The Best Smartphone you should definitely buy
Selecting the best smartphone for 2018 is very difficult. That’s not just because we had lots of flagships and other highly competitive smartphones released in the year but because most of these phones were great in their own unique ways. What do I mean? Well, depending on your priorities in a phone, the best smartphone for you may be completely different to someone else’s. For instance, if you are part of the massive group whose priority is photographs, then the best camera smartphone choice has to be the Google Pixel 3. This amazing smartphone has perhaps the best camera software capturing stunning images during the day and at night. At the end of 2018, we couldn’t find any smartphone with a camera as neat as Google Pixel 3’s. However, when it comes to video and audio capturing the Pixel 3 is slightly edged by the iPhone XS. From this remark, we can easily tell you that for any guy whose priority is photos and video then the best choice will be between the two. We can also mention the Huawei Matte 20 Pro, which comes with three different cameras of varying focal lengths and an incredibly wide angle camera. The Matte 20 Pro can also double up as the best battery smartphone whose 4200 mAh battery can easily last you through the whole day even with intensive usage. Unfortunately, with all the woes facing Huawei at the moment, it is difficult to recommend any of their smartphones because the future is very unclear.
That’s it for the best smartphone as far as camera goes, but that alone is not enough. What is the best smartphone 2018 overall? To get the best smartphone of 2018, we looked at the smartphone that achieved the perfect balance on all the essentials, i.e., camera, battery, display, design and we also considered price to some extent.
With that said, here is the best smartphone of 2018:
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is arguably the best Android smartphone of 2018. This highly innovative smartphone didn’t bother too much to do what the rest of the smartphones were doing in 2018, but instead, it tried to make its own mark by delivering the best android experience in a stylish design with an exceptional display.
That said, this smartphone doesn’t feature any notch as is the case with a big percentage of all the flagships we saw in 2018. Therefore, the smartphone does have a slim forehead and chin, but even with that, Note 9 still looks stunning than some of the miserable notches out there.
When you put the Note 9 side by side with the Note 8, it will be near impossible to tell the difference. That’s because they both easily imperceptible with very slight differences. For instance, while the Note 8 display is 6.3 –inch, the Note 9 comes at 6.4-inch making it the biggest display in the Note series, but the difference is very slight. Not that we are complaining, but the Galaxy Note 9 has very few changes as compared to the Note 8 as far as external designs go. You can get the Note 9 in Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Midnight Black, Alpine White, and Metallic Copper.
You’ll start feeling some differences when you look beyond the design. First, Samsung’s excellence in making displays is fully felt here with the Super AMOLED panel featuring quad-HD resolution. This is the same panel you find from their previous flagship the Galaxy S9 and the Note 8. The display looks and feels amazing. In terms of brightness, the Note 9 recorded 605 nits in our tests beating some popular smartphones like the iPhone X, but it was nowhere close to the insane 900 nits of the LG G7 ThinQ.
The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 gigs of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can also get the phone with 8GB RAM and 512 GB storage. The 6GB RAM Note 9 is definitely better in performance than its predecessor – the Note 8 – and also slightly better than other flagships including the Galaxy S9+. However, the Geekbench reading showed that it is not the fastest Android phone as even the OnePlus 6 recorded a better score and of course, the Snapdragon 845 was no match to the insane A12 Bionic CPU of the iPhone X.
In the department of camera, Samsung has revolutionized the Note 9 experience by including artificial intelligence to the camera software. This has improved the image quality significantly. The AI can recognize up to 20 different scenes which it uses to reconfigure the camera settings such as saturation, brightness, contrast, and white balance to give you the best image fitting of the surroundings. Some of the scenes that can be detected here include sunsets, beaches, snow, backlit subjects, etc. You can also switch off the Scene Optimizer to capture photos as they are. The rear 12MP dual lens shooter allows you to capture images with blurred backgrounds. The camera automatically switches between f/2.4 and f/1.5 to deliver crisp to low-light images.
One of the biggest limitations of Note 9 is that Bixby voice assistant which is not as impressive as the other VAs in the market.
- Android 8.1 Oreo OS
- 2960 x 1440 display
- 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) video recording res at 60fps
- 400mAh battery (approximately 11 hours of battery life)
- Supports Bixby voice assistant
- S Pen stylus which also doubles up as a remote controller
- microSD slot (Up to 512GB)
- 8MP (f/1.70) front camera 12MP dual lens (f/1.5 & f/2.4) rear camera
- Weight: 7.1 ounces
- Bluetooth 5, NFC
- 3.5mm ear jack
Google Pixel 3
Google Pixel 3 has made a name for itself as having the best camera in a smartphone, but this device is more than just that. At an age where smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, Google has managed to make their flagship pixels in a very compact design at just 5.5-inches without compromising on the overall user experience. In case you are into bigger displays, you can go for the bigger 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL. Other than being bigger and costlier than the other, most of the other features are almost the same. Personally, I prefer the standard Pixel 3, which perfectly fits on my palm, allowing me to reach all the corners with ease. Also, I love it for the simple fact that it doesn’t have a notch unlike the Pixel 3 XL and most of the other flagships released in 2018. The overall designing of the two pixels has a conservative vibe to it. If you are looking for a smartphone that draws less attention without compromising on performance, then the Google Pixels are your best bet (especially the Pixel 3). The Pixel 3 features an all-glass construction, which is a major difference from the Pixel 2 that was made with aluminum and glass. The Pixel 3 backside glass has a matte finishing, and this has done a brilliant job in eliminating fingerprint. The smartphone is available in Clear White, Not Pink, and Just Black.
The Google Pixel 3 also made a major stride from its predecessor by introducing a 5.5-inch OLED display. This HDR-spec screen is astonishing not just on how it pops colors but also on how fluid the motion is on this panel. Unfortunately, the display doesn’t perform too well when it comes to brightness. Using the phone in direct sunlight may, therefore, be a struggle.
In terms of performance, the Google Pixel 3 does pretty well, but things get a bit thick when you start comparing it to other flagships smartphones in the market. Yes, the Pixel 3 runs on Snapdragon 845 chip, but with just 4GB of RAM, it leaves much to be desired. In our Geekbench tests, the Pixel 3 edged out its predecessor, but it was slower than the Galaxy Note 9, OnePlus 6, iPhone XS and other phones. However, when we move from the labs and test the phone on real-life stuff such as video-encoding, map navigation, streaming, and others, the Pixel 3 does appear to perform much faster as compared to the OnePlus 6 and a majority of the other smartphones in the market. We are not sure how exactly Google has achieved this, but we love the impact it has had.
Google Pixel 3 had the best camera we saw in a smartphone in 2018. Google optimizes the Pixel Visual Core Chip and HDR+ processing to deliver excellent images through both the rear and front cameras. Oh, and the Pixel 3 has two 8-MP front cameras, a wide-angle and standard camera while the rear is braced with a 12.2MP shooter. The image processing and overall quality are further refined by the included Artificial Intelligence. It’ll be very interesting to see how the newer 2019 Smartphones, such as the Huawei P30 can rival the Pixel 3 in this department.
I can’t help but feel that Google Pixel 3 could have looked better if they trimmed the forehead and chin a bit.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 5.5-inch OLED display
- 2915 mAh battery (3430 mAh on the Pixel 3XL)
- Wireless charging
- IP68 water resistant
- Front-firing speakers
- Android 9 pie
- Weight: 5.2 ounces
The OnePlus 6T was the first smartphone in the US to incorporate an in-display fingerprint sensor, a trend that is now in full force. Other than setting the benchmark on the fingerprint sensor, the OnePlus 6T also prides itself as being one of the most affordable smartphones that are competing with devices well above their price point. How exactly OnePlus has achieved this is still a mystery, but we are more than pleased to enjoy flagship features on such an affordable phone.
The overall designing of the smartphone is simple yet so brilliant. The screen to body ratio here is 86%, which is decent for a smartphone at this price point. At the back, the phone is finished with a resilient glass. You can get the smartphone in Midnight black or Mirror black colors. Both of them look stunning, but the Midnight Black is a favorite to most of us.
The OnePlus 6T has really tried to achieve the edge-to-edge display by coming up with a dewdrop notch and super slim bezels. Although they haven’t nailed it 100%, they do come close, and the phone actually looks better than most notched flagships.
The OnePlus 6T is packed with a 6.4-inch AMOLED display (2340 x 1080). It is not as brilliant as your Note 9 and the iPhone XS, but neither is it as expensive. For this minor tradeoff, you get to save $400+ while still enjoying impressive video quality. The display is also much bigger than Apple’s “affordable” flagship the iPhone XR, yet the 6T is much cheaper. The color and brightness of this panel can be compared to the Google Pixel 3, which is at least $200 costlier. In any way you look at it, the OnePlus display and its overall performance are really putting up a very good fight against the big boys.
When it comes to performance, the OnePlus 6T will surprise you by recording even better results than most of the other $1000+ smartphones. First of all, the smartphone runs on the Snapdragon 845 processor, and with 8G gigs of RAM, the smartphone beats both Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Google Pixel 3 XL. On the Geekbench 4 tests, the OnePlus 6T edged both the Note 9 and Pixel 3 XL and a vast majority of other Android smartphones in the market. It’s insane to think that you can achieve this level of performance on a smartphone retailing for half the price of most flagships.
The one area where the OnePlus 6T fell short is on the camera department. The smartphone packs a dual lens (20MP and 16MP) rear camera and a 20MP front camera. These may sound good, but the execution of the camera software leaves a lot to be desired, and this is evident in the images captured. Although it is better than its predecessor the 6, it is easily knocked out by both the Pixel 3 and Note 9.
The OnePlus 6T does not have a headphone jack, and neither does it support wireless charging.
- Android 9.0 with Oxygen OS
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Available with 6GB and 8GB Ram
- 128GB and 256GB storage
- 3700mAh battery
- Weight: 6.52 ounces
- Bluetooth 5.0, NFC