Hypertext 2018 Gift Guide: Flagship smartphones

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If you’ve been good and resist the urge to spend money during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, hopefully you have a healthy stash of cash squirrelled away to use for the festive season.

As such it’s time to splurge on some tech, if you can afford to, and no piece of hardware has become more important in our day-to-day than the smartphone.

There are a lot of great mid-range devices out there, but this particular list isn’t concerned with those, instead focusing on the créme de la créme that 2018 has to offer.

To that end, here are six flagship smartphones that would even make Ebenezer Scrooge happy.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei debuted two great flagship phones in 2018, with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro seeing the light of day. The latter is the newer of the two, and is also sporting the objectively better components and specifications.

For the purposes of this list then it’s the best the Chinese manufacturer has to offer, and is the best flagship phone that we reviewed this year.

The standout features on this phone are the processor, a 7 nanometer Kirin 980 chipset that registered the highest benchmark score to date, along with a triple camera setup on the rear that delivers an unrivalled photography experience.

It also comes in some interesting colours, but sadly the Emerald Green version isn’t in SA yet.

Apple iPhone Xs Max

When the local pricing for Apple’s iPhone Xs smartphones got revealed earlier this year, it induced more than a few double takes, and for good reason, with the 512GB (onboard storage) Xs Max costing R31 999 (RRP).

We’re not suggesting that you shell out R30k-plus for that model, but perhaps the 64GB variant at R22 999 is a bit easier to stomach.

There’s still good reason to get the Xs Max, with its generously superb 6,5″ screen, powerful new processor and one of the best cameras on the market, not to mention iOS still being the most consistent operating system around.

You can buy the iPhone Xs Max (64GB) from myistore.co.za here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

If you, or that special someone, is all about productivity, there are few smartphones that do it better than the Galaxy Note 9.

Samsung’s flagship phone for the latter half of the year has been well received, and it performs supremely well in a number of categories.

It’s got a huge 4 000mAh battery, an equally large and impressive 6.4″ display, one of the best onboard CPU’s that money can buy, and is currently retailing for a rather tempting R17 999. We’d also advise going for the dual SIM variant if you can.

You can purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at Takelot here.

LG G7 ThinQ

It’s a pity that LG has kept such a low profile in 2018, especially as their flagship phone for the year is such a surprisingly good device.

That phone is the LG G7 ThinQ, and it’s one of the best value for money devices on this list at R13 999 (RRP).

It may not feature any class leading specs for a particular category, but overall is well kitted out. To that end a 6.1″ QHD+ display is present, along with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB RAM and a dual 16MP camera setup on the back.

As such it ticks all the necessary flagship boxes.

You can buy the LG G7 ThinQ from Telkom on a 24-month contract, starting at R649 per month here.

Sony Xperia XZ 2

Last on our list is the Sony Xperia XZ2, which debuted and launched locally in the early part of 2018. Much like LG, Sony has been quiet since then, but the Xperia XZ2 is a great all-round phone.

It’s also the cheapest phone on this list at R11 000, but don’t let that fool you as the XZ2 has one of the better camera setups you’ll find in the flagship segment right now.

It may not have an edge-to-edge display with cursory screen notch, but the 5.7″ display onboard is more than good enough.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 can be purchased from Takealot here.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.