We test a ton of Android phones. We like the following, but you’ll be better off with one of the above options If you haven’t already, check out our Best Cheap Phone Guide for more.
Google Pixel 6 Pro for 900: The Pixel 6 is enough for most people. The Pro version adds a nice 4x optical zoom camera, a large 6.7-inch screen and curved edges (which I don’t really like much). These features aren’t really worth the $ 300 upcharge but it still makes a very good phone.
Samsung Galaxy S21 at FE $ 600: The S21 FE (7/10, Wired Recommendations) is often 600 or less so you don’t have to pay a dollar more. It takes a lot of the same features from last year’s Galaxy S21 but cuts a few corners to reduce the price. It runs smoothly and has a bright 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, as well as a 120-Hz screen refresh rate. The battery is larger than the standard S21 and comfortably lasts longer all day. The cameras are a bit different, but you still get an ultraviolet and telephoto zoom in addition to the original camera for a reliable imaging system. This is a no-nonsense phone that checks all the boxes. Its software support is also excellent, with four Android OS upgrades and a five-year security update guarantee.
Samsung Galaxy A53 at 50 450: Samsung’s new A-Series phone (8/10, wired recommendation) is a great alternative to the Pixel 5A, not available everywhere. The 6.5-inch screen gets brighter than the pixels (and it works more smoothly), it also has longer software support. Its effectiveness is strong জিনিস things can get a bit stagnant when you try to wake up multiple apps at once — but I was generally satisfied. Batteries can last more than a day, sometimes up to two depending on usage. While the Pixel 5A maintains a good lead, the camera system retains its own.
Moto G Stylus 5G 2022 at $ 500: This is a different phone from the Moto G Stylus 2022 — I know it’s confusing. It’s expensive, but it’s much better. Performance is smooth enough to never cause any frustration, the battery lasts around two full days, and the stylus stays in place if you want to sign some documents on the go. This motto includes NFC for better, non-communicative payments. Unfortunately, in the future it will only get Android 13 and three year security updates, which is not as good as Pixel 5A or Samsung Galaxy A53. Also, cameras don’t hold a candle to their peers.
OnePlus 9 at $ 599 And OnePlus 9 Pro at 799: Last year’s OnePlus phones were a solid purchase, especially at this discounted price (8/10, WIRED recommendation). I would argue that you should wait for the price to drop further. The cameras are tough, and the rest of the hardware is nice as usual. No phone has a real standout feature. You’ll only get two more Android OS upgrades (they’ve just got Android 12) and a three year security update.
Sony Xperia 1 III at 1,198: Sony’s top-end Xperia is great for those who like to tinker with the camera app’s settings or shoot photos or videos in manual mode. The camera experience is fun, but it doesn’t give good results from our best picks above. You’ll get top-of-the-line performance, a nice 4K OLED 120-Hz screen, loud stereo speakers, wireless charging and a headphone jack! It’s just so expensive. Here 5G is only sub-6, which should not be considered its price (5G does not work on AT&T either).