There’s one clear advantage Android has over iOS, and that’s the variety when it comes to the phones you have to choose from. Apple has made the iPhone the only game in town for iOS, but with Google’s operating system, there are dozens of options from manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, and others. But that means when it’s time to upgrade, or when you’re looking to switch from iPhone to Android in the new year, it can be difficult to decide which device is best for you. The last announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series That means you’ll soon have a new model to choose from, but the verdict still stands on these devices (we’ll have full reviews soon). For now, if you’re looking for a new phone and don’t know where to start, here’s our pick of the best Android phones for every budget.
What to look for in a new Android phone
When it comes to choosing our favorite Android phones, the main things we look for are pretty simple: good performance (both computing and AI), a beautiful display, solid design, sharp cameras, long battery life, and a strong commitment to ongoing software support. For performance, we don’t just look at benchmarks and other metrics, we also rate phones on responsiveness. Whether you’re reading, texting, surfing social media, or playing games, no one wants a gadget that feels sluggish.
When it comes to displays, we generally prefer OLED panels that can produce rich, saturated colors with at least 600 nits of brightness, though many of our top mid-range and high-end phones can hit 1,000 nits or more. And recently, most of the favorite devices also support screens with a fast refresh rate of 90Hz or 120Hz, which adds an extra level of smoothness and fluidity.
Now, we’ll admit that there’s a bit of subjectivity when deciding which phones look best, but there are other design aspects like dust and water resistance or screen durability that can make a big difference to long-term survival. It’s also important to consider things like wireless charging support, power sharing (reverse wireless charging), and UWB connectivity, which can affect how your phone interacts with other devices.
Obviously, for photos, we’re looking for sharp, colorful shots in both bright and low-light conditions. And we want video clips with high dynamic range, rich audio and smooth image stabilization. Additional cameras for ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are a plus. The best cameras also have special night modes, support for different video recording resolutions and timelapse, slow motion, and more. should include features such as additional photo modes.
Battery and software
Finally, in terms of longevity, we’re looking for all-day battery life (at least 16 hours on a single charge, but longer is better) in devices that also scored well in our local video review test. Wireless charging capabilities have become almost ubiquitous over the past few years, and most of our top picks have this added advantage. Fast charging is also available on some Android phones. Finally, as people keep their phones longer than ever, we’d like to see companies commit to at least three years of software support, upgrades and regular security updates.
Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget
Processor: Google Tensor G3 | Screen: 6.7-inch Super Actua, up to 120Hz | Cameras: Rear array (50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto), 10.5MP front camera | Battery: 5,050 mAh
Thanks to the Tensor G3 chip, updated sensors and a number of new functions powered by artificial intelligence Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro there are more to offer, both for photography and everyday use. The new Magic Editor on Pixel phones makes it amazingly easy to remove distracting objects from your photos, while the Audio Magic Eraser reduces annoying background noise in videos. And for all those group photos, Best Take makes sure everyone looks their best, even if they’re not smiling for the first shot. In addition, Google’s Call Screen just got smarter Auxiliary features, like being able to summarize or read real articles out loud to make it easier to keep up with the news. Add to that sleeker designs, brighter displays, better battery life, and improved performance, and Google’s latest flagships might just be the best-rounded Android phones on the market.
For those who want a phone with a big screen, great camera and great performance, but at a lower price than a traditional flagship phone OnePlus 11 strikes a good balance between budget and more premium devices. In many ways, the OnePlus 11 looks more affordable Galaxy S23+. Not only do you get a similar 6.7-inch 120Hz display, but it also packs a speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and a large 5,000mAh battery. Meanwhile, thanks to OnePlus’ 100-watt wired charging, it charges faster than any phone from Google or Samsung. On the camera side, the company’s ongoing collaboration with Hasselblad has resulted in a noticeable improvement in image quality.
The OP11’s main downsides are that its IP64 dust and water resistance rating is lower than what you get from competing devices, and the camera’s 2x optical zoom lens feels a bit on the short side. But with OnePlus adding wider carrier compatibility and with four years of OS updates and five years of security patches, the OP11 is a well-equipped option at a much lower price than its rivals.
500 dollars Pixel 7a offers everything we’re looking for in a great, affordable Android phone (if you’ve got less money to spend, check us out. cheapest phones guide). New features include a faster Tensor G2 chip, a smoother 90Hz display and, for the first time on one of Google’s A-series phones: wireless charging support. It looks and feels like the standard Pixel 7, with an updated design with IP67 water resistance, but costs $100 less. You also get great support with five years of security updates and at least three years of software updates. The Pixel 7a’s only downsides are pretty minor, and include the lack of a dedicated zoom lens and no mmWave 5G support (unless you buy a slightly more expensive $550 model from Verizon).
Starting price is $1200 Galaxy S23 Ultra it’s very expensive, but it has great performance, a great camera system, and practically everything you could want or need in a smartphone. Its specifications include great 6.8-inch OLED screen 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, a total of five cameras (main, ultra-wide, 3x zoom, 10x zoom and a selfie shooter) and a built-in S Pen for taking pictures and notes. It also packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery that delivers the longest battery life we’ve seen in any phone. With Samsung’s renewed commitment to software support, you can expect at least four major OS upgrades and five years of regular security patches.
Despite increasing competition Pixel Foldfor people who want to improve their mobile productivity, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 still the best large foldable phone on the market. In the latest model, Samsung not only added two new gestures for launching side-by-side multitasking or switching from full-screen to a windowed app, but also doubled the number of recent apps you can see on the taskbar. to four. The Z Fold 5’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset also delivers faster performance than the Pixel Fold, and even though this Samsung phone has a smaller power cell (4400 mAh vs 4800 mAh), battery life is also better. But the biggest change for this generation is Samsung’s new Flex Hinge, which allows the phone to close completely flat and makes loading slimmer. Unfortunately, its camera system hasn’t changed from last year, and with prices starting at $1,800, the Z Fold 5 isn’t even remotely close to being affordable.