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Today’s Best Android Phones, From Economical to Extravagant

Illustration for article titled Today’s Best Android Phones, From Economical to Extravagant
Image: Rami Al-zayat (Unsplash)

If you’re on the hunt for a new smartphone right now and you’re not inclined towards an iPhone, then that means you’re probably looking at an Android handset.

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Many different companies produce Android phones, and they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and price points. Whether you’re willing to spend a bundle on a super-powered flagship phone or just want something modest, affordable, and effective, you’ve got options.

We’ve picked five of the best Android phones on the market today, from wallet-busting tech gems to budget-friendly devices that are still worth your time (and cash).

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The all-around powerhouse

Right now the Samsung Galaxy S20 is arguably the best all-around Android.
Right now the Samsung Galaxy S20 is arguably the best all-around Android.
Image: Andrew Hayward

Samsung has a strong track record for quality flagship-level phones, and right now the Samsung Galaxy S20 is the best all-around Android.

It’s a super sleek and refined handset with a gorgeous 6.2” Quad HD+ screen, top-of-the-line processing power, a stellar triple-camera setup with 30x zoom, and 5G support. It also has a hearty battery onboard, with both wireless charging and reverse wireless charging (for topping off an accessory or a friend’s phone).

The Galaxy S20+ bumps up to a 6.7-inch screen while the enormous Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen and expanded camera capabilities, including 100x zoom.

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Do the math

The OnePlus 8 delivers a super-fast flagship Android experience with plenty of design gloss and 5G speeds, but has lacks a few of the nicer perks from the Galaxy S20.
The OnePlus 8 delivers a super-fast flagship Android experience with plenty of design gloss and 5G speeds, but has lacks a few of the nicer perks from the Galaxy S20.
Image: Andrew Hayward
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The OnePlus 8 trims off a few perks from the Galaxy S20’s feature set, such as wireless charging and microSD expandable storage, but still delivers a super-fast flagship Android experience with plenty of design gloss and 5G speeds.

This larger 6.55” screen is lower resolution at 1080p, but still very smooth thanks to the enhanced 90Hz refresh rate. You’ll save a fair amount of cash while still getting a top-of-the-line smartphone—or you can pay a bit more for the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is more comparable to the Galaxy S20 with its premium perks.

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Pixel-perfect photos

Android 10 runs smoothly on the Google Pixel 3a even with a less-powerful processor.
Android 10 runs smoothly on the Google Pixel 3a even with a less-powerful processor.
Image: Andrew Hayward
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Google’s best smartphone to date isn’t one of its full-price, full-bodied flagship phones, but rather the mid-range Pixel 3a. Why? Because it delivers a strong Android experience with a brilliant camera, but does so at about half the price of the higher-end Pixel phones.

Android 10 still runs smoothly here even with a less-powerful processor, the 5.6-inch screen is crisp, and the camera is better than anything else in this price range. Bump up to the Pixel 3a XL if you want a larger 6-inch screen instead (otherwise it’s identical).

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Battery for days

The Motorola Moto G Power has an enormous 5,000mAh battery pack that could potentially give you two days of uptime.
The Motorola Moto G Power has an enormous 5,000mAh battery pack that could potentially give you two days of uptime.
Image: Andrew Hayward
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If you don’t want to spend a few bills on a quality, brand new Android phone, then your best choice right now is the Moto G Power. While not packed with immense gaming power or a top-tier camera, this 2020 release still delivers in other key ways.

Most importantly, it has an enormous 5,000mAh battery pack that could potentially give you two days of uptime—or at least some solid buffer for a heavier day of usage—plus the 6.4-inch 1080p display is solidly crisp. It’s an excellent value for the price.

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Suited for scribbles

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a pop-out S Pen stylus that lets you scribble down notes and sketch with ease.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a pop-out S Pen stylus that lets you scribble down notes and sketch with ease.
Image: Andrew Hayward
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The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ delivers all of the power and perks of Samsung’s Galaxy S line with one very distinctive extra: a pop-out S Pen stylus that lets you scribble down notes and sketch with ease. It’s even connected wirelessly via Bluetooth for some extra benefits, such as using it as a remote camera shutter or media control.

You’ll get a gorgeous (and enormous) 6.8-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display, a great camera setup, wireless charging, and a generous 256GB storage in the base model of the Note 10+. It’s definitely a niche phone, but it’s a seriously impressive niche phone.

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