You can’t ignore Huawei any more. With increasingly premium smartphones on the market, the Chinese company is having a very good go at challenging Samsung, LG and Sony. In fact, it now outsells Apple globally.
The company has flagship devices in its P and Mate lines that are among the best smartphones out there. The P series is slightly more mainstream thinking, while the Mates are often photo-minded phablets but the lines are beginning to blur. Luckily, we are left with excellent phones either way.
But a Huawei phone doesn’t have to be brand new to market. The older P10 models are still excellent phones, even if the P20 is very impressive.
The P Smart is a cheaper way into the Huawei world, and you may even want to look at an older P-series phone to save a lot of money. It depends if you like Huawei’s EMUI Android skin, as it changes the stock experience quite dramatically.
We are fans though – these days anyway – and Huawei has come from being a network equipment provider to a coveted consumer electronics brand in a matter of years. Mind you, it’s not short on cash.
Here are the best Huawei phones you can buy in 2018.
Best Huawei phones 2018
In the P20 Pro Huawei has delivered a stunning phone which should be on your shortlist along with the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X. Sure, there are some niggles such as the lack of stabilisation for 4K video, no headphone jack and no wireless charging,but if your priority is photography then the P20 Pro does not disappoint.
Add in the long battery life, dual SIM slots and great screen and you’ve got the complete package: this is one of the best phones of 2018.
It’s a fair amount more than the regular model so save yourself £200 on the regular P20 if you don’t mind ‘only’ dual rear cameras, no waterproofing and an LCD screen vs OLED.
Read our Huawei P20 Pro review.
2. Huawei P20
The Huawei P20 is a phone we can recommend with hardly any reservations. It lacks a headphone jack and waterproofing, but aside from that is one of the best phones of 2018.
It holds its own thanks to outstanding cameras, excellent battery life and the most premium design on a Huawei phone ever. It has a notch, but you can hide it in the software settings, making it no issue.
At £599, we can recommend it alongside the Samsung Galaxy S9, though you might want to spend more on the S9 for the OLED display, waterproofing and headphone jack.
Read our Huawei P20 review.
The Mate 10 Pro is easily one of the best phones from Huawei yet and the dual rear cameras deliver excellent portrait photos. They can’t quite best the Pixel 2 XL’s photos but the Mate 10 Pro has a better screen, better battery life and just as much processing power.
Recent EMUI updates have added features that were previously exclusive to the P20 Pro, so at this price, the Mate 10 Pro is very good value indeed.
Read our Huawei Mate 10 Pro review.
The P10 Plus is another solid smartphone from Huawei offering attractive design, high-end hardware and much improved software. However, it’s missing a few features compared to rivals such as waterproofing and wireless charging.
You should be able to find it cheaper than the RRP given the release of the P20 line.
Read our Huawei P10 Plus review.
5. Huawei P10
The Huawei P10 is an impressive beast – it’s gorgeous, powerful and the dual cameras are a huge improvement over the 2016 flagship, the P9. Portrait mode works better than expected, photos are crisp, vibrant and detailed and even the selfie camera has had a meaningful upgrade.
Huawei’s EMUI, one of the most controversial Android overlays, is much better to use than with previous smartphones, and offers machine learning algorithms that should speed up your phone the more you use it.
Battery life isn’t great but the price, now being the old model, is very attractive at £349.
Read our Huawei P10 review.
The Mate 9 was once the very best Huawei phone. It has a huge screen, powerful specs and a headphone jack – something the newer Mate 10 Pro lacks.
It’s a bit of a large device unlike the slimmer 18:9 phones we have now in 2018 but if you want to save some money buying a Huawei phone outright, it’s a steal, and also has an enormous battery capacity.
Read our Huawei Mate 9 review.
If you’re looking for a good-looking Android phone on a budget the Huawei Nova 2i is a great example. Purchased via GearBest and delivered from Hong Kong, in some ways it’s a little better than the comparable Huawei and Honor phones intended for the UK market though it does lack support for 800MHz 4G LTE.
Thanks to a large full-HD screen with minimal bezels, dual-cameras front and rear and a slim unibody build the Nova 2i doesn’t look anything like a budget phone. Performance is on par with other phones at this price, but that’s not to say it’s bad: the Huawei should be a good fit for most users.
Read our Huawei Nova 2i review.
8. Honor 7X
Honor does pretty much everything right with the 7X. It looks like a much more expensive phone than it is, has a headphone jack and offers a choice of dual-SIM or expandable memory.
The 18:9 screen is great to use, and most apps work ok when forced to fill it. Battery life is good and cameras are acceptable, but not excellent.
The bottom line is that Honor has put together a decent phone that gives you an 18:9 screen which looks like a flagship for far less than flagship prices.
Read our Honor 7X review.
With a decent 18:9 screen, the P Smart is a fine Android phone that should appeal to anyone looking for a cheap contract phone. However, the fact it’s so similar to the Honor 9 Lite (which costs £30 less when bought SIM-free) makes it hard to recommend, especially as the Honor has a couple of extra features – dual SIM and a second front camera – which the Huawei lacks.
Read our Huawei P Smart review.
The Mate 20 Lite is a difficult phone to place. It looks attractive enough, if not exactly striking, and at £379 promises mid-range performance while falling short of the flagship processors found in similarly priced Honor phones like the Honor 10 or even the £100 cheaper Honor Play.
All of that would make for a solid if slightly over-priced mid-range business phone, but for some reason the best specs in here are saved for the 24MP dual front-facing selfie cameras, with Huawei touting the Mate 20 Lite as one of the best phones around for the self(ie)-obsessed.
This isn’t an exciting enough phone for the Snapchat crowd, while business users can get better performance for less money elsewhere, meaning this doesn’t really have an obvious audience. It’s far from a terrible phone, but it’s hard to see who it’s best-suited for.
Read our Huawei Mate 20 Lite review.