With MWC 2018 having now come and gone, one of the biggest phone announcements of the year has taken place through the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S9. Although this is one of the first major releases of this year, it is expected to remain a go-to option for months to come. If you are in the market for a smartphone this month then you may be wondering whether this is the best option for you? In answering that question we will be taking a quick look at our picks for the best Android phone as of March, 2018.
10. Google Pixel & Pixel XL
By any measure, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are old phones compared to the rest of this list. However, age is not always the issue with smartphones as there are plenty of phones available that in spite of being newer, offer less, or a more limited user experience. The Pixel and Pixel XL are designed to offer a great user experience and therefore in spite of their age, are solid options to consider. For example, these two phones are immediately capable of being upgraded to the latest version of Android - Oreo. Something which still escapes a number of newer phones. Software aside, there is very little to complain about with the first-generation Pixel phones as they both come loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. In addition to a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and more. Their main differences come down to the display and battery life, making the decision between them an easy one. If you want a larger display with a greater resolution and a higher mAh capacity, go for the Pixel XL.
9. HTC U11
The HTC U11 is one of those devices that has flown somewhat under the radar compared to the others on this list and this is in spite of offering a very good smartphone experience overall. In particular, in the camera department, with the U11 offering a highly capable rear camera along with a number of additional software tweaks. This is also a notable device as it was the first to really bring to customer attention the option to squeeze the sides of the device to initiate a specific command. In fact, while the Pixel 2 and 2 XL now offer this feature as well, Google’s implementation is far more limiting than what HTC offers. One of the downsides, however, is the U11 does not conform to the current all-screen trend, resulting in a front panel that is more limited in the amount of screen it offers compared to the size of the front panel overall. The display itself measures in at 5.5-inches and utilizes a 2560 x 1440 resolution, while inside, the HTC U11 comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.
8. Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy S8 Plus
In terms of the Galaxy S line from Samsung the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are no longer the main attractions. That doesn't, however, mean they are no longer worth considering. Generally speaking the newer models adopt a very similar design and look and so buyers of the now-older generation options will not be losing out in this respect. More so, due to the lower than expected launch price of the new models, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are likely to be subject to some great price drops in the coming days and weeks - making now a better time than ever to consider these two smartphones. As for their differences, like the Pixels, size and battery life is what you will mainly need to consider with the Galaxy S8 armed with a 5.8-inch display and a 3,000 mAh battery, compared to the S8 Plus which features a 6.2-inch display along with a 3,500 mAh battery. Otherwise, buyers of either model can expect 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US). As well as a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, Samsung Bixby, Samsung Pay, and of course, Samsung’s Edge technology.
7. Razer Phone
For some, the Razer Phone is likely to be a great option. Though it is not one for everyone. Its design alone is something that will need to be overlooked as it does not come with the premium appearance offered with other smartphones on this list, resulting in a more dated look than it should have. On the other hand, this is arguably one of the most powerful Android phones currently available and it is here where certain buyers will find the value on offer. For example, the included 5.72-inch display not only comes with a 2560 x 1440 resolution but also a 120 Hz refresh rate. Adding to that, this is also a smartphone equipped with a dual rear camera setup consisting of two 12-megapixel cameras. The rest of the spec list is padded out with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a Quick Charge 4+-supported 4,000 mAh battery, stereo front-facing speakers, and more.
6. Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The Mate 10 Pro is one of those phones that feels much older than it is and especially in the US. As in spite of being announced some time ago, it has only recently become available stateside. That said, this is a highly-performing phone and one which you should take a moment to consider. Even more so if the camera experience is one of the primary requirements for you. As Huawei has made the camera central to the Mate 10 Pro and offers owners a wealth of additional and advanced features. That is not to say it is a complicated camera experience, as it is not. With this phone, you have the choice of making the camera as advanced as you want it to be. In terms of the numbers, the Mate 10 Pro sports a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 20-megapixel monochrome camera along with a 12-megapixel RGB camera. The display comes in at 6-inches and utilizes an 18:9 aspect ratio as well as a 2160 x 1080 resolution. Padding out the list is up to 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage, a Kirin 970 SoC, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 4,000 mAh battery.
5. LG V30
In spite of not being a new phone, the LG V30 is already available in a number of variants. The latest of which was just announced at MWC 2018. However, if you are in the market for a phone right now then the standard version is the one to go for. There is a + model which offers more, but more is only worth paying for if you need it, as the standard model is a highly capable phone. This is even truer if you are interested in the audio or camera properties of a smartphone as the V30 specifically looks to cater to those two markets, boasting a number of OTT tweaks and software improvements. At the core level, the LG V30 features a 6-inch display along with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2880 x 1440 resolution. Inside, expect 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. Cameras consist of a dual rear camera setup (16-megapixel and 13-megapixel) along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
4. OnePlus 5T
Arguably, the OnePlus 5T offers some of the best value for money when it comes to paper specs. However, it does come at a bit of a compromise with the phone being more generic than market-leading. This means you are not going to get a number of the features or design traits offered by other phones but will get a solid and reliable user experience. One area where the 5T is very much on trend though is the display department thanks to this model utilizing an 18:9 aspect ratio. Resulting in a 6-inch display along with a 2160 x 1080 resolution. Dual rear cameras are also included (20-megapixel and 16-megapixel), as is super fast charging through the company’s Dash Charge technology. The rest of the specs break down to include up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 3,300 mAh battery.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is no longer the newest Samsung smartphone, it is the newest Note model. So those looking for more of a stylus-compatible smartphone experience will want to consider this over everything else. Although, as the Note line has evolved the actual stylus has become more of a secondary feature due to the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 coming equipped with a ton of additional selling points. One of the most noteworthy is the cameras as this was the first flagship smartphone from Samsung to utilize a dual rear camera setup. This is in addition to a number of OTT camera software tweaks which further serve to improve the product. The display is another big selling point here - due to it being big - thanks to the inclusion of a 6.3-inch screen which is slimmed down through the adoption of an 18:9 aspect ratio. As for the rest of the specs, the Galaxy Note 8 features 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US). As well as an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 3,300 mAh battery that not only supports fast charging and wireless charging, but also fast wireless charging.
2. Google Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have remained atop of this list ever since their launch and for some people, will still be the better option to go for. This is especially true of those who want a lighter but incredible smoth user experience as the Pixel launcher is very much Android personified. It is also highly tuned to the hardware resulting in two phones that perform to the best of their abilities, and in some cases, exceeding those hardware expectations. The cameras being a good case in point here, as in spite of sporting only one camera the software results in one of the best camera experiences on the market. It also worth noting that unlike their predecessors, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL are far more different to each other. For example, the XL model boasts an all-screen display thanks to the inclusion of an 18:9 aspect ratio. Compared to the standard Pixel 2 that adopts a 16:9 ratio resulting in more of a traditional looking device. This has a knock-on effect of the display being considerably larger on the 2 XL (6-inches) compared to the Pixel 2 (5-inches). Likewise, battery capacities are different with the 2 XL boasting a 3,520 mAh battery compared to the Pixel 2’s 2,700 mAh battery. Otherwise, both models come loaded with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 8.0 (Oreo) - with Google’s Pixel flavor including support for Google Lens, Google Assistant, Active Edge, and ARCore.
1. Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are the latest smartphones to arrive and have instantly become the most sought-after. On the surface, they might not look like much of an upgrade compared to their predecessors but looks can be deceiving as these two models come with a much greater emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). Which means they now pack in even more added value than the already feature-rich Galaxy S8 line did. Probably, most impressively, Samsung has done this without adding to the cost as the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have arrived at almost exactly the same price points the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus did last year. So these really are bargain premium phones offering an unrivaled number of OTT features as well as the design cues made famous by the Galaxy S line.
Interestingly, these two phones are also more different to each other than previous sibling launch devices from Samsung have been. This is best seen in the camera department as the Galaxy S8 Plus sports dual rear cameras while the standard model features a singular rear camera. Likewise, the S9 Plus also comes loaded with a 6.2-inch display, 6GB RAM and a 3,500 mAh battery while the standard model features a 5.8-inch display, 4GB RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery. Those differences aside, both models features a 2960 x 1440 resolution, 64GB storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (or Exynos 9810 outside of the US), an IP68 rating, Bluetooth 5, facial recognition, AR Emoji, Android 8.0 (Oreo), and a ton of additional features.