As smartphones become ever more powerful and harder to distinguish, we here at Android Authority take our job of helping you decide what’s right for you seriously. The marketplace is full of exaggerated capabilities, hyperbolic marketing, and sponsored reviews.

Our Best of Android awards aim to remove any uncertainty by subjecting the best smartphones of today to a battery of unique tests that can definitively separate the real deal from the hype machine.

We'll still give you that data if that's all you're interested in, but the intangibles are equally important.

This year, we’re changing things up. Previously we had focused purely on objective performance — identifying the absolute best device around, regardless of brand, price, or region. This sometimes produced an obvious winner like the Galaxy Note 9 in 2018, or a major upset like last year’s Realme X2 Pro. But there’s more to a phone than just raw performance. We’ll still give you that data if that’s all you’re interested in, but the intangibles – value, software stability and update track record, after-sales service, mainstream availability — are equally important. To choose our overall winner in 2020, these factors will be given fair consideration just like the raw data.

Over the next week, we’ll be bringing you the results of our testing, flagging the winners and runners-up in each objective category, followed by our overall Best of Android Editor’s Choice winner. Then, the real fun begins, as we once again open up the voting to the most engaged Android audience in tech — you — for our mid-2020 Reader’s Choice award.

One other major change this year comes by way of the measuring sticks we use. Off-the-shelf third-party solutions used to play a considerable part in “Best of Android,” because we know how much our audience likes to compare what’s new with what’s in their pocket. But the industry’s unwillingness to play by its own rules meant the results obtained by publicly available benchmarking apps were skewed. Some manufacturers ramp up device performance to unnatural levels whenever a benchmarking app is identified, while others leave their products to perform as normal. Regardless of how you feel about this, it wasn’t a level playing field. That’s why we started using stealth benchmarks and calling out those companies we caught cheating.

Related: Sneaky smartphone marketing tricks unmasked

This year, we’re taking it one step further. All of the performance and battery data used in Best of Android: Mid-2020 has been sourced from a custom version of Speed Test G, the brainchild of Android Authority‘s Gary Sims. Because no manufacturer will ever get their hands on this source code, there’s no way for them to game the system. It’s the only way to honestly gauge pure out-of-the-box performance.

We’ll tell you more about the tests we run and why they matter as the week progresses and our team of industry experts deliver the results that matter. (Note: To be eligible, devices had to hit shelves during H1, 2020. Phones like the Sony Xperia 1 II, Google Pixel 4a, and the Asus ROG Phone 3, therefore, won’t make an appearance until our end-of-year Best of Android awards).

Check into the site every day for the latest post, bookmark this page (we’ll add links to everything as it goes live), or keep an eye on our socials as we kick off our Best of Android: Mid-2020 awards!

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