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The Top 10 Best Smartphones of 2018

Updated on May 27, 2018

2018 has been a great year for iOS and Android smartphones. Phone manufacturers have done their best to take things to a whole new level, introducing never-before-seen features and specs.

The smartphones listed below are the finest phones money can buy in 2018. They all come highly recommended by experts. So without further ado, let’s get down to business!

1. iPhone X

When it comes to premium build and cultish fervor, nothing can beat Apple’s iPhone. As a physical gadget, the phone is exceptionally constructed and pleasing to behold. Apple has skillfully blended design, software, and hardware to manufacture a cellphone that appeals to a large number of users.

The device may cost nearly $1000, roughly double the price of the first iPhone, but the iPhone X is a piece of technology in a league of its own.

The phone sports an almost bezel-free display. It is powered by a new chip known as an A11 Bionic chip. It is the first six-core processor from Apple and the most powerful processor ever put in a smartphone.

iPhone X Specifications

  • Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen
  • Size: 5.8 inches
  • Resolution: 1125 x 2436
  • Operating System: iOS 11.1.1
  • Chipset: Apple A11 Bionic
  • Internal Storage: 64/256 GB
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Primary Camera: 12MP (f1.8), 12MP (f2.4)
  • Secondary Camera: 7MP (f/2.2)
  • Battery: Li-ion 2716 mAh (non-removable)

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

The only prestigious smartphone which comes close to matching the iPhone X’s capabilities is the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. The Galaxy S9 has got an excellent design and some unique features that attempt to justify its $999 price tag.

The phone may look incredibly similar to its older sibling at first glance, but do not be fooled. There is a lot more to the story than just looks. Samsung added a number of new features to the S9. It touts a redesigned camera system, a super-fast processor and a host of other new features.

The new Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 chip outperforms the Snapdragon 845 chip that powered the Galaxy S8 but does not quite measure up to the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip.

The South Korean tech giant also fixed one of our biggest issues with the Galaxy s8 – the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint reader now sits underneath the camera for easier access.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Specifications

  • Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.1 inches
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2960
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Exynos 9810
  • Internal Storage: 64/128/256
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Primary Camera: 12MP coupled with dual aperture (f/1.5 & f/2.4)
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP (f/1.7)
  • Battery: Li-ion 3000 mAh

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was unveiled back in August last year. It’s the successor to the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 that was pulled from the market after widespread reports of fire caused by the phone.

The Galaxy NOTE 8 is equipped with high-end specs. It has all the excellent Galaxy Foundation aspects found in the Galaxy s9 and s9 Plus. Both phones have a glass back, a curvy display with super-slim bezels, metal frames, great camera, mobile payment, VR support, fingerprint sensor, waterproof, wireless charging and so much more.

However, the s8 camera doesn’t have a dual mechanical aperture. But it also has a stylus. This means the Note 8 is the better smartphone for stylus fans and scribblers.

Galaxy Note 8 Specifications

  • Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.3 inches
  • Resolution: 2960 x 1440
  • Operating System: Android 7
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895
  • Internal memory: 64/128/256
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Primary camera: 12MP (f/1.7)
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP (f/1.7)
  • Battery: Li-ion 3300 mAh battery (non-removable)

4. Google Pixel 2 XL

Google’s new smartphone the Pixel 2 XL is certainly the best smartphone Google ever made. The sleek 6-inch phablet has received a more radical aesthetic overhaul since the original Pixel.

Google has opted for an all-screen front design. That’s no surprise. The new minimal bezel design is one of the hottest trends in smartphones, with rival devices like Samsung s9, LG V30, and iPhone X boasting similarly bezel-less design.

Powering the Pixel 2 XL is the Snapdragon 835. This chipset has already been seen working wonders in the OnePlus S, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy s8. So there’s no doubting its capabilities.

The phone comes with a storage option of either 64 or 128 GB coupled with 4 GB of RAM.

The camera on Pixel 2 XL is near perfect. Photos look amazing and they’ll please both professional and amateur snappers.


Specifications

  • Display: P-OLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
  • Internal Memory: 128 GB and 46 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Primary Camera: 12.2 MP (f/1.8)
  • Secondary Camera: 8 MP (f/2.4)
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-ion 3520 mAh battery

5. OnePlus 5T

Despite its low price tag, the OnePlus 5T is a premium looking device. It touts an aluminum shell, akin to that seen on the iPhone 8. It also sports an all-screen front design, which has seen the fingerprint sensor shifted to the back of the phone.

The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chip coupled with 8GB of RAM. It comes with a storage option of either 64GB or 128GB. It is unlikely you’ll have complaints when it comes to performance.

Overall, the OnePlus AND iPhone X are fairly evenly matched on paper. Both the phones tout ultra-slim bezels, face-scanning technology and dual camera setups. At only $499 for the piece of hardware in the US, the smartphone is incomparable. Nothing else comes close to this premium device at that price.

Specifications

  • Display: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.0 inches
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835
  • Internal Memory: 128 GB and 64 GB
  • RAM: 8GB and 6GB
  • Battery: Li-PO 3300 mAh (non-removable)

6. Htc U11+

The HTC U11+ has been one of last year’s best smartphones. Even today it remains a solid choice that will meet most consumers’ needs. It comes with much higher specifications than its older brother. It sounds even better in the audio department.

Since sound quality has been a priority for the Taiwanese phone manufacturer, the U11 Plus features HTC BoomSound speakers, 24-bit, Hi-Res Audio support, and four omnidirectional microphones for recording and sound recognition.

The company has equipped this piece of hardware with a gigantic 6-inch Quad HD display. It also uses an LCD screen which doesn’t look as vibrant as seen on rival phones like Samsung Galaxy s9.

The Octa-core Snapdragon 835 SoC is powering the handset. It sports an internal storage of 128 GB with 6 GB of RAM. It is running on Android 7 (Nougat) and packs a mammoth 3,930 mAh battery.

The HTC U11 Plus doesn’t match the iPhone X or Galaxy s9, but audio quality is its strength. So if you are a music lover, the HTC U11 is something that might interest you.

Specifications

  • Display: Super LCD6 capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.0 inches
  • Resolution: 2880 x 1440 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835
  • Internal Storage: 128GB/64GB
  • RAM: 6GB/4GB
  • Primary Camera: 12MP (f.1.7)
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP (F/2.0)
  • Battery: Li-ion 3930mAh (non-removable)

7. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro blends a glossy metal chassis with a glass back, creating a device that feels and looks premium. It leverages artificial intelligence in ways no one else has done before.

The smartphone is one of the top smartphones of 2018, and a great alternative to Galaxy Note 8. And unlike the majority of Android smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro makes use of Huawei’s own Kirin 970 silicon. It performs just as perfect as the top flagships we have tested this year.

The Mate 10 Pro is also equipped with 6 GB of RAM. You won’t come across any lag when snapping photos, using multi-window mode or switching between apps.

The Mate 10 Pro’s primary camera has dual sensors. The company partnered with Leica to co-make the primary camera of the phone. It consists of a 20MP monochrome sensor and an optically stabilized 12MP RGB. Both sensors sport an f/1.6 aperture and SUMMILUX lenses. The quality of the photos from the phone is above par.

Specifications

  • Display: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080
  • Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970
  • Internal Storage: 64/128 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB or 6 GB
  • Primary Camera: 20MP (f/1.6) monochrome and 12MP main ( f/1.6)
  • Secondary Camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
  • Battery: Li-Po (non-removable)

8. Lg V30

The most underrated LG V30 smartphone offers plenty of features currently found in the premium smartphones like the Google Pixel 2 XL and Galaxy Note 8. Some of its features that are standard on high-end smartphones today include – wireless charging, rapid charging, and water resistance.

Telephoto lenses and portrait mode may be the trend at the moment, but there are a lot of folks out there who would prefer the V30’s wide-angle lens. The image quality is on par with its latest rivals in the market at the moment including Apple’s iPhone 8 and Samsung’s Galaxy S9.

It features a glass panel on both the front and back of the device – protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The screen bezels of the phone have also shrunk dramatically.

Specifications

  • Display: OLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.0 inches
  • Resolution; 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835 processor
  • Storage: 64 GB (V30) or 128 GB (V30 Plus)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Primary Camera: Dual 16-MP (F/1.6) and 13-MP (f/1.9)
  • Secondary Camera: 5-MP (f/2.2)
  • Battery: Li-Po 3300 mAh non-removable battery

9. Motorola G5 Plus

The thing that makes the Motorola G5 Plus appear on this list of the best phones in 2018 is that it’s quite kind to your wallet. Despite its extremely low price tag, the phone operates, feels, and looks like a much premium device.

The G5 Plus offers huge improvements over the features and specifications we saw in the G4 Plus. It comes with a premium metal body NFC, new Moto gestures, Google Assistant, Android 7.0 Nougat, superb camera, and more storage.

One of the standout features on the G5 Plus is the one button navigation. You have one button to do it all. Using this button, you can swipe to bring up the recent app menu, jump back a couple of pages, bring up the Google Assistant, lock the screen, and so much more. It is one of the best budget-friendly smartphones you can buy right now.

Specifications

  • Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 5.1 inches
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 7.0 (Nougat)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 625 processor
  • Internal Storage: 32/64 GB
  • RAM 3 GB or 4 GB
  • Primary Camera: 12 MP (f/2.0)
  • Secondary Camera: 5 MP (f.2.0)
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

10. Nokia 8

Nokia hasn’t had as much success in the smartphone market compared to competitors like Apple and Samsung. But its recent flagship handset, the Nokia 8, has plenty of features that make it stand out. It is astonishingly good value, and a smartphone you won’t regret purchasing regardless of your budget.

The Nokia 8 packs a superb battery life, an excellent camera and clean Android operating system. It comes with Android Oreo straight out of the box. Also, it is the first smartphone which allows you to take a normal photo and selfie simultaneously.

It has a stylish aluminum chassis, a headphone jack and a whopping 64 GB of internal storage. You can buy the Nokia 8 for under $450, which is a reasonable price for a semi-premium smartphone with a dual camera.

Specifications

  • Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 5.3 inches
  • Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Operating System: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
  • Internal Storage: 128 GB
  • Primary Camera: Dual camera: 13MP (f/2.0)
  • Secondary Camera: 13MP (f/2.0)

Final Thoughts

There were tons of new smartphones in the past few months. However, these 10 were the most worthy of consideration. As technology progresses, we are certainly going to see more powerful smartphones before next year.

© 2018 Solomon Magawi

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