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The best smartphones XDA 2018



The year is coming to an end, and soon we will foreshadow the coming of 2019. With new trends for smartphones already on the horizon, it's time to think about the past year. We saw the emergence of many new technologies, as well as saying goodbye to some older ones. Our phones have become faster and smarter, and there is no indication that this growth will slow down in the near future.

But so many smartphones are released every year. If you are looking for a new smartphone in the coming weeks, how can you decide what to get? There are so many to choose from all, and they all have their quirks and shortcomings. Here, on XDA, we spent some time thinking about the past year and asked all of our writers to choose what their favorite smartphones were of the year. Although you can have a rough idea that you I think that the best phone of the year in each category, our writers may surprise you.


Mishaal Rahman

The best flagship device for value: Oneplus 6T

I believe the OnePlus 6T is the best device in this category. This is a great performer, with a long battery life, maximizing the usable screen area with the least annoying recess design, and its software is most familiar to a person who has been a Nexus / Stock Android fan for years. There are several devices on the market that are better than 6T in certain aspects, especially with regard to the camera, but I do not think that there are devices that are better in all respects. So why spend hundreds of dollars buying a phone that is only slightly better than the OnePlus 6T?

Forums OnePlus 6T XDA

Best flagship device for features: Huawei Mate 20 X

Huawei Mate 20 X is my personal favorite this year. In Huawei Mate 20, it is almost without a rim and has a notch in the form of a notch in combination with the setting of the camera Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It also has the latest version of the Kirin 980, which makes it one of the few huge flagship smartphones. I love big phones, and the Mate 20 X is the best big Android smartphone on the market. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 9 looks tiny. It does not have all the Mate 20 Pro bells and whistles, such as fast charging 40 W, wireless charging or 3D unlocking the face, but its large 7.2-inch display is simply impossible to beat. This is the first smartphone on which I feel comfortable watching TV shows and movies.

Forums Huawei Mate 20 X XDA

Best overall mid-tier unit: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

Xiaomi has long been the king of middle-class smartphones, but the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 allowed Redmi Note 5 Pro to test their money. Asus chose Android on the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and put in it a huge 5000 mAh battery. This is not the best way to take photos or shoot videos (EIS is disabled by default), but Google Camera ports can help lift its mediocre camera to acceptable. It is a pity that the best devices of the middle class never appear in America, where the Nokia 7.1 is the only worthy average ranger that does not cost an arm and a leg.

Forums ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 XDA

Best overall budget device: Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite is an incredible junior device. If you end up buying a budget device, you often donate long-term software support. This does not apply to Mi A2 Lite, though. This device is Android One, which means that it works mainly with standard Android and has 2 years of guaranteed software updates and monthly Android security fixes. Although the Snapdragon 625 is quite old at this point, there is a reason why it is so actively used by Xiaomi – this is not a slouch. Mi A2 Lite has a respectable 4000 mAh battery, which helps the phone to work easily all day long.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite XDA Forums

Best design: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

This is a close race between Honor Magic 2 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Both smartphones have an almost completely bezel-free front panel thanks to the slider mechanism, but Honor Magic 2 has a neat color gradient, while Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has Xiaomi's proprietary ceramic trim. In my opinion, Jade Green Mi Mix 3 has the best overall design, but Honor Magic 2 in Gradient Blue is really lagging behind.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 XDA Forums

Best new software feature: Night sight

Although they were not the first on the scene with the night mode camera function, Google was the first to use it with Night Sight on Pixel 3. OnePlus, Xiaomi and Huawei / Honor have their own night mode functions, although Huawei is the closest to Google. quality. Night Sight is a mandatory feature of this year, and this is evident from the fact that so many modders rush to port the latest Google Camera application to their own devices. Google has proven that a smartphone with a single rear camera can take as good, if not better, photos, like smartphones with dual, triple or even four-seater rear cameras.

Best new hardware feature: Camera Slider

I am pleased to see which design trend will dominate in 2019. Obviously, the year 2018 is the year of the label, but at the end of the year we see two new trends: telephones with sliders and screen holes. The first is protected by the Vivo NEX, Honor Magic 2 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, and the second by the Samsung Galaxy A8s, Huawei Nova 4 and Honor View 20. I'm a big fan of the slider design, and I see further improvements as a way forward. This is a minor inconvenience that you have to deal with if you frequently use selfies or rely on unlocking your face, but the downside is that the manufacturer can pack all sorts of sensors behind the display instead of sacrificing the display real estate with a larger cutout. display.

Most Improved: Huawei

Without a doubt, in 2018, Huawei improved its performance the most. If you compare the one-year improvements that were made by other manufacturers in their smartphones, you will find that they have significantly improved performance, battery life and camera quality. But Huawei has made several radical changes in its line of smartphones in just one year. Compare, for example, Huawei Mate 10 Pro with Huawei Mate 20 Pro. In Mate 20 Pro added a fingerprint scanner, 3D face recognition, faster wired charging 40 W, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, significant improvements to the camera with the addition of the main 40 megapixel sensor as part of setting up a triple rear camera, wireless desktop mode and Obviously, all standard step-by-step improvements, such as an improved SoC, a larger battery, etc. For most devices, the next generation model is hardly worth updating. Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an exception, since it is significantly better than last year’s Huawei Mate 10 Pro.


Joe Fedeva

The best flagship device for value: Oneplus 6

OnePlus makes enough compromises to offer a device with some upscale flagship features at an average price. I actually prefer the OnePlus 6, rather than the OnePlus 6T. The rear fingerprint scanner is better and has a headphone jack. If performance and price are the most important things for you, OnePlus 6 presents no difficulty.

Forums OnePlus 6 XDA

Best flagship device for features: Pixel 3

I'm not going to convince you that Pixel 3 has more features than you could find on the Samsung flagship, but for features I take care of, Pixel 3 is the best. I need a great camera, a not too big phone, frequent and fast updates and the best experience with Google. For this, Google Pixel 3 is the perfect flagship phone for me.

Google Pixel 3 XDA Forums

Best overall mid-tier unit: Nokia 8.1

Software and updates can sometimes be a problem for mid-level devices, so starting with an Android Pie is good. Nokia 8.1 will also receive ongoing updates from HMD Global through the Android One program. The design of the device is really good for the device of the middle class, with relatively thin frames and high-quality building materials. You even get dual cameras on the back.

Nokia 8.1 XDA Forums

Best overall budget device: Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

You, probably, understood that the software is important for me, therefore Android One should be in this row. Low-level devices have low power consumption, so you do not want the software to overload them. Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite is a very good device with two cameras, a large battery and a good display. The device was released over the summer with Android Oreo, but Xiaomi has already released an Android Pie update.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite XDA Forums

Best design: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

When I think of 2018 phones that look futuristic and cool, Mi Mix 3 pops into my head. Almost the entire display is in front, and the slide-out mechanism for the camera is a great idea, not to mention having fun with it.

Best new software feature: Night sight

Night Sight is the first “mode” of the camera that I used all the time. Many camera modes are useless and do not have many options for use, but Night Sight is really amazing. I like it.

Best new hardware feature: Front Camera Display Holes

I might be outnumbered by this, but I think the display holes (a.k.a. hole punch) look pretty cool. Of course, I prefer the appearance of the holes on the display, rather than scary notches. You still can't use the screen space blocked by the display opening, but I just think it looks better.

Most Improved: significant

Over the past year, the Essential Phone has received a ton of updates. This is always the trendy choice of the “best cheap Android phone” because it goes on sale so often, thanks in part to the support of Essential. I don't know if Essential Phone 2 will be, but Essential did a lot to become a favorite OEM fan.


Max Weinbach

The best flagship device for value: Oneplus 6

The best flagship device in terms of cost will be OnePlus 6. The only reason why it is even considered the best is price and hardware. The camera is not good, the device seems cheap, the tactile sensations are bad, the speakers are not very good, and the display is not very good. However, it has a Snapdragon 845 and a large battery at a low hardware price. It even has a headphone jack.

Forums OnePlus 6 XDA

Best flagship device for features: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The best flagship device in its capabilities – Mate 20 Pro. The phone has a three-camera system, the latest Android version, a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, hardware to identify a genuine face, and the fastest Android SoC on the market. It has the same features as any other phone, plus more. I think this is by far the best device with the best features.

Forums Huawei Mate 20 Pro XDA

Best overall mid-tier unit: Samsung Galaxy A8s

Samsung Galaxy A8s – the best device of the middle class today. This is one of the first devices to use the new perforated format, and it is equipped with a Snapdragon 710. The Galaxy A8s is running Android 8.1 and plans to get One UI very soon. It also has a triple camera system with some of the best mid range cameras.

Best overall budget device: Huawei P20 Lite

The best budget device – Huawei P20 Lite. This device is running EMUI 8 and has some of the best features in the lower scale. This is a fast and very good device for the price you will spend. If the average and flagship flags go beyond your price range, this is the best phone.

Forums Huawei P20 Lite XDA

Best design: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Design awards are usually awarded to Samsung, and I think this year is no exception. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a cute and big device in one of the most beautiful blue colors I've ever seen. The curves are perfect in this iteration of what really started with the Galaxy S6 Edge. It is almost perfectly symmetrical and just nice to hold.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 XDA Forums

Best new software feature: View calls

Today, the best software feature is Screen Calling from Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. This is the best feature because it is really useful. Most other phones get these random AI functions, which, frankly, are useless. Call checking is what works for both friends and spammers. This is great for trolling and for actual use.

Best new hardware feature: Face id

The best new hardware feature, especially for Android phones, is the face sensor in Mate 20 Pro. This technology is currently used in the latest iPhone and iPad Pro models, but has not yet been implemented on Android devices. Huawei managed to make it work, and it works great. It is fast and convenient with the advantage of security.

Most Improved: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

Mi Mix 3 is the most advanced device compared to Mi Mix 2. For a year, they were able to increase the performance, design, cameras and software a step higher without adding a mark. They used a sliding telephone mechanism and a ceramic back without increasing the price.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 XDA Forums


Eric Hulse

The best flagship device for value: Oneplus 6

Yes, oneplus 6, not 6TIn recent years, the middle category has jumped in price, but when the cost of a Note starts at $ 1,000, $ 529 is the “average level”. As for the OnePlus proposals this year, they are excellent devices. Both phones are running one of our favorite types of Android with OxygenOS. Both have tons of RAM and a Snapdragon 845. The 6T this year brings a slightly larger battery, a less reliable fingerprint scanner on the display and the removal of the headphone jack. For me, between 6 and 6T, using both, 6 is the best buy.

Forums OnePlus 6 XDA

Best flagship device for features: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

It is easy for me. Honestly, this phone has absolutely everything. Note is the pinnacle of the Samsung smartphone. If you buy a very expensive Note 9, then you simply do not need an SD card, tons of RAM, large amounts of memory, Snapdragon 845, S-Pen, waterproof, stereo speakers, wireless charging, great camera, headphone jack and more. The display is superb, the build quality is top notch, and although the software was already excellent (from the former TouchWiz hater), the OneUI is awesome. This phone costs as close as possible to $ 1,000. Buy one.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 XDA Forums

Best overall mid-tier unit: Nokia 7.1

I have no experience with budget phones. The easy choice is the Motorola G series, but this year I’m more inclined to recommend the Nokia 7.1. This is an interesting looking device, and Nokia does some really interesting things with Android and updates. Nokia 7.1 is loaded with Android One and excellent build quality.

Nokia 7.1 XDA Forums

Best overall budget device: Motorola one

This is an unlocked device with a large modern screen. It also has a slot for SD and Dual SIM. These are Android One devices, so we are looking at fast updates and pure Android. It is also equipped with a “turbocharger”, a decent-sized battery and a headphone jack.

Best design: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

I can't say enough about how great this phone is. Twilight finishes are stunning and unique, and the green and blue options with textured glass are also great. The camera on the back looks distinct. This is not my favorite phone, but I think it looks.

Forums Huawei Mate 20 Pro XDA

Best new software feature: View calls

One of my favorite, possibly less well-known features is call checking from Google. In the era of robokollov from spammers, it is great to be able to check robots with a robot. This feature just works, and it seems futuristic when you use it.

Best new hardware feature: Google Pixel 3 Camera

Honestly, this is a combination of hardware and software, but I am constantly and forever pleased with the results of this camera. This is an absolute reliable joy to use. This is not to mention Night Sight, which is mostly software.

Most Improved: Razer phone 2

Razer took his first phone and improved absolutely everything in it, without changing the basic identity of the device. We kept a great display with a high refresh rate and added: wireless charging, water resistance, logo color, improved cameras, Snapdragon 845, higher brightness and a larger cooling chamber. The phone is pretty big for a pretty great price.

Razer Phone 2 XDA Forums


Doug Lynch

The best flagship device for value: Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is one of the shock releases of the year with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset at an incredibly low price. He has a poor build quality for beginners, but the company had to cut corners to keep the price as low as possible.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 XDA Forums

Best flagship device for features: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy S9 has an excellent display for most smartphones, an S-Pen with even more features than its predecessor, as well as all the features of the Samsung Experience and OneUI. It's simple – Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the best flagship of the year for me.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 XDA Forums

Best overall mid-tier unit: Honor 8X

Perhaps a controversial choice, the Honor 8X features a trendy 2018 notch with thin frames and good build quality. This is a great device for money and looks beautiful.

Honor 8X XDA Forums

Best overall budget device: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus в Китае) – отличное устройство по еще более выгодной цене, несмотря на запутанную схему именования. Официальная поддержка обновлений и поддержка разработчиков сообществ не могут быть побеждены практически любым другим телефоном.

Форумы о Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 XDA

Лучший дизайн: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 имеет здоровенный вид, узкие рамки и лучший дизайн, который я когда-либо видел, скрывая фронтальную камеру.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 XDA Форумы

Лучшая новая функция программного обеспечения: Google Playground / Ночной прицел

Для меня это связь между Google Playground и Night Sight. Хотя с Google Playground интересно играть, чаще всего это может быть трюк. Night Sight работает, поэтому я и выбрал это.

Лучшая новая аппаратная особенность: In-display датчик отпечатков пальцев

Я всегда предпочитал датчик сзади, но, будучи минималистом, я понял, что датчик скрыт под дисплеем.

Самый улучшенный: Телефон ASUS ROG

Я не думаю, что это будет хорошо продаваться, но количество аксессуаров, которые они выпускают, показывает, что они прилагают настоящие усилия.

ASUS ROG Телефон XDA Форумы


Адам Конвей

Лучшее флагманское устройство для ценности: OnePlus 6

Используя как OnePlus 6, так и OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 6 считает меня самым лучшим флагманом 2018 года по своей стоимости. Быстрый датчик отпечатка пальца и разъем для наушников – вот что толкает его через край для меня. OnePlus 6T имеет немного большую батарею, но большая батарея не оправдывает меня. Используя оба устройства, я могу с уверенностью сказать, что я предпочитаю OnePlus 6, а не OnePlus 6T по соотношению цена / качество, особенно учитывая, что он также немного дешевле.

Форумы OnePlus 6 XDA

Лучший флагманский прибор для функций: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Я думаю, что выбор Samsung Galaxy Note 9 здесь не представляет никакой сложности. В нем есть все, и под всем, я имею в виду буквально все, Быстрый датчик отпечатков пальцев, стилус, отличная камера, большой аккумулятор и даже разъем для наушников. Samsung Galaxy Note 9, вероятно, является телефоном года для меня.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 XDA Форумы

Лучшее общее устройство среднего уровня: Xiaomi Mi A2

Я большой поклонник Xiaomi, и Xiaomi Mi A2 – одно из лучших устройств компании, выпущенных в этом году. Единственная вещь, которой не хватает этому устройству – невероятная по цене камера – это разъем для наушников. Если вы можете преодолеть это, то это хороший выбор. Если требуется наличие наушников, я бы порекомендовал вместо этого Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

Форумы Xiaomi Mi A2 XDA

Лучшее общее бюджетное устройство: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 – это красивое устройство на базе Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, и это отличный смартфон за свои деньги. Если у вас ограниченный бюджет, вы не ошибетесь с этим.

Форумы о Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 XDA

Лучший дизайн: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

У меня Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, и я подумал that было красиво Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 – самый красивый смартфон для меня в 2018 году, а его магнитная раздвижная камера – лучшее решение для преодоления этой ступени.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 XDA Форумы

Лучшая новая функция программного обеспечения: Ночной прицел

Это не трудный выбор для меня вообще. Ночной прицел is amazing особенность. Это одна из самых удивительных функций 2018 года, а также одна из самых мощных. Я даже получил много пользы от этого, чего я никогда не ожидал.

Лучшая новая аппаратная особенность: In-display датчик отпечатков пальцев

Хотя мне лично не нравится встроенный в OnePlus 6T датчик отпечатков пальцев, мне нравится идея, и я думаю, что это очень круто. Я вижу, что производители продолжают улучшать его, и уже в таких смартфонах, как Huawei Mate 20 Pro, мы видим, что он становится быстрее, точнее и в целом лучше.

Самый улучшенный: Razer Phone 2

Мой опыт работы с Razer Phone 2 выше, чем когда-либо был Razer Phone. Выглядит хорошо, это быстро, это просто отличный опыт с 120 Гц дисплеем.

Razer Phone 2 XDA Форумы


У каждого свои критерии того, что делает телефон «лучшим». Мы сделали свой выбор и теперь хотим услышать ваши! Поделитесь своими лучшими смартфонами 2018 года в комментариях ниже!

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