What have been the best-looking telephones of 2018?

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What have been the best-looking telephones of 2018?


Simply as we see the yr 2018 within the rear-view mirror we determined to take a considerably totally different spin on it and try to discover essentially the most stunning telephones it introduced. Ignoring pricing and have units we’ll solely give attention to appears to be like right here.

A fast comparability of the final two years reveals that whereas 2017 introduced largely gray, black and white telephones with rectangular screens, 2018 acquired us a kaleidoscope of vivid colours and display screen cutouts of all sizes and styles.

Telephones, particularly ones from Chinese language makers like Huawei, Oppo, vivo, Lenovo and Xiaomi are those pushing this revolution however the likes of Samsung and Apple have additionally taken up the struggle. This yr we acquired Polaris Blue Galaxy S9 and Coral iPhone XR.

In the meantime cellphone makers are experimenting with ingenious methods of getting one other step nearer to the bezeless future. The notches went from extensive to waterdrop-shaped and now we’re starting to see the punch gap selfie cameras that stay contained in the show.

This was additionally the yr we noticed the motorized selfie digicam on the vivo NEX S, then a motorized slider for all cameras on the Oppo Discover X, and eventually manually sliding telephones just like the Honor Magic 2 and Xiaomi Mi Combine 3. These increase some questions in relation to sturdiness and environment friendly use of the inner quantity, however they paint an image of experimentation, innovation and sweetness.

So let’s set the spherical desk and see what our editors must share. Only one easy query on this one – which have been the best-looking telephones of the yr?


To my eyes and fingers the prettiest cellphone of the yr is the Huawei Mate 20 Professional. It combines a vibrant practically bezeless curved AMOLED with stunning Emerald Inexperienced or Midnight Blue-colored glass that has a singular non-slip texture – that’s proper a texture on the glass. The feel feels divine to the contact, helps with the grip and reduces fingerprints and smudges.

I discover that the perfectly-centered sq. with the three Leica-branded cameras provides a balanced look to the rear of the Mate 20 Professional. Okay, there’s a notch on the entrance but it surely makes a powerful case for itself by offering correct infrared face scanning, whereas the underside bezel is among the many thinnest on a cellphone.

The refined curves of the glass – each entrance and rear – present a snug grip and the red-colored energy button is simply cool!


Now that each cellphone is a few variation on a rounded rectangle, it’s uncommon to have design standouts. So, not what most individuals will describe as a a stunner however at the least the Meizu 16 delivers a clear design that doesn’t appear to be it was drawn up by an engineer.

Its symmetry simply works for me. On the entrance, bezels are of even dimension and there’s no notch to mess issues up. On the again there’s simply the twin digicam and the uncommon ring flash, each of that are aligned on the middle line. Nothing feels out of stability. Evaluate it to the Galaxy Note9’s again the place elements really feel thrown collectively.

Meizu 16
Meizu 16

Meizu 16

I do want Meizu supplied some extra shade choices – we’ve seen some nice blues this yr with a glass that performs with the sunshine. And I actually might have achieved with out the Android-to-iOS reskin of the software program.


As an early fowl I typically get to benefit from the dawn and I am fairly keen on the morning goldish-pinkish-orange hues of the sky. There’s something magical in these brisk 5 minutes proper earlier than the solar pops out behind the horizon and I’m so blissful to see smartphone producers implementing these colours in a tool.

I positive want extra firms did it for the reason that Mi eight Lite and Lenovo Z5s are one thing uncommon, however my hands-down best-looking smartphone is the Honor Magic 2.

Honor Magic 2
Honor Magic 2

Honor Magic 2

There may be simply one thing magical on this clear glass panel with its mirror-like end. The love for a gradient from white to blue may be subjective, however I take pleasure in each colours and the way in which they’re sitting on the Magic 2 again is fairly neat.

There may be additionally a entrance panel with none notches or different eye-sores, so you possibly can benefit from the Magic UI (aka EMUI), if that’s attainable. I do not suppose Honor Magic 2 is one of the best cellphone to have however is unquestionably essentially the most enticing.


I’ve a deeply rooted aversion to show notches, and in a yr when that was the norm, each cellphone with out one seemed good to me. However there was one specific notchless handset that felt particular this yr, and it was the Sony Xperia XZ3.

The corporate that produced the blockiest designs available on the market for years progressively warmed as much as the beforehand overseas idea of curves. Just a few half-generations into it, the brand new wave of Sony design introduced us the XZ3 with curved entrance glass edges, rounded show corners, and a shapely again, plus moderately trim bezels (particularly by Sony’s requirements of outdated). My eyes was hearts the second it got here into the workplace.

In fact, in the course of the honeymoon interval that adopted I used to be prepared to miss points just like the tiny and awkwardly positioned buttons and the ridiculous placement of the fingerprint reader which additionally meant a smudged up digicam as a rule. Humorous factor occurred although, and as time glided by I simply embraced these and different XZ3 quirks – it was virtually like a fairy story love story.

Then a wild Pixel Three appeared and all of it fell aside right away. However that is not the purpose – the purpose is that the Xperia XZ3 is one critically handsome cellphone.


For me, one of the best wanting cellphone of the yr is a sandwich. Listed here are its elements:

– the entrance of the Xiaomi Mi Combine 3 (or Honor Magic 2 since they appear to be utilizing the very same show panel)

– the stainless-steel body of an iPhone X, XS, or XS Max

– the again of the Huawei Mate 20 Professional

Enable me to clarify. That entrance is the closest we have gotten to the really bezel-less smartphone dream up till this level, and there is one thing about this that makes the cellphone really feel virtually prefer it’s from the long run. Mesmerizing.

In a world stuffed with aluminum frames, stainless-steel is simply… totally different. And yeah, that is mainly the one motive for this alternative: it could permit this machine to face out from the group.

On the again it could actually solely appear to be the Mate 20 Professional, as a result of that handset’s squircle digicam island simply does good, heat and fuzzy issues to my gentle OCD. All of it appears so logical, so properly thought by way of, so properly put collectively, and contained in the island itself there’s symmetry too. Add to that the very distinctive paint jobs – the blue and inexperienced with their micro-patterns laser-etched into the glass, or the gradient end that’s nonetheless gorgeous to have a look at – and you have got an unmatched bundle for my part.


I will be completely frank right here – I’ve by no means actually been huge on appears to be like. I stay and breathe smartphones however largely for his or her geeky aspect – the internals, the nitty-gritties of issues, the cool improvements, that form of issues. Additionally, I typically discover myself paranoid concerning the fragile nature of most fashionable units. If there is a case obtainable for a gadget – I positively get it and by no means take it off.

Preserving these two in thoughts, any type of superb paint job is wasted on me. And since I worth utility above all the things else, I nonetheless cannot actually cease disliking curves, notches, holes, in-display digicam modules or the rest that disturbs the wonderful symmetry and utility of a giant, uninterrupted show. Ideally one of many Tremendous AMOLED selection for that additional visible constancy.

vivo NEX S
vivo NEX Dual Display

vivo NEX S • vivo NEX Twin Show

Fortunately, amid all of the odd show mutilation and “chop-shop” designs of 2018, just a few attractive (by my requirements) handsets did see the sunshine of day. Just like the vivo NEX S, which nonetheless warms my geeky coronary heart with its mechanical periscope selfie digicam and superb big Tremendous AMOLED panel. Sadly, regardless of my greatest and chronic efforts to find it irresistible, it was merely not daily-driver materials. The under-display fingerprint reader was first era tech and really wonky and the software program was virtually unusable exterior Asia.

Ever since, I’ve been wanting within the normal path of its successor – the NEX Twin Show. Twin Tremendous AMOLED panels do seem very cool, at the least on paper and on a conceptual stage.

Huawei Honor Magic 2
ZTE nubia X

Huawei Honor Magic 2 • ZTE nubia X

One other honorable (pun meant) point out needs to be the Honor Magic 2. That mechanical sliding mechanism is so satisfying and such a pleasant throwback to a bygone age of cellular design that it’s fairly arduous to withstand. Then once more, I might in all probability find yourself breaking it after a month’s value of fixed fidgeting.

So, for me personally, essentially the most stunning 2018 machine title has to go to the ZTE nubia X. In case you have been questioning, I in all probability would not be proud of it in the long term for its IPS panel, if nothing else. However that ingenious again design! Let’s be frank right here, essentially the most sensible use for a show on the again might be going to be as a digicam viewfinder and maybe a ticker model notification feed or a clock.

Even with the nubia X’s panel positioned below a coloured glass floor, degrading picture high quality, it’s nonetheless adequate for these easy duties. The large profit to the appears to be like division being the superb idle animations that ZTE has been enjoying round with. It is like having a mesmerizing screensaver enjoying on what appears to be like like a strong glass floor. Each insanely cool and geeky. Proper up my alley.


One of the best-looking cellphone? Do not all of them look the identical these days? Virtually. The glass-sandwich is just about the definition of a flagship design, whereas the touch-enabled show limits the artistic freedom lots. However after I simply thought the glass telephones do not have something extra to supply in relation to appears to be like, Oppo proved me incorrect.

There’s a best-looking smartphone this yr for me and it is the Discover X. All display screen on the entrance. All clear again. And but no digicam was harm within the course of. It was a singular factor to expertise, the slider mechanism and the clear design, and I used to be hooked on the appears to be like the second I noticed the Discover X.

Oppo Find X review

Then OnePlus managed to shock me with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Version. The entrance is like every other, however the properly patterned again, which appears to be like prefer it’s glowing with the refined orange accent – that is what actually catches the attention. And it has actually caught mine.

And in case you have requested me this query six months in the past, I might have in all probability picked a number of the Huawei P20 telephones due to the gradient paintjob. However because it typically goes on this enterprise, Huawei and Honor overused these hues, different makers picked them up instantly, and so they wore off manner too early.


Bear in mind the times when Chinese language firms’ concept of designing a cellphone would simply sheepishly copy no matter design Apple at present does, whereas filling the specs sheet with as many huge numbers and buzzwords as attainable? These are lengthy gone now and for the previous yr it was precisely Chinese language makers that pushed the envelope of design.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s quote that “Perfection is achieved not when there may be nothing extra so as to add, however when there may be nothing left to remove” aligns completely with my understanding of nice cellphone design. That is why it is arduous to look previous the Oppo Discover X for one of the best wanting cellphone of the yr. In its folded kind it is as near perfection because the cellular world has seen to date.

One other Oppo cellphone that I really feel I ought to point out is the R17 Professional or RX17 Professional relying on the place you reside. It is notched entrance is hardly superb, but it surely’s again is the top of the gradient paintjobs that grow to be so stylish this yr. The truth that the gradient goes all the way in which to the body and the S-curve make the Radiant Mist a correct stunner.

The handbook sliders are one other alley I really feel is value exploring. They ship the specified all display screen entrance, whereas the motion provides some life to the in any other case chilly design of recent bar smartphone.

The ultimate cellphone I will embrace is the vivo NEX Twin Show Version, which has twice the standard variety of screens to provide us a wonderfully clear entrance and the Lunar Ring on the again appears to be like actually nice with its illuminated edge. Likelihood is it will not acquire a lot traction within the west, which is a pity since it is a sight to behold.

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