Best Smartphones of 2018: Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, iPhone

It’s an ideal 12 months to purchase a smartphone. These days, even midrange telephones are nice, so it’s laborious to go horribly awry if you happen to’re searching gadgets at your native retailer. Especially if you happen to’re gadgets over $500, you are nearly assured to search out good cameras, quick processors, and beautiful screens. At the identical time, telephones have by no means been dearer, and there are a variety of small pitfalls you possibly can run into, particularly if you happen to’re making an attempt to purchase a telephone that may final you two or three years.

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No matter why you’re right here, we hope this information helps. We’ve picked the most effective smartphones for each main platforms and have a bunch of ideas that will help you make your best option doable. Be certain to learn our listing of the most effective low-cost telephones and finest tablets as properly. Happy telephone searching!

Updated on Aug. 27, 2018: We’ve up to date this listing, including and eradicating a number of gadgets.

1. The Best Overall

Google Pixel 2 ($650)


(Works on all 4 networks)

There are a variety of good causes folks could select iOS over Android, however Google’s Pixel 2 and bigger Pixel 2 XL are our picks for finest total smartphone. Google has made it tremendous simple to purchase its flagship telephones unlocked, and all Pixel telephones get safety and software program updates like clockwork. We gave the telephone a 9/10 and our WIRED Recommends seal of approval after we reviewed it. We consider it represents the best possible that Google’s Android working system has to supply, with the most recent Android Pie options, no bloatware, and an industry-leading 12-megapixel digital camera that is a stunner.

The solely main downsides are the shortage of a MicroSD card for further storage and no 3.5 mm headphone jack, although that’s sadly absent from many prime telephones as of late.

Note: The Pixel Three is probably going popping out in September or October, which can cut back the worth of this mannequin.

Buy Pixel 2 from the Google Store or Verizon

Accessories we like: sturdy case, clear case, material case

2. The iPhone To Buy

Apple iPhone 8 ($699)


(Works on all 4 networks)

While we love the spiffy iPhone X, let’s get right down to brass tacks: The iPhone 8 (and that iPhone 8 Plus) are just about an identical within the ways in which depend, and so they’re cheaper. We gave the iPhone Eight and eight Plus an 8/10 and our WIRED Recommends award after we tried them final 12 months. Many of us on the Gear group nonetheless like having a Touch ID residence button, and the primary 12-megapixel digital camera you get in both kicks butt. Both fashions are water resistant, and like all iPhones they arrive with years of safety and software program updates instantly from Apple.

Like at all times, not the whole lot is ideal. No new iPhones have a 3.5 mm headphone jack and none assist MicroSD storage growth, so purchase what you want upfront. Apple’s iCloud providers are additionally behind the occasions, and we discover them more durable to handle and significantly extra cramped than what Google presents.

Note: The subsequent batch of iPhones will possible debut in September. This does not make the iPhone Eight a nasty buy by any means, however it might get a bit cheaper then.

Buy the iPhone Eight from Apple

Accessories we like: sturdy case, clear case, grippy case, leather-based case

3. An Amazing, Semi-Affordable Phone

OnePlus 6 ($529)


(Works on AT&T and T-Mobile)

We actually just like the OnePlus 6 (8/10, WIRED Recommends), and it is at present our prime decide in our roundup of reasonably priced telephones. It’s not precisely bargain-bin low-cost, but it surely presents patrons a aggressive suite of flagship-quality options for tons of much less. It’s as quick as telephones come, runs a reasonably up-to-date model of Android, and has a stunning AMOLED display.

The solely downsides are its new glass again, which is susceptible to fingerprints and breaking (most telephones have this downside in 2018) and the shortage of waterproofing. On the upside, it has a headphone jack.

Buy OnePlus 6 from OnePlus

Accessories we like: This telephone comes with a primary case, however this rugged case will add drop safety. It doesn’t have a MicroSD slot.

4. Everything however the Kitchen Sink

Samsung Galaxy S9 ($620)


(Works on all 4 networks)

There are many causes to decide on a Galaxy S9. Read all about them in our evaluation (8/10, WIRED Recommends). Samsung is slower to replace its telephones than Apple and Google, but it surely does ship massive software program updates to its flagship telephones just a few occasions a 12 months.

The Galaxy S9 has the cutting-edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (similar as OnePlus, G7, and so forth.) and a improbable digital camera setup, which delivers stills and video up there with the iPhone and Pixel sequence. Like these telephones, it additionally has a fingerprint sensor (that’s simpler to make use of this 12 months) and a fully attractive, edge-to-edge AMOLED display. Did we point out it has a MicroSD slot for further storage and a headphone jack? Those two options alone set it other than the gang.

The downsides are principally Samsung’s closely personalized Android software program, which might really feel prefer it’s cluttered with extraneous apps from the second you energy it on.

Buy the Galaxy S9 from Samsung or $620 from Amazon

Accessories we like: clock cowl instances, clear accented case, sturdy case, 64 GB MicroSD card

5. Gargantuan Screen With a Stylus

Galaxy Note 9 ($1,000)


(Works on all 4 networks)

The Galaxy Note 9 is ginormous, even by immediately’s requirements, with a 6.4-inch display. We appreciated the telephone (8/10, WIRED Recommends) however do surprise what number of patrons actually desire a telephone so massive when different gadgets have bigger-than-ever shows.

Like at all times, the Note 9 comes with the best possible processor and internals cash should purchase, together with a delightfully sharp digital camera. This 12 months, the S Pen works as a distant management, too. You can unlock the telephone and do issues like open the digital camera app from afar. It sounds gimmicky, but it surely’s a enjoyable characteristic to have. The downsides are the identical because the smaller Galaxy S9: It’s costly, and Samsung’s software program and replace cadence should not at all times the most effective. But hey, at the very least it comes with Fortnite.

Buy the Galaxy Note 9 from Samsung

Accessories we like: slim protecting case, clear case, Samsung DeX Station, 64 GB MicroSD Card

6. The Audiophile’s Dream

LG G7 ThinQ ($650)


(Works on all 4 networks)

The LG G7 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has some foolish ThinQ branding and AI-powered digital camera app, however did you ever actually purchase an LG telephone due to advertising gimmicks? Underneath all of it, the G7 packs as a lot energy as any handset in 2018, with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 1440p display, and 16-megapixel dual-rear cameras.

If you are an audiophile, you might wish to give the G7 a pay attention. It comes with a Hi-Fi Quad DAC onboard for wired headphones (sure, it has a 3.5 mm audio jack), and DTS:X 3D for improved Bluetooth audio. Bottom line: It’s a pleasure to hearken to music on the G7.

Buy the LG G7 from Amazon

Accessories we like: gentle case (has clear choice), 64 GB MicroSD card

7. Affordable Luxury

Motorola Moto X4 ($250)


(Works on all 4 networks)

It’s no secret: We just like the Motorola Moto X4 lots. We fortunately really useful it in our Best Cheap Phones roundup and gave it a WIRED Recommends badge. For lower than $300, it presents a variety of high-end options.

It has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, MicroSD card growth, a 16-megapixel selfie digital camera, twin rear cameras, a ravishing HD display, a entrance fingerprint sensor with gestures, waterproof metal-and-glass design, strong battery life, and an almost-pure model of Android from Google. The draw back is that it has a midrange Snapdragon 630 processor and you will encounter a little bit of lag from time to time. For a telephone that’s a 3rd to half the worth of the others on this listing, the sacrifices are completely price it.

Buy the Moto X4 from Amazon

Accessories we like: sturdy case, clear case, colourful case, 64GB MicroSD card

Other Great Smartphones


If the picks above don’t fit your fancy, listed here are another smartphones that we like. These are all high-quality gadgets and new sufficient that they received’t really feel out of date the second you purchase them. They’re nice upgrades in case your telephone is beginning to present its age.

Buying Tips

Phones to Avoid: Don’t strive to economize by shopping for 2-year-old telephones. It’s additionally clever to keep away from gadgets from manufacturers you are not acquainted with or that aren’t talked about in our information. There are loads of good ones, but it surely’s simple to get burned or purchase a telephone that received’t work in your service.

Features You Want: Make certain your potential telephone buy has the options most necessary to you. Try to purchase one with at the very least 64 GB of inside storage (minimal 32 GB), optimally with a MicroSD slot so you possibly can add extra storage later. IP67 waterproofing ought to be customary on most gadgets and can be helpful that one time you drop your telephone within the tub. Many telephones don’t have 3.5 mm headphone jacks, so be certain that yours does. You’ll additionally at the very least desire a Snapdragon 630 processor and Four GB of RAM in any Android telephone you purchase. It also needs to run Android 8.0 Oreo (2017) at this level.

Buy Smart, Do the Math: Wireless carriers and retailers typically provide 24-month installments to repay telephones. Try to purchase your gadget unexpectedly to keep away from paying further or paying greater than it’s essential to in your gadget. Carriers generally conceal greater costs in seemingly low-cost month-to-month installments.

Buy Unlocked Because … You Never Know: If you purchase telephones which can be unlocked, you possibly can simply swap wi-fi suppliers if you happen to see a greater deal, transfer to a location the place your service has poor protection, or get bored with shenanigans. Read our full information to the Best Unlimited Wireless Plans to see our present favorites, Every telephone we suggest on this information is accessible unlocked.

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