In no time at all, 2021 came to an end and the smartphone industry had many entrances. A number of innovative technologies such as autonomous systems, chips, underscreen camera technology etc. came onto the market this year. We had models like Huawei’s HarmonyOS, Vivo’s V1 imaging chip, Google’s tensor chip, and so on. At the end of the year, the Fast Technology 2021 Annual Awards take stock of the outstanding smartphones that will hit the market in 2021.
The award comprises six categories, including the Flagship Performance Award, the Technology Innovation Award, the Most Watched Award, the Best Price-Performance Ratio Award, the Best Camera Award and the Best Design Award. Let’s take a look at the devices that make up the award list. You can also check out the awards for mobile processors and system software.
1. Flagship performance price: Xiaomi 12 Pro
The flagship performance price is of course geared towards performance. Xiaomi 12 Pro comes with Qualcomm’s newest flagship processor Snapdragon 8 Gen1 and deserves this award. The total score of this device on AnTuTu exceeds 1 million points, making it the most powerful mobile phone in the Android camp. This chip is based on Samsung’s 4nm process. It uses a three-cluster that includes a Cortex X2 Super Large Core + Cortex A710 Large Core + Cortex A510 Small Core. The GPU is Adreno 730.
Compared to the Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 GPU has a 25 percent increase in energy efficiency. It’s the most powerful mobile graphics processor in the Android warehouse.
2. Flagship performance price: iPhone 13 Pro Max
In the iOS warehouse, the flagship performance award belongs to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The performance of this device is of course due to its first-class A15 Bionic processor. This chip is based on TSMC’s 5 nm process and has 15 billion transistors. It has a 6-core CPU, including two high-performance cores and four efficiency cores. In addition, this chip also has a 4-core GPU. It is the most powerful cell phone chip in Apple’s history.
If you look at the current points, the multi-core score of GeekBench 5 is over 4300 points and thus far exceeds the Android camp. PS: The current Snapdragon 8 Gen1 GeekBench 5 multi-core score is around 3800 points. In addition, A15 Bionic has a neural engine that can perform 15.8 trillion operations per second (15.8TOPS) and helps A15 Bionic sit on the throne of cell phone chips.
3. Most viewed award: Huawei P50 series
We can also call this award “Most Anticipated Award”. Huawei’s flagship smartphones will always earn this award for known reasons. After the ban on Huawei, the company’s “hands” are tied. So when an upcoming Huawei flagship is featured, the entire industry becomes interested in what it has to offer. The Huawei P50 series has received significantly more attention this year than the iPhone 13 series.
Although Huawei launched this smartphone amid several restrictions, the P50 series shows its strength. The Huawei P50 Pro is currently at the top of the DxOMark ranking for the main smartphone camera. It achieved 144 points in the DxOMark.
In addition, the Huawei P50 series is the first Huawei flagship to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. This chip is the 4G version of the SD888 but has exactly the same performance as the 5G version.
4. Award for the best price-performance ratio: Redmi K40
The Redmi brand is known for its desire to bring smartphones to the market with a high price-performance ratio. The Redmi K40 comes with a Sndapdragon 870 SoC, coupled with up to 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. This device also uses the top notch Samsung E4 display. All of this goes for 2499 yuan ($ 393) which is very competitive. This smartphone easily passes for the cheapest smartphone for this year.
This is also Redmi’s hottest K-series flagship this year and dominates the Double 11 sales list. The lowest promotional price of the top version is less than 2,200 yuan ($ 346).
5. Award for the best price-performance ratio: Motorola Edge S30
The Motorola Edge S30 is the cheapest Snapdragon 888+ smartphone with a starting price of 1799 yuan ($ 283). For smartphones in its domain, this device is very competitive. Mid-range chips such as the Snapdragon 870 (pseudo flagship), Dimensity 1200, Snapdragon 778G, Dimensity 1100 etc. are usually built into smartphones in this price range. In contrast, the Snapdragon 888+ from Motorola’s Edge S30 is unmatched.
Of course, the Edge S30 comes with specs such as a 144 Hz high refresh LCD screen, 5000 mAh battery, LPDDR5 memory, UFS 3.1 flash memory, and other specs. Of course, the top performing phone at less than $ 300 deserves an award.
6th Technology Innovation Award: Oppo Find N
When it comes to innovation, Oppo Find N deserves it. It completely solves the kinking problem that plagued the foldable smartphone industry. To completely solve the problem of kinks, Oppo uses its self-developed pseudo-vertical hinges. This hinge can form a natural teardrop shape when the screen is bent for a wrinkle-free look.
This is the first flagship without folds in the foldable smartphone industry. It can be called the benchmark and the most innovative mobile phone on the foldable market. Not only does it have no kinks, the Oppo Find N also takes care of the small outside screen. It is made in a tiny size of 5.49 inches. The 18: 9 ratio is no different from that of a traditional full screen phone.
7th Technology Innovation Award: Xiaomi Mi MIX 4
Since the beginning of the full-screen era, the industry has followed a true full-screen form. The camera under the screen is the ultimate solution. Xiaomi Mi MIX 4 did it. The presentation of the “Technology Innovation Award” is undisputed. The MIX 4 is Xiaomi’s first mass-produced flagship commercial sub-screen camera. This smartphone has no notch or punch hole. This is a true full screen mode and a big step towards industry innovation too. However, don’t be surprised why the underscreen camera isn’t that popular. This is because the front camera isn’t entirely top notch. So if a selfie lover gets this device it will be a huge regret.
Aside from the downside, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 4 is the first to launch a lightweight integrated ceramic body. While the body ensures the warm and moist feel of the all-ceramic design, it also achieves a thin and light design. This is another major innovation that this smartphone brings with it.
8. Award for the best camera: Huawei P50 Pro
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was at the top of the DxOMark ranking for many months with 143 points before the official launch of the Huawei P50 series. The Huawei P50 immediately took first place in the DxOMark ranking with 144 points.
This smartphone innovatively introduces the computer-aided optics technology from XD Optics, breaks the physical limits of the optical system and is a pioneer for a “global” system for the restoration of image information. It features the industry’s first worldwide image information recovery system that corrects optical errors and restores the original image information during the optical imaging phase.
Thanks to the optical computing technology from XD Optics, the Huawei P50 Pro retains 81% of the image information. By correcting light defects and restoring details, the Huawei P50 Pro 3.5x optical zoom lens achieves an imaging effect of no less than 10x physical optical zoom.
9. Award for the best camera: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
An important reason why the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is called “Android Light” is that its image is very powerful. This is the most powerful imaging flagship in Xiaomi’s history. In the DxOMark, this smartphone has a total of 143 points. It once dominated DxOMark for several months and won the award for best photo. All of this is thanks to the GN2 sensor jointly developed by Xiaomi and Samsung. The size is up to 1 / 1.12 inch which is the largest sensor in Xiaomi cellphone history.
In addition, parameters such as optical image stabilization (OIS), periscope telephoto lens and night owl algorithm are integrated into the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. This gives the smartphone powerful image capture functions. It is easily considered one of the best camera phones to be considered this year.
10. Best Design Award: Honor 60 Series
We can confidently describe the Honor 60 series with its curved screen as “curvy beauty”, which gives this device a “curvy beauty”. In this year’s mobile phone products, the Honor 60 series takes the four-curved design to the extreme. The Honor 60 series debuted a new generation of streamer four-arc screens. The left and right arcs are 81 °, while the top and bottom arcs are 52 °. The corners of the screen naturally connect the upper screen and the four sides, presenting a unique aesthetic of tension.
In addition, the Honor 60 series’ top and bottom edges are only 1.74mm, while the left and right edges are only 1.45mm. The black edges on the sides are 43% narrower. The visual effect after lighting the screen is extremely shocking. This device is obviously one of the best designs of this year.