The best smartphone of 2018: 15 top mobile phones tested and ranked

 techradar.com  12/10/2018 4:34:24 PM  10  Gareth Beavis, John McCann

Our best smartphones list has witnessed some huge updates in recent months, welcoming the likes of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, OnePlus 6T, iPhone XR, Google Pixel 3 XL and Google Pixel 3 into its illustrious company.

So, as we look to close out 2018, what are the 15 best smartphones available right now? Read on to find out.

We know that it's not all about the high-cost, super spec phones all the time so we've made you a handy list of all the top smartphones that you can get on the market right now, assessing what really matters to you, the buyer.

We test these phones rigorously, making sure that we check every angle and feature - but most importantly, considering whether they've got a decent battery, great screen, strong design and a cracking camera.

On top of that, they can't be too exorbitant in price either - not everyone wants or can afford a supercar of a handset, so we've made sure there are plenty of options for you there.

If you do want to focus on the cheaper side of things, then check out our list of the best budget phones of 2018 for some great ideas. 

Still here? Still thinking about which phone to go for? Don't worry... there are 15 excellent options to choose from.

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Super premium build

Excellent low-light cameras

Battery doesn't last as well as some others on the list

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is still the best smartphone available right now.

It's a big phone that's designed for big hands - and it takes the very best of what's on the smartphone market and puts it together in a compelling package that we've loved testing, despite the strong competition on the following pages.

Screen: The Super AMOLED 6.2-inch display has been measured as one of the very best around right now, with super colours, great dynamic range and, essentially, the very best viewing experience you can have on a mobile phone.

Battery life: The battery life on the S9 Plus is better than that seen on the smaller S9, thanks to the 3,500mAh battery in the Plus model - although it's probably the weakest part of the phone, not offering as much life as we'd have liked.

Camera: The camera on the Galaxy S9 Plus is among the best on the market, and the dual-aperture capability offers some startlingly good snaps when things get a little darker. 

Colours can look a tad washed out when the exposure is higher, but the power of the sensor, with memory built into it to make it smarter than most rivals, offers very low-noise shots.

Mini verdict: If you're after a bigger phone with all the features that matter on board, the Galaxy S9 Plus is that and more.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review

Current page: 1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: the best smartphone

Next Page 2. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Page 2

TRD
TRD
TRD
TRD
TRD
TRD
TRD
TRD

Page 3

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 2,915mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP + 8MP

Google's great camera got better

Great one-hand-friendly size

Battery life not as good as 3 XL

Design a little bezel heavy

The Google Pixel 3 is the smaller sibling to the Pixel 3 XL, with a smaller screen and battery, but the same power and excellent camera under the hood.

This is a great handset for those looking for a top-flight phone that can be used comfortably with one hand (although those with smaller palms may need both still).

Screen: At 5.5 inches, the screen on the Google Pixel 3 isn't exactly small, but it's one of the smallest in this list of the best smartphones. The full HD resolution isn't quite as sharp as its larger sibling's QHD panel, but it still looks great.

Camera: You get the same camera here as you do on the Pixel 3 XL, and that's great news as it's one of the best smartphone snappers we've ever tested. It's easy to use, extremely powerful and produces excellent shots.

Battery life: The Google Pixel 3 battery life isn't as impressive as the larger Pixel 3 XL which has a bigger power pack. It should give you a day of use, but don't expect for than that.

Mini verdict: If you're looking for a compact flagship smartphone with a class-leading camera experience the Google Pixel 3 is the best phone for the job.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 review

« Go back