Best smartphones of 2018

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Best smartphones of 2018
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Whether you're on the hunt for a budget, mid-range or premium handset, we've selected a smartphone for you.

It's always hard to know when to jump on the technology treadmill, and harder still with smartphones. They’re upgraded every year, and assuming you go with the standard two-year contract lifespan, you're likely to spend at least half of that time looking enviously on at the latest phones and wondering why your pride-and-joy from 12 months ago isn't as magical as it seemed then.

The upside is when you’re ready for your next upgrade – when your contract is expiring or if you’re outright buyer – then there’s always a great choice available.

But which one to choose? To help you buy your next handset, we’ve selected the best premium, mid-range and budget smartphones currently available, complete with links to full reviews and a buyer’s guide on what the specifications mean and what to look for.

First, here’s a comparison table with pricing and key specs. We’ve also include the key performance and battery life results from our testing and, where available, the widely recognised DxOMark score of the rear camera.

Best smartphones at a glance

  Pricing (outright; best price 2GB+ plan) Screen Storage Geekbench 4 multi-core benchmark score Video-rundown battery life test DxOMark score Operating system
Samsung Galaxy S8 $999; $64 per month (Virgin) 5.8in 2560 x 1440 pixels 64GB, microSD 6629 16hrs 45mins 88  Android 7.0
Samsung Galaxy S8+ $1,149; $70 per month (Virgin) 6.2in 2560 x 1440 64GB, microSD 6598 20hrs 33mins -  Android 7.0
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 $1,399; $80 per month (Virgin) 6.3in 2960 x 1440 64GB, microSD 6,614 13hrs 38mins 94 Android 7.1
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge $700; $59 per month (Virgin) 5.5in 2560 x 1440  32GB, microSD 5295 18hrs 42mins 88  Android 7.0
Apple iPhone X From $1,579; $92 per month (Virgin) 5.8in 2436 x 1125 64GB or 256GB, no microSD 10,390 9hrs 22mins 97 iOS 11
Apple iPhone 8 Plus From $1,229; $75 per month (Virgin) 5.5in 1920 x 1080 64GB or 256GB, no microSD 10,517 13hrs 54mins 94 iOS 11
Apple iPhone 8 From $1,079; $69 per month (Virgin) 4.7in 1334 x 750 64GB or 256GB, no microSD 10,118 - 92 iOS 11
Apple iPhone 7 From $849; $64 per month (Virgin) 4.7in 1334 x 750  32GB or 128GB, no microSD 5652 13hrs 2mins 85 iOS 10
Google Pixel 2 From $1,079; $79 per month  (Telstra) 5.0in 1920 x 1080 64GB or 128GB, no microSD 6,303 14hrs 17mins 98 Android 8.0
Google Pixel 2 XL From $1,399; $101 per month (Telstra) 6.0in 2880 x 1440 64GB or 128GB, no microSD 6,263 16hrs 23mins - Android 8.0
HTC U11 $999; $65 per month (Optus) 5.5in 2560 x 1440 64GB, microSD 6481 13hrs 18mins 90  Android 7.0
Apple iPhone SE From $549; $40 per month (Virgin) 4in 640 x 1,136 32GB or 128GB, no microSD 4444 16hrs 46mins - iOS 10
Nokia 8 $899; $59.47 per month (Vodafone) 5.3in 2560 x 1440 64GB, microSD 6540 18hrs 46mins 68  Android 7.0
Sony Xperia XZ $700; $80 per month (Telstra) 5.2in 1920 × 1080 32GB, microSD 3326 14hrs 32mins n/a  Android 7.0
Motorola Moto Z2 Play $699 5.5in 1920 x 1080 64GB, microSD 4620 19hrs 33mins -  Android 7.0
Samsung A5 $599; $40 per month (Virgin) 5.2in 1920 x 1080 32GB; microSD 4054 22hrs 5mins - Android 6.0.1
Motorola G5S Plus $429  5.5in 1920 x 1080 32GB; microSD 4265 14hrs 51mins - Android 7.1
Motorola G5S $349  5.2in 1920 x 1080 32GB; microSD 2303 12hrs 12mins - Android 7.1

Higher is better with all the scores.

Next: Best flagship smartphones

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