The Best Phones Of 2018

I was introduced to the world of tech just over a year ago, so I have been here for the whole of 2018, and obsessively might I add. The sector of technology that I have been most interested in has been, by far, smartphones, because they are the technology that we use the most in our day-to-day lives, so it needs to be good. But a few phones have stood out further than the others for a few reasons. Let’s see why. For each category, there will be a winner, and a few special mentions, if there are any.

Specs – Asus ROG Phone

The Asus ROG phone has, in my opinion, the best specifications of any 2018 phone. The fastest chip announced for 2019 is the Snapdragon 855, which has a speed of 2.84 gHz. The Asus ROG Phone has a clock speed of 2.96 gHz. That will probably be the speed of the Snapdragon 895. It accomplishes this with an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor, which is technically faster than anything on the market right now.

The screen is a 6″ AMOLED at 1080p, which is a bit disappointing, but the 90 Hz refresh rate more than makes up for it. No other phone has a refresh rate near that with an AMOLED display. The only phones higher than that are the Razer Phones, at 120 Hz, but they are using an inferior LCD screen technology.

The phone ships with up to 8gb RAM, 512gb storage and a 4000 mAh battery. That is awesome, and, in my opinion, all a phone could ever need. Also, it includes Quick Charge 4, or Hypercharge to charge that battery super fast. The phone includes a myriad of other features, including an extra 2 USB-C ports for accessories, dual super loud but discrete front-facing speakers, a headphone jack, squeezable sides, vapour cooling technology and a rear fingerprint sensor. Still think the Razer Phone is better?

Finally, possibly the coolest feature of the phone; the rear logo. It lights up with RGB. Yes, the Razer Phone 2 does that too, but Asus did it first. And, their logo is cooler. It can act as a notification light, or just a cool aesthetic.

My special mention for this category is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, with the first 7nm chip on the market, the smartest smartphone CPU on the market, a myriad of other features that put even Samsung to shame, and the most capable smartphone camera system on the market.

Design – Oppo Find X

The Oppo Find X’s design is breathtaking. It has the least bezel of any phone, a curved, beautiful AMOLED display, a minimalistic design, bold yet subtle colours, and a mechanical slider mechanism. On the rear, the only thing of note is the slight ridge of the pop-up cameras, and the incredible gradient colours on the sides. There isn’t actually much to say about it, other than that it is just amazing to look at.

My special mentions for this category are the Asus ROG Phone, with an incredibly unique, industrial and odd design, and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, with its unique gradient back, incredibly thin chin, and square camera and flash arrangement.

Battery – Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a battery capacity of 4200 mAh, which is massive. That, combined with the aggressive memory management and incredibly efficient CPU, makes for an easy two-day battery phone. Also, it includes the fastest wireless charging on a mainstream phone and one of the fastest wired charging methods of any mainstream phone, to charge it as fast as possible. It is so good, that none compare. There are no special mentions because none even come close to the battery life this phone offers.

“None even come close to the battery life the Huawei Mate 20 Pro phone offers”

Software – Oneplus 6T

The Oneplus 6T’s tagline is unlock the speed, and that is reflected mainly in the software. Doing anything on this phone feels super fast, smooth and efficient. Even the animations are quick enough to make it feel fast, but smooth enough to make it feel cool. The attention to detail in every corner of the software just blows me away, from the rounded corners of the apps in the multitasking menu, to the airplane that actually takes off when you turn on airplane mode.

For this category, there afe 2 special mentions; the Google Pixel 3 for its lack of bloatware and the fastest updates of any phone, and the Apple iPhone XS for the fastest software experience of any phone on the market.

Cameras – Google Pixel 3

Not many people would disagree that the Pixel 3 has one of the best cameras on the market, but I would go further than that. It is not a massive update over the previous version, but it is significant enough that it makes the pictures look better. Its HDR is incredible, the stabilisation is still the best on any phone, and Night Sight still remains the best low-light shooter on the market. That isn’t even mentioning the wide-angle selfie camera, which has come in very handy in the past.

“The Pixel 3’s dynamic range is incredible, the stabilisation is best in class, and Night Sight remains the best low-light shooter on the market”

There is, in my opinion, only 1 phone that comes close to the Pixel 3’s shots and that is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. With its mind-blowing versatility, it can capture shots which no other phone could, with near Pixel-like quality. If you are a pro at photography, the Mate’s camera is probably better.

Price – Oneplus 6T McLaren Edition

The Oneplus 6T McLaren Edition costs £650/$700. That is cheap. Not crazily cheap, but pretty good. For that, you get the most RAM in any phone out right now, 30 watt Warp Charge, average cameras, a subtle yet cool design and the best software on any phone. Oh, and you get the fastest in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock in any phone. Never before have I seen such incredible value in a smartphone. I would recommend this phone to anyone looking for a phone in this price bracket, as long as cameras don’t matter that much to you.

“Never before have I seen such incredible value in a smartphone.”

In my opinion, the second best value phone on the market is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Yes, it has a steep asking price, but not as steep as the iPhones and Samsungs of the world, and yet it delivers so, so much more than those phones. How people can buy those phones I will never understand, when there are competitors like Huawei out there.

Flop – Red Hydrogen One

This award is for the Red Hydrogen One, the biggest smartphone fail of 2018. The cameras, which were the main selling point of the phone, are just ok, the ‘holographic’ display is not much better than the ‘holographic’ phones of old, it is a colossal phone, with massive bezels, with no justification, and it has nearly a two-year-old chipset. All in all, it was our fault. Our hopes were too high. We expected far, far too much of them, for their first foray into the world of smartphones.

Best Smartphone Of 2018 – Huawei Mate 20 Pro

So, I’m sure quite a few of you saw this coming. My favourite smartphone launched in 2018 was the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It had the best battery life of any phone, an IR blaster, the single most versatile camera setup of any phone, ever, and incredible value for money. This one will be the one I will compare every phone in 2019 to, or at least until the P30 Pro debuts. Put simply, Huawei knocked this out of the park. Over the past year, Huawei has truly proved that it is a shame that their phones aren’t sold in the US. I pity all of you in the US, who can’t even really consider this as an option, but for everyone else, if it fits your budget, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is absolutely worth it.

“Over the past year, Huawei has truly proved that it’s a shame that their phones aren’t sold in the US. I really pity all of you over there.”

So what do you think? What’s your favourite phone of 2018? Let me know in the comments below.

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