Best Android Phones

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
426 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best Android phones

Last Updated July 2019

The first Android device was released to the public in 2008, and it didn’t take long before most major mobile device manufacturers had at least once Android-powered machine in their lineup. While it’s good that Google’s operating system is constantly improving, there are hundreds of combinations of hardware and Android software out there to choose from. How do you even begin to compare models?

Researching each Android phone’s software version, battery life, and other features is just the beginning. To get you started, we’d like you to consider our top picks for the best Android phones available.

For more in-depth information about Android phones, keep reading this guide.

Most versions of the Android operating system are named after desserts, starting with Cupcake in 2009. These sweet Android codenames include Froyo, KitKat, Nougat, and Pie.

Key considerations

Battery life

It’s only natural to want an Android phone that will easily handle all of your daily tasks from the time you get up to the time you place it back on the charger before bed. The good news is that Android manufacturers are increasingly using larger batteries in their phones. To learn more about a particular phone’s battery life, look for the device’s “mAh” in the specs. (This is a unit used to measure electrical power over time.) For instance, an Android battery labeled as 3,000mAh or better should hold a charge for 25 to 30+ hours.

Camera quality

It’s hard to imagine an Android phone without at least one built-in camera, but it’s up to you to determine if that camera is good enough for your needs. Generally speaking, the greater the camera’s resolution (often measured in MP or megapixels), the more detail and clarity you’ll be able to capture in your photos.

Although aperture, autofocus, and optical image stabilization are all factors in determining an Android phone’s image quality, a 12MP camera will take sharper pictures than an 8MP camera.

Performance

Having to deal with a lagging or unresponsive smartphone when you need instant results is insufferable. How do you know whether an Android phone performs well under pressure? Look for information about its processor on the phone’s specs sheet. Processors are usually represented in gigahertz (GHz), and modern Android phones often include multiple-core processors, allowing the device to smoothly handle even more tasks at once.

Comparing the potential performance of Android phones is fairly simple: if an Android phone includes a 2.8GHz octa-core processor, you would multiply 2.8 times the number of cores (8) to get a total number of GHz. The higher the GHz, the better performance the phone should have.

Budget-priced luxury

This budget phone is wrapped in a stylish metal frame that is available in two colors, gold or grey. It sports a noteworthy 16MP camera, an LCD screen fingerprint scanner, a decent amount of storage, and a pair of dual nano-SIM card slots which come in handy if you ever want to upgrade the device with more memory. While the Huawei Mate SE isn’t the fastest Android phone available, it is an all-around dependable phone that can certainly get the job done.

Other important Android phone features

You might be surprised to learn how the features of individual Android phones differ from one model and manufacturer to the next. It’s well worth your time to research the unique bells and whistles that each device has to offer. Here are a few of the most common bonus features that people tend to look for in an Android phone.

Fingerprint scanner: Unlocking your phone with a PIN number is old-school, and anyone who learns your secret code could potentially access your Android phone. On the other hand, we can’t think of a more secure “password” than scanning your unique thumbprint to unlock a phone.

Stylus: Some Android phones include a thin stylus. Using the stylus is a great way to keep your phone smudge-free. It allows for precision-perfect taps and opens the door to creative handwriting and drawing apps.

Curved screen: A curved screen may seem strange to newcomers, but these displays are far less likely to shatter under pressure than traditional Android phone screens.

Headphone jack:  Guess what your Android phone has that modern iPhones don’t? A headphone jack for listening to music with your favorite wired headphones.

Hardware design: Android phones are available in a wide range of vibrant colors and materials, including elegant glass, polished metal, and durable plastic.

DID YOU KNOW?

You can charge your phone much faster by activating your Android phone’s Rapid Charging feature. Find it by plugging in your phone’s charger, navigating to Settings, Battery Settings, and checking the Rapid Charging box.

DID YOU KNOW?

Keep tabs on your Android phone at any time by navigating to “android.com/find” online. It’s a good idea to visit the Find My Device site just to make sure your device appears.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you download the official Androidify app, you can create and share custom Android characters with your friends on your Android phone. Neat!

Android phone prices

Saying that the price of Android phones varies is an understatement. You can find Android phones online for as little as $100 and well over $500. That said, it isn’t too difficult to find a solidly made “budget phone” that easily handles the daily basics for between $200 and $300.

“The sum of its parts” is the best way to describe the average price of an Android phone. For instance, while you may be able to score a deal on an Android phone for less, you should expect its camera, operating system, and features to be all-around basic.

On the other hand, you can expect a pricier Android phone to sport additional features, a superior camera, a higher resolution display, the current version of Android, and other enjoyable perks.

Amazing battery life

While a wide HD screen, slick indigo plastic shell, 13MP camera, and consistently speedy performance are all great perks for a budget Android phone, the jaw-dropping 36-hour battery life of the Motorola Moto G6 Play is easily its most enticing feature. If you’re looking for a sturdy device that will easily deal with your average daily app, phone, and camera usage without losing all battery power by lunchtime, look no further.

Tips

  • Accessing the flashlight on your Android phone is as easy as swiping down, opening Quick Settings, and tapping the flashlight icon on the bottom left of your screen.

  • There’s no need to type out text messages if you own an Android phone. Once you’ve activated “Ok Google” detection on your device, audible texting is as simple as saying, “Ok Google, tell [one of your contacts] I am ready to get some pizza!”

  • Turning down the brightness on your Android phone will help conserve battery power when you need it the most.

  • Be careful when downloading apps from the Play Store. Read through a few of the reviews left by other users before downloading to avoid malicious and fraudulent apps.

Other products we considered

The all-day battery life, 128GB of storage, edge-to-edge immersive screen, and iconic S Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 come together to make one genuinely impressive Android phone. We’re wowed by its wide range of camera features, expandable memory, and powerful performance. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a bit on the pricey side.

Amazon and T-Mobile have teamed up to present the LG Stylo 4, which features an eye-catching curved screen, intuitive stylus controls, an attractive Full HD display, and high-speed autofocus for capturing the remarkably good pictures for a budget phone. One of its most interesting Amazon-specific features is QLens, which allows users to scan objects to quickly learn if they are available for purchase on Amazon.

Google has hidden some delightfully weird easter eggs within the numerous versions of Android. If you repeatedly tap the “Android version” under the “About Phone” tab, you’ll see one for yourself.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if my Android phone is running the most recent version, and how do I get it onto my device?

A. Since the latest version of Android will incorporate plenty of helpful features, including essential changes to existing software, user interface tweaks, and behind-the-scenes improvements, you’ll definitely want your Android phone to run the latest version.

The good news is that your mobile carrier will automatically send the next big update to your Android phone when it becomes available, and all you need to do is to accept the download to begin upgrading your device.

You can check if your Android phone is running the latest version by navigating to Settings, About Phone, and Android Version.

Q. How do I rearrange the apps on the Home screen of my Android phone?

A. You can easily move apps around the Home screen by tapping, holding, and dragging an individual app icon. Once you’ve found a spot you’re happy with, release the app icon to place it. If your current Home screen is full, drag the app to the right side of the screen to drop it on the next one.

If you want to take an app off of your home screen, simply drag it upward to the Remove option at the top of your screen and drop it. Note that removing the app from your Home screen won’t delete the app from your Android phone.

Q. How do I uninstall apps from my Android Phone?

A. The ability to customize your phone with whatever combination of apps makes you happy is one of the most alluring things about Android. There are two methods for deleting unwanted apps from your phone:

  • Find the app in the Play Store, and press the Uninstall button to delete it.

  • Alternatively, navigate to Settings and Apps. Select the app, and press the Uninstall button to remove it from your Android phone.

The team that worked on this review
  • Arnold
    Arnold
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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