2018 year has been eventful for the mobile industry. During the year there were a lot of unusual devices, the Chinese began to think about the quality of the cameras in its phones, and “Yandex” suddenly became a manufacturer of iron. The producers have lost all shame and began to raise the price tags on their phones — each of them now have the model number of the phone for a thousand dollars. “Ribbon.ru” informs about the trends of 2018 and remember the main smartphones.

The trend of the year

The iPhone X has spawned a clone army like the cutout in the top of the screen, a selection of which “Ribbon.ru” made in 2017. This year the trend has only increased, but now we’ve added one more — an attempt to find a replacement “monobrow”.

In search of the original solution was something wild, despite the fact that all have become accustomed to the cutout in the screen and learned to make it almost invisible. The first distinguished Vivo (daughter BBK), which showed at MWC 2018 concept background with Apex traveling camera. Strictly speaking, this was another concept, but it was very strange and looked like assembled in haste hack. Released in the summer of Vivo Nex was a continuation of the ideas of those concepts, but in a ready for sale product. And at the end of the year, the company showed an even more insane Nex 2 with two screens and only the main camera. It is assumed that if the user wants to take a selfie, then he needs to flip the phone and use the second display.

Another daughter BBK — Oppo — went a similar way, but instead of a separate pull-out camera to Find X made a traveling module. There are all the sensors, the scanner face, front and rear camera. That is, in everyday use this mechanism will go back and forth almost every 30 minutes and eventually wear out. Add to that the dust which is hammered in all the cracks, and all is “great” and “luxury” design (as it is called?) is negated by the need to constantly wipe the device.

The third variant of this idea showed Xiaomi, and we cannot say that turned out better. Mi Mix3 made in the form factor slider, wherein the back cover is entirely rides on rails up and down, and the user must manually to move it to activate the scanner face. Exactly the same system installed and in Honor Magic 2, which showed a week before the Xiaomi smartphone. Not only that, the presence of such a mechanism reduces the time great phone service, so because of this he is deprived of moisture protection, and the constant need to move the lid to run the scanner face increases the probability of dropping a smartphone or just break it.

A feat of engineering was the removal of the front camera in the corner of the screen. For this I had to do it under the hole in the matrix. And this decision really can be more massive than the sliders and back of the camera, although now on the market are only two smartphone with the same hole: A8s Huawei Galaxy and Nova 4. Both have a hole in the upper left corner (Samsung 6.7 mm, Huawei — 4,5), causing the upper part of the display still cannot be fully utilized, because it is occupied by a status bar, whose width depends on the diameter of this hole. That is a special gain in useful area the user does not receive, and any beauty in this decision no. Next year will be even more fun, because, according to rumors, Samsung plans to insert so double front facing camera. It hurt to do the same “drop”, which was discussed in the beginning of the paragraph, and it’s better than “monopoly” — is unclear.

In other trends, you can record the fashion for more expensive smartphones. Many manufacturers are no longer ashamed to assess your phone in 1000 dollars, including the Chinese, who produce the Porsche Edition, Edition Lamborghini, and other “rich” versions of their devices. Also increased the number of phones without 3.5 mm connector, and in 2018 they were joined by, for example, OnePlus. The same Chinese companies vigorously began to put a fingerprint scanner under the screen, beating on the field the rest of the world. And this is done just for the sake of tagging “we were first”, because these sensors are slower and less accurate than face scanner.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

One of the main companies of the year suddenly become Huawei. Apart from the fact that the manufacturer has improved the quality of budget phones, its flagship smartphone is finally adequately look at the background of Samsung and Apple. They still have a lot of problems with the firmware, but behind the camera they are willing to forgive almost everything.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro is recognized by many smartphone with the best camera on the market. Not so much for the quality of photos that Pixel 3 and iPhone Xs is sometimes better, as for the features that the phone provides to the user. Smartphone triple camera: main module 40 megapixels with an aperture of f/1.8, wide-angle 20-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel lens that provides either a three times optical zoom, or five times digital zoom with minimal loss of quality.

With this set of glasses you can shoot under any conditions, ranging from large buildings from a close distance on a wide angle sensor and finishing small objects in macro mode with focusing from 8 inches. It is also important that the camera phone still has no equal, and compete with them can only Pixel mode with Night Sight.

But Mate don’t pull on the title of best smartphone of the year. The main reason is the firmware EMUI, which looks like the copy at the same time iOS and sheath with Samsung adding their “unique” solutions. One of these was a speaker inside the USB type-C, which frankly sounds bad, but when connected to charging practically ceases to emit sound. Possibility of wireless charging of other smartphones is also questionable, because of the hours he can charge another phone by a few percent, but he will lose 15-20% of the battery charge. And these “chips for chips” that get forgotten about almost immediately after the start of use, your weight. “Bonus” Russian user when you buy the phone for 77 thousand rubles gets a bunch of third party apps, including games like “Talking cat” and other shame.

iPhone Xr

iPhone Xr — the most interesting iPhone 2018, though, and consists mainly of compromises. Almost every point he loses iPhone Xs and Xs Max, but this phone is not a competitor to the flagship, his task is to win over owners of the old devices to something new. Many people after its release there is a fair question: why not to take last year’s iPhone X, which, at first glance, almost everything is better Xr. And this is the biggest misconception about Apple’s new smartphone.

First, Xr is simply cheaper, and those of 4-5 thousand rubles, the difference can be spent on accessories like adapter, headphones (which Apple stopped putting in the kit), wireless charging, cases and so on. Secondly, the camera is Xr a few heads are better than X. the Main problem is the “tens” consists of often flashes the picture that I corrected in the new Xr and Xs, expanding the dynamic range and adding Smart mode HDR. In almost any scenario, including shooting in low light or indoors, on the Xr would be better than X.

Iron iPhone-Xr is the same as Xs, which is also important to consider when compared to “ten”. Yes, now both phones work equally fast, but X will become obsolete sooner Xr. Many people have concerns about the screen with a resolution of 1792 on 828 pixel — supposedly this is too little, and will be visible pixels. To this we can only reply that the pixel density at Xr is 326 ppi — the same as all the iPhone Retina display (iPhone 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8), and no one ever complained about their screens. And the brightness, contrast and other parameters Xr now is the best smartphone with LCD screen. Besides, due to the low resolution and the transition to 7-nanometer processor, the Xr still the best endurance among all the iPhone.

But it looks definitely more impressive iPhone X Xr: he has a body of steel instead of aluminium, and the frame around the display better. For many OLED is far preferable to IPS in the first place because the “real” black color. In this case, if the camera and risk a year before losing updates is more important, you need to choose “ten” (while it’s still in stock).

Pixel 3XL

Google for the second year in a row aiming for the title “Disappointment of the year”, but, as in the case of Huawei, 3 saves Pixel camera. With the release of this phone Google has it wrong at almost every stage. It all started with draining the device for two months until release, after which many thought it was a joke. In particular, doubt this leak was due to the horrible design of the phone. Then Google some reason at the presentation said that the audience “know nothing about the upcoming device”… and showed the same phone with a giant “monopoly”.

After the release of the Google phone appeared even more questions. Why does he have only 4 gigabytes of RAM? Why Pixel on Android works slower OnePlus and other Android phones with third-party firmware? Why they made the back cover of glass, covering it scratched soft-touch coating, and than the old combination of metal and glass do not hit? Why is the second year in a row, Google scored on quality control?

At first glance, the camera is not very different from what was in the Pixel 2. But it is not so because when similar optics Google has added a few new modes on the basis of AI available on other smartphones. The most impressive of them is the Night Sight, able to “pull” details from a picture taken in almost complete darkness, with little loss of quality. The second feature is Super Rez Zoom, which allows you to take pictures with the digital zoom, and increased detail. But whether for the sake of software features to buy a new smartphone?

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Pocophone F1 is a very strange device with a bias in favor of iron and economy in all other respects. This Xiaomi smartphone is like trying to get back to basics when doing a powerful phone at a loss in order to somehow draw attention to themselves.

Have Pocophone boring design, plastic body, no NFC (and therefore no contactless payment) and a terrible camera. But there is not a bad 6.2-inch screen with FullHD resolution+ and Snapdragon 845. F1 is the cheapest at the moment, the phone on this processor, but this smartphone without any frills, even minimalist. But for the sake of frills has Mi8 with similar characteristics, but with a OLED screen, NFC and more interesting design (stolen from Apple). It is already 25-27 thousand roubles.

In General, there is nothing to say, at the moment it is the best investment of 20 thousand rubles, which for the money the owners of this phone blamed the lack of everything else. Similar phones have Honor, but there is the Kirin processor, which is even gaining in synthetic tests similar numbers, but the programs optimized under it much less.

OnePlus 6T

Speaking of cheap, powerful phones you can not go past the new OnePlus 6T, which in the West is put in contrast to the Pixel 3. Of course, to compare these devices a little strange, but interesting, as a Chinese phone in a homemade shell bypasses the speed of the same “standard Android”.

As usual, the models with the letter “T” in the title are not very different from its predecessor. To some extent, 6T has even become worse than usual OnePlus 6, and the main disappointment is the lack of headphone Jack, though the company was one of the last who tried to keep a 3.5 mm Jack. However, the smartphone still lacks protection from water (manufacturer says otherwise, but the code for the standard IP phone) and wireless charging, but NFC is.

But almost with the same size screen increased to 6.4 inches and under screen, embedded fingerprint scanner. However, for iron the phones are absolutely identical, and the camera shoots equally bad, so the difference between 6 and 6T are not many, and both smartphones are good for their money.

Yandex. Phone

About the announcement of “Yandex. Phone” I wrote everything from “Statements” to The Verge. Despite the fact that “Yandex” has no experience in device truly believed believed that it would be “our answer is Google with their Pixel” or “Phone” will be the first normal Russian smartphone. But the miracle did not happen because in “Yandex” do not seem to fully understand why they do it. Trusted journalists began to do the work of PR specialists of “Yandex”, inventing reasons why releasing “Yandex. Phone.”

Someone says it’s “display stand” for Chinese companies to encourage them to put their phones shell “Yandex”. Supposedly it is closer to a Russian man, and he doesn’t need all these Chinese firmware. Others believe that Yandex is still planned to make a bestseller, which examined the characteristics of the most popular smartphones on “Yandex. Market” and assembled them into a Frankenstein.

But all that doesn’t matter, “Yandex. Phone” — just a bad product. For 18 thousand roubles the company offers a weak Snapdragon 630, which is not able to quickly launch even application of “Yandex”. Or put a double cell, a second module which simply does not work, and the main shoots horribly. And the front is just awful. The screen here is also one of the worst on the market, which even the brightness loses almost everything.

The integration of the whole of the service “Yandex” ends up on the main screen put a widget with an assistant, Alice and given the opportunity to run it from any application. Well, when you first set up the user will choose which programs he wants to install on your phone. But it’s exactly the same app that is available on other smartphones. On other smartphones, even those that are cheaper, “Yandex. Phone”, they will run and run faster.

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