10 best Android phones 2018: which should you buy?

Best Android phones 2018

If you're on the hunt for the best Android smartphone around, you've come to the right place. We've put all the major Google-powered handsets through their paces to give you our best Android phones round-down.

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.

Update: We've updated our best Android phones list with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and we're currently testing the Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

The big names are all here; Samsung, LG, Huawei, OnePlus and Google 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.

There's still time for our 10 best Android phones list to change before the year is out though, as we're currently putting the the Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro through their paces in our in-depth review process.

Plus we'll be getting hold of the Razer Phone 2 and OnePlus 6T in the coming weeks too - another two handsets looking to make the cut.

Check back here again soon to find out if they've made it into our best Android phones top 10.

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.

Best Android phones 2018

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

Best Android phones 2018

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

One of the highest-spec phones on the market

Release date: August 2018 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 2960×1440 | CPU: Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Much better battery
Improved S Pen
Hefty device to hold
Mostly iterative upgrades

It's a Samsung one-two, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 the latest handset to enter our best Android phones lists - and it's come in high.

The Galaxy Note 9 boasts a huge screen and a huge amount of power under the hood, plus there's the iconic S Pen stylus which slides into the body of the phone for safe keeping.

It means the Note 9 offers a huge array of productivity functions few phones can compete with, but the overall package isn't quite as finessed as the Galaxy S9 Plus - not to mention its high price tag.

For power users who want a phone that will doing pretty much anything they ask of it, the Galaxy Note 9 is a top choice.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Best Android phones 2018

3. Huawei P20 Pro

The best phone Huawei has ever made

Release date: April 2018 | Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2240 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP

Amazing camera
Superb battery life
Interface isn't market leading
Only Full HD display

What's this? A Huawei phone at number three? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P20 Pro really is third in our best Android phone rundown.

After years of threatening the top players in the smartphone game without really worrying them, 2018 has seen a significant uptick from the Chinese firm and the beautiful P20 Pro.

The triple camera setup on the rear of the P20 Pro provides great flexibility - and an excellent low-light mode - while the battery life comfortably gets through a day.

Then there's the eye-catching, two-tone finish on the rear which really sets the P20 Pro apart from the competition.

Read our full review: Huawei P20 Pro

Best Android phones 2018

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

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great smartphone, but it's not quite as good as its bigger brother which boasts an extra camera on the rear and more screen real estate.

There's still a lot to love about the S9 though, with 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

Best Android phones 2018

5. LG G7 ThinQ

LG's latest phone is an impressive model

Release date: May 2018 | Weight: 167 | Dimensions: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: Dual 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

Interesting Boombox speaker
Attractive design
Battery a little small
Performance not quite as good as other flagships

The LG G7 ThinQ is a confident step up from its predecessor - the LG G6 - with LG allowing itself to be a little bolder with the design and features on its latest flagship Android phone.

Its display comes with an ultra-bright mode which boosts brightness to an eye-dazzling 1000nits, handy if you're desperately trying to Instagram your latest snap from the beach.

The AI built into the camera can recognize what you're shooting and adjust the settings accordingly, to give you the best shot.

There are two cameras on the rear of the G7 ThinQ, with the secondary snapper offering up a super-wide angle lens to give you a different perspective on things. We just wish LG would drop the 'ThinQ' part of the name.

Read our full review: LG G7 ThinQ

Best Android phones 2018

6. 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 a top Android phablet. 

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

  • Also consider: After something a little smaller? Then check out the Huawei P20 - a flagship phone that fits a little easier into the palm of your hand, it has a heap of power and dual cameras too.

Best Android phones 2018

7. Google Pixel 2 XL

The knock-out camera is the star here

Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3520mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Superb camera
Great design
No 3.5mm headphone port
Screen has poor viewing angles

Google's Pixel range matured in 2017, and the Pixel 2 XL is the firm's top dog with its impressive, slender bezel design, dual front-facing speakers and simply fantastic camera.

If you're in the market for a new smartphone and camera quality is of high importance, STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING. The camera on the Google Pixel 2 XL is one of the most impressive snappers we've used on a phone.

There's also a whole heap of power under the hood, and the 6-inch display gives you lots of space to operate.

It's not the most premium feeling phone in the hand - a shame considering the price tag - and the viewing angle on the screen is very narrow before a blue tint creeps in, but there's no question this is a great device.

Read the full review: Google Pixel 2 XL

Best Android phones 2018

8. 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

Three Samsung phones in the top six?! It may seem extreme, but there's a very good reason why - they're all really, really good.

The Galaxy Note 8 doesn't quite hit the heights of its newer S9 siblings, but it's a triumphant return to form for a series that was potentially in trouble after the Note 7 debacle.

But enough about other handsets, what makes the Galaxy Note 8 worthy of its fifth place birth? 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

  • Also consider: Does the S Pen scream productivity to you? If it's a business workhorse you want the BlackBerry Key2 is an email machine with a full QWERTY keyboard for you to bash out messages on.

Best Android phones 2018

9. OnePlus 6

A fantastic flagship on a budget

Weight: 177g | Dimensions: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.28-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128/256GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 20MP | Front camera: 16MP

Great power
Appealing design
Downward firing speaker
'Only' Full HD

The OnePlus 6 excels in the flagship arena thanks to a combination of impressive specs and an affordable price tag.

It has the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, there's a premium all-glass design making it look and feel the part, and you get to choose from either 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage.

As if that wasn't enough, there's fingerprint and face unlock, dual rear cameras and water proofing - all for a price which is lower than pretty much every other phone on this list.

Read the full review: OnePlus 6

  • Also consider: If the OnePlus 6 is still a little rich for your liking, take a look at the Honor 10. It's got a big screen, loads of power under the hood and a premium design for less.

Best Android phones 2018

10. Google Pixel 2

Google's palm-sized phone packs a powerful snapper

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 8.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 2700mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Fantastic camera
Palm-friendly size
Bezels really stand out
No headphone jack

There are lot of super-sized smartphones in our best Android phones list, but what about those crying out for a dinky dialler that fits more snugly in the hand? Enter the Google Pixel 2.

It packs the same powerful punch and stunning camera capabilities as its larger sibling, the Pixel 2 XL, but wraps it all up in a smaller package complete with a more manageable 5-inch display.

The resolution is 'only' full HD, and the battery life isn't the strongest on show here, but for a pure Android experience that fits in your palm and will take great photos the Pixel 2 is hard to beat.

Read the full review: Google Pixel 2