Choosing the Best Smartphones is a difficult task, and that’s because there are just so many to choose from. But to make the process more bearable, we have completed ten of the best smartphones on the market, including the Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 Pro, iPhone X, and LG G7. Every device that we assess is tested with the same combination of practical cases and repeatable bench market tests. This means we test everything from battery life and processor performance during the full range of daily tasks, to call quality and screen calibration.
Phones are now also our go-to devices for taking pictures so that the cameras are challenged in every possible situation. You want to know if the camera of a phone will impress not only in bright sunshine at an exotic location, but also when you take pictures of moving people at drunken parties, or just in the dull, flat light of a British winter.
You may also want to know how your phone can handle a Netflix binge or video call, so our discharge tests take this into account. Above all, we take these phones with us and use them as ours for a more extended period, live with them to get to know their peculiarities and discover their hidden treasures.
Best Smartphones Of 2018 Name Rank Rating Samsung Galaxy Note 9 1st 9.5 out of 10 Apple iPhone XS Max 2nd 9.4 out of 10 Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 3rd 9.4 out of 10 Apple iPhone X 4th 9.3 out of 10 Google Pixel 2 XL 5th 9.3 out of 10 Huawei P20 Pro 6th 9.2 out of 10 LG G7 ThinQ 7th 9.2 out of 10 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 8th 9.1 out of 10 OnePlus 6 9th 9.1 out of 10 Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10th 9.0 out of 10 LG V30+ 11th 8.9 out of 10
The build is all about the sustainability of the best smartphones. The entire handset market is usually divided into two types of builds – plastic and metal. There are also those that even have a glass-coated panel, but they are very limited. Phones like Galaxy S9, iPhone X etc all come in either aluminum chassis, or a stainless steel frame, thus making them durable.
The screen size and resolution of the screen depends on how you use your smartphone. If you often edit photos or videos, stream videos, and download or watch movies, a 5.7-inch to 6-inch, full-HD or QHD resolution screen should be the best option for you. But since we are talking about the best smartphones of 2018, we’d recommend an AMOLED display, with Quad-HD resolution, like the Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Plus and the all-new Galaxy Note 9.
Even mid-range smartphones now offer outstanding performance for most users. But if you want the most power for games and virtual reality, buy a smartphone with a Snapdragon 835 chip or the latest Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. A Snapdragon 600 series chip is ideal for medium-sized Android phones.
The more you get is, the better. Best Smartphones comes with 64 GB of internal storage are good, and fortunately, they are common between flagship phones starting with 64 GB of internal storage. If you want to download many games and make a 4K video, choose the 64 GB or more. A micro-SD card slot is an excellent option for expanding storage space but is only available only on certain Android phones. So if you are choosing a phone with no SD-card slot, we’d prefer going with the best storage option available.
Here is an easy way to look at the RAM of best smartphones, which is essential for multitasking. Try to avoid the handsets with only 1 or 2 GB of RAM. On the mid-tier devices, 3 GB of RAM is a good option. But you will often find the 4-6 GB RAM on the latest flagships. Some smartphones, such as the OnePlus 6, offer no less than 8GB of RAM. So again like the Storage, go for the best RAM option available.
The bigger is better. The battery usage varies from user to user, depending on how he or she uses the smartphone. Are you a heavy user and you work on many applications, stream your videos, play games and more than you have to choose a smartphone with at least 3500 mAh battery or more.
So now that you know how to select the best smartphones, let’s have a look at our list of Best Smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Beautiful 6.4-inch Quad-HD Infinity display
- Superb camera, even in low light
- Battery and storage
- Bluetooth S Pen shortcuts are fun
- We hate the Bixby button
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a little ‘bigger, a little’ more colorful and a little ‘more powerful than all previous Note phones, but be careful: it is also a bit’ more expensive. It’s the biggest Android phone that will catch your attention in 2018, with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display, a huge 4000 mAh battery for full-day performance and up to 512 GB of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM. All these top specs make it one of the best smartphones right now.
Good news: Note 9 (review) actually does not look bigger than the 6.3-inch Note 8 last year and inherits a lot of 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 this year and 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus features, including camera specifications. The camera is better than the Note 8, with a 12 MP rear configuration with dual aperture technology and able to record Super Slow-Mo videos. AR Emoji is back with some better avatar customizations, but rest assured, it will never look like you.
The S Pen now has Bluetooth for remote-controlled shortcuts that, unlike the Bixby button, are customizable. Do you want to pose for a photo 30 meters away? This pen S can help you do it and more. It works great, but you may have trouble finding a place to place your precious note 9 for snapshots of the whole body.
Note 9 is our recommendation for high-end smartphones, that is, if you want to own a gigantic full-featured phone with a stylus and hate that saves you money. The current offers of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are the biggest threat to this update that, ironically, it’s about going great in a variety of small ways.back to menu ↑
Apple iPhone XS Max
- Stunning, massive OLED screen
- Solid battery life
- Excellent performance
- Beautiful design and build
- Smart HDR greatly improves the camera
- Difficult to use one-handed
- No fast-charging cable or headphone jack dongle included
The iPhone XS Max (pronounced ‘Ten S Max’) is the largest smartphone that Apple has ever made. With a 6.5-inch display, hardly a screen edge and the now iconic screen cutout, it is a dominant presence in the hand. It also dominates the bag, both in size and in price. The iPhone XS Max is not only the largest but also the most expensive iPhone to date. Apple provides a device with a screen size that exceeds the most premium Android flagships.
This is a daring statement from a company that until last year with the introduction of the 5.8-inch iPhone X, had resisted the urge to scale the screen size on the same scale as the rivals of Android. Apple has however decided that this is now the right time to surpass the smartphone’s display and the iPhone XS Max is the first generation of the new, larger form factor. For those who crave more screen for video and gaming on the go, the extended view of the iPhone XS Max (review) will be a welcome addition to Apple’s line-up, while those who want a premium experience without the supersized dimensions can find comfort that it is next to the smaller is being launched iPhone XS.
If you want more internal storage, the 256GB iPhone XS Max price is $ 1,249 (£ 1,249/ AU $2,049), while the most expensive 512GB version costs you as much as $ 1,449 (£ 1,449/ AU $2,369). There is no ordinary smartphone that costs more than the 512 GB iPhone XS Max, making it a class in terms of price. You get a lot of money for the money – but there is no escaping the fact that it is a lot of money that Apple asks for.back to menu ↑
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
- Feels great for a big phone
- The OLED display is great and highly customizable
- Numerous camera features on offer
- Decent Battery Life
- AR Emoji are just bad
- Bixby Button
Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones in the starting of 2018. It is an evolution in the Galaxy S-line, but one that approaches perfection as close as you can expect from a smartphone today.
The Infinity display from Samsung remains the best place with every new release and surpasses the Apple iPhone X that lived on that spot for a few months. There is 6GB of RAM, the fastest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile processor, a dual aperture camera on the back, another with super slow motion support (S9 Plus only). The ability to get cheap microSD cards, improved Bixby assistant and a hardware button to add its use, Samsung Pay payment technology, wireless and fast charging, IP68 dust and water resistance, a USB Type-C standard port and a traditional 3.5 mm headset jack. It is also being introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo. Nothing is missing from the Galaxy S9 Plus, and it deserves the best place.
There are a few experiences with my use that convinced me to place the S9 Plus above the iPhone X, including the RF performance of the S9 Plus. It has a more extended connection at higher speeds than the iPhone X on T-Mobile in the same area. The S9 Plus also has a newer Qualcomm modem than the iPhone X and also supports the 600 MHz spectrum of T-Mobile. For work, it is difficult to beat the Galaxy S9 Plus.
T-Mobile and Samsung have the best offers from other providers that add extra premiums on top of the MSRP. If you buy an unlocked copy from Samsung, it does not contain bloatware for the courier service and is also cheaper than most American providers. In comparison with the $1,000 + iPhone X, the S9 and S9 Plus are reasonably priced. We also recently saw special offers that lowered the price because Samsung sales were not as high as expected.back to menu ↑
Apple iPhone X
- Stunning screen
- Much-improved telephoto camera
- The best-looking iPhone ever
- Impressive battery life
- Face ID is so much better than a fingerprint sensor
- Software needs more optimization for the taller display and notch
- No fast-charging plug included
- Very expensive
The Apple iPhone X has been available for several months now, and regular readers may be surprised to know that I still have one. It is the phone with the highest mass class to be launched with a starting price of $ 999 for 64 GB and $ 1,149 for 256 GB, but it seems that the majority of people are purchasing it on a payment plan, so that the costs in the course of the time is spread and not as shocking as a fixed price.
The iPhone X is the first unique iPhone design we have seen since the original iPhone was launched 10 years ago. It has a large 5.8-inch screen at the front with minimal edges and no front button at the front. A Samsung OLED panel is being used for the first time on an iPhone. There is a dual camera setup on the back with a new way to use the iPhone due to the lack of a start button and traditional on/off button.
Without buttons on the front, the iPhone X is based on advanced face recognition to unlock and use Apple Pay. It performs reliably and far exceeds the functionality of Samsung’s iris scanning technology. Apple finally also has wireless charging, so you can quickly charge it by just putting it on a wireless charger.
The iPhone X is powered by an all-new A11 bionic chip and an M11 motion coprocessor, so it flies with iOS 11. It has an IP67 dust and water resistance. Glass is now used on the back to support wireless charging. The front-facing camera is 7 megapixels and labeled with TrueDepth so that you can make portrait selfies.
The iPhone X is the most advanced iPhone to date and offers many new experiences with the screen on the front. This includes comprehensive gesture support and new ways to access features on the iPhone. It provides an ample screen experience in a reasonably compact package compared to other large-screen smartphones.back to menu ↑
Google Pixel 2 XL
- Smart software that will only get better
- Decent design
- The best smartphone camera
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Poor viewing angles for an OLED
The Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL bring many features that I wanted to see (water resistance and smaller bezels on the XL) and others not (removal of standard 3.5 mm headset connection). Both are excellent phones with the stock Android experience, so if you want a phone to function the way Google has designed Android, the Pixel 2 might be that.
The Google Pixel 2 XL has a large 6-inch 18: 9 screen, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB and 128 GB of integrated storage, a 12-megapixel camera on the back, IP67 dust and water resistance, a 3520 mAh battery and double front stereo speakers. The smaller Pixel 2 features a 5-inch screen and a smaller battery, while the rest of the specs are similar to those of the XL model. There is no wireless charging or a 3.5 mm headphone jack on both phones.
The smaller Pixel 2 prices $649 whereas the Pixel 2 XL begins at $849 for the 64GB model. They both are powered by Android 8.0 Oreo and receive OS upgrades for three years. Google’s latest assistant features are present along with some other Google software prospects.back to menu ↑
Huawei P20 Pro
- Good battery life
- Great camera
- Fast face unlock
- No wireless charging
- No headphone jack
- Minor fizz to the OLED screen
The unique design with a triple camera on the Huawei P20 Pro comes with a recording volume of 68 megapixels. This should help you capture some great photos with a low-light mode that exceeds all other smartphones available today.
Huawei has substantial capacity batteries in its flagships, and the P20 Pro is no exception with 4000 mAh that is sure to guide you through at least one full, busy day. It has a large 6.1-inch OLED with a notch that you can show or hide, a powerful Kirin 970 processor with integrated AI, IP67 dust and water resistance and much more.
Huawei’s EMUI has come a long way, and the home screen now has a standard Google Feed on one panel with an interface that is almost in stock. When Huawei delivers software and settings that go beyond the stock Android, they serve to improve the device instead of clearing it and slowing it down. The P20 Pro flies through every action and is a pleasure to use.back to menu ↑
LG G7 ThinQ
- Google Assistant button
- Narrow dimensions make it easy to grip
- Fantastic audio through the headphone jack
- Proves that OLED isn’t always better than LCD
- LG’s Android skin is ugly in so many areas
- Unreliable biometric unlocking
- Poor AI features
- Average battery life
If you have read about the LG G7 ThinQ (review), you have probably seen that most people say it is not exciting and that there is nothing unique and attractive to let people choose the LG G7. To be honest, you could say that about most phones because we have reached the top smartphone and there is very little left that manufacturers can do to raise the bar.
That said, I have now spent five days with a pre-production device and one day with a T-Mobile store and I think the LG G7 ThinQ is one of my favorites. The prizes have not yet been announced, but if LG launches it for less than the Samsung S9, I might be inclined to add this to maybe number two in my list.
Just like the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the LG G7 ThinQ has everything but the sink. It has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, dual camera setting (one is a widescreen display that is unique among dual camera devices), wireless charging, IP68 rating, microSD expansion card for a cheap unlimited storage expansion, a screen that almost completely extending across the front with a notch and incredible audio support.
The LG G7 ThinQ contains AI elements in its camera and gets the best out of the LG V30 video camera with Cine Video mode and more. LG set the bar for phone cameras a few years ago and may do it again with the LG G7 ThinQ.
We have placed a first telephone recording, but now that we have an American retail model for retail, we are working to get a full assessment within a week or two. There is a lot to see in the LG G7 ThinQ and LG is behind with a guarantee of two years and promises “continuous upgrades”.back to menu ↑
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- ‘Infinity Display’ is excellent
- Decent Camera
- Fast with 6GB of RAM
- Battery life held back
- Weak speaker
After a controversial 2016, the Galaxy Note line from Samsung is fully in force again. With advanced specifications, a stunning design, dual camera setting, and new software features, the Galaxy Note 8 is still one of the best Android phones you can buy now.
The nearly-bezel less 6.3-inch Quad HD + Infinity display of the Note 8 with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9 is one of our favorite parts of this phone. DisplayMate also agrees with us. It is big – maybe too big for some people – but at least the company puts that screen on good use. There’s a new app linking feature that lets you open two favorite apps in multiple windows at the same time, and there are a few new S Pen features that will satisfy the stylus users out there.
Moreover, the setup with the double camera on the back performs incredibly well. Although image quality is not a huge step forward compared to what we saw on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, with the additional 12MP sensor with OIS you can make clear, concise photos and impressive bokeh shots in virtually any situation.
No, it is not perfect, but no telephone. The placement of Samsung’s fingerprint sensor on the Note 8 is still very annoying (luckily it’s solved with the S9), and this phone is expensive. However, if those things do not suit you, the Note 8 might be the right phone for you.back to menu ↑
- A huge leap in design
- Seriously fast
- Dash Charge is still best
- The camera still needs improvement
- Missing a few ‘flagship’ features
- No Water Resistant
The OnePlus 5T is still a solid smartphone according to current standards, but that does not stop OnePlus from pushing the limits of the smartphone further. The OnePlus 6 is all about refinement. OnePlus introduced a brand new, all-glass design with the OnePlus 6. The rear is slim – almost like the Galaxy S9 – and the front has the 6.28 inch AMOLED screen. Yes, there is a pinch, but you can in principle disable it in the settings menu.
This phone also has the latest and best specifications available: a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6 or 8 GB RAM and up to 256 GB of storage space. The cameras have also been improved this time. It comes with two 16 and 20 MP sensors around the back with f / 1.7 openings, along with a 19-percent larger pixel size than the 5T. There are also slow-motion video modes that enable 720p footage at 480 fps and 1080p at 240 fps. You can also record 4K video with 60 fps.
This is probably also one of the first devices that Android P will receive when it is started. For all people who are not fans of the Pixel but want quick updates, the OnePlus 6 might be something for you.back to menu ↑
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
- Fast and wireless charging is useful
- The glass back feels premium
- Dual camera is powerful
- Out-dated design
- No mobile HDR
- Average Battery life
The iPhone 8 and its Plus-size counterpart are one of the most expensive smartphones to date, but it is the Plus that makes this list thanks to the double 12-megapixel camera. The normal iPhone 8 does not have a dual sensor and thus lacks the Plus’ 2x optical zoom function. It also has a better battery life than its little brother, making it more reliable during the day.
The new Apple iPhone 8/8 Plus looks like the iPhone 7/7 Plus, but has glass backs for support for wireless charging. In addition, the new iPhones have a slightly improved processor, improved camera, and improved LCD screen. There are stereo speakers for good sound performance, but no standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. These new iPhones have fast charging support so they can get up to 50 percent of the battery capacity in 30 minutes.
Elsewhere, Apple has made several improvements in the speed of the phone and the overall build quality, but it is not as big a leap forward as you would expect from a next-generation smartphone. The iPhone 8 Plus is still the best iPhone ever made, but iPhone 7 Plus owners probably still have to wait a while for their cell phone before upgrading.back to menu ↑
- Streamlined design
- Gorgeous OLED display
- Great camera setup
- UI needs a complete overhaul
LG V30 + smartphone was launched in August 2017. The phone comes with a 6.00-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1440 pixels by 2880 pixels. The LG V30 + is powered by an octave-core processor of 1.9 GHz and comes with 4 GB of RAM. The phone offers 128 GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 200 GB via a microSD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the LG V30 + has a 16-megapixel primary camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
The LG V30 + exports Android 7.1.2 and is powered by a non-removable battery of 3300 mAh. It measures 151.70 x 75.40 x 7.30 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 158.00 grams.It is a dual-SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, headphones, 3G and 4G. Sensors on the phone include a Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Finger Print sensor, and Ambient light sensor.
Asus ZenFone 5Z
- Gorgeous design
- Incredible performance
- Well-executed AI features
- Great value for money
- Decent camera
- Sizeable notch
- No water resistance
- No wireless charging
- Limited global availability
Asus ZenFone 5Z smartphone was launched back in February 2018. The phone comes with a 6.20-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2246 pixels. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor and comes with 6 GB of RAM. The phone offers 64 GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 2000 GB via a microSD card. As for the cameras, the Asus ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL) has a primary 12-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-shooter for selfies.
The ZenFone 5Z runs Android 8.0 with ZenUI 5.0 Skin over it and is backed by a 3300mAh. It measures 153.00 x 75.65 x 7.70 mm (height x width x thickness) and weighs 165 grams. Sensors on the phone include a compass/magnetometer, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, barometer, and gyroscope.
So these are the Best Smartphones Of 2018. We made this list after carefully examining all the above-mentioned smartphones, along with some others like HTC U11, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, etc. Also to mention, Apple, Samsung, and Google are expected to launch their flagship phones in 2018 soon. We’d keep an eye on them, and will update this list once those smartphones are launched. So we recommend you to bookmark and subscribe to our web for future updates.
Read More: Best Smartphones Under $500