The best phone of 2018 in UAE: Top smartphones tested and ranked

If you're looking for the best smartphone, then you've come to the right place. A set of pages where you can browse all manner of top mobile phones and find the right one for you.

We know that are so many handsets to choose from, but we still sift through them all to make sure we get to the bottom of each and can provide you with a great reason to buy (or not buy) each.

How did we arrive at the decisions? Well, we can tell you it's not an easy process. What matters about a smartphone is a little different to everybody – so we make sure we know these phones inside and out.

We test the quality of the screen, the battery life, the feel of the phone in the hand and the power of the camera (and plenty more besides) to find out which phone we think blends all of these together – and doesn't cost too much.

 If you want something that's based entirely on price (and don't want to spend a huge amount) then we suggest you check out our list of the best budget phones of 2018 for some great ideas. 

For some further (or more targeted) light reading, head to our best iPhone or best Android phone guides. Maybe you're more of a brand loyalist though, in which case go for our list of the best Samsung phones.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a big phone that's designed for big hands – and it takes the very best of what's on the smartphone market and puts it together in a compelling package that we've loved testing. 

Screen: The Super AMOLED 6.2-inch display has been measured as one of the very best around right now, with super colours, great dynamic range and, essentially, the very best viewing experience you can have on a mobile phone.

Battery life: The battery life on the S9 Plus is better than the smaller version, thanks to the 3500mAh battery – although it's probably the weakest part of the phone, not offering as much life as we'd have liked.

Camera: The camera on the Galaxy S9 Plus is among the best on the market, and the dual-aperture capability offers some startlingly good snaps when things get a little darker. Colours can look a tad washed out when the exposure is higher, but the power of the sensor, with memory built into it, offers very low-noise shots.

Mini verdict: If you're after a bigger phone with all the latest and greatest features on it, the Galaxy S9 is that and more.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best phones we've ever tested – and also one of the most expensive. However, for that money you're getting an extraordinary spec list, including the first mainstream phone to offer 1TB of storage and an incredible screen.

Screen: Let's get right to that screen: it's beautiful. Yes, it's a bit narrow if you're coming from the Note 5 or similar, but the way it wraps around the frame, the smaller bezels and the impressive color reproduction and brightness make it a real favourite.

Battery life: With 4,000mAh under the hood, the Note 9 has one of the biggest batteries Samsung has ever thrust into a device, meaning it can easily last through the day (plus it has new cooling tech to help it last longer in gaming sessions, although we've not seen much proof of that). You can also charge over wireless easily, and fast charging boots in 17% battery in 15 mins.

Camera: The cameras on Samsung phones are part of the reason they rank so highly in our list – the sheer capability and low light performance is impressive. Photos are definitely more on the colourful side, but there are more AI smarts in the mix to help you get the right shot at the right time.

Mini verdict: It's hard to wrap the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 into a mini verdict – it does so much and we've not even touched on the new, camera-remote-enabled Bluetooth S Pen. The expansive, quality screen, the battery life and the camera all combine to make this a stunning smartphone… if you can afford it.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review

The Huawei P20 is easily the best phone that the brand has ever produced, and it's troubling the top of our charts. Huawei has got so much right on this phone, and it now truly its place in the same breath as Samsung and Apple as a top smartphone choice.

Screen: The 6.1-inch display is only Full HD, but that does help with battery life. This is actually probably one of the weakest parts of the phone, as it lacks the colour reproduction of its rivals, but it does come with a screen protector pre-fitted, which is a nice touch.

Battery life: The Huawei P20 Pro will get you a day and half of light to moderate use – it goes down after a full month's effort, filling it with apps, but even still we're getting a good day's hard use, which is great.

Camera: The camera is the standout feature on the Huawei P20 Pro, offering three lenses… and they're actually useful. The resolution is pin sharp thanks to brilliant image stabilisation, the software photo optimisation is excellent and having that 40MP sensor has been boosted well by Leica for good low light performance.

Mini verdict: The main issue you have to overcome with the P20 Pro is the fact you might not be familiar with the brand, but not only is Huawei a worthy competitor to Apple and Samsung, but it's the most likely to get the bigger price drops first (which is worth checking out using our price finder below).

Read more: Huawei P20 Pro review

If you're looking for the best smartphone around right now, it's the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (as you might have seen on the previous page) – but Apple's latest effort comes mighty close.

The iPhone X (although it's pronounced 'ten') is the redesigned Apple phone that iFans have been crying out for. It's got an all new shape, the notch at the top and higher price… but it's the best iPhone that's ever been made too (as long as you don't miss the headphone jack).

Screen: The 5.8-inch OLED screen is the best display Apple has ever crammed into an iPhone. It’s far ahead of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus for so many reasons: the sharpness, the quality, the fact that it fills the whole front of the phone, and the color reproduction.

Battery life: The iPhone X's battery life is pretty good but it's by no means best in class. If you're a very heavy user you might struggle to last more than 12 hours but for most users it'll comfortably last a whole day.

Camera: Cameras on iPhones have always been superb, and the iPhone X is no different. The camera on the X is often stunning, delivering still shots that are rich with detail. Perhaps not quite as brilliant as the Pixel 2, but still right up there with the best.

Mini verdict: This is the phone to buy if you want to treat yourself to a high-end handset – a little extra per month for something you really enjoy taking out of your bag or pocket is worth it (if you can afford it). 

Read more: iPhone X review

The Samsung Galaxy S9 isn't quite the phone that the S9 Plus is – it's only got a single camera sensor, for one – but it's a more palm-friendly model that still packs the power and top screen quality of its sibling.

Screen: A QHD 5.8-inch screen takes up most of the front of the phone – and it's still a stunning design. Brighter, more colourful and capable of showing the best of movies, the Super AMOLED tech is once again showing itself to be best thing to look at on a smartphone.

Battery life: Battery life is a little disappointing for a top-end smartphone, meaning you'll need to think about a top-up during the day if you're a harder user. Wireless and fast charging capabilities help with this though.

Camera: It's only a single sensor on the rear of the Galaxy S9, unlike the Galaxy S9 Plus – meaning it's not as good at photography. But don't think the S9 takes poor photos, as they're still stunning, and in low light it's a sterling performer, with very little noise.

Mini verdict: The Galaxy S9 is a smartphone with all the top-end features you'd want, and more on top. It's not quite at the level of the S9 Plus, and the iPhone X outranks it in some ways – but for a more palm-friendly Android phone it's utterly tops.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S9 review

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the phone to go for if you want great battery life. It's also a phone for someone who wants something a little different, and needs a handset that can easily last a day, and then some, on a single charge.

The biggest talking point of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is, as you've guessed, its battery.

It’s big at 4,000mAh, and it translates to impressive performance, with the possibility of stretching usage to two days from a single charge if you switch it off overnight.

On the rear, the dual camera setup is a solid point-and-shoot option, but it really excels if you dive into manual mode; if you're a camera enthusiast who's willing to spend time fine-tuning, you can get some great shots from the Mate 10 Pro.

How good is the Huawei Mate 10 Pro camera?

Also consider: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is probably the closest rival to the Mate 10 Pro, also coming with a great manual camera mode, large and clear screen and phablet-sized, bezel-less proportions. However, it's more expensive and has a shorter battery life.

 

The LG G7 ThinQ is an impressive little phone from the brand (irritating name aside), bringing with it a strong package and a decent price in many regions. There's an attempt to right the wrongs of the LG G6 – and it's resulted in a good alternative to the traditional big hitters.

Screen: LG's Super Bright screen might not be OLED – LCD is preferred here – but it's capable of delivering good peak brightness, can handle HDR10 and Dolby Vision playback and has a large, expansive look with a smaller notch. It's a little large to hold, but it's one of the most capable screens around.

Battery life: At 3,000 mAh, the LG G7 ThinQ isn't the largest on the market… and it shows in the performance. It's not terrible, with some clever background processing keeping things going, but it'll only last you around a day when others are starting to eke into two.

Camera: The smart camera here is great if you want to capture more of the picture, with a much wider field of view bringing in more information. The smart sensor tries to work out what's in front of you – with great results, but only when it gets things right. It's not the best camera out there, but you can take some stellar shots.

Mini verdict: It's so tight at top of our best smartphone list that the small tweaks can make all the difference, and LG impresses thanks to offering up a tightly-made package for a pretty reasonable price – it's similar to many other top Android phones out there, but you'll certainly find some elements to enjoy here.

Read more: LG G7 ThinQ review

 

The OnePlus 6 represents excellent value compared to its competitors, with a strong package put together for far less money than you might expect given the spec and performance of this thing.

Screen: The negative thing here is that we're looking at a Full HD display, but it's a long 19:9 ratio with a notch at the top. Yes, it lacks HDR, but it does have decent OLED contrast ratio – it's far from shabby to look at.

Battery life: The battery life of the OnePlus 6, despite using the thirsty Snapdragon 845 chipset, is more than decent, with it mostly landing on around 15% left at the end of the day through medium usage.

Camera: A dual 16MP sensor on the back, combined with a 16MP option for the front, means that you'll get some decent snaps out of this phone. There's no 'AI smarts' to play with here, but ultimately you're getting some good bokeh modes and impressive low-light work.

Mini verdict: Sure, there's nothing here that really wows… except the price. The design, screen, battery life and camera are all more than serviceable, and the operating system is pretty close to stock Android, which will attract many. There's a lot of power and storage on offer here too, making it an easy recommendation.

You might think HTC is something of a forgotten brand – and, to a degree, you'd be right. But if you discount HTC you'll be missing out on its latest flagship, which offers exceptional performance in a couple of areas.

The HTC U11 features an eye-catching design, programmable, squeezable sides and great audio performance – and if you’re a fan of Iron Man then you have to check it out in Solar Red, which is seriously beautiful.

The U11 was the first smartphone to introduce squeezable sides, and while the feature has since appeared in the two new Pixel handsets (and to better effect), the U11 remains the only phone on which you can set the action to launch something other than Google Assistant.

Plug in the bundled pair of headphones, meanwhile, and prepare yourself for a seriously impressive sonic experience, with the HTC U11 kicking out audio at a fantastic level. 

It’s not quite the all-round package that some of the phones here offer (hence its lower position), but the reduced price makes it a more attractive proposition.

How good is the HTC U11 camera?

Also consider: It's hard to know what to recommend here, as there's nothing that really compares on the market right now. However, for the price you'd probably look at the Galaxy S8 or the LG G6 as something a bit different.

The latest Honor phone is the best on the list here – and that's down the decent spec list, while keeping the price exceptionally low.

Screen: The Honor 10 screen has the… you've guessed it: notch at the top! It's an LCD screen so lacks the punch of the OnePlus 6 or Galaxy S9, for instance. It's 'only Full HD', but for the price it's excellent and more than does the job.

Battery life: You probably won't get a full day's battery life out of this phone every day, but for the most part it's pretty decent. Not the best on the market and we're used to Honor slugging more battery into its handsets, but at 3,400mAh it's a touch too small.

Camera: The Honor 10 struggles here a little, although the 16MP + 24MP sensors work well in tandem. Some of the AI modes worked very well together at times, but it wasn't always processing and improving the picture in the way you'd want before showing it to you.

Mini verdict: Honor phones are often the same – but that's no bad thing. This is a brand that's challenging, and while it's omitted not quite got the prowess of phones a lot more expensive, it's worth checking the phone out now – you'll never expect the lovely split screen colours on the back.

Read more: Honor 10 review

So those are our pick of the best phones you can get right now, but to conclude we're going to highlight some upcoming handsets that may well get added to this list when they launch.

Below you'll find the likes of the Huawei P20 Pro and iPhone 9, among many others, along with the hottest rumors we have for each of them, as well as expected prices and release dates.

To find out more about any of these handsets just click the link at the bottom of each entry to be taken to our main news and rumors page for them.

Huawei Mate 20

  • Expected release date: October 2018 
  • Expected price: Probably at least AED 2,499

 The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro launch date is expected to be sometime in October, and while the Chinese firm is yet to say when it will announce its next phablets, it has confirmed that the Mate 20 series is on its way.

There's as an increasing number of Huawei Mate 20 leaks appearing online, and we're collecting them all here alongside our expect commentary on what exactly you can expect, and which Mate 20 rumors are more fantasy than fact.

 One early rumor pointed to the standard Mate 20 featuring an in-display fingerprint scanner, and if the Mate 20 has one the Mate 20 Pro should do too.  We've also heard that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro might have a 6.9-inch OLED screen, as the company is apparently in the process of sampling screens of that size from Samsung Display, for use in a smartphone. That could make the Mate 20 Pro the biggest mainstream phone yet. 

Google Pixel 3

  • Expected release date: October 2018
  • Expected price: Likely upwards of AED 2,599

There might be three Pixel 3 handsets, with a Pixel 3, a Pixel 3 XL and an even more premium one at the top-end being launched according to one source. And we're expecting them to finally, officially, arrive in the Middle East.

We’ve also heard that the three phones are codenamed “crosshatch”, “albacore” and “blueline”, but exactly what their specs and features will be remains to be seen.

Nokia 9

  • Expected release date: Late 2018
  • Expected price: Around AED 1,999

The Nokia 9’s release date is unknown, but we’re expecting to see it sooner rather than later, and when we do it could have a 5.5-inch QHD curved OLED screen, a water-resistant all-metal shell, a dual-lens 22MP Carl Zeiss camera and a 3,800mAh battery.

If those specs prove accurate then the Nokia 9 could truly compete with the best flagships around, though one slightly less promising spec rumor points to it having a Snapdragon 835 chipset.

That’s a flagship chip, but it’s one that’s been around for most of 2017. If the phone launches before the end of the year then that might still be the best option available, but if it slips into 2018 then hopefully it will use the Snapdragon 845 or equivalent.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/best-phone-uae

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