You did it. You waited out all the announcements in the spring during the Mobile World Congress and the avalanche of new phones that premiered this fall. But now, after upstarts like Essential have had the opportunity to shine and giants like Apple and Samsung have finished using their latest merchandise, there is a big question worth asking: What is the best phone now?
Ok, wait for a second, because it's not that simple. Smartphones are very personal devices, so there is not a phone that satisfies what everyone wants. So, instead of choosing a winner, we have broken down our selections into a handful of categories to better meet your needs.
The best Android and iOS phone: the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8 Plus
Starting on the Android side of things, the phone you want is the Galaxy S8 (or S8 +, if you like larger screens) ). It's powerful, it's stylish, it has the best screen, and more than any other phone this year, the Galaxy S8 made the trend without bezel. You also have the option to try virtual reality through the Samsung Gear VR, the water resistant IP68 and the 12 megapixel camera rounded with super fast autofocus. And with prices for the S8 currently hovering around $ 650 (or less), Samsung's Android is also not ridiculously expensive.
On the other side of the divide, the iPhone 8 Plus is the sensible choice, although not very exciting. It has the same guts and new wireless charging capabilities as the iPhone X $ 1,000, and essentially the same dual cameras as well. The big differences between the two are the more compact design, no bezel of the iPhone X, its OLED screen made in Samsung and the 3D facial recognition technology hidden inside the highly defamed notch of the iPhone X. That means you will not have the ability to create animated floating heads that respond to your reactions, but you still get a handy Touch ID start button. And let's face it for a second, while Apple's fingerprint reader is not as futuristic as Face ID, Touch ID is even more secure and less prone to confusion than Apple's new technology. And with a price of $ 200 less, the cheapest iPhone 8 Plus is the most practical.
The best $ 500 phone: OnePlus 5T
In a year when high-end smartphone makers have apparently lost their minds, OnePlus 5T is a welcome relief. Starting at $ 500, you get the same Qualcomm 835 chip found on all Android flagship phones, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a very important headphone jack. And if that's not enough, you can upgrade to a model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for only $ 60 more. The OP5T also comes with a large 6-inch AMOLED extra-wide screen (on a body the same size as the old OP5), super-fast facial unlocking technology (although not as secure as the iPhone X) and a rear camera bonus specifically adjusted to improve your photos in low light. The OnePlus 5T is not only a solid option for a reasonable price, it could be the best price of any phone launched this year.
The best economical phone: Moto G5 Plus
Although it seems contradictory, the tightest smartphone competition is not for the best flagship phone. Actually, it's the best phone for less than $ 250. Honor, ZTE and Nokia make some pretty fine devices that will not ruin your wallet, but the real champion is the Moto G5 Plus. For $ 230, the Moto G5 Plus runs a practically standard version of Android, essential sport features such as an integrated fingerprint reader and expansion of microSD cards, and most importantly, it works on any operator. On paper, the recently announced Honor 7X is approaching, but as it is limited to GSM networks such as AT & T and T-Mobile, the Moto G5 Plus is our choice.
Also, if you're an Amazon Prime member trying to save every penny, the Moto G5 Plus can be purchased for only $ 185. The problem is that you'll have to put up with special offers and ads from Amazon on the lock screen of the telephone.
The best big screen phone for business, productivity and everything else: Galaxy Note 8
Although we love the expensive premium phones above, if you are the type of person who uses your phone as your main device to perform his work, the Galaxy Note 8 is better than anything else. Not only does it have a massive 6.3-inch screen that offers more screen space than virtually anything else, it's also the only phone that comes with a pen included, which is a great help to anyone who likes to draw or take handwritten notes . And thanks to Samsung's Knox security platform, Galaxy phones are often the only Android phones that the IT departments of large companies will allow.
Best camera phone: iPhone X
When it comes to the best absolute photos you can get from a phone, it's really a three horse race between the Galaxy Note 8, the Pixel 2 and the iPhone X. The iPhone X as the Galaxy Note 8 feature two camera configurations that offer a true 2x optical zoom and a plethora of sophisticated depth of field effects. . On the other hand, the HDR processing of Pixel 2 finds ways to capture amazing images that the other two can not match. But when it comes to crowning a general winner, between Portrait mode, studio lighting mode, slightly more detailed zoom photos and super-strong color accuracy, the iPhone X is. We still want Apple to put a manual mode in the camera application of the iPhone.
The best phone for audiophiles: LG V30
Although we are mired in the battle between wired and wireless audio, there is still a phone that makes music sound better than anything else: the LG V30. It does not matter if you prefer classic old-school ensembles or synthesized wave electro-acoustic hits, the 32-bit high-fidelity Quad DAC of the LG V30 has the power to allow you to hear notes that other headphones can not recreate. In addition to that, the Quad DAC allows you to choose between several digital filters and preset sound settings to better suit your ears. But the best part is that, since the V30 is one of the few handsets that still swing a headphone jack, you can listen to music on the V30 using the cans you already have, without dongles.
The only warning for the V30 is that its mono down discharge speaker is simply good, not excellent. So if you're interested in quality integrated speakers, you'd better go with the incredibly noisy Razer Phone or the BoomSound speakers on the HTC U11 or U11 +.
The best battery life: Asus ZenFone 4 Max
With a time of 16 hours and 13 minutes, almost five hours longer than its nearest competitor, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max easily had the best duration of the battery that we saw all year. Sadly, almost everything else on the phone is pretty mediocre, even for a $ 200 budget phone. The next three most durable phones were the OnePlus 5T at 11:22, the Google Pixel 2 XL at 11:17 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro at 11:13. But in an era in which almost no cell phone has removable batteries, if you really care about battery life, your best option might be to consider other factors first and buy an external battery pack for when you need more juice. But at least now you know what your options are.
But wait, what about everything else? Yes, there are many other good phones from Google, Huawei and even Razer. But many of them have problems with their screen or camera that prevent them from being sincere recommendations. There is always next year.