Best Android phones in 2018

Posted: , by Victor Hristov Victor Hristov

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Best Android phones in 2018
 What is the best Android phone in 2018?

There are so many phones and new one keep on coming up, so it might be hard to pick just one. We are here to help. We have reviewed and tested hundreds of Android phones and we can recommend some great ones, tell you about their alternatives and even about those phones that you should absolutely avoid.

Of course, there is no one right phone for everyone: some phones are bigger, others smaller, some focus on camera quality, others on battery life and so on. We will tell you about these and other note-worthy features of each phone listed here, so... let's get started.

Premium: Over $800

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Prices: $900

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Price, price, price
  • Tall hardware makes reaching certain spots difficult
  • Battery life is sufficient, but not outstanding

The Note 8 is one of the best Samsung phones out there and one of the best Android devices to get.

There are quite a few reasons why, but what is immediately obvious is just how well built and how stylish the Note 8 looks, its outstanding, rich-color screen as well as the top performance chips inside it. The Note 8 is also one of the best phone cameras that you can get. It has one important advantage over the S8 and S8+: a secondary telephoto camera that it uses to shoot portraits with a blurred background. This second camera supports stabilization too, so pictures turn out sharper than the competition.

The Note 8 runs on the Samsung Experience interface on top of Android, and it includes a rich feature set and comes with some very well-done Samsung apps like the browser, weather app, S Health and more. It is a Note because it has an S Pen, of course, and the S Pen comes in handy when you want to quickly jot down a note or precisely select something.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Prices: $850 for 64GB, $950 for 128GB

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Display is unsatisfactory, poor viewing angles, burn-in issues
  • Design is bulky, cumbersome
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD card support

The Google Pixel 2 XL is the company's first phone with an "edge-to-edge" screen with little bezel. Manufactured by LG, the Pixel 2 XL is a large, 6-inch phone that is rather thick and not as beautifully designed as the Samsung Galaxies with a coarse metal back.

However where it shines is on the inside: the Pixel 2 XL has one of the most amazing cameras out there, one that performs better than most in low light, and it has a very smooth performance with a clean build of Android. Speaking of Android, the Pixel is the only phone that runs on the latest Android software and it is guaranteed to get Android updates on day 1, while other Android phones have to wait for months to get those updates.

While the Pixel 2 XL has its issues - the display has cold colors and does not look great when viewed at even a slight angle - the camera and the software experience largely make up for this.

LG V30/V35

Price: $800

Best Android phones in 2018


  • LG's interface needs a refresh
  • Some V30 displays have uneven colors
  • No Portrait Mode

LG's best phone so far, the V30 features a stylish glass and metal styling, an edge-to-edge screen with no annoying notch or any other interruption, and a dual camera system with a super wide-angle camera unlike any other phone.

The V30 is a phone that will make the most demanding techies happy: it has a high-quality audio output to make your expensive headphones pump out sound to their maximum, and it has manual video recording capabilities that will make enthusiast videographers happy. But it's also a good phone for just any other person in need of a phone. The interface is a bit strange and clunky, and photo quality is not quite the best, but overall the V30 is easy to recommend.

HTC U12+

Price: $800

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Interface looks a bit dated now
  • No wireless charging

The HTC U12+ continues HTC's quest to gain back its popularity  does not have the trendy edge-to-edge screen, but it's nonetheless a stunningly beautiful phone (even if it might be a bit too wide for comfortable one-handed use). The HTC Sense interface has not changed much and has some elements that look the same as they looked say five years ago, but if you don't mind this, it is a very fast UI. The squeeze function might be a gimmick but it works well. Battery life is solid as well.

Overall, this is the underrated overperformer of Android flagships.

Sony Xperia XZ2

Price: $800 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Outdated design
  • Camera could be better

The Xperia XZ2 is another gradual update in the Xperia series: more refinements, much better styling, improved performance and camera, a new vibration feedback mechanism and a fast performance. If you like clear Android builds and Sony's brand and styling, the new XZ2 is among your best options, but it also costs a pretty penny.

High-end: Around $600

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Price: $670 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Performance is not perfectly smooth
  • No gesture navigation
  • Problems with fingerprint recognition on some units

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is in many ways a refinement over a successful formula: it features a thin and elegant glass and metal design, further improvements in an already excellent camera, brilliant display, fast internals and all of the features you can imagine in a flagship device. It's a compact phones as well, and the first thing to come in mind when you think of a flagship Android gadget.

What's missing is a dual camera, a feature that Samsung has reserved for its larger models, but for all else, this is one excellent phone.

Google Pixel 2

Price: $650 for 64GB, $750 for 128GB

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Big bezels, outdated design
  • No headphone jack
  • No microSD card support

The Google Pixel 2 is all about AI, refinements and improvements.There is one thing that the Pixel 2 is not: a "bezel-less" phone. Quite the opposite, it's got a big and prominent chin and forehead where two front-firing speakers are located for better sound quality. Under the hood, it rocks the Snapdragon 835 system chip, a market improvement from the Snapdragon 821 of last year.

The back of the Pixel 2 retains the glass accent around the camera that the orinal had, but makes it smaller. What is lacking here is a secondary rear camera, but the main one is improved and ranks as one of the best phone cameras ever made. It smartly uses artificial intelligence and auto HDR to capture very dynamic images, that you usually expect to see from a DSLR. And it also supports Portrait Mode.

Sadly, Google has removed the headphone jack in the Pixel 2, a feature the company touted as an advantage just last year with the original Pixel. On a more positive note: the new Pixel 2 is finally water protected with an IP67 rating, identical to Apple's iPhone 8.

LG G7 ThinQ

Price: $750

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Interface is not too exciting
  • Battery life is just average

The new LG G7 ThinQ is a powerful Android phone with a glass-and-metal design and the Snapdragon 845 system chip on board, but it differs from all the rest with its unique, dual camera system where the secondary camera is actually a wide-angle one rather than a telephoto one. You can use this camera for some great panoramic shots and you still get software portrait mode with the main camera. The G7 has an evolved interface and a very bright display, as well as a more powerful loudspeaker.

Razer Phone

Price: $700

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Poor camera interface
  • Lack of OIS is evident
  • Giant battery feels like it's going to waste
  • Absent waterproofing
  • No headphone jack (nor included USB headphones)
  • Does not work on Verizon or Sprint

For all the hype, the Razer Phone really does deliver when it comes to gaming. While performance isn't a huge leap beyond anything we've seen to date, the high-refresh-rate screen makes even familiar games look all the more impressive.

However, we also seriously can't get over how poorly executed the phone's camera is. We're also a little sore about what's missing here. Building a flagship smartphone at this stage without even a hint of waterproofing is just tone-deaf.

Upper mid-range: Around $500

OnePlus 6

Price: from $520

Best Android phones in 2018


  • No wireless charging
  • Lacks full water protection

The OnePlus 6 is the first phone that comes to mind when you look for a budget alternative without any major compromises. The OnePlus 6 now features an even larger screen (yes, with a notch, but we don't mind), a thinner bezel, and a more elegant glass and metal design. It also comes with OxygenOS that brings some welcome speed optimizations that make the Android platform really fly on this phone. You also get the welcome option to use gestures for navigation rather than old-school on-screen buttons. OnePlus has also significantly improved camera quality and you get really good shots with this phone. 

Honor 10

Price: $450

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Interface takes some getting used to
  • No water resistance
  • No optical stabilization in camera

The new Honor 10 is a phone that almost seems inspired by the OnePlus success and it tries to compete with the OnePlus 6 as close as possible. The Honor 10 has definitely got the snazzy design with a stunning glass back and it even brings a dual camera magic and some powerful performance and specs on board. And yes, it also comes with a notch, but that almost seems like a necessary evil these days.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s

Price: $500

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Default MIUI theme has somewhat bland looks, icons don’t look great
  • Interface and settings menu takes some getting used to, things are hard to find
  • Devilishly slippery
  • Not water-proof

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s is an outstanding phone. Its custom MIUI interface takes some getting used to, but the big and beautiful, notch-less display, the capable camera, the well-executed gesture navigation and the overall sophistication and elegance of the design more than make up for it. If you are willing to deal with something new and different, and if you happen to live in a country where Xiaomi actually sells its phones, you should definitely consider buying the Mi Mix 2s.

Moto Z3 Play

Price: $500 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Display not bright enough, colors not accurate
  • Performance is not flagship-grade
  • No wireless charging without a mod

The new Moto Z3 Play comes with the familiar super thin design with support for Moto Mods and a price way lower than that of a flagship. The biggest compromise with this phone is the dim display that does not quite look as great as on other phones and the phone's also got a fingerprint scanner located strangely on its side. For all else, it features a clean and likable experience and a zippy performance.

Nokia 8

Price: €500

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Big bezels, colors not as lively as on other screens
  • Camera is below average
  • No water proofing
  • Fingerprint is not as accurate as on other phones
  • Always-on Display is hard to see, too dim

The Nokia 8 does not have any flashy features, and its bothie camera mode is a gimmick. Here are a few other things to consider: the screen looks dull and with needlessly big bezels, the camera is slow and quality is not on par with the best, the fingerprint is less accurate than on most other expensive phones, there is no water-proofing and the experience is bland.

But - and that's an important one - it’s also really great value offer when you compare it with other flagships, and you can buy two Nokia 8 phones for the price of one Galaxy Note 8. And the Nokia 8 excels in daily use with smooth performance throughout. If you don't mistake it for the "next great thing", it's a solid choice.

ZTE Axon M

Price: $725

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Ergonomic nightmare
  • UI needs refinement in transitioning between screen modes
  • Overpriced
  • Poor camera performance
  • Extremely obtrusive black bar between screens in extended mode
  • Most apps will only work in portrait mode when extended
  • Poor fingerprint scanner placement

When it comes down to it, this isn’t the worst effort ZTE could have made, although it is a bit half-baked, and the Axon M falls short in key areas. Unfortunately, software is the one of the most deficient areas of the M. Simply stretching and splitting content in accordance with the in-built functionalities of the Android OS leaves the user with a rather slapdash user experience. Games can’t take advantage of the large double screen in any real way, videos are rather unpleasant with the black bar in the middle, and transitions between screen modes are often dreadfully unresponsive. The only actual advantage seems to be in web browsing and multitasking.

Mid-range: Around $400

Moto X4

Best Android phones in 2018

The new Moto X4 is a stylish dual camera phone with a mid-range price of $400. It's also available on Google's Project Fi, the affordable US carriers, as an Android One device with clean Android build and the promise for timely updates.

And it's a great phone on its own: with a good-looking design and an LG-like secondary wide-angle camera that allows fitting more in the frame.

Samsung Galaxy A8 2018

Price: €400

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Pricey for what it is
  • No Android Oreo on board
  • Rather poor video recording quality, no 4K
  • Not great for low-light photos
  • Only 32GB of on-board storage

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is a slightly bulkier and clumsier device than the 2017 flagship Galaxy S8, but it shares a similar, visually stunning Super AMOLED screen and the feature-rich Samsung Experience. And here is a fun fact: it actually runs smoother than the S8 in the daily grind.

But the A8 makes a few compromises, most notably with camera quality, which is not that great in low light and there is no support for 4K video.

Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra

Price: $350 and $450

Best Android phones in 2018


  • No water resistance
  • No Portrait Mode

The Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra are two affordable phones with a personality. With that angled, rectangle Sony design they stand out, and the slightly rounded edges make them more comfortable to hold.

While they lack the trendy taller 2:1 displays, we are perfectly happy with the 16:9 screens that we get: they are more convenient for watching video and Sony has eliminated the side bezel almost completely to achieve a very appealing modern look.

And yes, finally, both phones come with a fingerprint scanner (we say 'finally' because in the US, Sony used to sell its phones without a fingerprint scanner for years). The fingerprint reader is below the rear camera and is easy to reach. With the Snapdragon 630 chip on board, the phones perform well in daily tasks, have great battery life and can even record 4K video with stabilization. The phones are slightly thicker because of their larger batteries and the XA2 Ultra barely fits in a pocket with its huge screen. Overall, great affordable phones by Sony.

Honor 9

Price: $400

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Interface takes getting used to
  • Very slippery

The new Honor 9 is a phone that brings refinement in a beautiful design and shows that Huawei can really build some great-looking phones.

The Honor 9 is a good value for the money and offers a good camera in its class and a solid battery life. The 18:9 screen looks good and while the interface takes getting used to, the phone is an easy recommendation.

Affordable: Around $300

Moto G6

Price: from $235

Best Android phones in 2018


  • No real waterproofing (nano-coat only)

The new Moto G6 series brings new life in one of the most popular affordable phones out there: the new Moto G6 features a sleeker than ever design with a thin, elegant body and a premium glass construction. It now has slimmer bezels too and a larger display for a more immersive experience, and at under $300, this phone is still a great value.Moto sticks with its clean and fast version of Android and the G6 feels very zippy. With a decent camera and good battery life, the G6 remains one of the best options for those looking for a good budget phone.

Honor 7X

Price: $200 / €290

Best Android phones in 2018


  • No USB-C; no fast charging
  • Camera becomes very temperamental in low-light
  • EMUI 5.1 isn’t very good-looking

The Honor 7X is shaping up like an easy phone to recommend. $200 gets you a solid, good-looking phone, with a tall, 18:9 screen and peppy performance. EMUI 5.1 feels rather tired and a bit cartoonish, but the functionality and performance within give the user much customization and plenty of speed in day-to-day tasks. As for the camera, it does seem promising, but we'll have to test it further before we give it our final verdict.

Huawei Mate 10 Lite

Price: €350

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Rather poor video recording quality
  • Not great for low-light photos
  • Outdated microUSB port rather than USB-C
  • Emotion UI icons and styling look outdated
  • Battery life is just okay, charging is slooow
  • No extras like water-proofing or wireless charging

The Mate 10 Lite is built very solidly, it has a cool 2:1 screen with tiny bezels, and we are particularly impressed with the premium feel of the display glass. It runs smoothly in the daily grind, and with a few tweaks, its camera captures good images in daylight. The portrait mode also works surprisingly well, and the fingerprint scanner is blazingly fast and accurate.

At the same time, the Mate 10 Lite does have some issues, the biggest ones being the rather poor video recording and low-light photo quality.

Cheap: Around $200

Nokia 6.1

Price: $230

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Somewhat outdated designQuestionnable selection of colors

The Nokia 6.1 is a solidly build phone with an almost premium feel, up-to-the-task screen, and capable 16-megapixel camera that sometimes makes it easy to forget you're holding an affordable phone. But we never lose sight of this affordable phone status in regard to processing power: in more intensive usage scenarios, this will be most evident.

Xiaomi Mi A1

Price: €220

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Display quality is not great, screen is bluish
  • Camera is about average

The Xiaomi Mi A1 is the company's first Android One phone, meaning that it runs on a clean, pure version of Android and does not have the company's MIUI. This is great for international users, as it helps with faster updates.

The Mi A1 is also well built, with a sleek metal construction and it excels in battery life, and even performs well. Its camera is not quite the best out there and the display is definitely on the cold side, but these are some compromises you make to get at that price.

Cheapest: Under $200

Moto E5 Plus

Price: ~$200

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Gets slow at times
  • Low display resolution

The affordable Moto E5 Plus takes pride in its above-average battery life: you can get a day and a half from this phone, and if you don't use it all that much you can easily go the full 2 days without a trip to the charger. This is all thanks to the massive 5,000mAh battery stuffed inside the E5 Plus. Under the hood, there is the Snapdragon 435 system chip that makes it tick and the phone features a 6" display with a 720p resolution.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

Price: $160

Best Android phones in 2018


  • Not widely available globally
  • Performance could be better

The Redmi 5 Plus features a taller, 6-inch screen with minimal bezel, a thin and stylish metal design and a very, very affordable price. The different thing about this phone is certainly the MIUI interface running on top of Android. It gives the phone character and personality, and it features quite a few advanced features that you won't find anywhere else.


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