Which is the best Android phone for you? With such an extensive array of Android smartphones on the market, it can be difficult to determine which make and model is right for you. We’re spoiled for choice as this year’s flagships compete to offer the best cameras, the flashiest designs and that all-important value for
Which is the best Android phone for you?
With such an extensive array of Android smartphones on the market, it can be difficult to determine which make and model is right for you. We’re spoiled for choice as this year’s flagships compete to offer the best cameras, the flashiest designs and that all-important value for money. Luckily for you, we’ve identified the best of the best to help you decide on the best Android for you.
While some still view buying an Android as a cheaper alternative to an iPhone, there are plenty of brands ready to match Apple’s phones with flagship features (and flagship prices). The Android OS covers a wide spectrum of handsets from cutting edge smartphones to more basic handsets that offer great value for money. Then there are the mid-range devices, offering a good balance of modern specs and features at a more budget-friendly price.
We’ve tested all the best phones to identify the best Android models on the market across a number of categories, from best overall Android phone to best value camera to the best under £350. Take a look at the list below to see our picks at a glance or read on for more details, including pros, cons and links to in-depth reviews, which include camera samples, benchmarks and more.
- Best overall Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
- Best display: OnePlus 8 Pro
- Best zoom camera: Oppo Find X2 Pro
- Best big phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Best value 5G: Realme X50 5G
- Best for the latest specs: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Best value camera: Google Pixel 4a
- Best all-rounder: Samsung Galaxy S10/S10 Plus
- Best for great software on a budget: Motorola Moto G8
- Best budget gaming phone: OnePlus Nord
- Best for productivity: Motorola Moto G8 Pro
- Best for movies: Sony Xperia 1
- Best for gaming: Asus ROG Phone 2
- Best for battery life: Moto G8 Power
- Best for under £350: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
How we decided on the best Android phones
All of the above phones have been rigorously testing according to the criteria that follows. Before giving any Android handset a final rating, one of our expert reviewers will spend at least a week using the phone as their primary smartphone. This gives us an opportunity to see how the phone handles in terms of everyday use, including battery performance and camera quality. We also run the smartphones through a series of synthetic benchmarking and battery-burn tests.
These tests give us a good indication of how a phone performs during normal use, as well as allowing us to test manufacturers’ claims.
All of these tests are repeatable, so we can accurately compare like-for-like between devices. You’ll see links to each full phone review below, so check them out for a comprehensive picture. Read more about how we test phones.
What’s the situation with Huawei?
Due to the retraction of Huawei’s Android license, future Huawei and Honor phones won’t be able to access Google Play Services and, consequently, many Android apps including YouTube and Gmail. Both Huawei and Google have confirmed Huawei and Honor phones, like the one in this round-up, will continue to have access for the time being, so we’re leaving its score unchanged.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
The best overall Android phone you can buy right now
- Nice design
- Great screen
- Strong performance
- Good battery
- Ugly UI
- 8K video recording is pointless
Look no further for the best non-Apple phone on the market; in our estimation, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
To start with, it’s got a great 6.7-inch screen that’s immersive and offers a blistering high 120Hz refresh rate – the colour and detail offered by this display is practically unrivalled.
The rear camera set-up has a total of four rear sensors, which provides a great level of versatility for your choice of shots, and this time round we welcome Samsung opts for more realistic-looking images rather than pouring on the post-processing to its pictures.
Battery life is good, easily lasting the day unless you keep that 120Hz refresh rate stuck on all the time, under which circumstances it will take a nose-dive.
One of the few reservations we had about this phone, and this could be particularly pertinent for Android fans, is that its interface isn’t exactly the best around, giving a heavy top layer to the standard Android software that isn’t usually as pleasant as a clean Android install would have been.
You might be surprised that we don’t rate the top-spec Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra on the top of three. The reason is that it’s a lot more expensive, so big to the point it’s difficult to handle and offers few qualitative advantages over the middle sibling of the S20 family.
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
Best Android display
- Super smooth Fluid AMOLED screen
- Speedy charging
- Powerful performance
Thanks to its gorgeous display, interesting colour options and all the usual high-end internals you’d expect from a OnePlus device, the OnePlus 8 Pro is easy to recommend if you’re after a big-screened Android device.
The highlight is, of course, the glorious – and very large – 6.78-inch display. It has got a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother-than-butter scrolling and a resolution of QHD+ – both of which can be used at the same time. There are a few other HDR and screen smoothing modes too, but these are better left off.
This is a 5G phone, and inside there’s the X55 5G modem and the Snapdragon 865 chipset. RAM comes in either 8 or 12GB options and storage ranges from 128GB to 256GB. There’s a big 4510mAh battery too, although this can easily be depleted quickly if you’re really pushing the display. Thankfully it can be charged quickly, either wired or wirelessly.
Along with wireless charging, OnePlus has finally added in an IP68 rating for water resistance.
You’ll find four cameras on the back, three of which are rather strong. There’s a main 48MP sensor, plus an ultra-wide 48MP sensor. Zoom is handled by an 8MP cam with a 3x ‘hybrid zoom’. Pictures are solid, even if low-light performance isn’t as strong as the Galaxy S20 or Pixel 4. That fourth sensor is a 5MP colour filter camera that is largely pointless.
3. Oppo Find X2 Pro
Oppo’s best phone yet
- Super smooth AMOLED screen
- Masses of storage
- Class-leading fast charging
- No wireless charging
The surprise Android champion of 2020 so far has been the Oppo Find X2 Pro. This is Oppo’s best phone to date and it can comfortably compete with the best Android phones of the year.
The 120Hz display keeps that fast refresh rate even when the resolution has been maxed out, the Snapdragon 865 leads to some seriously nippy performance and you won’t find a phone that charges faster.
The Find X2 Pro beats both the S20 Plus and the iPhone 11 Pro when it comes to zoom. It also outguns them with its resolution, with the phone’s primary camera featuring Sony’s new 12-bit IMX689 sensor with a large 1/1.4” size and 1.12-micron pixels. We found the X2 Pro performed better in battery tests too when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – even though it has a smaller battery.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
A fantastic big phone that’s packed with great features
- Lovely big screen
- Very quick to charge
- S Pen is useful
- Versatile cameras
- The camera isn’t quite up there with the best
- Dodgy Live Video bokeh mode
- 65w charger not included
As the name suggests, the Plus is a larger, more feature-packed take on the standard Note 10, complete with optional 5G. This is a great phone and one of the finest all-round Android devices we have reviewed. It’s powerful, has just about every feature going and doesn’t skimp at all. In terms of negatives, it’s big and expensive. The display, while fantastic, doesn’t have any fancy fast refresh-rate tech like that of the OnePlus 7 Pro. But there isn’t much better out there if you want a big phone that’s the best of the best.
This brute of a phone has a lovely display, plenty of grunt, huge battery, Qi charging, water-resistance and comes with USB-C buds. There isn’t a whole lot new when compared to the S10, but this still stands as the true high-end Samsung phone for the start of 2020. Its position could be set to change, however, with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, so watch this space for full reviews and scores of these new products.
The S Pen is the headline feature of the Note series, which is pretty much the only flagship around that lets you draw and take notes with a pen on the display. It’s a pleasure to write and doodle with, thanks to fantastic responsiveness and excellent palm-rejection. With the Note 10 Plus, you can now also plug your device into a Windows computer or Mac for access to a PC-like DeX UI. This is a nice idea and very handy for replying to messages quickly and moving photos off the phone. The app did, however, prove unreliable.
There are also some new gaming features and the added ability to stream games to the phone from a compatible PC.
Audio from this phone is merely OK and this seems to be a side effect of having no room for speakers. The same goes for call quality, which can often come across as slightly distorted. Wi-Fi and cellular strength are excellent, though.
Samsung has finally ditched the headphone jack from the Note’s design, meaning you’ll have to rely on wireless headphones or a pair with a USB-C connection. There’s a perfectly decent-sounding pair of AKG branded USB-C headphones in the box, although there’s no 3.5mm dongle. Unlike the smaller Note 10, the Note 10 Plus retains a microSD slot for upping the base storage.
Boasting a whopping 6.8-inch display and huge 4500mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is Samsung’s most feature-packed phablet yet.
5. Realme X50 5G
Best value 5G
- Very good battery life
- Low price for a 5G phone
- Well-specced 120Hz screen
- Strong general and gaming performance
- Surprisingly capable main camera, even at night
- Glass back
- Two of the rear cameras are filler
- No headphone jack
Realme has played a blinder with this sub-£300 Android wonder. The Realme X50 5G manages to squeeze a ton of modern flagship features into a remarkable price, achieving this feat better than anyone else on the market.
Along with 5G at an affordable price, the Realme X50 5G has a glass design that you’d be forgiven for thinking belonged to a flagship as well as a cutting-edge 120Hz display, the cost-effective and capable Snapdragon 765G processor and a decent camera to boot.
Realme has strong competitors in this space, including the OnePlus Nord, but the X50 5G manages to beat out key cheap phone rivals on cost and camera quality.
6. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
A phone with all the specs and features you could want
- 120Hz screen
- So many features
- 8K video recording
- Battery drains fast with the 120Hz display
- 100x zoom is mostly a gimmick
If you’re on the hunt for the Android phone with the most going on, you should seriously consider the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This high-end flagship from Samsung packs the latest Exynos 990 chipset, up to 16GB RAM and a camera array that includes a main 108-megapixel sensor on the back and a 40-megapixel one on the front – plus some really impressive zooming skills.
The camera here is Samsung’s big focus and it is a big improvement on its previous efforts. You’ve got three cameras on the back. Plus an extra 3D sensing sensor for aiding with depth. The phone can shoot video at resolutions up to 8K – a first for any phone – and comes with a whole host of camera modes that you can endlessly tweak.
Our highlight is the 6.9-inch OLED display, which is the best we’ve seen on any Android phone. It’s 120Hz, rather than the standard 60Hz, giving it a much smoother look. Enabling this 120Hz mode does come with a few downsides though – it can only be used when the resolution is set to FHD+ and it eats through the 5000mAh battery.
When the battery does hit 0% you’ll be able to get it back to 100% in about an hour thanks to the included 25w charger. There’s wireless charging too, and Wireless Powershare for charging other devices like Qi-enabled Bluetooth headphones and smartwatches.
Internally this is the most impressive Android phone currently available. It’s fast, supports 5G and packs storage options up to 512GB. There’s even a microSD slot if you want to increase that even further or shoot lots and lots of 8K video.
7. Motorola Edge
5G without blowing the bank
- Good design
- Nice, bright OLED screen
- 5G for a good price
- Curved screen can be annoying
The latest phone from Motorola isn’t a budget champion like the Moto G8 series, however it is still compelling. The Motorola Edge (not to be confused with the pricier Snapdragon 865 chipset-toting Edge Plus) has a lovely design, a large 6.7-inch OLED display and an eye-catching curve.
Inside you’ll find a very capable Snapdragon 765G chipset, 6GB RAM and a healthy 129GB storage. This might not be the top-end chipset going but it still very fast and you’ll likely not notice the difference when compared to an 865. Games all play fine and apps open quickly.
You’ll find three decent cameras on the back and inside there’s a 4500mAh battery that’ll keep the phone running for two days.
8. Google Pixel 4a
Stunning value for a great camera
- Great camera
- Refreshingly small size for an Android phone
- The promise of fast updates
- Nice, sharp OLED screen
- You’ll find competition with far larger spec sheets and feature lists
- Some mild performance and touch latency hiccups
- As well as being a Pro, the small screen might put some off
Unsurprisingly, Pixel 4a continues to offer one of the best (and most stripped back) Android experiences on the market. The follow-up to the Pixel 3a may not have the sheer horsepower of some rivals but it does come with the easy-to-use Pixel Launcher and a three-year guarantee of swift software updates.
Elsewhere, the phone sports a stunning camera that is great in low-light and does a ton of image-processing heavy lifting to create an image with one sensor that many quad-cameras setups struggle to achieve.
These remarkable features are only made all the more remarkable by its super cheap price tag of just £349. £349 gives you a phone with a decent build quality that sits in your hand far more neatly than the edging-on-phablet phones of modern times.
9. Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus
Ticks a lot of boxes
- Lovely display
- Plenty of power
- Versatile camera
- The main camera can’t match the Pixel 3/P30 Pro
With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series (comprising the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus) the S10 is no longer the jewel in Samsung’s S series crown. We’ve only spent a short amount of time with the new phones and aren’t yet ready to give a full verdict, so the S10 remains in our list of the best phones for the time being. You can read our in-depth, hands-on first impressions of the new S20 models below and the new trio updates just about every aspect of the series, with new cameras, 120Hz screens, bigger batteries and 5G support across the range.
There’s an IP68 water-resistant body, Qi charging, expandable storage and the ability to charge other phones wirelessly too. Plus, the latest Snapdragon or Exynos chipset (depending on region), plenty of RAM (8GB to 12GB) and at least 128GB storage mean the S10 is undoubtedly well-stocked.
The display is utterly gorgeous and remains the standout offering here. It features a Quad HD+ AMOLED panel with impressive brightness and punchy colours. It also stretches pretty much edge to edge, with a small circular/pill-shaped cut-out hiding away the single/dual front camera/s.
Unlike the optical in-display fingerprint sensors found on the likes of the OnePlus 6T, the S10 series uses more advanced and secure ultrasonic technology. In practice, this works very well and, while it isn’t as accurate as a traditional capacitive sensor, it unlocks the phone quickly and reliably.
Flip the phone over and you’ll find three cameras on the back. A dual pixel 12-megapixel primary sensor with OIS (optical image stabilisation) and a variable f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture heads things up, with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (also with OIS) onboard.
One takes ultra-wide snaps, another zooms in, and the main sensor captures everything else. The pictures are great with loads of detail and nice colour reproduction. However, low-light shots can’t match results from the Pixel 3 or P30 Pro.
The only real differences between the two phones are size, battery and the fact that the Plus version has an extra camera on the front. The S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch rather than a 6.1-inch display, plus a larger 4000mAh battery, as opposed to a 3400mAh cell inside the vanilla S10. Battery life isn’t outstanding on either, however, so it comes down to which fits best with your lifestyle.
10. Moto G8
A no-nonsense budget mobile at a great price
- Excellent value
- Good quality, sharp-enough screen
- Strong performance and battery life
Once again Motorola has one of the best budget phones around. The Moto G8 is a good all-rounder that stands as a great pick if you want an Android phone that packs a lot of features but doesn’t break the bank.
Features here include a healthy 4000mAh battery, 3.5mm headphone jack and a Snapdragon 665 chipset running the show. The screen, probably the phone’s weakest element, measures 6.4-inches and the 4GB RAM keeps everything moving.
• Read our Motorola Moto G8 review
11. OnePlus Nord
Gaming and 5G at a wallet-friendly price
- Great quality OLED panel
- Very quick charging
- Lovely version of Android
- Nice, ergonomic design
- 5G and great performance
- Screen seems to mark very easily
- Secondary cameras are pretty much useless
OnePlus Nord has usurped its flagship brethren, the OnePlus 8, undercutting it be a few hundred pounds at £399. The Nord truly sees OnePlus return to its roots, even if isn’t quite as remarkably cheap as the OG sub-£200 OnePlus One. With the OnePlus Nord, the enthusiast phone manufacturer is looking to take on the like of the iPhone SE 2 and Pixel 4 and, on paper, it’s hard to argue it hasn’t succeeded.
OnePlus Nord packs in a superior processor to Google’s budget offering and a ton of more modern features that Apple’s reinvigorated take on the iPhone 8. In particular, OnePlus has managed to include an impressive OLED display into this sub-£400 as well as 5G compatibility. The Nord also comes with OnePlus’s signature quick charging and sleek yet cleverly enhanced version of Android – Oxygen OS.
While it may not exactly match the premium design heights of many flagships, it isn’t far off – coming very close to looking and feeling like a flagship for a much lower price.
• Read our OnePlus Nord review
12. Moto G Pro
A great value phone that’s built for productivity
- Great value
- Decent design
- Futureproof software
- Main camera is good for the money
- Poor palm detection
- Back up cameras are pretty pointless
Despite having Pro in its name, the latest entry into Motorola’s iconic G-Series remains a low-to-mid range handset. But, like past G-phones, it earns a place in our round-up by offering users a wealth of features and specifications traditionally seen on much more expensive handsets.
The key differentiator separating it from the other Moto Gs on the market is the addition of a Galaxy Note style stylus. The pen sits in a dock on the phone’s bottom right and is a great addition that makes it quick and easy to jot handwritten notes and memos on the Moto G Pro.
If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the handset’s also one of a select few guaranteed to get continued software support from Google thanks to its Android One certification. This is a cool programme that has two benefits. First, that the phone will be blissfully bloatware free. Second, that the phone will be upgraded to the next version of Android.
If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, it also has some pretty decent core specs and a solid main camera that’s one of the best you’ll find on a phone this price.
13. Sony Xperia 1
A phone with a 4K HDR OLED display
- Unique design
- The best camera on a Sony phone
- The display is very nice
- Camera not as good as the Pixel 3 or Galaxy S10
- Some of Sony’s software features are disappointing
The Sony Xperia 1 is the Japanese brand’s best Android phone yet. It has approached this phone a bit differently, focusing on targeting those who mainly use their phone as a media device. The Xperia 1 has a tall 21:9 4K OLED HDR display and even though it measures 6.5 inches, it’s a lot more manageable than other big-screen phones.
There’s a big focus on cameras too, and the Xperia 1 comes with some excellent software for video recording. The triple 12-megapixel rear camera array boasts a wide-angle, super-wide and telephoto lenses. The snaps are good and comfortably the best from a Sony phone, but they can’t quite compete with the Pixel 3, Galaxy S10 and P30 Pro. Inside the phone, you’ll find a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
14. Asus ROG Phone 2
The ultimate Android choice for gaming
- Sensational screen
- Excellent battery life
- Plenty of power and storage
- It’s a big phone
- No telephoto camera
- No waterproofing
Asus has knocked it out of the park with the ROG Phone 2. Not only is this the best gaming phone money can buy, but it’s also a great phone across the board. If its aggressive looks are to your taste and you don’t mind the lack of wireless charging or water resistance, then nothing else comes close when it comes to gaming and battery life.
The ROG Phone 2 is loaded up with a giant 6.59-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s also packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, overclocked to 2.96GHz, paired with 12GB RAM. Need storage? The ROG Phone 2 has 512GB by default, and a 1TB version coming down the line, complete with a matte-black finish. It also has the biggest battery on the block – 6000mAh – and supports fast charging, up to Quick Charge 4.0 (30W).
Asus has loaded its latest phone with game-specific highlights too, from L and R AirTriggers to squeezy sides which activate an overclocked X Mode, and there’s even a clip-on fan in the box. This isn’t just a phone – it’s an over-the-top joyride.
This phone has the smoothest screen around, the biggest battery and so much RAM it keeps games and apps open in the background for hours. With all its gamer-centric enhancements and accessories, it’s a joy to use for giant geeks who want a phone that looks as though it fell off a Klingon warship.
You might miss having a telephoto camera, especially if your previous phone was the Mate 20 or P30 Pro, but its wide and ultra-wide cameras are both solid performers, making it a decent phone whichever way you look at it.
15. Moto G8 Power
Best for battery life
- Excellent battery life
- Robust performance
- Superb value for money
- Good camera (for the price)
The Moto G8 Power is a budget Android phone with a big battery. And we mean big. The huge 5000mAh cell leads to some of the best battery life we’ve seen.
Furthermore, the Moto G8 Power features a good Full HD+ display, a capable mid-range Snapdragon 665 chipset and four rear cameras.
Unfussed about the latest and greatest, and just want a decent phone with a battery that lasts all day? Priced at around £220 unlocked and SIM-free, the Moto G8 Power just might be the phone you’re looking for.
16. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Best for under £350
- Excellent design
- Great camera
- Snappy performance
- The interface has some quirks
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Mono speaker
The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is a pocketable glass and metal phone that feels and looks like a flagship, and, despite an RRP of £349, it can be picked up for under £300 if you shop around. The phone has a 19.5:9, 5.97-inch screen that sports a Full HD resolution, so it’s sharper than the much pricier iPhone XR.
On paper, the Mi 9 SE’s 3070mAh battery is on the small side but, given the phone’s mid-range power demands, it could go either way. There’s also a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor which, when paired with 6GB RAM onboard, is an impressive spec from a power point of view.
While the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE doesn’t have the wireless charging or stereo speakers of flagships such as Google’s Pixel 3, it still delivers an under-display fingerprint scanner and a Super AMOLED screen. The phone’s 48MP camera also features the same sensor used in many of today’s flagships, including the OnePlus 7 Pro.
With a little bit of tweaking, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE can deliver a premium flagship feel, a fantastically versatile camera and great performance, not to mention a killer Super AMOLED screen.
Still not sure what to buy? Check out our comprehensive rankings for the following: