Samsung

Watch out, Samsung: Best Galaxy S8 alternatives

Tech Take: Toms' Guide's Mark Spoonauer showcases the LG G6, Meitu T8, Huawei Mate 9, BlackBerry KEYone and the Sony Xperia XZ smart phones

 

Launching March 29, the upcoming Galaxy S8 has spurred a tsunami of rumors and leaks, but it’s not the only exciting phone you should be paying attention to. Several hot Android handsets offer compelling features at very reasonable prices, from the return of BlackBerry and a new twist on the physical keyboard to a super camera phone that records in super slow motion.

Here are the best Galaxy S8 alternatives you can buy now (or soon).

LG G6: Big Screen in Small Package

March, Price TBD

The LG G6 (price TBD) gives phablets a good name by cramming a large 5.7-inch display into a compact, one-hand-friendly design. And it is a gorgeous screen, offering sharp quad HD plus resolution combined with HDR support (the same tech found on the latest TVs) for eye-popping color. The G6 also boasts a water-resistant design and a dual-lens camera that lets you shoot gorgeous wide-angle shots. In fact, the G6 beat the iPhone 7 in a camera shoot-out. The only real drawback is a slightly dated Snapdragon 821 processor.

Huawei Mate 9: The Battery Life Champ

Available now; $599

There are phones with good battery life, and there’s the Huawei Mate 9. This beast lasted a very impressive 12 hours on the Tom’s Guide web surfing battery test, nearly 3 hours more than the average phone. You also get a big and bright 5.9-inch screen and a high-quality Leica camera (though it can struggle in low light). Plus, Huawei will soon be adding Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

BlackBerry KeyOne: Killer Keyboard

April; $549

BlackBerry lives! Now owned by TCL, the iconic brand is back in a new premium Android phone that combines a very smart keyboard with top-notch security. While the screen is a bit small at 4.5 inches, the keyboard does some pretty awesome things. You can long press to launch your favorite apps, flick up on the keyboard to accept suggestions to speed up typing and even use it as a touchpad for scrolling through emails or websites. Bonus: the space bar doubles as the fingerprint reader.

More from Tom's Guide

Meitu T8: Selfie Magic

Available now; $479 (China only)

Pronounced May-Too, the Meitu T8 is a super selfie phone that has the most advanced front camera we’ve ever seen. The 12-megapixel shooter delivers DSLR-like quality, but that’s just the start. There are tons of beauty enhancements on board here, enabling you to do everything from smoothing out wrinkles and obliterating dark circles to whitening teeth. The phone is China-only for now, but the company’s Beauty Plus and Make-Up Plus apps for available for download.

Sony Xperia Z Premium: Super Slo-Mo

Late spring; Price TBD

The Xperia XZ Premium makes a very good first impression with a dazzling 4K display (a rarity for phones). But it’s the camera that steals the show. The Motion Eye technology has its own flash memory, which enables super-slow motion captures at 960 frames per second. That’s four times slower than the iPhone 7, which makes for some pretty dramatic-looking footage. Just be sure to carry around a polishing cloth for the mirror-like backside; it picks up smudges in a hurry.