What is the best Android phone right now? That’s what we’ll try and answer in this guide. Whether you’ve been waiting a while to upgrade your existing Android phone, or you’re an iPhone user and you’ve been tempted by some of the latest Android phone releases like the Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (opens in new tab).
Including current flagships, whether released this year or last year, there are at least 20 devices worth considering for your next Android phone upgrade. However, in this article, we’re only concerned with the best of the best Android phones. The devices included here are considered based on their design, the quality of their displays, processing power, battery life, unique features, camera quality and usability.
Why do so many people love Android phones? The main reason is variety, Android phones come in a wide range of sizes and form factors and each offers slightly different takes on what the best camera phone (opens in new tab) should provide. While some may focus on high camera resolution, others focus on photography features.
Another benefit of the Android platform is that some of them come in at astonishingly competitive prices, which is a direct result of just how many great Android phones are currently available. If you’re looking for a great deal, you should check out our best budget camera phone (opens in new tab) guide.
Best Android phone in 2023
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The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung’s ultimate flagship for 2023. The device boasts a stunning 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 3088, which provides vibrant and accurate colors and deep blacks. It also ships with Android 13, Samsung’s OneUI 5.1, and is 5G compatible, allowing for fast download and streaming speeds.
Aside from its beautiful, large display, one of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its camera system. The device comes equipped with a quad camera setup, which includes a 200MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, a 10MP periscope telephoto sensor, and another 10MP sensor with 3x optical zoom. This camera setup is capable of capturing sharp and detailed photos in a variety of lighting conditions and can shoot in 8K video. The front-facing camera is high resolution at 40MP and is great for selfies and vlogging-style content.
Another notable feature of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its long-lasting battery. The device comes equipped with a 5000mAh battery, which provides more than enough power to last through a full day of heavy use. It’s an ideal device for people who want to enjoy entertainment on a superb display, as well as capture a lot of pictures and videos.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on review.
The Google Pixel 7 is one of the best value-for-money phones you can buy right now. Thanks to its pure Android experience, the Pixel series devices have special appeal among tech enthusiasts. The phone’s camera is one of its clear standout features, with its dual main camera system utilizing Google’s superior imaging AI technology for tools like Magic Eraser or its Real Tone color reproduction algorithm. The front-facing camera is also excellent, despite being “only” 10.8MP resolution, it’s great for taking selfies or making video calls. The phone also has a large 6.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, which makes for an enjoyable viewing experience.
The battery life on the Pixel 7 is also noteworthy, with a 4355mAh battery that lasts all day, even with heavy use. And with the latest Android OS and Google’s optimized Tensor G2 5nm chipset, the Pixel devices are typically the smoothest, cleanest Android experience available. Given the quality of its main camera and its flagship-level performance, the Google Pixel 7 is one of the best value-for-money phones that you can buy right now.
Read our full Google Pixel 7 (opens in new tab) review.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one of the leading foldable devices on the market, proving most popular with gadget geeks and early adopters. The foldable design allows for a large 7.6-inch main screen and a 6.2-inch secondary screen, providing a versatile and immersive viewing experience. The displays are vibrant and sharp, with a resolution of 904 x 2316 and 1812 x 2176 pixels respectively. The foldable design also enables you to use the device in different ways; like a book, or a tablet.
Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 packs powerful specs, including 12GB of RAM as standard with 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage variants. This makes it a powerful device for multitasking, gaming, and content consumption. The 4400mAh battery ensures that the device will last you through the day, no matter what you throw at it.
The triple main camera and dual 10MP front camera offer a lot of versatility, allowing you to capture decent photos and videos in unique ways due to its foldable design.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (opens in new tab) review.
If we could use one word to describe the OnePlus 11 5G, it would be “balanced”. The phone balances a very fair price with a rich feature set and a powerful camera system, and importantly – doesn’t pull up any real red flags.
By going back to its roots, OnePlus has created a phone that doesn’t need to compete on every single feature. It costs less than the incredibly expensive iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, so its zoom range can afford to be pared back, and the lack of wireless charging isn’t a deal-breaker.
In the core areas, you need your smartphone to be great – design, screen, primary camera, performance, and battery life – OnePlus absolutely nails it. While in the past, therefore, we weren’t sold on OnePlus being absorbed into Oppo, if this phone’s anything to go by, the future is once again bright for this once plucky upstart.
Read our full OnePlus 11 5G (opens in new tab) review.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is an alternative flagship smartphone option that offers features and design that many would expect to find on more expensive devices from household name brands. The 13 Pro from Xiaomi was one of the first devices to show off the performance improvements that come with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Including exciting computational photography, boosted processing efficiency, and battery optimization. Undoubtedly, the phone’s AMOLED display is eye-catching at 6.73-inch, with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels. The display is vibrant, fast, and sharp, making it great for watching videos, browsing the web, and especially playing games.
Under the hood, the Xiaomi 13 Pro packs powerful specs, with a 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor ensuring the device handles smoothly and multitasks with ease. In terms of memory; 8GB or 12GB of RAM and a choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage are your options. As a device that you won’t want to put down, it’s great that the Xiaomi 13 Pro has super fast 120W charging and an optimized 4820mAh battery, which ensures that the device will last a day or more, depending on usage.
The Oppo Reno 8 is a highly affordable, stylish, and powerful smartphone that offers a lot of features and a slick design that is sure to appeal to tech lovers who appreciate beautiful aesthetics. The phone’s smooth and fast performance makes navigating its menus a pleasure, especially if you opt for 12GB of RAM, 8GB is also available, as well as 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. This makes it easy to multitask and run demanding apps, but if you want to capture and store a lot of photos and videos, you may find yourself relying on cloud storage.
The camera system on the Oppo Reno 8 is also noteworthy, with a triple-camera setup that includes a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2 MP macro camera. The front camera is also excellent, with a 32 MP resolution that makes it great for taking selfies or making video content and calls. The phone also has a large 6.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2412 pixels, which makes for an enjoyable viewing experience.
The Motorola Razr (2022) is a modern-day version of the classic Razr foldable smartphone, offering a compact design, fast performance, and a great camera. The throwback clamshell design allows you to use the device as a traditional smartphone when folded using its small 2.7-inch external display, and as a regular smartphone when unfolded. The folding mechanism feels smooth and solid, you can tell the hinge is well-engineered by the way it holds its position when opened and the satisfying clasp as it closes.
The 2.7-inch external screen and 6.7-inch unfolded screen are both AMOLED and have a resolution of 573 x 800 and 1080 x 2400 pixels respectively. The performance of the device is also very fast, running Android 12 OS as stock and starting with 8GB of RAM. The 256GB of storage is more than enough for most people, but a 512GB variant can be found online and in certain regions. Due to its retro appeal, this is a phone that turns heads and starts conversations and for me, is the stand-out foldable phone you can buy right now.
Read our full Motorola Razr (2022) (opens in new tab) review.
Want the best from Android? Surely the Google Pixel 7 Pro is the device that should be on top of your list? Google’s flagship sports a unique design with its visor-like camera array and has a beautiful 120Hz 6.7-inch OLED display, with a resolution of 1440 x 3120. The device is also powered by the latest version of Android, which offers advanced features like Magic Eraser and Cinematic Blur for videos.
One of the main reasons to pick up a Google Pixel 7 Pro is its camera system. The device comes equipped with a triple camera setup, which includes a 50MP main sensor, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide camera. Thanks to its superior imaging algorithms, Google Pixel devices are famed for the quality of the images that they can produce, in terms of detail and faithful color reproduction. The front-facing camera is only 10.8MP, but still captures decent selfies and is also used for face unlock.
Other notable features of the Google Pixel 7 Pro are its power and efficiency, thanks to its Google Tensor G2 chipset. The Pixel 7 Pro handles multitasking and games smoothly, without getting excessively hot or consuming too much battery power. The device comes equipped with a 5000mAh battery, which combined with the Tensor G2’s efficiency, ensures you’ll have more than enough power to last through a full day of consistent use.
Read our full Google Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) review.
The ASUS ROG PHONE 6D is literally the ultimate gaming phone that offers a tonne of power and cool features. The device boasts a large 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2448 and a fast refresh rate of 165Hz, which provides smooth and fluid visuals and an elite gaming experience. The device ships with Android 12 and is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 9000+ 4nm chipset with 16GB of RAM. Its impressive specs provide lightning-fast performance and smooth gameplay.
Evidently, the standout feature of the ASUS ROG PHONE 6D Ultimate is its performance. The device also comes with more RAM than many similarly priced laptops, which ensures that games and apps run smoothly, without lag.
Other standout features of the ASUS ROG PHONE 6D are its ultrasonic AirTriggers that serve as shoulder buttons for gaming and its cool ROG Vision matrix color display on the rear of the device. Of course, you might also want to take pictures and videos with your phone and for that, the ROG Phone 6D has a triple camera setup, which includes a 50MP main sensor, a 13MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 5MP macro sensor. Its camera can also record up to 8K/24p video.
How we test Android phones
As a photography website, we pay special attention to the photo and video quality of Android phones. Camera phones are all-around digital assistants too, of course, so we will also check general handling, usability, and practicality – such as battery life.
For Android camera phones we rate resolution, noise and color rendition (opens in new tab) in the context of what rival Android phones can do, and where there are any special features, such as ‘night modes’ or ‘portrait modes’, we check that these perform as the makers describe.
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