If you ask a generic question like “What is the best phone available at the moment”, experts tend to give different answers because they don’t know the requirements the user has for the device. Product tests conducted by offline and online publications reflect the preferences of focus audiences and reviewers. This is why it was surprising to discover that very different types of publications had chosen the same product as the best smartphone of 2018.
Le Monde is a French newspaper – an institution in Europe – that has far-reaching online presence as well. As a major newspaper, Le Monde is aimed at general audiences, who want to understand high-tech product reviews as well as news of Michelin star restaurants.
Android Authority, on the other hand, is written by technically savvy men to audiences who follow technology and probably know quite a lot about new high-tech products and how they work.
Still, both Le Monde and Android Authority determined that the best smartphone of 2018 is Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
There is nothing exceptional in the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It is just very good in all areas: usability, camera, design, performance, and battery. The iterative process of improving and fine tuning the Note product range has resulted in an excellent product.
All the tested phones were high-end models with price tags to match their features and performance. Large 6-inch, or even larger screens in high resolution, as well as high quality cameras, and all the other features money can buy are included in these products.
Android Authority didn’t test the Apple iPhone, but Le Monde did. The Apple XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 were ranked the best product (even score), but since the Note 9 has considerably lower price tag than the iPhone XS Max, Samsung is the winner.
Are the high-end phones worth the high price?
Before my current phone, I had (and still have) the flagship product from LG. It is an excellent product, but when I quickly had to get a dual-SIM phone, I bought a budget smartphone.
In normal daily use there is practically no difference between a high-end and budget phone. The screen is good enough even in the low-cost product, and it has the features I need.
There are, however, two features that shine in my high-end phone:
- The camera is excellent. It is so good I sometimes think I can photograph.
- It can automatically adjust screen brightness.
Other than that, the differences between the high-end phone and budget product are minimal.
With that in mind, it is worth taking a look at the OnePlus 6T phone as well. It did very well in both Le Monde’s and Android Authority’s tests, but it costs only half of the big brand products.