CNET: Best phones for 2018


2017 was a banner year for flagship phones. Nearly every manufacturer debuted at least one marquee handset that wowed our CNET Reviews team, either for photographic gymnastics, a brilliant screen or any number of other features that set them apart — and often several of the above. So without further ado, these are the four top-rated phones that will take you through 2018 and perhaps beyond.

———

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-galaxy-note-8/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The Galaxy Note 8 tops Samsung’s already excellent S8 and S8 Plus with dual cameras and a boatload of stylus tricks. It’s the most feature-rich Android phone you can buy.

The bad: An expensive phone, the Note 8 has more features than most people will need. Samsung’s portrait mode can be finicky. The poorly placed fingerprint reader repeats the Galaxy S8’s worst design flaw.

The cost: $820 to $949.99

The bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 retakes the throne as the ultimate Android phone for now, but some intense competition is just over the horizon.

———

Apple iPhone X

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/apple-iphone-x/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: A great blend of handheld comfort and a big, gorgeous OLED screen. Rear telephoto camera outshoots the 8 Plus in low light, and the front camera snaps impressive portrait selfies. Face ID generally works fine.

The bad: New interface and no home button mean major adjustments, and key features such as the Control Center are harder to reach and use. It’ll take time for most apps to be optimized for notched screen. The phone is hella expensive, and the all-glass design means a case and an insurance plan are musts. Shorter battery life than iPhone Plus models.

The cost: $999 to $1,099.99

The bottom line: iPhone X is an overdue and winning evolution of the iPhone, but you’ll need to leave your comfort zone to make a jump into the face-recognizing future.

———

OnePlus 5T

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/oneplus-5t/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The OnePlus 5T has a bigger screen and its camera takes better low-light photos than the 5. Its few software tweaks are useful in small ways.

The bad: The phone’s face unlock doesn’t authorize payments and its dual camera’s digital rather than telephoto zoom is a step back. There’s no expandable storage, and it’s not rated for water resistance.

The cost: $599.99

The bottom line: The OnePlus 5T is a superb, affordable phone for new buyers, despite only minor changes from the OnePlus 5.

———

Samsung Galaxy S8

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-galaxy-s8/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The best-looking phone around crushes it in performance, battery life, water-resistance and wireless charging. An external storage slot lets you keep more photos, videos and music.

The bad: Its awkwardly placed fingerprint reader leads to camera smears and longer unlock times, which is aggravating when you use it to unlock your phone dozens of times a day.

The cost: $749.99 to $756

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S8’s fast speeds and fantastic curved screen make it a top phone for 2017, but the annoying fingerprint reader could sour your experience.

———

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Section Editor Jessica Dolcourt, Senior Associate Editor Lynn La, Senior Editor Scott Stein and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Ex-Googler turns mom's money into a billion dollars
Ex-Googler turns mom's money into a billion dollars

After Steven Yang left his coveted job at Google, he asked his mother whether he should take venture-capital money to fund his business idea. » RELATED: Do you have the new Gmail? Google’s email gets massive redesign If his online consumer-electronics enterprise was a risky bet, she told him, go with the venture capitalists. But if...
Dayton company focused on new material looking to expand
Dayton company focused on new material looking to expand

A business pushing the limits of a new material is looking for a fourth Dayton building, new employees and relationships with global companies. And companies concerned about exploding cell phone batteries are looking to this Dayton business for answers. Global Graphene Group — also known as “G3” — is the holding company for...
This is the most dangerous day of the week to drive
This is the most dangerous day of the week to drive

Despite several years of steady declines, deadly vehicle crashes are on the rise, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.           » RELATED: Metro Atlanta drivers pay some of nation's highest costs The safest day to be on the road: Tuesday....
Starbucks’ racial-bias training will be costly, but could pay off in the long run
Starbucks’ racial-bias training will be costly, but could pay off in the long run

As Starbucks prepares to close stores for racial-bias training next week, the coffee giant will not only be confronting a difficult and emotional issue, but will incur some hefty expenses in the process.           » RELATED: Black men arrested at Starbucks settle for...
Premier sets closing date for Atrium Medical Center ER in Mason
Premier sets closing date for Atrium Medical Center ER in Mason

The Atrium Medical Center emergency department in Mason will close in July to make way for a Premier Health Urgent Care Center. The ER will shut down at 7 p.m. July 7, according to a release from Premier Health, which announced in April it would convert the ER space to an urgent care center to serve the Mason and Deerfield Twp. communities. Conditions...
More Stories