Best Android phones in UAE for 2018: which should you buy?

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Update: A lot has happened in the smartphone world so far in 2018, and we've had a flurry of new entries into our best Android phones list including handsets from Samsung and Sony.

There's one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition - the number of phones out there running Google's hot mobile OS.

The big names are all here; Samsung, Sony, LG and Huawei are at the fore. The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

While we've already had a number of major launches this year - we're waiting to see where the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro place in our list - there are even more phones to look forward to with the HTC U12, LG G7 and OnePlus 6 all rumored.

Will they manage to top our list of best Android phones? Only time will tell.

To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are - the best Android phones money can buy today. 

1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The best Android phone around

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

Samsung has once again taken the top spot of the best Android phone in the world right now.

Samsung's latest Galaxy S9 Plus is in the top position of this list thanks to an incredible design, amazing display and some truly great power packed into the phone.

Everything that has made Samsung phones great over the last few years has been packed into this 6.2-inch device - that's almost bezeless too - and comes with top of the range hardware and some easy to use Android software.

Samsung has added a dual-camera to the rear to enhance low-light photography, plus there's a better located fingerprint scanner and 960fps slo-motion video recording.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

When it comes to being the biggest, Note 8 is the best

Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/124/256GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Samsung's best smartphone camera
'Infinity Display' is excellent
Very expensive
Speakers are a little weak

Following the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy Note 8 is the second best Android phone and a triumphant return to form for a series that was potentially in trouble after the Note 7 debacle.

There's no question the phablet is more of a niche device, but its iconic S Pen stylus is now even better, with higher accuracy and more levels of pressure sensitivity making it great for sketching and drawing.

Then there's the massive 6.3-inch QHD Infinity Display which is superb for movies and games, and with a display this big using apps side-by-side isn't just possible, it makes sense!

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

3. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

A battery warrior with a great camera

Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great enthusiast camera
Class-leading battery
No headphone jack
No wireless charging

Huawei is getting really good at making competitive, high-end flagships these days and the Mate 10 Pro is its best handset to date. 

The standout feature is battery life, toppling pretty much every other phone on this list, but it’s also got a decent slug of power under the hood to handle any task you can chuck at it. 

For those looking for a strong camera performance from their phone need to take a look at the Mate 10 Pro as well. Phones higher up in this list offer better auto modes, but for camera enthusiasts the Mate 10 Pro provides a great selection of modes and settings.

Read our full review: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

4. Samsung Galaxy S9

A great phone for the smaller-handed

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Premium build
Excellent screen
Battery life not great
Single sensor on the rear

If you don't necessarily like big phones, the Galaxy S9 is for you. It has an expansive 5.8-inch Infinity Display, powerful chipset, 4GB of RAM and excellent 12MP rear facing camera.

Its battery life isn't quite as strong as the S8 it replaces, and visually it's almost identical to its predecessor. However, the small changes are welcome and it's an impressive all-round offering.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9

5. LG V30+

A confident step forward and a boat-load of features

Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4 mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Bursting with features
Streamlined design
Quite expensive
Camera not as good as Samsung

Just when you think it's a Samsung landslide in the best Android phones list, the LG V30+ appears! 

Building on the G6 from earlier in 2016, the V30+ improves in a number of ways including an improved design, larger, more colorful display and an update-to-date chipset under the hood.

In short what you get is a super smartphone absolutely bursting with features, making it great for gaming, movies, photography and music.

Its design isn't quite as jaw-dropping as the Samsung's that rank higher than it, nor are its dual-cameras quite the all-round super snappers, but this is a seriously impressive smartphone.

Read the full review: LG V30 

6. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Biometrics aside, this is the best Android phone

Weight: 173g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Best display on the market
Speedy performance
Very expensive
Flawed fingerprint sensor

With average phone sizes rising,  the Galaxy S8 Plus at 6.2-inches has become the gold standard. 

Everything we love about the Galaxy S8 is available here as Samsung has decided to only really changed the sizes of the screens rather than fiddling with the spec inside the device.

That same powerful 12MP camera and top of the range power setup is here to do everything you want it to as well as the new biometric tech that may allow you to unlock your phone faster than ever before.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

7. HTC U11

A unique phone with great audio performance

Weight: 169g | Dimensions: 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB / 6GB | Storage: 64GB / 128GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 16MP

Great camera
Excellent audio performance
Impressive two-tone coloring
Edge Sense is half-baked
Screen slightly dim
Camera shutter speed slow

 

If you're in two minds over whether to buy the HTC U11, then see if you can take it for a test drive. You should only really buy it if you value your audio experience on a smartphone and don't mind using a dongle for your fancy headphones that still have a 3.5mm jack (because they ALL still do).

You'll need to not mind forking out a little more money than it's really worth... but if you wait a month or two the price should have dropped to a more palatable level.

 The HTC U11 is a strong – very strong – phone. But it's still one that will only really impress those who want something that looks a bit different, have an affinity to HTC and respect good quality audio from a phone, rather than a handset that will wow you the second you hold it in your hand. 

Read the full review: HTC U11 

  • Also consider: Looking for a big screen Android phone? Then say hello to the new HTC U11 Plus. It won't be for everyone, but for those who want something a bit different the large 6-inch QHD display, punchy performance and solid camera will suit.

8. Nokia 8

A high-end phone at an affordable price

Release date: October 2017 | Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 5.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,090mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 13MP | Front camera: 13MP

 Flagship specs at half the price
 Great design 
 Camera is a bit slow
 No water-proofing

You normally associate the highest-end processor bundled with tons of RAM and storage to an expensive device but Nokia has managed to give us exactly that at a much lesser price with the Nokia 8.

The Nokia 8 offers a lot of great features such as a powerful chipset, dual-sensor camera and a perfectly sized QHD display, all wrapped up in a very good looking and sleek design.

We're also fans of Nokia's pure Android experience which uses Google apps for almost everything and has minimal bloatware. Nokia has done good on updates as well brining Oreo 8.0 to the Nokia 8 along with a publicly accessible beta for 8.1.

While the Nokia 8 has great specs on paper for a camera, the performance of it can be a struggle with a slow auto-focus.

Read the full review: Nokia 8

9. Honor 9

An all-rounder that ticks almost all the boxes

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.15-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 960 | RAM: 4GB/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,200mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

Attractive design
Affordable price
Great performance
One speaker driver
No optical image stabilization
Heavy bezel

The Honor 9 is not an innovative handset, and it won’t offer you much you haven’t seen on a smartphone before.

However, Honor has managed to create an all-around great handset that offers everything you’d like in a phone in an attractive, easy-to-use and top-of-the-range package.

But the highlight feature is still that it’s around half the price of some of the major flagship phones, and it’s hard to find a reason not to recommend the Honor 9 if you’d like a cheaper alternative to some of the big names.

Read the full review: Honor 9

10. Sony Xperia XZ Premium

The perfect phone for 4K fanatics

Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 5.46-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3230mAh | Rear camera: 19MP | Front camera: 13MP

4K display is stunning
Solid battery life
Design isn't the most premium
Fiddly SIM tray

The Xperia XZ Premium is the flagship smartphone Sony fans have been waiting for, bringing together an eye-popping display, strong snapper and solid battery life.

Those who love watching films and TV shows in 4K can do so on the move with the 4K screen on the XZ Premium - no other phone on this list can boast that - while the front-facing dual speakers also enhance videos and gaming.

If there's an area the XZ Premium does lack in, it's design. The flat glass front and rear are sleek, but the plastic edges of the phone detract from the 'Premium' part of the name.

Make no mistake though, this is a proper, fully-loaded Android flagship which easily holds its own against the competition.

Read our full review: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • Also consider: If you fancy something a little smaller, and a little more wallet friendly, then check out the Sony Xperia XZ1. As the name suggests, it lives in the same family as the XZ Premium, but has a smaller 5.2-inch full HD display and 2700mAh battery.

7. Nokia 8

A high-end phone at an affordable price

Release date: October 2017 | Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 5.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,090mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 13MP | Front camera: 13MP

 Flagship specs at half the price
 Great design 
 Camera is a bit slow
 No water-proofing

You normally associate the highest-end processor bundled with tons of RAM and storage to an expensive device but Nokia has managed to give us exactly that at a much lesser price with the Nokia 8.

The Nokia 8 offers a lot of great features such as a powerful chipset, dual-sensor camera and a perfectly sized QHD display, all wrapped up in a very good looking and sleek design.

We're also fans of Nokia's pure Android experience which uses Google apps for almost everything and has minimal bloatware. Nokia has done good on updates as well brining Oreo 8.0 to the Nokia 8 along with a publicly accessible beta for 8.1.

While the Nokia 8 has great specs on paper for a camera, the performance of it can be a struggle with a slow auto-focus.