The best Android phones boast unique features that lean on cutting-edge technology. Android phones always feature the latest tech, whether that’s the biggest camera sensor, a folding glass design, or advanced AI-supported software. That means that Android owner tend to be ahead of the curve.
Among the best smartphones right now, these Android phones are fun to use yet powerful at the same time. Another piece of good news: there’s something for everyone, from budget-friendly handsets to popular, kitted-out flagships. So, if your focus is on keeping costs down, guaranteed you’ll find best cheap phone for you that’s Google-powered.
We’ve tested and reviewed hundreds of Android phones over the years, using each one just how you would, pushing it to its limit, checking out every little thing it can do, and knowing exactly what to look for. And, while it isn’t hard to pick one, we can help you look for the one that truly meets your needs.
We’ve focused primarily on phones that are available worldwide – including the US market. Right now, Samsung dominates that field, thanks to its great devices, along with reliable service and support – and the headliner on our list is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, our current pick as the best Samsung phone overall.
Shopping for a new Android phone? Let this be your definitive list of the best Android handsets to buy, including ones for power users, budget shoppers, camera enthusiasts, and more.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is essentially a Galaxy Note by another name. It has the biggest, brightest screen of any smartphone you can buy, and the included S Pen can help you take notes, mark up documents, and create art in ways you can’t do on any other phone. It offers the best build quality of any Android phone, with a custom aluminum-alloy frame that wraps around the edges, and the matte glass repels fingerprints. The S22 Ultra also has the best camera hardware in a phone, including a 10x “periscope” zoom lens and manual controls for more experienced photographers. Its primary drawback is its high regular price of $1,200—for $300 less, the Pixel 7 Pro is better at most things. While the S22 Ultra has better camera hardware, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro’s camera software helps them produce great photos without the need for fine-tuning. The S22 Ultra is ideal if you demand maximum versatility from your phone, but you should buy it only on sale—we recommend purchasing when it’s closer to $1,000, or if you have an older Samsung phone to trade in.
Most good Android phones are big and heavy, but the Samsung Galaxy S22 is petite enough for those with smaller hands. The 6.1-inch OLED display looks even better than the Pixel 7’s screen, and the build quality is every bit as good as that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s built to last on the software side, too, with the same five-year update commitment as on Samsung’s other flagship phones. The S22 lacks the advanced camera array of the S22 Ultra, but it still shoots better photos than anything else that isn’t a Pixel. However, the smaller size means a smaller battery—the S22 will last a day, but only just.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Best foldable Android phone
- A smartphone that doubles as a tablet
- Large 7.6-inch, 120Hz, OLED panel
- S Pen support
- Flex Mode features
- Expensive at $1,799
- Charging speed can be better
- Form factor takes some getting used to
Tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | Display Size: 6.2 (outer) and 7.6 inches (inner) | Storage Options: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Rear Cameras: 50MP main, 12MP ultra wide, 10MP telephoto | Front Camera: 10MP (outer) 4MP and (inner) | Colors: Graygreen, Beige, Burgundy, Phantom Black | Size: 155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2mm (folded) | Weight: 263g | Starting Price: $1,799
Foldables are inching closer and closer to mainstream acceptance but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to hop on the innovation wagon. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the company’s most polished 2-in-1 smartphone yet, and it’s also the best one on the market.
With the latest model, you’ll get up to 12GB of RAM, a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor powering the system, a flexible display that can expand from 6.2 inches to 7.6 inches, and all the software perks of Android 12L. Samsung has also made some improvements to its industrial design to create a more uniform, durable, and lightweight form factor.
Google’s Pixel smartphones have always offered the best Android software experience, but the Google Pixel 7 proves that Google is taking the hardware seriously, as well. It has a crisp 6.3-inch OLED screen and a solid wrap-around aluminum frame. The Pixel 7 also offers the best camera performance of any Android phone save for its sibling, the Pixel 7 Pro, and Google’s custom Tensor G2 processor holds its own against the high-end chips in other phones. In addition, the Pixel 7 is more likely to remain secure for years longer than most Android phones thanks to its five years of guaranteed monthly patches. And at $600, it costs hundreds less than other Android phones that won’t last as long or perform as well.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro is similar to the Pixel 7 but adds a larger OLED screen with a higher resolution and refresh rate, more expansive 5G support, and a 5x telephoto camera. These improvements bump the price up to $900, so the value isn’t quite as strong as with the Pixel 7. But the Pixel 7 Pro is a more capable phone with the same excellent software and five years of update support.
The Google Pixel 6a is priced $150 lower than the Pixel 7 but still has almost every feature you might expect from a high-end phone. The Pixel 6a runs on Google’s clean, fast version of Android 13, with five years of guaranteed security updates. It also offers camera performance that surpasses what you can get from phones that may cost twice as much, though it’s not as good in that regard as the Pixel 7. On top of that, the Pixel 6a’s screen lacks the high refresh rate of the Pixel 7 and Samsung Galaxy S22 displays, so it doesn’t scroll as smoothly and isn’t as bright.
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