The best Android phones are those able to fight to the top of a hugely varied market to provide the best possible value to potential users. Whether that's a $1,000-plus flagship phone or a budget handset, these are our top picks for you.
Some of these brands, such as Samsung, are huge companies you're likely familiar with already. Others like Realme or Oppo are relative newcomers but are still worthy of your attention, particularly if you want top-rate specs for less.
Below, we present to you our shortlist of the best Android phones you can buy right now. We hope that whatever your priorities: the best camera, best display, the most powerful chipset or the longest battery life — or something else entirely — these are the phones you need to shortlist.
The best Android phones in the U.K. you can buy today
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Once again, the top Android phone in the U.K. is Samsung's latest Ultra flagship. The Galaxy S23 Ultra's upgrades to its cameras and chipset in particular make it a considerable upgrade to last year's model, and a deserving occupant of the top spot.
The 200MP main camera is fantastic, as are the returning ultrawide and dual telephoto snappers and the updated selfie camera. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip not only beats other Snapdragon phones but also the iPhone 14 Pro Max on certain benchmarks. Samsung's usual excellent display and battery life are here too.
You still have to pay a lot for the privilege of all of this hardware, and it's still unfortunate that Samsung hasn't introduced a faster charging standard. These are only minor quibbles though. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is well worth the money if you buy it and will last you a good long time thanks to a generous number of scheduled updates.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review.
If you've got only £400 to spend on a phone, the best place to spend them as far as we're concerned is into the Nord 2T. OnePlus' revised version of the OnePlus Nord 2, itself a reworked version of the original Nord, is a well-rounded phone for the cost, excelling in charging speed and performance in particular.
What we like less is that you only get two years of guaranteed Android updates, which is quite low in comparison to rival phones. There's also the matter of the display refresh rate, which is a below-average and static 90Hz. Overall though, this is a great phone to go for if your budget is limited or you don't see the appeal of the advanced features found on more expensive phones.
Read our full OnePlus Nord 2T review.
The OnePlus 11 is one of the best deals in Android phones right now. After reviewing it, we were thoroughly impressed with its upgrades, even though it's no longer got a Pro title.
Now starting at an appealing £729, you get one of the best displays on any phone - a 6.7-inch QHD panel with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Its 100W wired charging is also one of the fastest we've tried, and the cameras are worthy of the best camera phones on the market.
The 11 telephoto isn't quite up to the standard of the other cameras at only 2x magnification, plus OnePlus has removed the wireless charging ability found on previous flagship OnePlus phones, but those are two minor complaints overall. It's still very hard to argue against the value that this phone provides in hardware and software quality.
Read our full OnePlus 11 review.
The wonderful Pixel 7 continues Google's recent hot streak for great value phones. While this spot could easily belong to the Pixel 7 Pro, which offers an extra camera, a larger, more detailed display with a higher refresh rate, and superior computing performance, the £599 price of the Pixel 7 makes it the better choice for the majority of buyers. Just watch out for the minor snags of a short battery life and the weaker CPU performance if you go for either Pixel 7 model.
Just like on previous Pixels, the photography is the standout feature. You may not have a telephoto camera, but between the initial quality of the images and clever editing features like Photo Unblur and Magic Eraser, you have the best photo-taking experience around.
Read our full Google Pixel 7 review.
For your money, it's hard to find a better deal than with the GT 2 Pro. Realme's stuffed its unique bio-polymer body with all the stuff you'd expect from a flagship Android but it's kept the price generously low.
It's also a great phone if you're a fan of strange features. You can take microscope-style close-ups, fish-eye and 150-degree ultra-wide shots with the rear cameras, and you can use NFC features from any side of the phone.
Beyond the gimmicks, the quality of the photos doesn't match up with other phones on this list though. Everywhere else though, you're not missing out on much, if anything at all, by saving some cash and picking the Realme.
Read our Realme GT 2 Pro review.
The Galaxy S22 has taken the S21's approach to Samsung flagships and refined it into something much easier to recommend. While you could go for the Galaxy S22 Plus if you like a bigger display or access to a larger battery or 45W charging (all things the S22 lacks), this smaller model provides the best value.
Besides, perhaps you're after a smaller than average phone given how hard those are to find in the Android market. Also the smaller size hasn't deprived the S22 of all of the improvements, like a glass back, improved cameras and an excellent display.
The Galaxy S23 range is now available, but Samsung's still selling the S22 as a cheaper option, which is why it's keeping its spot on this list.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review.
We found the Oppo Find X5, while still a well-put-together flagship phone, didn't quite capture us the way that the Oppo Find X3 Pro did last year. While the price has dropped, it's still more expensive than equivalent phones without offering the extra abilities that would justify that cost.
Highlights here include the large and smooth display, the improved low-light photography enhanced by Oppo's new MariSilicon X NPU, plus the unique unibody design of the back. The rest of the photography doesn't quite stack up so well though, meaning unless you really care about avoiding Google, Samsung or Apple, there's not really much to push you Oppo's way.
Read our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review.
If you don't like waiting around for your phone to charge, then we present to you the Xiaomi 12 Pro - a phone that can go from 0 - 100% full in only 22 minutes.
There's more to the phone than just its super-powered charger though. We really like the detailed and smooth display, the triple 50MP camera array on the back, and how you get all this for less than an S22 Ultra, with the charger included in the box.
For limitations, we'd point to the tinny speaker quality, and the fact that the price, while below Samsung, is a big bump compared to last year. So while it's no longer quite as good a value buy, it's still got its unique attractions to rely on.
Note that now we also have the Xiaomi 12T Pro. It's cheaper, has the same 120W charging system, and uses a crazy-detailed 200MP main camera, but it has an inferior display and no telephoto camera. It offers a good alternative to the Xiaomi 12 Pro, but we still prefer the original overall.
Read our full Xiaomi 12 Pro review.
Most Ultra phones are happy just stuffing their backs with cameras, but Xiaomi went a step further and added a secondary display to the camera block, letting you take selfies with any of the three 50MP sensors, which includes top quality main and ultrawide sensors, plus a 5x telephoto camera for extreme close-ups. The phone can also charge at 67W, wired or wireless.
This phone costs a lot though, even for an ultra-grade flagship. Plus with two screens needing power, the battery life is understandably poor. If you don't mind these impracticalities, this is a phone that feels really special to use and own, and will catch the eye of basically everyone who sees you with it.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review.
For users with smaller amounts to spend on a phone, the Redmi Note 11 Pro offers a taste of the premium device life without much compromise. It's equipped with a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate similar to phones way higher up on this list of the best U.K. Android phones. It also charges quite a bit faster and offers excellent battery life, making it a great workhorse of a phone for your daily usage needs.
Where the cheapness of the phone is revealed is in the performance department. Its chipset noticeably lacks power, and for some reason Redmi's shipping the phone with Android 11 rather than Android 12 like most phones this year. If you don't use demanding games and apps and aren't fussed about having the latest and greatest Android features though, the Redmi is a great choice for its cost.
Read our full Redmi Note 11 Pro review.
Do you have £1,600 and want to spend all of it on a phone? Why not throw caution to the wind and buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the most advanced phone currently on sale in the U.K.
The flexible phone has been adjusted to have a more comfortable aspect ratio, making the outer display more usable. You'll still want to spend plenty of time with the phone open though, as the new taskbar makes swapping between apps and opening several at once super easy, and the brighter display makes all your content really pop. The upgraded rear cameras and brighter displays make a big difference to the Z Fold 4's general usability too.
The main limitation here is the Z Fold 4’s price, as it still costs far more than other, excellent phones. It remains a heavy, tricky to use device in its folded form too, while on the inside, the 4MP under-display camera still takes underwhelming selfies. These don't detract from the phone's main appeal though, which is its tablet-like productivity experience that fits in your pocket.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review.
How to choose the best Android phone for you
To start off on making your Android phone shortlist, have a budget in mind. The price of a mid-range phone is around £400, with cheaper phones costing less than that, and the most expensive phones clearing £1,000 or more. Figure out what you can afford and stick to it.
Next, decide which features you want to prioritise. Even on phones that in theory do it all, there are some big differences in how well they handle things like photography, charging speed or performance. Whichever phones do these better should be your first port of call when looking for more information or prices.
The final bit of advice we'll give is to keep in mind how large the phones are. If you don't mind using your phone with two hands, then this won’t matter so much. But if you like to be able to swipe around, type messages and browse through your apps with one hand, then you might be better off going for a more compact device, which we'd class as phones around 6 - 6.3 inches in size.
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 3DMark 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 web pages 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.
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