Best Mobile Phones in India – 2018

by | Apr 13, 2018

Agree with it or not – Smartphones have definitely become an integral part of our day to day life. From streaming our favourite shows on Netflix to paying our utility bills online, everything is going mobile first. In order to keep with this advancements, you need a premium flagship phone that offers the best of the best features. So, which is the best smartphone available in India that can claim this title? Who offers the best experience you can expect from a mobile phone without any budget constraints? What model aligns perfectly with your interest? We will find out in this article!

1. Samsung Galaxy S9

Best Feature-Rich Phone

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the best feature-rich flagship phones in India for most users. If you love the headphone jack or expandable memory storage or dual SIM capability, the Galaxy S9 will be the best bet for you. It also has the best display for a smartphone, a reimagined camera for great low light shots and the latest SoC under the hood for blazing fast performance.

Samsung, the South Korean technology conglomerate has always pioneered the smartphone industry with their latest technological advancements in this space. They have built the best AMOLED displays, unique sensors and many other hardware devices for mobile phones in the past. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ follow the same pattern.

Starting off with the design, the Galaxy S9 looks almost similar to its predecessor, the S8 with the same glass body design and curved infinity display. The Super AMOLED display on this device is the best you can get on any smartphone. The colours look accurate and the viewing angles are amazing. It has a very thin bezel at the top and bottom. The display is 5.8-inch on the S9 and 6.2-inch on the S9+.

The build quality of S9 is simply amazing thanks to the glass body build at the front and back. The glass is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 which is protected with IP68 certification for water and dust proofing. Glass back can catch some fingerprint smudges and it’s always advised to apply a back cover or skin for extra protection from accidental drops.

A noticeable difference between the S8 and S9 is the fingerprint positioning. The S9 has fingerprint scanner located right below the rear cameras, which is a welcome move. Headphone jack and Bixby button are retained on this phone as well.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are powered by the Exynos 9810 SoC which is an octa-core processor and Mali-G72 GPU. This SoC is comparable in performance to the flagship SoC from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845. The phone is running on Android Oreo with Samsung Customisation. The S9 has a 4GB RAM and the S9+ has a 6GB RAM with both having either 64GB or 256GB internal storage with memory expandability via microSD card. A smooth performance is guaranteed on this smartphone.

The key highlight of Galaxy S9 is its new rear camera setup with variable aperture. The 12MP rear camera on this phone can adjust its aperture based on the outside lighting. Thanks to this feature, there’s a considerable improvement in low light camera performance and this is the best camera for low light photography. The camera performance, on the whole, is pretty damn good but it’s still a bit overexposed and can’t beat the camera performance of Pixel 2 or even iPhone X.

The S9+ has a dual rear camera with an additional telephoto lens for optical zoom and live focus. The front camera is an 8MP shooter. The S9 and S9+ have 4K video recording capability at 60fps and a cool super slow-mo at 960fps.

Usual suspects like USB Type C, Iris Scanner and all the required sensors are present on this device. Samsung has even added a heartbeat sensor and blood pressure sensor for those health conscious users. Face unlock feature is also added with an added Intelligent Scan support that uses a mix of Iris and face to unlock the device.

The biggest negative of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ is its battery life. Both these phones have a 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries respectively but they drain too fast and last just about a day. On the flip side, both these phones have wireless charging and quick charging features.

Another downside of this phone is the Software optimisation. Samsung is not known for quick software updates and you may have to wait a while to get Android P updates or other security updates. There is no dual 4G LTE support as of now.

In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the best feature-rich flagship phones in India for most users. If you love the headphone jack or expandable memory storage or dual SIM capability, the Galaxy S9 won’t disappoint you. It also has the best display for a smartphone, a reimagined camera for great low light shots and the latest SoC under the hood for blazing fast performance.

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Amazing AMOLED display
R
Great low light camera
R
Super Slow-mo at 960fps
R
Dual SIM, expandable memory and headphone jack are present
R
Camera has variable aperture
Q
Poor battery life
Q
Slow software updates and few bloatware
Q
No Dual 4G VoLTE support

Specifications

OPERATING SYSTEM/UIAndroid Oreo
INTERNAL MEMORY64GB/256GB expandable
RAM4GB
GPUMali-G72 MP18
PROCESSORExynos 9810
CAMERA12MP rear, 8MP front
BATTERY3000mAh
DISPLAY5.8-inch 1440 x 2960, 570ppi

2. Apple iPhone X

Best Apple Phone

To simply put, the iPhone X is an Apple fanboy’s wet dream. The almost bezel-less display (albeit the notch) with no touch ID makes this phone distinctly different from all previous iPhones. On top of that is the A11 bionic chip which is the most powerful SoC you can get on a smartphone. More than the specifications, the wholesome experience an iPhone offers is best experienced on the iPhone X.

The iPhone X needs no introduction to smartphone enthusiasts. This signature product from Apple to mark the 10th anniversary of their first iPhone is a class apart from other mobile phones. And we recommend the iPhone X to all Apple fanboys as it is the best iPhone till date.

Starting off with the design, the iPhone X is visibly different from all their previous models including the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus which were launched at the same time thanks to the absence of touch ID or home button. As Apple has moved on to the revolutionary face unlock feature, they ditched the home button for bigger screen space. The display is now pushed right up to the edge with just a notch as a bezel.

The iPhone X has a Super AMOLED display supplied by Samsung which Apple optimised to output wonderful images and videos. The colour accuracy and legibility are too good on this display. The back of this phone is made of glass which is well made but has the tendency to slip out of hand. A skin or case is preferred.

Coming to the general performance, the iPhone X is powered by the Apple A11 Bionic chip which is a Hexa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 64/256GB storage and 3-core Apple GPU. This SoC is the most powerful chip Apple has made to date and it can also lay claim to being the best smartphone chip on any phone. The A11 chip completes its task in a flash and the RAM management and multitasking are butter smooth.

The Camera on iPhone X is again great like we have seen in other iPhone’s. The rear camera is a dual lens setup with a 12MP regular one and a 12MP telephoto lens for optical zoom. The pictures came out really well but they were not up to the wonderful camera we have seen in Pixel 2. The front camera is a 7MP shooter that clicks great selfies. Features like 4K video recording, Optical Image Stabilisation and quad-LED dual tone flash are available on this camera.

As I said earlier, the biggest difference you feel in the iPhone X is the absence of touch ID. The face ID works great but still, I would have preferred an option to have touch ID at least in the backside as it is a lot faster. But we all know how stubborn Apple is about their innovation! As a result of removing home button/touch ID, you now have to learn a few gestures to navigate the iOS UI.

The iPhone X has wireless charging, stereo speakers, a bezel-less display (excluding notch) and all the important sensors. The battery is a 2716mAh one which lasts a day without any hassle. There is a single SIM slot, no headphone jack and no micro SD card slot as you expect from an iPhone.

All in all, the iPhone X is the best smartphone Apple has launched till date. Even though you’re paying a premium for this phone, you know what you’re signing up for. In terms of raw specs and camera, a Pixel 2 or Galaxy S9 is a better pick but the performance, software updates, support and brand value Apple offers is simply second to none.

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Most powerful chip in a smartphone
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Great display which is almost bezel-less
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Augmented Reality features like Animoji
R
Foolproof face ID
Q
The glass back is slippery
Q
Notifications are not grouped by Apps
Q
Many gestures to learn

Specifications

OPERATING SYSTEM/UIiOS 11.1.1
INTERNAL MEMORY64/256GB
RAM3GB
GPUApple GPU (3-core graphics)
PROCESSORApple A11 Bionic
CAMERADual 12MP + 12MP rear, 7 MP front
BATTERY2716mAh
DISPLAY5.8-inch,1125 x 2436, 458ppi

3. Google Pixel 2

Best Android/Camera Phone

Google Pixel 2 and it’s taller sibling, the Pixel 2 XL sports the best camera on a smartphone. Thanks to the AI optimisation done by the google, the normal pictures and portrait mode shots turned out to be the best with great details. Added to that are the smart functionalities of Google and Android, the Pixel 2 is the best Android phone for you.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL from Google are unarguably the best smartphones you can get if you love everything that Android has to offer. Coming from the developers of Android itself, the Pixel 2 has to be better optimised for it and they have done exactly that with all the smart features.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL looks exactly similar from the back with a metallic body that is coated with plastic and a tiny little glass portion on top. But the front design of them looks totally different. The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with a bigger bezel and the XL variant has a 5.8-inch P-OLED display with fewer bezels.

The display of Pixel 2 XL has been in the news for all the wrong reason. Some users and reviewers have complained about the blue colour shift and display output quality. In conclusion, the display on Pixel 2 XL is not very good when compared to the high-quality display of Galaxy S9 and iPhone X but it’s adjustable otherwise.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset and Adreno 540 GPU. Both have a 4GB RAM and 64/128GB internals which is not expandable. Running on Android Oreo, updates to future versions will be guaranteed considering this is a Google product. The overall performance is as good as it gets from an Android phone with no issues whatsoever.

The most standout feature of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is their camera performance thanks to the AI implementations by Google. Even though both the phones have a single 12.2 MP rear camera, it clicks amazing photos in daylight and low light conditions. The portrait mode pictures shot on this phone turned out to be the best from any smartphone. The front camera performance and video recording quality are also simply brilliant.

The Pixel has some cool features like front-facing stereo speakers, squeeze sensor to turn on google assistant, always on display and google lens built in. It doesn’t have wireless charging and headphone jack. It also rocks a USB C port.

In conclusion, the Google Pixel 2 is the best camera phone and the best Android phone till now. The smart features of the Pixel with Google’s software optimisations add a new dimension to this smartphone. Well done, Google!

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The best photo capturing smartphone
R
Oreo UI is clean and intuitive
R
Many smart features built-in
R
Front-firing stereo speakers
Q
Mediocre display
Q
No wireless charging

Specifications

OPERATING SYSTEM/UIAndroid Oreo
INTERNAL MEMORY64/128GB
RAM4GB
GPUAdreno 540
PROCESSORSnapdragon 835
CAMERA12.2MP rear, 8 MP front
BATTERY2700mAh
DISPLAY5-inch,1080*1920, 441ppi

4. OnePlus 5T

Best Budget Smartphone

Oneplus 5T is easily the best budget smartphone with flagship features. Top of the line features with a great camera, amazing battery life and superb build quality, this phone has a lot of aces up its sleeve to impress the users. Surely a flagship killer, if the price is your topmost concern.

OnePlus has been a flagship killer right from its inception. They rocked the boat with Oneplus One offering flagship specs in a very affordable package. Here they are again, with their new Oneplus 5T, a slightly modified version of their highly acclaimed yesteryear flagship One plus 5.

Oneplus 5T offers top of the line internals that would give flagships from other reputed companies a run for their money. Rocking a Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage ensures you will wing your app usage no matter how hard you try. Multitasking and heavy gaming will feel like a breeze with no frame drops or lags.

Oneplus 5T offers an 18:9 6.01″ AMOLED screen that produces deep blacks and great contrast. The overall design is minimalistic and aesthetically pleasing. With an additional alert slider thrown into the bunch, Oneplus 5T has continued the tradition of understanding the usability from an end user standpoint and not just gimmicks that add no value to the overall build.

Fingerprint reader now rests on the back in a more comfortable position and is very quick to unlock the device. Additionally, Oneplus 5T has provided the face unlock option for people who want to dive into the future a bit early.

Oneplus 5T comes with a dual rear camera module that comprises of two 16MP snappers that produce photos with a great level of detail and low noise. The colours are natural and vivid. The front camera consists of a 16MP unit that takes great selfies and is included in a portrait mode that works well.

With a 3300mAh battery coupled with industry winning proprietary dash charging capability will ensure that you will top up the juice in no time. AMOLED screen along with Oxygen OS battery optimizations help this phone achieve great battery life with about 7 hours of screen on time.

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Affordable price for a feature-packed flagship
R
Great battery life
R
Oxygen OS is slick and fast
R
Dash charging
Q
No OIS leads to shaky videos
Q
Low light photos lack detail
Q
No water/splash resistance offered
Q
No wireless charging

Specifications

OPERATING SYSTEM/UIAndroid Nougat
INTERNAL MEMORY128/64GB
RAM6/4GB
GPUAdreno 540
PROCESSORSnapdragon 835
CAMERADual 16MP + 20MP rear, 16 MP front
BATTERY3300mAh
DISPLAY6-inch 1080 x 216018:9, 401ppi

5. LG V30+

Honourable Mention

LG V30+ is definitely an underrated flagship of yesteryear. With its gorgeous Quad HD OLED display combined with the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, this device had the potential to be one of the best phones in India. The battery life is great, so does the image as well as video quality from the camera. If you want a great phone that has an amazing camera and a gorgeous display, LG V30+ is the one worth checking out.

LG V30+ is the improved version of its international V30 variant that has been released in the Indian market. The company touts this phone as a multimedia powerhouse and comes with specifications that match any late 2017 flagship phones from the competitor brands out there.

The LG V30+ has a distinct design language that will differentiate it from the crowd. The dual camera on the back is placed in a horizontal manner with a slight bump. The fingerprint which doubles as a power button rests below the dual camera sensor in a comfortable position for your fingers to reach. The entire back is made of glass and the device feels slippery in hand. It is advised to use a case on this device to prevent accidental falls. LG V30+ is probably the lightest flagship out there. Overall, the build quality is great and the design is very much pleasing to the eyes.

This device is powered by the Snapdragon 835 which was the defacto flagship chipset from Qualcomm for the yesteryear flagships. The chip is very powerful and the apps – both light and heavy ones will run without any sort of lags or stutters. Gaming is also smooth and doesn’t face any issues like frame drops. Assisting the 835 processor is 4GB of RAM which lets this device fly on multitasking. There are no app reloading instances even with six to seven apps running simultaneously in the background. On the storage front, LG V30+ comes with 128GB of storage which can be further expanded by adding an SD card on the hybrid SIM slot.

The display on this device is a 6-inch P-OLED Quad HD display with a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels, giving a pixel density of about 537ppi which renders images and text sharper. The Quad HD OLED display is a treat to the eyes with its deep blacks and punchy colours. The viewing angles are great too. LG has done the colour calibration very well and out of the box, the display looks fabulous.

This device comes with dual rear 16MP cameras with Optical Image Stabilization. One of these 16MP cameras is a regular RGB sensor and the other a non-conventional wide angle lens. It helps this device to capture a wide field of view shots that include more subject. OIS lets you capture shake-free videos that look just like the one shot on a DSLR with gimbal attached. Although a dedicated portrait mode is absent, the f/1.6 captures some great close-up shots. In the front, the LG V30+ is equipped with a 13MP selfie shooter that takes good quality photos in well-lit environments.

The cellular reception on this device is stellar and it finds signals pretty easily in closed rooms where normal flagships struggle to latch on to signal.

The battery on this device is a 3300mAh unit which lasts for about 5-5.5 hours on a single charge which is great considering the Quad HD display which has always ON mode enabled. The standby time on this device is also great with the phone being ON for continuous 1.5 days.

The LG UI which runs on top of Android Nougat is a letdown, to say the least. The menus are cluttered and overall the UI looks unpolished. The default keyboard is troublesome to live with and you would have to use a keyboard from the Play store to redeem from this mess.

R
Quad HD P-OLED display
R
Great battery backup
R
Wide angle lens
R
Stellar cellular reception
Q
No dedicated portrait mode
Q
LG UI is cluttered and cumbersome

Specifications

OPERATING SYSTEM/UIAndroid Nougat
INTERNAL MEMORY128GB expandable
RAM4GB
GPUAdreno 540
PROCESSORSnapdragon 835
CAMERADual 16MP + 13MP rear, 5 MP front
BATTERY3300mAh
DISPLAY6-inch 1440 x 2880, 537ppi

That concludes our list of the best flagship phones in India right now. As always, the choice is completely yours. Think wisely and select the best phone that suits your mode of use. Please let us know your feedback in the comments below and do subscribe to our newsletter for more such buying guides delivered directly to your inbox.