Picking a new smartphone is a tricky task, and that’s because there are simply so many to choose from. But to help make the process a little more bearable, we’ve rounded up three of the best smartphones on the market – Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 Pro,and iPhone X
How we select the best smartphones
BEST OVERALL SMARTPHONE
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are excellent smartphones. The variable aperture is the biggest feature that separates it from rivals, enabling the S9 to capture fantastic shots even in low-light conditions.
Every handset we review is tested using the same combination of real-world use cases and repeatable benchmark tests. This means that we test everything from battery life and processor performance during the full range of everyday tasks, right up to call quality and screen calibration.
Phones are also now our go-to devices for taking photos, so the cameras are put through their paces in every situation possible. You want to know whether a phone’s camera will impress not just in bright sunshine at an exotic location, but also when taking shots of moving people at drunken parties, or just in the dull, flat light of a British winter.
Similarly, you might want to know how your phone will cope with a Netflix binge or video call, so our battery-discharge tests take that into account.
Most of all, we take these phones out and use them as our own over an extended period, living with them to learn their quirks and discover their hidden treasures.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus
Average battery life
Dual-sensor only on Plus model
Some lag with Samsung’s software
You can’t go wrong with either the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus, though if we had to recommend one we’d go with the latter – and that’s because it comes with a dual-camera. The extra lens, in this instance, is used for zooming, making the camera far more versatile.
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus sport an identical build and similar internals, with the main differences being that the Plus model is equipped with an additional 2GB of RAM, a slightly bigger battery and the aforementioned dual-camera configuration – luxuries most customers should be able to live without.
The biggest update Samsung treated the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus to is a new variable aperture setting within the camera, letting customers switch between an f/2.4 and f/1,5 aperture whenever they see fit, which should ensure images come out bright and full of detail in almost all low-light environments.
Huawei P20 Pro
128GB of storage
EMUI interface has come a long way
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Screen needs some fine-tuning
No wireless charging
The Huawei P20 Pro is the first smartphone on the market to feature a tri-camera – a 40MP f/1.8 sensor, a 20MP f/1.6 monochrome sensor for depth and texture, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto sensor. But that isn’t its only claim to fame: it’s also equipped with a top-of-the-line processor, 6GB of RAM and a 4000mAh battery.
That means that the P20 Pro is a smartphone that can tickle everyone’s fancy. Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned photographer, a power-hungry specs maniac or quite simply someone who’s after a handset that can last for 48 hours on a single charge, Huawei’s flagship has you covered. It’s also very well priced when compared to the competition.
Apple iPhone X
Much-improved telephoto camera
The best-looking iPhone ever
Face ID is much better than Touch ID
Software needs more optimisation for the taller screen and notch
No fast-charging plug included
The iPhone X is not only the best smartphone Apple has released to date; it’s also the most expensive, setting customers back £999 for the 64GB base model. But it’s well worth it. Performance is fantastic, as are the images produced by the dual-camera setup, and Face ID is almost better than a fingerprint sensor.
Now let’s talk about its design. The iPhone X was designed to show the market that Apple hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to innovation, introducing an edge-to-edge OLED screen, complete with a notch, as well as Face ID. That, for those unaware, is the face-recognition feature that was introduced to replace Touch ID.
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