The best phones of 2018: Mr. Phone award winners revealed

The Mr. Phone Awards 2018 is our first-ever awards commemorating the best-of-the-best smartphone tech we’ve seen this year. We have ten categories of awards this year. And, these categories range from the Best Flagship Phone to the Best Operating System. If you haven’t seen the nominations yet, take a look at the video below. In the video, you will also see a glimpse of the jury members who’ve officiated the awards.

And, now the time has come. This is the final reveal. Let’s declare the winners of the Mr. Phone Awards 2018!

Most Innovative Phone

Mr. Phone Most Innovative Phone 2018 - Vivo Nex

This year a few smartphone brands have persisted diligently to get rid of the notch design with pop-out cameras and now display notches. Also, triple rear cameras on smartphones sprung out of nowhere at the start of the year and now multiple camera setups on phones are becoming a trend. Furthermore, gaming phones became a global phenomenon in 2018. These are just some of the trends that shaped the industry in 2018. Mr. Phone’s Most Innovative Smartphone award finds the outlier, the best innovator among the mundane. 

Nipun Marya - Head of Marketing Strategy, Vivo India

With its pop-out selfie camera, and stunning nearly bezel-less display, the Vivo NEX truly impressed everyone with its indigenous design IP. And therefore, the Mr. Phone Award for the Most Innovative Smartphone goes to the Vivo NEX. 

Mr. Phone Most Innovative Phone 2018 - Vivo Nex

Best Multimedia Phone

Mr. Phone Best Multimedia Phone 2018 - LG G7+ ThinQ

The cut-throat pricing by telecom operators has truly democratized the use of 4G data. More and more Indians are consuming streaming video and music content on their smartphones now. Our Award for the Best Multimedia Phone Award was handpicked from a list of a handful of phones tailor-made for playing videos and songs.

Amit Gujral - Head - Corporate Marketing, LG Electronics India

And, the jury unanimously decided that the LG G7+ ThinQ with its unique Quad-DAC setup and HDR-enabled excellent LCD display fitting for the award. So, unsurprisingly, 2018’s Mr. Phone Award for the Best Multimedia Phone goes to the LG G7+ThinQ.

Mr. Phone Best Multimedia Phone 2018 - LG G7+ ThinQ

Best Camera Phone

Mr. Phone Best Camera Phone 2018 - Google Pixel 3 XL

Cameras on smartphones have become incredibly powerful lately. And 2018 further augmented that fact with some great camera phones like the Huawei P20 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the Apple iPhone XS Max, and more, becoming available to the consumer.

Suresh Vedula - Head of Hardware partnerships, Google India

But the one brand that continued to make its presence felt – with a truly incredible software-based algorithm – and completely shocked everyone with its stellar camera hardware, is undoubtedly Google. The winner for the Best Camera Phone in 2018 is, you guessed it right, the Google Pixel 3 XL. 

Mr. Phone Best Camera Phone 2018 - Google Pixel 3/ 3 XL

Best Operating System

Mr. Phone Best Operating System 2018 - Oxygen OS

In our quest for the best hardware on a phone, it is easy to forget that the software (or operating system) is also a core part of a great experience. Without a good software experience, all that raw power underneath the hood will go to waste. 

Szymon Kopec - Product Manager, Oneplus India

Some like their software with a lot of features. Some prefer the minimalistic approach of stock Android. But there was only the operating system that found the right balance between cramming in features and keeping it simple – both at the same time. Which is why the Mr. Phone Award for the Best Operating System goes to OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 9.0.

Mr. Phone Best Operating System 2018 - Oxygen OS

Best Budget Phone

Mr. Phone Best Budget Phone 2018 - Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

That the budget segment of phones under Rs 10,000 has heated up, is an understatement. This segment is filled with so many worthy options that the consumer is spoilt for choices today. 

Dinesh Sharma - Head Mobile Business ASUS India

That said, the jury managed to clearly pick one winner from the list of nominations. The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1’s 3GB variant, priced just shy of Rs 10,000, offers a great smartphone experience for first-time buyers. Therefore, the Mr. Phone Award for the Best Budget Phone goes to the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3GB variant)

Mr. Phone Best Budget Phone 2018 - Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1

Best Mid-range Phone

Mr. Phone Best Mid Range Phone 2018 - Nokia 7 Plus

The mid-range segment has seen a crazy explosion this year with some truly stellar options available with mid-range SoCs. In fact, the nominations in our mid-range segment were chosen based on the chipsets used in them.

Ajey Mehta - Vice President and Country Head, HMD Global, India

The idea was to find the one truly classy device with a refined performance, that could easily replicate a flagship experience at a fraction of the cost. The one phone that fit the bill perfectly and was unanimously chosen by the jury as the Best Mid-range Phone was the Nokia 7 Plus. Let’s congratulate the Nokia 7 Plus on winning this award. 

Mr. Phone Best Mid Range Phone 2018 - Nokia 7 Plus

Best Budget Flagship Phone and Best Newcomer

Mr. Phone Best Budget Flagship Phone 2018 - Poco F1

Easily the most heavily contested category of awards has to be the Budget Flagship one. The competition was so intense that the OnePlus 6/6T and the Poco F1 ended up with the same number of points in the final tally.

Manmohan Chandolu, General manager, Poco India

We had to introduce a tie-breaker round and the Poco F1 came out on top. And what Ash from C4ETech said about the Poco made absolute sense to the entire jury. He said, “The Poco F1 is more flagship than the OnePlus 6/6t is budget! 

Mr. Phone Best Budget Flagship Phone 2018 - Poco F1

Which is why we’ve decided to crown the Poco F1 as the Best Budget Flagship Phone of 2018. 

Mr. Phone Best Newcomer 2018 - Poco

Oh, and before we forget, fans of Poco would be delighted to know that the brand also won the award for the Most Promising Newcomer category. The only other nomination in this category was Realme. Therefore, in our Mr. Phone awards, Poco – a brand which is not even six months old – has won two awards. Congrats Poco. 

Mr. Phone Best Newcomer 2018 - Poco

Best Flagship Phone

Mr. Phone Best Flagship Phone 2018 - Samsung Galaxy Note 9

We know that quite a few people have been waiting with bated breath to find out the winner of the Best Flagship Phone category. If there is one thing we need to say is that Flagship phones by big brands have managed to keep us engaged with some interesting features despite 2018 being the year of the budget and mid-range phones in India. 

Akshay S Rao - Product Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India, Vivek Joshua - Product Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India, Ravi Goyal - Product Manager, Mobile Business, Samsung India

The winner of the Best Flagship Phone for 2018 in the inaugural Mr. Phone Awards is the…Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Samsung’s latest flagship is filled to the brim with all the features you could ever ask for and more. And yet, it doesn’t burn too much of a hole in your pocket either. We’d like to extend our heartiest congratulations to Samsung for winning the Best Flagship Phone award for the year 2018. 

Mr. Phone Best Flagship Phone 2018 - Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Most Popular Phone

Mr. Phone Most Popular Phone 2018 - OnePlus 6/6T

We’ve come to the final category of our Mr. Phone Awards. The one that is the most coveted award of all. The Mr. Phone Award for the Most Popular Phone. 

Szymon Kopec - Product Manager Oneplus India

Close to 10,000 of Mr. Phone’s premium users voted for their favorite smartphone this year from 20 different smartphones across different price ranges. And, the phone that emerged as the Most Popular Phone of 2018 is the OnePlus 6/OnePlus 6T! 

Mr. Phone Most Popular Phone 2018 - OnePlus 6/6T

Until next year…

So, that concludes our presentation of the Mr. Phone Awards 2018. We’d like to once again congratulate all the winners! Hope to see you guys once again next year. Until the next edition of the Mr. Phone Awards 2018, happy holidays!

Psst…

We know a lot of people will be wondering why great phones like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro weren’t nominated. This is because our nominations ended on November 2nd with all the phones launched before November 2nd being considered for the inaugural Mr. Phone Awards. We will try to adhere to this timeline every year going forward. Hope this clears any doubts.

Winners Declared for Amazon Vouchers

Thank you for voting in the Mr. Phone Awards 2018. As promised, here are the 5 lucky winners taking home Amazon Vouchers Ameya Gupta, Vinayakrishna kolari, Abedin Rahman, Rishabh Jain, and Marlapudi Vikranth Vijay. Winners will be contacted shortly regarding the same.

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?