Best overall: Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+

See Galaxy S9 at AT&T

We've officially arrived at our beautiful, bezel-less future, and the Galaxy S9 is a near-perfect example of what constitutes as innovative smartphone design. The curved glass looks and feels unlike anything else, and Samsung managed to pull off a nearly edge-to-edge display without resorting to a notch. The good news, too, is that despite the Galaxy S9's slimmer design, there's still a headphone jack.

Inside, the Galaxy S9 sports the latest processor and enough RAM to fuel you through marathon multitasking sessions. You can choose between the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 with a 3000mAh battery or 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ with a 3500mAh battery.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S9 is the best Android phone for most people, with some of the best specs and cameras on the market.

One more thing: Though beautiful, the curved glass design is very fragile — you're going to want to use a case with either of these phones.

Why the Galaxy S9 is the best

Galaxy S9+

No matter which size you pick, it's hard to go wrong with the Galaxy S9. It packs the latest and greatest specifications, including the powerful Snapdragon 845 processor, and covers every base from wireless charging to Bluetooth 5.0 and yes — even a headphone jack. The Galaxy S9 also has one of the best displays around, with a tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio and incredible color reproduction.

The Galaxy S9's 12MP camera also takes incredible photos with dual apertures, along with stunning 960fps slow-mo video. The phone also has access to Samsung Pay, which works at more terminals than any other mobile payment service.

Best phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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Though the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are a bit newer, the Galaxy Note 8 is still the phablet you should reach for if you value productivity over all else. You get a little bit of extra screen and a bump to 6GB of RAM inside to augment all of the same great specs and features of the smaller phones. Plus, you get a dual camera system similar to the S9+ with a secondary telephoto lens for close-up shots.

Then of course you also have the S Pen stylus, which unlocks productivity and artistic angles you simply can't get in any other phone. At over $900 you pay for the privilege, but you also know you're getting Samsung's biggest phablet yet.

Bottom line: With its larger screen and S Pen, the Galaxy Note 8 is one of Samsung's most powerful phones.

One more thing: Like last year's Galaxy S8 and S8+, the Note 8 has an awkwardly placed fingerprint sensor that may frustrate some users.

Best for video: LG V30

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It took a while, but LG's new flagship is out and it's great. The LG V30 takes many design cues from the Galaxy S8+, but that's not a bad thing — you get a thin and classy metal-and-glass build that has a nice balance to it. Inside you get top-end specs, and around back is LG's great dual camera setup with a wide-angle shooter continues to stand out.

Within the camera software, the V30 features some of the most robust controls ever featured on a phone. On-the-go videographers will appreciate useful tools such as manual focus, focus peaking, directional audio, LUTs, and LOG video.

Bottom line: There's simply no better phone for mobile filmmaking than the LG V30.

One more thing: LG's software can be an acquired taste, but it doesn't offer any steeper of a learning curve than the Samsung phones listed here.

Most durable phone: Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

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The Galaxy S8 Active offers the same experience as last year's Galaxy S8 in terms of specs, power, software and camera, but it does so with a heftier outer shell and a shatter-resistant flat display. That means it can take a beating, and hold up to more than a standard S8 in a bulky case. It also gets a huge bump in battery capacity to go with it.

The GS8 Active is still pricey for being almost a year old, but if you're someone who needs to have the extra robustness without losing out on features or power, it may be worth the extra money.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 Active is a more durable, longer-lasting version of the S8 proper.

One more thing: The coating used on the shatter-resistant display is more susceptible to scratching than standard Gorilla Glass panels.

Updated April 2018: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ have replaced last year's S8/S8+ as our top recommendations, and the LG V30 claims the title of best for video.