Review: It's not just the year of the iPhone X for smartphone shoppers

iphone x

It's been a bit of a banner fall for fans of new flagship smartphones.

Samsung made headlines first with the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, even as much of the tech universe awaited Apple's spiffy iPhoneX.

Don't forget Google, with the introduction of the Pixel 2, and Motorola has the Z2 Force, which is affordable and robust. And there's a whole wave of flashy Chinese smartphones that will eventually come ashore in the U.S.

Whatever features you're after, I'm betting you would be happy with any of the handsets on this list.

IPHONE X

What is it? Easily the most anticipated phone of the year, the iPhone X (pronounced as 10, not as the letter) is the first new iPhone design in years. Gone is the home button with its fingerprint sensor and front bezels. It's been replaced with an edge-to-edge screen and Face ID.

Who is it for? This is the handset most iPhone users have been waiting years to get their hands on. Iterations by Apple since the iPhone 6 had many consumers sitting on the sidelines for the next big thing.

What does it cost? Two configurations: 64gb for $999 and 256gb for $1,149.

Where can I get it? Apple.com or its stores, or from major wireless carriers and big box stores. But in typical Apple fashion, they'll likely be hard to find until supply and demand match up.

IPHONE 8 / 8 PLUS

What is it? This is the new iPhone everyone was expecting, and Apple did not disappoint. Yes, it looks exactly like last year's model (and the ones before that), but the new iPhones are faster, with more storage and upgraded cameras and software.

Who is it for? iPhone users who want a new phone but can't justify spending $999.

What does it cost: iPhone 8 is $699 for 64gb, $849 for 256gb; iPhone 8 Plus is $799 for 64gb, $949 for 256gb.

Where can I get it? Apple.com and its stores, all major carriers and big box stores.

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8

What is it? A follow-up to the much maligned and recalled Note 7, the Note 8 is a spectacular phone that is the best Android phone I've ever used. It has a huge 6.3-inch screen, but it feels just right in your hand. The S Pen sets it apart - it's actually very useful.

Who is it for? There are big phones and bigger phones. The Note 8 is for users who want the biggest phones and who take lots of notes.

What does it cost? $929.99 for 64gb, slightly more or less depending on carrier.

Where can I get it? Samsung.com, any major carrier or big box store.

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 / S8+

What is it? A beautiful flagship phone for the Android user who doesn't fancy writing on the screen with a stylus. The 5.8-inch S8 and the 6.2-inch S8+ had cool edge-to-edge screens and unlocking with your face way before Apple's iPhone X. The cameras are also something special.

Who is it for? Almost any Android phone user.

What does it cost? $724.99 for S8; $824.99 for S8+. Both models have 64gb of storage.

Where can I get it: Samsung.com, all major carriers and big box stores.

GOOGLE PIXEL 2 / PIXEL 2 XL

What is it? Successor to Google's successful Pixel, the 5-inch Pixel 2 and 6-inch Pixel 2 XL are really well-built handsets that run a very pure version of Android. The phones are beautifully designed and have a real emphasis on camera quality. Bonus points for placing the in exactly the right spot.

Who is it for? Android purists.

What does it cost? Pixel 2 is $649 for 64gb; Pixel 2 XL is $849 for 64gb. Add $100 to bump either phone to 128gb.

Where can I get it? .google.com, Verizon stores and Best Buy.

MOTOROLA Z2 FORCE

What is it? Thin, fast and shatterproof 5.5-inch phone with a really good battery. Plus it has lots of modular add-ons that can turn the phone into cool things like a projector, 360-degree camera, high-quality JBL speaker and a 10x optical zoom Hasselblad camera.

Who is it for? Gadget lovers. Swiss Army knife fans.

What does it cost? $720 for 64gb.

Where can I get it? All major carriers and Best Buy.


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