10 best Android phones 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, Huawei 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.

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

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2. 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 the second best Android phone in world, missing out on top spot narrowly to its bigger brother which boasts an extra camera on the rear.

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

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3. 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

  • Also consider: If our top three are a little rich for your liking, then take a look at the OnePlus 5T. It's got a big screen, loads of power under the hood and a premium design for a lot less.

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4. 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

  • 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.

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5. 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 five?! 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 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're looking for then the BlackBerry KeyOne delivers you an email machine with a full QWERTY keyboard for you to bash out messages on.

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6. 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 

  • Also consider: LG may have ditched the modular setup we saw on the LG G5, but Motorola's range of high-end handsets go from strength to strength as it grows its MotoMods catalog. Check out the Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z2 Play for some hot modular action.

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7. Samsung Galaxy S8

Still a top Android phone, now with a lower price tag

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Amazing display
Huge power
High price
Irritating biometric unlocking

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been usurped by the Galaxy S9, but there differences between the two are low.

It means that the Galaxy S8 is still a great buy, and it now has a lower price tag making it an enticing proposition.

You still get a fantastic display, futuristic design and a great camera, making it a solid choice for those looking to save a few pounds.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8

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8. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Samsung's big-screen flagship from last year can still turn heads

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

Great display
Speedy performance
Still a little expensive
Flawed fingerprint sensor

The size of the Galaxy S8 Plus may put some people off at 6.2-inches, but we found the device easy to use and the main reason the Plus sits in second place is its higher price.

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

  • Also consider: Looking for a big screen Android phone? Then say hello to the 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.

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9. Google Pixel 2

The perfect phone for small-handed Android fans

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

Supremely smooth performance
Bright, colorful full HD display
Design is uninspired

A big-screen handset isn't for everyone though, and for those looking for a palm-friendly phone which still boasts the power and performance of a flagship will like the look of the Google Pixel 2.

It's bezel heavy design won't exactly dazzle, but this is a phone you can comfortably use one-handed, with a crisp, clear full HD display and stock Android 8 Oreo at your fingertips.

Like its bigger brother, the Pixel 2 XL, the Pixel 2 also boasts Google's stunning 12MP camera which takes seriously impressive snaps.

The smaller size does mean the Pixel 2 carries a smaller price tag, but it's still far from cheap and when it comes to spending this amount we'd recommend plumping for the Pixel 2 XL if its size doesn't put you off.

Read our full review: Google Pixel 2

  • Also consider: Another palm-friendly handset with plenty of power is the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact. It too is a little bezel heavy, and Sony's implementation of Android isn't as slick as Google's, but when it comes to one handed use, it's top notch.

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Sony Xperia XZ2

The first phone to properly record in 4K HDR

Release date: April 2018 | Weight: 198g | Dimensions: 153 x 72 x 11.1mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,180mAh | Rear camera: 19MP | Front camera: 5MP

Full day of life from a single charge
Great sound quality
Design not as desirable as rivals
Dynamic Vibration a gimmick

Sony's assault on the 2018 flagship summit started with this, the Xperia XZ2. It is the world's first phone to record video in 4K HDR, and you can watch it back on the HDR enabled, full HD display.

The rear facing camera has also been improved, with the 19MP sensor offering better low-light performance than previous generations.

Dual stereo front-facing speakers provide decent quality output, but there's no headphone jack and Sony's new Dynamic Vibration System feels a lot like a gimmick.

Read more Sony Xperia XZ2 review

  • Also consider: The Xperia XZ2 is a little on the pricey side, so if you're looking for a top-end smartphone that's more affordable check out the Honor 10 View. It's got dual rear cameras, a 6-inch display and plenty of power.

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