As we wrap up the year we take a look back at the most popular reviews on our website and we are now to Q3. These are the phones everybody was most eager to learn more about in the months July through September.
The third quarter of 2020 saw an interesting mix of new devices enter the scene. The thing that gathered the most fan attention was Google’s overdue and slightly odd return to the smartphone scene. Nearly a year after the traditional lineup of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL and amid persistent chatter of the company’s wavering interest in the mobile hardware scene, the Pixel 4a emerged. A clear shift in direction, opting for more modest specs overall, while doubling-down on software as the core of a great experience. In many ways a very “in-character” move for the online titan and one that has obviously rippled onto the latter Pixel 5 as well.
While Google’s Pixels may not be the best example of it a clear trend emerged – feature-rich, minimalcompromises and “close-to-flagship” mid-rangers. Thanks to the continued trickling-down of features like 5G to mid-ranger chips from the likes of Qualcomm and Mediatek, the trend in question became way more prolific in the last quarter of the year. Still, the OnePlus Nord was among the standout devices in the earlier stages. With its 90Hz OLED, 5G-capable Snapdragon 765G, potent quad-camera setup and great all-round performance, it’s no wonder it managed to turn some heads.
Meanwhile the Poco X3 NFC fueled fan excitement hard, despite its odd name. With a price point verging on budget territory, it really pushed the value envelope, delivering solid all-round performance with a Snapdragon 732G chipset, capable quad-camera setup, great battery life and what was likely the star attraction – a smooth 120Hz, HDR10, IPS LCD display.
Samsung also delivered a stream of great value offers in Q3. The Galaxy A51 5G managed similar feats to the OnePlus Nord by delivering most flagship bells and whistles, including 5G on a midrange budget. The A41 and A21s skipped on the next gen network support, but squeezed-down price further, with sensible sacrifices along the way. A fact that fans seem to appreciate if readership numbers are anything to go by.
Q3 saw its fair share of flagships. The Samsung Note20 Ultra 5G represented the best Samsung was capable of at the time, which is more than enough to draw in a big crowd.
In a similar fashion, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra understandably had fan gazes glued when it delivered the best the company was capable of back in August. Though it’s Chinese exclusivity and the Mi 10T Pro 5G definitely diverted some of that attention later on.
The Sony Xperia 5 II is the final phone to make the top 10 for the third quarter as one of the few and understandably popular compact (in modern terms) 2020 flagship offer. Hence, the justified fan interest.