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Best phone in the US for 2018: the top 15 smartphones we've tested

2018 is almost over, and so many great new phones have come out vying for the top spot as best phone in the US. Apple has released the iPhone XS, XS Max and the more affordable iPhone XR. The new OnePlus 6T hit the market with a price well below its competition while its specs and design are highly competitive. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 continue to stand out. And, Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have hit the scene not just looking to be the best camera phone.

With so many great phones launching, it can be hard to keep track, but we’ve thoroughly tested all of the best and determined which stand above the rest. We’ve got all the specs and details you’ll need to know and detailed accounts of how each phone performs. Whenever a new phone comes out, we’ll see how it stacks up against the current roster of best smartphones. So, whether you’re excited about a new iPhone or Android coming out, or have heard a new phone has the best specs around, you can see where it ranks among the best smartphones right here.

Now, with all the phones ready to compare, we’ll make one thing clear. The best phone isn't simply the new iPhone, although our list is made up of familiar names: Apple, Samsung, Google and LG, all in the top 10.

The good news is that our team of smartphone experts has tested the best phones to be released in the United States, and buying the right one is more than just a hunch for us. We'll tell you which phone is best and explain why on this page.

We test out the latest and - sometimes - greatest phones in comprehensive mobile phone reviews. That's our job. We're here to separate the best from the mediocre. To drill down to a list of our favorites in the US for October 2018, we based our newly updated rankings system on a lot of geeked-out factors: design, performance, battery life, camera quality, and consistency software updates. The truth is they're all so close, but you want to walk away with the greatest phone for you.

Why we have more than just a No. 1 pick: Your personal preference among iOS 12 and Android Pie could sway you to another device besides our top-ranked phone. No one in the US wants to get rid of iMessages, and we understand that. Likewise, Android is better for a lot of people who like to tinker with their settings – that's Google's speciality with its mobile OS.

Likewise, your contract with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile is a preference. The best phone for AT&T may not be available on-contract on Verizon, and vice-versa. We have to take that into account when recommending phones.

If you didn't catch it the first time, spoiler alert, our top pick isn't just Apple's iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. We're not that predictable. Before you lock into a binding contract or spring for an expensive unlocked phone, consult our best phone guide, updated regularly.