The best Android phones in 2021

The best Android phones comes in all shapes, sizes, and worth issues. Whether you might be wanting to spend little or no or you're looking to drop as much as $2,000 on a phone, you have so much to choose from. You have the power to prioritize what features matter most to you.

Those on the cheap can get a good-enough Android telephone for only $200. Step up to the $450 range, and the possible choices get significantly better, especially with regards to digital camera quality. And you can get flagship-level functionality beginning at underneath $700, as long as you're keen to are living without some bells and whistles and the finest photography.

Premium Android flagship phones start at $799, offering the sharpest and brightest displays, the most advanced photography, and leading edge features like reverse wi-fi charging and 120Hz monitors. 5G has also come to more inexpensive options, like the Pixel 5a, so it's nice to see extra Android phones able to make the most of faster obtain speeds. 

Read on to seek out the best Android telephone for your needs and price range.

What are the best Android phones?

We’ve examined all of the hottest Android phones in all shapes, sizes and costs right here at Tom’s Guide, and our present height pick is the Galaxy S21 Ultra from Samsung. It gives a fantastic show, crazy robust cameras, and a huge battery to energy it all. Plus, it is the first Galaxy S phone to strengthen the S Pen (offered one by one).

Of route, the new Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer a few of the best Android digicam reviews you'll perhaps get. But if you want the best camera for the lowest price, look no additional than Google's Pixel 5a. Its cameras, display and quality design make it a thieve for $449. It additionally has the added 5G receive advantages, too. 

Bargain hunters striving to spend the absolute least can find a very good option in the newest model of the Moto G Power, which lasts the whole day on a price, however starts at simply $199. On the other end of the value spectrum, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the best foldable phone Samsung has constructed but, even though its $1,799 price makes it one among the priciest phones on this record.

The best Android phones you'll buy these days

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The best top rate Android phone

Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch OLED (3200x1400; 10 to 120Hz)

Android version: 11

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB, 16GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear digital camera: 108MP major (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 10MP telephoto (3x zoom, ƒ/2.4), 10MP telephoto (10x zoom, ƒ/4.9), laser AF sensor

Front digicam: 40MP (ƒ/2.2)

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 11:25

Reasons to shop for

+Dual telephoto lenses+Dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED display+S Pen support

Reasons to avoid

-No charger in field-Lacks microSD card slot

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the Android telephone to get, should you don’t thoughts spending greater than $1,000 to your next handset. Even with its lofty worth, regardless that, the S21 Ultra nonetheless debuts for $2 hundred lower than last 12 months’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, so you’re getting numerous worth. With the S21 Ultra, Samsung has packed an implausible amount of premium features into its newest flagship.

The 6.8-inch display on the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a dynamic refresh fee that automatically scales between 10Hz and 120Hz, relying on if the process you’re performing advantages from a quicker refresh rate. You get two telephoto lenses that permit you to capture an excellent quantity of element when you zoom in, and other software-driven photo options lend a hand the S21 Ultra seize some nice shots. And that is the first Galaxy S phone to offer S Pen reinforce, making this a productiveness booster.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra provides different sexy features, together with a best-in-class Snapdragon 888 processor. The Pixel 5a may be a greater bargain, but the S21 Ultra leaves no top rate function unexplored (with the exception of the microSD card slot, RIP).

The Galaxy S21 Ultra gained the award for the best phone design and two extremely advisable awards.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review.

2. Google Pixel 6

Plenty of smarts at a nice price

Specifications

Display: 6.4-inch OLED (2400 x 1080; 90Hz)

Android version: 12

CPU: Tensor

RAM: 8GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 50MP primary (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2)

Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0)

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 8:13

Reasons to buy

+Tensor chip adds smarts to the phone+Excellent photo-editing options+Android 12 is a welcome replace+Unique design

Reasons to steer clear of

-Battery existence can also be brief over 5G

Google’s latest round of phones have easily earned their puts in this list. The Pixel 6 is a completely new tool this time round with a contemporary design, significant digicam upgrades, and the first-generation Tensor chip. All of that comes together in a svelte body that is positive to show heads. 

This is the everyman’s Pixel this 12 months, coming in at an especially inexpensive $599 starting worth. While it lacks the telephoto digicam and the 120Hz show you’ll find on the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6 does principally the whole lot you must want an Android phone to do.

If we needed to resort one grievance with the Pixel 6, it’d be the disappointing battery life. In our trying out, the telephone fared a ways worse than other phones in this record. Part of that could have one thing to do with the older 5G modem, since we noticed considerably advanced results when we have been on LTE as opposed to 5G.

Even so, the Pixel 6 sports all kinds of latest smarts because of the Tensor chip. And at that value, it’s considered one of the best values in this list (bested possibly by the Pixel 5a). 

Read our full Pixel 6 review.

3. OnePlus 9 Pro

Still a killer possibility

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3168 x 1440; 1-120 Hz)

Android model: 11

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 48MP huge (ƒ/1.8), 50MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2), 8MP telephoto with 3x optical (ƒ/2.4), 2MP monochrome

Front camera: 16MP (ƒ/2.4)

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 10:40 (120Hz) / 10:38 (60Hz)

Reasons to shop for

+Gorgeous design+Beautiful 120Hz show+Excellent functionality+Crazy rapid stressed and wi-fi charging

Reasons to avoid

-Nightscape pictures are inconsistent

The OnePlus 9 Pro is large, it’s stunning, and it’s very powerful. It utterly wowed us, from its beautiful show to its battery life and charging. The OxygenOS application revel in is top-notch, whole with various tweaks and lines to help you make the phone truly yours.

It also excels as a digicam phone because of the new partnership with Hasselblad. The 48MP main shooter captures wonderful photos with natural color tones and excellent dynamic range. The 50MP ultrawide sensor is very large and captures simply as a lot element. It even has a freeform lens over height, serving to to nearly do away with edge distortion in ultrawide shots. The 8MP telephoto lens has 3.3x optical zoom, 30x virtual zoom, and OIS. Video may be a highlight, with reinforce for as much as 8K 30 FPS, 4K A hundred and twenty FPS, DOL-HDR, and Nightscape for low-light pictures.

You’ll want for nothing with the OnePlus 9 Pro (unless it is 5G on AT&T), even though it is the most costly OnePlus telephone thus far at over $1,000. Rest confident that you just’re getting an enormous bang for your greenback, especially when in comparison to the festival.

The OnePlus 9 Pro gained the fastest charging phone award and 3 highly recommended awards.

Read our full OnePlus 9 Pro review

4. Google Pixel 6 Pro

The final Android revel in

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (3120 x 1440; 10-120Hz)

Android model: 12

CPU: Tensor

RAM: 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear cameras: 50MP major (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2), 48MP telephoto (ƒ/3.5) with 4x optical zoom

Front digital camera: 11.1MP (ƒ/2.2)

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 7:49

Reasons to shop for

+Incredible cameras+Tensor performs well+Beautiful new design+More affordable than other flagships

Reasons to avoid

-Shorter battery existence than competitors

If you wish to have the best Android revel in possible at this time, then look no further than the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s the big boy this 12 months from Google with an expansive 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh price. It also sports activities the new Tensor system-on-chip, Google’s own homegrown silicon. Built for AI and system finding out, it has some impressive features.

But that’s not all. The Pixel 6 Pro sports the best cameras we’ve ever observed on a Pixel, including a telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom. The giant 5,000 mAh battery, while impressive on paper, didn’t pop out to really remarkable battery existence results in our testing. However, in our anecdotal usage, the Pixel 6 Pro is more than good enough enough to last a day. And with 30W charging (charging brick bought one after the other), you can peak off briefly.

This is the Android telephone for pictures enthusiasts, as well as those who need the latest and biggest in the case of the Android OS itself. Android 12 completely shines on this telephone. And beginning at $899, this is one in every of the most inexpensive flagship phones you'll to find presently.

Read our complete Pixel 6 Pro review.

5. Google Pixel 5a

The best Android revel in underneath $500

Specifications

Display: 6.43-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)

Android version: 11

CPU: Snapdragon 765G

RAM: 6GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No

Rear cameras: 12.2MP (f/1.7), 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide

Front digital camera: 8MP (f/2.0)

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 9:45

Reasons to buy

+Excellent cameras+Bright OLED display+128GB of storage

Reasons to steer clear of

-Older chipset-Limited to US and Japan

The Google Pixel 5a is one among the best Android phones because of its worth, its cameras, and its application enjoy. Google actually nailed it with the 5a, offering the largest battery ever in a Pixel. The 5a is also reasonably larger than its predecessor, with a large and shiny 6.43-inch OLED display.

While the $100 worth hike over the Pixel 4a would possibly sting a little bit, the Pixel 5a is however a forged telephone for the cash, coming in at $50 inexpensive than ultimate yr’s Pixel 4a 5G. The Snapdragon 765G in the Pixel 5a is the identical processor you’ll in finding in the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G and it helps the 5a power through any process you'll be able to throw at it. The 765G is, however, old at this level — it’s possible that Qualcomm both gave Google a nice deal, or simplest had 765G chips to spare due to the chip scarcity. 

The Pixel 4a closing yr used to be an excellent phone, however the 5a is even higher. With stronger battery life, more horsepower, and a 2d ultrawide camera, the 5a is for sure the best Android telephone beneath $500.

We'll quickly assessment the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google's flagship phones which sport a new Tensor processor that guarantees more software-powered digital camera features and higher voice-powered functions. We'll to find out the place the ones phones rank on this listing very shortly.

Read our complete Google Pixel 5a review.

6. OnePlus 9

Yet any other house run from OnePlus

Specifications

Display: 6.65-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080; 120 Hz)

Android model: 11

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 8GB, 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 48MP main (f/1.8); 50MP ultrawide (f/2.2); 2MP monochrome

Front digicam: 16MP (f/2.4)

Battery lifestyles: 10:51 (120Hz); 10:53 (60Hz)

Reasons to buy

+Ridiculously fast charging+Top-performing Android telephone+Better cameras than previous OnePlus models+Solid battery lifestyles

Reasons to steer clear of

-Some color inconsistencies remain with cameras

Though no longer rather as fancy as its Pro brother, the OnePlus 9 remains to be an implausible phone, especially for the money. You get a flat 6.65-inch FHD+ 120 Hz display that looks superb, the same 48MP extensive and 50MP ultrawide cameras as the OnePlus 9 Pro, and the best processor you'll be able to get with an Android instrument, the Snapdragon 888.

Battery life is any other primary plus, with the OnePlus 9 lasting for 10 hours and 51 minutes in the Tom’s Guide battery test with the 120 Hz mode enabled. The cameras are much advanced over the OnePlus 8T and other OnePlus phones, too, meaning that you'll be able to seize bright scenes with more correct colours and dynamic range. The loss of a telephoto lens is a bummer, though.

Best of all, the OnePlus Nine starts at $729 for the 8GB/128GB model. That’s a large number of telephone for the money and it offers a real challenge to Samsung’s Android crown. And with the OnePlus 9T formally canceled, the OnePlus Nine is your best guess for an inexpensive OnePlus flagship.

Read our complete OnePlus 9 review

7. Moto G Power (2021)

The longest-lasting Android telephone

Specifications

Display: 6.6-inch LCD (1600 x 720)

Android model: Eleven with My UX

CPU: Snapdragon 662

RAM: 3GB, 4GB

Storage / Expandable: 32GB, 64GB / Yes

Rear digital camera: 48MP (ƒ/1.7) main; 2MP (ƒ/2.4) macro; 2MP (ƒ/2.4) depth

Front digicam: 8MP (ƒ/2.0)

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 14:04

Reasons to buy

+All-day battery life+Low price together with a sub-$200 type+Attractive design for the cheap phone

Reasons to avoid

-Only one Android application replace-Ho-hum performance

In contemporary years, there’s been one telephone to show to when you need the absolute best battery existence for an Android phone — the Moto G Power. The 2021 version of this telephone doesn’t make many adjustments from its predecessor, sticking with the 5,000mAh battery that sets the pace for other phones. The Moto G Power (2021) lasted greater than 14 hours on our battery take a look at, kind of Four hours longer than the moderate smartphone.

Motorola has made one the most important change with the Moto G Power — its price. While you can nonetheless get a version of the telephone with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage for an exquisite $249, if you can live with less RAM and garage, the value drops to $199. That’s an implausible value for a tool that lasts all day after which some on a unmarried rate.

The Moto G Power (2021) won a Tom's Guide award for the best phone battery lifestyles.

Read our full Moto G Power (2021) review.

8. Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung's low cost flagship

Specifications

Display: 6.2-inch OLED (2400x1080; 48 to 120Hz)

Android model: 11 with One UI 3.1

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 8GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear camera: 12MP primary (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 64MP telephoto (ƒ/2.0) with 3x optical zoom

Front camera: 40MP (ƒ/2.2)

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:54

Reasons to buy

+Excellent dynamic 120Hz show+Powerful performance+Refined design

Reasons to keep away from

-No charger or microSD card slot-Plastic again

If you’re enticed via a few of the features Samsung has presented in its Galaxy S21 lineup however put off via the thought of $1,000 phones, then the same old Galaxy S21 is the telephone for you. You’ll revel in the dynamic refresh charge, very good cameras and Snapdragon 888 chipset found in different participants of the S21 circle of relatives, but at a low $799 beginning price. That’s $Two hundred not up to last 12 months’s Galaxy S20.

Samsung makes some sacrifices to get this cheaper price, starting with the materials it makes use of for the phone’s design. But that’s a small consideration while you get a telephone this tough for lower than $800. With an excellent zoom lens aided by wonderful software additions, this may be an ideal phone to get if you need great footage and movies. 

Be positive to learn our Google Pixel 5a vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 comparability if you're having hassle deciding between these two excellent and inexpensive phones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

9. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

The best affordable 5G choice

Specifications

Display Size: 6.5-inch LCD (1600 x 720); 90Hz

Android version: 11 with OneUI 3.1

CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 720

RAM: 4GB

Storage / Expandable: 64GB / Yes

Rear digicam: 68MP (f/1.8) major, 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 5MP (f/2.4) macro, 2MP (f/2.34) depth

Front digital camera: 13MP (f/2.2)

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 11:39 (adaptive), 12:22 (60hz)

Reasons to buy

+Long-lasting battery+Inexpensive 5G software+Four years of safety patches

Reasons to avoid

-Subpar functionality-Middling display with so-so brightness

Phones that work with 5G networks no longer require four-figure outlays. Prices have dropped dramatically in the previous yr, and the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is evidence of that. For $279, you'll be able to get a 5G-capable telephone that's less expensive than even Google's reasonably priced Pixel 5a.

You'll make some compromises for that lower cost — the MediaTek Dimensity 720 that powers the telephone is not the most powerful chipset now we have come throughout — but not as many sacrifices as you could suppose. For starters, the Galaxy A32 5G display has a 90Hz refresh fee for smoother scrolling. And its battery lasts a long time, even if in case you have the quicker fee enabled.

Samsung also promises 4 years of safety patches so you'll wring every final penny out of the Galaxy A32. That makes this Android telephone an even better worth.

Read our complete Samsung Galaxy A32 5G review.

10. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The best Android telephone that is additionally foldable

Specifications

Display: 7.6-inch OLED (2208x1768) primary; 6.2-inch OLED (2268 x 832) quilt

Android Version: 11 with OneUI 3.1

CPU: Snapdragon 888

RAM: 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No

Rear camera: 12MP huge (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2); 12MP telephoto (ƒ/2.4)

Front camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2) duvet; 4MP (ƒ/1.8) beneath display

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 7:52 (60Hz); 6:35 (120Hz)

Reasons to buy

+More durable, water resistant design+Dual 120Hz shows+Improved multitasking

Reasons to keep away from

-Still dear-S Pen is not included-Disappointing battery life

The Galaxy Z Fold Three is the best foldable phone Samsung has ever constructed, bettering upon the Galaxy Z Fold 2 that came before it. Both presentations in this new fashion now refresh at 120Hz for smoother scrolling, and Samsung has made the phone harder total. S Pen strengthen brings added capability, regardless that the S Pen is an not obligatory accent that you'll have to pay additional so as to add.

Samsung's newest foldable takes a step again in phrases of battery life, possibly because of that sooner refresh rate, and the cameras have not changed from ultimate 12 months's type. But there is a quicker processor and higher app reinforce for the foldable screen. The debut value is $200 decrease, too, at $1,799, though for a inexpensive foldable telephone, try Samsung's $999 Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.

How to make a choice the best Android phone for you

The first position to begin when looking for the best Android phone for you is your price range. And there are necessarily a few tiers. The least expensive Android phones value beneath $Two hundred and offer most commonly the fundamentals for using apps, taking pictures and staying attached. 

As you progress up to underneath $450, you can to find extra compelling handsets, touting better processors, higher-grade materials and more camera lenses. Progress into the $700-and-up vary, and the best phones offer flagship-caliber functionality together with cutting-edge computational pictures and special features.

The maximum top rate Android phones offer foldable designs. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the most fully-featured of those phones, but the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and its sub-$1,000 price make it the more appealing choice.

As you might believe, new Android phone releases are always lurking around the nook. In early 2022, we predict to look new Samsung and OnePlus flagships, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 likely to power each the Samsung Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10. (Early Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 benchmarks give a sign of what to anticipate from that chipset.)

How we check smartphones

Every smartphone Tom’s Guide evaluates is examined for a number of days in real-world use cases and benchmarked with a gamut of performance-measuring apps. In phrases of functionality, we used Geekbench Five to measure total pace and 3DMark to measure graphics performance.

We additionally use our own video editing check in the Adobe Premiere Rush app to look how long it takes to transcode a clip, which we run on each Android phones and iPhone to match functionality.

We use a mild meter to establish show quality knowledge, like brightness and color accuracy, and our proprietary battery check determines longevity on a fee by ceaselessly loading reside webpages over a 4G or 5G network. We set each phone to one hundred fifty nits of screen brightness and check out to use T-Mobile's network each time in order to succeed in similar effects throughout phones.

Lastly, we explore the software, test gaming performance and behavior are living camera comparisons with rival handsets — and each and every of those components play an element in our comprehensive verdict.

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