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If you’ve got an upgrade coming, and you want an Android phone, what Android phone should you go for in 2018?

If you've got an upgrade coming, and you want an Android phone, what Android phone should you go for in 2018?

When it comes to Android phones, you're kind of spoilt for choice in 2018. The Q1 update cycle is now well underway, following MWC, and this presents you with some new options.

The most notable of which is Samsung's new Galaxy S9. But that handset isn't the only game in town right now. Far from it, in fact – you also have solid releases from Google, OnePlus, and LG to consider as well.

I've laid this article out in three sections:

  • Current premium options – i.e. handsets that are flagships and available right now.
  • Value for money options – handsets that offer great specs and performance for A LOT less than a flagship phone
  • Incoming Flagships – handsets that will launch later on this year and might be worth waiting for

This way, you'll have a better idea of your options going forward. No one likes upgrading their phone and then finding out a few months later it's been usurped by a successor model. That always sucks.

The "Premium" Options

Premium phones are pricey, but they pack in the latest and greatest technology and features. When you buy a flagship, you're getting the best of the best – with no expense spared.

These handsets are our current favorite Android flagship phones. We have tested them all and were very impressed by them, which is why they are listed here, as we feel they are the best options right now for the top-end of the Android market.

Google's Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL

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The Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL are two very strong options if you value best in class software, brilliant camera performance, and never want to miss an Android update again.

They're pricey, sure, but they are essentially the iPhones of the Android space, in that Google controls every aspect of the device and its software, so when something new lands, you get it first. They also have the best camera money can buy right now.

LG V30

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Power. Design. Features – the LG V30 has them all. By the truck-load. Next to the Pixel 2 phones, I'd say it was easily one of the strongest and most compelling Android phones released in 2017/18.

The phone was positively received by reviewers and consumers alike, so if you're after something that really packs a punch, looks great doing it, and features some of the latest in technology innovation, the LG V30 should be high on your list.

Samsung Galaxy S9

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Recently launched at MWC 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9 carries on the momentum set by its predecessor, the Galaxy S9. The design is similar, yet still very impressive. The display is the best OLED panel in operation right now. Bar none. And it performs brilliantly.

Samsung is the biggest phone maker on the planet, and the reason for this is its Galaxy S releases. These phones are insanely popular – and with good reason too. They are fantastic performers, have great cameras, and pack in really useful software.

The "Value For Money" Options

If value for money is important to you, there really is only one game in town right now.

OnePlus has pretty much carved out a niche just for itself in recent years and it has been filling it with solid releases ever since.

OnePlus 5T

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OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 5T

When writing about the OnePlus 5T a few months back, I said it was the best value Android smartphone money could buy. Five months later, this still stands. Nothing comes close to this phone in this regard. It's a flagship priced like a mid-range phone. And in 2018, that alone is headline worthy.

It looks fantastic, performs brilliantly, and has a great camera. Basically, this is one of the best phones you can buy right now. And, best of all, it retails for around half the price of the Galaxy S9. What more could you want?

The "Incoming" Options – If You Want To Wait…

The release cycle of phones varies from year to year, but there are constants. Samsung always releases its Galaxy S update at the beginning of the year, for instance, while Google releases its Pixel phones later on in the year.

These are the handsets we're most excited by for later on in 2018.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung's Note phones are always pretty exciting. Normally, they take everything the Galaxy S update had, add a few more cool features, and release it inside a bigger phone that comes with a stylus.

It's a heady mix and Samsung has had a lot of success with its Galaxy Note series over the years. 2018's Galaxy Note 9 is shaping up to be a massive upgrade as well – things like a fingerprint reader in the display are rumoured, as is a 4K OLED panel.

This one could definitely be worth waiting for.

Google Pixel 3

I'm something of a Pixel purist these days. I know there are technically better Android phones around. But for me, it's all about the software – and this is where Pixel phones come into their own. You get Android updates as soon as they're released and Google has consistently dominated camera performance in the two years it has been making Pixel phones.

If you love Android and what the best possible Android experience, as well as an awesome camera at your disposal, you could do a lot worse than waiting to see what Google comes up with later this year inside its Pixel 3 update.

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 5T is easily one of the best value phones you can buy right now. As I mentioned earlier, in this context, OnePlus has few competitors. And this means that the company's next release (the OnePlus 6) is always worth consideration.

It will likely cost more than the OnePlus 5T, the company has been increasing the price of its handsets incrementally since day one, but it will still cost A LOT less than 90% of the competition. And it is this, combined with the performance of the handset, that always makes OnePlus a great option.


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