If you are in the market for a smartphone, you would have come across many different offerings from various companies. Some offer photo and video options that even rival professional cameras, while others offer high refresh rate screens and beastly internals for gaming.
Nonetheless, it all boils down to your personal preference. Are you looking for the fastest phones that can blast through your daily multitasking and productivity schedule or enable you to play demanding FPS titles at high resolutions and ultra-smooth refresh rates? We’ve got you covered with a list of the fastest phones you can buy. These smartphones offer not only excellent performance and faster displays but also factors like software, camera quality, and, most importantly, your budget for the best possible experience.
Before we head on to the list, we must determine what comprises a fast phone. 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 A13 Bionic, which are crucial for a snappy experience. A slower processor will cause the phone to lag and stutter, which is not ideal.
Also, the amount of RAM affects the multitasking capabilities of the phone, though, for highly optimized operating systems like iOS, it won’t make much of a difference. 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 refresh rate. A higher refresh rate will allow for much smoother animations and gameplay, but keep in mind that this will significantly chew off 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.
1Samsung 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+.
2Samsung 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.
3OnePlus 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 one 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.
4Apple iPhone 11 Pro
OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 2436×1125 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | CPU: Apple A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,510mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP | Front camera: 12MP | Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
Apple’s latest offering, the iPhone 11 Pro, is a viable option to consider if you have an older iPhone or want to enter Apple’s ecosystem. We chose the iPhone 11 Pro because it priced reasonably in comparison with the Max variant, which only had a larger screen. In raw performance, the A13 Bionic found inside has a leads the Snapdragon 865 found in Android phones in multi-threaded workloads but falls behind in aspects like GPU performance and processor efficiency, but, considering the phone launched last year, this is not very surprising. Also, the screen Apple uses does not have a higher 90 or 120Hz refresh rate found in the latest smartphones, although the touch latency of 120Hz will make for a smoother experience.
The baked-in triple camera system and Apple’s excellent post-processing ensure high-quality photos and videos, even in low light conditions, which puts it ahead of the competition. iOS 13’s smooth and intuitive interface adds to the overall user experience. It also allows for excellent multitasking capabilities, and is more optimized for the hardware, making it relatively lag-free when compared to Android phones.
It may not be very reassuring considering picking the iPhone 11 Pro up right now considering the hefty price tag, but is the fastest phone in Apple’s lineup. iPhones are known for their excellent quality and performance, but the iPhone 11 pro has started to show its age. Our recommendation is to wait for Apple to launch the next generation of iPhones if you are dead set on going the iPhone route or read on for our list of recommended Android offerings.
5Nubia 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.
6Oppo 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.
7Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
OS: Android 10 (One UI 2) | Screen size: 6.8-inch | Resolution: 3040 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | CPU: Snapdragon 855 (U.S.), Exynos 9825 (International)| RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256/512GB | Battery: 4,300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+16MP+0.3MP | Front camera: 10MP | Weight: 196g | Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm
Another phone from Samsung’s premium range of smartphones, the Note 10+ is another excellent smartphone. Even though it launched last year, the Note 10+ holds its ground even with the latest offerings. The Snapdragon 855 processor inside is not as fast as the new 865 or A13 Bionic but does just fine as per 2020 standards. The 6.8-inch WQHD+ AMOLED display also won’t go above 60Hz but provides a clear and crisp picture. But what it loses in performance, it makes up in functionality through features such as the S-pen, which enable you to take notes and much more. The 4300 mAh battery will also give you more mileage as the lower refresh rate screen won’t drain it.
As mentioned before, One UI 2 will also help you in multitasking and productivity tasks. It also offers a respectable quad-camera setup for great photos and videos, although not having features like the Super Zoom found on the S20 Ultra. Also, for a price of $1100, it has double the storage present on the S20 Ultra and maintains the 12 GB of RAM. Our recommendation is to buy this only if you are looking for a productivity-focused smartphone or want a great camera at a lower price than the S20 Ultra at the cost of performance.