Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


The best Android phones you can buy: Expert tested

We tested more than 30 of the best Android phones released in the past year and rounded up the most spectacular, from flipping foldables to budget picks.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra | Best Android phone overall
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra display
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Best Android phone overall
View now View at Amazon
Google Pixel 8a | Best budget Android phone
Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a
Best budget Android phone
View now View at Best Buy
OnePlus Open | Best foldable Android phone
OnePlus Open folded open on energy yellow background
OnePlus Open
Best foldable Android phone
View now View at OnePlus
Nothing Phone 2 | Best design Android phone
Nothing Phone 2 Red Background
Nothing Phone 2
Best design Android phone
View now View at Amazon
Google Pixel 8 Pro | Best camera Android phone
Google Pixel 8 Pro Actua Display
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Best camera Android phone
View now View at Best Buy
OnePlus 12 | Best fast-charging Android phone
OnePlus 12
OnePlus 12
Best fast-charging Android phone
View now View at OnePlus
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro | Best gaming Android phone
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro
Best gaming Android phone
View now View at Amazon
Motorola Razr Plus | Best compact Android phone
Motorola Razr Plus 2023 Viva Magenta Display
Motorola Razr Plus
Best compact Android phone
View now View at Amazon
Show more (3 items)

As a smartphone reviewer, I spend an unhealthy amount of time testing apps, making phone calls, and snapping way too many food photos with the latest phones on the market. (That's a fancy way of saying, "I love my job.") My primary mobile carrier must also be baffled by all the devices my SIM card constantly switches between. 

Among all the options from Android makers like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus, I've developed a good sense of which ones are truly worth your hard-earned money. See below for my best picks for budget shoppers, power users, and everyone in between.

What is the best Android phone right now?

I thoroughly test every Android phone that makes its way onto my desk, spending at least two weeks with each device before deciding whether or not it fits within ZDNET's buying guide. That said, my pick for the best Android phone overall is the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which features the company's flagship features and specifications, including an S Pen stylus for precision inputs, a 200MP camera system, and the most durable display on any Galaxy phone yet. Read on for the rest of my top picks for the best Android phones you can buy today.

The best Android phones in 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Best display available in any smartphone
  • Reliable quad-camera setup
  • Battery life remains among best in class
  • AI features deliver new value
  • Costs more than some premium laptops
  • No Qi2 magnetic charging
  • Can be unwieldy for some, especially with a case
More Details

Samsung's latest Galaxy S24 line is the first to go all-in on AI, and the S24 Ultra, the most premium of the three, is the best Android phone today. The new Galaxy AI model embedded in the device brings a host of generative capabilities, including real-time phone call translations, the ability to circle an object on screen to perform an image-based Google search, AI-assisted photo editing and transcriptions, and even a Chat Assist feature for figuring out how to phrase a message in different tones.

Like its predecessor, the S23 Ultra, the S24 Ultra is built with a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display and a reliable 5,000mAh battery. Though the price has gone up to $1,299 ($100 more than the S23 Ultra), the phone's upgrades make it well worth it: The S24 Ultra is made of a lightweight yet durable titanium frame, compared to last year's aluminum, and features Corning's latest Gorilla Armor. 

Review: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The difference in display protection means the S24 Ultra is more glare-free than ever, which ZDNET reviewer Jason Hiner suggested: "makes its screen more enjoyable to use than the iPhone 15 Pro Max and other flagship phones." Reddit users seem to agree with Hiner, including one who said he believes "the anti-reflective glass really makes a difference."

Under the hood, the S24 Ultra includes an upgraded Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset for improved graphics and AI features, 12GB RAM (an increase from last year's 8GB), and 2,600 nits of brightness -- a big improvement over last year's 1,750. As for the new camera system, the big upgrade comes in the form of a 50MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. As Hiner discovered, the results were sharper and less noisy images and an overall camera system that could pull in more light than ever before.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | Display size: 6.8 inches | Storage options: Up to 1TB | Rear cameras: 200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 50MP telephoto (5x), 10MP telephoto (3x) | Front camera: 12MP | Battery: 5,000mAh

Pros & Cons
  • Competitively priced at under $500
  • Bright and smooth 120Hz OLED display
  • Seven years of operating system updates
  • Plenty of Android AI features, with more to come
  • Lack of dedicated telephoto lens
  • 6.1-inch screen may be too small for some users
  • Wired charging capped at 18W
More Details

If bang for your buck is what you're after, consider the Google Pixel 8a. There are three key reasons why you should buy the latest Pixel over any other mid-range phone: For $499, you get a comfortable 6.1-inch OLED display that ramps up to a 120Hz refresh rate, a reliable 64MP camera system, and Google's catalog of AI features like Magic Editor, Audio Eraser, and Gemini, all backed by seven years of operating system updates.

Software is the name of the game with Google Pixel phones, and the extensive support provided for the 8a series, powered by a new Tensor G3 chip, should keep it feature-relevant for as long as until 2031. For reference, most phones in this price range, including last year's Pixel 7a, typically receive two to four years of software and security updates.

Review: Google Pixel 8a

Of course, some limitations are expected from a phone in this price range, such as the lack of a dedicated telephoto lens and a slower wired charging rate (18W). However, from my hands-on time with the Pixel 8a, I found it just as capable of capturing various subjects and styles, and the presence of wireless charging makes up for the phone taking a few minutes longer to fully charge than flagship handsets. A significant drawback of the 8a is its charging speed, which, at only 18W, is slower than competing devices, several Reddit users have mentioned.

Google Pixel 8a tech specs: Processor: Google Tensor G3 | Display size: 6.1 inches | Storage options: 128GB, 256GB | Rear cameras: 64MP main, 13MP ultrawide| Front camera: 13MP

Pros & Cons
  • Doubles as a tablet
  • Large 7.8-inch, 120Hz, OLED panel
  • Intuitive multitasking capabilities
  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • No wireless charging
  • Lack of official water and dust resistance
More Details

The number of foldable phones on the market has never been higher, thanks to the collective effort of every manufacturer, including Google with its Pixel Fold, Motorola with its Razr lineup, and OnePlus with the OnePlus Open. While Samsung has held the reins of the best foldable honor for years, I'm giving the top spot to the OnePlus Open right now. 

Unlike its competitors, the OnePlus Open strikes the best balance of weight-to-size ratio. When folded, the phone is as light as an iPhone, and when unfolded, it expands into a thin slate of visual goodness. OnePlus leverages the 7.8-inch display by offering some of the most intuitive multitasking features I've tested, headlined by "Open Canvas." With it, you can open up to three apps at once, and as you tap into each one, the other one or two will tuck itself to the side, ready to reappear when needed.

Review: OnePlus Open

While presented in a casing that stands out more, the triple camera setup captures spectacular photos and videos, emphasizing the blue orangish hues that cinematographers and photography buffs know and love. By nature of the foldable form factor, the Open can also take hands-free selfies and group photos.

OnePlus got the fundamentals down pat with the Open, too, including 65W fast charging capabilities (with a charger in the box) that blow past Samsung's Z Fold 5 and Google's Pixel Fold standards, a base configuration of 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, and a crease-less inner display. The cherry on top for me is its $1,699 price tag. One Amazon customer even says the Open was a surprisingly smooth entryway into Android "after going with just iPhones since the iPhone 7."

OnePlus Open tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | Display size: 6.3 (outer) and 7.8 inches (inner) | Storage options: 512GB | Rear cameras: 48MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto | Front camera: 32MP (outer) 20MP and (inner)

Pros & Cons
  • Glyph Interface is bold and practical to use
  • Nothing OS 2.0 software is bloatware free
  • All-day battery life
  • Priced well
  • Slippery without a case
  • No telephoto lens
  • No Verizon support
More Details

Nothing is easily the hottest Android maker in recent years, with a flashy transparent design language that tugs the heartstrings of retro-tech enthusiasts. It's also one of the few (if not only) new entrants in the smartphone market, joining the fray at a time when others have pulled out.

Fortunately, Nothing Phone 2, the company's successor to Nothing Phone 1, brings the sizzle and the substance to back it up. Powering the phone is an improved Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor with up to 12GB of RAM, which -- from ZDNET's testing -- proved to be more than enough for Nothing's minimalist and digital wellbeing-focused software experience. One Reddit user pointed out that the Nothing Phone 2 "runs smoothly and the battery is extraordinary."

Review: Nothing Phone 2

The key selling point of the Phone 2 is what Nothing calls Glyph Interface, an assembly of LED strips on the back of the phone that blinks in unique patterns depending on incoming alerts and notifications. It's a clever way to leverage the transparent back panel, encouraging users to stare at their phone screens less. Bold design philosophy, I know.

For $549, the Nothing Phone 2 undercuts most flagships on the market today, like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and OnePlus 12, while offering a reliably charming smartphone package that most design freaks and fashionistas will adore.

Nothing Phone 2 tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | Display size: 6.7 inches | Storage options: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Rear cameras: 50MP main, 50MP ultrawide | Front camera: 32MP

Pros & Cons
  • 7 years of software, security, and feature updates
  • Reliable and consistent triple-camera setup
  • Slew of helpful AI features
  • A $100 price bump from the last model
  • Base storage of 128GB
  • Wired charging is just passable at 30W
More Details

The Pixel 8 Pro is no longer the highest-tier flagship that Google offers -- that would be the $1,799 Pixel Fold -- but the 8 Pro remains the company's most refined and tested device to date. The 6.7-inch model is now fitted with a more uniform and curved glass-to-aluminum body and sees an updated Google Tensor G3 chip at the helm. 

With the new processor, the Pixel 8 Pro gets a boost in efficiency and performance and a series of AI features, such as context-aware Call Screening responses, the ability to summarize and translate bodies of text, and even support for simultaneous voice-to-text input with multiple languages. At the time of writing, those features are available exclusively for the 8 Pro thanks to the upgraded Tensor G3 process (from the Pixel 7 Pro's G2).

Review: Google Pixel 8 Pro

It's this focus on "accessible creativity" that gives the Google phone a wonder that's absent from almost every other smartphone brand. To the Pixel 8 Pro's credit, the triple camera array, paired with the company's computational chops, puts it ahead of the competition. From the natural-colored photo and video capture to the HDR-enhanced low-light capturing, the flagship Pixel's camera system is more capable than ever. A recent Best Buy customer noted in their review that "the camera suite might be so good, I actually get into photography and videography as a hobby."

And, if you're not satisfied with your shots, more AI features like Best Take, Audio Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor allow you to tweak subjects' faces, remove distracting background noises from videos, and even change the lighting and ambiance of a photo in post. 

Google Pixel 8 Pro tech specs: Processor: Google Tensor G3 | Display size: 6.7 inches | Storage options: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Rear cameras: 50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto | Front camera: 10.8 MP

Pros & Cons
  • Snappy and smooth performance
  • 80W fast-charging (and 50W wireless) with charger in the box
  • Premium build quality for the price
  • Competitive main camera for photos
  • IP65 rating is not as water resistant as flagship phones
  • Curved glass/frame design can be slippery for some
  • Video recording is not the best
More Details

OnePlus has had its ups and downs over the past four years, pivoting from value-driven smartphones to ultra-premium and back to square one with last year's OnePlus 11. This year, it's doubling down on its value-driven flagships.

The OnePlus 12 starts at $899, which undercuts its closest competitors, the $999 Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and Google Pixel 8 Pro, and here's everything you get for the price: a large 6.8-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, a 5,400mAh battery, a triple camera setup with a competent 50MP main lens at the helm, the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, and more. Again: $899, and that's before the $100 discount when you trade in any phone in any condition to OnePlus. Take advantage of that.

Review: OnePlus 12

Putting the value aspect aside, the OnePlus 12 shines with its charging speed, something you'll quickly take for granted once you realize that phones don't have to be sitting by an outlet for two hours every day. The 80W wired charging on the phone can power it from 0 to 50% within 10 minutes. A full charge takes less than 30 minutes. "80W fast charging is life-changing," a satisfied Best Buy customer adds.

Just as impressive is the OnePlus 12's new 50W wireless charging, a feature many users have been asking for and was sorely missed on last year's model. While the OnePlus 12 is not as "all in" on generative AI features, it offers a well-rounded, high-performing Android experience for a couple of hundred dollars less than other flagship phones.

OnePlus 12 tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | Display size: 6.8 inches | Storage options: 256GB/512GB | Rear cameras: 50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto | Front camera: 32MP

Pros & Cons
  • 6.78-inch OLED display ramps up to 165Hz
  • 5,500mAh battery with 65W charging
  • Included cooling fan doubles as a subwoofer
  • Software experience can feel cluttered
  • May not support your carrier network
  • Pricey, all things said and done
More Details

If there's one area in which Android completely dominates iOS, it's gaming. Whether you game on existing mobile apps or take to the cloud for streaming, Android manufacturers have spent the past decade forging a new category of gaming-tailored smartphones, and the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro may just be the best in its class. 

Here's a rundown of its key gaming features: The phone has a 165Hz refresh rate display for buttery-smooth visuals, 16GB of RAM, the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset to power through games and background tasks, capacitive side triggers that are mappable to various in-game functions, an additional LED back panel that one Reddit user says is "screaming my name," and a 5,500mAh battery keeping the lights turned on. It's a mouthful, I know.

The latest model also features various AI tools, like a wallpaper generator, to suit your theming preferences. For gamers, the phone supports X Sense 2.0, which uses AI to learn your in-game patterns so that the phone can automatically perform tasks for you, such as picking up objects as you move around in Genshin Impact. I tested several of these AI features at CES earlier this year and was impressed with how naturally Asus had embedded them into the phone's software.

But perhaps the most essential addition to this year's ROG Phone, and it's bizarre to think that there's more to all the madness above, is the bundled AeroActive Cooler. On the surface level, it's a cooling fan that snaps onto the back cover of the device. When it's turned on, a small vent opens from the phone, allowing any internal heat to ventilate. The cooler doubles as a subwoofer for enhanced audio output and has extra buttons to give you more controls when in-game.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | Display size: 6.78 inches | Storage options: 512GB/1TB | Rear cameras: 50MP main, 13MP ultrawide | Front camera: 32MP

Pros & Cons
  • Compact size is refreshing to use
  • Uncompromising build quality and performance
  • First foldable with dust resistance
  • Moderate battery life with only 30W charging
  • No telephoto camera
More Details

Phones are getting faster and more powerful, but they're also taking up more space in our pockets. That's why the Motorola Razr Plus shines in the sea of modern smartphones. To be clear, this is a clamshell-style foldable, meaning it shape-shifts from a smaller 3.6-inch display figure to a larger 6.9-inch size when you need it. Naturally, the phone is no larger than a card slot wallet when folded.

Despite its small stature, the Motorola Razr Plus packs a lot of features and performance, as I discovered during my weeks of testing. The handset is powered by an older Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor but can still run the typical slew of apps and services like Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, games, and more. 

Review: Motorola Razr Plus

Thanks to the larger external display (up from 2.7 inches of the previous model), you can run the same programs without ever needing to flip open the phone. An Amazon customer notes, "I get a lot of use of the external screen, and having the phone open halfway comes in handy a lot more than I would have thought."

This quote from my full review sums up my thoughts: "Razr Plus is Motorola's return to form, modernizing a classic flip phone into one of today's best foldables." While the aforementioned OnePlus Open remains the best in its class, the Razr Plus is just as considerable if you want a dual-screen handset for a fraction of the price.

Motorola Razr Plus tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | Display size: 3.6 inches external, 6.9 inches internal | Storage options: 256GB | Rear cameras: 12MP main, 13MP ultra-wide | Front camera: 32MP

What is the best Android phone?

After weighing out the specs and reviewer-tested experiences, the best Android phone is currently the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. It's got a beautiful AMOLED display, a powerful CPU, and a state-of-the-art camera that covers all the bases and angles. Here's how the best of the best compare to each other: 





Cameras (rear)


Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

6.8 inches, 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED

200MP wide, 50MP with 5x optical, 10MP with 3x optical, and 12MP ultrawide, 12MP front-facing camera


OnePlus Open


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

6.3 and 7.8 inches, 120Hz Flexible AMOLED

48MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto


Nothing Phone 2


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

6.7 inches 120Hz AMOLED

50MP main, 50MP ultrawide


Google Pixel 8 Pro


Google Tensor G3

6.7 inches, 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED

50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto


OnePlus 12


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

6.8 inches, 120Hz AMOLED

50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto


Google Pixel 8a


Google Tensor G3

6.1 inches, 120Hz OLED

64MP main, 12MP ultrawide


Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

6.78 inches, 165Hz AMOLED

50MP main, 13MP ultrawide


Motorola Razr Plus


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

3.6 and 6.9 inches, 144Hz and 165Hz OLED

12MP main, 12MP ultrawide


Which is the right Android phone for you?

All of these phones run the same base operating system, but the user interface ranges from stock Android to more elaborate options. First, you need to figure out which fits your needs best.

Camera performance across the board is solid for just about every phone on the list, but some are better than others. If you plan to capture photos as your primary function, then you should look to Google, Samsung, or even OnePlus.

If you plan to spend $1,000 or more, then you may also want your phone to last for at least a couple of years. You should consider companies with a good track record of regular updates, notably Google and Samsung, who currently promise seven years of software support.

Choose this Android phone…

If you want…

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The overall best with nearly no compromises. Buy this phone if you want a device that delivers on display and camera quality, AI features, and battery life. It also comes with an S Pen stylus for precision inputs.

OnePlus Open

The best foldable phone on the market right now, whether you're based in the US or not. The OnePlus Open is built with comfortability in mind, nails the smartphone essentials, all while undercutting its competition by $100.

Nothing Phone 2

A great-looking Android phone that puts hardware and software design first. The Nothing Phone 2 has a unique Glyph Interface feature and a relatively affordable starting price of $599. 

Google Pixel 8 Pro

A clean and minimal software experience and several Google-exclusive perks, like Audio Magic Eraser and Best Take, distinguish the Pixel 8 Pro from the rest of the competition.

OnePlus 12

A phone that takes less than 30 minutes to completely top up, with other specifications that are just as capable. The best is its $899 starting price, which undercuts its flagship competitors.

Google Pixel 8a

Arguably the best sub-$500 phone on the market right now, with a camera system that rivals flagships and a rather comfortable form factor compared to the industry norm.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro

A high-performance package that comes with all the features necessary for an enjoyable gaming experience. That includes side triggers and a cooling fan add-on.

Motorola Razr Plus

A compact phone that doesn't compromise on performance. It's rare to find such a combination, but that's exactly what you're getting with this clamshell foldable.

Factors to consider when choosing an Android phone

We chose these smartphones by testing the phones for weeks and months, evaluating them based on real-world applications like phone calls, messaging, web browsing, and taking way too many pictures and videos. 

ZDNET's mobile experts also liaise with industry colleagues and analysts who have hands-on experience with the handsets, sifting through the Android pile for the best of the best. Here's the breakdown of what factors we look for.

  • Display: Possibly the most overlooked feature on a smartphone, the display is what you stare at, scroll at, and interact with day in and day out. Therefore, when picking the best Android phones -- no matter the budget -- ZDNET put an emphasis on the devices with above-average panels. Ideally, a good display covers a wide color gamut, is durable, and has a high refresh rate for the smoothest visuals.
  • Performance: Most Android devices are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets, and we've found its more recent offerings very capable of running the daily and weekly onslaught of apps and services. When you have a task at hand, the best Android phones above are more than able to get the job done.
  • Camera quality: From group selfies to slow-motion videos, the best Android phones feature camera systems that are reliable and flexible to capture any shot you want. Naturally, an ample amount of storage size is also considered during the selection process.
  • Battery life: For how reliant we've become on smartphones, the top picks on this list are not only able to last you from morning to night but support fast charging when it's time to top up. 
  • Price: What you won't find on this list is a device that's not worth the money, or is overcharging you for the hardware-software package you're getting.

How we test Android phones

ZDNET's review team spends upwards of a year testing the ins and outs of every major Android release, evaluating the day-to-day performance, camera quality, battery life and endurance, and more. Here's a breakdown of every factor we consider before we make recommendations:

  • Design and ergonomics: How good a phone looks and feels plays a big role in many users' buying journeys, so we consider these aspects heavily when testing.
  • Performance: Several factors affect a phone's performance, including LTE/5G signal, battery life, and background tasks. Therefore, we typically begin our evaluations with a fully charged handset, with all background tasks closed, and with as stable of a mobile connection as possible.
  • Camera quality: ZDNET tests phone cameras by capturing hundreds of photos and videos of various subjects and in various lighting conditions. We also compare the output to that of older models.
  • Battery life and charging: It's also important for us to evaluate how long phones last under light, moderate, and heavy usage, how long they take to recharge, and how they do it (wired, wireless, or both). 
  • Special features: These features distinguish tested devices from a bustling smartphone market and hopefully bring added value to users, not the opposite.
  • Pricing and availability: Beyond budget considerations, we also note if a phone is available in the US or only internationally.

For a more extensive breakdown, check out our comprehensive phone testing methodology page.

What is the best brand for Android phones?

The beauty of Android is that you have options. A lot of options. So the answer to "Which brand is best?" depends on your feature, user interface, and design preference. If you prefer a more minimalistic approach to hardware and software, Google's Pixel line will serve you best. If you want everything but the kitchen sink in a smartphone, go with Samsung. For more unique value propositions like ultra-fast charging and a smooth interface, give OnePlus phones a try.

Budget is also worth considering, but today, every major manufacturer, including Google and Samsung, offers Android phones in every price category (budget, mid-range, and premium,) so it won't be your biggest decider.

What is the most reliable smartphone brand?

In the grand scheme, Apple is the most reliable smartphone brand, with the longest, most consistent aftersales support of all manufacturers. If we're looking at Android makers only, then Samsung would take the crown, with a promise of up to seven years of software updates for its latest phones, expansive carrier support across the US (and overseas), and one of the most reliable repair and insurance infrastructures.

Which Android version is best?

The latest version of Android is 99% of the time also the best version. At the moment, that's Android 14, which emphasizes enhanced security and privacy settings.

What is better, an iPhone or an Android?

Customizability remains one of the biggest vantage points of Android, even though Apple has done a commendable job over the past 2-3 iOS versions to give its users more autonomy. You can also expect Android phones to support the most innovative features in the mobile industry, like foldable displays and faster USB-C charging. The caveat of being more experimental is that Android phones are generally not as consistent and reliable as iPhones.

On the flip side, iPhones are notorious for their stability and ease of use. If you're not one to tinker with your gadgets, then you'll fit right into the iOS ecosystem. Features like iMessage and FaceTime are also key differentiators when comparing iPhones to Android. Those two features alone can dictate your decision.

Can I use eSIM on an Android phone?

While Apple's iPhone 14 made headlines for its eSIM integration, the digital service also works -- and has been for some time -- with Android devices, including the latest Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, and OnePlus smartphone. As always, it's best practice to consult with your local carrier before converting to eSIM

What is the best small Android phone?

Besides the Motorola Razr Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is a worthy runner-up, with only a 6.2-inch AMOLED display, up to 512GB of storage, and a flat-edge design that makes it all the easier to manage with one hand. During ZDNET's testing, the small-but-mighty Android proved capable of handling apps and services typically run on larger devices.

Other Android phones we tested

Outside of this list of excellent options, here are worthy alternatives that will surely delight you.

View at AmazonView at Best BuyView at Best Buy

Editorial standards