The best Android phones you can buy right nowon June 14, 2024 at 15:45 Tech Advisor

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If there’s one debate in tech which regularly hits the headlines, it’s Android vs iPhone.

Many people have very strong opinions on which is ‘best’, though in reality, that answer will be different for everyone. If you have Apple products already, an iPhone is undoubtedly the best choice.

But as you can see from our overall best phones round-up, most run Android. This makes sense: while Apple is the only company that makes devices running iOS, there are loads of Android phone makers out there, each with lots of different models.

However, that makes your decision on which to go for more difficult. In this article, we aim to make the process of choosing the right one as easy as possible. We’ve reviewed and ranked the 10 best Android phones you can buy right now, alongside detailed buying advice at the bottom of the page.

There are some cheaper options here, but if you have a specific budget in mind, see our separate guides to the best budget phones and best mid-range phones.

Why you should trust us: Android phone reviews and buying advice have been a staple of Tech Advisor’s coverage since the operating system made its first headlines in 2008.

We’ve guided you through 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G; we’ve reported on the rise and fall of Windows Phone, BlackBerry phones and LG phones.

We’ve seen Android phone makers scramble to offer the biggest, brightest, highest-resolution, fastest-refreshing, toughest, flexible, foldable and even three-dimensional displays; we’ve seen an arms race in processors and graphics in the quest for the ultimate mobile performance; a long-running game of how many cameras – and then how many megapixels – they can first squeeze on to the handset, and later hide out of sight; a push for batteries that can go – never mind all day – but all week; and new technologies that enable water resistant and vastly improve audio.

We’ve held your hand through a fascinating journey of mobile hardware, and today – some 16 years later – it’s the software smarts and once impossible to imagine AI capabilities that glue us to this path. We perform in-depth, real-world testing on every new Android model that’s worth buying (dozens every single year), adopting it as our primary phone for the most authentic experience possible and making sure we are in a position to give you the best possible phone buying advice.

Best Android phones 2024

1. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra – Best overall

Pros

Seven years of updates

Excellent, versatile cameras

Very good battery life

Clever AI features

Built-in S Pen stylus

Cons

Expensive

Big and bulky

Charging still only 45W

Price When Reviewed:



From £1,249

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is the best smartphone you can buy, so it should come as no surprise to see it top this list.

It’s arguably the ultimate smartphone, packing almost every premium feature you can expect into one huge device. However, the gorgeous 6.8-inch display and built-in S Pen stylus are certainly worth it.

Other highlights include sublime performance from an overclocked version of the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and strong battery life from the 5000mAh cell. The cameras might not be the best on any smartphone, but they’re not far off, offering impressive versatility across four lenses.

Samsung’s One UI software is intuitive and relatively easy to use, and the company’s new AI features are genuinely useful. Throw in a class-leading seven years of updates and you’ve got yourself a superb phone.

Aside from the imposing design and relatively slow charging, the price tag is the main thing that counts against the S24 Ultra. But if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

2. Google Pixel 8 Pro – Best for most people

Pros

Premium build

Top-tier cameras

Excellent software features

Seven years of updates

Cons

Average battery life

Slow charging

Big and heavy

Price When Reviewed:



From £999

The Pixel 8 Pro is the best smartphone you can buy right now. A combination of premium hardware and advanced software make it very easy to recommend.

Google’s Tensor G3 chip is key, enabling both great performance and a range of advanced photography features. Alongside excellent camera hardware, it’s the best point-and-shoot phone camera for still images.

While a 213g phone with a large 6.7-inch display won’t be for everyone, the high-resolution 120Hz OLED screen here is a joy to use. With slick Android 14 software and an incredible seven years of updates, the Pixel 8 Pro is the smartphone to beat in 2023.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone. The combination of average battery life and slow charging is frustrating, while the regular Pixel 8 is a better choice if you’re looking for something more compact.

Read our full

Google Pixel 8 Pro review

3. Xiaomi 14 Ultra – Best cameras

Pros

Incredible photography

Stunning vegan leather design

Gorgeous curved screen

Flawless performance

90W fast charging

Cons

Expensive, with Photography Kit sold separately

Mixed HyperOS software

Price When Reviewed:



£1,299

In the past, Xiaomi’s version of Android has often prevented us from recommending its phones. Despite a rebrand, the new HyperOS skin isn’t a big step forward, but it shouldn’t detract from just how good this phone is.

Undoubtedly, the highlight is the cameras. Alongside the Photography Kit accessory (sold separately), they transform the phone into a genuine DSLR replacement for many people. The image quality and versatility across all four 50Mp rear lenses and the 32Mp selfie camera is simply superb.

There’s lots more to like too, including a gorgeous display, stunning premium design and great performance. Battery life is strong, and you get a 90W fast charger in the box. From a hardware perspective, it’s hard to fault.

Aside from price, the main reason you might not want to buy it is Xiaomi’s HyperOS software, which still contains a lot of bloatware and can get frustrating. But if you can look beyond this, the 14 Ultra will give you an unrivalled photography experience.

Looking for something more affordable? The regular Xiaomi 14 is also a great choice.

Read our full

Xiaomi 14 Ultra review

4. Google Pixel 7a – Best value for money

Pros

Phenomenal camera for the price

Excellent Google software

Strong performance

Water-resistant

Cons

Slow charging

Wireless charging is unreliable

Only 90Hz display

Price When Reviewed:



£449

If you can’t afford the Pixel 8 or 8 Pro, then Google has another option for you: the decidedly affordable Pixel 7a. While the Pixel 8a is now available, its predecessor is still the phone to get if you want value for money.

This mid-range still packs a Tensor G2 chipset for solid performance, along with a familiar design. But it’s a slightly smaller phone than the 8 and 8 Pro, and made from plastic rather than glass.

There are downside, of course. The camera specs aren’t quite the same, though it still impresses. You’ll also get slower charging and only a 90Hz refresh rate on the display rather than 120Hz on the flagships.

If you can live with those downsides though, this is an excellent option for the price. Shots from the main camera are the best you’ll find on any mid-range phone.

Read our full

Google Pixel 7a review

5. OnePlus 12 – Best design

Pros

Elegant, distinctive design

Stellar screen

Fast wired and wireless charging

Great main and telephoto cameras

Cons

Fewer OS updates than rivals

Average ultrawide and selfie cameras

Limited water resistance

Price When Reviewed:



From £849 | Model reviewed £999

Best Prices Today:



£849 at OnePlus

The OnePlus 12 is significantly more expensive than the OnePlus 11, which was a great handset for the money. But this extra expense is justified – a stunning design, significant performance upgrade and the introduction of wireless charging make a real difference.

Its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset speeds through tasks with ease (including gaming), then combines with a 5400mAh battery for superb battery life. When you do run low, you can choose between 100W wired and 50W wireless charging, though the 80W charger in the box will be plenty fast enough for most people.

The 120Hz AMOLED screen is among the largest on any phone at 6.82-inches, but also one of the best. The slick software experience is also a joy to use, even if the four OS updates and five years of security updates is a small step down from the best around.

Rear cameras, a weakness of earlier OnePlus phones, are very good on the whole. But the ultrawide and selfie lenses aren’t the best, and the IP65 rating means it’s not protected against submersion in water.

Nonetheless, none of these should be dealbreakers for most people. The OnePlus 12 still undercuts many flagships on price, making it a great option.

Read our full

OnePlus 12 review

6. Motorola Razr 40 Ultra/Razr+ – Best foldable

Pros

Large outer display

Dust and water-resistant

Good battery life (for a flip phone)

Cons

Older chipset

Cameras are good, but not great

Outer screen software needs some fine-tuning

Price When Reviewed:



£1,049.99

The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra – also known as the Razr+ in the US – is the best foldable right now.

The latest Razr packs a larger and more useful exterior screen that’s the biggest on any flip phone yet, extending almost entirely across the phone’s outer side. It even lets you run full Android apps without opening the phone, though some work better than others.

Beyond that, you can expect good battery life, great dust and water-resistance, and a capable main camera – though the other lenses are a little lacking. The improved hinge design also allows the Razr 40 Ultra to close completely flat and feel more solid as a result.

However, it’s also worth considering the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, which is a great alternative.

Read our full

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review

7. Samsung Galaxy A15 5G – Best budget

Pros

Premium design

Excellent battery life

Intuitive One UI software

Decent main camera

Cons

Not the best performance

No official water resistance rating

Slow charging

Price When Reviewed:



£199

If you just need a smartphone for regular everyday use, look no further than the Galaxy A15 5G. It offers everything most people need in a smartphone, yet costs under £200/$200.

Of course, there are compromises compared to high-end phones, but Samsung has been smart about where it’s made them. An attractive design is clearly inspired by the company’s flagships, even if less premium materials have been used.

The display is still OLED and offers a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, while its lower resolution helps the excellent battery life. You also get Samsung’s slick One UI software experience and a decent three years of Android OS updates, plus a main rear camera that’s very serviceable.

Performance is slow at times, but waiting a few more seconds for things to load is hardly a dealbreaker. And unless you’re planning on getting your phone wet or need fast charging, it’s easy to recommend.

If you don’t want 5G, it’s also worth considering the Samsung Galaxy A15 (4G), but it’s not just 5G that you lose there.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy A15 5G review

8. Samsung Galaxy S24+ – Great all-rounder

Pros

Great, large display

Strong performance

Incredible battery life

Useful AI features

Seven years of updates

Cons

No S Pen support

Limited storage options

Relatively expensive

Price When Reviewed:



From £999

Best Prices Today:



£999 at Amazon

The middle phone in Samsung’s Galaxy S24 range isn’t quite the all-singing, all-dancing S24 Ultra, but it’s arguably a better phone for most people.

You still get most of the fundamentals of Samsung’s ultra-flagship, including a gorgeous large display, superb battery life, useful AI features and that class-leading seven-year update commitment.

US buyers will still get the overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, but even the Exynos 2400 in the UK delivers strong performance.

If you can do without a stylus or loads of storage but still want a Samsung flagship, the S24+ is the phone to get.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy S24+ review

9. Asus Zenfone 10 – Best compact flagship

Pros

Distinctive, compact design

Fantastic battery life

Headphone jack

Cons

Camera is not top tier

Only two Android updates promised

Slow 30W charging

Price When Reviewed:



£749.99

Best Prices Today:



£749.99 at Asus

The Zenfone 10 is a full-force flagship in a small size, and with remarkably few compromises for it.

The 5.9in display is one of the smallest on the market, especially on the Android side, though note that overall the phone is about the same size as the regular Galaxy S24

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and up to 16GB of RAM mark this as a serious performance phone, and it also boasts excellent battery life, which puts other compact smartphones to shame.

The gimbal-stabilised main camera impresses, especially at night, though there are definitely better cameras on similarly priced rivals – especially when it comes to options like a telephoto lens.

Given the phone is so good, it’s also frustrating that Asus is only promising two major Android updates, though the phone will at least get security support through to 2027.

If that’s a dealbreaker for you, go for the regular Samsung Galaxy S24 instead. But with the more recent Zenfone 11 Ultra much bigger and less noteworthy as a result, this is still the Asus phone that most people should buy.

Read our full

Asus Zenfone 10 review

10. OnePlus Open – Best book-style foldable

Pros

Great displays

Very good rear cameras

Useful software features

Premium, durable design

Cons

Not the best battery life

Few apps optimised for big screen

Expensive

Price When Reviewed:



£1,599

Best Prices Today:



£1599 at OnePlus

The Open is technically OnePlus’ first ever foldable, though parent company Oppo has plenty of experience. And it shows – this is an impressively accomplished device with few compromises.

The displays are the real highlight. A 6.31-inch cover screen looks just like a regular smartphone, then opens to reveal a 7.82-inch inner display with a barely noticeable crease. Both are 120Hz OLED panels, and look fantastic.

OnePlus has done its best to make the most of this larger screen, with various features that make multitasking easy. But Android’s lack of support for third-party apps, combined with the high price tag, remain the main reasons most people shouldn’t buy one.

It’s a shame, as the rear cameras and design are a real hit. Performance is great too, and average battery life is offset by 67W fast charging via the adaptor in the box.

Read our full

OnePlus Open review

Android phones buying advice

1.

Which version of Android is the latest?

The latest version of Android right now is Android 14, which launched in 2023.

However, it often takes some time for Android brands to update their phones, so many phones launched in 2022, and even some cheaper 2023 models, will still be running Android 13.

The next version, Android 15, should launch in 2024, but will take some time to roll out to handsets.

2.

Do all Android phones run the same software?

Yes and no. They all run Android of course, but there are variations within that. Every manufacturer tweaks Android to produce its own version – often called an ‘Android skin’.

For example, Samsung phones run One UI, OnePlus phones are on OxygenOS, and Xiaomi phones run HyperOS (which replaced MIUI).

Phones that run software close to Google’s own are often described as running ‘stock’, but in truth even the Google Pixel phones run their own unique spin on the software. Each of these offers a unique aesthetic and a range of specific features, so you should always try and learn a little about a brand’s software before you commit to a phone.

It’s also important to remember that not every Android phone gets equal updates. Every manufacturer promises a different number of updates for their devices – usually separated into Android feature updates and security patches – and generally speaking more expensive phones are supported for longer than cheaper devices.

At the time of writing, the best brand in this regard is Google, which offers up to seven years of both, but many rivals aren’t far behind.

3.

Which specs matter the most?

With more Android phones out there, there are also more specs to pick between. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about what matters most, so instead think about your priorities.

Do you care most about fast and smooth performance? Perhaps you prioritise longer battery life, or faster charging speeds? Maybe a capable camera is the main thing you look for?

Most Android phones will offer some combination of the above – and more – but there will always be certain specs where they compromise. Deciding on your priorities is the first step in picking a phone.

4.

Are Android phones better than iPhones?

This argument has waged for over a decade, and it won’t end any time soon. For now, let’s just say that each has its advantages.

There’s more variety in Android phones, giving consumers a lot more choice – including unusual options like foldable phones or devices designed for gaming.

Certain hardware features also tend to be better on Android. The majority of modern Android phones charger faster – often a lot faster – than even the latest iPhones, and fast refresh rate displays have also become common. Look to the really top end and you’ll also find that by and large the best camera phones run Android, though Apple still has the edge when it comes to recording video.

On the other hand, Apple’s carefully controlled ecosystem means iPhones often have fewer bugs and inconsistencies than Android devices, and there’s a level of polish to both the software and hardware that few Android rivals match. Apple’s long-term software support also outstrips the vast majority of Android.

5.

Why isn’t every Android phone available where I live?

This is a complicated question, and every manufacturer approaches it differently. If you live in Europe or Asia, you’ll likely find that most – albeit not all – Android phones launch where you live. Markets such as Africa and South America get a slightly different selection, while in North America there are only very few brands, with almost none of the Chinese manufacturers.

Ultimately, each manufacturer has to decide which markets will be profitable for them, which comes down to a combination of market sizes, local regulations, and the power that networks have – in the US, for example, it’s the strict control carriers exert that keeps most Chinese companies out.

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