The best Android phones for 2023

In the iOS ecosystem, Apple is the only player, but one of the best things about the Android phone market is that you can choose from many different devices and makers. Still, when it’s time to change, having so many options can make it harder to choose the right phone for you. If you need a new phone but don’t know where to start, we have a list of the best Android phones for every price.

What to look for in a new Android phone

When it comes to choosing our best Android phones, the main things we look for are pretty simple: good performance (both compute and AI), a nice display, a solid design, sharp cameras, a long battery life, and a strong commitment to ongoing software support. Not only do we look at benchmarks and other measures to judge a phone’s performance, but we also look at how quickly it responds. No one wants a device that feels slow, no matter if they are reading, looking through social media, or playing a game.

When it comes to screens, we usually like OLED panels that can show rich, saturated colors and have at least 600 nits of brightness. However, many of our best mid-range and high-end phones can reach 1,000 nits or more. And more recently, most of our favorite devices now have screens with fast refresh rates of 90Hz or 120Hz, which makes things even smoother and more fluid.

Now, we’ll admit that it’s a bit subjective to say which phones look the best, but there are other design features, like being resistant to dust and water or having a tough screen, that can make a big difference in how long a phone lasts. It’s also important to think about things like support for wireless charging, power sharing (also called “reverse wireless charging”), and UWB connection, which can affect how your phone works with your other devices.

For pictures, it’s clear that we want clear, colorful shots in both bright and dim light. And we want film clips with a wide range of brightness and darkness, good sound, and smooth image stabilization. It would be nice to have extra cameras with ultra-wide and zoom lenses. It’s also important to think about things like night modes, the ability to record in different resolutions, and extra picture modes like timelapse, slow motion, and more.

Lastly, when it comes to battery life, we want devices that can last all day and did well in our local video rundown test (at least 16 hours on a single charge, but more is better). In the past few years, wireless charging has become almost standard, and most of our top picks have this extra feature. Lastly, people are keeping their phones for longer than ever, so we like it when businesses commit to at least three years of software support, upgrades, and regular security updates.

Best Android phone overall: Google Pixel 7 Pro

The Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 might not be the fastest phones on the market, but what they lack in raw speed they make up for with smart software. The Google Tensor G2 chip gives the Pixel 7 series strong AI and machine learning features that help with things like recognizing languages on the device and translating them in real time. You also get beautiful OLED screens and the best camera quality of any smartphone on the market right now.

Google’s newest top-of-the-line phone, the Pixel 7, starts at just $600, which makes it an amazing deal. The Pixel 7 Pro has a bigger, 6.7-inch screen and a third rear camera with a 5x optical zoom, which is the major difference between the two. But you can’t really go wrong with either the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, no matter if you like a smaller or bigger device.

Best mid-range Android phone: OnePlus 11

The OnePlus 11 is a good choice for people who want a phone with a big screen, great cameras, and great performance, but don’t want to spend as much as they would on a traditional flagship. It hits a good balance between cheaper phones and more expensive ones. In many ways, the OnePlus 11 is like a cheaper version of the Samsung Galaxy S23+. Not only does it have the same 6.7-inch, 120Hz screen, but it also has a fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and a big 5,000 mAh battery. The OnePlus, on the other hand, charges faster than any Google or Samsung phone because it can be charged with a 100-watt wire. And the company’s ongoing relationship with Hasselblad has made a big difference in the image quality of its cameras.

The main problems with the OP11 are that its IP64 grade for dust and water resistance is lower than what you get with competing devices, and the camera’s 2x optical zoom lens feels a bit short. But now that OnePlus has made the OP11 compatible with more carriers and promised four years of OS updates and five years of security fixes, it is a well-equipped choice that costs much less than its competitors.

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