Best Android phones in Australia: the top handsets to buy in 2018

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Apple may have kick-started the smartphone revolution when it launched its very first iPhone back in 2007, but it was Google's Android operating system that truly took it mainstream.

With an open platform and multiple manufacturers using the operating system, Android was always destined for greatness. Today, Android is easily the biggest OS in Australia.

With only a couple of exceptions, all the companies that were making mobile phones before iOS was launched now run Android.

Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, Huawei, Google and Motorola all wave the Android flag proudly on their devices. 

Still, the many variations in screen size, processing power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone that suits your needs extremely tough.

To help find the Android handset that's right for you, we've rounded up the best phones out there running that operating system, rating each one 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 in 2018 – for many, many different reasons.

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

Exceptional build quality
Gorgeous design
Fantastic low-light cameras
Average battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus was one the best flagship phones of all time, though it did have some quirks. Thankfully, with its new Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, Samsung has made an effort to address almost every issue and niggle exhibited by the S8 range. You won't find an awkwardly-placed fingerprint sensor here, and the S8 range's underwhelming built-in speakers have been replaced with awesome Dolby Atmos-boosted stereo ones. That annoying Bixby button remains, however.  

At first glance, the S9 Plus is easy to mistake for the S8 Plus when looking at it from the front, though there has been a slight design change here. The Galaxy S9 Plus has a height difference of 1.4mm, the benefit of which can be found in the device's smaller bottom bezel. Flip it over, however, and the differences become more apparent. The phone's new vertical camera and fingerprint sensor layout instantly feels more natural than last year's model, and is much easier to reach now.  

While not quite as big as the Galaxy Note 8, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is still a large phone that approaches phablet territory.

Screen: The S9 Plus has what many believe to be the very best display on any handset right now, with its Super AMOLED 6.2-inch screen offering incredibly rich HDR-enhanced colours, inky blacks, and what is essentially the greatest viewing experience you can have on a mobile phone right now.

Performance: The battery life on the S9 Plus is better than the smaller version, thanks to the 3500mAh battery. That said, other phones on this list are capable of lasting much longer without a recharge.

Having listened to music through the S9 Plus' new speaker mouth (so long, speaker grill) we can confirm that a drastic improvement in audio performance has taken place. Sound quality is much fuller than before, exhibiting some added depth and bass. Sure, it won't inspire you to throw away your Bluetooth speaker, but the difference in audio quality is significant – especially when you take into account the inclusion of Dolby Atmos support. 

And, thanks to its powerful new Exynos 9810 chipset (Snapdragon 845 in some territories), the Galaxy S9 Plus offers unrivalled performance when it comes to the Australian smartphone market.

Camera: The Galaxy S9 Plus' biggest selling point is undoubtedly its revamped dual camera setup (something not found on the standard S9), which is now capable of taking super slow motion video (up to 960fps at 720p resolution) and has variable aperture capabilities, which allows the phone to automatically switch between f/1.5 (for very low-light photography) and f/2.4 (super bright and vibrant photography). Depending in the light conditions, you can even see the camera's tiny shutter opening and closing. 

Mini verdict: There are a number of factors that put the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus ahead of the competition, from its incredible QHD+ 18:9.5 AMOLED display, to its powerful new Exynos 9810 chipset. However, it's the way that Samsung has truly listened to its customers and created a phone specifically for them that makes the Galaxy S9 Plus our current pick for best smartphone.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
See the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus telco plans
See the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus outright deals