From Galaxy Folds to affordable Pixels


Introduction

Looking for a new phone but not interested in an iPhone? Then unless you’re looking for a feature phone, chances are your next handset will come running Android.

Google’s operating system is the dominant player in the world of phones with Statcounter listing it as running on 71.86% of all the planet’s handsets at the moment.

Go into any phone store and you’ll find it running on everything from quirky foldables, like the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 to affordable Moto Gs from Motorola.

While this choice is awesome, it’s also a two edged sword. Having reviewed thousands, upon thousands of phones since the site launched in 2003 our team of product experts can safely confirm, not every handset is worth your hard earned cash.

What’s more, spending a lot is no guarantee a phone will actually be good. We’ve reviewed plenty of handsets that have on paper amazing specs, that fail to deliver the goods with real world use.

That’s why our team of experts do the hard work for you. Every Android phone we recommend on this list has been tried and tested by one of our experts and put through a series of rigorous lab and real world tests to make sure it’s worth your time and money.

On the off chance you don’t find what you’re looking for also make sure to check out our best phone, best camera phone and best mid-range phone guides which offer more tailored recommendations.

Best Android phones at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones 

All the phones included in our Best Android phone list have been thoroughly tested and used by one of our expert reviewers. We will never review a phone based purely on specs and benchmark scores. We use them as our everyday device for the review period, which is usually at least five days but often a lot more.

Whenever you read a phone review published on Trusted Reviews, you should be confident that the reviewer has put their personal SIM card into the phone, synced across their most-used apps and logged into all their typical accounts. We do this so you’ll feel confident in our review and trust our verdict.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks. We believe this gives the most rounded view of a device.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The best big Android phone

Pros

  • Stunning display with fantastic detail and brightness
  • Versatile camera system with impressive zoom
  • Good low-light camera performance
  • Fast charging
  • Promise of many years of updates

Cons

  • Battery life should be better
  • Design a step backward
  • You need to buy the fast charger separately

The very best Android phone we’ve reviewed is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s the option to choose if you want a really high-end, luxury experience – and are happy to pay for the privilege.

The S22 Ultra performs fantastically well, has a versatile camera for all situations, and is guaranteed software updates for years to come. But there are three areas that really set it apart from not only its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S22 Plus, but other flagship Androids too, like the Oppo Find X5 Pro.

First off is the S Pen – a dinky stylus that can be used to jot down a shopping list, snap pictures as a remote, and even to sketch to your heart’s content. It’s a productive tool, and you’ll find yourself using it more and more once you know it’s there.

Another reason we love the Galaxy S22 so much is that it has an absolutely brilliant screen. Samsung’s smartphone screens have been some of the best around for quite some time now, but this is a significant step up. All the usual tricks are here, including a dynamic refresh rate that’ll help games feel smoother but avoid using up endless battery; however it’s the brightness levels that impressed us most. No other phone is as usable outside as the S22 Ultra, with the brightness levels ramping up dramatically to combat even the strongest rays of the sun when we used it.

Samsung also stands out from the crowd with its camera zoom skills and it’s by far the best choice on this list if you want a versatile snapper that can get really close to subjects. We got much crisper shots zooming up to 10x with this phone than the iPhone 13 Pro Max or the Pixel 6 Pro, and if required it can zoom even further still.

Of course, the fact that this phone retails for over a grand and still costs a boatload on monthly plans makes it a non-starter for some. We’d also suggest looking elsewhere if you want a smaller device (this phone is massive and hard to use without gripping in two hands), or are purely interested in speed above all. It goes without saying that this phone is fast, but so is the far cheaper Realme GT2 Pro for that matter.

Reviewer: Max Parker 
Full review:
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The best Android phone under £1000/$1000

Pros

  • Brilliant screen
  • Great camera
  • Attractive design
  • Strong performance

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Still expensive

The S22 Ultra may be the very best handset in Samsung’s locker, but it’s far from the only one in there vying for your attention; the Galaxy S22 Plus is also an excellent handset, and in some ways benefits from having curbed the excesses of its big brother.

Being slightly smaller and easier to manage, with a more attractive design to boot, this handset still boasts excellent performance results, a versatile triple camera system (consisting of wide, ultrawide, and telephoto sensors), and a gorgeous screen as well, yet costs a fair bit less. That’s not to say it’s cheap by any means, but the price tag does at least fall short of that dizzying $1000/£1000 mark.

However, this isn’t quite the perfect package – the battery life is decent but certainly not exceptional, and the over-saturated photos may appeal to some but turn off others if you’re looking for a more natural look. Its zoom capabilities aren’t on a par with those of the S22 Ultra, and the ultrawide doesn’t hit the same heights as the Find X5 Pro.

Nonetheless when taken as a whole, this excellent Samsung handset is a brilliant jack of all trades that you should seriously consider.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Review

Realme GT 2 Pro

The best mid-range Android phone

Pros

  • Gorgeous display
  • Flagship-grade performance
  • Excellent battery life and fast charging

Cons

  • Lacks a dedicated telephoto camera
  • Paper-like design will divide opinion
  • No wireless charging or IP rating

Realme might not be a brand known to many, as it’s fairly new in the smartphone space, yet that doesn’t stop the GT 2 Pro from being a phone we’d happily recommend to someone looking for a top-tier Android phone at a more affordable price. 

Our reviewer was thoroughly impressed with it during the testing process, noting how well it performed on a daily basis and how good the battery life was. It also has some of the very fastest charging speeds you’ll get right now, with a full charge taking just over 30 minutes during our checks. This is a lot faster than the S22 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro, both of which need a full hour to get to 100%.

It’s not just in the charging stakes where the GT 2 Pro outperforms its modest price, but the high-end Qualcomm 8 Gen 1 chipset inside is just as snappy as the chip inside the Galaxy S22 and faster than the one in the Pixel 6 Pro based on our benchmarks and experience using the phones. 

We also liked the rather unique, paper-textured plastic body which comes in both white and green hues. It’s a nice change of pace from all the glass-backed (and very delicate) phones we review.

Some sacrifices have been made to hit the desired price, although none of them is a dealbreaker. There’s no IP rating for protection against dust and water, no convenient wireless charging, and no telephoto camera for the added versatility. If those three features are a must, the Oppo Find X5 Pro, Galaxy S22 Plus and Pixel 6 Pro are better picks.

Reviewer: Tom Morgan

Full review: Realme GT 2 Pro Review

Pixel 6 Pro

The best Android phone for software

Pros

  • Wonderfully clean, future proof Android 12 software
  • Great translation and photo editing services
  • All round brilliant rear camera

Sitting in the middle when it comes to pricing between the Galaxy S22 Plus and the Realme GT 2 Pro, the Pixel 6 Pro is a solid choice if camera skills and software are high up on your wish list.

No other Android phone listed here impressed us as much with its software as the Pixel 6 Pro (and its smaller Pixel 6 sibling) did. Google’s version of Android looks the best, with the smartest widgets and sleekest animations. This might seem a minor point in the greater scheme of things, but having a phone with software that’s a pleasure to use is a really underrated skill as you’re going to be dealing with it for hours every single day.

We were thoroughly impressed with the trio of rear cameras, too. Putting it up against the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra, we consistently found the colours more pleasing from the Pixel 6 Pro, and it’s very reliable in poor lighting too.

Features like an IP rated body for dust and water protection, wireless charging and a great display are all accounted for, so you’re not missing out on premium features.

We’d also have to recommend the Pixel 6, which is a slightly smaller and cheaper version of the Pro. It retains the same great main camera, excellent software and overall design, but ditches the 120Hz display and dedicated zoom camera. Putting the two phones side-by-side, the sharper, brighter and faster screen on the 6 Pro is much better – but if that’s not ever so important to you then the sacrifice might be worth the saving.

There are another couple of even cheaper Pixel phones that are worth looking at if you really care about camera performance at a low price. Which is why we have a different Pixel recommended below, for those that care more about value for money than cutting edge features.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson

Full review: Google Pixel 6 Pro Review

Google Pixel 6a

The best value Android phone

Pros

  • Lovely small form-factor
  • Reliable camera for the price
  • Google’s excellent software

Cons

  • 60Hz display feels slow compared to the rivals
  • Slow to fully charge

The Pixel 6a is a stripped down version of the base Pixel 6 that impressed us in 2021. Getting it in for testing, while it’s missing a few top end features like a high refresh rate screen, it remains the best value Android phone, based on our experience using it.

Highlights include the same camera setup and Tensor silicon that let the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro earn places among the best camera phones currently available. During our checks the combo worked just as well on the 6a with it delivering best in class image quality for a phone its price in all our checks, which include difficult low light situations.

This plus its small design, solid build quality make it an easy recommendation at a hardware level. But what really differentiates it from most of the phones we test this price is its future proof software. The Pixel 6a is made by Google and runs an unskinned version of the company’s Android software. This means it’s one of the only phones you’ll find at this price that’s guaranteed to get long term software support from Google and be upgraded to more than one new version of Android.

It’s this future proofing, plus its solid hardware, that make it the best value Android phone we’ve tested that’s currently on the market.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Google Pixel 6a Review

Oppo Find X5 Pro

The best Android phone for quick charging

Pros

  • Great screen
  • Strong main and ultrawide cameras
  • Charges very quickly

Cons

  • The shiny back is a miss
  • Poor camera zoom
  • Software needs more polish

The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a phone that tries to directly take on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, both in terms of features and cost. This is a great choice for someone who wants something a little different to what Samsung is offering, with more of a focus on fast charging and a more standout design.

In many areas, the Find X5 Pro is just as good a phone as our number one pick. It’s just as fast in both real-world and benchmarks tests and has a screen that’s bright, clear and sharp. The photos we took from the Oppo Find X5 Pro are reliably strong too, especially when it comes to pulling out warm and rich colours. 

Where the camera falls down though is with zoom, as the telephoto camera here just can’t compare to what’s on offer with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. When you zoom in close with the Find X5 Pro pictures tend to get blurry and lose detail fast – something that just doesn’t happen when you push the Samsung.

That’s not to say the Find X5 Pro doesn’t come out on top in certain areas. Charging is far quicker here taking around 30 minutes to get to 100% rather than around an hour on the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Pixel 6 Pro – and the X5 Pro even has its charger included in the box. The design is also a little more unique, though we’d suggest going for the white version unless you’re happy with rigourously cleaning the phone every few minutes to rid it of swathes of fingerprints.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Oppo Find X5 Pro Review

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The best Android phone for small phone fans

Pros

  • Folds up into a neat package
  • Smooth 120Hz inner display
  • Water resistant
  • Much cheaper (but still not cheap)

Cons

  • The outer display is better but still fairly limited
  • Mid-range cameras
  • Average battery life

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has been unveiled, but until we get one in for testing we can’t recommend it. So if you want a folding Android phone, the previous generation is the one we can personally recommend. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a foldable clamshell phone and a great pick if big phones aren’t an option, but it’s unique form factor makes it hard to directly compare it to the others on the list.

When folded flat, the Flip is about half the size of a typical 6.7-inch Android phone. As such, it can easily slide into a back pocket or small bag with ease. Then when you want to use it, it folds out into a larger device with a tall screen.

Like clamshells of old, there’s a small display on the outside that’ll alert you to messages, other notifications and the like. It’s a handy addition no doubt, and we actually found ourselves using our phone less because the screen wasn’t always visible.

We’d also recommend this phone to those who care more about the style of the phone than the feature set. The camera, battery and performance are all good – but it’s clear to see a lot of the manufacturing costs have gone on the inventive screen, and that compromises have been made elsewhere.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

The best cheap Android phone

Pros

  • Vibrant OLED screen
  • Long battery life
  • Stereo speakers

Cons

  • Mediocre gaming performance
  • Camera stumbles with trickier scenes
  • No 5G mobile internet

If you want an excellent, and very affordable, Android phone then the Redmi Note 11 is a strong pick and one of the best cheap phones around. Considering the much lower price, it’d be unfair to compare this to the far pricier phones on this list; however it still stands out in certain areas.

We particularly liked the display, which uses the same OLED tech as all the other phones above. It measures 6.43-inches, has a smooth 90Hz refresh rate and great colour reproduction that made this display just entrancing when you’re watching films or playing games.

We were impressed with the battery life and the speakers too, though were less enamoured with the camera when it came to taking pictures in difficult conditions, and the mediocre performance was a tad disappointing too.

The phone also misses 5G and the faster download speeds that come with the modern network tech. This isn’t a dealbreaker for us, as we don’t think 5G is a vital feature yet, but it is something available at this price. The Moto G50, for example, costs around the same price and has 5G. But then that phone sacrifices screen quality. If you want a phone with an OLED display and 5G, we’d suggest the OnePlus Nord CE 2.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams

Full review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Review

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

The best Android gaming phone

Pros

  • Muscular performance
  • Smooth and responsive screen
  • Good battery life and fast-charging

Cons

  • Cameras aren’t the best
  • Not for non-gamers
  • Expensive

While the previous phones we’ve mentioned have been admirable all-rounders, this one is built to excel in just one area: gaming.

To that end, the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro packs in phenomenal performance standards – being the only device on this list to run the top-end Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, bolstered here by 18GB of RAM – and it’s got a great screen for gaming too, which hosts a super smooth 165Hz refresh rate and a highly responsive 720Hz touch sampling rate.

No matter how well top-tier games run on the other excellent phones here, none of them can touch these insane specs, and the result is a fantastic mobile experience that throws you into the thick of the action and gives you a genuine edge over your competitors in online multiplayer. Believe us, this uncompromised experience can quickly become thrillingly addictive.

However, being a master of one trade means it cannot turn its hand to all things quite as well as the other mainstream handsets previously mentioned; for example, the main camera is decent but not brilliant, and its auxiliary sensors are a real let-down.

If you’re an avid gamer who can’t get enough of your favourite hobby then go ahead and grab this phone, as you won’t be disappointed; but for everyone else, a top-class mainstream handset (such as one of those above) is likely to tick more of your boxes.

FAQs

Should I buy a 5G phone?

While not vital yet, most of the these phones are 5G so are futureproofed.

What’s the best Android phone?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best Android phone available right now.

Which Android phone has the best camera?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has the best camera we’ve found on an Android phone.

We also considered…

Comparison Specifications

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

CA RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Rear Camera

Front Camera

Video Recording

IP rating

Battery

Wirless charging

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Resolution

HDR

Refresh Rate

Ports

Chipset

RAM

Colours

Stated Power

Trusted Reviews test data

We run all the phones we review through a number of tests to gauge performance and other aspects, like screen quality. The S22 Ultra, for example, has a wonderfully accurate display with a high 770 nits of sustained brightness.

1 hour music streaming (online)

Time from 0-100% charge

1 hour music streaming (offline)

30 minute gaming (light)

30 minute gaming (intensive)

1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)

Max brightness

Time from 0-50% charge

Geekbench 5 multi core

Geekbench 5 single core

sRGB

Adobe RGB

DCI-P3

3D Mark – Wild Life

3D Mark – Sling Shot

3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test



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