You’re here because you’re looking for the best Android phone of 2020. You’re probably a bit of an Android nut, and you’re not alone: after all, Android is the world’s most popular smartphone platform. If you’re not shackled to an iPhone – or one of the few still using a BlackBerry device – it’s the obvious (and only) choice.
The range of Android phones out there is enormous. That means you’re sure to find something to suit you perfectly – as long as you know what you’re looking for.
Here’s our guide to buying an Android phone, with advice about choosing the perfect handset for you and our pick of the best Android smartphones 2020 has to offer.
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How to buy the best Android phone for you
When it comes to picking a new smartphone, there’s a multitude of features to consider. While aesthetics are important, you should certainly pay attention to features and performance. Most flagship phones (which tend to cost upwards of £700) will be more than satisfactory in all areas, but cheaper devices may come with compromises. You can boil the key considerations down to five key questions…
What’s the best smartphone display for me?
A high-resolution display is nice, but on a device this size, you probably won’t notice any difference between a 1080p or a 1440p screen – and 4K is completely pointless. What’s much more important is contrast and colour reproduction.
AMOLED displays always look fantastic, with perfect contrast and excellent sRGB coverage. Budget phones tend to opt for standard IPS LCD screens, usually at around 1080p or 720p, but that’s still fine if you don’t plan to do a lot of photo editing or movie watching on your device.
How much storage do I need?
You’ll need space to store your apps, and you might want to keep photos and music on the device. That’s less of an issue than it used to be, though, as apps such as Google Photos and Google Music mean your personal media can live in the cloud. Internal storage sizes tend to start at the 64GB mark on flagships and around 8GB on budget devices. Many handsets let you use a microSD card to cheaply expand this.
What’s the best version of Android?
These phones are all Android devices, but they can look and feel quite different. Certain manufacturers – notably Huawei, LG and Samsung – put their own customised “skin” on top of the OS, while the likes of Google and OnePlus use stock Android (or near-stock) to deliver a clean and crisp experience for their users. They’ll all run the same apps, though, so it’s mostly a case of personal preference.
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What’s the best smartphone camera?
A decent camera is a great feature: it means you can always capture a moment without having carry around a dedicated camera, and share your snaps in a few taps. Most flagships have excellent built-in cameras, but this certainly isn’t something you can take for granted in a mid-range or budget phone. If photo quality matters to you, make sure you investigate the camera before investing.
What’s the best smartphone for battery life?
Smartphone battery life has improved over the years, but we’re still living in a world where a charge may only just get you through the day. Bigger phones tend to have better longevity, though – as they can pack in bigger batteries – and some budget phones also have the impressive stamina for their size and price. Do your research and, as a general rule, go for the highest-capacity battery you can find.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus: The best Android smartphone
Price: From £800 | Buy now from Amazon
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus flagships are absolutely sublime. It’s not often that we come away from writing a review with a list of positives as long as this, but Samsung’s best-ever handset well and truly hit the mark.
Aside from the obvious size differences – as well as a larger battery and extra ToF camera on the S20 Plus – both of these smartphones are essentially the same. Samsung’s latest big-screened beauties not only look the part, but they’re the fastest Android smartphones we’ve ever tested – surpassed only by the iPhone 11 – and the new cameras are absolutely sensational. We’re also especially fond of the new 120Hz screen, which is a first for Samsung.
If you’re after the very best that Android can muster, you simply can’t do any better than this.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2.73GHz Samsung Exynos 990; Screen: 6.2in, 3,200 x 1,440; Camera: 12MP, 64MP (zoom) and 12MP (wide); Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 10
2. Motorola Moto G8 Power: The best budget Android phone
Price: £220 | Buy now from Amazon
The Moto G8 range is still hot from the Motorola kiln, but it’s already clear the G8 Power stands out as the best of the batch. At a mere £220, it’s fantastically wallet-friendly, but still manages to both look and act like a premium smartphone.
We’re particularly fond of the tireless 5,000mAh battery, but that price trumps everything. The standard Moto G8 Plus offers very little extra for considerably more. To be honest, though, all four Moto G8 phones are well worth a look for those on a budget.
Read our full Motorola Moto G8 Power review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 665; Screen: 6.4in, 2,300 x 1,080; Camera: 12MP, 8MP (zoom), 8MP (wide) and 2MP (macro); Storage: 64GB; Operating system: Android 10
3. Google Pixel 3a: The best Android experience
Price: £279 | Buy now from Carphone Warehouse
Google’s own-brand Android smartphone is a great showcase for the platform. In most regards, it’s on par with other companies’ flagships, but what sets the, slightly cheaper, Pixel 3a apart is the camera, which is simply in a class of its own. Although it has just a single lens, it’s capable of capturing absolutely stunning photos that put other cameras to shame.
You can also opt for the larger (and more expensive) Pixel 3a XL, which comes with the same fantastic camera, albeit with a larger screen and bigger battery.
Read our full Google Pixel 3a review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2GHz Snapdragon 670; Screen: 5.6in 2,220 x 1,080; Camera: 12.2MP; Storage: 64GB; Operating system: Android 9
4. Xiaomi Mi Note 10: The best flagship killer
Price: £498 | Buy now from Amazon
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi might be relatively new to the UK, but its affordable smartphone offering is already achieving a lot of praise. The Mi Note 10 is perhaps its best offering yet, with flagship internals at a far more palatable price.
What’s most special about the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is that it’s filled with high-end internals and fancy features that we usually see on more expensive handsets. For only £459, the Mi Note 10 is filled with flagship features, including Qualcomm’s beefy Snapdragon 730G processor and a superb colour-accurate screen. The Mi Note 10’s 108-megapixel camera is equally sublime and its 23-hour battery life blew us away. Considering it costs almost half the price as most other flagships on this list, the Mi Note 10 is a tremendous choice.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 730G; Screen: 6.47in, 2,340 x 1,080; Camera: 108MP, 12MP (zoom), 5MP (zoom), 20MP (wide) and 2MP (macro); Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 10
5. Vodafone Smart V10: The best Android phone for around £100
Price: £105 (with £10 topup) l Buy now from Vodafone
If your smartphone buying budget can only just stretch into triple figures, Vodafone’s Smart V10 is the perfect choice. As long as you top up a minimum of £10 (or if you’re already a Vodafone customer), it costs a mere £105 and punches well above its featherweight pricing.
This is a budget phone that’s disguised as something much more expensive. Not only does it look good, with svelte curved sides and a dual-camera array, it also performed well in our tests, outdoing phones that cost quite a bit more. If funds are tight, there’s nothing better than the Vodafone Smart X9.
Read our full Vodafone Smart V10 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 429; Display: 5.9in 1,560 x 720; Storage: 32GB; Camera: 13MP and 5MP (depth); Operating system: Android 9; Weight: 145g
6. OnePlus 8: Another faultless flagship killer
Price: £599 l Buy now from Amazon
Despite OnePlus’ shift in focus towards the flagship end of the spectrum in recent years, it still manages to offer cutthroat devices that are far cheaper than most other phones on the market. Its newest flagship-killing phone, the OnePlus 8, delivers the same value proposition of past handsets, and we actually prefer the cheaper variant this time around.
That’s mostly because it costs £200, but partly because of the few cutbacks in comparison to its “Pro” sibling. It still has a buttery-smooth 90Hz screen, is powered by Qualcomm’s most up-to-date Silicon, the Snapdragon 865, and comes with 5G support as standard. It also has a 48MP rear camera, complete with 16MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro modules. It might seem like a relatively low-key update at first, but the OnePlus 8 represents the very best of what a proper flagship-killing phone is capable of.
Read our full OnePlus 8 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2.84GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 865; Screen: 6.55in, 2,400 x 1,080; Camera: 48MP, 16MP (wide), 2MP (macro); Storage: 128GB or 256GB; Operating system: Android 10
OnePlus 8 5G 8GB RAM 128GB UK SIM-Free Smartphone with Triple Camera, Dual SIM and Alexa built-in Onyx Black – 2 Years Warranty
7. Samsung Galaxy S10e: Samsung’s cheapest flagship
Price: £669 l Buy now from Amazon
Are you excited by Samsung’s S-series lineup, but rightly put off by those exorbitant prices? Well, that’s precisely where the cheaper Galaxy S10e fits into the market, with flagship DNA at its core without the price tag to match.
There are a few sacrifices if you dig a bit deeper, of course: the screen is smaller and lower in resolution and it lacks the barrage of cameras, but where it counts the Galaxy S10e is equally pleasant to use. It looks nice, feels nice and performs just as well as its stablemates.
Key specs – Processor: 2.73GHz Samsung Exynos 9820; Screen: 5.8in, 2,280 x 1,080; Camera: 12-megapixel, 16-megapixel; Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 9
8. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T: A superb budget Android phone
Price: £175 | Buy now from Amazon
Xiaomi makes another appearance on this list with the Redmi Note 8T, a superb Android choice for the budget-conscious. Rather than scrimp on features like most cheap-end Android smartphones, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T is more formidable than most, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset and a solid camera for the price.
Sure, it isn’t as immediately dazzling as some of the other choices on this list, but when you consider that the Redmi Note 8T costs a mere fraction of the price of its latest flagship counterparts, there’s no way you can pass this one up.
Read our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 665; Screen: 6.3in, 2,340 x 1,080; Camera: 48MP, 8MP (wide), 2MP (macro) and ToF sensor; Storage: 64GB; Operating system: Android 8.1
Redmi Note 8T 4GB 64GB Snapdragon 665 Octa Core 48MP Quad Camera NFC Smartphone 6.3-inch FHD Display 4000mAh（ UK Version） Black
9. Samsung Galaxy A51: Another great-value Android phone
Price: £329 | Buy now from Amazon
Despite what Samsung’s slick adverts would have you believe, your smartphone buying options aren’t limited to £1,000+ flagships. Yes, some expensive Samsung phones make this list, but if you’re after something with a softer impact on your wallet, then the Galaxy A51 is just the ticket.
The Galaxy A51 is a 6.5in handset with swish looks and features that are more befitting of handsets that cost twice the price. It’s powered by one of Samsung’s homebrew Exynos chipsets (although this is closer to the mid-range than the S20’s processor), and it also has a 48MP camera with a 5MP macro unit and depth sensor. Big, powerful, and good-looking, Samsung’s Galaxy A51 is a no-brainer for the budget-conscious buyer.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy A51 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: 2.3GHz Samsung Exynos 9611; Screen: 6.5in, 2,400 x 1,080; Camera: 48MP, 12MP (wide), 5MP (depth); Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 10
Samsung Galaxy A51 128 GB Dual SIM – Android Smartphone – SIM Free Mobile Phone – Prism Crush White (UK Version)
10. Motorola Moto E6S: Cheap and very cheerful
Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon
Another Motorola phone on this list, the Moto E6S is a solid budget smartphone at a price that won’t break the bank. The cheapest of a recent slew of Moto handsets, the E6s is basic, but it has all the essentials covered if you don’t fancy spending a huge amount on your next phone.
In fact, it’s amazing what you can get for less than £100 these days. The Moto E6S has a large mostly edge-to-edge 6.1in screen, a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which you can upgrade via microSD. Of course, it does lack of few premium features found on pricier handsets, such as NFC, waterproofing and Android 10, but for the price, you really can’t go wrong.
Read our full Motorola Moto E6s review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core MediaTek MT6762 Helio P22; Screen: 6.1in, 1,560 x 720; Camera: 13MP and 2MP (depth); Storage: 32GB; Operating system: Android 9
This article originally appeared on https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile-phones/1406747/best-android-phone