The 10 Hottest Android Devices Of 2019

Top Android smartphone and tablet launches this year included Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Tab S6, along with Google's Pixel 4 XL and the OnePlus 7 Pro.

The Year In Android

In the Android arena, 2019 saw a notable widening in the scope of available devices. While well-established Android lines--such as Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab lineups--saw major updates, a number of new form factors in Android emerged during the year, as well. Those included the first mainstream foldable device with the Samsung Galaxy Fold along with Lenovo's dockable Android tablet, the Smart Tab M10. Meanwhile, Google also expanded its Pixel lineup with a new sub-category, the budget-friendly Pixel phone.

What follows are our picks for the 10 hottest Android devices of 2019.

Get more of CRN's 2019 tech year in review.

Google Pixel 3a XL

Amid rising prices for premium smartphones, Google announced the launch of new Pixel-branded smartphones this year that feature a lower price tag. The Pixel 3a XL is the larger model of the two 3a devices, with a 6-inch OLED display featuring resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 (402 pixels per inch). The device offers a sizable battery (at 3,700 mAh) and the phone comes with many of the key features of the higher-end Pixel devices, including camera capabilities such as Night Sight, Portrait Mode and Super Res Zoom. Notably, the Pixel 3a XL includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is omitted from the higher-end Pixel phones.

Google Pixel 4 XL

For Google's premium Pixel launch in 2019, the company introduced a pair of new devices--with the Pixel 4 XL as the larger-screened model with a 6.3-inch OLED display and QHD+ (537 ppi) resolution. Probably the most unique feature introduced with the Pixel 4 XL is "Motion Sense," which brings hand gesture control to key apps in the phone. Examples given by Google include swiping over the phone to silence a call or an alarm, or to skip a song. The Pixel 4 XL also adds a second rear camera to its setup, with a 16-megapixel telephoto camera joining the 12.2-megapixel main rear camera. New capabilities coming with the Pixel 4 XL rear camera system include dual-exposure controls and a wider-range portrait mode.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10

Lenovo unveiled a new concept in its tablet line in 2019 with the introduction of the Lenovo Smart Tab M10. The tablet features the Amazon Alexa voice assistant built in and comes included with a presentation/charging dock—making it able to serve both as a typical Android tablet and as a display assistant device (akin to Amazon's Echo Show). The Smart Tab M10 tablet features a 10.1-inch FHD display, 4,850 mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, choices between 2 GB and 3 GB of RAM and options between 16 GB and 32 GB of storage. The Smart Tab M10 also includes two front-facing Dolby Atmos speakers and a rear 5-megapixel camera, and its body features a slate black color with a "soft-touch" finish. The tablet measures 0.31 of an inch thick and weighs 1.05 pounds.

LG G8 ThinQ

This year, LG debuted its newest flagship, the G8 ThinQ, which stands out with some quirky features. The 6.1-inch smartphone includes a feature that LG is calling "Air Motion" commands, which lets you wave your hand to perform functions such as answering calls, increasing the volume and snoozing an alarm. Users can also log in using a scan of their palm as a new form of biometric authentication. Additionally, LG says the display on the G8 ThinQ is actually also the phone's speaker, which the company says helps to provide clearer, more-immersive sound. The LG G8 ThinQ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and features an OLED display with QHD+ resolution.

OnePlus 7 Pro

The OnePlus 7 Pro features a 6.67-inch "Fluid AMOLED" display with a 90 Hz refresh rate, which aims to provide a smoother display appearance. The smartphone also offers slim bezels around the QHD+ display, and the screen curves around the edges of the phone, as well. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with three cameras (including a 48-megapixel main camera); fast-charging capabilities for its 4,000 mAh battery; dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos technology; the Snapdragon 855 processor and up to 12 GB of RAM; and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung's nearly $2,000 foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, arrived in North America in September after its initial scrapped launch in April. When opened, the Galaxy Fold offers 7.3 inches of display space, using Samsung's Infinity Flex Display technology. When closed, the Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch display on its top cover, which can be used to access apps as normal. The foldable display makes use of a sophisticated hinge system that allows users to open and close the Galaxy Fold smoothly. The industry's first mainstream foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold also comes with Samsung's Galaxy Fold Premier Service. The service allows buyers to consult with a "Fold Concierge" to walk them through using and caring for the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

For the first time in the Note series, Samsung this year launched two sizes for the Note—with the Note 10 Plus coming as the larger model at a massive 6.8 inches. The Note 10 Plus offers expanded brightness of up to 800 nits outdoors, as well as resolution of 3,040 x 1,440, or 498 pixels per inch, on the AMOLED display. Business-friendly features include easier connectivity from the phone to the DeX Android desktop; with the Note 10 Plus, users can access their DeX desktop on a PC or Mac by plugging into the computer using a USB-C to USB-C cable that is included with the phone.The Note 10 Plus is also impressively thin for having such a large screen (at 0.31 of an inch thick) and lightweight, too, at 0.43 of a pound.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Samsung's Galaxy S10 Plus features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with QHD+ resolution. Key enhancements include a third rear camera—a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens for capturing large scenes, offering a 120-degree field of view. Another key new feature of the Galaxy S10 is Wireless PowerShare, which offers the ability to wirelessly charge other Qi devices by placing them on the back of the S10 Plus. For the battery, the device moves up to 4,100 mAh and offers a high-end configuration featuring 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of internal storage. The Galaxy S10 Plus also introduces an "ultrasonic" in-display fingerprint scanner for improved log-in.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro

Following the debut of the Galaxy Tab Active2 in 2018--a rugged tablet for business--Samsung this year launched a successor model with the Galaxy Tab Active Pro. Updates with the Tab Active Pro include a larger display at 10.1 inches, versus 8 inches on the previous model, along with expanded battery life at 16 hours compared to 11 hours previously. Another new addition is that the new tablet supports DeX, Samsung's feature that lets users pull up an Android desktop on an external screen by plugging in a Galaxy device. Like the prior model, the Galaxy Tab Active Pro offers business-friendly features such as the ability to use with gloves; strong durability and water resistance; and eFOTA (enterprise firmware over-the-air) management to ensure continuous security and control.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Samsung's latest 2-in-1 tablet for productivity, the Galaxy Tab S6, includes enhancements such as a redesigned S Pen stylus that now includes remote control functionality (enabling tasks such as running PowerPoint presentations or taking photos). The tablet also includes easier access to the DeX desktop experience (including with the addition of a DeX function key) and has a "fine-tuned" keyboard, as well, according to Samsung. The Galaxy Tab S6 features a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,560 × 1,600 resolution, and includes Qualcomm's speedy eight-core Snapdragon 855 processor. The tablet is also highly portable with a thickness of just 0.22 of an inch and a weight of less than a pound.