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Best UK phones - Backs of the Huawei P30 Pro, Google Pixel 3, and Samsung Galaxy S10

With Android thoroughly dominating the mobile industry, there are almost countless great Android smartphones to pick from in the U.K. phones market. From sleek devices that impress with premium design, to powerhouses brimming with features, to all-around great devices, and affordable phones that punch above their weight, the best Android phones in U.K. offer a staggering variety of attractive phones.

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Not all smartphone models are available globally, for reasons ranging from modem and networks through to supply chains and marketing. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best U.K. phones for Android.

Editor’s note: We will be regularly updating this list of best Android phones in U.K., as new devices launch and become available in the country.


Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e

Best UK phones - Samsung Galaxy S10 series

The most successful smartphone maker in the business today was expected to deliver great things for its marquee series’ tenth anniversary. Safe to say, the Samsung Galaxy S10 series has not disappointed.

While the Galaxy Fold stole some of the spotlight, the Galaxy S10 trio is arguably Samsung’s best iteration on the Galaxy S family to date. It’s also the largest, with the slightly more affordable Galaxy S10e offering all the best bits of the Galaxy brand at a slightly cheaper price.

Best-in-class displays, stunning design, top-end hardware, and impressive camera performance have been hallmarks of Samsung’s design for some time now. The S10 range delivers on all these fronts (mostly) and more, though the Galaxy S10 Plus is clearly the pick of the bunch thanks to its smorgasbord of features like Wireless PowerShare, an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, the larger display and battery, and depth sensor for the front-facing camera. It’s also one of the only flagship phones from any OEM to still have a headphone jack.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e specs: Memory overload

All three phones are powered by the Exynos 9820 SoC (Snapdragon 855 in other regions) paired with between 6GB to 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of on-board storage. They also all run Android Pie out of the box with Samsung’s One UI skin on top.

The Galaxy S10 Plus is the ‘best’ of the three, but all that flagship goodness comes with a hefty cost. The base model is 899 pounds, while the max configuration with 1TB storage and 12GB RAM is priced at a whopping 1,399 pounds. The regular Galaxy S10, meanwhile, starts at 799 pounds, and the Galaxy S10e is the most affordable of the lot at 669 pounds.

They may be expensive, but the Galaxy S10 is worth the premium.

Specs:

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution
  • 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9820 processor
  • Mali-G76 MP 12
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/512GB/1TB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP, 12MP, and 16MP rear cameras, 10MP front-facing camera with depth sensor
  • dual-SIM (dual standby) – hybrid slot
  • 4,100mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm, 175g

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Huawei P30 Pro

best UK phones - Huawei P30 Pro back on window 2

What do you get if you take almost everything that’s great about the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and tack on the most versatile camera modules ever to hit the market? You get the Huawei P30 Pro — one of best Huawei phones ever and arguably the best Chinese Android phones to date.

The main attraction with the P-series is the camera, and the P30 Pro sports the company’s first quad-lens setup, once again co-engineered with Leica. The vertical module features a 40 megapixel sensor (OIS, f/1.6) main sensor based on an RYB (red, yellow, blue) model to absorb more light, 20 megapixel sensor (OIS, f/2.2) wide-angle lens, and an 8 megapixel periscope lens (OIS, f/3.4) that delivers up to 5x optical zoom and up to 10x hybrid zoom. The fourth lens is a tiny Time-of-Flight (TOF) sensor sat underneath the flash.

The results from all these camera bells and whistles — not to mention Huawei’s AI advancements — are astounding. The low light shots and zoom images are stunning and represent a huge step forward for smartphone photography.

The rest of the phone is just as spectacular too. Be it the all-glass, gradient aesthetic (especially in the Aurora color), the OLED display, reverse wireless charging, the optical in-display fingerprint sensor, or great battery life, the P30 Pro goes far beyond being just a bag of camera tricks.

The Huawei P30 Pro starts at 899 pounds, which puts it on par with the Galaxy S10 Plus in the U.K..

Specs:

  • 6.47-inch Super OLED display with 2,340 x 1,440 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 720MHz GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of built-in storage, expandable via nano memory card slot (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • dual-SIM (dual standby)
  • 40MP, 20MP, 8MP, and TOF 3D quad rear cameras, 32MP front-facing camera
  • 4,200mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm, 192g

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 rear - best Android phones UK

We couldn’t make a “Best Phones” list without including our overall Best of Android 2018 winner, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It might be expensive, but the Note 9’s mighty specs and unique features form an all-round package that can’t be denied.

Editor's Pick

The Note 9’s sports a near-bezel-less 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, which is a perfect pairing for the newly upgraded S-Pen with remote control support via Bluetooth. Inside you get the same Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC we saw with the Galaxy S9 in the U.K., complete with 6GG/8GB RAM and 128/512GB storage, backed by a chunky 4,000mAh battery.

It also borrows the Galaxy S9’s excellent dual-lens camera suite, so top-quality photos are guaranteed. They even fixed the Note 8‘s dumb fingerprint sensor placement.

It may have been surpassed by the Galaxy S10 Plus in most regards, but there’s still something special about the Note 9. It’s also a great option for power users.

The regular Note 9 model retails for £899, while the 8GB/512GB variant pushes the price up to £1,099.

Specs:

  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution
  • 2.7GHz octa-core Exynos 9810 processor
  • Mali-G72 MP 18
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card up to 512GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
  • dual-SIM (dual standby) – hybrid slot
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g

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Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL in white and pink - best Android phones UK

Yes, the larger version has a massive, indefensibly ugly “bathtub” notch. Yes, they still lag behind in the specs department in some key areas, especially compared to the Galaxy S10. They’re also too expensive compared to rival devices.

But, if you want a phone that takes wonderful photos every time, there’s nothing that can match the Google Pixel 3 series.

While seemingly every other OEM is in a rush to make smartphones with as many lenses as possible, the big G stuck with a single shooter for its third-generation Pixel phones, instead relying on computational photography to once again give it the edge. It worked — the Pixel 3 offers the most consistent camera experience of any phone on the market, complete with Pixel-only features like the see-it-to-believe-it Night Sight mode.

Editor's Pick

Google has also managed to exorcize the display issues we saw with the Pixel 2 XL.

Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL sport P-OLED displays, with the former a little smaller at 5.5-inches and a lower pixel per inch total (443 ppi vs 523 ppi).

The Pixel 3 XL’s QHD+ 6.3-inch is better on paper, but the harsh reality is you’ll have to deal with the notch (or turn it off and live with a larger top bezel).

Aside from a slight difference in battery life, you’re essentially getting the same great phone whether you go for the Pixel 3 or its larger twin. That also means you’ll get the same Snapdragon 845 SoC and front facing speakers — as well as the same meager 4GB of total RAM.

Google’s habit of over-inflating its prices in the U.K. also returns with the Pixel 3 series, with the entire range starting from £739. Thankfully, most other retailers (notably not Amazon, because reasons) offer better deals.

Specs:

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution (Pixel 3)
  • 6.3-inch AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution (Pixel 3 XL)
  • 2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 12.2MP rear camera, dual 8MP front-facing cameras
  • 2,915mAh battery (Pixel 3)
  • 3,430mAh battery (Pixel 3 XL)
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, 148g (Pixel 3)
  • 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 184g (Pixel 3 XL)

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro triple camera - best Android phones UK

If you’re not fussed by the P30 Pro’s awesome camera but want a feature-packed, super-sized Huawei handset then the Mate 20 Pro just might be the phone for you.

The Mate 20 Pro is powered by the Kirin 980 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage (expandable), and a huge 4,200mAh cell. As well as a gorgeous 6.39-inch OLED display, the Mate 20 Pro also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D facial recognition, and reverse wireless charging. Like the P20 Pro before it, the Mate 20 Pro also sports three cameras on the rear – a primary 40MP lens with a f/1.8 aperture, a telephoto 8MP shooter with a f/2.4 aperture and OIS, and a 20MP ultra-wide lens with a f/2.2 aperture.

Related: Google Pixel 3 Night Sight vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro Night Mode

If you want to save a few pennies, the regular Mate 20 ditches OLED for an IPS LCD display, the in-display fingerprint sensor for a physical one, and loses reverse charging, but aside from a drop in megapixels in the camera department, it’s mostly the same phone with blistering performance and a much smaller notch to boot.

These phones are not cheap, however. In the U.K., you can get the Mate 20 Pro at Amazon for a whopping £899, while the Mate 20 is priced a little lower at £699 without a contract. Other retailers that sell U.K. phones like Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis, Argos, and Clove Technology are also selling the phones for similar prices. The Emerald Green version is exclusive to Carphone Warehouse, but you can grab the Black or Twilight colorways from whichever retailer is offering the best deal.

As for the rest of the Mate 20 series, you can buy the enormous, gaming-focused Mate 20 X from Amazon for £799, while the slightly underwhelming Mate 20 Lite goes for as low as £279.

Specs:

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

  • 6.39-inch Super OLED display with 3,120 x 1,440 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 720MHz GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB of built-in storage, expandable via nano memory card slot (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • dual-SIM (dual standby)
  • 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP triple rear cameras, 24MP front-facing camera
  • 4,200mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm, 189g

Read More:


OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 6T display - best Android phones UK

The OnePlus 7 is nearly here, but the Chinese brand’s latest T series phone — the OnePlus 6T — is still a superb choice.

Features include an in-display fingerprint sensor, a larger battery, and a slightly chunkier design. It also has a much smaller “waterdrop” notch, which still won’t assuage die-hard notch haters, but looks much better than a larger, rectangular cutout.

Editor's Pick

The 6T is mostly a step up from its predecessor, the OnePlus 6, but one change really disappointed fans.

The reasoning behind the headphone jack’s removal is pretty shaky, but OnePlus isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last OEM to drop the 3.5mm port.

With similar specs, software, and an identical camera, there’s no a huge incentive to upgrade to the OnePlus 6T if you already have a OnePlus 6. For anyone looking for bargain, however, the OnePlus 6T isn’t just one of the best U.K. phones — it’s one of the best value phones full stop.

The OnePlus 6T starts at £499 for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage model. You can bump up the RAM count to 8GB for an extra £29, or go all out for 8GB RAM/256 ROM for a total of £579.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 64/128GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 16MP and 20MP dual rear cameras, 16MP front-facing camera
  • 3,700mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm, 185g

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Honor View 20

Honor View 20 rear - best Android phones UK

Honor has been pumping out incredible value phones with flagship specs and features for years and has already built a solid reputation in the U.K. That continues with the Honor View 20 — and then some.

The Honor View 20 is a sublime phone with a gorgeous V-pattern design, a vibrant 6.4-inch 19.25:9 LCD display, a meaty 4,000mAh battery, and a Sony-made 48 megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture paired with a 3D TOF sensor. That’s all powered by Huawei’s latest Kirin 980 SoC and backed by either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. It even has a headphone jack and an IR blaster!

More: Specs comparison: Honor View 20 vs Honor View 10

The other big win for the Honor View 20 is the lack of a notch. Instead, Honor has opted to stick with a near bezel-less design but shift the selfie camera inside the display. This “hole-punch” design looks set to be a trend in 2019, but Honor will have always got there first.

There are some downsides — the lack of an IP rating for waterproofing, no wireless charging, and Magic UI being a little too iPhone-like for some — but at just £499 for the 6GB RAM/128GB ROM model, the View 20 is an enticing alternative to the OnePlus 6T.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with 2,310 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.6GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • Mali-G76 720MHz GPU
  • 6/8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB built-in storage, not expandable
  • 48MP and TOF 3D stereo camera, 25MP front-facing camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1mm, 180g

Read more


Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Pocophone F1 front - best Android phones UK

Want all the power of a £1,000 flagship phone for less than a third of the price? Look no further than the Pocophone F1 — the best budget U.K. phone by a country mile.

When Xiaomi officially launched in the U.K. in 2018, it brought with it the first phone from its Pocophone sub-brand, which immediately overshadowed the rest of Xiaomi’s phones.

Starting at just £329 (and going as low as £279 in frequent sales), the Pocophone F1 offers a frankly bonkers price-performance ratio. It’s powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC that featured in almost all the biggest flagship phones of 2018 and is backed by 6GB of RAM. It even went toe-to-toe with the big boys in our Best of Android testing.

Related: Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro vs Pocophone F1: Which is better value?

It’s not just the silicon that belies the phone’s price tag either. The 6.18-inch LCD display and 4,000mAh battery are both far above anything else in the low-to-mid-tier market.

Of course, there are sacrifices to be made to get those features at this price point. The most obvious one is the dual-lens camera, which, while by no means terrible, won’t produce the kind of results you’d expect from other Snapdragon 845 phones. Xiaomi’s MIUI skin is also a little hit-and-miss, even with the new features added specifically for the Poco Launcher, and the overall design is a little bland.

However, if you want a phone that’ll go hard, all day, and still have a bundle of cash left over, the Pocophone F1 is absolutely one of the best U.K. phones.

Specs

  • 6.18-inch IPS LCD display with 2,246 x 1,080 resolution
  • 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 6 RAM
  • 64/128GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
  • 12MP and 5MP rear cameras, 20MP front-facing camera
  • dual-SIM (dual standby) – hybrid slot
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm, 180g

Read more:


Best UK phones – Check out our related guides:

Looking for something more specific than the best Android phones in U.K.? Maybe the best cheap phone, a dual-SIM phone, or something specific to your carrier? No matter what you’re looking for, we have you covered.

That’s it for our look at the best Android phones in U.K.. Sound off in the comments on your opinions for U.K. phones.


A note from the editor

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