The preliminary stage of the Best Phones of 2018 vote got quite heated, but now it’s time to dial things up – let’s pick the best flagship, mid-ranger and entry-level phone for 2018. We’ll do the introductions and we will let you be the judge.
Note that some results were too close to call, so we decided to take the top 6 in each category.
The Samsung Galaxy Note9 took the lead in last week’s poll, receiving more votes than any other phone. With the best Samsung display and the only stylus in mobile, great performance and battery life, solid camera too, it’s easy to see why this is among the top phones of 2018.
Its biggest rival globally (and in this poll) is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It’s camera royalty, it’s powered by Android’s first 7nm chipset, it can wirelessly charge other devices (perfect for headphones, etc.). As for wired charging, the 40W SuperCharge is not only insanely fast, but certified safe by TUV.
Some commented that it’s not fair to put the Pocophone F1 in the flagship category – it costs half as much (or less!) than the competition. They clearly underestimated the king of Value for Money. The chipset is as fast as the Note9, the screen is great, the camera is solid, battery endurance is higher than the Mate. And you can find this package for around 300, which is incredible (we really don’t mind the plastic back, though some do).
Samsung Galaxy Note9 Huawei Mate 20 Pro Xiaomi Pocophone F1
The OnePlus 6T comes from a “flagship killer” family, the spot now filled by the Poco. But OnePlus has upped the premium factor with a fast in-display fingerprint reader. It also improved the notch situation. The rest is as expected – flagship chipset with plenty of memory running clean Android.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ hails from the first half of 2018. It shares many specs with the Note9 (sans the S Pen, of course) and there have been some great deals the last few months.
The Huawei P20 Pro is another early 2018 entry. It has an early revision of the capable Leica triple camera, the older 22.5W SuperCharge is still ahead of Samsung’s Fast Charge. And like the S9+, the price has become more palatable with time.
OnePlus 6T Samsung Galaxy S9+ Huawei P20 Pro
Time to vote. Note that this time around you can only vote for one device – the Best Flagship of 2018.
Best Phone of 2018: Flagship
The Xiaomi Mi A2 edged out the competition in this category and we think it’s largely down to the Android One software, but also the Xiaomi pricing.
The Honor Play has the most powerful chipset here, the same as the P20 Pro, though at a lower cost. It’s not an all-in gaming phone, but the GPU and excellent battery life make it a great pick for that. Or just for general use.
The Nokia 8.1 is another Android One entry and despite being an 8-series phone, it’s pricing is more inline with the 7-series (HMD markets this as the followup to the Nokia 7 plus). It does cost quite a bit more than the Xiaomi, though.
Xiaomi Mi A2 (Mi 6X) Huawei Honor Play Nokia 8.1 (Nokia X7)
The Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) is the world’s first phone with a quad camera. That’s one more than the Mate 20 Pro, but who’s counting? Camera aside, this is a mid-range phone with a premium price.
The Realme 2 Pro undercuts the pricing of Oppo phones and takes Xiaomi head on. It has similar hardware to the Mi A2, though it keeps Oppo’s customized software.
The Honor 8X is larger than it sounds – it has a whopping 6.5″ screen (wait till you see the Max). The 8X has the battery life that goes with a large phone, a Snapdragon 710 chipset like the Nokia and a sane price. An interesting offering for those who want an almost tablet in their pocket.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) Realme 2 Pro Huawei Honor 8X
Cast your vote below.
Best Phone of 2018: Mid-ranger
The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite had a huge lead in last week’s poll. Again, we think Android One is a big advantage. The Lite model is more like an “s” version of the Mi A1 and while it doesn’t offer much in the way of upgrades, we can’t be mad at it given its price.
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 shows that when it comes to customized Android, MIUI is among the best-liked. This phone is a workhorse whose price barely goes over the 100 mark.
The Realme C1 is really a Realme 1 with less memory – 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage (there’s a microSD slot, though). Admittedly, the drop in price isn’t that big when you consider the missing fingerprint reader and plastic body.
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro) Xiaomi Redmi 6 Realme C1
The Samsung Galaxy J6+ has a design inspired by its more premium cousins, but it’s underpowered with a quad-core CPU and the 3,300mAh battery feels a tad small given the 4,000mAh or so batteries that can be found in competing phones. Really, it’s a decent device, though its price is pretty high.
The Nokia 3.1 is tiny – since a 5.2″ 18:9 screen passes for tiny these days – at its octa-core processor does offer more power than the Samsung. It runs Android One too.
The Motorola One (P30 Play) is the second phone with a Snapdragon 625 here and the only one that can record 2160p video. Also, it comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage as standard while the others offer 3/32GB or even just 2/16GB. Plus, this is one of few phones to crack the 100 hours Endurance rating mark. And it’s not the most expensive phone here either.
Samsung Galaxy J6+ Nokia 3.1 Motorola One (P30 Play)
Best Phone of 2018: Entry level
We’ll announce the winners next week – just one of each category can win so choose wisely.