There are new phones arriving all the time, especially when it comes to the world of Android phones. Apple’s iPhone might be popular but handsets running Google’s mobile OS provide you with a wealth of choice.
Here at Tech Advisor we independently test each phone thoroughly so we can bring you the very best ones you can buy at any given moment. Here we rank the top 10 but keep checking as new ones will be added regularly.
So far in 2018 we’ve had some cracking Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6 and Huawei P20 Pro. We’ve still got the Pixel 3 to come too.
Your buying guide for the best Android phones in 2018
You might still be considering an iPhone, but it’s worth checkout out the amazing selection of Android phone before you make a final decision. While you only get to choose from a handful of Apple handsets, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Android.
The top Android phones are made by the likes of Samsung, Huawei, LG, OnePlus, Sony, HTC and others.
They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and each has selling points – whether it’s a sleek waterproof design, a massive display or no less than three cameras. Sometimes, you might get all of this in one phone.
Since you’re often paying in excess of £600 for these phones, you can expect to get tip top build quality and the latest hardware and software features. Differences between devices can be minimal so a lot will likely come down to personal preference.
We’ve done our best to rank the phones in order taking into account build, value, performance and features. However, make sure you get the phone that’s right for your needs – it might not simply be the phone in the top spot.
Note that where phones are very similar – like the S9 and S9 Plus – we’ve picked the one we think is better to appear in the chart. This is so the 10 phones are nicely varied, providing a wider choice, but the version not chosen is still a valid choice.
Clicking through to our in-depth reviews will help where we have detailed benchmarks, test photography and more.
So here they are, the best Android phones you can buy right now.
1. OnePlus 6
The OnePlus 6 doesn’t have everything you could possibly want on a smartphone, but it does offer an unrivalled level of bang for your buck.
If you really want things like waterproofing and wireless charging then you’ll need to spend more, which is fine if you have the budget. But for most people, the OnePlus 6 is simply a steal with amazing design, build quality, specs and performance at an affordable price.
Read our OnePlus 6 review.
There’s no doubt that the Galaxy S9 is one of the best phones of the year. It offers an excellent all-round experience with Samsung expertly blending design, hardware and software to make a phone that will appeal to all kinds of users.
You only need to spend extra on the Galaxy S9+ if you really want the extra camera, bigger screen and other internal upgrades – more RAM, storage and a bigger battery aren’t as noticeable.
However, we can’t avoid the fact that the improvements – namely the camera and biometrics – are minor and in many ways the S9 is the same as the S8 but with a higher price tag. Those on last year’s model will unlikely be able to justify the upgrade and those on an S7 or earlier might want to grab the S8 at a now much lower price.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S9 review.
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.
If you want an Android phone with every feature under the sun, the Galaxy Note 9 is it. With premium design, amazing battery life and the unique S-Pen, it’s pretty much the most you can spend on a phone right now.
That said, its features aren’t for everyone and it will be too big and expensive for many. The regular S9 has similar design and most of the features and costs less (and will fit in most pockets to boot).
But the Note 9 has the best display on a smartphone on its release and the 4000mAh battery has incredible stamina. If it’s up your street, it’s the only choice.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review.
The Pixel 2 is a boring phone until you turn it on. The uninspiring hardware melts away to present you with a bleeding edge vision of the Android future, with machine learning fully integrated. It’s not quite there yet, but this is where we are heading.
The camera, one lens down on some competitors, is better than all of them in most situations thanks to the superior software onboard. You only get that benefit when you buy Google hardware, and the company is finally realising the end to end product that Apple has been making for a decade.
If you want a smartphone to fawn over and make your friends jealous with, you won’t want the Pixel 2. But it’s faster than the Galaxy S8 and takes better photos. It delivers the best overall camera and software experience on any Android smartphone to date.
Read our Google Pixel 2 review.
6. LG G7 ThinQ
If you want wide angle cameras in a flagship phone, the G7 is an excellent option – particularly as LG has now added portrait mode for the first time.
The screen is still LCD but goes extremely bright. Add to that water resistance, wireless charging and a headphone jack with a Quad DAC, this is one of the most fully featured handsets of 2018.
You might dislike the notch and LG’s Android skin, but if you want to spend less and get a whole lot of phone, the G7 could be for you.
Read our LG G7 ThinQ review.
7. Xiaomi Mi8
Astonishing value, insane performance, awesome photography, a larger than ever 18.7:9 AMOLED display and a cool new 3D Face recognition feature are all reasons why you should rush out and buy the Mi 8. Right now it costs just £438.33/US$569.99/€490.20 from GearBest, which is several hundred pounds cheaper than many of the phones with which it competes.
We’re sad to see Xiaomi not keeping up with its rivals in terms of wireless charging, waterproofing and a Quad-HD screen, and that the highly anticipated in-display fingerprint is unique to the Explorer Edition, but at this price we can hardly complain. Amazing phone, highly recommended.
Read our Xiaomi Mi8 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 Pixel 2 XL is a fantastic phone. It’s well designed, well built and looks great. The screen issues could put you off, and don’t forget there’s no headphone socket or microSD slot.
This is where the Galaxy S8 Plus comes in: it’s slightly cheaper and has both of those features and matches the Pixel in just about every area.
The Pixel does win out on camera quality – just – but has the advantage of quick updates to future Android releases and unlimited photo and video storage for three years.
Read our Google Pixel 2 XL review.
10. Sony Xperia XZ3
This is the best Sony phone you can buy right now, but you’d expect that from its latest flagship.
The design in an improvement on the XZ2 and the OLED display means it can go shoulder to shoulder with the Galaxy S9 and OnePlus 6, finally.
Some software niggles let it down a bit, and side sense is a waste of time. The camera is the best on a Sony (if not the best on a phone) and it’s a well rounded package of a phone at a decent price.
Read our Sony Xperia XZ3 review.