Top stories of 2020: Q1

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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.

Top stories of 2020: Q1

Q1 was defined by a few key announcements. Xiaomi gave us the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro – the latter being the first device to use Samsung’s new mammoth 108MP sensor and the pair 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!

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Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro arrive with 108MP camera, Snapdragon 865

The two are built around 6.67″ AMOLED panels.


A week with Huawei Mate 30 Pro: is there life without Google services

I was missing a lot of apps, but I found a surprising amount of free time in the process.


Our video review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra camera is up

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Sony Xperia 1 II arrives with SD865 and sub-6 5G, Xperia Pro adds mmWave 5G support

The Pro variant is still in development.


All three Samsung Galaxy S20 phones pass through Geekbench with S865 chips, 12GB of RAM

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.


Sticker shock: Samsung Galaxy S20 5G lineup pricing revealed

On the plus side, the new prices of the S20 family makes the Galaxy Z Flip look almost affordable.


Apple iPhone 9 renders give us our best look at it yet

The iPhone SE 2 could end up being released as the iPhone 9.


Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra full specs leak

We finally have a good idea of everything that sets these three apart.


Redmi Note 9 series coming on March 12

The next-gen Redmi Note series will come with a new four-camera setup, premium design and overhauled performance.


AppGallery review: Can new Huawei and Honor phones work without Google?

We take Huawei AppGallery for a spin to see how well it can replace the Google Play Store on the latest Huawei/Honor phones.


Huawei P40 Pro vs. Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. P30 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max shootout

Check out how Huawei’s latest flagship camera setup fares against the competition.


Full Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro specs and prices leak, to launch together

The leak details 90Hz OLED, Snapdragon 865, 66W wired charging and much more.


Huawei P40 unveiled with 50MP camera, P40 Pro adds 90Hz panel, 5x tele cam

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.


Redmi Note 9 Pro Max brings back the big screen experience

The phone arrives with four cameras on the back, punch hole on the front.


Apple iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2 announcement to take place in mid-March

This device will play the affordability card hard, hoping that will get you to ignore the vintage looks.


Huawei announces full list of global smartphones getting EMUI 10

Devices from all price ranges will receive the Android 10-based update.


LG V60 ThinQ leaked images reveal quad camera, notched display and 5,000 mAh battery

It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.


Samsung Galaxy S20 US pricing revealed

The entry-level S20 will start at $999.


Our Samsung Galaxy S20 video review is up

Samsung’s most affordable version of its current flagship lineup…so far.


OnePlus 8 Pro spotted in Robert Downey Jr's hands

The Hollywood actor was caught on set with the next OnePlus flagship.


Realme 6 and Realme 6 Pro official: 64MP quad cameras, 30W charging, 90Hz displays

The Realme 6 Pro also offers dual selfie camera inside a pill shaped punch hole.


HMD unveils Nokia 8.3 5G with Snapdragon 765G, ZEISS quad camera

A 64MP main camera and an ultrawide snapper tailored for low-light and video capture.


Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 4G Review

We test Samsung’s latest Tizen-based smartwatch.


Samsung Galaxy A71 in for review

The other new-look Galaxy A device with a big legacy to live up to is here.


Samsung Galaxy S20 official-looking renders leak, Galaxy S20 Ultra may start at €1,349

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the one to look out for.


Huawei nova 7i is coming on February 14

It’s a global version of the nova 6 SE launched in China last month.


Samsung Galaxy S20 pre-orders to open on February 14 in South Korea, prices revealed

The basic Galaxy S20 is going to cost over $1,000, S20 Ultra to go for around $1,350.


First Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro live images leak, 65W charger also pictured

The phone is expected to have 5G, 65W fast charging, a 108 MP camera.


Redmi Note 9 Pro specs leak

The phone is expected to sport the recently announced Snapdragon 720G chipset, a 5,000 mAh battery and 18W charging.


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