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XDA’s Top Smartphones of 2018

The yr is coming to an in depth and shortly we’ll be heralding the arrival of 2019. With new smartphone developments already on the horizon, it’s about time that we mirror upon the yr handed by. We’ve seen the arrival of many new utilized sciences, whereas we’ve moreover said goodbye to some older ones. Our telephones have gotten faster and smarter, and there’s no sign of that progress slowing down any time shortly.

Nevertheless there are so much of smartphones launched yearly. Within the occasion you’re looking out for a model new smartphone inside the coming weeks, then how are you going to in all probability decide what to get? There are so much of to pick from, and all of them have their very personal quirks and downfalls. Proper right here at XDA, we took some time to reflect on the earlier yr and requested all of our writers to determine on what their favorite smartphones of the yr have been. Whereas you will have a troublesome idea of what you assume is the simplest phone of the yr in each class, our writers may shock you.


Contents

Mishaal Rahman

Biggest Flagship System for Value: OnePlus 6T

I think about the OnePlus 6T is the right system on this class. It’s an outstanding performer, has good battery life, maximizes the show precise property as quite a bit as potential with the least obnoxious notch design, and its software program program might be probably the most acquainted for anyone who has been a Nexus/stock Android fanboy for years. There are a pair of models obtainable available on the market which may be greater than the 6T in positive options, notably relating to the digital digital camera, nevertheless I don’t assume there are any models which is perhaps larger in every means. Thus, why spend tons of of dollars further to get a phone that is solely marginally greater than the OnePlus 6T?

OnePlus 6T XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Choices: Huawei Mate 20 X

The Huawei Mate 20 X is my personal favorite this yr. It has the just about bezel-less waterdrop notch design of the Huawei Mate 20 combined with the Huawei Mate 20 Skilled’s digital digital camera setup. It moreover has the most recent Kirin 980, making it one of the just a few huge flagship smartphones. I actually like large telephones, and the Mate 20 X is one of the perfect large Android smartphone out there available on the market. It makes the Galaxy Observe 9 look tiny as in contrast. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the Mate 20 Skilled like 40W fast charging, wi-fi charging, or 3D face unlock, nevertheless its big 7.2” present merely can’t be crushed. It’s the first smartphone I actually actually really feel comfortable watching TV reveals and movies on.

Huawei Mate 20 X XDA Boards

Biggest Common Mid-range System: Asus ZenFone Max Skilled M1

Xiaomi has prolonged been the king of mid-range smartphones, nevertheless the Asus ZenFone Max Skilled M1 gave the Redmi Observe 5 Skilled a run for its money. Asus opted for near stock Android on the ZenFone Max Skilled M1 and caught an unlimited 5,000mAh battery in it. It’s not one of the perfect at taking footage or making films (EIS is disabled by default), nevertheless Google Digital digital camera ports will assist elevate its mediocre digital digital camera to an appropriate one. It’s a rattling shame that the right mid-range models under no circumstances come to America, the place the one respectable mid-ranger that doesn’t worth an arm and a leg is the Nokia 7.1.

ASUS ZenFone Max Skilled M1 XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Low-end System: Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite is an unimaginable gadget inside the low-end tier. If you end up purchasing for a worth vary system, you sometimes sacrifice long-term software program program assist. That’s not true of the Mi A2 Lite, though. It’s an Android One gadget which suggests it runs principally stock Android and has 2 years of assured software program program updates and month-to-month Android security patches. Although the Snapdragon 625 is fairly earlier by this degree, there’s a trigger it’s so extraordinarily utilized by Xiaomi—it’s no slouch. The Mi A2 Lite has a great 4,000mAh battery that helps the phone merely last by means of an entire day.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite XDA Boards

Biggest Design: Xiaomi Mi Mix three

This could be a shut race between the Honor Magic 2 and the Xiaomi Mi Mix three. Every smartphones have an nearly completely bezel-less entrance as a result of of the slider mechanism, nevertheless the Honor Magic 2 has a neat gradient shade finish whereas the Xiaomi Mi Mix three has Xiaomi’s signature ceramic physique finish. The Jade Inexperienced Mi Mix three has the simplest basic design in my opinion, nevertheless the Honor Magic 2 in Gradient Blue is principally shut behind.

Xiaomi Mi Mix three XDA Boards

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Night time time Sight

Although they weren’t the first to the scene with a night mode digital digital camera perform, Google was the first to nail it with Night time time Sight on the Pixel three. OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Huawei/Honor all have their very personal night time time mode choices, although Huawei’s is the closest to Google’s in phrases of top quality. Night time time Sight is that this yr’s must-have perform, and that’s evident by the reality that so many modders are dashing to port the most recent Google Digital digital camera app to their very personal models. Google has confirmed that a smartphone with a single rear digital digital camera can take pictures that are just-as-good, if not larger, than smartphones with twin, triple, and even quad rear cameras.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: Slider Cameras

I’m excited to see which design improvement will dominate 2019. 2018 is clearly the yr of the notch, nevertheless as a result of the yr ends, we’re seeing two new developments emerge: slider digital digital camera telephones and present holes. The earlier is championed by the Vivo NEX, Honor Magic 2, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix three, whereas the latter is championed by the Samsung Galaxy A8s, Huawei Nova 4, and Honor View 20. I am an unlimited fan of the slider design, and I see further refinements of it as one of the simplest ways forward. It’s a light-weight inconvenience to deal with do you have to take selfies typically or depend upon face unlock, nevertheless the flip facet is that the producer can pack every kind of sensors behind the present fairly than sacrificing present precise property by approach of a much bigger present cutout.

Most Improved: Huawei

Indisputably, Huawei has improved in all probability probably the most in 2018. In the event you look at year-on-year enhancements that totally different producers have made to their smartphones, you’ll principally uncover that they’ve made incremental enhancements to effectivity, battery life, and the digital digital camera top quality. Nevertheless Huawei has made a quantity of radical modifications to their smartphone lineup in solely a single yr. Look at the Huawei Mate 10 Skilled to the Huawei Mate 20 Skilled, for instance. The Mate 20 Skilled offers an in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D facial recognition, faster 40W wired charging, wi-fi charging, reverse wi-fi charging, substantial digital digital camera enhancements with the addition of a 40MP foremost sensor as half of a triple rear digital digital camera setup, wi-fi desktop mode, and clearly all the standard incremental enhancements like a higher SoC, greater battery, and so forth. For a lot of models, the next period model is hardly properly well worth the enhance. The Huawei Mate 20 Skilled is an exception in consequence of it’s significantly greater than the Huawei Mate 10 Skilled from last yr.


Joe Fedewa

Biggest Flagship System for Value: OnePlus 6

OnePlus makes merely enough compromises to provide a device with some high-end flagship specs at a mid-range value. I actually select the OnePlus 6 over the OnePlus 6T. The rear fingerprint scanner is greatest and it has a headphone jack. If effectivity and price are an necessary points to you, the OnePlus 6 is a no brainer.

OnePlus 6 XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Choices: Pixel three

I’m not going to aim to influence you the Pixel three has additional choices than you might uncover on a Samsung flagship, nevertheless for the choices I care about, the Pixel three is the simplest. I would really like a terrific digital digital camera, a phone that’s not too large, frequent and fast updates, and the simplest Google experience. For that, the Google Pixel three is the correct flagship phone for me.

Google Pixel three XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Mid-range Gadget: Nokia eight.1

Software program program and updates can sometimes be an issue with mid-range models, so starting with Android Pie is an efficient issue. The Nokia eight.1 will even acquire common updates from HMD Worldwide as half of the Android One program. The design of the system could be very good for a mid-range system as properly, with comparatively slim bezels and high-quality assemble provides. You even get twin cameras on the rear.

Nokia eight.1 XDA Boards

Biggest Common Low-end Gadget: Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

You’ve perhaps came upon that software program program is a gigantic deal to me, so Android One is a should have at this range. Low-end models are low-powered, so that you simply don’t want the software program program to rest room it down. The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite is a very good system with twin cameras, an unlimited battery, and an outstanding present. The gadget was launched over the Summer season with Android Oreo, nevertheless Xiaomi has already rolled out the Android Pie substitute.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite XDA Boards

Biggest Design: Xiaomi Mi Mix three

As soon as I take into accounts telephones from 2018 that appeared futuristic and funky, the Mi Mix three is what pops in my head. The doorway is almost all present and the sliding mechanism for the digital digital camera is an outstanding idea, to not level out fulfilling to fidget with.

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Night time time Sight

Night time time Sight is the first digital digital camera “mode” that I’ve persistently used. A lot of digital digital camera modes are gimmicky and don’t have many use situations, nevertheless Night time time Sight is genuinely mind-blowing. I am keen on it.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: Present holes for entrance digital digital camera

I could also be inside the minority on this one, nevertheless I really feel the present holes (a.okay.a. hole punch) look pretty cool. I undoubtedly need the look of the present holes over the dreaded notch. You proceed to can’t use the show space that is blocked by the present hole, nevertheless I merely assume it appears to be larger.

Most Improved: Essential

The Necessary Phone recieved a ton of updates over the earlier yr. It’s on a regular basis an aesthetic determine for “best cheap Android phone” as a result of it goes on sale so sometimes, and that’s thanks largely to Essential’s assist. I don’t know if there shall be an Essential Phone 2, nevertheless Necessary has achieved fairly a bit to develop right into a fan-favorite OEM.


Max Weinbach

Biggest Flagship System for Value: OnePlus 6

The right flagship system for the price goes to ought to be the OnePlus 6. The one function why it’d even be thought-about one of the most effective is the price and hardware. The digital digital camera should not be good, the gadget feels low value, haptics are harmful, audio system aren’t good, and the present isn’t good. However, it does have the Snapdragon 845 and massive battery for a low value for the hardware. It even has a headphone jack.

OnePlus 6 XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Choices: Huawei Mate 20 Skilled

The simplest flagship system for the choices is the Mate 20 Skilled. The phone has a triple digital digital camera system, the most recent mannequin of Android, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, true face ID hardware, and the quickest Android SoC obtainable available on the market. It has the similar choices every totally different phone has plus additional. I really feel it is by far one of one of the best gadget with the simplest choices.

Huawei Mate 20 Skilled XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Mid-range System: Samsung Galaxy A8s

The Samsung Galaxy A8s is the right mid-range system by far. It’s one of the first models using the model new punch hole present format and it has the Snapdragon 710. The Galaxy A8s is working Android eight.1 and is deliberate to acquire One UI in a short time. It moreover has a triple digital digital camera system with some of the simplest mid-range cameras.

Biggest Common Low-end System: Huawei P20 Lite

The simplest low-end system is the Huawei P20 Lite. This gadget is working EMUI eight and has some of the right choices on the low-end scale. It is a fast and wonderful gadget for the price you will be spending. If the mid-range and flagships are out of your value differ, that’s the good phone to get.

Huawei P20 Lite XDA Boards

Biggest Design: Samsung Galaxy Phrase 9

The design awards have typically gone to Samsung and I really feel this yr isn’t any exception. The Samsung Galaxy Discover 9 is a pleasing and massive gadget in a single of the nicest blue colors I’ve ever seen. The curves are good on this iteration of what truly started with the Galaxy S6 Edge. It’s nearly utterly symmetrical and easily feels good to hold.

Samsung Galaxy Discover 9 XDA Boards

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Identify Screening

One of the most effective software program program perform, by far, is Identify Screening from the Pixel three and Pixel three XL. That’s the simplest perform in consequence of it’s really useful. Most totally different telephones get these random AI choices that are honestly ineffective. Identify Screening is one factor that works on every associates and spammers. It is good for trolling and for exact use.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: Face ID

The right new hardware perform, notably to Android telephones, is the face ID sensor inside the Mate 20 Skilled. This know-how is at current inside the latest iPhones and iPad Execs, nevertheless hasn’t truly made it to Android models however. Huawei managed to get it working and it actually works good. It is fast and useful with the revenue of being protected.

Most Improved: Xiaomi Mi Mix three

The Mi Mix three might be probably the most improved gadget over the Mi Mix 2. In a yr they’ve been succesful of bump the specs, design, cameras, and software program program up a notch with out together with a notch. They used a sliding phone mechanism and a ceramic once more with out rising the price.

Xiaomi Mi Mix three XDA Boards


Eric Hulse

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Value: OnePlus 6

Positive, the OnePlus 6, not the 6T. The midrange class has crept up in value by means of the years, nevertheless when a Discover begins at $1,000 dollars, $529 is “midrange.” As far as the OnePlus decisions this yr, they’re good models. Every telephones run one of our favorite varieties of Android with OxygenOS. Every have tons of RAM and a Snapdragon 845. The 6T this yr brings a barely higher battery, a a lot much less reliable fingerprint reader inside the present, and the eradicating of the headphone jack. For me, between the 6 and the 6T, having used every, the 6 is a higher buy.

OnePlus 6 XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship System for Choices: Samsung Galaxy Observe 9

This one is simple for me. Honestly, this phone has utterly the whole thing. The Observe is the highest of Samsung’s smartphone work. In case you buy the very pricey Observe 9 you’ll want for nothing – SD Card, tons of RAM, giant storage, a Snapdragon 845, S-Pen, water resistance, stereo audio system, wi-fi charging, good digital digital camera, a headphone jack, and additional. The present is good, the assemble top quality is prime notch, and whereas the software program program was already good (from a former TouchWiz hater), OneUI is superior. This phone is as shut to cost $1,000 as potential. Buy one.

Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 XDA Boards

Biggest Common Mid-range System: Nokia 7.1

I don’t have a ton of experience with worth vary telephones. The simple choice is the Motorola G assortment, nevertheless this yr I’m additional inclined to advocate the Nokia 7.1. It’s an fascinating wanting gadget and Nokia has been performing some truly fascinating points with Android and updates. The Nokia 7.1 is loaded with Android One and some good assemble top quality.

Nokia 7.1 XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Low-end System: Motorola One

It’s an unlocked gadget with an unlimited, modern-looking present. It’s moreover acquired an SD Slot and is Twin SIM. It’s an Android One models, so we’re looking at fast updates and clear Android. It moreover comes outfitted with “turbocharging,” an trustworthy sized battery, and a headphone jack.

Biggest Design: Huawei Mate 20 Skilled

I can’t say enough about how lovely this phone is. The Twilight finish is gorgeous and distinctive, and the inexperienced and blue decisions with the textured glass are moreover good. The digital digital camera array on the once more seems distinct. It’s not my favorite phone, nevertheless I do assume it’s a looker.

Huawei Mate 20 Skilled XDA Boards

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Identify Screening

One of my favorite, perhaps lesser acknowledged, choices is identify screening from Google. In an age of robocalls from spammers, it’s good to have the power to show the robots with a robotic. The perform merely works, and it feels futuristic as soon as you employ it.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: Google Pixel three Digital digital camera

This one is a bit of a mix of hardware and software program program to be reliable, nevertheless I’m merely all the time and eternally proud of the outcomes of this digital digital camera. It’s an absolute reliable pleasure to make use of. That’s to say nothing of Night time time Sight, which is often a software program program perform.

Most Improved: Razer Phone 2

Razer took their first phone and improved utterly each factor about it with out altering the core id of the system. We saved the gorgeous extreme refresh worth present and added: wi-fi charging, water resistance, a chroma emblem, improved cameras, a Snapdragon 845, higher brightness, and an unlimited cooling chamber. The phone is pretty good at a fairly good value.

Razer Phone 2 XDA Boards


Doug Lynch

Biggest Flagship System for Value: Xiaomi Pocophone F1

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is one of the shock releases of the yr, that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset at a particularly low value. It has a poor assemble top quality for starters, nevertheless the agency wanted to scale back corners to get its value as little as attainable.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Choices: Samsung Galaxy Phrase 9

The Samsung Galaxy S9 features a superior present to most smartphones, an S-Pen with far more choices over this gadget’s predecessor, and all of the Samsung Experience and OneUI choices. It’s a no brainer – the Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 is the simplest flagship of the yr for me.

Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Mid-range System: Honor 8X

Maybe a controversial determine, the Honor 8X choices 2018’s trendy notch with skinny bezels and good assemble top quality. It’s an superior gadget for the money and seems pretty.

Honor 8X XDA Boards

Biggest Basic Low-end System: Xiaomi Redmi Observe 5

Even with its difficult naming scheme, the Xiaomi Redmi Phrase 5 (Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus in China) is an outstanding system at a good larger value. The official enhance assist and group developer assist can’t be crushed by nearly one other phone available on the market.

Xiaomi Redmi Observe 5 XDA Boards

Biggest Design: Xiaomi Mi Mix three

The Xiaomi Mi Mix three has a hefty actually really feel, slim bezels, and one of the perfect design I’ve seen to date for hiding the front-facing digital digital camera.

Xiaomi Mi Mix three XDA Boards

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Google Playground/Night time time Sight

This is usually a tie for me between Google Playground and Night time time Sight. Whereas Google Playground is pleasurable to play with, it might nicely, additional sometimes that not, be a gimmick perform. Night time time Sight is sensible, which is why I’ve moreover chosen that.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: In-display fingerprint sensor

I’ve on a regular basis hottest the sensor on the once more, nevertheless being a minimalist has led me to know the sensor being hidden beneath the present.

Most Improved: ASUS ROG Phone

I don’t assume it’s going to promote properly nevertheless the amount of gear they’re launching with it reveals that they are making an actual effort.

ASUS ROG Phone XDA Boards


Adam Conway

Biggest Flagship Gadget for Value: OnePlus 6

Having used every the OnePlus 6 and the OnePlus 6T, the OnePlus 6 takes the cake for me as the right flagship of 2018 for value. A fast fingerprint sensor and a headphone jack are what pushes this one over the sting for me. The OnePlus 6T features a barely greater battery, nevertheless the larger battery does not justify these trade-offs for me. Having used every models, I can confidently say that I favor the OnePlus 6 over the OnePlus 6T for value for money, notably offered that it’s barely cheaper as properly.

OnePlus 6 XDA Boards

Biggest Flagship System for Choices: Samsung Galaxy Observe 9

I really feel choosing the Samsung Galaxy Observe 9 this is a no brainer. It has each half, and by each half, I suggest truly each factor. A fast fingerprint sensor, a stylus, a superb digital digital camera, an enormous battery, and even a headphone jack. The Samsung Galaxy Discover 9 is perhaps the phone of the yr for me.

Samsung Galaxy Discover 9 XDA Boards

Biggest Common Mid-range Gadget: Xiaomi Mi A2

I’m an unlimited fan of Xiaomi, and the Xiaomi Mi A2 is one of the company’s biggest models launched this yr. With an unimaginable digital digital camera for the price, the one issue this gadget lacks is a headphone jack. If you’ll get over that, then this is usually a robust determine. If a headphone jack is a ought to, then I’d advocate the Xiaomi Redmi Observe 5 Skilled in its place.

Xiaomi Mi A2 XDA Boards

Biggest Common Low-end Gadget: Xiaomi Redmi Discover 5

The Xiaomi Redmi Observe 5 is a stunning gadget powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, and it’s a superb smartphone for the money. For many who’re on a funds, you’ll’t go fallacious with this one.

Xiaomi Redmi Observe 5 XDA Boards

Biggest Design: Xiaomi Mi Mix three

I’ve the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and I assumed that was pretty. The Xiaomi Mi Mix three is the best-looking smartphone of 2018 for me, with its magnetic sliding digital digital camera being the best-looking reply for foregoing the notch however.

Xiaomi Mi Mix three XDA Boards

Biggest New Software program program Perform: Night time time Sight

This isn’t a troublesome choice for me the least bit. Night time time Sight is an excellent perform. It’s one of in all probability probably the most surprising choices of 2018, and one of in all probability probably the most extremely efficient as properly. I’ve even gotten fairly a bit of use out of it, one factor that I on no account anticipated.

Biggest New Hardware Perform: In-display fingerprint sensor

Whereas I personally dislike the OnePlus 6T’s in-display fingerprint sensor, I just like the thought and assume it’s very cool. I can see producers enhancing on it further, and already in smartphones identical to the Huawei Mate 20 Skilled are we seeing it get faster, additional right, and easily common larger.

Most Improved: Razer Phone 2

My experience with the Razer Phone 2 is above and previous what the Razer Phone as quickly as was. It appears good, it’s fast, it’s merely an basic good experience with the 120Hz present as properly.

Razer Phone 2 XDA Boards


Everyone has completely totally different requirements for what makes a phone the “best.” We made our picks and now we have to hear yours! Share your prime smartphones of 2018 inside the suggestions beneath!

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