There's never been a better time than the present when it comes to smartphones. The sheer breadth and variety of smartphones today means you have near limitless choice when it comes to finding just the perfect phone for your needs. With all that freedom and choice, however, comes the potential for great confusion. While we aren't starved for options, it can be a challenge to look into the market just to find the right phone for your preferences and budget.
Fortunately, help is here. We've taken the best smartphones in all segments of the market and laid them out here to make it easier for you to choose the most suitable phone for your needs.
The Best High-End Android Phones
PHP 28,000 - PHP 70,000 range
When money is no object, you can count on these phones to give you the absolute best experience on the platform at the moment. These phones currently represent the best-of-the-best lineup available for Android phones.
1. Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+
Samsung has dominated the smartphone market for the past several years, and it's due to a combination of having a solid supply chain and a design team that incorporates what works and learns over the years what works for the market through a lot of experimentation. The culmination of this is the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+, phones which arguably are at the epitome of smartphone design today.
Both Android phones tick off the list of most-desired smartphone features like IP68 water resistance, a large Super AMOLED display with a crazy screen-to-body ratio, glass back design and wireless charging, and combine them with cutting edge photography cameras with an innovative aperture-switching design and the most advanced chipsets available, either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Samsung's own in-house Exynos 9810. The result is a phone that looks great, performs even better, and handles like a dream. The Galaxy S9+ has a little extra RAM and a slightly larger screen and battery to boot, making it the definitive phone for those that want to live large.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note8
Last year's Galaxy Note8 may not be as advanced as the Galaxy S9, but it shares almost all of its merits, and has the killer feature you won't find anywhere else in the smartphone world; the S-Pen. The only thing you really give up on the Galaxy Note8 is the bleeding edge chipset: it still uses either last year's Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8995, along with the adaptive aperture camera lens, but otherwise the Galaxy Note8 has all the perks and benefits of the Galaxy S9+; a slightly larger 6.3-inch display, and the useful S-Pen, which brings back the stylus from the Windows and Palm days and incorporates it into the Galaxy Note8 with a lot of quality of life improvements and features.
While the Note9 is waiting in the wings for the second half of the year, this is the phone to get if you want a stylus and want high-end performance, photography and design aesthetics.
3. Google Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 and its larger sibling the Pixel 2 XL represent Google's best effort at creating a reference phone to showcase the best of what Android has to offer. Its most obvious and immediate benefit is its close involvement with Google's Android development team, meaning you will get the newest version of Android on the Pixel 2 at ground zero, every time. Aside from that, the Pixel 2 series also combines last year's Snapdragon 835, still a more powerful processor than most people will ever need, along with what many professionals consider the best camera in the smartphone world once upon a time back in 2017.
The design may not be as eye-catching as some of the other offerings today, and its smaller 5-inch 1080p display doesn't have the visual wow factor as the newer 18:9 offerings, but the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are still great phones today.
4. HTC U11 / U11+
The HTC U11 ticks off all the boxes a high-end flagship Android phone needs to have, and couples it with an audiophile-grade DAC and a useful squeeze feature that gives you an extra programmable just by pressing on the phone's sides. You get an impressive 5.5-inch QHD display with the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM, which gives you high-end performance on par with all the flagship phones in this segment, IP67 water resistance. The U11+ ups this with a larger 6-inch display and a significantly larger battery, and improved IP68 certification, making it the definitive offering from HTC for 2018.
5. ASUS ZenFone 5Z ZE620KL
The ZenFone 5Z is ASUS' new flagship for 2018, and ASUS wisely incorporates all the big trends of 2017 and improves its popular ZenFone platform with a beautiful large 6.2-inch full-screen notched display, a Snapdragon 845 processor with 8GB of RAM, a very capable dual-camera setup that takes very good pictures and shiny metallic design that stands out. The ZenFone 5Z is the best phone ASUS has ever produced, and still ends up being more affordable than many other high-end flagships.
6. Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S
Although the Mi MIX 2S is not part of Xiaomi's flagship Mi range (that distinction going to the upcoming Mi 7), the MIX 2S is a flagship-class device on its own, with one very eye-catching feature; a gorgeous full-screen display that takes up almost the entirety of the phone's face, without a notch. Instead, the sensors and camera are crammed into the less-conspicuous chin at the bottom, and this along with a ceramic back design makes the Mi MIX 2S one of the most beautiful Android phones available today. Add in a Snapdragon 845 with 8GB RAM and you have class-leading performance to go with those great looks.
7. HUAWEI P20 / P20 Pro / Mate RS PORSCHE DESIGN
HUAWEI's 2018 flagship pulls out all the stops and is the complete package with the fast new Kirin 970 chip and 4GB RAM, a big 5.8-inch notched display and HUAWEI's impressive dual-camera technology. But if you're going the HUAWEI route, the real goods are with its bigger brother, the P20 Pro, which brings mobile photography to a new level with a triple-Leica-lens-camera design that uses advanced software algorithms to make the best composite image shot to date using the three different sensors. The P20 Pro also adds a larger 6-inch display and 6GB of RAM, with an option for the super-exclusive (and super expensive) Mate RS PORSCHE DESIGN edition to boot.
8. Razer Phone
The phone doesn't come cheap, and that's certainly not the point of the bombastic Razer Phone, which has a feature no other phone has; a 120Hz display that gives buttery smooth frame rates on Android and on any game, thanks to its Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB of RAM. This phone is built with one thing in mind; playing games at lightning-fast frame rates, and it's still great at every other thing a flagship Android phone needs to be good at.
The Best Mid-Range Android Phones
PHP 12,000 - PHP 30,000 range
Mid-rangers are great phones for most people. They may not be top-of-the-line, but the average user doesn't need an AnTuTu score over 200,000. These phones are solid, well-built, fast, and have a bevy of features in common with many high-end devices and a much more affordable price tag. These are the ones that come with Android 8.0 out-of-the-box.
1. OnePlus 5T
The flagship killer got an upgrade, as the already excellent OnePlus 5 gets a larger 6.01-inch full-screen display in the OnePlus 5T, giving it the looks and the large display needed to compete with the trendy 18:9 display Android phones we see so much of these days. With a Snapdragon 835 and 8GB of RAM, the OnePlus 5T offers one of the best-performing devices in the industry, and couples it with a really competitive price to make it one irresistible deal.
2. Vivo V9
Vivo's mainstream flagship device, the V9, is built to compete in the selfie-market with an impressive 24-megapixel front camera. The rest of the phone is also solid, with a beautiful 6.3-inch notched display, a Snapdragon 626 and dual cameras at the rear. This is one of the best Android phones you can buy in this price segment and should be anyone's shortlist for a mid-ranger.
3. OPPO F7
Vivo and OPPO have been locked in a duel for the past few years and the F7 is the main competitor to the Vivo V9. It's also a selfie-centric device with a 25-megapixel camera above the notched 6.23-inch display, and the Helio P60 chipset with 6GB of RAM is enough to keep things going at a speedy clip.
4. ASUS ZenFone Max (M1)
The ZenFone Max (M1) brings to the fore an impressive 4,000mAh battery, and when coupled with its low-drain Snapdragon 425 processor and 1440 x 720 pixel display it can go for long hours on a single charge. The ZenFone Max (M1) also has a capable dual-camera setup at the back, and is priced very affordably.
5. ASUS ZenFone 5 ZE620KL
The ZenFone 5 brings most of the high-end ZenFone 5Z experience to the mid-range with the main difference being the less-capable but still powerful Snapdragon 636 processor, 4GB of RAM and smaller internal storage options. It still has the same great dual-camera setup, beautiful metal unibody and the large notched display with a high-screen-to-body ratio, making it a strong rival to the likes of the Vivo V9 and OPPO F7.
6. ASUS ZenFone 5Q ZC600KL
The ZenFone 5Q holds the distinction of being one of the few quad-camera Android phones on the market, with dual cameras on the front and the back. It's equally capable of taking pictures on either side of the lens, and its Snapdragon 630 processor won't slow you down either. Coupled with the same aesthetics and large 6-inch display as the rest of the ZenFone 5 series albeit without the notched display, the ZenFone 5Q should prove popular in the selfie-centric market.
7. HUAWEI P20 Lite
When talking about the P20 Lite, it's hard not to make comparisons to its flagship ilk the P20 and the P20 Pro, but the P20 Lite has some reduced specifications and a much lower price tag, making it compete directly with devices like the OPPO F7 and Vivo V9. The P20 Lite has the same notched full-screen display and metal-unibody design as its brethren, but uses the lighter Kirin 659 processor instead and it doesn't have Leica lenses for its cameras. It still manages to offer an incredible value at this segment.
In addition to the newer phones that ship with Android 8 Oreo, there are several great options among the older crop that sport Android 7.0 out-of-the-box instead.
8. Infinix Zero 5 / Zero 5 Pro
Infinix is not a well-known name in the industry as of now, but the Zero 5 and the Zero 5 Pro offer the Helio P25 chipset with 6GB of RAM and a really good camera you wouldn't expect in this price range, all contained in a huge metal body with a 5.98-inch FHD 1080p display. The large body also adds another benefit; a large battery that can go for more than a day on a charge. The Pro model is virtually identical aside from double the internal storage capacity.
9. Vivo V7 / V7+
Vivo's most high-profile line from last year, the V7 series, still offers a lot today with its selfie-focused design. The V7 sports a capable 16-megapixel camera, but the V7+ has a 24-megapixel shooter up front that is better-specified than many a phone's main camera. Both phones are built on the Snapdragon 450 platform with 4GB RAM, but the V7+ has a larger 18:9 display that should prove popular in 2018.
10. OPPO F5
Last year's OPPO selfie-expert proved very popular on the market, and is still a great choice today. Priced somewhere in between its competitors the Vivo V7 and the V7+, it shares many of the traits of both, with a higher resolution 18:9 display and a Helio P23 processor with 6GB RAM behind it. The selfie camera is 20 megapixels and better than its rear camera, as you'd expect from a selfie-centric Android phone.
11. HUAWEI nova 2i
HUAWEI's 2017 mid-range offering remains one of the best in its class, and while it's a little long in the tooth today, it is still a great deal, offering pretty much the same experience as its successor, the P20 Lite, with the same Kirin 659 processor, RAM, camera setup, and metal body aesthetics. Even if it doesn't offer the latest Android 8 Oreo, the nova 2i is still one of the best Android phones in this segment, especially at its price.
12. Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) / Galaxy A8+ (2018)
Samsung's mid-range Galaxy A8 brings a lot of the features of the Galaxy S8 to a more affordable price point, including high-end features like IP68 water resistance, something almost never seen in this price segment. The phone has a fast Exynos 7885 processor as well, with 4GB of RAM and a beautiful 18:9 FHD+ display. The A8+ ups the screen size to 6-inches and bumps up the RAM to 6GB as well.
The Best Budget Android Phones
Under PHP 10,000 range
If you're looking to chalk up some savings, this segment has some of the best values in the smartphone market today. These phones have the best performance of any phone under PHP 10,000, making them a great option for anyone working on a budget.
1. HUAWEI nova 2 Lite
The nova 2 Lite is a more affordable version of the nova 2i, but saves a few pennies using a Snapdragon 430 instead of the in-house Kirin 659, and pairs it with 3GB of RAM. The screen is about as big and the design of the phones are similar and have the same nice full-screen display and dual cameras, but the resolution on the nova 2 Lite is noticeably lower. It's still a great buy at this price, and performs really well.
2. Xiaomi Mi A1
Xiaomi's offering has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, which is a good resolution in this price range even if it isn't an 18:9 display. The phone manages to pack in a dual-camera setup and runs on the Snapdragon 625 platform with 4GB of RAM, making it an all-around great Android phone at this price range. It's one of the best values here if you don't need a large full-screen display.
3. Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
The Redmi 5 Plus is the option for those looking for something with similar value to the Mi A1, but with an 18:9 FHD+ full-screen display. You give up the dual cameras, but the phone is similarly-endowed with a Snapdragon 625 and options for 3GB to 4GB of RAM. If you like Xiaomi and 18:9 displays, this may be the budget phone for you.
4. Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Plus
The Flare S6 Plus may just be Cherry Mobile's finest phone to date, although it has to contend with a lot of strong rivals from Chinese manufacturers. It has its work cut out for it though, and it does admirably with a full-metal body, a 5.7-inch HD+ 18:9 display, MediaTek MT6750T processor and 4GB of RAM. It looks a lot more premium than Cherry Mobile's previous offerings and offers some great features like quad cameras and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, making it a great budget option.
5. OPPO A83
The OPPO A83 doesn't stand out as well as its bigger brother, the OPPO F5, but at its price range the phone has a great plastic build that looks like it could be a more expensive phone, with a large 5.7-inch 18:9 HD+ display and a capable 8-megapixel front camera. The Helio P23 processor with options for 3GB or 4GB of RAM round out a feature set that is affordable and a solid performer.
6. OPPO A71 (2018)
The A71 (2018) is a more down-to-earth offering, lacking the A83's 18:9 display, but it still packs a Snapdragon 450 with 3GB of RAM. Coupled with a 5.2-inch HD display, the Android phone hearkens back to a time when people liked smaller 5-inch phones that fit better in their pockets, and it offers solid performance while doing so. For those who aren't looking for anything flashy but want a solid-performing, affordable phone, the A71 (2018) is a great choice.
7. Infinix HOT S3
The HOT S3 is smaller and more pocketable than the Zero 5, and offers solid performance at a very good price point with its Snapdragon 430 with 3GB of RAM. The real selling point of the HOT S3, though, is that it's a selfie-centric smartphone in the budget level, whereas other rivals focusing on this demographic tend to be above the PHP 10,000 range. Its powerful 20-megapixel front camera is much more capable than its main 16-megapixel camera at the rear, making this the selfie Android phone of choice in this price segment.
8. Meizu M6 Note
If you're looking for a cheap and affordable device that performs really well, the Meizu M6 Note is one of the best choices today. It combines a large 5.5-inch 1080p FHD display with a Snapdragon 625 and 4GB of RAM, making it a solid, if a bit old-school, choice. It also manages to pack a dual-camera setup, so it's a really good value considering its low sticker price.
9. Honor 9 Lite
HUAWEI's budget-oriented Honor series usually tends more to the mid-range in pricing, but the Honor 9 Lite is just affordable enough to fit into this price segment, and it does so with a great speedy Kirin 659 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and a beautiful aluminum frame design with a glass back, making this the most eye-catching phone in the segment. The display is also 5.65-inches and a great 18:9 display with FHD+ resolution, making this a really impressive handset that you'd expect in the more expensive mid-range segment. To top it off, it comes with Android 8.0 Oreo, making it truly one of the best phones you can get under PHP 10,000.
These Android phones represent the best choices in the market today. As new phone models come out and technology continues on its inevitable pace, the value of many of these phones will change, but if you're in the market for a great phone today any one of the phones here are a superb choice. Evaluate your needs, pick a budget and be sure to check the listings for the phone of your choice, you can't go wrong with any of these picks.