Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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It doesn't get much better than the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung's latest phablet is its most expensive phone yet, and with good reason — it packs every top-end spec under the sun, from a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM to other amenities like water resistance, wireless charging, and Samsung's popular S Pen.

The 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display is an incredible panel, and the 18.5:9 aspect ratio makes it a bit more easily manageable. The dual 12MP cameras are some of the best in the industry, backed by OIS and portrait mode photography.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 is one of the best Android phones on the market, and an excellent choice if you can afford its hefty price.

One more thing: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are great alternatives for less money.

Why the Galaxy Note 8 is the best

As Samsung's top-of-the-line flagship, the Galaxy Note 8 has every bell and whistle you could think of. The Snapdragon 835 chipset (or Exynos 8895, depending on your market) is incredibly snappy, and the cameras are top-notch. The curved glass and 18.5:9 aspect ratio make it easy to hold in one hand, and the S Pen brings a unique level of precision to the phone.

Despite a mostly glass construction, the Note 8 is fairly resistant to the elements, thanks to its IP68 rating against water and dust. It also features wireless charging for quick top-ups without a cable, and the 3,300mAh battery is sufficient to get you through the day. The Galaxy Note 8 is also compatible with Samsung's DeX dock, allowing you to use the phone as a full-blown desktop computer when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

Best runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+

See Galaxy S8 at Sprint

If the Galaxy Note 8 is a bit too rich for your blood, the (slightly) cheaper Galaxy S8 or S8+ might be a better fit. These phones still pack the latest specifications, including a Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM. Both models are a bit smaller than the Note 8, at 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches respectively, and each is capable of virtual reality right out of the box — including Google Daydream.

Bottom line: If you like the Note 8 but don't need the S Pen, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offer a nearly identical experience.

One more thing: While the S8 and S8+ are still great devices, the Galaxy S9 is just around the corner.

Best for glitz: HTC U11

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The HTC U11 is truly a sight to be seen, one that will surely encourage your friends to ooh and ahh. It's not too shabby on the specifications, either, as it has a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and an impressive 12MP camera. It's got a couple of other tricks, too, including compatibility with Amazon Alexa, and a pair of sufficient stereo speakers.

Bottom line: The U11 features beautiful hardware with an ultra-reflective finish, along with great specs and performance.

One more thing: The U11 is the only phone on this list with a 16:9 display.

Best for less: LG G6

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The LG G6 is a fine choice if you're looking for something a little cheaper. LG's also packed this smartphone with a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM, and it's all held together by a 3300mAh battery. It's also water resistant, so you can take it around the pool without worrying too much — as long as it stays out of the deep end.

The G6 also hails dual 13MP cameras on the back, one of which is a wide-angle lens that shoots panorama-like photos.

Bottom line: The G6 is a great phone for hundreds less than the other options.

One more thing: The G6 still hasn't been updated to Android Oreo.

Update, February 2018: The mighty Galaxy Note 8 has been dubbed our top pick, and the HTC U11 is our new favorite phone for glam.