Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)
Luis Silva (January 2021)
Nowadays, every time you buy something, you have to make sure you are getting a great deal, right? Or that at least you are not overpaying. Be it a bottle of water or something you plan to keep for the rest of your life, like a house.
Smartphones are no different.
But with dozens of online retailers selling hundreds of devices at any given time, how can you be sure you are getting a great deal and not getting ripped off?
Up until now, after finding your favorite, you'd have to go one by one, checking out other phones, their specs, and prices, to make sure you weren't getting less than you deserve for the amount of money that you're spending.
Those days are over.
Not only you're about to find out what's the state-of-the-art of mobile technology, but you'll also know what specs you should be getting for any given budget.
The ultimate smartphone: The state-of-the-art.
If any manufacturer were willing to make the best smartphone in the world, these are the specs that it would have to have in the first quarter of 2021:
It's pretty obvious who this price belongs to: The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, and it's also clear that only iPhones, in general, have that many years of software and security updates.
And this is the highest performance achieved with GeekBench 5 (tested by GsmArena):
And it also belongs to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.
After several years of growing larger, this trend seems to have stopped with the Xiaomi Mi Max 3, back in 2018. Refresh rates and nits, on the other hand, are still on a growing trend.
In this study, the 6.9-inch display belongs to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (and to the Note 20 Ultra), just like the 120Hz refresh rate. Those 642 DPIs came from the 4k display of the Sony Xperia 1, and the peak brightness, HDR, and glass protection came from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Although you'll get equivalent or even better glass protection from the latest iPhone 12 lineup.
The megapixel war looks like it's far from being over, with Samsung's 108 Megapixels sensor leading the way. Debuting in late 2018 on Xiaomi's Mi CC9 Pro Premium, it ended up featured on Samsung's own S20 Ultra.
Not only that, but it also is the owner of that 40 Megapixel selfie camera. But the secondary 64 Megapixel sensor belongs to its smaller sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S20.
The award for best optical zoom goes to the Oppo Find X2 Pro and its incredible 129mm telephoto lens. The 8K video recording abilities are found on (almost) every smartphone equipped with the latest Snapdragon 865.
Everyone knows what the smallest and lightest smartphone on the market is, right? The iPhone 12 Mini.
However, we're after the largest, so let's check the following table.
However, none of them is winning any heavyweight contest. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the contrary, is betting big, at 228 grams (8.04 oz).
Wrapping it up, the smartphone with the smallest bezels, according to our formula, is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro.
What about the thing that can upset you the most on a smartphone? Yes, battery life.
I must admit I was expecting an extensive list of devices. Surprisingly, that wasn't the case.
The battery score is based on Gsmarena's endurance rating tests, and it's what you're left with, assuming that you fully charge the smartphone.
This battery capacity and battery performance are from the Samsung Galaxy M30s, but since it is about to lose its security updates, you should check the A31 instead. While having only 5000mAh of battery capacity, it has the same behavior and should last as much in day-to-day usage.
These blazing-fast wired charging speeds are from the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, which you can charge up to 41% in 5 minutes or fully charge in just 23 minutes (as advertised).
The wireless charging speeds are shared with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, which also holds a record for the fastest reverse charging device.
When it comes to storage, there's no surprise here. At least for geeks like me, who's been following Samsung's flagship specs for quite a while now.
If you're hoping to find a smartphone with 5G, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and a headphone jack, you'll be disappointed.
You'll have to choose between having Bluetooth 5.2 (from devices like the Note 20 Ultra with the Snapdragon chipset) or Bluetooth 5.0 and a headphone jack (from devices like the Galaxy S10 5G).
The average specs that you can get.
These are the specs that you can expect from the average smartphone in the first quarter of 2021.
Be sure not to overpay for them.
These prices are based on unlocked phones found on amazon.com, ebay.com, bestbuy.com, and walmart.com.
Back when Apple released its iPhone 6s, iPhones weren't that smooth compared to Android flagships. But as years went by, they started to prioritize performance, and nowadays, no other device can even come close. That's why this average isn't surprising at all.
The average display size shouldn't also come as a surprise. Apple has always favored smaller devices. Just as a curiosity, half of the iPhones now have AMOLED displays.
I just realized now that Apple still insists on maintaining its cameras with 12 megapixels. And this has been going on for at least six years. Android, however, has crossed the 100 Megapixel mark for a couple of years now.
I know that more pixels don't mean better picture quality, but now and then, I like to crop my photos to get more zoom.
All iPhones can now record videos in 4K, and while I know that there still are some Androids that only do Full HD, I wasn't expecting that only 80% of them would do 4K. In theory, it should be 88%, because 8% can actually do 8K already. But still, even for a two or three-year-old midrange, 1080p is just too low.
Smartphones are getting heavier. 182 grams (or 6.41 oz) is too much for the average Android. I guess that size, bigger batteries, and telephoto lenses do play their part.
Considering the following table, one would think that only two-thirds of all iPhones have a premium look, which is wrong because Apple is going back to aluminum for the back of their phones.
Battery life is still just too low for the average smartphone. It's even worse if you went for an iPhone. But at least, you'll most likely have wireless charging on it. I was shocked to see that only 42% of all Androids support it. What's worse, only half of that does reverse charging.
6.5 GB of RAM should be more than enough for most Android users, but 3.5GB, even for iOS, is still a bit low. And the same goes for storage.
It's good to know that about 63% of all Android smartphones still allows you to add a MicroSD card, even if you'll most likely lose a SIM card slot.
There isn't much to say here, except that the good-old headphone jack is still somewhat popular and that your next device should be 5G if you're planning on keeping it for over two years.
While Bluetooth 5.0 is great for range and battery life, nothing beats the reliability of wired headphones.
Now you should have an idea of what to expect from your next smartphone. If there's any feature that you particularly value, then the following top 10 lists should help you get closer to finding the best device for you.
If not, just remember that the perfect phone (still) doesn't exist, and be careful when purchasing one so you won't regret it for the next two or three years.
I'm Luis Silva, and this is the place where I nerd out about technology. I've been a tech enthusiast for 25 years, and I have a degree in computer management.
I'm glad to have you here!
Do feel free to check out any (or all) article(s) that you may find interesting.
I've personally made sure that they are as thorough and helpful as they can be, and they're entirely free, so read as much as you want, and in the end, please leave a comment or share them as a thank you.
And when you leave, please remember to come back in a not so distant future.
Top 10 Smartphones
Top 10 Best Smartphones For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Best Performance For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Best Battery For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Biggest Display For All Budgets
Top 10 Camera-phones For All Budgets
Top 10 Camera-phones With The Best Zoom For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Most Storage For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Best Screen-To-Body For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Fastest Charging Battery For All Budgets
Top 10 Smartphones With The Fastest Wireless Charging Battery For All Budgets
Top 10 Most Gorgeous Smartphones For All Budgets
Top 10 Lightweight Smartphones For All Budgets
Top 10 Smallest Smartphones For All Budgets
The Top 10 Smartphone Lists For Every Budget
The Top Camera Phones With The Biggest Display
The Top Camera Phones With The Best Performance
The Top Camera Phones With The Best Battery Life
The Biggest Smartphones With The Best Performance
The Top Biggest Smartphones With The Best Battery Life
The Biggest Smartphones With The Most Storage
The Best Display Smartphones With The Best Battery
The Best Display Smartphones With The Best Performance
The Top Performance Phones With The Best Cameras
The Top Fastest Phones With The Biggest Display
The Top Smartphones With The Best Battery And Biggest Display
The Top Smartphones With The Best Battery and Cameras
The Top Smartphones With The Best Battery and Smallest Sizes
The Top Smartphones With The Best Battery and Storage
The Smallest Smartphones With The Best Performance
The Smallest Smartphones With The Best Battery Life
The Top Storage And Small Smartphones
The Top Storage Phones With The Best Cameras
The Top Storage Phones With The Best Battery