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


What makes a great smartphone? Is it one that really looks the business, lasts the longest, has the most amazing screen or takes the best snaps? Of course, this is a trick question, as it's all these things and far more.

Here at TechRadar, we know the pain of trying to pick the right smartphone for you - which is why we spend hours and hours agonising over which to recommend for you. We know that you're here for either inspiration or to make sure the phone you're looking at isn't a dud (or maybe both), and we've gathered a real selection for you.

There are a few brands you'll see a lot here - it won't surprise you to see that Samsung and Apple are prominent, but Huawei is now becoming a real brand to consider, LG is still offering some top phones and the likes of Honor and OnePlus are  still bringing out excellent choices for those on more of a budget.

That's one of the key things we take into account: the price of the phone, as it's something that will be a real barrier to entry for most. While many of the phones here are on the higher end of the price scale, that's because they offer a brilliant experience and we think that's worth investing in, when you're going to be using this thing every day.

If you do want to check out something a little cheaper, our list of the best budget phones 2018 is right here for your delectation).

For some further (or more targeted) light reading, head to 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.

But if you just want to know the very best of the best around at the moment, here's where you should be looking:

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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