2018 could be called the year of the notch, as major phone makers followed in Apple’s footsteps by inserting a cutout at the top of the display.
The notch enables slimmer display borders and features like Face ID on the new iPhones and a dual selfie camera system on Google’s Pixel 3 XL. Reception has been mixed. But if you prefer a phone without the notch, your choices are limited – at least among the best smartphone picks.
Fox News has compiled a list of five of the best.
Google Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL
The Pixel phone line was first introduced just a little more than two years ago. The third generation Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL (the latter now with a notch) are among the best smartphones on the planet.
Innovative features such as Night Sight, which allows you to take detailed and bright night photos, push it to the top of the pack. There’s also Call Screen, which uses artificial intelligence to answer calls for you then allows you to block the calls based on a real-time transcript of the conversation. And Google Assistant is the best use of AI out there.
The notch on the larger Pixel 3 XL houses dual speakers in addition to the dual selfie cameras. The aforementioned features should put both phones at the top of your list. The 5.5-inch Pixel 3 starts at $799, 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL at $899.
Apple iPhone XR
Apple’s cheaper version of the iPhone XS is the best value for most consumers. You get Face ID, fast performance, wireless charging, a good LCD display, and extra color options like yellow and blue. You’ll take a hit on the rear camera, which is a single camera compared to the dual on the more expensive iPhone XS. But it’s the best bang for the buck.
The 6.1-inch iPhone XR starts at $749.
Apple iPhone XS
The more expensive iPhone XS is also one of 2018’s standouts. This is a more compact, lighter phone than the XR and boasts a better dual camera system with optical zoom, a higher-quality OLED display, extra water resistance, and stainless-steel sides.
The 5.8-inch iPhone XS starts at $999.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
One of the few leading phones without a notch, the Galaxy Note 9 is a no-brainer as one of the best phones in 2018, along with its siblings the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
The Note 9's S Pen is now a remote-control device for taking selfies, shuffling music or flipping through presentations. The Note 9 also offers a good camera with a new AI feature that can automatically recognize different kinds of scenes and adjust the settings accordingly. Other highlights include better placement of the fingerprint sensor and one of the best OLED displays in the business.
The only downside is, there aren’t any really huge changes from the Note 8, which looks very similar to the Note 9. The 6.4-inch Note 9 starts at $999.
Motorola Moto G6
This is one of the best budget phones of 2018. It comes with a good dual camera system on the back, a sleek design, fast charging, good battery life, a sizable 5.7-inch display, and slim bezels.
The phone typically starts at $199 or less at retailers.