The best smartphone of 2018: 15 top mobile phones tested and ranked


If you're after the best smartphone right now - we'll save you some trouble. It's the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus... just scroll down the page and you'll see all about just why we think that.

However, before you do that, today is the launch of the one of most powerful phones around - the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, so we urge you to check out all our lovely coverage of its arrival.

But, if you're after a phone you can buy right now, then check out the rest of this list. How did we arrive at the decisions? Well, we can tell you it's not an easy process. What matters about a smartphone is a little different to everybody - so we make sure we know these phones inside and out.

We test the quality of the screen, the battery life, the feel of the phone in the hand and the power of the camera (and plenty more besides) to find out which phone we think blends all of these together - and doesn't cost too much.

If you want something that's based entirely on price (and don't want to spend a huge amount) then we suggest you check out our list of the best budget phones of 2018 for some great ideas.

Maybe you know which operating system will suit you - in that case, look at our best iPhone or best Android phone guides. Maybe you're more of a brand loyalist though, in which case go for our list of the best Samsung phones.

Still here? Still thinking about which phone to go for? Don't worry... there are 15 excellent options to choose from.

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1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The best smartphone around? Certainly for Android fans.

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

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a big phone that's designed for big hands - and it takes the very best of what's on the smartphone market and puts it together in a compelling package that we've loved testing, despite the strong competition on the following pages.

Screen: The Super AMOLED 6.2-inch display has been measured as one of the very best around right now, with super colours, great dynamic range and, essentially, the very best viewing experience you can have on a mobile phone.

Battery life: The battery life on the S9 Plus is better than that seen on the smaller S9, thanks to the 3,500mAh battery in the Plus model - although it's probably the weakest part of the phone, not offering as much life as we'd have liked.

Camera: The camera on the Galaxy S9 Plus is among the best on the market, and the dual-aperture capability offers some startlingly good snaps when things get a little darker. 

Colours can look a tad washed out when the exposure is higher, but the power of the sensor, with memory built into it to make it smarter than most rivals, offers very low-noise shots.

Mini verdict: If you're after a bigger phone with all the features that matter on board, the Galaxy S9 Plus is that and more.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review