Both iPhones come with iOS 11, the newest version of Apple’s mobile OS, but it’s better on the iPhone X: it uses facial recognition and tracking not just to unlock the phone but to authenticate Apple Pay payments and in apps such as SnapChat. Fancy being the actor in your own animated movie? The iPhone X offers that potential.
Samsung ships the Galaxy with a revamped version of its TouchWiz user interface on top of Android Nougat and Bixby, its rival to Apple’s Siri. It also has Bluetooth 5, which enables you to pair headphones and sync their volume controls with the phone and offers dual speaker support for wireless speakers.
LG has revamped its user interface to take account of that bigger screen, with many apps using a “double square” approach to show two square sections at a time - although it’s only really useful in the camera app. Everything sits atop a lightly reskinned Android Nougat.
OnePlus uses its own OxygenOS interface on top of Android Nougat, and it doesn’t meddle with the design as much as, say, Samsung does. It looks good and works well.
As ever HTC brings its Sense interface to stock Android Nougat, and it also offers Sense Companion, an AI app that tries to be helpful by analysing your calendar, checking the weather forecast, learning what apps you use when and so on.
Nokia has been criticised for some of its apps, notably the camera app, whose interface is rather clunky. The main OS is stock Android Nougat.
Sony offers the usual dark version of Android, this time on Nougat, and as ever it puts a whole bunch of Sony apps in there too - some of which duplicate Google apps for email and music.
As you’d expect from Google, the Pixel runs stock Android Nougat and offers Google Assistant, the rebranded Google Now that promises to make your life easier.