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April 8, 2018

Best Android Phone With a Headphone Jack in 2018

by John_A

  • Best overall
  • Best alternate
  • Best for less

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

samsung-galaxy-s9-and-s9-plus-black-back

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ aren’t much different from their predecessors, but seeing as those were Samsung’s best-ever-selling phones that’s not a bad thing. These phones are all about giving you the most features in the most beautiful package. You get top-end specs across the board, plus all of the hardware features you expect: waterproofing, wireless charging, an SD card slot, a headphone jack and more.

The camera is all-new this year, with a sensor that does fantastic processing to remove noise and sharpen fine detail. It’s aided by a dual-aperture lens to get the best combination of light and detail in different shots, and in the case of the Galaxy S9+ is paired with a secondary telephoto lens for zoom and portrait mode shooting.

You don’t get the clean and simple software experience of the Pixel 2, which may take some extra customization and tweaking on your part, but the Galaxy S9 is far less polarizing overall — just about anyone looking for a high-end phone will love using the Galaxy S9 or S9+.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ don’t require much thought — they can do everything, and look great doing it, with few real downsides.

One more thing: Consider paying the extra $120 for the Galaxy S9+, where you get more RAM, a bigger screen and longer battery life. It’s worth it for most people.

Best alternative

LG V30

lg-v30-hands-on-20.jpg?itok=-s1_bmGb

See at Amazon

LG’s V series has traditionally been a big and brawny phone, but the V30 is just a great overall device that has handily taken over from the G6 launched early on in 2017. It stuck with a metal-and-glass build, but slimmed down the sides and integrated subtle curves to make it rather easy to hold despite a 6-inch 18:9 display on the front.

On the bottom you get a headphone jack that plugs into a high-quality DAC, so not only can you use all of your existing headphones but you can get the most out of them.

Internally you get top-notch specs you’d expect from any flagship, and around back LG continues to impress with a fantastic pair of cameras. The standard shooter does well despite its smaller pixels, and the secondary wide-angle camera is the best implementation LG has ever made. It offers an extremely unique perspective you just don’t see anywhere else.

LG’s software is capable and smooth, if still a bit clunky and uncoordinated in a few areas — but that can still be said about most phones nowadays.

Bottom line: LG does all of the basics amazingly well, and accents it with a nice body and super-capable pair of cameras.

One more thing: Keep an eye out for a “V30+” model with increased specs depending on your market and carrier.

Best for less

Moto X4

moto-x4-android-one-black-full-back.jpg?

See at Amazon

The Moto X4 is all about providing a high-end feel without the coinciding price. It originally retailed at $399, but can often be had for well under $300 now just a handful of months after launch. At that price, it’s a fantastic phone — it has a beautiful metal-and-glass build, dual rear cameras, solid battery life and really good specs for the money. The software experience is typical clean Motorola, and runs buttery smooth thanks to some wonderful optimizations.

Unlike many of Motorola’s more expensive phones, the Moto X4 has also retained a headphone jack. And even with that, it’s still IP68 water and dust resistant.

Bottom line: The Moto X4 is a fantastic deal at under $300, providing a flagship-like experience in many respects for far less than half the price.

One more thing: You can get the Moto X4 from Amazon or Motorola directly, but also on Project Fi as an “Android One” version with a longer update runway.

Conclusion

When it comes to keeping the headphone jack around, Samsung still takes the cake with the Galaxy S9 and S9+ — they’re great phones overall that happen to also still hold onto this important port. The LG V30 is also a good phone that keeps the jack, but overall isn’t as great as the Galaxy S9+. On the cheaper side, the Moto X4 has a ton going for it and retains the headphone jack and IP68 water resistance at a sub-$300 price.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+

samsung-galaxy-s9-and-s9-plus-black-back

See at Amazon

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ aren’t much different from their predecessors, but seeing as those were Samsung’s best-ever-selling phones that’s not a bad thing. These phones are all about giving you the most features in the most beautiful package. You get top-end specs across the board, plus all of the hardware features you expect: waterproofing, wireless charging, an SD card slot, a headphone jack and more.

The camera is all-new this year, with a sensor that does fantastic processing to remove noise and sharpen fine detail. It’s aided by a dual-aperture lens to get the best combination of light and detail in different shots, and in the case of the Galaxy S9+ is paired with a secondary telephoto lens for zoom and portrait mode shooting.

You don’t get the clean and simple software experience of the Pixel 2, which may take some extra customization and tweaking on your part, but the Galaxy S9 is far less polarizing overall — just about anyone looking for a high-end phone will love using the Galaxy S9 or S9+.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S9 and S9+ don’t require much thought — they can do everything, and look great doing it, with few real downsides.

One more thing: Consider paying the extra $120 for the Galaxy S9+, where you get more RAM, a bigger screen and longer battery life. It’s worth it for most people.

Update April 2018: The new Galaxy S9 and S9+ take over for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 on the list previously, while the LG V30 stays put as a solid alternate choice. With the OnePlus 5T no longer on sale it has dropped off the list, replaced by the Moto X4 as a good inexpensive option with a headphone jack.

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