The best Android phones

Android devices are known for their variety. Our range of superb phones offer different cutting-edge features – from the latest processors to reverse wireless charging, incredible camera arrays to 120Hz screens. You know which features you need from a smartphone and this guide will help you pick the perfect Android phone for you.

We’ve not just considered the impressive flagship devices on the market. We’ve also covered the best budget Android phones, if you prefer value over features.

Best Android phones to fit your lifestyle

Best Android phone cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G’s cutting-edge rear Quad camera system with 108-megapixel Ultra Wide, 12-megapixel Wide-angle and two 10-megapixel Telephoto cameras is paired with a 40-megapixel Selfie camera – we think it’s one of the best camera phones you can buy. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, a recent addition to Samsung’s A Series, has a rear Quad camera with 48-megapixel Main, 8-megapixel Ultra Wide, 5-megapixel Macro and 2-megapixel Depth cameras. Both phones have Portrait mode and Night Mode to get stunning shots wherever you are – there’s even a Food mode to snap Insta-worthy treats.

The OPPO Find X3 Pro is just as impressive, with a rear Ultra HD Quad camera setup with 50-megapixel Main, 50-megapixel Ultra Wide, 13-megapixel Telephoto and 3-megapixel Macro cameras that have Beautification Mode for flattering portraits – and Night Mode too. AI Scene Enhancement adjusts colour tones depending on where you are, and Cinematic Mode adds artificial colour reproduction to video, to give your shots a professional look and feel.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro and Google Pixel 6 both come with powerful camera systems to make snapping professional-looking photos a breeze. Both phones come with a 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide1 camera, and the Pixel 6 Pro comes with a 48-megapixel telephoto camera to capture the smallest details. Both devices come with features including Magic Eraser, which gets rid of unwanted objects in just a few taps2. Motion Mode creates beautiful long-exposure shots with more texture and energy, and Portrait Mode artfully blurs the background to make your subject the focus. Capture brilliant colour and vivid detail with Pixel's computational photography and new pro-level lenses on the most advanced Pixel cameras ever.

If you find an Android phone you love with a triple-lens camera, like the Xiaomi Mi 11 or Sony Xperia 5 III 5G, know that their cameras are just as good. The rule of thumb is that cameras with more lenses are normally superior… but go for the phone with a camera setup that focuses on the features you want. For example, if you want to take close-ups with zoom, a triple-lens camera that includes a telephoto lens might be better than a quad-lens device that’s built for wide-angle photography. It’s not about how many lenses are on the phone - it’s how you use them.

Best Android phone cameras

Best water-resistant Android phones

There are several water-resistant Android phones available, although it’s worth bearing in mind that no phone is completely waterproof - always read the manufacturer’s guidelines before you take your phone into freshwater. Devices shouldn’t be exposed to seawater or pool water - so no underwater holiday shots, unfortunately.

Ideally, you want to look for an Android phone with an IP68 rating – these devices currently offer the highest level of protection against freshwater splashes and spills, and is designed to survive underwater for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 metres (about 3 feet).

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE series come with an IP68 rating, and so do the Google Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel 6Google Pixel 5 5G, OPPO Find X3 Pro and the OPPO Find X2 Pro.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3 both have IPX8 water resistance - they're built to withstand submersion in freshwater 1.5m deep for 30 minutes.

The Sony Xperia 5 III 5G has an IP65/68 rating - it’s built to be water resistant and protected against dust, but all ports and attached covers should be firmly closed for full protection.

Best water-resistant Android devices

Best Android phone processors

Hardworking processors mean silky-smooth streaming and high-quality gaming. The OPPO Find X3 Pro, Xiaomi 11T Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11 series all come with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 processor - widely seen as the go-to premium processor for 2021. This hardworking chip means faster interactions, better gaming, superb photography and 5G speed◊ with minimal lag.

The Samsung S21 series comes with a Exynos 2100 processor, which offers slightly better CPU performance than the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888, but a Snapdragon processor has the edge on GPU performance. The Exynos 2100 processor offers powerful computing, gaming, AI, and camera functions. It’s 8K TV-out-ready, so you can watch 8K video shot on smartphones from the sofa.

Best Android phone processors

Browse the best of Android

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Samsung
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Take professional-looking pictures on the quad rear camera with Samsung’s new 108-megapixel sensor, which is designed to capture extraordinary details. Zoom up to 100x, shoot video in 8K and browse, game and stay entertained on the 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
OPPO Find X3 Pro

OPPO
Find X3 Pro

Take your best photos yet on the Find X3 Pro’s 50-megapixel Ultra HD Quad camera setup with a Main Camera, Ultra Wide-angle Camera, Telephoto Lens and Microlens Camera. Stream and game at 5G speed◊ powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, and stay entertained on the QHD+ AMOLED 6.7-inch screen.

OPPO Find X3 Pro

Samsung
Galaxy Z Fold3

Unfold an immersive 7.6" display, featuring an under-display camera and Dolby Atmos sound so that you can truly lose yourself in your world. With 5G-readiness1 and a refresh rate that accelerates to 120Hz when you need it most, you can leave low-res, stuttering gameplay in the dust.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

Best Android phones for busy days

Best Android phone batteries

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G has a high-capacity 5000mAh battery built to go the distance, with the potential for 34 days of standby time and AI battery optimisation for longer use. The Xiaomi 11T Pro’s 5000mAh dual-cell battery is compatible with 120W Xiaomi HyperCharge, which can charge up to 100% in just 17 minutes1.

The Samsung Galaxy A12, Galaxy A32 5G and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G also come with 5,000mAh batteries. The S21 Ultra 5G offers 25W Super Fast Charging, 15W Fast Wireless Charging and Wireless PowerShare, and the A32 5G and A12 have 15W Adaptive Fast Charging.

The motorola moto g 5G plus also has a 5,000mAh battery that is designed to last for up to 3 days on a single charge.

1Battery is split into two 2500mAh cell structures for a total capacity of 5000mAh.

Best Android phone batteries

Android phones with the best storage

If you love gaming, taking photos or working on the go, you need good storage. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G comes with up to 512GB of internal storage, and the Galaxy S21+ 5G and S21 5G both come with up to 256GB of internal storage.

The Huawei P40 Pro 5G comes with 256GB of storage, as well as 50GB free cloud storage available for the first 12 months from when you first set up your phone.

Not to be outdone, the Mi 11 also comes with 256GB of internal storage.

An interesting one to look at if you’re big into photography is the Google Pixel range. The Pixel 6 Pro comes with up to 256GB of storage1, and the Pixel 5 5G, Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 4a come with 128GB of internal storage and Google Photos, which offers unlimited photo storage.

1Storage specifications refer to capacity before formatting. Actual formatted capacity will be less.

Best Android phone storage

Best 5G Android phones

Best 5G Android phones for gaming

There are a ton of great Android phones on offer if you’re after a great gaming experience. The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G series offers superfast 5G speed◊ with superb graphics, a 120Hz refresh rate for silky scrolling, Dynamic AMOLED 2x displays and Exynos 2100 processors for a totally immersive gaming experience.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 are 5G phones built for gamers who want some serious screen real estate - the Fold3 opens up to reveal a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, and the Flip3 has a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. They both have surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology and Wireless PowerShare, so you can help a friend power up if you're gaming together.

The OPPO Find X3 series is also a great choice for serious gamers. The OPPO Find X3 Pro's responsive 1 Billion Colour Display and next generation Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 Processor were made for clear, crisp, lag-free graphics with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. You can even charge up in a flash with 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 Fast Charging, so your battery won't stop you reaching the next level.

Best 5G Android phones for gaming

Best 5G Android phones for video and streaming

If you can’t get enough of watching movies and TV shows on your phone, you need a 5G phone with a large screen with incredible graphics, colours, and sound. The Sony Xperia 5 III 5G is built for entertainment, with a 21:9 CinemaWide™ 6.1-inch FHD+ and HDR OLED display - so you can watch movies as the director intended with a true cinematic aspect ratio. The X1™ for mobile engine brings BRAVIA HDR remaster technology to everything you watch, and no notch means minimal interruption.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro’s 6.67-inch AMOLED flat display with TrueColor, one billion colours and 1000 nits peak brightness lets content jump off the screen in cinematic brilliance. Expect smooth visuals and extreme responsiveness thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate with AdaptiveSync and up to 480Hz touch sampling rate.

The Huawei P40 Pro 5G is built for comfortable streaming - its 6.58-inch FHD+ OLED screen sits perfectly in the palm of your hand. The Quad-Curve Overflow 90 Hz Display promises a truly immersive experience with an all-over fluid screen for picture-perfect video.

Best Android phone for video

Browse the best 5G Android phones

Samsung
Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Take professional-looking pictures on the quad rear camera with Samsung’s new 108-megapixel sensor, which is designed to capture extraordinary details. Zoom up to 100x, shoot video in 8K and browse, game and stay entertained on the 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Xiaomi 11T Pro

Xiaomi
11T Pro

Take superb, colour-rich photos on the triple 108-megapixel pro-grade camera with wide angle, ultra-wide angle and telemacro cameras, and lose yourself in your favourite films on the 6.67-inch AMOLED flat display. Blast through busy days thanks to the 5000mAh battery with 120W Xiaomi HyperCharge.

Xiaomi 11T Pro

Google
Pixel 6 Pro

Browse and stream in style on the 6.7-inch LTPO QHD+ Smooth Display1, and take richly-coloured shots on the triple rear camera with 50-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultrawide and 48-megapixel telephoto lenses. The powerful Google Tensor chip does the heavy lifting, paired with a 24-hour battery2.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Best budget Android phones

Best budget 5G Android phones

There’s no denying that flagship 5G devices have it all when it comes to the latest features – however, there are plenty of cheaper options available if you want 5G speeds on Android without the premium price tag. These devices still pack a punch, with impressive displays, powerful processors, and professional-grade cameras.

The Nokia 8.3 5G lets you film 4K footage with built-in ZEISS Cinematic effects and add anamorphic and blue flares for an authentic look and feel, then edit with colour grading tools. Then, watch your content back on the 6.81-inch screen and use the 64-megapixel quad camera with Ultrawide, Macro and Depth cameras for phenomenal shots.

Cheap 5G Android phones

Choose a cheaper Android phone for great value

Luckily, you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to buy a budget smartphone. Many of the cheaper 4G Android devices we’ve listed below have the performance and features that would have been standard for flagship devices just a few years ago.

Several Samsung Galaxy A Series phones are dependable, stylish devices with speed, power, and performance to rival newer models. The Galaxy A12 has a 48-megapixel Quad camera, a 6.5-inch display and a 5,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging.

The exquisitely-designed OPPO A72 has as an ultra-high-resolution 6.5-inch display with Neo-design and ultra-narrow bezels, a 48-megapixel AI Quad Camera and 128GB of internal storage. Everything’s wrapped up in a slim, stylish display.

Best Android phones for people on a budget

Best overall Android experience

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

There are several Android smartphones with superb displays, easy-to-use interfaces and the kind of tech which seemed unbelievable a few years ago. However, in terms of best overall Android experience, we’ve gone with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

A stylish, sleek design packed full of incredible features, Samsung’s 2021 flagship device has a 108-megapixel Quad rear camera, a 6.8-inch AMOLED Dynamic 2X display, an adaptable 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and an ultrafast Exynos 2100 processor. It runs on Android 11, which offers better support and security, as well as the usual Google apps and functionality you’d expect from a Samsung device. It weighs just 228g, so slips easily into a pocket or bag, and you can even use the S Pen1 to draw, write, and remotely take photos or control PowerPoint presentations.

1S Pen is sold separately.

Best Android phone experience

Terms & Conditions

Representative Examples:

Example Phone Plan Breakdown

Total Cost of Phone 

£1,000 

Upfront Cost 

£100 

APR 

0% 

Total Credit Amount 

£900 

Length of Contract 

36 months 

Monthly Phone Plan Cost 

£25 

 

Example Watch Plan Breakdown

Total Cost of Watch 

£360 

Upfront Cost 

£0

APR 

0% 

Total Credit Amount 

£360

Length of Contract 

36 months 

Monthly Phone Plan Cost 

£10

 

Figures used in the above representative examples (other than the Representative APR) are for illustrative purposes only.

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Pay Monthly

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Trade-in Guarantee saving claim: Available only on 24 month Xtra Airtime Plans using the Vodafone Trade-in Tool. 

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Upgrade from month 12: means a) buying new Device Plan (which is a credit agreement) and Xtra Plan (which is an Airtime Plan) and b) paying off the remaining amount on your current Device Plan prior to upgrading. Subject to credit check, eligibility & terms.

Benefits for selected Xtra Plans:

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Total Care Warranty: 24 month warranty starts from the date of purchase of a handset from Vodafone either on a Device Plan or outright. Warranty only applies to manufacturer faults. Not applicable with Refurbished Phones. Terms:  Vodafone Total Care Warranty

Battery Refresh: applicable for phone devices purchased either on a Device Plan or purchased outright from Vodafone, with a Vodafone Pay Monthly Plan. Is available for the length of the plan (minimum of 2 years and maximum of 3 years). Battery Refresh is not available for phones that have been cracked, smashed or have water damage (i.e. damage that would not be covered under a manufacturer warranty) and chargeable repairs can be offered. An appointment is required for a health check and battery replacements. Book online at participating locations. Not applicable for Watch Plans or Refurbished Phones.

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Smartwatch :  requires a) Vodafone pay monthly airtime plan and b) Connectivity Plan (via Vodafone OneNumber). Lasts for 30 days & will automatically renew every 30 days unless cancelled. Terms apply

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Pay As You Go

Unlimited Bundle: An Unlimited Pay as you go Bundle lasts for 30 days. Your bundle will automatically renew every 30 days if you have enough credit. To opt out call 2345. Unlimited minutes and texts: minutes to standard mobiles and landlines (UK: 01, 02, 03) and standard texts (excluding MMS) in the UK and our inclusive roaming destinations. Roaming data is capped at 25GB per 30-day period in our inclusive roaming destinations. 

Pay as you go Bundles (Big Value Bundle): Minutes to standard mobiles and landlines (UK: 01, 02, 03), standard texts and data (excluding entertainment packs and Extras) to use in the UK and our Europe Zone. Last 30 days. Automatically renews every 30 days if you have enough credit. Opt out by calling 2345. For more information on Pay as you go Bundles (also known as Big Value Bundles).

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Awards

Very Me Awards – (1) VeryMe won A Silver in the Brand Partnership Activation of the Year category and a Gold in the Loyalty Activation of the Year category at the 2020 IPM Awards. For verification: click here. (2) VeryMe helped Vodafone win Best Network for Loyalty and Retention at the Mobile Industry Awards 2020. For verification: click here. (3) Vodafone VeryMe, TMW Unlimited and Mando-Connect won Best Use of CRM at the Loyalty Magazine Awards 2020. For verification: click here.

Unbeatable Reliability: rankings based on the RootMetrics® UK RootScore® Report: H1 2021. Tested with best commercially available smartphones on 4 national mobile networks across all available network types. Your experiences may vary. The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Vodafone. Visit vodafone.co.uk/network for the full report and www.rootmetrics.co.uk for more details.

 

For full terms and conditions, please visit vodafone.co.uk/terms-and-conditions

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1 Maximum resolution with RAW image files setting turned on. Setting is turned off by default. See g.co/pixel/photoediting for more information.

2 Magic Eraser may not work on all image elements.

1 Measured diagonally; dimensions may vary by configuration and manufacturing process. Not available for all apps or content. Display automatically adjusts to optimise for best viewing and battery performance.

2 Estimated battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of other features. Battery life depends upon many factors, and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Battery testing was conducted by a third party in California in mid 2021 on pre-production hardware and software, using default settings. Battery testing was conducted using two major mobile networks using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G (ENDC) connectivity. Actual battery life may be lower.

3 Maximum battery life is based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of other features. Battery life depends upon many factors, and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Battery testing was conducted by a third party in California in mid 2021 on pre-production hardware and software, using default settings. Battery testing was conducted using two major mobile networks using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G (ENDC) connectivity. Actual battery life may be lower. Fast wired charging rates are based on use of the Google 30 W USB-C® Charger plugged into a wall socket. Compatible with USB PD 3.0 PPS adapters. Actual results may be slower. Adapters sold separately.

4 Wireless charging rates up to 21 W (Pixel 6) and up to 23 W (Pixel 6 Pro) charging with Qi-certified Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen) (sold separately). Up to 12 W with Qi-certified EPP chargers (sold separately). Actual results may be slower.

5Based on internal benchmark testing on pre-production devices. “80% faster” claim based on comparison to Pixel 5.

Buy a Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro (subject to availability), between 28/10/2021 at 00:01 am to 06/12/2021 at 23:59pm and claim Google Stadia Premiere Edition for free. Eligible customer accounts will be contacted within 2 working days of order completion with instructions to redeem. Participants must be 18 or older with a delivery address in the UK. Redemption window closes 16/12/2021 at 23:59pm.

15G network connection required.

S Pen Fold edition and S Pen Pro sold separately.

Submersion in up to 1.5m of freshwater for up to 30min (not advised for beach or pool use).

Tested to be folded and unfolded 100 times per day for 5 years. The lifecycle verification was tested based on Samsung's internal quality standards.

1Wireless charging is Qi-compatible. Wireless charger sold separately.

2For ‘All day’: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of other features. Testing was conducted on two major operator networks using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G (ENDC) connectivity. For ‘Up to 48 hours’: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of limited other features that are default in Extreme Battery Saver mode (which disables various features including 5G connectivity). Testing conducted on two major operator networks.

Pixel 5 battery testing was conducted by a third party in California in mid-2020 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings, except that, for the ‘up to 48 hour claim’ only, Extreme Battery Saver mode was enabled. Battery life depends upon many factors, and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.