Help us choose the best smartphones of 2018

With the end of 2018 in sight, we thought this would be the perfect time to choose the best smartphones of the year. If you haven’t been paying close attention, 2018 has delivered quite a few outstanding devices. Sure, the notch has been present on most of them, but that really didn’t detract too much from the amazing cameras, performance and battery life that nearly all flagship devices packed in this year. 

Our team is working on our official list of best smartphones for 2018, but we also want your input for our official “Reader’s Choice Awards: Best Smartphones of 2018” article which will be going up early next week. 

What we need from you is your vote and a comment. The results of the poll will determine the winners and select comments about individual devices will be included for each device in the final article. If the device you want to vote for is not listed in the poll, feel free to add it in the poll’s comment section. 

We’re slowly working through our selection process for the best devices of 2018, but we’d really curious to see which smartphones you guys think is worthy to be crowned best smartphone of 2018. 

Take Our Poll

The iPhone XS still can’t compete with the Pixel 2’s camera

There’s a lot of hype around the new Apple iPhone XS and it’s “improved imaging sensor” which captures more light and delivers better images. While Apple’s smartphones have often been regarded as having the best smartphone cameras on the market, things started shifting a few years ago. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 was introduced, it gave Apple’s latest iPhone a run for its money and since then, Huawei, Google and HTC have all delivered cameras which capture better photos than what Apple’s iPhones have been able to manage.
Since the new iPhone XS imaging sensor has been updated to match the 1.4μm Pixel size that most high-end Android phones have been using for the past two years, many were expecting its camera to match or beat the Pixel 2. Unfortunately for Apple, that doesn’t seem to be the case. We have not tested the camera of the iPhone Xs yet, but The Verge has shared a handful of side-by-side shots taken with both phones. The results show that the iPhone Xs has a better camera than last year’s iPhone X, but it still can’t beat the Pixel 2. The images from the iPhone XS are flatter which are better suited for those looking to edit the images after the fact, but the shots taken with the Pixel 2 seem perfectly tuned by Google’s software to be shared immediately with no extra fuss.

These two photos clearly demonstrate just how much better the year old Pixel 2XL (left) is than the brand new iPhone XS (right). And the Pixel 3 arrives in a couple of weeks https://t.co/l6we1J3BDm pic.twitter.com/llMubsASDQ
— James Bareham (@Happicamp) September 18, 2018

Android Central has also compared the cameras of the Pixel 2 and the iPhone XS and has come to the same conclusion. In their comparison shots, the Pixel 2 produces sharper images, better color reproduction and dramatically better white balance in low-light situations. The images taken with the iPhone XS are still pretty incredible, but they’re simply no match for the Pixel 2’s superior image processing.
iPhone XS left, Pixel 2 right (Image credit: Android Central)
With the launch of the Pixel 3 set for October 9th, we’re eager to see what Google’s new smartphones are capable of.

Do the new iPhones pose a threat to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL?

With yesterday’s unveiling of Apple’s iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, you might be wondering how the upcoming Pixel 3 handsets from Google will stack up against the latest iPhones. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL won’t officially be unveiled until October 9th, but at this point, there’s very little we don’t know about the two phones.
To kick things off, we do need to point out that Apple introduced three new smartphones this year — the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone. While we’d like to say that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL would be going head-to-head with the iPhone Xs (5.8-inch display) and iPhone Xs Max (6.5-inch display), the introduction of the iPhone Xr throws a wrench in those plans. The new iPhone Xr has a 6.1-inch display, a single camera on the back and its $749 base price point is significantly lower than the $999 Apple will be charging for the iPhone Xs. The other reason for the phone’s lower price is that the body of the iPhone Xr is built with an aluminum frame instead of the steel frame that the iPhone Xs is equipped with.
Pixel 3 XL versus iPhone Xs Max
Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 XL and its rumored 6.7-inch display seems to match up nicely with the iPhone Xs Max since they both will have extremely large displays. The 6.5-inch 2436×1125 pixel display on the Apple iPhone Xs Max will be slightly smaller than the Pixel 3 XL’s 6.7-inch, 2960×1440 pixel panel. Both devices come with hefty notches at the top, so you’ll definitely need to embrace the notch life if you’re planning on picking up either of these phones.
The iPhone Xs Max does have the advantage when it does to camera hardware. Not only does the iPhone has a dual-sensor setup on the back with a 2x optical zoom lens on the secondary sensor, the main sensor has increased in size, featuring the same 1.4μm pixel size as the Pixel 2’s camera sensor. Apple is also jumping on the computational photography bandwagon with a new Smart HDR feature which will mimic the Pixel’s HDR+ setting to produce better images with every shot. On top of that, the Apple’s iPhone will be able to adjust the bokeh blur when taking portrait shots. 
Pixel 3 versus iPhone Xs, iPhone Xr
The matchup between the Pixel XL is pretty straightforward, but comparing the Pixel 3 against the iPhone Xs or the iPhone Xr is a bit trickier. Google’s Pixel 3 will be smaller than both of Apple’s phones. The iPhone Xr’s $749 price tag will likely be close to the Pixel 3’s, but its 6.1-inch display will dwarf the 5.5-inch display Google’s phone is rumored to have. The only advantage the Pixel 3 appears to have is its 2160 x 1080 pixel display with a 440 ppi compared to the iPhone Xr’s 1,792×828 pixel display with a 326ppi.
When it comes to the iPhone Xs, the story is pretty much the same as last year. Apple’s phone is significantly more expensive than what the Pixel 3 will sell for, mainly due to the extra camera hardware on the back and the surgical steel used for the phone’s frame.
But in the end, the details listed here don’t really matter. The majority of Apple users will continue to buy Apple phones and Android users will likely be sticking with Android. The new Pixel 3 devices and new iPhones don’t really offer anything revolutionary that would lead to a shift in the market. Consumers tend to buy specific smartphones based on the overall experience that they offer and the final price. Besides the phenomenal camera experience that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are expected to offer, more people will be buying Google’s Pixel devices simply because they are running stock Android. ON the other side of the fence, Apple is hoping to capitalize on the notched-display form factor it introduced last year by delivering it at a price that’s much more affordable. That being said, Apple has finally caught the extra-large smartphone bug with the iPhone Xs Max which may help them retain customers who were thinking of abandoning Apple for a large-screen Android device.
How do you think things will play out between the new iPhone’s and Google’s upcoming Pixel 3 lineup?
 

Apple iPhone Xs versus the Android competition

Ladies and gentlemen, the new iPhones have landed! If you’re just now learning about the new iPhone Xs on Phandroid, there’s a good chance that you’re probably not interested in the new flagship smartphone from Apple. That being said, you might be a little curious as to how your recent Android smartphone purchase stacks up against the iPhone Xs.
To put things simply, if you’ve seen last year’s iPhone X, you’ll probably have a hard time telling it apart from the iPhone Xs. Like all of Apple’s “s” models, this new device has the same body as last year’s phone. The only real thing to set it apart is the new “gold” color option. Of course, there are a few differences on the inside. The iPhone Xs comes with an improved dual camera system on the back which takes better photos, the Face ID system has been upgraded to be slightly faster, the battery lasts 30 minutes longer than the previous model, Apple’s finally added a 512GB storage option, upgraded IP68 dust and water resistance and the new and improved A12 Bionic processor.
We’ve broken the specs down into an easy-to-digest table which shows all the most important features of the new iPhone Xs matched up again those of the most popular Android smartphones of 2018 — the Samsung Galaxy S9, Oneplus 6 and LG G7 ThinQ. Based on what you’ve seen, does the new Apple iPhone Xs have what it takes to go head-to-head against the best Android devices this year?

iPhone Xs
Samsung Galaxy S9
OnePlus 6
LG G7 ThinQ

Screen size
5.8 inches
5.8 inches
6.2 inches
6.1 inches

Resolution
2,436 x 1,125
2,960 x 1,440
1080 x 2280
3,120 x 1,440

Density
458ppi
570ppi
402ppi
564ppi

Processor
Apple A12 Bionic
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM
Unknown
4GB
6 / 8GB
4GB

Storage
64 / 256 / 512GB
64 / 128 / 256GB
64 / 128 / 256GB
64GB

Battery
Unknown (20 hours talk / 12 hours internet)
3,000mAh
3,300mAh
3,000mAh

OS
iOS 12
Android 8.0
Android 8.0
Android 8.0

Rear camera
Dual cameras: Wide-angle, 12MP, f/1.8, 1.4μm Pixel size, Telephoto, 12MP, f/2.4
12MP, dual aperture f/1.5 and f/2.4, 1.4μm pixel size
Dual cameras: Standard 16MP, f/1.7, 1.22µm pixel size, 20 MP depth sensor
Dual cameras: Standard, 16MP, f/1.6, 1.0μm pixel size Wide-angle, 16MP, f/1.9, 1.0μm pixel size

Front camera
7MP, f/2.2
8MP, f/1.7
16 MP, f/2.0
8MP, f/1.9

Bluetooth
v5.0
v5.0
v5.0
v5.0

NFC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Dimensions
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm
153.1 x 71.9 x 7.9mm

Weight
177g
163g
177g
162g

Special features
IP68 certified, FaceID, Qi wireless charging, dual SIM
IP68 certified, 3.5mm headphone jack, WPC/PMA wireless charging, Iris Scanner, Fingerprint Scanner
3.5mm headphone jack, Fingerprint Scanner
IP68 certified, 3.5mm headphone jack, Qi wireless charging, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, Fingerprint Scanner