#1 OnePlus 6
With a price of £469, the OnePlus 6 is easily the best value smartphone you can buy right now. It looks fantastic, has a slick version of Android and is arguably the fastest phone you can get at any price.
The 6.3-inch OLED might have a notch, but it remains gorgeously bright and colourful. There’s a Snapdragon 845 inside, 6/8GB RAM and storage versions that top out at 256GB. Our only real complaint is the camera, which still lacks the quality of pricier phones.
#2 Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus
You can’t go wrong with either the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus, though if we had to recommend one we’d go with the latter – and that’s because it comes with a dual-camera. The extra lens, in this instance, is used for zooming, making the camera far more versatile.
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus sport an identical build and similar internals, with the main differences being that the Plus model is equipped with an additional 2GB of RAM, a slightly bigger battery and the aforementioned dual-camera configuration – luxuries most customers should be able to live without.
The biggest update Samsung treated the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus to is a new variable aperture setting within the camera, letting customers switch between an f/2.4 and f/1,5 aperture whenever they see fit, which should ensure images come out bright and full of detail in almost all low-light environments.
#3 iPhone X
The iPhone X is not only the best smartphone Apple has released to date; it’s also the most expensive, setting customers back £999 for the 64GB base model. But it’s well worth it. Performance is fantastic, as are the images produced by the dual-camera setup, and Face ID is (honestly) the best thing since sliced bread.
Now let’s talk about its design. The iPhone X was designed to show the market that Apple hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to innovation, introducing an edge-to-edge OLED screen, complete with a notch, as well as Face ID. That, for those unaware, is the face-recognition feature that was introduced to replace Touch ID
#4 Google Pixel 2 XL
Those looking for the most vanilla Android experience will love the Google Pixel 2 XL. It’s one of the best smartphones we’ve put through its paces to date, earning a covered nine out of ten rating in our comprehensive review, with Max Parker, our resident Mobile and Tablets Editor, praising its build, camera and performance.
Our one qualm with the Google Pixel 2 XL is the screen. It’s a bit too plain for our liking, delivering poor viewing angles. It is, however, possible to alter the colour presets using an aftermarket application – but when you’re shelling out more than £600 for a smartphone, you’d expect it to be set to the optimum out of the box.
#5 Moto G6
Some performance frustrations, especially with the camera
Lots of the phones on this list are pricey flagship devices, but that’s not the case with the Moto G6. For a shade under £220 you get a lovely display, slick software and a surprisingly well-built phone.
Moto does a good job at ditching gimmicks here. The few apps it adds on top of Android are thoughtful, and there’s no fussy skin ruining the Android experience. There’s even basic facial unlocking, which is still a rarity at the budget end of the market.
Of course, there are some drawbacks at this price. The camera is fine, but the app is slow and you’ll often miss focus. If you can live with that then you’ll be very impressed.
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