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15 phones we loved in 2019

With the end of this year and the decade closing in on us soon, we take a look back at the best-of-the-best in phones. These devices not only were at the top of their class, but they also earned high marks in CNET's five main categories of consideration: design, features, performance, camera and battery. Check out the 15 phones that received CNET's highest ratings in 2019.

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Google Pixel 4 XL (8.6)

The Pixel 4 XL has a big screen that refreshes 90 times a second, so everything looks really smooth. Its face unlock is the fastest we've seen, and it has nifty software features like live audio transcribing. Plus, there's no denying that  the Pixel 4 XL has one of the best cameras around.

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LG G8X ThinQ (8.6)

The LG G8X's second screen accessory gives you two displays, which makes multitasking easier and gaming more comfortable. The water-resistant phone also has a headphone jack (a rarity these days among top-end phones), expandable memory, wireless charging and an excellent battery life by itself.  

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Huawei P30 (8.6)

Huawei's P30 is a gorgeous phone with an astonishing camera setup. Its battery life is exceptional, and the phone sells for a reasonable price. (At launch it cost £699 in the UK and AU$1,099 in Australia, as well as in other countries. The Australian price, the cheaper of the two, converts to about $785.)

It's unlikely you'll be able to buy a Huawei phone in the US due to the US Commerce Department blacklisting the company.

$509 at Amazon
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OnePlus 7 Pro (8.8)

The OnePlus 7 Pro has several trendy features that keep its fans enticed, and we awarded it an Editors' Choice in June. In addition to a neat pop-up camera, it only costs $669 (6GB of RAM/128GB). There's also an 8GB/256GB variant that costs $699, and it's available exclusively from T-Mobile.

$623 at Amazon
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OnePlus 7T (8.8)

OnePlus' other phone of 2019 is the competitively priced OnePlus 7T. As one of the first phones to run Android 10 out of the box, it has three rear cameras that capture excellent photos, a lightning-fast processor and a smooth 90Hz display. It's these premium specs, zippy performance and low price that make this phone better than its Android rivals.

$649 at Amazon
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Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (8.9)

Though relatively unknown in the US, China-based Xiaomi makes some great phones. The Mi Mix 3 in particular is absolutely gorgeous, and its sliding mechanism makes a satisfying click. The camera takes great shots as well,  and battery life is fantastic. It's almost the perfect phone that, unfortunately, the US is not likely to see.

$389 at Amazon
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Samsung Galaxy S10E (8.9)

As the most wallet-friendly Galaxy S10 phone, the Galaxy S10E has a lot to offer. It's a smaller phone, which is great for those looking for a small grip, it has a superfast Snapdragon 855 chipset and a lengthy battery life. It can also wirelessly charge other phones and accessories.

$650 at Amazon
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Samsung Galaxy S10 (8.9)

Like all of Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones, the standard S10 is built from the best parts, has a wonderfully sharp screen and long battery life. Camera quality is great, and it comes with all the extras, like the ability to wirelessly charge another device.  

$750 at Amazon
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Apple iPhone 11 (9.0)

Starting at $700, the iPhone 11 is the best midtier model Apple has ever made. Its cameras get an excellent new Night Mode and an ultrawide-angle camera adds extra detail in photos. Video is fantastic, too. It also houses the latest and fastest Apple processors, making it among the fastest iPhones ever.  

$699 at Amazon
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Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Unlike the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch display and a third 12-megapixel telephoto camera. The extra specs add to the phone's pricing, which starts at $999, £1,049 and AU$1,749.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

As the most expensive variant of the iPhone 11 Pro, the phone has the same camera setup as the 11 Pro. However, the Pro Max has a generous 6.5-inch OLED display and a larger battery.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (9.0)

The Galaxy S10 Plus has a phenomenal AMOLED screen, monster battery life and loads of useful camera tools. The option to wirelessly charge another device is convenient and really works. It truly is one of the most outstanding phones of the year.

$800 at Amazon
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Huawei P30 Pro (9.0)

As the bigger version of its P30 counterpart, the P30 Pro can hold its own against the Galaxy S10 Plus. Its four cameras take astounding photos, its battery life is superb, and the design is beautiful.

$684 at Amazon
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (9.1)

Despite missing a few minor features like a microSD card slot and a headphone jack, the Note 10's size, price and specs add up to one of the best all-around Samsung phones you can get right now.  

$750 at Amazon
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (9.2)

As the highest-rated phone of the year, the refined, feature-packed Note 10 Plus closes the gap with rival phones. This top-of-the-line phone was made for people who want the best Android. It has a killer 6.8-inch screen, an all-day battery life and excellent camera tools.  

$900 at Amazon
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