The 10 Best Android Phones

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If you’re in the market for one of the best Android phones, the breadth of options can be overwhelming. But choice is one of the greatest things about Google’s mobile OS. Android provides a similar user experience across many makes and models of phones, while letting you prioritize the features that matter most to you.

Those on a tight budget can get a good-enough Android phone for under $200. Step up to the $400 range, and the choices get considerably better, especially when it comes to camera quality. And you can get flagship-level performance starting at under $700, so long as you’re willing to live without some bells and whistles and the finest photography.

The most premium Android flagship phones start at $899, offering the sharpest and brightest displays, the most advanced photography and cutting edge features like reverse wireless charging and 120Hz screens. For now, 5G remains a premium feature, but more affordable 5G Android phones with faster download speeds are on the way from multiple brands, like Samsung and TCL, and will arrive this summer.

Read on to find the best Android phone for your needs and budget.

What are the best Android phones?

We’ve tested all of the most popular Android phones in all shapes, sizes and prices here at Tom’s Guide, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is our current pick for the best Android phone. It earns the top spot thanks to its dazzling 120Hz display, blistering performance, long-lasting battery life, wicked-fast charging and reasonable price, because it starts at just $899.

Still, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range commands your attention — particularly the 6.7-inch S20 Plus, which offers the best blend of specs, capability and price in the lineup. You’ll also want to check out the cheaper 6.2-inch Galaxy S20 if you prefer phones small enough to use comfortably with one hand, while last year’s still-worthwhile Galaxy S10 models remain available at reduced prices.

Android purists should consider the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. These phones offer a faster Google Assistant, secure face unlock and air gesture controls — though the outstanding cameras remain the Pixels’ big selling point.  The $399 Pixel 3a is another great choice, as it offers fantastic cameras for hundreds less than most flagships. However, with a successor on the way, you may want to wait a bit longer for the Pixel 4a (or entertain Apple’s new iPhone SE 2020 if you’re willing to leave Android).

Bargain hunters striving to spend even less can also find a very good option in the Moto G Power, which lasts the whole day on a charge, but costs just $249. Finally, the new TCL 10 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G bring up the rear of this list. The former is a solidly-built alternative to the Pixel 3a with less compelling software and gaming performance; the latter is an excellent flagship on the level of the Galaxy S20 series, though it’s not officially available in most Western countries.

Also, keep an eye out for the OnePlus Nord in the coming weeks — OnePlus’ new entry-level sub-$500 handset with 5G connectivity and respectable performance for the money. And in early August, we could get our first official look at Samsung’s highly-anticipated Galaxy Note 20. Both look to be solid contenders for inclusion on this list.

The best Android phones you can buy today

Best Android phones: OnePlus 8 Pro

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1. OnePlus 8 Pro

The best Android phone overall

Display: 6.78-inch OLED (3168×1440) | Android version: 10 with Oxygen OS | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB, 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No | Rear camera: 48MP wide (ƒ/1.78); 48MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 8MP 3X telephoto (ƒ/2.4); 5MP color filter | Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.5) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:05

Bright and beautiful 120Hz display

Long battery life

Strong performance

Super fast wired and wireless charging

Curved display causes accidental taps

The OnePlus 8 Pro may seem like a departure from previous OnePlus handsets. After all, at $899, this is one of the most expensive phones OnePlus has ever made. But the OnePlus 8 Pro is the best Android phone because it packs as many high-end features as possible for an incomparable value.

In the case of the OnePlus 8 Pro, those features include a 120Hz refresh rate for its 6.78-inch OLED screen and a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 CPU. The OnePlus 8 Pro is the first OnePlus device to support wireless charging, and in the grand tradition of OnePlus pushing the battery envelope, its wireless charging standard is actually faster than many wired options.

You won’t get the best camera phone with the OnePlus 8 Pro — the Galaxy S20 Plus’ photography is a bit better across the board. However, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s four rear lenses can produce some impressive shots that measure up respectably against industry leaders. And while that $899 price may be lofty by OnePlus’ standards, it’s still $100 less than the least expensive Galaxy S20 model, not to mention $300 less than the S20 Plus.

Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review.

Best Android phones: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

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2. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The best premium Android phone

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (3200×1440) | Android version: 10 with OneUI | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 512GB / Yes | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 64MP 3X telephoto (ƒ/2.0); time-of-flight VGA | Front camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:31

Expansive 6.7-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate

Long-lasting battery

Impressive cameras

Faster refresh rate can impact battery life

Expensive

At $1,199, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is pricey, though you get a lot in return. For starters, the camera setup on the back of the S20 Plus impresses us with four lenses that produce great pictures, especially when you put that 64MP telephoto lens to work. You won’t be able to zoom in like you can with the S20 Ultra’s Space Zoom feature, but the shots that the S20 Plus yields still contain a lot of detail.

All of the other top Galaxy S20 features are available in the S20 Plus, including 5G connectivity, a Snapdragon 865 chipset that produces the best performance of any Android phone and a vibrant 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. A 4,500-mAh battery keeps things up and running, and the Galaxy S20 Plus offered better-than-average longevity in our testing. Ultimately, the S20 Plus’ price will put it out of reach of most phone shoppers, though those who can afford it shouldn’t think twice about snapping one up.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review.

best android phones: Moto G Power

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3. Moto G Power

The longest-lasting Android phone

Display: 6.4-inch LCD (2300×1080) | Android version: 10 | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB / Yes | Rear camera: 16MP wide (ƒ/1.7), 8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 2MP macro (ƒ/2.2) | Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 16:10

The best battery life we’ve tested

Low price tag

Good performance and photos for the price

Screen isn’t very colorful

No optical zoom

Two things stand out about the Moto G Power — its giant battery and its sub-$300 price. The former allows Motorola’s budget phone to post the best time ever on our battery test, while the latter makes the Moto G Power a compelling purchase when compared to other midrange Android models.

On the battery front, the Moto G Power lasted 16 hours and 10 minutes on our battery test, in which phones continuously surf the web over LTE until they run out of power. That’s more than 30 minutes better than our previous champ for best phone battery life. (Coincidentally, that was the Moto G Power’s predecessor, the Moto G7 Power.) If you’re willing to accept less battery life for a phone with a stylus, the Moto G Stylus is essentially a carbon copy of the Moto G Power, though it does cost $50 more.

Speaking of price, you can get the Moto G Power for $150 less than the Pixel 3a, and you won’t make many trade-offs for that lower price. The Snapdragon 665 chipset inside the Moto G Power turns in comparable performance, and while the Pixel still has a better camera, the Moto G Power’s triple lens array still produces decent shots for what you’ll spend.

Read our full Moto G Power review.

Best Android phones: Google Pixel 3a

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4. Google Pixel 3a

The Pixel’s best features for less

Display: 5.6-inch OLED (2280×1080) | Android version: 10 | CPU: Snapdragon 670 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB / No | Rear camera: 12MP (ƒ/1.8) | Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:59

Long battery life

Outstanding camera

Low price

OLED display isn’t the best

No wireless charging

The Pixel 3a strikes a winning blow against the rising cost of smartphones by delivering a terrific camera and a great Android experience in a device that costs hundreds of dollars less. The Pixel 3a uses the same single 12-megapixel camera found on the Pixel 3, but more importantly, it taps into the same AI-powered computational photography features. That means the pictures you snap with your Pixel 3a will be every bit good as what the Pixel 3 delivers — making the Pixel 3a one of the best camera phones around, even though it costs less than half of what most flagships do.

You will have to make some compromises for the Pixel 3a’s lower price tag. This phone is made out of plastic, and the processor isn’t the fastest. But the Pixel 3a offers solid performance and a long-lasting battery, as it held out for nearly 12 hours on our battery test. The value delivered by the Pixel 3a earns it a spot on this list of the best Android phones, but some may want to wait for the upcoming Google Pixel 4a, which should arrive this summer.

Read our full Pixel 3a review.

Best Android phones: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

The big phone for stylus lovers

Display: 6.8-inch OLED (3040×1440) | Android version: 10 with OneUI | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / Yes | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.5, ƒ/2.4); 16MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 12MP telephoto (ƒ/2.1); time-of-flight VGA | Front camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:46

Gorgeous 6.8-inch screen

Long battery life

S Pen supports Air Actions gestures

Air gestures can be finicky

Cameras not the best

How do you make one of the best Android phones for phablet fans even better? Extend the screen so it leaves virtually no bezel, give it a massive battery that recharges faster than ever before and bake in the most powerful processor on the market (with gobs of RAM for good measure). 

The 6.8-inch Galaxy Note 10 Plus may share a lot with the Galaxy S10 family on paper, but it feels different to use, thanks to its S Pen stylus which has learned some new capabilities. Using Air Actions, you can make motions with the S Pen in mid air to navigate the phone’s interface, and even transcribe and export written notes to Microsoft Word documents and PDFs on the fly. 

We do wish the phone’s quad-camera system delivered photos that could rival those from Google’s latest phones, but even so, the Note 10 Plus is a phenomenally well-rounded Swiss Army knife of a phablet. Just keep in mind we’re not that far off from the Galaxy Note 20, which could begin shipping in late August or early September.

Read our full
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.
  

Best Android phones: Google Pixel 4 XL

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6. Google Pixel 4 XL

The smartest camera around

Display: 6.4 inch OLED (3040×1440) | Android version: 10 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB / Yes | Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.78); 16MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4) | Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:42

Excellent camera

Screen has a dynamic 90-Hz refresh rate

Real-time Live Caption and recording transcription

Screen is a bit dim

No more unlimited photo storage at original quality

The latest flagship phones from Google continue to stand out, thanks to their cameras. Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL add a telephoto lens to go alongside the main rear camera, delivering a 2x optical zoom. But Google didn’t stop with just new hardware — updated camera software lets you tweak brightness and shadows on images, get a live HDR+ preview on your phone’s viewfinder and even snap photos of the night sky in an improved Night Sight mode.

Other highlights include a 90 Hz refresh rate that makes for smoother scrolling and better gaming, a new Motion Sense feature for gesture controls and a fast face unlocking. A new Recorder app provides real-time transcription of your audio recordings. Overall, the Pixel 4 XL is the better of Google’s two latest phones because of its larger screen and far better battery life.

Read our full Pixel 4 review and Pixel 4 XL review.

Best Android phones: OnePlus 8

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7. OnePlus 8

The iPhone 11 of Android phones

Display: 6.55-inch OLED (2400×1080) | Android version: 10 with Oxygen OS | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB, 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No | Rear camera: 48MP wide (ƒ/1.7); 16MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 2MP macro | Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:04

Excellent display

Very good battery life

Powerful processor

Good low-light photos

No optical zoom

Middling photos overall

Curved screen is prone to accidental touches

The OnePlus 8 might not have the wicked-fast wireless charging or 120 Hz animations of its pricier sibling, the OnePlus 8 Pro — though it is a good Android alternative to the iPhone 11, for exactly the same $699 price.

In fact, the OnePlus 8 bests Apple’s hardware in a few areas: Buyers get a generous 128GB of storage out of the box, a higher-resolution 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate compared to the iPhone 11’s 60 Hz LCD panel, 5G connectivity and faster wired charging out of the box, thanks to OnePlus’ industry-leading Warp Charge 30T technology.

Mind you, the cameras on the cheaper of OnePlus’ 2020 flagships aren’t as nice as those on Apple’s handset. That said, if photography isn’t your primary concern, you’ll find a lot to like in OnePlus’ new budget-minded flagship proposition.

Read our full OnePlus 8 review.

Best Android phones: TCL 10 Pro

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8. TCL 10 Pro

A good Pixel 3a alternative

Display: 6.47-inch OLED (2340×1080) | Android Version: 10 with TCL UI | CPU: Snapdragon 675 | RAM: 6GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB / Yes | Rear camera: 64MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 16MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4); 5MP macro (ƒ/2.2); 2MP low-light (ƒ1.8) | Front camera: 24MP (ƒ/2.2) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:47

Impressive OLED display

Premium design

Strong battery life

Cameras are hit-or-miss

Gaming performance not the best

With the TCL 10 Pro, you’re not sacrificing all that much to get a premium design, great display and solid performance for just $449. With 128GB of onboard storage as well as a slot for a microSD card, this handset doesn’t shortchange you in terms of capacity. Its 4,500-mAh battery also lasts long on a charge, clocking just shy of 11 hours in Tom’s Guide’s custom battery test.

Unfortunately, the TCL 10 Pro’s not-so-great quad-lens rear camera keeps this phone from appearing higher up on our list. Also, while the Snapdragon 675 is quite a capable midrange chip, it takes a step back with respect to graphics performance and gaming when compared with its predecessor.

The Pixel 3a and second-generation iPhone SE are admittedly better choices overall for a modest phone within this price range, but the TCL 10 Pro packs a lot of value and compares very favorably against the somewhat disappointing Samsung Galaxy A51.

Read our full TCL 10 Pro review.

Best Android phones: Moto G Fast

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9. Moto G Fast

The best Android phone for the absolute least money

Display: 6.4-inch LCD (1560×720) | Android version: 10 | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 3GB | Storage / Expandable: 32GB / Yes | Rear camera: 16MP wide (ƒ/1.7), 8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 2MP macro (ƒ/2.2) | Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 12:17

Great battery life

Works on all carriers

Respectable cameras

Poor selfie camera

Murky update schedule

So, you want a new phone, and you have a budget of $200. A cursory glance at the retailer or carrier of your choosing will make it immediately clear you don’t have many options. Thankfully though, the new, $199 Moto G Fast exists.

The Moto G Fast takes what mostly worked about the $249 Moto G Power, but downsizes the battery, downgrades the screen, replaces the Power’s 4GB of RAM with 3GB and swaps in a lower-resolution front-facing camera. The thing is, aside from the poor quality of the selfies you take, you’re not losing a whole lot in opting for the Moto G Fast over its more expensive sibling. If you can spare the extra $50, the Power is still recommended because of its astonishing longevity on a charge, and perhaps a slight performance boost offered by the extra RAM. But for $200, you really can’t do better than the Moto G Fast.

Read our full Moto G Fast review.

Best Android phones: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G

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10. Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G

Amazing battery life in a flagship — if you can get one

Display: 6.67-inch OLED (2340×1080) | Android Version: 10 with MIUI 11 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB | Storage / Expandable: 256GB / No | Rear camera: 108MP wide (ƒ/1.7); 20MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 12MP “portrait” 2X telephoto (ƒ/2.0); 8MP 10X lossless telephoto (ƒ/2.0) | Front camera: 20MP (ƒ/2.0) | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:29

Smooth, captivating display

Strong performance

Fantastic battery life

Expensive

Not available in U.S. or U.K.

With the Mi 10 Pro 5G, Xiaomi has demonstrated it has everything it takes to produce a premium handset on par with the likes of the Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 8 Pro. This is a quality flagship, through and through, with fantastic performance, attractive (if familiar) design and an approach to its cameras that differentiates it from other contemporary high-end models.

About that camera: it’s a quad-lens stack, though it carries an ultrawide lens and two telephoto optics. One is used primarily for powerful zoom, while the other is devoted to enhancing shallow depth-of-field portraits. There’s also a macro mode on hand for some pleasing super-close detail shots, and a 108-megapixel mode for the main camera that pulls out astonishing detail. But even more than the Mi 10 Pro 5G’s imaging stack, we fell in love with the phone’s battery life, as it lasted three hours longer than the S20 Plus in our custom web-surfing battery test.

The catch with the Mi 10 Pro 5G, as it often is with Xiaomi phones, is availability. Not only can you not buy this device in the U.S., but Xiaomi is even forgoing the U.K. market for the time being. That’s disappointing, though if you’re smitten by this phone and are positive it’ll work as designed on your network of choice, it is a worthy import.

Read our full Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G review.

How to choose the best Android phone for you

The first place to start when shopping for the best Android phone for you is your budget. And there are essentially a few tiers, The cheapest Android phones cost under $200 and offer mostly the basics for using apps, taking pictures and staying connected. 

As you move up to under $400, you’ll find more compelling handsets, touting better processors, higher-grade materials and more camera lenses. Progress into the $700-and-up range, and the best phones offer flagship-caliber performance along with cutting-edge computational photography and special features.

The most premium Android phones offer foldable designs, but in general we don’t feel like these types of devices are worth the splurge yet — save, perhaps, for the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which rights the Galaxy Fold‘s design quirks and isn’t egregiously expensive (for a foldable, anyway) at $1,380.

How we test smartphones

Every smartphone Tom’s Guide evaluates is tested for several days in real-world use cases and benchmarked with a gamut of performance-measuring apps. In terms of performance, we used Geekbench 5 to measure overall speed and GFXBench to measure graphics performance.

We also use our own video editing test in the Adobe Premiere Rush app to see how long it takes to transcode a clip, which we run on both Android phones and iPhone to compare performance.

We use a light meter to ascertain display quality data, like brightness and color accuracy, and our proprietary battery test determines longevity on a charge by continuously loading live webpages over a 4G or 5G network. We set each phone to 150 nits of screen brightness and try to use T-Mobile’s network each time in order to achieve comparable results across phones.

Lastly, we explore the software, test gaming performance and conduct live camera comparisons with rival handsets — and each of these factors play a part in our comprehensive verdict.

This article originally appeared on https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-android-phones,review-6051.html

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