The best smartphones of 2018

2018 was an interesting year for the smartphone industry, with many manufacturers trying out bold new designs while others stuck to traditional form factors.

Huawei cemented its place in the high-end smartphone market with the launch of its impressive Mate 20 Pro device, while the latter half of this year also saw the first devices with 7nm processors appear on the market.

These improvements made for some powerful and impressive smartphones launched in 2018.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 boasts an improved dual-camera system and relocated fingerprint sensor to deliver better low-light shots and easier biometric authentication.

The device has Samsung’s signature curved OLED display and also includes an improved S Pen stylus, which now offers enhanced functionality such as Bluetooth connectivity.

The Galaxy Note 9 is available with up to 512GB of internal storage and up to 512GB microSD storage.

Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy S9

Priced cheaper than the Note 9, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones offer cutting-edge premium features in a smaller form factor.

Both smartphones boast OLED screens, powerful processors, and dual-aperture rear cameras.

Unique camera features such as super slow-mo video capture and Bixby Vision add even more value to these devices.

Galaxy S9

Huawei P20

Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro smartphones offer great dual and triple-camera systems in addition to overhauled designs with notched displays.

They boast similar specifications to competing flagships at a slightly lower price, and their software-enhanced camera systems can deliver exceptional images.

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro feature IPS LCD and AMOLED screens respectively, and include impressive camera systems and AI-powered Kirin 970 chipsets.

Huawei P20 Pro PC

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro aims to be the pinnacle of smartphone technology.

From its curved AMOLED display with in-screen fingerprint sensor to its overhauled triple-camera system and 7nm Kirin 980 chipset, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a beast.

It is not a cheap device, but the Mate 20 Pro competes with other premium flagships in its price bracket and often outperforms them on features and specifications.

huawei mate20 pro

Google Pixel 3

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is quite similar to the previous-generation device, although there are a few upgrades.

The Pixel 3 comes with free, unlimited Google Photos storage and has both Pixel Visual Core and HDR+ support.

This smartphone is a favourite among Android fans who want to use a stock version of the mobile operating system with minimal clutter.

Google Pixel 3 1


OnePlus 6T

Another Android fan favourite, the OnePlus 6T sports the same economical flagship design as its predecessors in addition to its lightweight Android operating system.

The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and boasts an AMOLED display, but still remains competitive with other flagship smartphones in terms of pricing.

The OnePlus 6T also includes an in-display fingerprint sensor, removing the need for a pad on the back of the device.

OnePlus 6T

iPhone Xs

Apple’s iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are certainly powerful, but they are also expensive.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max rank among the most powerful smartphones in the world thanks to their A12 Bionic chipsets.

These smartphones sport a similar design to the previous-generation iPhone X and compete directly with Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20.

Apple iPhone Xs 2

iPhone Xr

If you want to buy a new iPhone, but the iPhone Xs is too expensive for your taste, the iPhone Xr might be a more suitable purchase.

Internally, it packs the same powerful chipset and delivers incredible performance, but it does not have the premium features boasted by the more expensive handsets.

Apple’s iPhone Xr is available in a number of colours and is made out of aerospace-grade aluminium.

iPhone Xr 1

Now read: Major demand for second-hand iPhones in South Africa

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The best smartphones of 2018