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Best Samsung phones 2018

Best Samsung phones 2018

The world's largest phone maker is at the market share top for a reason. Ever since the first Galaxy S, it has been relentlessly pursuing things like unique OLED display panels, or innovative camera tech like Dual Pixel focusing as a market differentiator, culminating in the curved, bezel-less Infinity Display design of the Galaxy S9 or the excellent dual camera of the Galaxy S9+ that takes some of the best low-light pictures among its peers. 

A frequent critique towards Samsung is that it has diluted the brand with too many redundant offerings in all tiers of the market - from entry level devices, to the flagship S series. The company took notice, and trimmed its portfolio, leaving three recognizable lines as its main staples - the J, A, and S-series, with the Note line as a side show. That's still plenty of handsets to choose from, though, and that's why we are rounding up for you the best Samsung phones in each basic category.


Best budget Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S7 ($350)


Galaxy S7

The S7 is now very, very cheap, but gives you a refreshingly orthodox 16:9 display, while still keeping itself manageable in the hand, and comes equipped with a great rear camera that excels in low light. As you can see, it also ages well, as the S7 has lost about a half of its pricing since inception two years ago, which can't be said for many other brands. An added bonus - it supports all major US carrier networks out of the box.

Best Samsung phones 2018

Cons

  • Body is fingerprint magnet
  • Display brightness could be higher


Samsung Galaxy J7 ($240)


Galaxy J7 (2017)

This might not be Samsung's most popular phone, but at sub-$250, it's available on plenty of the US carrier rosters for a reason, as it sports a metal chassis in your choice of pretty pastel colors, a large high-res display, decent camera, and a huge battery that goes places - what more can you desire from a budget handset that costs a third of what flagships go for, yet offers you premium design, finger scanner, and a selfie camera with its own flash to boot.

Best Samsung phones 2018

Cons

  • Chipset is a bit dated
  • Slow charging


Samsung Galaxy A5 ($280)


Galaxy A5 (2017)

Compact, yet with a large enough display, the A5 (2017) is the sweetest spot in Samsung's lineup. It struts a premium glass-and-metal body, top-shelf battery life, and is waterproof to boot. Toss in fast charging and a high-res selfie cam, and there will be very little to complain about in the Galaxy A5 (2017) at this price point.


Cons

  • No LED notification light
  • Sub-par video rec quality
  • Performance is a bit stuttery, especially with more intense apps




Best midrange Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy A6+ ($399)


Galaxy A6+

Recently, Samsung unveiled two new affordable phones with luscious AMOLED screens - a rarity in cheap phones that usually have LCD displays - with very small bezels, run on the latest Android 8.0 Oreo, and with a focus on camera quality. Both new Galaxies look very similar in terms of look and styling, except for the difference in pure size: after all, the A6 comes with a 5.6" HD+ display, while the A6+ features a 6" FHD+ screen. The most notable difference between the A6 and the A6+, however, might be that the bigger A6+ also comes with dual rear cameras and the second one is used to enable the Live Focus effect for blurred backgrounds in photos, a look similar to what you get on professional cameras. Samsung had committed itself to quarterly updates for the new phones, which would be a very welcome change, too.


Samsung Galaxy S8 ($550)


Galaxy S8

Last year's flagship is this year's midranger, but the Galaxy S8 held its price well with its unique and polished Infinity Display design, top-shelf hardware, excellent camera, and improved Samsung Experience interface. It ultimately proves that it’s well worth the asking price, despite being surrounded by tempting, lower-cost alternatives. Oh, and it is also available in a larger, S8+ variant, that is no less enchanting, and will reward big-screen lovers with longer battery life than the S8. The S8 Active version is also worth having, as it takes all that's great about the phone, and then makes it rugged, with the top battery life for the category.


Cons

  • Expensive
  • Default display colors are quite saturated


Best Samsung flagships

Samsung Galaxy S9 ($720)

Galaxy S9

There's barely a more value for the price you can get from Samsung than this year's Galaxy S9, with its more refined Infinity Display design, much improved low-light performance with the new sensitive pixels, and a tougher body than its predecessor. The S9 is the ultimate in the trendy frame-less design as it achieves a screen-to-body ratio larger than the iPhone X, and didn't have to resort to one ungodly notch to do that. 



Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($930)


Galaxy Note 8

Samsung had a lot riding on the Note 8, given the battery drama with the Note 7, and we are glad to pronounce that its high-end phablet was a raging success in that respect. Not only does it eschew the fate of its predecessor (a low bar, we know), but is also a real added value as the first premium phone from Samsung to utilize a dual camera setup, bringing in excellent picture and video quality, true zoom, and an artsy portrait mode. The beastly specs and added convenience of the S Pen only round up the top-notch (no, we aren't talking iPhone X here) offering, and the only things that can make you pause before you pull the trigger on a Note 8 are size and the price.


Cons

  • Price
  • Tall hardware makes reaching certain spots difficult
  • Battery life is sufficient, but not outstanding
  • Screen brightness could use a tiny kick

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