Well! it’s the end of the year, so you know what that means: Awards lists. It’s time to crown the best phones of 2018; which is a surprisingly tough activity given how many great phones there was this year.
Besides, we recognize that everyone is different; with varying preferences on devices. So instead of merely listing our favorite choices at every price range, our picks are aimed at different kinds of buyers from all over and with their particular daily needs.
We will be looking at general popularity means broad carrier compatibility, wide-ranging accessories and accessible tech support. These are the phones you recommend to people who don’t know anything about phones. So, in that case; let’s dig in.
- OnePlus 6T: 2018 was the year OnePlus made its biggest stride yet to move from being a niche brand for smartphone enthusiasts to one that can appeal to the mainstream. More importantly, starting at $549 in the US (about ₦197,640), it’s still priced far below almost all the competition.
The OnePlus 6T is a phone that gets nearly everything right, offering best-in-class performance, a top-notch camera, excellent battery life, a classy design, and a solid history of post-launch software improvements. Now that it works on Verizon as well as GSM networks, it’s hard to justify buying anything more expensive. Well, unless you’re on Sprint.
- iPhone Xr: There’s a slot for the iPhone almost every year, but this is the first year I can think of where the top award isn’t going to Apple’s flagship. Instead, for the vast majority of people, the iPhone Xr makes more sense. It has the same processor, same primary camera (much improved this year), and shows better battery performance in several tests.
You do miss out on the higher-resolution OLED display, 3D Touch, and a telephoto lens, but for most people, those are acceptable compromises for a far cheaper $749(₦269,640) price tag. Besides, it’s just the better-looking device, if you ask me, with its wide gamut of color options that remind me of the good ol’ iPad nano days.
- Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL: Though not popular in Nigeria; And yet, I can’t help but keep recommending it, because Google’s software makes it worth it. It performs well, gets solid battery life, and receives fast updates. The Pixel 3 is the only small Android phone that isn’t crippled compared to its larger sibling.
It is greatly praised for its camera features; especially after the addition of Night Sight. This feature has completely changed my perspective of what low light photography can be like on a smartphone, and through other phones ostensibly feature similar night modes, none comes close to the effectiveness and reliability of Google’s in my experience.
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro: The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the most ambitious phone when it comes to memory. It has everything but the kitchen sink (duh!) and a headphone jack.Though I’d like to see Huawei trim some of its software features for a more refined experience, the wealth of options doesn’t affect performance, and battery life is fantastic.
The Mate 20 Pro also deserves to be in the ‘easy recommendation’ list, but its high price and difficulty to acquire in North America make it best left for power users.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Last but not the least; Samsung’s Note 9 is one of few phones that feels like it justifies its $1,000+ price tag (₦360,000). It starts at 128GB of Storage and 6GB of RAM and goes up to 512GB/8GB – with expandable storage. It also has stereo speakers, fantastic battery life, a headphone jack – and of course, it’s the only phone worth buying with a stylus.
The Note 9’s huge screen, plethora of software features, top-notch battery life, and stylus make it an easy recommendation for power users.