As the year winds down it's a great time to reflect on the top stories of the past 12 months. This is the first of four installments where we look at the stories that shaped this year.
Welcome to our yearly recap of the top stories of 2020, broken into quarters. Below we've listed the top stories of Q1, from January 1 through to March 31.
This was the exciting time of the first flagships of the year. High-refresh rate screens were a big trend, each phone had a 5G added to its name (and a modem added to its innards), the Snapdragon 865 was the hot new thing everyone wanted to have. But it was also the time when the ongoing pandemic that shaped 2020 grasped the entire world and almost put a halt to the mobile industry.
Q1 was defined by a few key announcements. Xiaomi gave us the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro with Samsung'smammoth 108MP sensor and premiering the Snapdragon 865 chipset.
Samsung followed a few months later with the Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra with 120Hz screens, Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865 chipsets and new cameras. The Galaxy S20 Ultra was Samsung's first device with a periscope camera and the first to use its in-house 108MP sensor, which shot 12MP stills with 9-in-1 binning. The Galaxy S20 Ultra was also huge - the biggest Galaxy S smartphone to date with a massive 6.9-inch Super AMOLED display.
Sony launched the Xperia 1 II in March, but it wasn't until May and June that the device made its way to people's hands. It brought refinement to the Xperia 1 platform with bigger camera sensors, faster lenses, the first eye autofocus in a phone, a bigger battery, while retaining what made the Xperia 1 so appealing - a unique industrial design and 4K OLED display.
Huawei delivered the P40 and P40 Pro at the end of March. The P40 Pro was a true photography tool with the largest camera sensor in a phone (a claim that lasted throughout 2020) - Huawei's potent 50MP Quad-Bayer, a 5x periscope camera and a 40MP ultrawide with a huge sensor and autofocus.
The Oppo Find X2 arrived in early March with an AMOLED display that could both run at 1440p and 120Hz, a 5x periscope camera, Snapdragon 865 chipset, and a Vegan Leather finish that we enjoy to this day.
Just three days into the year Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note10 Lite as affordable options to their higher-end namesakes. They were interesting devices to say the least - the Galaxy S10 Lite had a faster Snapdragon 855 chipset and better battery life, while the Galaxy Note10 Lite had better cameras and an S Pen.
There were a few other announcements - the Realme 6 and 6 Pro, the Nokia 8.3 5G, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. And then we began looking at Q2 for the upcoming announcements of the OnePlus 8 Pro and the Apple iPhone SE (2020), among others. The months of April through June are coming next!
This is an unofficial method and there are no guarantees it will work - but it did work for us.
The two are built around 6.67" AMOLED panels.
I was missing a lot of apps, but I found a surprising amount of free time in the process.
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The Pro variant is still in development.
We found both US and Korean models, but the ones bound for Europe - the ones expected to use Exynos - are yet to reach the Geekbench database.
On the plus side, the new prices of the S20 family makes the Galaxy Z Flip look almost affordable.
The iPhone SE 2 could end up being released as the iPhone 9.
We finally have a good idea of everything that sets these three apart.
The next-gen Redmi Note series will come with a new four-camera setup, premium design and overhauled performance.
We take Huawei AppGallery for a spin to see how well it can replace the Google Play Store on the latest Huawei/Honor phones.
Check out how Huawei’s latest flagship camera setup fares against the competition.
The leak details 90Hz OLED, Snapdragon 865, 66W wired charging and much more.
The P40 Pro also has the largest camera sensor in modern smartphones - 1/1.28". The front camera and sensor situation is much improved as well.
The phone arrives with four cameras on the back, punch hole on the front.
This device will play the affordability card hard, hoping that will get you to ignore the vintage looks.
Devices from all price ranges will receive the Android 10-based update.
It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The entry-level S20 will start at $999.
Samsung’s most affordable version of its current flagship lineup…so far.
The Hollywood actor was caught on set with the next OnePlus flagship.
The Realme 6 Pro also offers dual selfie camera inside a pill shaped punch hole.
A 64MP main camera and an ultrawide snapper tailored for low-light and video capture.
We test Samsung's latest Tizen-based smartwatch.
The other new-look Galaxy A device with a big legacy to live up to is here.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the one to look out for.
It's a global version of the nova 6 SE launched in China last month.
The basic Galaxy S20 is going to cost over $1,000, S20 Ultra to go for around $1,350.
The phone is expected to have 5G, 65W fast charging, a 108 MP camera.
The phone is expected to sport the recently announced Snapdragon 720G chipset, a 5,000 mAh battery and 18W charging.