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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: $930

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Price: $800

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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.


Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Price: $800

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Huawei's interface has some awkward behaviors and looks
  • No wireless charging
  • 1080p resolution
  • No headphone jack

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a big phone made with an attention to detail and it features an impressive sleek design and an edge-to-edge screen. On the practical side of things, it also has a big battery that will keep it going longer than some others.

On the back, you'd find a distinct dual camera setup that takes some good picture (not quite on par with the very best, though). What might take some getting used to is the Huawei custom interface on top of Android. Clearly inspired by iOS in some places it performs well, but takes some getting used to.



HTC U11 Plus

Price: €800 

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Screen is hard to see outdoors
  • Interface seems outdated and lacking visual polish
  • Average battery life
  • Lacking extras like dual cameras or Portrait Mode


The HTC U11+ is a fast and powerful phone with great camera and sound quality, but one that comes at a high price.

The U11+ has the essentials covered, but in many ways, it is slightly behind the competition. It lacks Portrait Mode: a cool feature available in most flagships. The display is very dim and hard to see outdoors. Its HTC Sense interface looks stale and dated. And while it has a big battery, the actual battery life is just average.



High-end: Around $600



Google Pixel 2

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

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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.


Samsung Galaxy S8

Price: $725 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Performance is stuttery
  • Awkward fingerprint location


The Samsung Galaxy S8 is in many ways a revolutionary phone: it features a larger, bezel-less display that takes up nearly all of the front and is gorgeous to look at, and it sports an even more refined design. Despite its 5.8-inch display, the S8 is not too big: it's taller, but also narrower, so it is easy to use with just one hand.

The camera has received some improvements too: you don't have a dual camera here, but the single one is fantastic. It takes fantastic, sharp pictures with a level of detail above most, if not all, other phones. The one thing where we don't have so much change is the battery: it is good, but not great or revolutionary as other parts of this phone. And then there is Bixby: the new smart assistant with a dedicated physical button that calls the feature. Unfortunately, Bixby is not on par with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or even Siri. Last, but not least, the fingerprint scanner on the S8 is awkwardly positioned next to the camera where it is hard to reach.



LG G6

Price: $600 for 32GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Battery life is below average
  • Pricey for what it is

The LG G6 marks a new era for LG: less experiments with crazy designs and a focus back on the essentials of great design and performance. The new G6 is not a revolutionary phone, but it still has the extremely cool bezel-less screen with a new, taller 2:1 format. It has also improved its already very good cameras: now you have two 13-megapixel shooter for the dual camera system on the back, so there is no abrupt switch in the camera when you zoom in and out. LG has also improved battery with the G6 to good (but it's still not great), and coupled with nice software experience, the LG G6 is one of the best options for a new phone out there.



Huawei P10

Price: €500 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Huawei interface is hard to get used to
  • First party apps are a bit lacking


The Huawei P10 is a beautifully designed, stylish phone for a price much lower than most other flagships, yet with a similar level of performance and a very good camera. The bad news is that it will not be sold in the United States (at least initially), but it will be in all other parts of the world.

Under the hood roars Huawei's own Kirin 960 system chip, which is indeed a powerful creation, and Huawei has improved the dual camera system. The idea is to be able to blur the background to images, a nice effect, but not quite as accurate as the Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus. Still, it's nice to have and you get a secondary, black-and-white camera that gives you a different perspective to images.



Razer Phone

Price: $700

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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.


Sony Xperia XZ1

Price: $600 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Outdated design
  • Camera could be better


The Xperia XZ1 is another gradual update in the Xperia series: more refinements, better styling, slightly improved performance and camera. Slightly is the keyword here. But if you like clear Android builds and Sony's brand and styling, the new XZ1 is its best and it comes with cool and novel 3D scanning functionality as well.



Upper mid-range: Around $500




OnePlus 5T

Price: $500 for 64GB, $560 for 128GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Camera quality is a bit short of flagship grade
  • Automatic brightness too aggressive, screen often appears too dim
  • Lacks water protection


The OnePlus 5T is a new flagship-grade phone offered for a great price. It looks very similar to the company's previous phone, the OnePlus 5, but also brings innovation in one key area: it has a larger, 6" edge-to-edge screen. For all else, it features a nearly identical metal body with a nice, ergonomic curve, it features some improvements to the camera performance, and it has its fingerprint scanner on the back now. You also get a new identification option: Face Unlock, which is impressively fast, but not as secure as 3D face scanning systems. The 5T is also one of the fastest-charging phones ever, with support for Dash Charge.


HTC U11

Price: $650

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Interface looks dated now
  • Too wide
  • No Portrait Mode

The HTC U11 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.


Essential Phone

Price: $500 for 128GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Sub-par camera
  • Still some stability issues
  • No headphone jack


The Essential Phone is the newest competitor on the flagship block and it brings a lot of innovation: a beautiful, exclusive ceramic body with a meticulous fit and finish, a clean Android experience with the promise for timely updates and the latest Snapdragon 835 processor. It's also got a dual camera setup with a color + monochrome cameras that don't seem to deliver as great results as one would expect, but updates are promised to fix that. The Essential Phone has also got a curious magnetic attachment port that supports a 360-degree camera at the moment, but has the potential of being a hub for a growing ecosystem of accessories in the future.



Honor View 10

Price: €500

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Huawei's custom Android interface is a bit clunky
  • Camera sticks out the back, does not look great
  • No water resistance
  • No optical stabilization in camera


The Honor View 10 is the company's answer to the OnePlus 5T, a thin and elegant device with an edge-to-edge display, flagship-like looks, great camera and excellent battery life.

You need to get used to the company's Emotion UI (here in its 8 version) that evolves, but still feels a bit cluttered with apps. In exchange for that, you get fast performance and Android Oreo with Project Treble support for fast updates in the future.



Nokia 8

Price: €500

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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.



BlackBerry KeyOne

Price: $500

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Pricing steep compared to similarly-specced phones
  • No extras like wireless charging/waterproofing
  • BlackBerry apps can be hit-and-miss
  • Unusual screen size/shape and device layout isn't for everyone

The KEYone is just so different from every other smartphone out there on the market that it takes a little while to appreciate all that it has to offer. We absolutely love things like its stellar battery life, but that's something any phone could do (if the manufacturer set its mind to it). What's really special about the KEYone is how the keyboard enhances the user experience.

We'll freely admit that going back to hardware keys takes a bit of adjusting, but it's just so satisfying to type on all these clicky, responsive keys that you'll be looking for extra opportunities to do so.



ZTE Axon M

Price: $725

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.



Moto Z2 Play

Price: $450 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Display not bright enough, colors not accurate
  • Sound quality is not very satisfying
  • Recharge times should be faster
  • Performance not a huge upgrade over first-gen model


If you want the phone with the best battery life in this list, the Moto Z Play is certainly that. With its economical Snapdragon 625 chip and specs that are not too demanding, this is the true 2-day battery phone and that is quite the gamechanger. Apart from that, it is just a good and thin phone. It is not particularly elegant with those huge magnetic connections, but you can add some neat Moto Mods to spice its looks, or at least use as easily exchangeable covers. The Z Play has also got a solid camera that is able to shoot 4K video and it has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat.


Honor 9

Price: $400

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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 G5S Plus

Price: $280 for 32GB, $350 for 64GB

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • No real waterproofing (nano-coat only)
  • Aging micro-USB port
  • Bokeh effect produces underwhelming results


The new Moto G5S Plus brings back the Moto G series to where it first started: an amazing value-for-the-money proposition. At under $300, this phone is great value: it ships with a clean and well-performing version of Android, it's got very good performance, a decent camera and above average battery life. The G5S also features a sturdy metal design that feels reassuringly solid.


Honor 7X

Price: $200 / €290

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Price: $230

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Camera has a tendency to let in movement in regular shooting mode
  • Regular shooting mode has some trouble with dynamic range, specifically bright areas
  • Loading times can take a second or two in OS, borderline painful in loading games
  • Fingerprint authentication requires two taps, one to wake up and one to authenticate


The Nokia 6 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

Cons

  • 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: Around $100



Moto E4 Plus

Price: $180

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Gets slow at times
  • Poor camera
  • Low display resolution


We'd like to endearingly call the Moto E4 Plus a great low-cost “dadphone”. It's not about running all of those fancy-schmancy apps. It's about being cheap and easy to replace, it's about lasting an eternity on a single charge, and it's about getting your emails and chats on time.


Xiaomi Redmi 5

Price: $160

Best Android phones in 2018

Cons

  • Not widely available globally
  • No official service centers globally
  • Performance could be better
  • Expected compromises with display quality, camera


The Redmi 5 comes with a 5.7" HD+ screen that boasts a resolution of 720 by 1440 pixels and has a Snapdragon 450 chipset ticking alongside a 3,300mAh battery, which should provide an admirable battery life. This one could be paired with either 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage or 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

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