There was a time when many companies bragged that they will release the best “flagship killer” for that year. There was serious competition for a smartphone with top specs, but closer to mid-range price. I still remember the OnePlus One or the Nexus series, smartphones that had awesome specs, even though they had a few missing features that were omitted in order to get the price down. For a while, however, flagship-killers faded away from the market and only recently started to reappear. Currently, there are quite a few smartphones that offer great specs, a price that is significantly below the expensive offers from famous brands and offers 90% of the features found on those, or maybe even more. They deserve to be called “flagship-killers” and today we are going to look over the best 5 flagship-killers from 2019.
At number 5 I believe we should have the OnePlus 7T. The phone comes with the latest Snapdragon 855+ chipset, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has the butter smooth 90Hz AMOLED display and among the best versions of Android currently available.
It has almost everything you could ask for, including UFS3.0 storage and a great camera configuration, but the OnePlus 7T does have a few setbacks. There is no IP rating and no wireless charging. What makes it fall on the 5th position, however, is the price. At 599, it is not the cheapest smartphone with this configuration out there. OnePlus has evolved from the “flagship-killer” state that it had a few years ago. Still, the OnePlus 7t is cheaper than most flagships and worth checking out.
Nubia Red Magic 3S
In 4th place, I decided to go with the Red Magic 3S. I know what you are thinking, but hear me out. I have good reasons for placing this phone here, despite the fact that it is a gaming smartphone. And it all falls down to the price-to-performance ratio. For $475, how much you will have to pay for the 8GB+128GB version, you get a Snapdragon 855+ smartphone with active cooling, a FullHD+ AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and a design that stands out.
The Red Magic 3S also comes with some game-centric features that may prove useful even if you are not a gamer, and the RGB lights make it far more interesting, even though it is not for everybody. Where it does come short are the cameras. It only has a single 48MP camera on the back which is not as good as other flagships. If this is not a major problem for you, the Red Magic 3S can be a good choice. Or, if you want something a bit cheaper, there is the Red Magic 3 that has almost identical specs.
We finally reached the podium and it was really hard for me to order the last three smartphones. All of them have great specs, awesome price very few drawbacks. If I were to grade them, the difference would be extremely small and each of them has strong points that would be more important to some people and less for others.
Eventually, I decided to place the Nubia Z20 on thrids place simply because it’s design, even though interesting and I personally like it, may not be suitable for everyone. It has a main AMOLED screen with FullHD+ resolution and a secondary HD+ AMOLED screen on the back. There are no notches, no pop-up cameras and very slim bezels.
The Nubia Z20 is powered by the Snapdragon 855+ chipset and is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There are three cameras on the back with a 48MP main sensor, a 12MP telephoto camera and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle camera. All these for $549. Not a bad price and the phone is certainly a head-turner.
Realme X2 Pro
This phone is not yet available, but it will be launched next week, on the 4th, so it is only natural to include it. I am talking about the new Realme X2 Pro smartphone and if you never heard of it, I don’t blame you, but after this week’s launch I am sure you will hear many people talk about this flagship-killer. The price was not revealed officially (yet), but rumors say that the 6GB+64GB will be sold at just 400 Euros. The mid-tier version which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will set you back 450 euros and the 12GB+256GB version is just shy of 500 euros.
The prices are great, but what do you actually get? Realme X2 Pro has the Snapdragon 855+ chipset inside, making it the cheapest smartphone to feature this CPU. The FullHD+ AMOLED screen has a 90Hz refresh rate and on the back you get a quad-camera setup with a 64MP main sensor, a 13MP tele-photo lens camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera and a 2MP mono-chrome camera. Did I mention that it will have 20x hybrid zoom? It is hard, really really hard to beat this phone on price-to-performance.
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro/ Redmi K20 Pro
I think it comes to no surprise that right now, the best flagship-killer is the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, also known as the Redmi K20 Pro. It is the least powerful device in the list, being equipped with the older Snapdragon 855 chipset, and it does not have a 90Hz screen either. But it is the cheapest device here and I believe it has the best price-to-performance ratio.
The 6GB+64GB model can be bought for as low as $350 with the higher-end models being only slightly more expensive. At this price, you still get a FullHD+ AMOLED screen, 48MP main camera as well as an 8MP telephoto camera and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle one. There is also an in-display fingerprint reader, full connectivity options and a pop-up selfie camera.
Xiaomi is also known for good software support with updates given for more than 2 years for their devices and the Mi 9T Pro has a great modding community behind, just in case you don’t like MIUI. There is no going wrong with this phone, especially considering the price.