The world of Android phones is very different to the world of Apple phones. Apple aims to give you the same experience across its devices whereas Android embraces variety, with phones from different manufacturers having a very different personality - and different features.

That means personal brand preference plays a big part, aside from the core Android experience. Pricing is hugely competitive, presenting you with a lot of choices.

Here's our run down of the very best Android phones you can buy and the reasons why they deserve your attention.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro


 

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro was one of the first phones to launch on 7nm hardware, taking the hard work of the P20 Pro and enhancing just about everything. Under glass fingerprint scanner, a triple camera arrangement on the back, lots of power and a design that throws most others into the shade, the Mate 20 Pro really turns heads.

But this is Huawei's experience with EMUI ruling the show, so although the core Android experience is there, it has that manufacturer skin to get through. That might deter some, but if it doesn't, then the Mate 20 Pro is one of best Android phones you'll currently find.

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Samsung Galaxy S9+


 

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 is getting old, but Samsung has staying power that's backed up by experience. The user interface is the finest reworking of Android that you'll find, giving you more features out of the box than any other device on this list. The camera offers a lot but is bettered by others on this list and the update to the latest version of Android is a little slow.

The display on this phone is sensational - and we'd go for the larger 9+ over the S9 to get the most from it - while there's plenty of power, upgradable storage and a 3.5mm headphone socket - so while this is hugely advanced, it doesn't prejudice against your existing devices. Falling prices reflect this phone's age, but it's still a great experience.

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Huawei P20 Pro


 

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Huawei has been rampant in 2018: after years of trying, the company's phones finally came good. The Huawei P20 Pro is a little older in hardware than the Mate 20 Pro now, but it still offers a great camera experience, with three lenses and superb night shooting.

Again, you have to decide whether EMUI is the user interface you want to live with over other takes on Android, but the P20 Pro is a phone at the top of its game. Again, it's a little older so there are some great deals around - and you won't be disappointed with the experience.

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Honor Play


 

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Honor is the sub-brand of Huawei, offering much the same technology as the Huawei phones, but often a little cheaper. The Honor Play offers top-notch hardware and lots of power at a price that's hard to fathom. It's seriously good value for money.

It pitches itself as a gaming phone, although in reality it's just a great allrounder, with a solid camera performance and a great attractive design and build. The downside is no waterproofing, but that's perhaps expected at this price.

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OnePlus 6T


 

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The OnePlus 6T is pretty new although it doesn't advance the hardware like Huawei's leading phone did. What you do get though is a great take on Android, stripped back to an experience that's almost pure Android, but tweaked to be better optimised and give you a few additional benefits. Compare it to the Pixel 3 and you'll find that OnePlus offers fewer bugs, but also runs the latest version of Android.

About the only downside of the OnePlus 6T is that the speaker isn't very good. Although there's a good camera, it's not quite the best experience around. What you can't argue with is the price, however. If you're looking for a purer Android experience then the OnePlus 6T comes very close.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9


 

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If you like big phones, then the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has to be on the radar. With the Galaxy S9+ pretty close in experience, the Note 9 faces a bit more of a challenge and its appeal really comes down to the S Pen. It offers options you don't get on other phones, giving you ways to control and interact with the Note which are unique.

The other big jump in the Note 9 is battery life. While it doesn't match the Mate 20 Pro, it's better than a lot of devices on this list. However, it's one of the few that hasn't updated to Android Pie (at the time of writing), with Samsung being pretty slow to roll-out updates to its devices.

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Google Pixel 3 XL


 

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The Google Pixel 3 XL is pure Android Pie, as Google wants you to experience it. This is the best camera phone on the market, able to do things with its single lens that others struggle to do with three - while also offering staggering low light performance. 

It's not the smoothest runner though. The phone has been plagued by software bugs, the notch design isn't as efficient as others and this phone is expensive - especially given the battery life which doesn't match many others on this list. If photography is your highest priority, the Pixel 3 XL is the phone you want, but if it isn't, there's lots of appeal elsewhere. Unless you want pure pure Android, in which case this is where you'll find it.

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Samsung Galaxy S9


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Samsung's smaller Galaxy handset has a lot to offer if you don't want a huge phone in your pocket. It offers very much the same hardware experience as the larger S9+, but loses one of the cameras on the rear, so unlike the bigger phone, you don't have optical zoom.

What you do have is Samsung's great software experience, loaded with connectivity and clever features, making for a compelling experience. Falling prices also make it appealing.

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Sony Xperia XZ3


 

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Sony Mobile finds form with the Xperia XZ3, throwing off the shackles of its older design to present something that's a lot more appealing. There's great use a space, a fantastic display and a good camera experience. 

There is some software tweaking going on from Sony, but running the latest version of Android, there isn't a lot to complain about. Sony's struggle is that it ends up costing a little more than some of its rivals like OnePlus. Still, if you want something that will tie-in with your PlayStation 4, the Xperia has the ecosystem advantage. 

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Google Pixel 3


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The Google Pixel 3 is the smaller pure Google handset. It avoids some of the criticism that the larger handset faces with the notch, while offering the same great camera experience. There's plenty of power and a great design, but that display is small and it takes a drop in resolution at the same time.

For a smaller phone it offers plenty, but we're not sure the experience shines quite so well at this price point and this size. Still, if it's a small phone you want, then it's hard to beat the experience of the Pixel 3.