12 best Android phones: 2018’s best buys

If you want to buy a smartphone in 2018, you’ve got two (sensible) options: iOS or Android. If you pick the former, there’s only a handful to choose from, for the latter, there are literally hundreds.

Have no fear, if you want the best Android phone in 2018 then you’ve come to the right place. As new handsets appear every month, we’ll be sure to update this page as new movers and shakers emerge – for now, some of 2017’s standouts still are worth a look, and we’ve included them too.

So without further ado, here are the best Android smartphones you can buy in 2018 so far.

12 best Android phones 2018

1. Samsung Galaxy S9

Price when reviewed: £739

It’s expensive, but it barely puts a foot wrong. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is an all-round powerhouse with a great screen, as fast a processor as you could want and a fantastic camera. Throw in wireless charging; expandable storage; IP68 water and dust resistance; and a 3.5mm headphone jack and it’s hard to know what else you could ask for.

The only problem is the high price. When that comes down, the S9 will become a no-brainer, but for the moment it’s just the best to buy if money is no object. For everyone else, in truth, the Galaxy S8 (6th in the list below) is a more sensible buy, as it does everything nearly as well as Samsung’s 2018 flagship.

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2. OnePlus 5T

Price when reviewed: 64GB, £449

OnePlus has long been the value proposition in Android smartphone circles, combining close to top of the range components with a price that won’t break the bank. The 5T is the latest in this list with the same Snapdragon 835 processor as seen in the Samsung Galaxy S8 (US version) and other big hitters from 2017.

The only problem? It’s sold out everywhere now. OnePlus is on the verge of announcing the OnePlus 6 on 16 May 2018, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what they announce then. With a Snapdragon 845 processor and other goodies already confirmed, it’s a fairly safe bet that it will maintain this slot in our list as soon as it’s revealed – provided the price remains right.

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3. Google Pixel 2

Price when reviewed: £629

You might expect to find the Pixel 2 XL here along with its smaller sibling, but unfortunately, its display is hampered by an annoying blue-ish tint. As such, we’d struggle to recommend it to anyone for the high price. You can read Jon’s full review of the Pixel 2 XL here.

The Google Pixel 2, on the other hand, is an outstanding device. Its camera is capable of taking phenomenal snaps even in tricky light conditions and we love its simple stock Android interface – unlike many of its competitors, the Pixel 2 doesn’t come loaded with bloatware, and everything is easy to find. You’ll also get software updates and the latest versions of Android before anyone else. Just don’t be tempted to buy the larger XL version.

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4. Huawei P20 Pro

Price when reviewed: £799 inc VAT

Huawei’s handsets have been showing solid signs of improvement for years, and the P20 Pro is now ready to compete with the very best of them. Featuring the very best camera in the business (for static photos, video is a bit more patchy), it’s an easy recommendation for those with deep enough pockets.

In fact, the only reason it doesn’t land higher is that the Kirin processor isn’t quite a match for this year’s Snapdragon 845 – it’s more on par with last year’s Snapdragon 835. Most people won’t notice over the course of a two-year contract, but objectively it’s a nose behind.

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5. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Price when reviewed: £869 inc VAT

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is up there with the best phones we’ve ever reviewed: it’s got a huge, brilliant screen, it looks the part and its camera is simply superb. Why, then, is it languishing all the way down in fifth place? Price.

£869 above wasn’t a typo. That’s really how much Samsung is charging. Of course the S8 started out at £689 and then came down rapidly, so there’s a chance that the Note 8 will follow suit. Then it will definitely be worth a look.

But, for now, is it nearly £300 better than the S8? Or the Xperia XZ Premium? Or the HTC U11? Unquestionably not. It may be the best, but you’d have to really view money as no object to pick the Note 8 ahead of any of them.

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6. Samsung Galaxy S8

Price when reviewed: £689

Is the Samsung Galaxy S8 a weaker phone than the S9? Yes. Is it £239 worse? Definitely not. With the S8 frequently available for under £500, this is one of the most tempting Android phones you can buy today, and ever after its first birthday, it remains both stylish and competitively powerful, with one of the best cameras around.

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7. Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

Price when reviewed: £529

There’s no doubt about it: phones are getting bigger. When the original Samsung Galaxy Note was released in 2011, it was seen as freakishly big at 5.3in. Seven years later, and the “Compact” version of Sony’s flagship is just 0.3in smaller.

Still, the XZ2 Compact is a fantastic phone by every metric. It’s also one of the cheaper ways of getting the very latest Snapdragon 845 processor in a mobile phone today, thanks to its smaller size and 1080p screen. A solid camera and expandable storage round off the list, though you will have to say goodbye to the 3.5mm headphone jack. Et tu, Sony?

8. Sony Xperia XZ2

Price when reviewed: £699

The Sony Xperia XZ2 is the same as the Compact, but bigger and more expensive. That means it still has the fast Snapdragon 845 processor and decent camera, but will take up that bit more pocket space.

In truth therefore, it’s down to personal preference. Our personal preference is saving £170, but your mileage may vary.

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9. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Price when reviewed: £699

Probably the biggest surprise of 2017 was Huawei’s spectacular Mate 10 Pro, a phone that marked the point in time when Huawei finally cracked the big time. The Mate 10 Pro is not only a handsome handset, clad in glass at the front and rear and available in a range of eye-catching colours, it also takes spectacular photographs and the battery life is brilliant. This phone regularly delivers true two-day battery life without needing to be hooked up to the mains.

For a phone with a 6in display, the resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 looks a little on the low side, but that’s our only criticism – but most people won’t notice any pixelation and the OLED panel delivers excellent picture quality as well.

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10. HTC U11

Price when reviewed: £649

Last year, HTC made its best phone in years: the U11 is an absolute belter. Not only is it just a gnat’s wing slower than the Samsung Galaxy S8, but its camera is actually better, and arguably even finer than our favourite the Pixel. It gets added IP68 water resistance, and as per usual with HTC the sound is top notch.

There’s a “but” here, but it’s relatively small in the greater scheme of things. The screen is a little weak for a flagship, and it has no 3.5mm headphone jack. Add to that a price that is just £30 lower than the Samsung Galaxy S8 and it can’t quite reach the summit of our list, but make no mistake: this is a five-star phone and proof that there’s life in HTC yet.

HTC has technically superseded this with the HTC U11 Plus, but the differences are so minor that you’re best off saving a few quid with the vanilla version.

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11. LG G

Price when reviewed: £650

LG’s most recent handset ditches the nod to modular elements seen in the LG G5, and it’s all the better for it. It’s got a great screen, a decent camera, and it’s reasonably speedy. Sadly the removable battery is a casualty, but you can’t win ’em all. That’s the price you pay for water resistance.

Like the S8, the LG G6 price has plummeted quickly, making it far easier to recommend than it was when it launched at £650. Right now if you shop around, you can buy LG’s latest for around £300. And at that price, despite not being as hot as the Samsung Galaxy S8, it’s an absolute bargain.

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12. Honor 7X

Price when reviewed: £270

Speaking of bargains, the Honor 7X fits neatly into that category. With an RRP of just £270 (and an actual price that’s often lower) this is probably as good as you can get for sub-£300.

Featuring nippy performance, a decent camera and a fancy 18:9 display for its 6in screen, this is a handset that looks like a flagship, but costs a whole lot less. No, it’s not a Samsung Galaxy S, but it’s a solid phone in its own right and a bargain for the price.

Quite a few of what we can convey in this article, 12 best Android phones: 2018’s best buys, hopefully this article useful.

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