By all accounts, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone X are dann good smartphones. Both come packed with the latest and greatest tech, especially in regards to the camera...which means it doesn't come cheap.
If you're looking at upgrading your phone this year but the S9 and iPhone X seem a little out of reach, then here are some alternatives that you should consider.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Price: RRP $1099 [$785 at eBay]
What's Good About It: Cameras are excellent and high quality, with AI backing that helps take great photos. The build and design is solid and sleek, small bezels at the top and bottom of a 6-inch OLED screen. Battery life is great - much better than the Note 8 and the iPhone X, on par with the Pixel 2 XL.
What's Bad About It: The interface is a little bit of a dog's breakfast and it's definitely not for everyone - some people just really don't like what Huawei do with Android. Headphone jack doesn't exist, if that's still a thing you're after. Weird that the Mate 10 has a better resolution screen and a headphone jack and the Pro doesn't.
Oppo R11s Plus
Price: RRP $779 [$678 at eBay]
What's Good About It: Price is a huge plus for this iPhone clone and you're getting a whole lot of screen (6.43-inch!) for sub-$800. The Samsung-sourced AMOLED screen is great, looks amazing. Facial recognition is okay, but not great. Sweet battery life. Solid buy for those familiar with iPhones that want a cheaper Android experience than the S9 can provide.
What's Bad About It: Camera is strong but it doesn't have anything on the major manufacturers yet. Getting closer though - it just suffers a bit in low-light situations and lacks that image stabilisation you want. I don't know why it sticks out so far from the back of the phone either. Also, lacks that water-resistance rating that many of the premium phones have no. Middling audio. No USB-C.
iPhone 8 (64GB)
Price: $1079 [$927.20 at eBay]
What's Good About It: It's the latest iPhone that doesn't have an X in the name but it is still a fantastic device. It's a little bit better than the iPhone 7, which is a compliment! Now with wireless charging. Also bonus, it's slightly cheaper than the Galaxy S9. Slightly. But let's be honest, you'll buy this over a Samsung if your allegiance is to the major-manufacturer-named-after-a-fruit and not the other major-manufacturer-named-after-a-vocalist-named-Sam.
What's Bad About It: Doesn't have a screen as big as the iPhone 8 Plus or the iPhone X, doesn't have dual cameras like the iPhone 8 Plus - but photos taken on the 8 are still excellent.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Price: $999 [$672 at eBay]
What's Good About It: A mind-bogglingly awesome 4K display, plus 3D image capture and 960fps slow motion capabilities on the camera - features you're not likely to find anywhere else. Really strong audio output. You can play PS4 games on it too and with that display they're still going to look crisp.
What's Bad About It: Not a fan of its design, personally, I just hate the squareness of the whole thing. The screen is great, but the bezels aren't so much and the build quality is markedly average. Camera features are nice but not always best quality images from the 19MP beast. While the screen is amazing, it's not like there is a huge range of 4K content designed for it just yet, so might not be that important as it stands.