Welcome to our guide to the best smartphone to buy today. We'll guide you through all the top mobile phones we've reviewed, both on Android and iOS

We continually update our best smartphone guide to reflect recent launches, recognise price changes, and here 2018's latest devices appear alongside the best of 2017. All of these top phones have been fully reviewed by us - we don't just include stuff we think sounds good.

If you're in the market for a cheaper phone, then check out our sub-£400 and budget phone roundups, and consider a SIM-only deal if you're buying your phone outright.

Our top recommendation ... the best smartphone to buy today

Here's our recommendation for the best all-round smartphone on the market, right now.

1. Huawei P20 Pro


 

It gives us huge pleasure to reveal a bit of a shock - the P20 Pro really has usurped the Samsung Galaxy S9+ at the top of our list. The P20 Pro blew us away - we said "a new camera phone king is born". If you're seeking a genuine flagship then you're looking right at one - all the buzz is around this phone in 2018.

It looks great, lasts an age per charge, the camera is a top performing collection, and there's all the power you could need.

Criticisms are few and far between: Face Unlock isn't a patch on Apple's Face ID, there's no wireless charging, plus there are minor software quirks - but savvy buyers should snap up this phone over a Google Pixel 2 XL or a Samsung Galaxy S9 and not regret it for one second. This is Huawei's crowning moment - all the near misses of the last few years have resulted in this superb phone.

The best of the rest...

The Huawei P20 Pro isn't for everyone though, and there are plenty of other smartphones on the market to consider whatever budget you are on. Choosing the right phone for you is every bit as important as getting the best phone and there's loads to consider.

2. Samsung Galaxy S9+


 

Samsung's 2018 phone takes everything that was great about the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and boosts it. There isn't a huge change in design, but this remains one of the best looking phones on the market. That 6.1-inch Infinity Display still rules the roost, as Samsung adds refinement to the display making it brighter and better looking that before.

There's power on tap, making a great smartphone to tackle daily use, with the convenience of a plenty of choices for biometric unlocking, as well as a fingerprint scanner that's now more conveniently located than it was on the S8+. Samsung also hangs onto the basics - a 3.5mm headphone socket and microSD card slot, all wrapped in an IP68 waterproofed package. That adds appeal over the Huawei P20 Pro.

The camera is the real point of interest. The 960fps capture might not be the most exciting thing it offers, but the new dual lens system performs well in low light conditions, while the addition of the 3x optical zoom gives this phone a feature point that sets it ahead of last year's devices. It's just pipped to the post in features by Huawei.

However, Samsung offers the latest in Android Oreo and more features out of the box than any other smartphone manufacturer, with refinement that no one else matches, except perhaps Apple.

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3. Apple iPhone X


 

The iPhone X was one of our top 2017 phones, the biggest shake-up in iPhone history. It's unashamedly premium, from the build to the price, but it comes together in a package offering a smartphone experience that's not matched elsewhere. It makes the iPhone 8 looks like a relic, it betters Android competition in the same space, as Apple makes a huge change to its flagship phone.

There's power and refinement in abundance, with quality oozing from the stainless steel frame, with a fresh new look coming from the new 19.5:9 display that banishes bezels to the last decade. It's not just the lack of bezels that are impressive about the display, but the overall quality is great too. It also made the "notch" cool.

It's HDR compatible, supports Dolby Vision and it's Apple's first OLED display on a smartphone - and it looks fantastic. You're not let down by the camera either, which offers great photos and the advantage of stabilised zoom.

If you're an iPhone fan, this is wear it is - choosing the cheaper models will leave you feeling like you're still languishing in the past. But bear this in mind - there will be another iPhone appearing in September - so do you want to buy this £1000 phone now?

4. OnePlus 6


 

OnePlus has, for a long time, pitched itself as the "flagship killer". Seen as something of an underdog, OnePlus has built a huge fan following, but concentrating on delivering a solid smartphone experience. You get top-level hardware, a design a build that will rival all others and a software experience that's free from bloat and offering great optimisation. 

The OnePlus 6 offers all this, with hardware that rivals any top device. While the display might not push the pixels that some others do, you don't feel like you're missing out. Where the camera might once have been a weakness, OnePlus has focused on bringing improvements for a much better overall experience. It might lack waterproofing (officially) or a microSD card, but in every other area, the OnePlus 6 is a flagship offering. 

What's perhaps remarkable is that OnePlus has kept the price of its phone in check. Starting at £449 (64GB), the OnePlus 6 is good value for money by any measure, especially considering how much phone you're getting. If the premium devices above seem like a bit too much, the OnePlus is what you want.

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5. Honor 10


 

But wait, we've just told you how great value the OnePlus 6 is, but wait until you set your eyes on the Honor 10. For a number of years, Honor has been offering a twist on parent-company Huawei's phones. With Huawei at the top of this list, the Honor equivalent ranks very highly indeed. Like OnePlus, Honor offers a lot of phone for your money and in the case of the Honor 10, you can get the 128GB version for only £399.

The Honor 10's design shines, with a great glass finish with amazing colours that shift and change as you manipulate the phone. Huawei offers very much the same and of all the phones on the list, Honor is right up there as one of the most interesting. There's no waterproofing and again you don't get the highest resolution of display, but it hardly feels like that matters - not at this price. The fingerprint scanner isn't the best, however.

The Honor 10 might be priced like a mid-range phone, but the camera excels in performance with two lenses on the back and a range of AI features to get the most out of it. The phone is powered by much the same hardware that drives the Huawei P20, so it performs like a flagship. For some, however, the EMUI software might not appeal as much as some of the phones here that are closer to Android.

If it's bang for your buck, it's hard to beat the Honor 10.

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6. Samsung Galaxy Note 8


 

The Note might be getting a little old, but it is still unique and very capable. It has enhancements over the Galaxy S8+, like the S Pen and more RAM, but the biggest drawback is the price - it's still officially £869, despite getting old. But for those S Pen skills, the Note has no rival, which is where it really shines.

One of the other advantages include the dual camera on the rear. This is not only great quality, but also offers stabilised zoom for super-sharp close-ups. It's not as capable as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and if you're not bothered about the S Pen, then choose that other phone.

Ultimately, Samsung fans are well served: the Note 8 is a premium device, but look for a good deal because there will soon be a Note 9 to replace it. 

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7. Huawei Mate 10 Pro


 

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. That's the mantra that Huawei has applied to recent flagship devices and in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro it really feels like it paid off. The Huawei Mate 10 is the device that proves Huawei has what it takes to play with the big boys like Samsung and Apple, although this phone now sits in the shadow of the P20 Pro - unless you want the Mate's massive battery life.

The Mate 10 Pro presents a big screen experience and plenty of power, with a great camera packed onto the back that's every bit as capable as others. But importantly, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro offers an experience that's refined to the point that Huawei's software tinkering no longer feels like an obstruction.

That makes for a capable phone we actually want to use - that was, until the Huawei P20 Pro came along.

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8. Apple iPhone 8 Plus


 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus isn't a hugely radical change in design like the iPhone X. Instead it's the iPhone you know and love, but better. It's now sitting in a body with a glass black, bringing a change from the iPhone 7 Plus, but it also has all the power of Apple's latest chip.

The display benefits from True Tone technology, so it adapts as the environment around you changes to keep everything looking great, while the shift in materials around the back also gives you the benefit of wireless charging. Not only that, but it now supports fast charging too, so using a more powerful charger and the right cable, you'll be back to full in no time.

It's still a big phone and it perhaps looks a little old compared to the iPhone X now, but it's still a solid performer with a great camera. Importantly, it's more affordable than the iPhone X, so if you want to go big on Apple without spending all your money, this is the phone for you.

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9. Google Pixel 2 XL


 

The Google Pixel 2 XL has been mired in controversy since the day of launch. Odd colour tuning turned most off this ambitious device that didn't really really use its design to take advantage of the new display aspect - it feels larger than it needs to be. A software update provided the option for a display with more life and dealing with the biggest initial complaint, after which this phone become more exciting.

On the positive side, the Google Pixel 2 XL is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, although the small Pixel 2 offers just as much camera joy as this larger model. It's also a simple camera; while the Huawei P20 Pro offers more, the Pixel 2 XL will generally let you point, shoot, and get a good result with almost no effort. 

You're rewarded with power, pure Android and that wonderful camera in this phone, although it's starting to get a little old, so the hardware isn't the latest generation on offer. It is also expensive, which might make you think twice.

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10. Nokia 6.1


 

Nokia has dedicated itself to the affordable end of the market, which is where it's really making an impact. A solid metal build, a great display - albeit in the older 16:9 format - but a great set of mid-range hardware, makes the Nokia 6.1 a solid choice for a cheaper phone. 

The experience is boosted by Nokia's adherence to Android One, so this phone is free from bloat, apps and other distractions, while running the latest version of Android; Nokia also has a good track record of updating, so it's likely that the Nokia 6.1 will be running Android P before most other phones on this list.

A reasonable camera, decent battery life, smooth running smartphone, with build quality that really speaks out. Not bad for the low asking price.

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11. LG V30


 

The LG V30 evolved into the favourable LG model, supplanting the LG G6 which got old very quickly; by contrast, the LG V30 offers 2017's top hardware and has a design that's still one of the most striking even in 2018 - no one else has really managed to make a display that dominates the phone so well, without a notch.

One of the unique elements that adds appeal to the V30 is the wide-angle camera on the rear. While others offer zoom, LG's offering gives you something you can't capture without this special hardware. It gives you a perspective you don't get from another phone and that's refreshing.

But there is now an LG V35 - which isn't coming to the UK - and rumours of the LG V40, meaning that LG V30 is definitely walking a short plank. You can get it for not a lot of money, however and that's part of its attraction.

  • Read the full review: LG V30
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12. Blackberry KeyOne


 

The BlackBerry KeyOne might be something of a surprise entry, with the company struggling to find form with its recent handsets. But just as we rated the BlackBerry Priv, the KeyOne brings something unique to the Android smartphone space - and that's a physical keyboard.

The unique offering is a natural choice for those who loved the BlackBerry of the past, with programmable keyboard shortcuts and plenty of innovation on the top of Android to make this phone stand-out. It's not the most powerful handset out there, but at the same time, you're not being asked to pay flagship prices for it either. Watch out though, because there's now a replacement - the BlackBerry Key2 - which we'll have reviewed for you shortly.

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13. Apple iPhone SE


 

Fulfilling the requirements of those looking for a smaller iPhone, the iPhone SE is about as budget as Apple gets. Starting at just over £300, the iPhone SE punches into the mid-range.

The iPhone SE has the power of the iPhone 6S, giving you speed and power that smaller phones often fail to give you, although it's now a few years old. It's an iPhone experience that's pared with an great camera, offering the consistency you expect from Apple.

For those after the Apple experience without the hole in their pocket, the iPhone SE is an excellent choice. It's also one of the best-selling iPhones out there thanks to the price.