It is an exciting time to be in the market for a new smartphone, as the following breakdown of seven high-performing, recent smartphones will make clear. Due to these amazing little devices, the death of boredom is nigh and many of life’s tasks are becoming increasingly easy to tick off with levels of convenience and digital assistance like never before.
As this rundown of seven of the most up-to-date handsets from heavyweights such as Google, LG, Samsung, and Apple make clear, smartphone tech continues to push boundaries with exciting new functionalities and features – from augmented reality to productivity enhancements to new tools for content creation.
Apple’s flagship new handset, the exciting but very pricey – $999 for the 64GB version and $1,149 for the 256GB version – iPhone X, is widely regarded as the best smartphone out now. With the iPhone X, Apple has departed considerably from past iPhone designs.
The iPhone X has a gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED screen – which, though sourced from preeminent panel designer Samsung – sports a unique and innovative tuning process Apple calls True Tone that in essence one-ups Samsung’s own method. With a far less prominent bezel, the removal of the front Home button, and a stainless-steel band and glass front and back, the iPhone X looks and feels futuristic.
It boasts the best and most convenient facial ID technology around, so you can unlock your phone with just a look. Powered by a new A11 bionic chip and an M11 motion coprocessor, this phone will speedily do what you want when you want.
- OLED display, coupled with True Tone, is a sight to behold
- Portrait Mode, True Depth camera, and Portrait Lighting ups everyone’s photography skills
- Blazing fast processor
- The price point will probably make you think twice
- There is a bit of a learning curve owing to the absence of the traditional Home button
Apple has a solution for those looking for a more modest upgrade in the form of these two high performers that pair a years-old design with up-to-date technology. The iPhone 8/8+ look like the 7 and 7+ but sport an improved LCD screen, a faster processor, glass back for wireless charging, and a better camera.
Both of these phones come in two storage sizes, 64GB and 256GB. The iPhone 8 ranges from $699 to $849 and the iPhone 8+ is $749 and $849. The advantage of opting for the pricier 8+ are 2x optical zoom, dual cameras, and portrait mode.
Overall, these two handsets present an extremely worthy alternative to the iPhone X for more cost-conscious users looking for a big upgrade. Particularly for those of you who skipped the iPhone 7 generation.
- Wireless battery charging
- Great camera
- Smooth and fast performance
- Same look as last year’s models
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
If you’re a fan of big, graceful, and beautiful screens and aren’t an Apple fan, these two options pack a serious punch at a good value. The S8 and S8+, which has a larger, 6.2-inch screen, are overall great handsets that power through tasks, games, and anything you want to do with ease. Also on offer is a superb 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera that work well in all sorts of lighting. Storage capacity is 64GB.
This line from Samsung certainly has looks going for them, especially considering the massive size of these two phones. A minimal bevel and thin form factor strongly assert their classy looks.
- Great value at around $600 for the S8 and $800 for the S8+
- Beautiful and classy form factor
- Stellar performance
- Awkward fingerprint reader placement on the back of the phone
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Galaxy Note 8 is probably the closest direct competitor to the iPhone X in terms of sheer power and plethora of features available. For Android users looking for the most feature-rich device on the market, the Galaxy Note 8 fills this role admirably.
This extremely impressive handset is the first offering from Samsung the features a dual rear camera setup. The 6.3-inch OLED screen is big, vibrant, and beautiful. The fast processor inside is the same cutting-edge performer found in the Galaxy S8, and it is powered by a long-lasting – and safe – battery. Storage is 64GB.
The stand-out feature here is the S-Pen stylus, which helps make for some real efficiency improvements, as well as a whole host of other advantages that are notably absent from other phones at the moment.
- Wireless charging
- High water and dust resistance
- Fun, engaging, and unique ways to create animated GIFs
- Hefty price tag
- Poor fingerprint reader location
Google Pixel 2
Google’s smartphone offering has a camera that can compete with the iPhone X’s, and it offers a clean, sleek phone that isn’t weighted down with bloatware. Needless to say, with a Google phone you can expect the most recent Android OS updates and newer versions to be available first on the Pixel.
Also promising here is the inclusion of some robust AI and augmented reality features it calls ARCore. Google promises to be on a par with Apple’s own ARKit software. Also interesting is a feature whereby you can squeeze the phone’s sides to activate certain functions with one hand. The 128GB Pixel 2 sits at around $750 currently.
- Great performance
- Highly rated camera
- Hassle-free and quick Android updates
- No wireless charging
- No 3.5mm headphone jack or micro-SD slot
- Only decent battery life
LG’s best mobile offering in years, the LG V30 is optimal for content creators thanks to its high-end dual rear camera setup and advanced software powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system on a chip, 4GB of Ram, and 64GB of storage. It is certified at IP68 dust and water resistance, and is built to withstand the occasional drop.
The LG V30 comes with an almost overwhelming amount of content creation tools and features, which is understandable as this handset is targeted towards users looking to shoot video and take pictures, all while having a phone that can take a bit of a beating.
- Impressive battery life
- 3.5 mm headset jack featuring Quad DAC support
- An elegant, good-looking, and ergonomic design
- Built to last as it boasts 600 MHz support on T-Mobile
- Auto-brightness glitches
- Considered overpriced at around $800
Motorola Moto Z2 Play
If you’d like to get into the Moto Mods scene, this light, slim well-made, mid-range phone is a good place to start. The smaller Moto Z2 Play is $408 for the 32GB, while you can expect to pay around $499 for the 64GB version. The internals and screen all sit squarely in the mid-range category, which makes the relatively expensive price point a little harder to swallow.
The extensive bezel surrounding the screen, the massive protruding camera bump on the back, and the amazingly thin body make up the Moto Z2 Play’s unique design. The un-trendy bezel makes this phone look a little dated. However, this phone’s all about the possibilities. The entire line-up thus far of available Moto Mods will work with this handset – from extra battery packs to some amazing cameras.
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Solid build quality
- Moto Mods
- Odd design that looks a bit dated
- Poor price/performance ratio