I don't make that statement lightly. I've been a devout iPhone user who has owned four iPhones as his main everyday-carry phone for the last six years. Against all odds, Samsung has made the most impressive smartphone ever created. SEE ALSO: Samsung's Gear 360 is the VR video camera for the masses But it runs Android and has TouchWiz. That may have been a deal-breaker a few years ago, but they're non-issues today.
The good: Beautiful screen, long battery life, helpful iris scanner for unlocking the phone, better multitasking The bad: Live Focus camera isn't as good as Apple's Portrait Mode, facial recognition is unreliable, not significantly different than Galaxy S8 and S8 though more expensive Who should buy: Android fans that really care about having a stylus and two cameras should opt for the Note 8, but the Galaxy S8 offers similar features at a lower price. Each year near summer's close Samsung releases a new top-of-the-line Android-powered Galaxy Note phone. It's typically a showcase for the best the industry has to offer, like bold new screens, longer battery life, a superb camera and apps designed to tout these touch-ups. Then, like clockwork, Apple follows with a new iPhone that matches or surpasses Samsung's Note in key areas. With its massive edge-to-edge screen, facial recognition system and dual camera, Samsung's $929 Galaxy Note 8 -- out September 15 and the first new Note since last year's ill-fated Note 7 -- is a shot across Apple's bow as anticipation soars for Cupertino's 10th anniversary iPhone.
Now that I've spent some quality time with the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6, I can comfortably place them in our top 20 smartphones list. The Galaxy S8 was a clear contender for the top spot, and the G6 finally let me place an LG phone within the top 10. To be clear, the top 10 smartphones in this list come very close to each other in terms of performance, design, and features, and you'd easily be happy with our number 10 pick as you would with our number one pick. It all comes down to your personal preference over design and features. Here's our list of the best smartphones you can buy.
The Galaxy Note 8 has its work cut out for it, righting the wrongs of the maligned Note 7 that came to a fiery end. But with a massive screen, tiny bezels, battery life to go the distance and an excellent stylus, is the Note 8 finally what phablet fans have been asking for? The Samsung Note series created the phablet category in 2011, defined as a smartphone with a 5in or larger screen. As smartphone screens grew in size to the monsters we have today, a big screen wasn't enough to differentiate the Note against the competition. But while large screens are now common, a stylus is certainly not.
Video: Galaxy Note 9: Why the world's most powerful business phone comes with Fortnite Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 is designed to be the company's flagship device, but whether you choose to upgrade or not solely depends on whether your device is more about work or play. If you're a business pro hankering for more productivity and the ability to use your smartphone as a desktop and stylus as a remote control Note 9 is worth a look. However, Samsung didn't add enough to the Note 9 to become that mainstream flagship that executives so sorely want ahead of Apple's iPhone event. Also: Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhone, Android and Windows phones CNET Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is here! Yes, Fortnite as an exclusive on the Note 9 is an interesting promotion for mainstream buyers, but the device is really about specs and productivity.