So, you’re in the market for a new phone and it must run Android — we have you covered. We test countless Android smartphones at Digital Trends to find out exactly what they’re capable of and we love to compare them. We cut this list into four categories based on different budgets. For each one, we offer our top pick and any alternatives we think are worth mentioning.
Best Android flagship — Google Pixel 2 XL
For the ultimate, cutting-edge, and refined Android experience, you must go with Google. As the platform’s developer, Google is uniquely well-placed to design a device that can get the best out of Android. The Pixel 2 XL is the best Android phone we ever used. Stock Android is elegant and uncluttered, it’s a smooth performer, and we like the crisp, 6-inch OLED screen.
What really elevates the Pixel 2 XL to the top of the Android pile is the camera. It tops our list of the best camera phones for a reason — excellent dynamic range, incredible detail, and wonderful portrait selfies. Throw in the free cloud storage, timely software updates and security patches, and we have a clear winner.
Read our Google Pixel 2 XL review for more.
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Worth considering: The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is lightning fast, packed with features, and offers amazing low-light camera performance. We’re also smitten with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as it combines a beautiful screen with a dual-lens camera and two-day battery life.
Best Android phone for $500 — OnePlus 5T
OnePlus has redefined what you can get in a smartphone without paying top-tier prices. The OnePlus 5T is our current pick of the best cheap smartphones, though we realize $500 is still a lot of money. If you opt for this phone you’ll get yourself a 6-inch screen, plenty of RAM and storage, and solid battery life. The performance is also good, and we have been impressed by the camera. If this is your budget, you won’t find a better phone.
Read our OnePlus 5T review for more.
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Worth considering: The Essential Phone kicked off the notch trend in controversial style and remains a very attractive, well-designed phone, though its weakness lies in the camera. The Honor View 10 offers a dual lens camera, big screen, and some A.I. smarts, though we’re not in love with the EMUI software.
Best Android phone for $300 — Moto G5S Plus
The Moto G range has long ruled the budget roost, and though competition has grown stiffer, nothing has knocked it from its perch yet. You can expect solid performance, good battery life, and a light touch with software that adds some valuable extras to stock Android. The design is dated, and the display and camera are not the best around, but for less than $300 you have to expect some compromises.
Read our Moto G5S Plus review for more.
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Best Android phone for $200 — Honor 7X
It’s not easy to find a good-looking Android phone at this price, so we were impressed by the Honor 7X. There’s a decent 18:9 aspect ratio screen, a dual camera that performs well most of the time, and the best performance we have seen in this price bracket. It’s far from perfect, and it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint, but you can’t buy a better phone right now without spending a lot more than this.
Read our Honor 7X review for more.
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