We like to close out the year with a look back at some of the trends and major events. One great way to gauge the industry’s and fan interest in this year’s smartphone releases is to examine the most popular entries in our review section.
The most popular device in our review section in the first quarter was Redmi Note 10 Pro, also known as Redmi Note 10 Pro Max in India. An excellent 120Hz AMOLED display, stellar battery life and stereo speakers, IP53 rating and a slew of little extras like an IR blaster, 3.5mm jack, FM radio, NFC, microSD – a solid all-round device, with just a few camera quirks to work out. The vanilla Redmi Note 10 also made the top 10, confirming the status of the lineup as one of the most popular of the year.
Another Xiaomi-made phone we reviewed in Q1 is the excellent Poco X3 Pro. With its high-performance Snapdragon 860 chipset and a sub-EUR 200 price tag it remains a great value-for-money offering even to this day. On top of that, it even has a smooth 120Hz LCD to really take home the budget gaming crown. The Xiaomi Mi 11 also got plenty of love. While technically a December 2020 model in China, it made it to global markets and our lab in February 2021.
In 2021 Samsung kept a lot of its focus on its Galaxy A family. The Galaxy A52, A32 and A12 reviews made our top 10 for the first three months of the year as a lot of people clearly considered purchasing one of those.
Those three along with the two flagships – Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra gave Samsung the most phones in this top 10. The middle Galaxy S21+ did make the cut though, which reflects its relatively low interest compared to its siblings. The vanilla S21 remains one of the best smaller Android devices currently out there, while the plus model is in the awkward spot of being more expensive without being nearly as capable a cameraphone as the Ultra.
The Find X3 is the only phone we reviewed in the first three months not to come from Samsung or Xiaomi, indicating the continued progress Oppo has been making. The OnePlus 9 Pro was also 11th, and came just short of edging the Mi 11 for a spot here.