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 Google Pixel 3, 3 XL, OnePlus 6T and Huawei 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.

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

3. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The best Huawei phone to date

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP

In-screen fingerprint scanner
Great triple cameras
The UI needs refinement
High price

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the best phone from the Chinese firm to date, offering up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a party piece in the form of an in-display fingerprint scanner thrown in too.

The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a lots of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great.

It also comes with three rear cameras, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro - but the third sensor is new. It's an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.

The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price - it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Best Android phones 2018

4. Huawei P20 Pro

Another top Huawei phone

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? Another Huawei phone in the top five? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P20 Pro really is fourth 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

5. 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

6. Google Pixel 3 XL

The best camera phone we’ve tested

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 184g | Dimensions: 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,430mAh | Rear camera: 12.2MP | Front camera: 8MP + 8MP

Superb camera phone
Solid battery life
Notch is hard to ignore
No headphone jack

If you're looking for a the best camera phone on the market, look no further. The single rear snapper on the Google Pixel 3 XL (and the smaller Pixel 3) is the best we've come across.

You also get a big screen, decent battery life and plenty of power under the hood, making the Google Pixel 3 XL a great all-round flagship smartphone.

The Google Pixel 3 XL marries the best camera phone we’ve ever tested with a sizable OLED screen. It’s the right fit for people who don’t mind the notch cut out at the top and have already adjusted their grip for bigger smartphones in the past.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 XL review

Best Android phones 2018

7. OnePlus 6T

A genuine flagship phone for less

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 185g | Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.41-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 3,700mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 16MP | Front camera: 16MP

In-display fingerprint scanner
All-day battery life
No headphone jack
'Only' full HD display

The price of flagship phones are rising every year, but you don't need to pay top dollar for a top-notch experience.

OnePlus offers flagship phones at a lower price point and while its first few handsets didn't trouble the established names, its more recent efforts have really pushed the likes of Samsung, Apple and co. 

You get the latest flagship power under the hood, a huge screen, dual rear cameras and an in-display fingerprint scanner included with the OnePlus 6T.

The OnePlus 6T is a good-looking and powerful smartphone that can compete with handsets from the larger and more established brands on the market while undercutting them in price.

Read more: OnePlus 6T review

Best Android phones 2018

8. 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

9. 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

10. Google Pixel 3

Google's palm-sized phone packs a powerful snapper

Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 148g | Dimensions: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 2,915mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP + 8MP

Google's great camera got better
Great one-hand-friendly size
Battery life not as good as 3 XL
Design a little bezel heavy

The Google Pixel 3 is the smaller sibling to the Pixel 3 XL, with a smaller screen and battery, but the same power and excellent camera under the hood.

At 5.5 inches, the screen on the Google Pixel 3 isn't exactly small, but it's one of the smallest in this list of the best smartphones. 

You get the same camera here as you do on the Pixel 3 XL, and that's great news as it's one of the best smartphone snappers we've ever tested. It's easy to use, extremely powerful and produces excellent shots.

If you're looking for a compact flagship smartphone with a class-leading camera experience the Google Pixel 3 is the best phone for the job.

Read more: Google Pixel 3 review