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.
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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 our current top pick is none other than Google's new Pixel 4a. The Pixel 4a is a modest device on paper, but the value it offers — from its camera ripped straight out of Google's premium Pixels, to its impressive display and quality design — makes it an absolute steal for just $350.
If you're on the hunt for a more premium Android experience, though, it's hard to overlook the OnePlus 8 Pro, which delivers blistering performance, long-lasting battery life, and wicked-fast charging for a reasonable price, because it starts at just $899.
All that said, 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. We look forward to the just-revealed Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20, the most advanced phablets Samsung has ever released, which will reach buyers in August.
Android purists who like the Pixel 4a but desire top-end performance should consider the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. These phones offer a faster Google Assistant, quick and secure face unlock and air gesture controls — though the outstanding cameras remain the Pixels' big selling point.
Bargain hunters striving to spend the absolute least can find a very good option in the Moto G Power, which lasts the whole day on a charge, but costs just $249. The Moto G Fast offers most of what the Power variant does, save for the battery life, for $50 less.
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 4a 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.
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The best Android phones you can buy today
You might be surprised to find Google's latest midrange Pixel, the Pixel 4a, at the top of our list of the best Android phones. But at just $349, the Pixel 4a is a remarkably complete smartphone, the likes of which we've never before seen at this price.
For less than half the price of the flagship Pixel 4, or a third of what Samsung and Apple charge for their top models, the Pixel 4a offers a flagship-caliber camera, good-enough performance, impeccable software, a pocketable, well-built design, 128GB of built-in storage and a dazzling and bright 5.8-inch OLED display.
If the 4a suffered from one shortcoming, it'd be battery life. But in all other respects, it's nearly perfect — and it even has a headphone jack. In previous years, you would have had to spend at least $500 on a device like, this but the Pixel 4a is an unmatched bargain among Android devices right now, and an even better deal than last year's already-excellent Pixel 3a. It's also worth pointing out that Google has confirmed there's a 5G-supported version of the Pixel 4a coming this fall for $499, likely with a larger display and slightly-faster processor.
Read our full Google Pixel 4a review
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 flagship 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.
The OnePlus Nord represents a return to form for OnePlus. While the company continues to make some of the best Android phones, it's strayed from offering truly affordable models in recent years, like it did when it began. However, the OnePlus Nord costs just £379 — which equates to less than $490 — making it far cheaper than the company's last several handsets.
For that money, you get quite a lot. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G chipset may not quite be at the level of the more premium 865 chipset, but its still plenty fast, and supports sub-6GHz 5G connectivity to boot. 12GB of RAM ensures unencumbered multitasking, while a quad-camera system at the back offers a ton of shooting versatility, from stunning landscapes to detailed macro images. And the Nord's battery life is impressive as well, lasting 11 hours and 18 minutes in our custom battery test.
There's just one problem: the OnePlus Nord is only available in Europe and Asia for the time being. It may eventually reach North America, but that likely won't happen very soon. Therefore, if you want one and happen to live in the U.S. or Canada, you'll have to import it, which is a bit of a risk.
Read our full OnePlus Nord review.
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.
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.
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 90Hz 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 latest flagships because of its larger screen and far better battery life. That said, the Pixel 4a offers so much of what makes the Pixel 4 series great for far cheaper, that the 4 XL is recommended only for those who need the absolute best performance and highest-quality display.
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. The OnePlus 8 is also a good option if you like the OnePlus Nord, but that device is unavailable in your region.
Read our full OnePlus 8 review.
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 4a and second-generation iPhone SE are definitely 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.
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.
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.