Which Android Phone Should I Buy
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best Android phone money can buy. This flagship wows with its 200MP camera, which can not only product poster-size prints but lets you crop in and reframe your shots while still delivering very good detail. There's a better 12MP camera up front for selfies, plus improved Nightography for better low-light images all around.
which android phone should i buy
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. (This test is not always available for all phones we test due to app compatibility issues.)
The Galaxy S23 is a lot, but in a good way. It's more than most people need in a phone, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Samsung made improvements to the camera's resolution (200 megapixels compared with 108 megapixels), color tones and dynamic range, while retaining the same edgy design and massive 6.8-inch screen as its predecessor. There's also a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that's been optimized specifically for Samsung's phones, which brings faster performance compared with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Like the 7 Pro, it's had a refreshed design which looks classy and stylish, while its Android 13 software is clutter-free and easy to use. The battery life could be better, but with careful use you'll get through a day on a charge. It lacks the telephoto zoom and a couple of the other bells and whistles of the 7 Pro, but if you're after a solid everyday phone at a decent price, then the base Pixel 7 is a great option.
The $700 OnePlus 11 is a powerful phone that's well equipped to handle gaming, video streaming and other common tasks. In typical OnePlus fashion, this phone is also cheaper than the $800 Galaxy S23 and $900 Pixel 7 Pro. The cameras aren't the best, but they're fine for casual photographers who just want to capture their next vacation or a night out. What sets the OnePlus 11 apart from many of its rivals is its blazing 100-watt fast charging, which can replenish the battery in just 25 minutes. (The US version only supports 80-watt charging, but that's still an improvement over the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 45-watt charging). Overall, the OnePlus 11 is ideal for people who want a powerful phone that charges quickly and won't break the bank. Read our full review of the OnePlus 11.
The Nothing Phone 1's affordable price, solid performance and good-enough camera setup already make it a solid option to consider if you're looking for an Android phone on a budget. But this phone takes the pizzazz up a notch with its suite of flashing LED lights on the rear, which certainly make it stand out against its competitors.
It's a great phone, which we enjoyed reviewing, but there is a downside: As of right now, there aren't any plans to launch the phone widely in the US. You can get it unlocked on Amazon, but it's GSM-only so it won't work on Verizon. The company's next phone, the Nothing Phone 2, will be coming to the US later this year.
Camera performance across the board is solid for just about every phone on the list, but some are better than others. If you plan to capture photos as your primary function, then you should look to Google, Samsung, or even OnePlus.
If you plan to spend $1,000 or more, then you may also want your phone to last for at least a couple of years. You should consider companies with a good track record of regular updates, notably Google and Samsung.
In many ways, the Pixel 7 Pro is the phone the Pixel 6 Pro should have been. Google fixed all of those really annoying bugs that plague the Pixel 6 series, replaced the in-display fingerprint sensor with something that actually works, and added new camera features that make even better use of those newer 50MP sensors in the phone.
Now that's not to say there aren't a few snags in the phone. The Nord N20 ships with Android 11, which is a bit strange given that Android 12 had been available for over six months when the phone launched. Not only that but the Android 12 update is the only major OS update this phone is scheduled to receive. If it weren't for the spec-to-price ratio, this would have been a big ding for OnePlus. At least you'll get three years of security updates to make up for it.
As with any phone under $200, you shouldn't expect the world from the Galaxy A13 5G. While the processor is just fine for scrolling through social media, browsing the web, or chatting with friends, it's not going to do much for gaming. Sure, simple 2D games like Angry Birds are just fine but anything more graphically intense won't run very well (or at all). The display is also a bit dim and it charges slowly compared to more expensive phones, but you won't have to worry about charging too much thanks to the huge battery inside. That, combined with the low-power processor means you'll have no trouble getting 2-days of battery life out of the A13 5G.
As the name suggests, it's also got 5G connectivity, so downloading apps or watching videos on the go should give you a great experience. It's also got microSD card support which helps negate the fact that it only ships with 64GB of internal storage. Lastly, that 50MP camera will get you some pretty impressive pictures during the day, which isn't always expected in this price range. Low-light photos leave a lot to be desired but at least there's a flash on the back to help make up for that.
Folks looking for a compact phone with few or no compromises have lots of choices in 2023, which is a breath of fresh air compared to previous years. The Galaxy S23 and Pixel 6a are two of the best smaller phones you can get in the U.S., and folks who live outside of the U.S. and want a small phone would be remiss if they ignored the Asus Zenfone 9. It's a compact phone with a blazing-fast processor, a huge battery, and a great camera. All things that aren't super common together in smaller phones, yet, Asus has figured out a way to deliver them all in one sleek package.
When buying a new Android phone, you should consider many different things, and it all starts with the display. This is the component you interact with more than anything else, so you must get one that you'll enjoy using. Things like the resolution and refresh rate of a screen are worth talking about, but more so is the size.
If you'd rather have a smaller-sized phone (opens in new tab), the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Asus Zenfone 9 are phenomenal choices depending on what form factor you want. These are substantially easier to manage and can be used with one hand, but you have less room for your movies and games on the flip side. It also means you can fit less content on the screen at one time, and if you're someone who likes to increase your font size, things are easier to read, which could result in you having to do a lot of scrolling.
Another spec to check for is an IP68 rating. This is a seal of protection many phones have, and it ensures they're protected from a certain amount of dust and water. So if you get caught outside in the rain or take your phone to the beach, an IP68 rating ensures that your phone should survive just fine.
Samsung has stopped selling the original S21 family, but the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE offers similar hardware for slightly less. It has a large, 6.4-inch OLED screen, as well as a Snapdragon 888 processor, the same kind that was in every flagship phone last year. However, the $700 asking price makes it only $100 less than the Galaxy S23, which runs faster, offers better build quality, and will receive updates more frequently. The Pixel 7, meanwhile, costs $100 less and provides a better software experience and superior camera performance.
It's no surprise that the best Android smartphone is the one made by Google. A great showcase for the platform, the Pixel 7 (and 7 Pro) is on par with most other companies' flagships, but at a vastly reduced price. Not only is the Pixel 7's stripped-back Android 13 experience as refined and effortlessly simple as ever, but what really sets the Pixel 7 apart this year is its dual cameras, which are simply in a class of their own.
For starters, it has a large 6.52in screen (which we found to be very bright and vibrant in our tests), it has a strong build and it's been updated to Android 11 Go. Sure, it isn't the fastest phone on the market and it lacks NFC, but for just 100 you really can't do any better.
If you're hoping to take a step off the well-trodden path, and you've got plenty of cash burning a hole in your pocket, then the Oppo Find X5 Pro should be your next flagship smartphone. It's not cheap, that much is clear, but if you've got the funds you will be rewarded with one of the best-looking smartphones on the market, with the usual array of high-spec features.
Like the Pixel 5, Google made the odd decision to go with a metal body covered in a plastic Google calls "bio-resin." Metal blocks RF signals for things like Wi-Fi and cellular, NFC, and wireless charging (which is not on the 5a), so anyone making a metal phone has to put in extra engineering effort to plan around this. With a metal core and plastic outer coating though, Google just blasts a hole anywhere in the phone it needs an RF window, and the plastic molding will fill in the gaps.
Similarly, you're also getting a best-in-class software package for a mid-range device, with stock Android and Google's patented day-one Android updates. Lots of Android phones, even $1,800 Android phones, will keep you waiting months and months for an OS update, but the Pixel line gets an iOS-like software experience, where you'll instantly get updates on the day they come out. The one issue you could raise is that Google only supports the Pixel 5a for three years of major updates and security updates. Samsung one-ups Google with four years of security updates, and Apple blows everyone away with something like five years of updates. Google can and should update its phones for as long as Apple, but it doesn't. For the lowered bar of Android phones, though, I'll take Google's three years of instant updates over Samsung's three- to six-month delay for every major update. 041b061a72