The polls have closed, and after nearly 7,500 of you voted, there was a clear winner that emerged from our 2019 Readers' Choice Smartphone of the Year ballot: the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL, beating out the OnePlus 7 Pro family.
Understanding just why the Pixel remains the top choice among our readers isn't difficult: clean software with quick updates (well, usually), industry-leading photography performance, and early access to the newest features of many of Google's other products like the next-generation Assistant and Stadia. The editors of Android Police gave the Pixel 3a our pick for 2019 under similar reasoning.
While the Pixel 4 has had a slightly troubled launch with lukewarm critical reception, it's still the best phone for anyone who places Google above all else in their digital lives. That shouldn't be surprising, given Google makes it, but it does continue to underscore the fact that phones from other manufacturers—even those which are updated nearly as quickly—simply don't have everything the Pixel offers. No other brand of smartphone has access to the next-generation Google Assistant, none have access to Google Stadia, and none yet support Android 10's new face unlock biometrics.
And the camera, well, I could go on forever about how wonderfully Google's Super Res Zoom works with the new telephoto lens, or I could just share a photo.
I have my own gripes with the Pixel 4, but when I ask myself which phone I want in my pocket when I want to snap a photo, I can't imagine choosing anything else. The Pixel 4 has already preserved memories that I will likely hold onto for the rest of my life, and those photos just feel so much more lifelike than I ever thought images captured on a smartphone could (Ryne Hager has at times accused the pictures from the Pixel of looking "too real").
So, clearly Google is still doing some of the important things right with phones, at least among Android Police readers.