Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

Welcome to the Smartphone Awards! 

There were a ton of smartphones that have come up in 2018. From January in CES straightaway through all the launches and events till December now.

In all these phones have different strengths, different weakneses, different goals, different designs, different things they do well and not as well. They are similar in some ways but they are different. 

So, naturally at the end of we gotta break it all down and reward the very best of them. 

So there will be a bunch of categories and for each category, there will be an overall winner. And then, there will be, if there is a worthy one, a second place sort of a runnerup. And there will be some honorable mentions. 

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

See Also: Smartphone Awards of 2017 Ft. MKBHD

Category No. 1 – Best Big Smartphone | Smartphone Awards 2018

First category, Best Big Smartphone. So, now a days most smartphone are already pretty big. They got bigger year after year. All these phones, in 2018, are way bigger from the phones in 2015. 

But, this award goes to the one that takes the best advantage of all that extra space. That makes the most use of being big both with hardware and software. 

And the winner for Best Big Smartphone of 2018 goes to Samsung Galaxy Note 9. 

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

If you gotta have a big phone, the Note 9 has absolutely one of the best big phone feature sets you can possibily get. It is the absolute best display in any smartphone. A 6 inch Amoled and a huge body having a 4000mah battery. It keeps the headphone jack. It has expandable storage. It has duel cameras. There is no Notch and it has room for a Stylus (S-Pen) that works as a remote control. 

But it is not just having big hardware. It has some amazing software that takes advantage of all this all. All the S-Pen features. Multi-window support. This phone is a power user’s default. It is the big phone of the year no doubt. 

And then the runner up for Best Big Phone of the year is gonna go to Huawei Mate 20 Pro. 

It is not quite as big as Note-9, but it still has 6.4 inch Amoled. It has 4200 mah battery. And, it has triple cameras instead of the usual one or two all with different focal lengths. 

There is no pen which is actually fine for most people. But, there is also no headphone jack and it does have a notch. But still, this is one of the most complete big phone of the year. Both in hardware features and software.  

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Award for the Best Big Smartphone of 2017?

Category No. 2 – Best Small Smartphone | Smartphone Awards 2018

Alright, the nextup category is Best Small Smartphone. That is compact phone of the year. You see, small smartphones are kind of a rare breed now. Afterall in everyone’s line up, phones just got bigger across the board.

But you can still do great things in compact packages. Not as compact as it used to be a couple of years ago. But still, there are some great smartphones out there. Also, by the way, I think this is the closest contested category. Some really good ones here. 

But the winner for the best small smartphone in 2018 is gonna go to iPhone XS.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

This one has got a 5.8inch display like I said not a super small phone. But to win this award, you have to do everything on a small phone that the big phone does. And iPhone XS truly does pretty much everything the iPhone XS Max does just with a smaller display and smaller battery. 

Basically, there are no other drawbacks. Obviously, it has one of the fastest chips. It has the same duel cameras as the bigger phone. Same RAM. And know what you are getting with – iOS. There are not many people out there regretting buying this phone. 

Anyway, very close second place – a runner up – the best compact small smartphone of 2018 is gonna go to The Pixel 3. 

With a 5.5 inch display it is even smaller. And some might even say the Pixel 3 is more apealing by than the bigger brother The Pixel 3 XL. The only thing we are loing out on there is you’ve a smaller display and a smaller battery. 

But they are even keeping the front facing stereo speakers and the dual front facing cameras. 

And then the runner up right behind that is gonna go to Samsung Galaxy S9. 

Back to a 5.8 inch display. This thing has a lot of gone already for a great design, we all love that already. 3000 mah battery. The only points you gotta dock for it are one less camera than Galaxy S9+ and for having a little bit less RAM. But, all of these noting things are both pretty small. 

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Award for the Best Small/Compact Smartphone of 2017?

Category No. 3 – Best Smartphone Camera | Smartphone Awards 2018

Ok, nextup Best Camera. 

So for some people, having a great camera is super important in a smartphone. We take a lot of photos and videos. It is just encouraging to be able to catch the moment in as higher quality as possible. 

And it has come out crystal clear this is probably no surprise if you watch the videos. But the winner for the best camera in a smartphone in 2018 is gonna go to the Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

There is one Camera in this phone and the amount of software magic Google is done with this one is nothing short of amazing. 

There were of course plenty of good phone cameras this year, but, Google’s HDR+ and software magic plus night sight put it in clear far ahead as the favourite camera ever in any smartphone. 

In second place, though I have camera that does slightly lesser photos but with much better videos and audios. And that is iPhone XS.

iPhones have been sort of the king of video in a smartphones for a little while now and the 2018 iPhone is no exception to that rule. 

If you are trying to do a lot of videos on your smartphone, you should get the iPhone. 

And I’m to give my honorable mention for Cameras to Huawei Mate 20 Pro for an excellent use of three cameras. Obviously, with three unique different focal lengths. I really like the super wide camera especially for a lot of different things.

Now, of course, LG and others also did the whole triple camera thing but this one happens to be the best quality of those three cameras. 

See Also: Which Smartphone was the Smartphone with the Best Camera of 2017?

Category No. 4 – Best Battery Award | Smartphone Awards 2018

Ok, the next award best battery award. 

This is important one for most people because I feel like big complain a lot of people have about their current smartphones is it does not last long. 

So it is good to see smartphones focusing on not getting super super thin, but actually giving you a longlasting battery life.

Plus, we get extra points in this category. Things like fast charging and wireless charging. 

And the winner sneaking in at the end of the year for battery life I had actually ever in a phone but of course of 2018 is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

This one, I wanna say, shocked me because I knew it would be good. I just didn’t know it would be this good. 

It is a 4200 mah battery, a 6.4 inch display, but the aggressive memory management combined with actively changed resolution and fast charging and wireless charging – all this combined, I literally never think of about battery when using this phone. 

It is really impressive what they have done with this phone. All that is in a phone that is not even that thick. Wee done huawei. 

Runner-up for best battery iPhone XR. 

Turns out combing the best associe in any phone, the Apple A12 with a particularly low resolution is a recipe for super long lasting battery life. This is the longest iPhone I have ever tested. 

And the honorable mention will go to Red Hydrogen One.

This phone – it is obiviously pretty thick but it is packing with 4500 mah battery making it officially the biggest battery cell I have ever held in my pocket. 

It does have pretty fast charging, doesn’t have wireless charging. But it just lasts for an eternity for batteries. 

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Award for Best Battery Life of 2017?

Category No. 5 – Best Design Award | Smartphone Awards 2018

This is an interesting one because a lot of the year we got these complaints about every phone looks kind of the same. Are we at peak smartphone? And this kind of one we all do – glass backs, dual cameras and notch – like every single phone.

But I found that the most interesting looking, most innovative design looking phones this year came from a lot of manufacturers trying to avoid the notch. 

Anyway, the point I’m getting at the design of the year for 2018 is gonna go to the Oppo Find X.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

This was, I mean, what a head turner of a phone this year. They decided to go a full on motorized slider that holds the front facing camera and sensors and full face recognition system. It pops up every time you unlock the phone. 

I don’t think any one can really speak to the long term durability of a system like this yet. But the result is really fascinatingly beautiful phone that can totally end up in a meuseum in a few years. 

Also, there is pretty good chance in future we are gonna laught at what we had to do with these bezeless designs back in 2018. 

I’m gonna give honorable mentions to Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 – also a slider and the NEX S which has a single popup camera. 

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Best Design Award of 2017?

Category No. 6 – Best Budget Phone | Smartphone Awards 2018

Ok, next category – Best Budget Smartphone in 2018.

This in an important one this year because if you haven’t noticed pretty much every phone that came out over this calendar year of 2018 has been more expensive at launch then the phone that came before. 

I used to say it often good phones are getting cheap and cheap phones are getting good. Now half of that is still true.

But basically a great budget phone is becoming more and more rare but they do still exit. 

So, the winner for the best budget phone of 2018 goes to, you guessed it, Xiaomi Pocophone F1. 

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

This thing turned a lot of heads when it came out. It is not available everywhere still. And it is not the only good phone in this price range. But it just got so much hype and it does a lot of things well. 

Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, 4000 mAh battery, and it pretty well built. It is around $300. 

But even knowing numbers don’t mean everything like this phone performed very well. 

I’m gonna do honorable mentions in this category as well. And that will be for Nokia 7 and the Honor 8x

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Award for the Best Budget Phone of 2017?

Category No. 7 – Biggest Bust Phone | Smartphone Awards 2018

Alright next up is the award I hate to have to give, but I have to give it. It is the biggest bust of 2018. 

We all have disappointments I get it like there are mistakes. Sometimes, two or three, eight or nine things go wrong or maybe it just didn’t live up to the hype. Or you didn’t see something going the way it did.

No doubt, the bust of the year for smartphones in 2018 was the Red Hydrogen One.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

It was so frustrating because I wanted this phone to be so good. Well, fingers are crossed for Hydrogen 2. 

See Also: Which Smartphone was the Bust of 2017?

Category No. 8 – Most Improved Phone Award | Smartphone Awards 2018

Aright next up is the most improved award. This goes to the phone that improved most year over year. 

Now for as much as phones got more expensive over the last year, not a lot of them got significantly better to the difference in the price. 

You know the new iPhone looks like the old iPhone. The new Samsung looks like the old Samsung. That is the part of the whole tick tock design strategy. But we offer the awards to the ones that take big leap forward. 

So the winner for most improved smartphone of 2018 goes to Razor Phone 2.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

They earned this award in a pretty new gaming phone category but basically attacking all the things that were weak about the first Razor Phone and keeping all the good stuff. 

They added a glass back for wireless charging. They dropped RBG Logo. The Cameras are improved. The kept the front-facing speakers. The kept the awesome 120Hz display but made it brighter. And they made the whole thing water-resistant.

Like last year I wouldn’t necessary recommend the first Razor Phone to most people, but this one is much more complete; much more daily driveable. 

See Also: Which Smartphone won the Award for the Most Improved Phone of 2017?

Category No. 9 – The Smartphone of the Year – The MVP | Smartphone Awards 2018

So the last but not the least, the biggest award of the night, literally, it is the MVP The Smartphone of the Year.

You can see it as the Best Phone, The Most Complete Phone, The Most Impactful Phone. Either Way, there is only one voter – and that is me :).

So, the winner of the MVP. The Smartphone of the year for 2018 goes to the OnePlus 6T.

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

Now, this one truly deserved. But if you scroll back up to the awards, it is not really the best at anything. 

Actually it is arguably the Fastest Android Phone but there is no award for that. But, it does pretty much everything very well and it makes a couple of sacrifices in the right place to bring the price way down. 

So in a world where phones are approaching $900, $1000, $1100. The OnePlus 6T, this one brings a lot of flagship performance in kind of a flagship design too down to literally half the price. 

This is also in stores too. This is the phone I’m recommending to a lot of people and they are enjoying it too. 

Now it is going to be tough for them to follow next year but we kind of always see it coming because we have seen the phone released earlier in the year then a couple of months later – the T Version that is way better. But I gotta say they have done a great job with the 6T this year.

My runner-up for the MVP is gonna be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

This is what you might call as the most complete phone of the year. Not a lot of phone make it feel like what you are getting more than you paid for especially at a $1000, but if you want something that checks every box – Note 9 checks every box. 

This is basically the only flagship available with no notch, with a headphone jack, with a stylus built in, with that incredible display, with a variable aperture camera, with all around high-end specs, it is just checking every box. 

And, then, my MVP honorable mention will go to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Still it is not available in US and still not the best reputation of a company in US either. But this phone did a lot of things right.

So I’m talking about the best battery life I’ve ever used in a Smartphone which is really impressive. You got the triple cameras of different focal lengths. So again high quality, very versatile, you got the coloured power button, and a great design and great overall performance. 

Easily my best Huawei phone of all time and one of the best devices to come out in 2018. 

So there you have it. It is the smartphone awards fo 2018. Like I said earlier there was this sentiment that we are sort of all getting the same smartphone over and over but really when you look at it, there has never been a better selection. There is something for everyone genuinely. Like if you are into smartphone photography, video, or your are working on a budget, or you need a compact phone, or you are really into something that lasts all day with big battery. 

Even phones those aren’t winning awards, if you brought this line up on phones six years ago, these are all incredible choices. So, it is kind of good time to be alive. 

So, thank you for watching this annual award show. It has been pleasure to host for 2018. Hope you enjoyed it and I’ll catch you guys in the next one. Peace!

Smartphone Awards 2018 Ft. MKBHD (Marques Brownlee)

(Video) Smartphone Awards 2018! By MKBHD

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Naeem Javid

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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