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Android phones come in all shapes, sizes, and price points, but some are a cut above the rest. Whether you're looking for a foldable phone powered by the latest and greatest in mobile processing, an affordable device that doesn't hold back on power, or Google's latest Android enhancements, there's something for you.

And with Black Friday deals already ahead of the holiday shopping season, there's never been a better time to buy a new phone. So before you spend days wading through our exceptional reviews, here's what we consider the best Android phones available right now.

Editors choice

8.50 / 10

For the second year in a row, Google has knocked it out of the park. The Pixel 7 Pro might not look all that different from the Pixel 6 Pro before it, but it features some key upgrades that might cement it as the best in the series yet. Everything we loved about last year's phones is unchanged. It's still packed with 12GB of RAM, features a huge 120Hz OLED display — now brighter than ever — and keeps the large camera bar design that, while not everyone's cup of tea, does keep the phone from rocking back and forth on a table.

So what's new this year? More than you think. It all starts with the design, which has been subtly revised in some crucial ways. The back panel is still glossy glass — a bummer, to be sure — but the camera bar is coated in polished aluminum that blends directly into the frame of the phone. Hot stuff. The curved screen is still here, but it's much less rounded this time, making it easier to hold in your hand than the Pixel 6 Pro ever was. It's also powered by Tensor G2, and while it might not be a generational leap in performance, it does make a whole slew of new AI-powered software tricks possible.

The real highlight here, as always, is the camera. Google kept the same 50MP primary sensor around, outputting images at 12.5MP. It's able to crop in at 2x this year, though, and the resulting images are incredible. The ultra-wide lens has been upgraded to a much wider field-of-view — one that can actually be labeled as "ultra-wide" — and thanks to those improvements, the Pixel 7 Pro features an exclusive Macro Mode. Of course, the biggest upgrade over the base Pixel 7 is the telephoto lens. It's 5x this year — up from 4x — and supports up to 30x digital zoom using Super Res Mode. It puts out some incredible photos, especially at 10x, which seems to be Super Res Mode's sweet spot.

No phone's perfect, and that includes the Pixel 7 Pro. As taken as we might be with it, the battery life leaves something to be desired. You'll likely get through a full day with normal use, but not much more. We also prefer some of the design choices on the smaller Pixel 7; that polished aluminum looks great at first glance, but our review units have already picked up some scratches.

Last year, we declared the Pixel 6 the better buy for most people, and largely speaking, that's still true today. But it's getting harder than ever to ignore how good the telephoto lens is on the Pixel 7 Pro. If you want to get the most out of mobile photography, the Pixel 7 Pro is where it's at — and that's why it earns our editor's choice placement as the best Android phone right now.

Specifications
  • SoC: Google Tensor G2
  • Display: 6.7-inch QHD+ OLED, 120Hz, LTPO
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Operating System: Android 13
  • Front camera: 10.8MP, f/2.2, 92.8° FoV
  • Rear cameras: 50MP wide (f/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 125.8° FoV), 48MP telephoto (f/3.5, 5x optical zoom)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6e, 5G (sub6 / mmWave)
  • Dimensions: 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 212g
  • Charging: 23W wired with Google 30W USB-C charger, up to 23W wireless with Pixel Stand, 12W wireless with compatible Qi chargers
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Price: $899 USD
Pros
  • Excellent year-over-year refinements
  • Incredible camera quality
  • Some truly impressive software tools
Cons
  • Battery life could and should be better
  • Some questionable design choices
  • Might not be worth $300 more than the Pixel 7 for some
Buy This Product
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best value

9.00 / 10

Last year's Pixel 6 shocked us with its price tag. $600 for a flagship phone — with only a few cut corners — seemed too good to be true. Once Google managed to squash some early bugs, the resulting phone left us impressed. It seemed like the dream would end this year, as prices continue to rise throughout much of the industry. Imagine our surprise when Google not only managed to outdo itself with the Pixel 7, but it kept the price down to just $600 for another year.

The design improvements are even more evident here than on the Pixel 7 Pro. The matte aluminum finish covering the frame and blending in the camera bar looks phenomenal, and should age better than the polished metal on the larger phone. It's also smaller this year, with a 6.3" 90Hz OLED display and smaller bezels contributing to the phone feeling much more comfortable in hand. Yes, the glossy back glass is still here, but overall, we actually prefer some of the design choices here over what's on the Pro.

Really, the biggest downgrades come in the camera department. Google kept the same 114° ultra-wide lens as the Pixel 6, which means no Macro Mode. It's also missing that phenomenal telephoto lens, which restricts just how far you can zoom in on photos. Sure, that absolutely fantastic 50MP main sensor still lets you crop in at 2x, but after that, you're fully reliant on software-enhanced digital zoom. It restricts Super Res Zoom to just 8x on this phone, a far cry from 30x on the Pro.

For some buyers, it won't matter. The $300 savings between the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro is a lot of money, and you're getting nearly the same great experience here as you would on the more expensive device. There's always a chance that the Pixel 8 series will see a price hike when it debuts in late 2023, but for now, the Pixel 7 continues on the legacy of its predecessor. You don't need to pay over $1,000 to get a flagship phone experience — the Pixel 7 proves that, and then some.

Specifications
  • SoC: Google Tensor G2
  • Display: 6.3-inch FHD+ OLED, 90Hz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB
  • Battery: 4,355mAh
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Operating System: Android 13
  • Front camera: 10.8MP, f/2.2, 92.8° FoV
  • Rear cameras: 50MP wide (f/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 114° FoV)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6e, 5G (sub6 / mmWave), NFC, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Dimensions: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
  • Weight: 197g
  • Charging: 20W wired, up to 20W wireless
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Price: From $599 USD
Pros
  • In some ways, it's an even better design than the Pixel 7 Pro
  • Fantastic photos from the primary and ultra-wide lenses
  • Excellent performance priced well below the competition
Cons
  • No telephoto lens
  • Super Res Zoom limited to 8x
  • A smaller battery than last year's Pixel 6
Buy This Product
Google Pixel 7
Premium pick

9.00 / 10

For all intents and purposes, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a Note in everything but name. Garaged S Pen back and clickier than ever? Check. Supersized screen with the fanciest features? 1700-nit bright check. Weird colors and shock-inducing price? Check and check! Despite the app throttling outrage around launch, the Galaxy S22 Ultra remains one of the most powerful Android phones available in Western markets. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset lends more than enough power to your gaming, productivity, or multitasking.

The Ultra's larger battery keeps it fed without begging for a charger mid-afternoon like its smaller siblings. The Ultra's lack of a cohesive camera module may be a dust magnet as well as a turn-off for some. Still, the pictures and 8K video you'll get out of these four cameras are award-worthy if you're willing to go Pro mode now and then when the automatic settings can't match your vision. $1,200 for a smartphone is a bit much, even among flagships, but you can't deny the hardware quality and Samsung's more full-featured approach to Android software with One UI 4.1.

One UI takes Material You and runs with it in slightly more refined and customizable ways than the Google Pixel series. The S22 Ultra also ties into Samsung's expansive ecosystem, from the Galaxy Watch 5 to a bushel of Galaxy Buds and exclusive, extra-useful features on Windows Your Phone Companion that will let you see and control your phone from your laptop or desktop. It's definitely an investment, but as the S22 Ultra is slated to receive four platform updates and five years of security updates, this phone can last you half a decade so long as you take care of it.

Specifications
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Display: 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED @ 120Hz (variable)
  • RAM: 8GB,12GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Operating System: Android 12 with One UI 4.1
  • Front camera: 40MP f/2.2, 26mm
  • Rear cameras: 108 MP f/1.8 primary, 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10 MP f/2.4 3x telephoto, 10 MP f/4.9 10x telephoto,
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e; Bluetooth 5.2; 5G mmWave and sub6
  • Dimensions: 163.3mm x 77.9mm x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 229 grams
  • Charging: 45W wired, 15W wireless (Qi)
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Price: Starting at $1,199
  • Micro SD card support: No
  • Stylus type: S Pen
Pros
  • Superb display
  • Great build quality
  • The S Pen is back!
Cons
  • Large enough to be awkward to handle
  • Costs $1,200
  • Doesn't come with a charger
Buy This Product
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

9.00 / 10

Last year's Google Pixel 5a was an amazing budget phone with one fatal flaw: you couldn't buy it outside the United States and Japan. This year, everyone can finally get in on the a-series action again with the Google Pixel 6a, which finally brings the a-series in line with the new design style that debuted on the Google Pixel 6 and gives us the same power and performance of the Google Tensor chipset within those flagship phones. To put this in the simplest terms, the Pixel 6a is a smaller Google Pixel 6 with the Pixel 5a's camera, a slightly duller 60Hz screen, and without wireless charging. And shockingly, the only thing you're likely to miss from the Pixel 6 is the wireless charging and screen brightness.

While many reviews are lamenting the Pixel 6a's battery because it doesn't last quite as long as the Pixel 5a's did, this is still a phone that will easily last you a day, probably even two if you're not on your phone six hours a day like me. Tensor's performance is fast and consistent, and its camera-processing prowess helps the cameras here — almost identical to the ones in the Pixel 5a, 5, 4a 5G, etc. — capture images more quickly and accurately, taking advantage of Real Tone as well as post-processing features like Magic Eraser and its new Camouflage mode in order to keep busy, distracting photos focused on you and your subject.

As much as this phone is like the Pixel 6 in good ways, it's like it in bad ways, too. Signal strength on the Pixel 6a is slightly (but noticeably) weaker than its competitors, most likely due to the modems inside this phone not being made by Qualcomm. If you live somewhere with strong coverage or tend to use Wi-Fi calling anyway, it shouldn't impact you, but if you live in a borderline dead zone, you might want to look elsewhere.

Specifications
  • SoC: Google Tensor
  • Display: 6.1” 2400x1080 (20:9) 60Hz OLED
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Ports: 1x USB Type-C
  • Operating System: Android, five years of security updates
  • Front camera: 8MP f/2.0 IMX355 84°FOV
  • Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.73 IMX 363 w/OIS 77° FoV; Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2 IMX386 114° FoV
  • Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
  • Others: eSIM, M3/T4 Hearing Aid Compatibility
  • Dimensions: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm, 178g
  • Colors: Sage (green), Chalk (white), Charcoal (black)
  • Charging: 18W USB PD
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Price: Starting at $450
Pros
  • Solid, fast Google Tensor performance
  • Smallest Pixel phone since 2020
  • Pixel software with five years of security updates
  • Fast, consistent camera
  • Awesome haptics
Cons
  • Battery life isn't as good as the Pixel 5a
  • Screen isn't as bright as we'd like
  • Worse signal than Snapdragon-powered phones
Buy This Product
Google Pixel 6a

8.50 / 10

Like the Z Fold 4, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is an incremental upgrade over last year's model. From the outside, it looks nearly identical to the Z Flip 3, with a matching clamshell design and external cover screen. When it's unfolded, it looks nearly identical to any other Galaxy device — and that's the magic of this device. You'll still get the big display that every smartphone maker seems to insist on including these days, but in a pocketable design that folds — or flips — into a smaller package perfect for taking on the go.

Unfortunately, these minor year-over-year improvements mean you'll still find plenty of shortcomings here. The cameras are lacking, especially compared to devices in this price range. That said, some software trickery — not to mention the functionality added by the folding display and the cover screen — might make it easy to overlook the middling quality to focus on just how fun shooting with the Z Flip 4 can be. Battery life is still a concern here, too. Although Samsung increased the overall capacity, it's still enough to just get through a full day of use, and nothing more. But if you find yourself bored by modern Android smartphones — and you don't mind a couple of the compromises you'll need to take here — the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is absolutely worth your consideration.

Specifications
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Display: 6.7" 2640 x 1080 120Hz OLED primary, 1.9" 260 x 512 OLED cover display
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Ports: 1x USB Type-C
  • Operating System: Android 12L (OneUI 4.1.1)
  • Front camera: 10MP f/2.4 hole-punch camera (80˚ FoV, 1.22μm pixels)
  • Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle (83˚ FoV, OIS, 1.8μm pixels), 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (123˚ FoV, 1.12μm pixels)
  • Connectivity: 5G (inc mmWave), LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
  • Others: Single SIM, eSIM, wireless reverse charging/PowerShare, side-mounted capacitive FP sensor
  • Dimensions: 71.9 x 84.9 x 17.1mm folded (tapering to 15.9mm), 71.9 x 165.2 x 6.9mm unfolded, 187g
  • Colors: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue
  • IP Rating: IPX8
  • Price: Starting at $1,000
Pros
  • Priced competitively with other flagships
  • Feels great in the hand
  • it's fun!
Cons
  • Still lacking in the battery department
  • It can feel bulky when folded
  • Lackluster cameras
Buy This Product
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

9.00 / 10

If you're looking for a smartphone guaranteed to catch the eye of every passerby on the street, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is for you. Although it's a minor upgrade over last year's foldable, Samsung has managed to improve on its predecessor in some crucial ways. The camera performance is better than ever before, though it's still a far cry from what you'll find on the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the Pixel 6 Pro. The under-display camera on the interior screen still isn't great, but it's camouflaged better than ever before, making it less distracting when watching movies on the go. Plus, thanks to the power efficiency of its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, it'll last longer on a charge than ever.

At its core, this phone keeps all the things we love about Samsung's tablet-sized foldable. With an external 6.7" display and a massive 7.6" inner screen, it's a productivity machine. Fire off replies in the group chat using the front screen, or take notes during your next meeting with S Pen support. The dual displays are, without a doubt, the reason to buy Samsung's high-end foldable, but be warned — you'll be paying for the privilege. This year's Z Fold 4 is just as expensive as last year's, starting at $1,800 for an entry-level 256GB of storage. Ultimately, this phone won't be right for everyone, but if Samsung has swayed you over with its vision of the future, this is the best Fold yet.

Specifications
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Display: 7.6" 2176 x 1812 120Hz OLED primary, 6.2" 2316 x 904 120Hz OLED cover display
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Ports: 1x USB Type-C
  • Operating System: Android 12L (OneUI 4.1.1)
  • Front camera: 4MP f/1.8 under-display camera (80˚ FoV, 2.0μm pixels), 10MP f/2.2 cover display camera (85˚ FoV, 1.22μm pixels)
  • Rear cameras: 50 MP f/1.8 wide-angle (85˚ FoV, OIS, 1.0μm pixels), 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (123˚ FoV, 1.12μm pixels), 10MP f/2.4 telephoto (36˚ FoV, OIS, 1.0μm pixels)
  • Connectivity: 5G (inc mmWave), LTE, up to Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
  • Others: Up to dual SIMs, eSIM, wireless reverse charging/PowerShare, side-mounted capacitive FP sensor
  • Dimensions: 67.1 x 155.1 x 15.8 mm folded (tapering to one edge), 130.1 x 115.1 x 6.3 mm unfolded, 263g
  • Colors: Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige, Burgundy
  • IP Rating: IPX8
  • Price: Starting at $1,800
  • Stylus type: S Pen supported
Pros
  • It’s a tiny pocket tablet!
  • Super fast performance
  • Great displays, inside and out
  • Improved cameras over the Z Fold 3
Cons
  • Interior selfie camera isn’t very good
  • Difficult to type on the cover display
  • Even more expensive than last year
Buy This Product
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

7.50 / 10

The OnePlus 10 Pro didn't exactly light the world on fire, with a price tag that simply didn't align with its hardware. Thankfully, the OnePlus 10T offers much more bang for your buck — assuming you're okay with giving up some OnePlus staples. For just $650, the 10T includes Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, a chip that delivers meaningful performance improvements over the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 found in the 10 Pro. This phone stays cool under pressure, sports the fastest charging speeds you can find on a phone in the US, and it even includes a charger in the box. That's all for just $50 more than the Pixel 6 — not too shabby.

Of course, as with any modern OnePlus phone, a handful of trade-offs might be too much for some buyers. First, the brand's signature alert slider is gone. While we expect it to return just in time for the OnePlus 11, that doesn't help anyone who picks up this phone. Battery life is acceptable but far from industry-leading. Fast charging helps alleviate any of the battery woes you might experience otherwise, but if you're looking for multi-day performance, the 10T isn't it. Finally, software woes continue to plague OnePlus phones; if OxygenOS isn't for you, this device might not be either.

Don't let those cons fool you, though — this is the best flagship phone we've seen from OnePlus in a couple of years. If you can make do with those downsides, the OnePlus 10T is a great daily driver.

Specifications
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Display: 6.7" 1080p OLED, 120Hz
  • RAM: 8GB, 16GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Operating System: Oxygen OS 12.1, Android 12
  • Front camera: 16MP f/2.4
  • Rear cameras: 50MP f/1.8 primary, 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 macro
  • Colors: Moonstone Black, Jade Green
  • Charging: 125W (US), 150W (international)
  • Price: From $650
Pros
  • Great performance, especially at this price
  • Incredible charging speeds
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • OxygenOS 12 could be better
  • The signature OnePlus alert slider is gone
Buy This Product
OnePlus 10T

9.00 / 10

The OnePlus 10T is a solid upper mid-range offering, but for plenty of shoppers, it's still too expensive. Thankfully, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is a great budget offering from OnePlus, and in some ways, it's even better than its more powerful big brother. The Snapdragon 695 powering it might not sound impressive on paper, but performance is pretty solid across the board. It's even powerful enough to play older 3D titles without much issue, although games like Fortnite might struggle to keep up.

For just $300, you're looking at an excellent 1080p OLED display — though, unfortunately, it's capped at 60Hz — 33W fast-charging, and a clean design that's arguably more attractive than the 10-series. Battery life is the star of the show here; Ryne hit over 10 hours of screen-on time in his review, guaranteeing most users should hit two or three days of battery life with regular use. OnePlus ships the phone with Android 11, and there's still no sign of an update to Android 12 (let alone 13), but some users might find that to be a good thing. The software experience here is far above what current OxygenOS builds offer, with minimal changes to the typical Android experience. OnePlus has committed to a software update schedule for the N20 5G, though we have yet to see anything come from this.

Of course, no phone at this price comes without some sacrifices. The cameras are, unsurprisingly, pretty mediocre. They're good enough for social media, but you probably won't want to order prints of these shots. There's just one bottom-firing speaker, so say goodbye to stereo sound for movies or music. Finally, the phone only supports 5G on T-Mobile — it's 4G only on AT&T, and lacks support for Verizon at all. If you can get over these shortcomings, though, the Nord N20 5G is a great budget buy.

Specifications
  • SoC: Snapdragon 695
  • Display: 6.43" 1080x2400 (20:9) OLED 60Hz
  • RAM: 6GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB (UFS 2.2), microSD expandable
  • Battery: 4500mAh
  • Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Operating System: Oxygen OS 11 (Android 11)
  • Front camera: 16MP f/2.4
  • Rear cameras: 64MP f/1.79 Primary, 2MP f/2.4 Macro, 2MP f/2.4 Monochrome
  • Connectivity: 5G (Sub-6GHz), LTE, Wi-Fi (dual-band, up to ac), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC
  • Dimensions: 159.9 x 73.2 x 7.5 mm, 173g
  • Colors: "Blue Smoke"
  • Charging: 33W SuperVOOC
  • IP Rating: IP 52
  • Price: $300
  • Brand: OnePlus
Pros
  • Incredible multi-day battery life
  • Excellent design and display
  • Good performance
Cons
  • Mediocre camera quality
  • Outdated software
  • Some carrier support issues
Buy This Product
OnePlus N20 5G

8.00 / 10

It's hard to find a small flagship smartphone these days, but if you're on the hunt for one, the Asus Zenfone 9 might be your best bet. Not only is it designed for one-handed use — perfect for anyone sick of phablets — but it does so without sacrificing anything you'd want in a premium device. With a 5.9" 1080p 120Hz OLED, a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, and excellent battery life, you're looking at a flagship through and through. It even has a headphone jack — good luck finding that on any Samsung smartphones. If you're fine with settling for some so-so cameras and giving up wireless charging, the Zenfone 9 might be a great choice.

So what's the biggest shortcoming here? It's carrier support, specifically in the US. If you're on T-Mobile, you shouldn't run into any issues, but it's missing a couple of key bands for AT&T. Verizon customers are in the worst spot, as LTE band 13 support isn't here. Ultimately, T-Mobile users can buy this phone without hesitation, and AT&T subscribers shouldn't have too much of an issue, but the last thing you want when dropping a grand on a smartphone is to feel uncertain about carrier support.

Specifications
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
  • Display: 5.9" OLED, 2400 x 1080 (20:9) @ 120Hz
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Ports: USB 2.0 (Type-C), 3.5mm audio
  • Operating System: ZenUI 9 w/ Android 12 (two OS upgrade, two years of security updates)
  • Front camera: 12MP f/2.45 Sony IMX663
  • Rear cameras: 50MP f/1.9 Sony IMX766 w/ 6-axis stabilization,12MP f/2.2 Sony IMX363 ultrawide (113°)
  • Connectivity: 5G (Sub-6GHz), LTE (4G), HSPA (3G), Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
  • Dimensions: 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm
  • Colors: Midnight Black, Moonlight White, Starry Blue, Sunset Red
  • Weight: 169 grams
  • Charging: 30W PD3.0 PPS w/ Quick Charge 4 Adapter
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Price: $700, $750, and $800
  • RAM and Storage: 8GB LPDDR5 RAM + 128GB UFS3.1 storage / 8GB+256GB / 16GB+256GB
  • Micro SD card support: No
Pros
  • It's a small flagship!
  • Great performance and battery life
  • A headphone jack!
Cons
  • No wireless charging
  • Cameras aren't up to par with the competition
  • Carrier support issues in the US
Buy This Product
Asus Zenfone 9

8.50 / 10

The Asus ROG Phone 6 is one of the best gaming phones around, and shouldn't be ignored if you're after power above all else. This thing is built to handle everything you can throw at it, with a super-speedy Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, a massive 6.78" 1080p 165Hz display, and a battery big enough to get you through even the longest of gaming sessions. At $1,000, it's an expensive smartphone, but you're getting what you pay for. Asus has added all sorts of software enhancements for gamers, including some specialized widgets.

Just keep in mind that, as with most gaming phones, there are some sacrifices here. Those dual USB-C ports are nice, but the bottom-facing one is off-center, so it might not fit with third-party controllers. The overall design screams gamer, for better or worse, so if you want something sleek and thin, you're better off elsewhere. The cameras are pretty lackluster — no surprise there — and Asus's reputation for software upgrades is pretty mixed. Still, if you're after a phone that'll keep you winning match after match of League of Legends: Wild Rift — or just the most powerful smartphone around — the ROG Phone 6 is worth a good, long look.

Specifications
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Display: 6.78-inches 2448x1080 20.4:9 165Hz
  • RAM: 8GB/12GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 256GB UFS3.1
  • Battery: 6000mAh
  • Ports: 2 USB-C, dual nano-SIM, headphone jack
  • Operating System: Android 12
  • Connectivity: 2G/3G/4G/5G, WiFi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC
  • Dimensions: 173x77x10.4mm
  • Colors: Phantom Black, Storm White, Phantom Black, and Storm White
  • Display type: AMOLED
  • Weight: 239g
  • Charging: 65W
  • Price: $1,000
  • Camera (Rear, Front): 50MP+13MP+5MP (Rear), 12 MP (Front)
Pros
  • Incredible performance for gaming and productivity
  • Great speakers
  • Long-lasting battery life
Cons
  • Design won't be for everyone
  • Costly
  • Poor cameras
Buy This Product
ROG Phone 6

What's the best Android phone you can buy?

Whether you prefer your phone big or small, complex or blessedly streamlined, there's a brilliant Android phone for you. Google returned to steal our hearts with not one but two of the best phones you can buy today. If you're looking for an all-around fantastic phone, the Google Pixel 7 Pro is it. It sports a refined design over its predecessor, improved performance, and, most importantly, the best cameras on a smartphone today. The primary sensor is just as good as last year, but it's the 5x telephoto where the Pixel 7 Pro shines. It can take some incredible shots, and with Super Res Zoom, it can hit as high as 30x while retaining quality. The Pixel 7 Pro manages to undercut its closest competition from Samsung, too — truly, it's an impressive device.

Of course, at $900, not everyone will be won over by the Pixel 7 Pro. For those looking for the best value in smartphones today, that's the Google Pixel 7. At $600, you're paying well below the price of most flagship phones for something that sports very few cut corners. The Pixel 7 is, arguably, a better-looking phone than the larger Pro, and its reduced size over last year's Pixel 6 means it'll fit better in your hands. Unfortunately, you'll lose that excellent 5x telephoto lens, but at a $300 price difference, you really have to wonder whether it's worth it.

If Google's hardware has your interest piqued, but you're looking to save some cash, consider the Pixel 6a. It's just as good as the Pixel 6 before it, but with some deals ahead of Black Friday, you can grab it for just $300.

Our honorable mentions

If you're looking for something a little more premium, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is well worth a look. It's one of the most powerful phones Samsung has ever built, and beyond the S Pen support, the Ultra has significantly better battery life than its little brothers, the S22 and Galaxy S22+. The Galaxy S22 Ultra's cameras go toe to toe with the Google Pixel 6 Pro and then some, offering a better wide-angle camera and deeper zoom capabilities alongside its smorgasbord of camera modes and settings.

The S22 Ultra isn't Samsung's newest high-performance superphone, of course. That title belongs to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the latest foldable from the company. Blurring the lines between smartphone and tablet, the Z Fold 4 promises to deliver a productivity experience to its users like none other. With a massive 7.6-inch inner display, S Pen support, and new software improvements thanks to Android 12L, this is Samsung's best foldable yet. You'll have to pay to get that sort of experience on the move, of course, and the Z Fold 4 isn't cheap. Starting at $1,800 for the 256GB model, it's as expensive as any phone on the market, and the price alone might turn off some potential buyers completely.

Of course, if the $600 of the Pixel 7 seems a bit steep, the $450 Pixel 6a is far and away the best budget Android phone you can buy today. You get all the same Google Feature Drops and software perks as the Pixel 7 — and in fact, the same Google Tensor processor used in the Pixel 6 for almost identical performance. You'll lose wireless charging, sure, but you'll keep the water resistance.

FAQ

Q: What are the most important things to look for in an Android phone?

It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the specifications and features thrown around in a phone's product listing or reviews. 100x zoom cameras, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, S Pen stylus support, UWB, and the list goes ever on, but what do you actually need, and what’s just icing on the proverbial cake? There are four key features you should look at in a new phone — after you decide on your budget, of course.

  • Camera
  • Screen
  • Battery
  • Software & updates

Why isn’t processor or RAM in here? In recent years, the power of smartphone chipsets has more or less leveled out, and even the performance gap between mid-range and premium chipsets has shrunk considerably. In short, most phones in the same price bracket have the same level of performance, and in the flagship space, you’re already getting more memory than you probably need, too.

Q: What should you look for in a smartphone’s camera?

google pixel 6 pro samsung galaxy s22 ultra cameras

While the camera might not be the most important feature for some buyers, it’s a good indicator of overall speed, performance, and quality. For example, if a review mentions that the camera takes too long to open or too long between shots — such as on our Samsung Galaxy A53 review — when snapping multiple photos in succession, that’s a hint that the phone’s long-term performance might be more sluggish than what initial reviews indicate.

Camera speed becomes essential in many situations, such as grabbing a picture of a car fleeing an accident or capturing your daughter’s first steps. It’s also a good indicator of how your phone handles when under a heavy load. Camera features can also be vital depending on your use case. If you have small children or pets, you’ll want a camera that consistently does well with moving subjects. The Pixel 6’s Real Tone — also available on the Pixel 7 — may appeal to users who despise their camera trying to whitewash them in every shot. If you go to concerts every weekend, you might care about zoom video and photography to get that perfect shot even when you’re twenty rows away.

Q: What matters most in a smartphone screen?

OnePlus 10 Pro review (8)

Most phones in 2022 come with screens in the 6.4 to 6.8-inch range, though aspect ratio certainly plays a role in how wide/narrow/tall/short a phone ends up feeling in your hand. If you prefer more petite devices, be prepared for a difficult search if you want to go smaller than the 6.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S22. Foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offer us a compact form factor in our pockets but a large screen when we want to scroll through our feed, so it’s a worthwhile compromise.

There are three other screen features to consider: curved screens, high refresh rates and maximum brightness. Curved screens can look lovely, but it’s often harder for tempered glass screen protectors to fit on them — and they can also be harder to grip without accidental touches. Some prefer the more seamless look of curved while others like the flat displays (and the lower price they often come with).

Flat or curved, refresh rates are now a feature to check whether you’re spending $200 or $1200 on new phones. The high the refresh rate on a screen, the more smoothly scrolling and other animations can appear on the screen. 60Hz is the classic rate, but 90Hz and 120Hz are becoming much more common, even among mid-range and budget phones like the Samsung Galaxy A32. The higher the refresh rate, the more time your screen refreshes its content in a minute, but it can also use more battery.

Another feature that you might not find in spec sheets is the screen’s maximum brightness, but it’s important for anyone who spends much of their time outdoors. If a screen doesn’t get very bright, it’ll be hard to read outside, but high-brightness modes are also handy when watching HDR content as you’ll get a wider dynamic range and be able to make out details better. You don’t necessarily need a screen that can reach 1,500 nits like the S22 Ultra, but 800 nits is a nice goal if you need to reliably, regularly use your phone outside in full sun.

Q: Why you should look at reviews, not spec sheets, for battery details

The brighter your screen, the more power it consumes. However, battery is more than just a number on a spec sheet; be sure to read the reviews and see how that battery fares in actual use in reviews. While a good power bank or a fast phone charger can somewhat offset a smaller battery, nothing can replace getting a phone with a proper battery life from the start.

Smaller phones are more prone to weaker battery life — smaller housings mean less room for battery, after all — but larger phones aren’t immune to poor optimizations or power-hungry chipsets guzzling power like cheap beer at a baseball game. While sometimes software optimizations can mitigate some of that power drain, it won’t fix it all, which is why it’s best to avoid it if you can.

If you want phenomenal battery for less, look to the Pixel 5a.

Q: Why is software such a subjective category? And which updates matter?

dark-mode-generic-pixel-6-pro-1

Google’s done its best to try and standardize Android as much as it can, but Samsung One UI, OnePlus OxygenOS, Google Pixel, and most Android manufacturers have distinctly different visual designs and feature sets. Because visual design really comes down to preference, reviews of Android software can vary quite a bit from person to person.

For instance, some users can’t stand how One UI behaves towards most third-party launchers or how over-stuffed Samsung’s apps and features are, flocking instead to the Pixel 6, its cleaner design, and automatic call screening (which is a US-only feature for now). However, Samsung is the most popular Android phone manufacturer, and tens of millions of users like how One UI lays out your apps, widgets, and some system settings that are even more advanced than Google.

Smart Launcher on Android 13

If you like how your Android phone looks now, you’ll likely want to stick with that brand. If you’ve been as annoyed with One UI as I have, this is the time to try something new, especially considering the best Android phones receive updates for longer than ever before.

When looking at a phone’s promised updates, it’s important to remember a few things. Platform updates are updates to the features and Android level of your phone; the Pixel 6 series gets at least three years of platform updates while the Galaxy S22 series will receive for five years after its launch.

Security updates are updates that patch vulnerabilities and fix bugs, and these are arguably the more important updates to consider. A three-year-old phone getting the latest version of Android might bog it down, but security updates shouldn’t change how anything looks or performs on your phone. All phones in our best Android phones lineup will receive five years of security updates.

Q: How much RAM and storage does a phone really need in 2022?

Random Access Memory (RAM) is short-term storage, it stores the data of whatever you're doing on your phone right now — both on-screen tasks and background tasks like checking for notifications and finding Wi-Fi networks to connect to. When your RAM fills up, apps and processes running in the background are ended as the phone clears the necessary space for new tasks.

Most flagship phones these days ship with 8-12GB of RAM, but for most users, 6-8GB is just fine so long as you're not constantly gaming. If you're looking at budget Android phones, 4GB of RAM is okay but 6GB is better. Some sub-$200 phones are still selling with 2GB of RAM, but that will severely limit your experience.

How much long-term storage you need grows more important among the best Android phones as fewer and fewer premium phones include a microSD card slot for expandable storage. Manufacturers have done this in the name of saving space and providing a more stable experience — and they're not wrong, microSD storage is always slower than internal, and a corrupted/broken card can screw up your phone — but it also provides them the chance to upsell you on a more expensive configuration of their phones.

For everyday users, 64GB of storage works adequately, but 128GB is better, especially when offered at a reasonable upcharge, those who prefer to keep as much of their data local and offline as possible will prefer 256-512GB. The biggest storage hogs on a phone tend to be videos, music, and photos, and for photos, at least, you can keep local space free by employing an automatic photo backup service like Google Photos, Amazon Photos, or Microsoft OneDrive.