For the last five years, tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee has been hosting an annual event: the smartphone awards. If you’re one of Marques’ 7.6 million subscribers, you know that he’s constantly reviewing the latest smartphones year after year. The man has seen and experienced more than most when it comes to handset technology, making him uniquely qualified to hand out these awards.

And so, without further ado, let’s get into it. Here are the top big smartphones of 2018 according to Marques Brownlee.

The runner Up: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

According to Marques, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro “killed it”. Despite getting some international heat (more on that later), the Mate 20 Pro might be worth all the drama. It consistently earned top marks for its larger than life features.

For one thing, it earned best smartphone camera of 2018 from Android Central for its trio of Leica lenses, including:

  • a 40-MP main (f/1.8)
  • an 8-MP telephoto (f/2.4)
  • a 20-MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)

Its super-charged battery also plays a big part in why it places as the runner up. At 4,200mAh battery, it’s bigger than most batteries found in other 2018 flagships. It also out-performs these other smartphones with some early reviewers saying the battery lasted more than a full day of heavy use.

Despite its glowing review, that’s not to say the Mate 20 Pro has had an easy run. The Chinese telecom company has hit some snags — namely the US government. Congress banned any US government employee from being able to use Huawei devices, and in an act of goodwill, American carriers chose not to stock any Mate devices from that point onwards.

Now, Trump is mulling over an official ban on Huawei that would come in the form of an executive order levied against all Huawei devices. This would cap all trade between the Chinese telecom company and the US, making it next to impossible for the average person to get the Mate 20 Pro in their hands.

Until then, there are ways you may be able to land this exclusive handset. Check out this post to find out more.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The crowning of the best big smartphone is a “no brainer” according to Marques as he introduces the Galaxy Note 9. That’s because the Note 9 delivers on all of the big smartphone features you want and expect in a phablet, and it does it in one of the prettiest packages on the market.

Samsung’s Infinity Edge display was made for the Note 9. Unlike the Mate Pro 20, which also boasts a bleeding edge display, the Note 9’s 6-inch AMOLED doesn’t look or feel awkward with almost zero bezels or chin. This design feature creates the largest viewing surface possible for those using their Note 9 to browse, stream, sketch, or game.

The Note 9 also possess some hardware features you’d be hard-pressed to find in other 2018 flagships, including:

  • a headphone jack
  • expandable storage options
  • an S-pen
  • no notch

The fact that these big hardware features are matched with intuitive software, including multi-window support and s-pen features is why the Note 9 is the official winner.

Which one will you choose?

If first place isn’t enough to sway you, maybe it’s not performance but protection that will sway your mind. You can find a scratch-free and grime-resistant skin for both handsets. A skin designer like dbrand creates tailormade decals for all the latest flagships. They cut each Note 9 skin and Mate 20 Pro skin with precision from premium materials. Whether you’re shopping for a Galaxy skin or a Huawei skin, you’ll find the look you need when you check these out these textures.

If you’re ready to upgrade to a new handset this year, what will it be? Will you go for a forbidden fruit that the Mate 20 Pro represents, or will you go for the true champion? In either case, you’re guaranteed one of the best smartphones available until next fall, when the next round of flagships are due.