The year 2020 has been nothing short of a marvel. The global pandemic was not enough to dwarf the demand of consumers, nor stymie the enthusiasm with which brands have released devices. Barring a few delays, this year has seen the usual barrage of smartphones, with a few brands trying out new things. OnePlus finally breached into the premium space with the OnePlus 8 Pro, Huawei continued to suffer due to its name being on the U.S. Entity List and Oppo decided to not launch its best camera phone, the Find X2 Pro in India. We also saw a few interesting moves by Apple, which released four smartphones at the same time. We also finally saw the progression to the 5nm process and also 12GB RAM become more commonplace. Let’s take a look at who took the mantle of the winner for this year’s Digit Zero1 Award.
As every year comes to a close, Apple raises the bar, setting the tone for what’s to come in the new year. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is powered by Apple’s 5 nm A14 Bionic SoC and 6GB of RAM. This phone has the highest scores in a number of benchmarks including Geek- Bench 5, GFXBench and AnTuTu, while also translating the same performance into the real world. In games such as CoD: Mobile, Injus- tice 2 and Shadowgun Legends, we recorded a rock-steady 59-60fps through several hours of gaming, typical of the iPhone experience. The phone also delivered excellent battery life, with a consistent 8 hours (or more) of the screen on time, leading to a whole day’s worth of very heavy use and a day and a half of moderate usage. Our performance scores also include camera performance, for which, the iPhone 12 Pro Max also racked up a pretty high number and all of this comes together to make the iPhone 12 Pro Max the winner of the Best Premium Smartphone title for the Digit Zero1 Awards.
For the last two year’s Apple’s cheaper, non- Pro iPhone has always had glaring compromises, which you could tell were ways of reducing the price. This year, however, the company decided to let go of that strategy and just focus on delivering the best experience across the entire gamut of the 2020 iPhone portfolio. You get all the same features of the iPhone 12 Pro such as the all-powerful A14-Bionic, paired with 4GB of RAM which allows the iPhone 12 to deliver notably high benchmark and real-world performance numbers. With top-notch CPU-GPU performance, paired with a gorgeous OLED display and a dual-camera system that packs the best of Apple’s software processing, the iPhone 12 the runner up for this year’s Digit Zero1 Award.
OnePlus phone prices have been creeping upwards over the last few years, offering more and more in terms of not just performance but also features. This year, the OnePlus 8 Pro definitely qualifies as a premium flagship smartphone, packing in top-end hardware, IP- rating and a flagship-grade camera setup. The OnePlus 8 Pro continues to be one of the very fastest Android smartphones in the market today, while also being one of the cheapest smartphones in the premium segment. The camera setup on the OnePlus 8 Pro also offers satisfactory output for not just the price, but also the segment, making the OnePlus 8 Pro our Best Buy award winner.
About Digit Zero 1 Awards:
With a legacy of 20 years, the Digit Zero 1 Awards is recognized as the Industry’s only performance-based awards. Digit rewards brands for putting in years of research in developing and introducing performance-driven products for their audience. All products are made to pass through a rigorous and scientific test process and compete with competitor brands in the same category. The Winner in each category is announced on the basis of their total score post complete performance analysis done across an average of 56 tests conducted for every category, across key performance parameters. The test process for the Zero1 Awards does not consider scores for features, price or design. The aim is to identify the very best products that money can buy, celebrate the innovations that push the industry forward, and reward the products that dare to disrupt the market.
Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor