Best Android phones 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 9
Price: from $1,000
If you are looking for an Android phone that goes all-out in terms of features and performance, the Galaxy Note 9 fits the bill. It sports a big and beautiful, 6.3" Super AMOLED display, it has the S Pen, double the storage of most 2018 flagships with 128GB on board, and most importantly, it's got a gigantic, 4,000mAh battery inside that ensures the phone can last you through even those longest days.
The Note 9 is a bigger phone than most, so keep that in mind. The loudspeakers are big and powerful, and it has no notch, which is quite the rarity these days.
Google Pixel 3 XL
Price: from $900
The Pixel 3 XL is probably one of the best camera phones of 2018, and it brings a stylish frosted glass back that now allows for wireless charging. Up front, it brings a dual camera for group selfies, all that while keeping the buttery smooth performance and the long software update support. Google says that it will deliver Android updates to this series for the next three years and you know that you will not need to wait months for those updates to actually arrive to the devices.
Unfortunately, all the rumors about the notch on the XL are true: it has one big and unsightly notch that sticks like a sore thumb, and not only that but the phone also has a quite big chin on the bottom. If you can live with those design compromises and really want a clean and smooth performing phone that uses AI to help you screen calls and keep annoying telemarketers out, as well as capture incredible photos, the Pixel 3 XL is a great choice.
LG V40 ThinQ
Price: Around $950
The V40 ThinQ is LG's top gun, a phone with a big screen and roughly the size of the iPhone XS Max. It features a larger, 6.4" pOLED screen that is an improvement over the screen of last year's V30, and it sports a whopping three cameras on its back. You have the standard camera and the wide angle lens from earlier LG phones, but what's new here is a third, telephoto camera, so you can cover more distance at better quality. We found the quality to be decent, but not much more than that, as the color science seems to be totally different between the three different lenses and results are not consistent.
The V40 also runs on LG's custom software on top of Android and it's a strange thing that has evolved, but still feels a bit cartoony and not quite on par with the refinement and convenience of other skins. The thing you might be worried about even more, though, is the smaller than average, 3,300mAh battery inside the V40. Battery life is mediocre, below what you can get from other flagship phones, especially at this high price. Speaking of price, the V40 costs somewhere between $920 and $980 at launch.
Razer Phone 2
The new Razer Phone 2 has ironed out a lot of the shortcomings of the first generation device and is now a much better pick for a daily driver, and not just a gamers' phone.
First and foremost, the Razer Phone 2 has a brighter display that looks better outdoors and it comes with an improved camera. The staples of the Razer experience: the 16:9 screen with unmatched 120Hz refresh rate, the big speakers are all here, and the speakers are equally as impressive with a bigger and fuller sound than most any other phone out there. Now, however, you also have water proofing on board and a super cool new glowing logo on the back that can change colors. Speaking of the back, it's now made of glass and this has allowed Razer to incorporate wireless charging.
At a price of $800, the Razer Phone 2 is not terribly expensive and is worth considering.
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.
High-end: Around $600
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Price: $670 for 64GB
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.
LG G7 ThinQ
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.
Upper mid-range: Around $500
Price: from $520
The OnePlus 6T is the latest and most advanced phone by OnePlus and it continues the company's tradition of delivering phones with flaghsip hardware (the Snapdragon 845 powers the 6T) at about half the price of its rivals. The 6T is equipped with a good-looking Full HD AMOLED screen and it is among the fastest and smoothest-performing Android phones that we have used.
It's not much different than the OnePlus 6, that launched in early 2018, with the biggest change being the in-screen fingerprint scanner, a futuristic piece of technology that looks great, but is a bit slower and a bit less accurate than a traditional fingerprint reader. You also have a bigger, 3700mAh battery here, as well as a new Nightscape mode that brings out incredible detail out of night shots.
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 3
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is one of the first of a new wave of true, bezel-less phones that are not interrupted by a notch. It's a beautiful phone and equipped with top-grade Snapdragon 845 processor and a gorgeous AMOLED screen.
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 3.
Moto Z3 Play
Price: $500 for 64GB
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.