No iPhone X? These are the phones you should get instead

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So you can’t get an iPhone X, but you don’t want to miss out on all the fun of owning a state-of-the-art phone that does a bunch of cool stuff. Not to worry. There are plenty of amazing handsets stuffed with the hardware features and software tools you crave, and they might also save you a fistful of cash.

Here’s what else you can get if you want…

An all-screen phone

The iPhone X isn’t the only way to get in on the trend of slim bezels and screens that take up almost the entire face. Also look to:

To unlock a phone with your face

Microsoft’s Lumia 950 from 2015 was the first phone to use an iris scanner as an unlocking mechanism. Now, you’ll find it in Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8.


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Unlike Apple’s Face ID, Samsung’s iris scanner only scans your eyes — and not your eyes, mouth and nose like the iPhone X — to verify that you’re you. Face ID uses a completely different technology.

As with Face ID, Samsung’s iris scanner is secure enough to authenticate mobile payments. Unfortunately, another Samsung unlock option — called Face Unlock — is not. We don’t recommend using Face Unlock as a security protocol.

A fantastic portrait mode

The iPhone X’s dual rear camera takes excellent portrait shots that blur the background. It also comes with a new lighting mode (currently in beta) that adds dramatic effects to make portraits look more like studio shots.

But guess what? Portrait lighting isn’t solely for the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 Plus has it, too.

Other phones that take great portrait shots:

An OLED screen

The iPhone X is Apple’s first phone to use an OLED screen rather than an LCD display. Apple crows about the screen’s rich color, deep blacks and high contrast.

Samsung has been making these for years and you’ll find them in pretty much every Galaxy phone. LG Display has also gotten into the game, using a material called P-OLED, which uses a plastic base instead of glass.

Some recent OLED phones:

Wireless charging

The iPhone X may give wireless charging the nudge it needs to catch on, but it isn’t the only modern device to let you charge without a cable. Admittedly, these phones are now few and far between.

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Wireless charging is a staple on Samsung Galaxy phones.


CNET

They include:

  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • Galaxy Note 8, S8, S8 Plus and S8 Active
  • LG V30

The Samsung Galaxy phones support both Qi and PMA standards; Apple and LG use Qi alone.

Of course, if you’re dying to try it, you can always buy an external case with wireless charging and a separate charging pad or dock. Note that wireless charging is typically a little slower than wired charging.

A fingerprint reader

Apple cut the home button with fingerprint reader from the iPhone X; not an unexpected move, but one that’s set plenty of teeth on edge.

If you’re reticent to rely on Face ID alone, you’re in luck — nearly every other phone can scan your prints to unlock the phone. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still have Touch ID, with the home button and all.

A headset jack

Apple wasn’t the first to ditch the headset jack in last year’s iPhone 7, but because of the iPhone’s popularity, it became the poster child for jack-lack anyway.

If you’re one of the many who values that port for plugging in your own wired set, other accessories, or simply because you don’t want to buy new headphones or a dongle, there are still plenty of great top-shelf phones you can buy.


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Dual optical image stabilization

Optical image stabilization (OIS) helps cameras record smoother video and take better low-light shots. Several phones use OIS, but not many put the feature on both rear cameras. If you don’t get the iPhone X, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is your only other choice.

A removable battery

Don’t hold your breath. On high-end phones, this feature is all but extinct. If you simply must pop out your battery, pickings are slim.

The ultimate in productivity

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Hardcore mobile gamers will appreciate the Razer Phone’s 120Hz screen.


Josh Miller/CNET

The iPhone X is Apple’s best phone, but there are other phones with even more features.

Note takers will want the digital stylus on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, while buyers who have dreamed of side-by-side phone screens will get their wish with the ZTE Axon M.

The smoothest phone for gaming

Apple promises that its A11 Bionic chip will take gaming to new heights with smoother graphics and lightning-quick rendering speeds.

But the Razer Phone, by gaming company Razer, of course, has just announced its first ever gamer-centric phone, with a 120Hz refresh rate for the screen to bring the same liquid quality you get on a gaming laptop; a tough feat.

We haven’t had a chance to test the two side by side, but we will soon and we’ll report back.

Read next: Absolutely everything you need to know about the iPhone X

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