There’s one clear advantage that Android has over iOS, and that’s the variety when it comes to the phones you have to choose from. Apple made the iPhone the only game in town for iOS, but with Google’s operating system, there are dozens to choose from from manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus and more. But it also means it can be difficult to decide which device is best for you when it’s time to upgrade, or if you want to switch from iPhone to Android in the new year. If you’re looking for a new phone and don’t know where to start, we’ve got a selection of the best Android phones for every budget.

Editor’s Note (5/7/24): Google announced the Pixel 8a, its latest mid-range smartphone. The 6.1-inch phone starts at $499 and, as expected, takes many of its cues from last year’s flagship Pixel 8 series. We’ll have a full review in the coming days and update this guide accordingly. For now, you can check out our hands-on review for more details on what to expect. Google says it will continue to sell Pixel 7aour current budget choose at a discounted price, so it can continue to be worth it. However, most will have to wait until we get to test the new Pixel.

When it comes to choosing our favorite Android phones, the main things we look for are pretty straightforward: good performance (both computing and AI), a nice display, solid design, sharp cameras, long battery life, and a significant commitment to constant software support. For performance, we not only look at benchmarks and other metrics, but also rate phones based on responsiveness. Whether you’re reading, texting, scrolling through social media, or playing a game, no one wants a gadget that feels sluggish.

Although the specs haven't changed much since last year, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display is still one of the best smartphone screens on the market.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

When it comes to displays, we generally prefer OLED panels that can produce rich, saturated colors with at least 600 nits of brightness, although many of our top mid-range and high-end phones can reach 1,000 nits or more. And recently, most of our favorite devices also support screens with fast refresh rates of 90Hz or 120Hz, which adds an extra level of smoothness and fluidity.

Now, we’ll admit there’s a bit of subjectivity when deciding which phones look the best, but there are other design aspects like dust and water resistance or screen durability that can make a big difference to long-term survival. It’s also important to consider things like wireless charging support, power sharing (aka reverse wireless charging), and UWB connectivity, which can affect how your phone interacts with your other devices.

Obviously, for photos, we’re looking for sharp, colorful shots in both bright and low light. And we want videos with high dynamic range, rich sound and smooth image stabilization. Additional cameras for ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are a plus. The best cameras should also include features like special night modes, support for different video resolutions, and additional photo modes like timelapse, slow motion, and more.

Finally, in terms of longevity, we’re looking for a full day of battery life on devices that also score great in our local video exhaustion test (at least 16 hours on a charge, but more is obviously better). Wireless charging capabilities have become almost ubiquitous over the past few years, and most of our top picks have that added benefit. Fast charging is also available on some Android phones. Finally, with people holding on to their phones longer than ever before, we like to see companies commit to at least three years of software support, upgrades and regular security updates.

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Processor: Google Tensor G3 | Display: 6.7-inch Super Actua, up to 120Hz | Cameras: Rear (50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto), 10.5MP front camera | Battery: 5050 mAh

Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review

Thanks to the Tensor G3 chip, updated sensors and a host of new AI-powered features, Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro you can offer even more for both photography and everyday use. The new Magic Editor on Pixel phones makes it amazingly easy to remove distracting objects from your photos, while the Audio Magic Eraser reduces annoying ambient sound in videos. And for all those group shots, Best Take makes sure everyone looks their best, even if they weren’t smiling during the first shot. Google’s Call Screen has also gotten smarter, while Assistant features like the ability to summarize or make real articles out loud make it easy to keep up with the news however you want. Add to that a sleeker design, brighter displays, better battery life, and improved performance, and Google’s latest flagships might just be the most well-rounded Android phones on the market.

$900 on Amazon

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Processor: Google Tensor G2 | Display: 6.1-inch FHD+, up to 90Hz | Cameras: Rear matrix (64MP wide, 13MP ultrawide), 13MP front camera | Battery: 4,385mAh

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review

500 dollars Pixel 7a delivers everything we’re looking for in a great, affordable Android phone (if you’ve got less money to spend, check out our guide to the best budget phones). New features include a faster Tensor G2 chip, a smoother 90Hz display and, for the first time in one of Google’s A-series phones: wireless charging support. And with a refreshed design with IP67 water resistance, it looks and feels like the standard Pixel 7, but for $100 less. You also get great support thanks to five years of security updates and at least three years of software updates. The Pixel 7a’s only downsides are fairly minor, and include the lack of a dedicated zoom lens and no support for mmWave 5G (unless you buy the slightly more expensive $550 model from Verizon).

$430 at Amazon

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | Display: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD+, up to 120Hz | Cameras: Rear matrix (200MP, Dual Pixel AF, 100x digital zoom, 50MP macro, 12MP UW), 12MP front camera | Battery: 5000mAh

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

For its latest super premium phone, Samsung gave S24 Ultra a more durable titanium frame, faster performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and a much longer battery life. The company has also tweaked its longest telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom to make it more usable in a wider range of situations. But the biggest upgrade is a new full suite of AI tools that includes the ability to proofread text, edit images, and transcribe recordings. And when you throw in the best display available on a phone today and a built-in stylus, you have a very compelling flagship phone. Unfortunately, starting at $1,300, the S24 Ultra is too expensive to recommend to anyone without deep pockets.

$1300 at Amazon

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | Display: 6.2-inch HD+ front display (up to 120Hz), 7.6-inch QXGA+ main display (up to 120Hz) | Cameras: Rear matrix (50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto), 10MP (lid) + 4MP UDC (main) front camera | Battery: 4400 mAh

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

Despite increased competition from the Pixel Fold, for people looking to maximize their mobile productivity, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 still the best large flip phone on the market. In the latest model, Samsung not only added two new gestures for launching into parallel multitasking mode or switching from full-screen to a windowed app, but also increased the number of recent apps you can see in the taskbar from two to four . The Z Fold 5’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset also delivers faster performance than the Pixel Fold, and although this Samsung phone has a smaller power cell (4,400 mAh vs. 4,800 mAh), it also has better battery life. the battery. But the biggest change for this generation is Samsung’s new flexible hinge, which allows the phone to close completely flat and makes it thinner when charging. Unfortunately, its camera system is largely unchanged from last year, and with prices starting at $1,800, the Z Fold 5 isn’t even close to being affordable.

$1920 at Amazon