This year we tested smartphones at the editorial line. We saw not only usual smartphone brands pass by in the editorial, but more and more Chinese smartphones are also passing by. Buy a smartphone? Time for a look back. What are the best smartphones of 2018?
A smartphone can be judged on many points. You have the camera, software, performance, screen, support, battery life, available connections, build quality and of course: do you get some value for your money? Many of the best smartphones of the year don't make the top marks in these reviews, mainly because of the price. It has skyrocketed in recent years. Last year, the iPhone X was the first smartphone above a thousand euros. Other smartphone manufacturers eagerly followed Apple's lead once again. This list is therefore composed of devices that, in retrospect, have made the most impression, regardless of the price.
The best smartphone is immediately the only smartphone that we do not wholeheartedly recommend. Not because of the silly name (ten S, not extra small), but because of the price. It cannot be justified in any way. If you can overlook the price tag, perhaps because of a business VAT deduction or a lottery won, the iPhone XS is the best smartphone you can get. The camera rivals Samsung and Huawei, the display is fantastic, the build quality impressive, the performance unparalleled and Apple provides long-term support for the iOS operating system. The only point that the other Android smartphone manufacturers still refuse to copy.
Samsung is pretty much the only manufacturer these days that doesn't follow Apple slavishly. Crazy how it can run. No screen notches, just a headphone jack and a unique design, with curved screen edges. The amoled screen is beautiful, the camera came out on top in the camera test and the performance is as you would expect from the Samsung Galaxy S9+. Only Samsung leaves a big stitch with Bixby, Samsung's voice assistant. This one gets in the way. If Samsung makes this assistant switchable with the Galaxy S10, Samsung may again be crowned producer of the smartphone of the year.
If you are looking for the best a smartphone can offer, you can get comparable quality for half the price of an iPhone. The OnePlus 6 is good in all areas and even puts other manufacturers behind with its Android skin Oxygen OS and the accompanying Android support. If you are in the market for a new, good smartphone, there are many good deals to be found for the OnePlus 6. That is because its successor is already out: the OnePlus 6T. A device that, incidentally, did not make much of an impression on us.
Galaxy Note 9
Samsung is the only manufacturer to appear twice in this list. Samsung has completely revived the Galaxy Note line. Last year's Note 8 was not very impressive, because Samsung did not dare to take any risks. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has gone out of its way again, with an extremely powerful smartphone with a large battery. Add to that the fact that the stylus has been given more functions and the smartphone can be connected to a monitor to turn it into a full-fledged PC and you come to the conclusion that the Note 9 is the best that Samsung has to offer. And that best is very impressive.
Nokia 7 Plus
A good smartphone, an acceptable price tag and long support. There are actually no arguments not to choose the Nokia 7 Plus. Especially since the smartphone runs on Android One, you have a clean Android version with long support. Only Apple can match that, but that company can't match the favorable price of the Nokia 7 Plus. In the meantime, you can buy the smartphone for a price between 250 and 300 euros.
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
The only downside of the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is that it sometimes takes a while to find a web store that offers the smartphone. Xiaomi does not sell the smartphone itself in the Netherlands, so that is done via third parties and gray imports. But don't let that stop you! The Pocophone F1 is reminiscent of the OnePlus One from a few years ago: specifications of a smartphone in the most expensive segment, but a price tag of about 300 euros. This makes the Pocophone F1 the best budget smartphone you can find at the moment.
Motorola Moto G6 Plus
Few people seem to think about Motorola when you're looking for an excellent new smartphone. Perhaps the smartphone is also too good for its price. The Moto G6 Plus has the appearance of a smartphone that is three times as expensive, and is also equipped with pleasant software, a great screen and a dual camera. During Black Friday, the Motorola smartphone was even available for around 200 euros.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
The only questionable case from this list. Huawei has made a huge impression this year with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, due to the fantastic display panels, performance and especially the triple rear camera. The Mate 20 Pro scores very well on important points. Only the EMUI software simply has to be much better, hopefully Huawei can rectify this with an update.