Your smartphone is probably your closest companion, the device you interact with the most. For work, for play, for your social life, you want to make sure you have the best phone out there. 

We continually update our best smartphone guide to reflect recent launches, recognise price changes, and here 2018's latest devices appear alongside the very 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. 

1. Huawei P20 Pro


 

Of all the manufacturers who are really shaking things up at the moment, Huawei is right up there. But it's the turn of the Chinese giant to set its own trend. The P20 Pro blew us away - we said "a new camera phone king is born" when we reviewed the phone - with a powerful triple camera system. If you're seeking a genuine flagship then you're looking right at one - all the buzz is around this phone.

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.

2. Apple iPhone XS Max


 

Apple and quality go hand-in-hand. But while the iPhone XS is a step beyond the iPhone X of 2017, it's the iPhone XS Max which shakes things up. It's expensive, yes, but this is Apple really committing to the bigger phone format. The XS Max provides a big screen experience that surpasses anything the iPhone Plus models did in the past. 

Quality of build is apparent, but there's power and speed in abundance, along with battery life and a great camera experience. But this is really a phone about immersion: it's about full screen gaming, it's about browsing without feeling that you need to reach for your iPad. It's about putting it all in your pocket for the best iPhone experience yet.

3. 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 than 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.

4. Honor Play


 

The aggressive stance of Huawei and Honor is obvious: while the flagship P20 Pro blows us away technically, it's incredibly hard to compete with the Honor Play's price point. In this phone they packed in the same flagship grade hardware as other models, but they offer this big screen phone at an amazing price.

The Honor Play pitches itself as a gaming phone, but in reality, this is a mid-priced Trojan Horse. It has power, great battery life, a great display and there's a capable dual camera too. Some might not be so taken with the company's EMUI interface running over Android, but at this price, you really can't complain.

5. OnePlus 6


 

Top-level hardware, a design and 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.

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 9


 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is all about the S Pen. In some ways, that makes this phone uncomfortably close to the Galaxy S9+, in that it looks the same, performs very much the same and offers the same features, but costs more money. It's really the S Pen that makes a difference and it's the S Pen you've got to want. 

What's new is that the S Pen provides control that you don't get in any other smartphone - not just in the case of stylus input, but that it can now be used as a remote control for various functions, from controlling the camera to progressing through presentations. Aside from the S Pen this is a great phone, but as we said - you can get basically the same thing for less in the S9+.

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7. 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 and offers a lot of phone for your money; 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. The Honor 10 might be priced like a mid-range phone, but the camera excels. 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 over phones that are closer to Android and the fingerprint scanner could be better.

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

8. Sony Xperia XZ3


 

The Sony Xperia XZ3 is a surprising return to form for Sony Mobile. The message about design seems to have struck home and Sony has given us a phone that's a lot more competitive that some of its recent offerings. Great design, a great display and lots of power all come together here in a package that holds its own against other flagships.

There are some oddities, like the low placement of the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone, but there are some treats, like Android Pie out of the box. The camera isn't the most accomplished, but the overall experience is great.

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9. Huawei Mate 10 Pro


 

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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10. Google Pixel 2 XL


 

Odd display colour tuning turned most off the Google Pixel 2 XL. 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, more normal. 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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11. 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.