Skip to main content

The best Android phones in 2020

Best Android phones
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

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 you want.

Those on a tight budget can get a pretty good Android phone for under $200, but if you step up to the sub-$400 range, the choices get considerably better, especially when it comes to camera quality. And you can get flagship-level performance starting at under $700, if you're willing to live without some bells and whistles.

The most premium Android flagship phones start at $999, which offer the biggest, sharpest and brightest displays, the most advanced cameras and cutting edge features like reverse wireless charging and 120Hz screens. For now, 5G is a premium feature, but more affordable 5G Android phones that offer blazing fast downloads are on the way from multiple brands.

Read on to see 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 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is our new pick as the best Android phone. It offers a bigger and smoother 120Hz 6.7-inch display, improved cameras and 5G connectivity, and it isn't as expensive as the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Still, the S20 Ultra commands your attention, thanks to its huge 6.9-inch screen and 100x Space Zoom. You'll also want to check out the cheaper 6.2-inch Galaxy S20 if you prefer to use a phone 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 motion gesture controls, though the outstanding cameras remain the Pixels' big selling point. 

Those on a budget looking for one of the best Android phones should look at the OnePlus 7T, which provides swift performance, a smooth 90Hz display, good cameras and a slick design for a reasonable $599. The $399 Pixel 3a is another great choice, as it offers fantastic cameras for hundreds less than your typical flagship. 

The best Android phones you can buy today

best android phones galaxy s20 plus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The best Android phone overall

Screen Size: 6.7 inches | Android Version: 10 with One UI 2 | Processor: Snapdragon 865 (US)/Exynos 990 (WW) | Cameras: 12MP, 64MP, 12MP and time-of-flight sensor (Rear); 10MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 12 GB/128, 512 GB

Expansive 6.7-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate
Long-lasting battery
Impressive cameras
Faster refresh rate can impact battery life
Expensive

The Galaxy S20 Plus emerges as the best Android phone you can buy right now by pulling off a tricky balancing act. It delivers a lot of premium features — almost as many as the Galaxy S20 Ultra — but in a phone that costs $200 less than Samsung's most expensive flagship. The Galaxy S20 Plus is still pricey, at $1,199, but you get a lot in return.

For starters, the camera setup on the back of the Galaxy 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 capture a lot of detail and compare well to what you get from other camera phones.

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, as the Galaxy S20 Plus offers better-than-average battery life in our testing. This is a premium phone that's still accessible to many smartphone shoppers.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review.

Best Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

2. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

A better value than before

Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Snapdragon 855 (US)/Exynos 9820 (WW) | Cameras: 12 MP, 16 MP and 12MP (Rear); 10 MP and 8 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 8, 12 GB/128 GB, 512 GB, 1TB

Immersive Infinity-O display
Excellent cameras
Superb battery life
Pricey
Confusing gesture controls

The Galaxy S10 Plus remains near the head of the Android class with innovations that still impress more than a year after its debut. A triple camera setup on the back of the S10 Plus coupled with AI improvements bolsters the phone's image capture abilities. And a 4,100 mAh battery means you can expect all-day battery life from one of the longest-lasting handsets we've tested in recent years.

The S10 Plus offers other features that make it one of the best Android phones. The new Infinity-O display uses circular cutouts to house the phone's two-front cameras rather than a notch. There's an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor underneath the display that quickly unlocks your phone. And Wireless PowerShare means you can place other devices that support wireless charging on top of the S10 Plus' back and top off their batteries. 

Just keep in mind that the Galaxy S20 Plus is now on sale, which offers a bigger display with a smoother refresh rate, 5G networking, and more. On the plus side, Samsung cut the price on the Galaxy S10 Plus by $150, so you can now get a top Android handset for $849.

Read our full Galaxy S10 Plus review.
 

best android phones Google Pixel 3a

(Image credit: Future)

3. Google Pixel 3a

The Pixel 3's best features for less

Screen Size: 5.6 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie | Processor: Snapdragon 670 | Cameras: 12 MP (Rear); 8 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 4 GB/64 GB

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.

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 as one of the best Android phones, but some way want to wait for the upcoming Google Pixel 4a.

Read our full Pixel 3a review.

Best Android phones: OnePlus 7T

(Image credit: Future)

4. OnePlus 7T

The bargain among premium phones

Screen Size: 6.55 inches | Android Version: 10 with Oxygen OS | Processor: Snapdragon 855+ | Cameras: 48 MP, 16 MP and 12 MP (Rear); 16 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 8 GB/128 GB

Phenomenal value
Blistering performance
Speedy charging
No wireless charging
Battery life is just average

For $599, the OnePlus 7T delivers a premium handset powered by Qualcomm's powerful Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, a Fluid AMOLED screen with an ultra-smooth 90Hz refresh rate, plus a triple-camera module on the back that retains the 7 Pro's primary 48-MP sensor and can hold its own against the year's finest camera phones, even if it isn't the outright best. 

We do wish the 7T's battery life was a bit better (although it charges pretty quickly), but overall, the cheaper of OnePlus' late 2019 devices is likely to be the most compelling value proposition among Android phones for most people.

Read our full OnePlus 7T review.

  

best android phones galaxy s20 ultra

(Image credit: Future)

5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

An extravagant Android phone

Screen Size: 6.9 inches | Android Version: 10 with One UI 2 | Processor: Snapdragon 865 (US)/Exynos 990 (WW) | Cameras: 108MP, 48MP, 12MP and time-of-flight sensor (Rear); 40MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 12 GB, 16 GB/128, 512 GB

Impressive photos
Gorgeous 120Hz display
Huge 5,000 mAh battery
Very expensive
Cameras have autofocus issues

If money is no object, then the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the phone for you. It's got a massive 108MP main sensor, augmented by three other cameras including a 48MP telephoto capable of a 10x lossless zoom. You can use the S20 Ultra's Space Zoom to zoom in 100x, though, really, without a tripod, your photo will be a shaky mess. Still, these are great cameras on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and they'll be even better once Samsung rolls out a promised software update to fix a lingering issue with focus.

The cameras highlight the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but they're not the end of the story. The entire Galaxy S20 lineup features displays with 120Hz refresh rates, and that smoother scrolling really shines on the Ultra's 6.9-inch panel. (The feature only works at reduced resolutions, which is a bummer.) You'll get top performance on an Android phone from the Snapdragon 865 chipset inside the S20 Ultra, which also boasts 5G connectivity. And the 5,000 mAh battery makes this phone the longest-lasting Galaxy 20 model.

These features come at a price — a lofty $1,399. For some users, that will prove too much, with the less expensive Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus standing in as more than capable alternatives. But if you don't mind paying top dollar, the Galaxy S20 Ultra provides plenty of bang for all those bucks.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review.

Best Android phones: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

The king of big phones

Screen Size: 6.8 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Snapdragon 855 (US)/Exynos 9825 (WW) | Cameras: 12 MP, 12 MP, 16 MP and time-of-flight (Rear); 10 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 12 GB/256, 512 GB

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.

Read our full
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review.
  

Best Android phones: Google Pixel 4 XL

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. Google Pixel 4 XL

The smartest camera around

Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Android Version: Android 10 | Processor: Snapdragon 855 | Cameras: 12 MP/16 MP (Rear); 8-MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 6 GB/64, 128 GB

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 longer battery life.

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

Best Android phones: Moto G7 Power

8. Moto G7 Power

The longest-lasting budget phone

Screen Size: 6.2 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie | Processor: Snapdragon 632 | Cameras: 12 MP (Rear); 8 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 3 GB/32 GB

Incredible battery life
Solid performance
Quality software
Low price
Works on all networks
Bland design
Not great for gaming
Low-res display

The Moto G7 Power isn't the flashiest smartphone in the world, but when you last 15-and-a-half hours on a single charge in our battery test, well — some users would rightfully argue that's important than a killer design. Indeed, the G7 Power is an excellent budget handset with good enough performance from a serviceable Snapdragon 632 chipset, along with easy-to-use, pure-Android software with a few Motorola enhancements thrown in for good measure, like a really intuitive gesture navigation system.

A more consistent camera and higher-resolution display would have been nice, but where it counts, the G7 Power is an endurance workhorse on a shoestring budget — and that's reason enough to earn it a mention among our best Android phones. A successor to this phone, the Moto G Power, is coming later in the spring. It retains the 5,000 mAh battery and $249 price, while getting a bigger display, a third rear camera and a slight processor bump.

Read our full Moto G7 Power review.

Best Android phones: Samsung Galaxy S10e

9. Samsung Galaxy S10e

The best small Android phone

Screen Size: 5.8 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Snapdragon 855 (US)/Exynos 9820 (WW) | Cameras: 12 MP and 16 MP (Rear); 10 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 6, 8 GB/128, 256 GB

Incredible display
Delightful, compact design
Super powerful
Wireless PowerShare
Headphone jack
Great price
OneUI is polarizing
Average battery life

So you like the Galaxy S10's Infinity-O full-screen design, powerful Snapdragon 855 performance and capable cameras, but you'd like it even more if it were cheaper. Enter the Galaxy S10e. This is a smaller version of Samsung's flagship handset that incorporates the same processor, Dynamic AMOLED display technology and many of the same features you'd find in the larger variants, like Wireless PowerShare to charge other devices over Qi induction.

The difference is you're paying at least $150 less for the S10e than the pricier S10 and S10 Plus, and you're missing out on their triple-lens rear cameras and ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. However, given the money you're saving, those may be omissions you're willing to live with. If you prefer smaller handsets but don't want to skimp on flagship-caliber specs, the S10e is the best Android phone for those looking for the most compact device possible.

Read our full Galaxy S10e review.

Best Android phones: Samsung Galaxy A50 from front in hand

10. Samsung Galaxy A50

An excellent Pixel 3a alternative for less

Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Android Version: 9 Pie with OneUI | Processor: Exynos 9610 | Cameras: 25 MP, 8 MP and 5 MP (Rear); 25 MP (Front) | RAM/Storage: 4 GB/64 GB

Best display for the price
Design reminiscent of flagships
Low price
Camera falls short 
Battery life is underwhelming

The Galaxy A50 marks a big step forward for Samsung's non-flagship phones. Despite being less than half the price of the Galaxy S10e, the A50 still has a triple-lens camera system, massive 6.4-inch AMOLED display, a near bezel-free design with tiny notch for the selfie cam and good enough performance from Samsung's Exynos 9610 silicon.

The A50 is a great alternative to the Pixel 3a for $50 less than Google's phone, especially now that Samsung has began selling the handset unlocked. So long as you can stand losing the Pixel's remarkable flagship-caliber camera, longer battery life and better software support, the latest cheap Galaxy is a steal among this list of the best Android phones, and has us very excited for the future of Samsung's budget offerings.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A50 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 some quality handsets, especially when it comes to camera quality. As you go into the $700 and up range, the best phones offer flagship-caliber performance along with cutting edge cameras 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. 

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.