Which is the best Android phone for you?
Last year was a great one for Android phones, with 2019 heralding the rise of foldables, the start of the 5G era and the resurrection of classic devices like the Motorola Razr 2019.
We also saw a load of excellent, slightly more traditional Android phones from the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Samsung. We’ve put every notable smartphone currently available in 2020 through its paces and collated this definitive list of the best Android-powered smartphones that money can buy.
Not every phone in this line-up is a chest-beating, high-powered flagship – best can mean different things to different people. Here’s our summary of the best Android phones and you can click the link at the end of each entry to read our full review.
- Best overall Android phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
- Best big phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Best for the latest specs: Samsung Galaxy S20 Utra
- Best low-light camera: Huawei P30 Pro
- Best for Google: Google Pixel 4
- Best value flagship: OnePlus 7T
- Best for value performance: Xiaomi Mi 9
- Best value camera: Google Pixel 3a
- Best all-rounder: Samsung Galaxy S10/S10 Plus
- Best for great software on a budget: Motorola Moto E6 Plus
- Best for movies: Sony Xperia 1
- Best for gaming: Asus ROG Phone 2
- Best for battery life: Moto G7 Power
- Best value zooming: Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
- Best for under £350: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
How we decided on the best Android phones
All of these phones have been fully tested according to our criteria below. Before rating any Android handset, one of our expert reviewers will spend at least a week using the handset as their primary smartphone. During that time we see how the phone handles in terms of everyday use – especially in terms of battery performance and cameras – and we also run it through a series of synthetic benchmarking and battery-burn tests.
These tests give us a good indication of how a phone performs during normal use, as well as allowing us to test manufacturers’ claims.
All of these tests are repeatable, so we can accurately compare like-for-like between devices. You’ll see links to each full phone review below, so check them out for a comprehensive picture. Read more about how we test phones.
Related: Galaxy S20 review hands-0n
What’s the situation with Huawei?
Due to the retraction of Huawei’s Android license, future Huawei and Honor phones won’t be able to access Google Play Services and, consequently, many Android apps including YouTube and Gmail. Both Huawei and Google have confirmed Huawei and Honor phones, like the one in this round-up, will continue to have access for the time being, so we’re leaving its score unchanged.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
The best overall Android phone you can buy right now
- Nice design
- Great screen
- Strong performance
- Good battery
- Ugly UI
- 8K video recording is pointless
Look no further for the best non-Apple phone on the market; in our estimation, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
To start with, it’s got a great 6.7-inch screen that’s immersive and offers a blistering high 120Hz refresh rate – the colour and detail offered by this display is practically unrivalled.
The rear camera set-up has a total of four rear sensors, which provides a great level of versatility for your choice of shots, and this time round we welcome Samsung opts for more realistic-looking images rather than pouring on the post-processing to its pictures.
Battery life is good, easily lasting the day unless you keep that 120Hz refresh rate stuck on all the time, under which circumstances it will take a nose-dive.
One of the few reservations we had about this phone, and this could be particularly pertinent for Android fans, is that its interface isn’t exactly the best around, giving a heavy top layer to the standard Android software that isn’t usually as pleasant as a clean Android install would have been.
You might be surprised that we don’t rate the top-spec Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra on the top of three. The reason is that it’s a lot more expensive, so big to the point it’s difficult to handle and offers few qualitative advantages over the middle sibling of the S20 family.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
A fantastic big phone that’s packed with great features
- Lovely big screen
- Very quick to charge
- S Pen is useful
- Versatile cameras
- Camera isn’t quite up there with the best
- Dodgy Live Video bokeh mode
- 65w charger not included
As the name suggests, the Plus is a larger, more feature-packed take on the standard Note 10, complete with optional 5G. This is a great phone and one of the finest all-round Android devices we have reviewed. It’s powerful, has just about every feature going and doesn’t skimp at all. In terms of negatives, it’s big and expensive. The display, while fantastic, doesn’t have any fancy fast refresh-rate tech like that of the OnePlus 7 Pro. But there isn’t much better out there if you want a big phone that’s the best of the best.
This brute of a phone has a lovely display, plenty of grunt, huge battery, Qi charging, water resistance and comes with USB-C buds. There isn’t a whole lot new when compared to the S10, but this still stands as the true high-end Samsung phone for the start of 2020. Its position could be set to change, however, with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, so watch this space for full reviews and scores of these new products.
The S Pen is the headline feature of the Note series, which is pretty much the only flagship around that lets you draw and take notes with a pen on the display. It’s a pleasure to write and doodle with, thanks to fantastic responsiveness and excellent palm-rejection. With the Note 10 Plus, you can now also plug your device into a Windows computer or Mac for access to a PC-like DeX UI. This is a nice idea and very handy for replying to messages quickly and moving photos off the phone. The app did, however, prove unreliable.
There are also some new gaming features and the added ability to stream games to the phone from a compatible PC.
Audio from this phone is merely OK and this seems to be a side effect of having basically no room for speakers. The same goes for call quality, which can often come across as slightly distorted. Wi-Fi and cellular strength are excellent, though.
Samsung has finally ditched the headphone jack from the Note’s design, meaning you’ll have to rely on wireless headphones or a pair with a USB-C connection. There’s a perfectly decent-sounding pair of AKG branded USB-C headphones in the box, although there’s no 3.5mm dongle. Unlike the smaller Note 10, the Note 10 Plus retains a microSD slot for upping the base storage.
Boasting a whopping 6.8-inch display and huge 4500mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus is Samsung’s most feature-packed phablet yet.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
3. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
A phone with all the specs and features you could want
- 120Hz screen
- So many features
- 8K video recording
- Battery drains fast with the 120Hz display
- 100x zoom is mostly a gimmick
If you’re on the hunt for the Android phone with the most going on, you should seriously consider the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This high-end flagship from Samsung packs the latest Exynos 990 chipset, up to 16GB RAM and a camera array that includes a main 108-megapixel sensor on the back and a 40-megapixel one on the front – plus some really impressive zooming skills.
The camera here is clearly Samsung’s big focus and it is a big improvement on its previous efforts. You’ve got three cameras on the back. Plus an extra 3D sensing sensor for aiding with depth. The phone can shoot video at resolutions up to 8K – a first for any phone – and comes with a whole host of camera modes that you can endlessly tweak.
Our highlight is the 6.9-inch OLED display, which is the best we’ve seen on any Android phone. It’s 120Hz, rather than the standard 60Hz, giving it a much smoother look. Enabling this 120Hz mode does come with a few downsides though – it can only be used when the resolution is set to FHD+ and it eats through the 5000mAh battery.
When the battery does hit 0% you’ll be able to get it back to 100% in about an hour thanks to the included 25w charger. There’s wireless charging too, and Wireless Powershare for charging other devices like Qi-enabled Bluetooth headphones and smartwatches.
Internally this is the most impressive Android phone currently available. It’s fast, supports 5G and packs storage options up to 512GB. There’s even a microSD slot if you want to increase that even further or shoot lots and lots of 8K video.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review
4. Huawei P30 Pro
The best low-light camera
- Great cameras
- Massive battery
- Slick design
- EMUI needs an overhaul
- Screen lacks the sharpness of the S10
The Huawei P30 Pro surpasses its predecessor in every conceivable way and is one of the best Android phones available right now.
The phone expands on its predecessor’s camera setup – its strongest aspect – by way of a new triple-lens offering. A primary 40-megapixel f/1.6 camera with a pixel arrangement designed to let in more light fronts things, with an ultra-wide-angle sensor and a periscopic telephoto sensor in tow, granting you up to 5x lossless zoom and an unprecedented 50x maximum hybrid zoom.
The camera really is astounding and the company’s Kirin 980 processor contributes to its great overall performance. There’s also a huge 4200mAh battery with impressive 40W fast-charging and wireless charging.
Samsung’s current flagship phone packs a better screen and not everyone will appreciate Huawei’s EMUI Android overlay, but the overall package on offer here is undeniably superb.
- Read our Huawei P30 Pro review
5. Google Pixel 4
Best for Google
- Breathtaking cameras
- Clean design
- 90Hz Smooth Display
- Good facial unlocking
- Poor battery life
The reason we didn’t love the Google Pixel 4 and its larger Pixel 4 XL sibling as much as we’d hoped is down to one thing – poor battery life, which is probably due to the addition of gesture tracking and facial unlocking, plus a 90Hz capable display.
However, there’s still plenty to like. The camera remains one of the best on the market and the main 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera has been joined by a telephoto camera to help with portrait mode and zooming. The pictures it captures are gorgeous, with loads of detail and lovely colours.
You also get a clean build of Android 10 with a few nice Pixel enhancements and a good face unlock system. We just wish the battery life was better.
- Read our Google Pixel 4 review
6. OnePlus 7T
- Super smooth Fluid AMOLED screen
- Speedy charging
- Powerful performance
- Camera still not an industry leader
The OnePlus 7T is a 0.5 update to the OnePlus 7 that launched in 2019. It offers a number of subtle but important hardware improvements to its predecessor.
The upgrades don’t sound like much, but they add up to make the OnePlus 7T feel like a significant improvement on the original OnePlus 7. With pricing starting at £549 this phone is also great value for money. Make no mistake, the OnePlus 7T easily competes with top-end blowers like the Huawei P30 and Asus Zenfone 6, and is currently one of the best mid-range phones on the market.
This is an excellent bit of hardware. The Fluid AMOLED 90Hz screen is industry leading and a key feature we’d like to see other mobile phone makers adopt. When you also take into account its improved fast charging, CPU and triple-sensor rear camera, the OnePlus 7T quickly becomes a pretty alluring bit of kit.
- Read our OnePlus 7T review
7. Xiaomi Mi 9
The most affordable way to an 855
- Versatile camera experience
- Superb value for money
- Fantastic performance
- No IP certification
Xiaomi’s Mi 9 pulls a OnePlus by offering flagship quality at close to half the price of some competitors in this line-up. You get Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 chipset, a beautiful HDR display, fast wired and wireless charging, plus an impressive triple-camera setup, fronted by a whopping 48-megapixel primary sensor.
Priced under £500, this phone defies logic with regards to its affordability, with only long-term software support and lack of water resistance placing a question mark over whether this is one of the best and easiest flagship buys of 2020.
- Read our Xiaomi Mi 9 review
8. Google Pixel 3a
Great camera for the money
- Stunning camera
- Lovely display
- Very affordable
- No IP rating
- No Qi charging
With its excellent camera and lovely display, the Google Pixel 3a is one of the most affordable phones in this list.
We love the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3a includes a lot of its predecessor’s plus points while ditching some luxury features to make the price a bit more bearable.
It keeps the 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera and OLED tech of the display but has done away with wireless charging, water resistance and a top-end processor.
The 3000mAh battery is good enough to get you through the day, there’s a headphone jack and Google’s excellent version of Android 9 Pie is on board too.
- Read our Google Pixel 3a review
9. Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus
Ticks a lot of boxes
- Lovely display
- Plenty of power
- Versatile camera
- Main camera can’t match the Pixel 3/P30 Pro
With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series (comprising the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus) the S10 is no longer the jewel in Samsung’s S series crown. We’ve only spent a short amount of time with the new phones and aren’t yet ready to give a full verdict, so the S10 remains in our list of the best phones for the time being. You can read our in-depth, hands-on first impressions of the new S20 models below and the new trio updates just about every aspect of the series, with new cameras, 120Hz screens, bigger batteries and 5G support across the range.
There’s an IP68 water-resistant body, Qi charging, expandable storage and the ability to charge other phones wirelessly too. Plus, the latest Snapdragon or Exynos chipset (depending on region), plenty of RAM (8GB to 12GB) and at least 128GB storage mean the S10 is undoubtedly well-stocked.
The display is utterly gorgeous and remains the standout offering here. It features a Quad HD+ AMOLED panel with impressive brightness and punchy colours. It also stretches pretty much edge to edge, with a small circular/pill-shaped cut-out hiding away the single/dual front camera/s.
Unlike the optical in-display fingerprint sensors found on the likes of the OnePlus 6T, the S10 series uses more advanced and secure ultrasonic technology. In practice, this works very well and, while it isn’t as accurate as a traditional capacitive sensor, it unlocks the phone quickly and reliably.
Flip the phone over and you’ll find three cameras on the back. A dual pixel 12-megapixel primary sensor with OIS (optical image stabilisation) and a variable f/1.5 to f/2.4 aperture heads things up, with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (also with OIS) onboard.
One takes ultra-wide snaps, another zooms in, and the main sensor captures everything else. The pictures are great with loads of detail and nice colour reproduction. However, low-light shots can’t match results from the Pixel 3 or P30 Pro.
The only real differences between the two phones are size, battery and the fact that the Plus version has an extra camera on the front. The S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch rather than a 6.1-inch display, plus a larger 4000mAh battery, as opposed to a 3400mAh cell inside the vanilla S10. Battery life isn’t outstanding on either, however, so it really comes down to which fits best with your lifestyle.
10. Motorola Moto E6 Plus
A no-nonsense budget mobile at a great price
- Excellent value
- Good quality, sharp-enough screen
- Decent general performance
- Good selfie camera
- Includes a case
- Slow charging
- Apps and games a little slow to load
- Poor low-light photos
- No NFC or compass
The Motorola Moto E6 Plus is a handset for money savers, the young, and the clumsy serial phone smashers among us: in short, for anyone who doesn’t believe in spending a small fortune on a phone.
It has a plastic body but a modern aesthetic. Its screen is low-res, but surprisingly good. The 6.1-inch display is one of the best you’ll find at the price, even though its 1560 x 720 pixel resolution doesn’t sound impressive on paper. Even the colour reproduction is sound.
Its basic camera array can take some nice-looking photos during the day, though low-light performance is poor. Its 8-megapixel selfie camera, however, is great. Why add such a solid selfie camera to a cheap phone? The world loves selfies, and this makes sure the face-unlock feature works in all kinds of lighting.
Gamers would be wise to look elsewhere. The Motorola Moto E6 Plus loads titles slowly, can’t play many of them and doesn’t run them as well as the Moto G7 phones. But at £100, the Moto E6 Plus shows the Moto range at its best – providing a no-nonsense phone for those wanting a device that can handle the basics without issue.
• Read our Motorola Moto E6 Plus review
11. Sony Xperia 1
A phone with a 4K HDR OLED display
- Unique design
- The best camera on a Sony phone
- The display is very nice
- Camera not as good as the Pixel 3 or Galaxy S10
- Some of Sony’s software features are disappointing
The Sony Xperia 1 is the Japanese brand’s best Android phone yet. It has approached this phone a bit differently, focusing on targeting those who mainly use their phone as a media device. The Xperia 1 has a tall 21:9 4K OLED HDR display and even though it measures 6.5 inches, it’s a lot more manageable than other big screen phones.
There’s a big focus on cameras too, and the Xperia 1 comes with some excellent software for video recording. The triple 12-megapixel rear camera array boasts a wide-angle, super-wide and telephoto lenses. The snaps are good and comfortably the best from a Sony phone, but they can’t quite compete with the Pixel 3, Galaxy S10 and P30 Pro. Inside the phone you’ll find a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
- Read our Sony Xperia 1 review
12. Asus ROG Phone 2
The ultimate Android choice for gaming
- Sensational screen
- Excellent battery life
- Plenty of power and storage
- It’s a big phone
- No telephoto camera
- No waterproofing
Asus has knocked it out of the park with the ROG Phone 2. Not only is this the best gaming phone money can buy, it’s also a great phone across the board. If its aggressive looks are to your taste and you don’t mind the lack of wireless charging or water resistance, then nothing else comes close when it comes to gaming and battery life.
The ROG Phone 2 is loaded up with a giant 6.59-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s also packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, overclocked to 2.96GHz, paired with 12GB RAM. Need storage? The ROG Phone 2 has 512GB by default, and a 1TB version coming down the line, complete with a matte-black finish. It also has the biggest battery on the block – 6000mAh – and supports fast charging, up to Quick Charge 4.0 (30W).
Asus has loaded its latest phone with gamer-specific highlights too, from L and R AirTriggers to squeezy sides which activate an overclocked X Mode, and there’s even a clip-on fan in the box. This isn’t just a phone – it’s a totally over-the-top joyride.
This phone has the smoothest screen around, the biggest battery and so much RAM it keeps games and apps open in the background for hours. With all its gamer-centric enhancements and accessories, it’s a joy to use for giant geeks who want a phone that looks as though it fell off a Klingon warship.
You might miss having a telephoto camera, especially if your previous phone was the Mate 20 or P30 Pro, but its wide and ultra-wide cameras are both solid performers, making it a decent phone whichever way you look at it.
- Read our Asus ROG Phone 2 review
13. Moto G7 Power
Best for battery life
- Excellent battery life
- Robust performance
- Premium look and feel
- Superb value for money
- Average camera
- Muffled voice calls
The Moto G7 Power is a budget Android phone with a big battery. And we mean big. The huge 5000mAh cell promises “over 60 hours of active use”, according to Motorola.
Furthermore, the Moto G7 Power features a relatively low-resolution screen – 1520×720 pixels – meaning that, in theory, it’s going to be less power-demanding than the 2960 x 1440 and 2688 x 1242 pixel displays of these higher-end phones.
Unfussed about the latest and greatest, and just want a decent phone with a battery that lasts all day? Priced at around £179 unlocked and SIM-free, the Moto G7 Power just might be the phone you’re looking for.
- Read our Moto G7 Power review
14. Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
The P30 Pro’s camera, without the politics
- Fantastic triple camera
- Impressive battery life
- Great performance
- ColorOS is still awkward
- No wireless charging
- No water resistance
Oppo is a newcomer to markets such as the UK, but this mobile behemoth is actually one of the biggest and most successful smartphone brands on the planet. It knows a thing or two about making a capable phone and the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is the perfect example.
Ignore the awkwardness of the phone’s name and instead focus on the meaning behind it – this phone packs a serious set of cameras. Its setup is similar to the Huawei P30 Pro’s arrangement, with the standout feature being 5x lossless optical periscopic zoom.
The collective efforts of the 48-megapixel main sensor, 13-megapixel telephoto and 8-megapixel wide-angle snapper make this a versatile camera phone that can give the best on the market a run for their money.
Oppo didn’t stop there, however. You’ll also find the latest Snapdragon 855 processor and loads of RAM to ensure rock-solid and lightning-fast performance. There’s a near bezel-free display that doesn’t suffer from a hole punch or notch thanks to its pivot rising camera design, plus it’s got impressive battery life and fast-charging tech to boot.
- Read our Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review
15. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Best for under £350
- Excellent design
- Great camera
- Snappy performance
- Interface has some quirks
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Mono speaker
The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is a pocketable glass and metal phone that feels and looks like a flagship, and, despite an RRP of £349, it can be picked up for under £300 if you shop around. The phone has a 19.5:9, 5.97-inch screen that sports a Full HD resolution, so it’s sharper than the much pricier iPhone XR.
On paper, the Mi 9 SE’s 3070mAh battery is on the small side but, given the phone’s mid-range power demands, it could go either way. There’s also a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor which, when paired with 6GB RAM onboard, is an impressive spec from a power point of view.
While the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE doesn’t have the wireless charging or stereo speakers of flagships such as Google’s Pixel 3, it still delivers an under-display fingerprint scanner and a Super AMOLED screen. The phone’s 48MP camera also features the same sensor used in many of today’s flagships, including the OnePlus 7 Pro.
With a little bit of tweaking, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE can deliver a premium flagship feel, a fantastically versatile camera and great performance, not to mention a killer Super AMOLED screen.
- Read our Xiaomi Mi 9 SE review
Still not sure what to buy? Check out our comprehensive rankings for the following:
- Best phone
- Best cheap/budget phone
- Best Apple iPhone
- Best mid-range phone
- Best phablet
- Best camera phone
- Best Samsung phone
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