to the back of the iPhone and charges it wirelessly, supporting speeds of up to 15W.
iOS 14 is one of the most refined smartphone software out there, highly optimized to make the experience as smooth and fast as possible. If you prefer a more minimalistic and intuitive interface, Apple is most certainly the way to go.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is an excellent option for those looking to get the fastest experience out there for regular use. The fast chipset makes the animations snappy and smooth, while the screen is bright and vivid. The $1,099 price tag is premium, but if you want to get into the Apple ecosystem, then the smartphone won’t disappoint.
5Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
OS: Android 10 (OneUi 2.5) | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 3088×1440 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865+ (U.S.) / Exynos 990 (Global) | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 108MP+12MP+12MP | Front camera: 10MP | Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm
Big specs and a hefty price tag are the words that one can use to describe the Note 20 Ultra 5G. With a starting price tag of $1100, the phone brings the latest Snapdragon 865+, providing performance that rivals the A13 fro Apple’s iPhones, while the international version comes with the slower Samsung Exynos 990. Samsung also includes 12 GB of RAM, great for multitasking and quick-loading apps and games, while on the storage side, you get fast UFS 3.0.
The display is one of the best in class and consists of a 6.9-inch QHD AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 120hz, though in a bid to save the battery life, Samsung locked it to 60Hz at the QHD resolution. The high refresh rate will give you a smooth experience, from playing games to using the system UI.
The included S-pen is excellent for productivity and has added features, though it comes with the cost of a smaller 4,500 mAh battery. The battery, though, should last you through a full day if you keep the refresh rate and screen resolution lower. You can top up the battery quickly with the 25W fast charger.
The OneUI 2.0 skin running on Android 10 provides a plethora of software features, many of which most users will not even be aware of, but still looks elegant and is excellent for productivity. Also, the 5G connectivity should make the smartphone future-proof when the technology goes mainstream.
If you are a power user with a big budget or a tech enthusiast looking to test the latest technology, the Note 20 Ultra makes for an excellent companion, though if you do not need the S-pen, the S20 Ultra still makes for a fast smartphone. If you live in a region where Samsung offers the Exynos 990, we recommend against buying it since it is not as powerful as the Snapdragon 865+.
6Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
OS: Android 10 (One UI 2) | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 3200 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865 (U.S.), Exynos 990 (International) | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 108MP+48MP+12MP+0.3MP | Front camera: 40MP | Weight: 220g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm
The S20 Ultra makes sure to impress with a plethora of features, making it one of the most expensive Android smartphones on our list at a hefty $1200 price tag. The Snapdragon 865 present inside will ensure a fast experience and the 12 GB RAM, which will handle all your multitasking tasks with ease. Also included is the ultra-fast UFS 3.0 storage, which enables much faster file transfer speeds. The high-resolution QHD AMOLED display supports a refresh rate of 120Hz, but keep in mind that it will lower the screen resolution to FHD to save battery life. It also has a 240Hz touch-sensing, making the phone extraordinarily responsive to touch.
The S20 Ultra’s quad-camera system puts itself at the top of the competition along with the iPhone 11 Pro. Although relatively large, the 5000 mAh battery is enough for the enormous 6.9-inch screen and can manage to last you through your day with the screen set at a 60Hz refresh rate, and as for software, the phone ships with Samsung’s OneUI 2 running atop Android 10. OneUI 2 includes a variety of multitasking and productivity features complemented by the powerful hardware. If you want a reliable and fast phone with an exceptional camera and large screen and have the budget to spend, the S20 Ultra is the perfect phone for you.
7OnePlus 8 Pro
OS: Android 10 (Oxygen OS 10) | Screen size: 6.78-inch | Resolution: 3168 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,510mAh | Rear camera: 48MP+48MP+5MP+8MP | Front camera: 16MP | Weight: 199g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
Oneplus finally pushed itself into the high-end flagship market with the debut of the OnePlus 8 Pro. For $900, you get an excellent phone which undercuts the top offerings from the likes of Samsung, and Apple usually priced much higher. The Snapdragon 865 paired with 8 or 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM depending upon your choice of UFS 3.0 storage will surely breeze through anything you put it through. The best possible feature of the phone lies with its 120 Hz QHD Fluid AMOLED display, unlike the S20 Ultra, which runs 120Hz at an FHD resolution, which will ensure both a smooth and crisp experience.
Since it is a 6.78-inch screen, it is sure to chew on the 4,510 mAh battery in no time at such high settings. Luckily, OnePlus allows you to change the refresh rate and resolution in the settings, and the included rapid Warp Charge wired, and wireless will juice it up much faster. The 8 Pro also comes with 5G support, which will allow for superfast data connectivity once it goes mainstream. Also, the lightweight OxygenOS it comes with is one of the best Android skins out there and helps enhance the speed of the smartphone. It also comes with a significantly improved quad-camera system, putting it in competition with other high-end phones.
In conclusion, the OnePlus 8 Pro gains our recommendation if you are looking for the fastest phone in the market. The incredible screen, powerful processor, and clean software combined with a decent camera and 5G support give the best value unless you want the best camera quality too, where the S20 Ultra or iPhone 11 Pro are better options.
8Oppo Find X2 Pro
OS: Android 10 (Color OS 7.1)| Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 3168 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 120Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256/512GB | Battery: 4,510mAh | Rear camera: 48MP+13MP+48MP | Front camera: 32MP | Weight: 217g (Ceramic) / 200g (Leather) | Dimensions: 165.2 x 74.4 x 8.8 mm (Ceramic) / 165.2 x 74.4 x 9.5 mm (Leather)
The final recommendation on our list, the Oppo Find X2 Pro is an excellent choice for those looking for a smartphone with a great all-round package for the non-US market. It comes with the Snapdragon 865 processor paired with an attractive 120 Hz WQHD OLED panel, which is much better than the ones found in similarly priced smartphones. It comes with two beautiful finishes: Ceramic and Vegan Leather, giving you the feel of luxury, again not found on phones like the S20 Ultra.
The phone has an excellent triple camera system along with the superb periscope camera giving great photos and videos. The 4260 mAh battery might be smaller in comparison to the S20 Ultra but makes up by providing 65W super-fast VOOC charging. The Find X2 Pro also supports 5G connectivity, which is excellent considering future-proofing the phone. As for software, ColorOS 7.1 is excellent considering the various useful features it brings to help you have a great experience using the phone.
At a price of approximately $1,180, it surely beats the S20 Ultra in the premium sector, but its unavailability in the US market is regrettable. If you live in a market that sells this phone, it would be our definitive recommendation.