We’ve found new Best Buy and Don’t Buy smartphones in our recent round of rigorous tests. Which models are worth their salt?
The best of the bunch offers exceptional battery life, powering through almost 26 hours of calls and 11.5 hours of web browsing in our tests. It also takes good photos with sharp detail and nice balance, as well as excellent videos with smooth motion.
The worst, on the other hand, will prove to be a constant source of frustration. It manages just 11 hours of calls or 5.5 hours of internet use, so it may well struggle to make it through the day without needing a recharge. And to add insult to injury, it takes a laborious 3.5 hours to charge from flat to full.
Keep reading to find out more about the five most recently tested smartphones, and make sure you check out our full review before parting with your cash, to avoid spending unwisely.
Mobile phone reviews – discover the best models for your budget
Google Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 XL is the big-screen cousin of the Pixel 2, with an enormous six-inch screen. To help you use it more comfortably with one hand, Google has made this phone’s aspect ratio 18:9, which means it’s twice as long as it is wide.
It has a 12.2Mp rear camera and you can squeeze the handset to open Google Assistant, which will respond to your voice commands. But, like the latest iPhones, it doesn’t have a traditional headphone socket. Instead, you connect headphones via the USB-C port (Google provides an adaptor). You could also consider investing in wireless headphones.
You can currently buy the Pixel 2 XL for £669. But should you? Find out in our full Google Pixel 2 XL review.
Huawei Honor 6A
The Huawei Honor 6A costs less than £150 to buy outright, so it might be worth considering if you’re buying on a budget.
It has a 13Mp rear camera and a 5Mp front-facing camera for taking photos and videos, plus it has built-in FM radio to let you easily tune into your favourite stations. It has a small 16GB of on-board storage, though, so you may want to buy and insert a separate micro-SD card to boost space.
Find out whether this smartphone offers good bang for its buck, or whether it’s worth eradicating from your mind, by reading our expert Huawei Honor 6A review.
Slim bezels surround the 5T’s display to create an expensive look, and its aluminium build makes it feel like it’s worth a few bob, too. It has a large 6.1-inch display and, like Google, OnePlus has made the phone twice as long as it is wide.
It has two camera lenses on the back – one is a 20Mp telephoto, and the other a 16Mp wide-angle. The theory is that, by working together, the cameras deliver better detail, especially when zooming. It also lets you play with some depth-of-field effects – for example, you can increase focus on your subject by blurring out the background, for a nice artistic shot.
Discover what we made of this phone’s camera quality, battery life, speed and more by checking out our full OnePlus 5T review.
Motorola Moto X4
The Moto X4 is another example of Motorola’s perseverance in launching mid-range smartphones to appeal to those who don’t want to spend top dollar. You can pick it up for around £250, which is a quarter of the price of the iPhone X (64GB).
It has a large 5.2-inch screen, which you may appreciate if you like to watch videos on your smartphone. It also has a fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking, a built-in FM radio, and it’s NFC-capable – so you’ll be able to use it to make contactless payments via Android Pay.
We’ve found brilliant smartphones that cost less than £300 before. Is the Moto X4 one of them? Find out in our Motorola Moto X4 review.
Vodafone Smart E8
If you’re really looking to cut costs on your next smartphone, you might want to take a look at the Vodafone Smart E8.
It costs around £50 to buy outright, and it’s predictably short on features. But if you’re not fussed about having all the latest smartphone technology at your fingertips, the Smart E8 could do the job quite nicely. That said, it has built-in FM radio, as well as a removable battery, which makes it easier to diagnose any battery-related issues – a feature often lacking on more expensive smartphones.
Spending more doesn’t necessarily guarantee better quality when it comes to smartphones. Read our Vodafone Smart E8 review to see whether it hits the spot for buyers on a budget.
Want to see what the new models are up against? Browse all our mobile phone Best Buys.