Don’t know which Android phone to buy in 2019? Worry not, because we’ve listed the BEST phones you can buy right now! And they’re ALL iPhone XS KILLERS…
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
|OnePlus 7 Pro|
(Our #1 Pick)
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10|
(Amazing Design, Performance)
|Huawei P30 Pro|
(The Best iPhone Alternative)
|Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus|
(The Best All-Rounder)
|Google Pixel 3 XL|
(Best For Camera)
|Huawei Mate 20|
(Brilliant Battery Life)
Read on for more detail on each handset…
#1) OnePlus 7 Pro – A True iPhone XS Max KILLER
OnePlus 7 Pro Pros:
- Gorgeous Design, Truly Beautiful
- Brilliant 6.8in OLED Display
- 48MP Triple Lens Camera is BONKERS
- Massive Battery Life
- It’s The Perfect Phone, Basically…
OnePlus makes very good phones. And it sells them for about 40-50% less than the cost of an iPhone. This is the #1 reason why millions of users (iPhone ones included) have switched over to OnePlus in recent years.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is an utter monster of a phone. It has a huge 6.6in OLED display, 6GB of RAM, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 CPU, and a triple 48MP camera on the rear that is one of the best in the business.
Chuck in blazingly fast performance, killer good-looks, and it is easy to see why the OnePlus 7 Pro tops our list of the best Android phones money can buy right now. If you like value for money, performance, good looks, and beautiful software, as well as a truly EPIC camera, this is the one to go for.
#2) Pixel 3a – Insane Value For Money
Pixel 3a Pros
- Amazing camera
- Pure Android
- Great design
- Low price
A slightly cheaper version of Google’s Pixel 3 handset, the Pixel 3a has a plastic body and weaker internal tech, but retains the amazing camera talents of the original.
It’s no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best camera phones money can buy right now; not only does it snap superlative shots in all conditions, it has one of the most impressive low-light shooting modes we’ve seen on any smartphone – and it costs less than half the price of most Android flagships.
If you want premium features but don’t want to break the bank, then this is a solid choice – the lack of water resistance and wireless charging are the only real downsides.
#3) Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – King of the Hill
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Pros
- Beautiful design
- Strong camera tech
- Powerful internals
- Packed with features
Samsung’s phones are always at the front of the pack each year and 2019 is no exception; the Galaxy S10 is a true world-leader when it comes to smartphone tech and design. The screen uses a ‘hole-punch’ design which means there’s no massive bezel, and the phone is capable of charging other devices, like phones and wireless headphones.
The four-camera setup on the back of the S10 Plus offers astonishingly decent photos, while the cutting-edge Snapdragon 855 chipset keeps things ticking over nicely. All of this is wrapped up in a gorgeous design that combines glass with metal to nice effect. The only downside is that the Galaxy S10 Plus is really quite expensive.
#4) Nubia Red Magic 3 – The #1 Phone For Gamers
Nubia Red Magic 3 Pros
- Internal Fan Stops Overheating
- MASSES of Power
- 8GB of RAM
- 48MP Camera
- Supports JoyCon-Like Gaming Accessories
- Extreme Value For Money (It Costs Less Than $500)
The Nubia Red Magic 3 is a true gaming phone. It is built with one thing, and one thing only in mind: gaming. And for this reason, it is kitted out with some of the best specs you’re likely to see on a phone this year…
Inside you have Qualcomm’s latest and greatest CPU, the Snapdragon 855, running alongside 8GB of RAM, which translates into truly EPIC performance across the board. Plus, the Nubia Red Magic 3 can handle intense gaming sessions as it features a proper internal fan that keeps everything nice and temperate.
The display is a 90Hz AMOLED panel, ideal for gaming, viewing movies and TV shows. Then we come to the speakers; you have dual speakers with DTS:X support, so sound quality is very impressive. And as we all know: sound is important when gaming.
Beyond this, you have a very capable single-lens 48MP camera on the rear, impressive battery life. Oh… and the Nubia Red Magic 3 retails for less than $500! No, we’re not sure how they’re making money on this thing either!
#5) Honor View 20 – The Mid-Range Marvel
Honor View 20 Pros
- Gorgeous design
- Strong camera
- Unique hole-punch screen design
Huawei’s budget brand Honor has made a name for itself with a range of reasonably-priced but feature-rich handsets and the View 20 continues that trend. Despite costing a lot less than its rivals, the View 20 has powerful internals, a wonderful screen (complete with a hole-punch design that avoids the need for a notch) and much more besides. While it sits comfortably in the mid-range, the View 20’s eye-catching design makes it look and feel like a phone that costs twice as much, and the camera’s not half bad either.
If flagship phones are just out of your reach but you don’t want a bargain basement blower, this is a solid choice.
#6) Honor 10 Lite – The Budget Bargain
Honor 10 Lite Pros
- Strong design for such a cheap phone
Enough power to please casual users
Another Honor bargain, the Lite 10 mimics the design of its more expensive siblings but brings that price down even lower, making it the ideal choice for casual mobile users or newcomers, like kids and elderly relatives. While it’s not rocking the same top-line tech as 2019’s flagships, you’d be hard-pressed to notice at first glance; the screen is decent, the design is pleasing to the eye and the camera is better than you might expect from a phone in this price range.
In a world of $1000+ phones, finding a top Android phone for less than $500 might seem like a challenge. But right now, you actually have a lot of really good options…
Best Android Phones Under $500 (Our #1 Picks)
|Google Pixel 3a |
(Our #1 Pick)
(The Best "Cheap" Flagship)
|Samsung Galaxy A70|
(The Mid-Range S10)
|Xiaomi Mi 9 |
#1) Google Pixel 3a
If you want the best possible Android experience, consistent and timely updates, and a fantastic camera, then the Google Pixel 3a is very hard to beat right now. Retailing for just $399, the Google Pixel 3a is the cheapest Pixel phone Google has ever released. But DO NOT be put off by its price tag, it’s a proper little performer.
I’ve been using the Pixel 3a ever since it first launched, earlier in 2019. I love the size of it, I like that it has a headphone jack, and, for the asking price and specs inside, I think it is just about the best value Android phone money can buy right now.
#2) OnePlus 7
If you want a true flagship experience, but you don’t want to pay flagship money, then the OnePlus 7 is where you should be looking. This fantastic-looking phone retails for $500 on the nose and it packs in a raft of high-end technology, as well as one of the best cameras in the business.
Performance, thanks to its Snapdragon 855 CPU and 6GB of RAM, is badass. The OnePlus 7 is an insanely powerful phone, arguably up there with even the likes of the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 10. The only difference? Price – the OnePlus 7 is 50% cheaper than both those phones.
Its display, a 6.4in AMOLED panel, is beautiful to behold and, thanks to its QHD resolution, makes everything that is displayed on it look totally amazing. OnePlus also has another model to choose from too; the OnePlus 7 Pro – and that phone has a STUNNING 90hz OLED display.
For value for money, however, you’re best off with the standard OnePlus 7.
#3) Samsung Galaxy A70
If you want a Samsung phone, but you don’t want to pay Galaxy S10/Galaxy Note 10 money, then the Samsung Galaxy A70 is worth a look. The Galaxy A70 features a triple-lens camera on the rear, a beautiful, expansive AMOLED panel, and packs in some of the best battery life of any phone on this list.
Inside you have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 CPU backed up by 6GB of RAM and this combination will make short work of everything from GPU-intensive games to image and video editing. In fact, it is one of the best performing mid-range Android phones around right now.
But the best thing about the Samsung Galaxy A70 is its price; you can pick one up for less than $400 right now. And that, combined with its good looks, excellent performance, and totally BADASS camera make it one of the #1 Android phones you can buy right now for under $500…
#4) Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi cut its teeth in China making high-end, flagship-grade Android phones and then selling them for next to nothing online and in its stores. It grew rapidly during the past several years and the company has now ventured outside its native China into the US and UK markets. And its latest, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is one hell of an Android phone…
The Xiaomi Mi 9 looks like a flagship phone, it has flagship-grade specs and hardware. The imaging performance is brilliant. And if that wasn’t enough it packs in a stunning 6.39in QHD AMOLED panel, 6GB of RAM, and comes with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage as standard.
There are many things to love about the Xiaomi Mi 9; its price, its triple-lens camera, it’s face-melting performance. But the key thing to remember is this: in terms of specs, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is more than equal to the Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note 10, only with this phone, you’ll be paying less than $500 to acquire it…
Best For Camera?
All the above options have great cameras, but, for me, I think it is the OnePlus 7 that serves up the best overall imaging performance. You have a 48MP sensor backed up by a 5MP sensor that takes care of depth (AKA that bokeh effect everybody loves).
The result? Stunningly realistic images. The OnePlus 6T was impressive in this context, but the OnePlus 7 takes things several steps further, adding in support for things like advanced depth-sensing via its secondary 5MP sensor. The resulting images look more life-like and engaging.
Best For Battery Life?
All the phones listed above have great battery life, but the best of the best is the Samsung Galaxy A70. And the reason is simple: it packs in a massive 4500mAh battery that’ll provide a solid 1.5 days’ worth of usage before requiring a top-up. If battery life is your chief concern, the Galaxy A70 is KING in this price bracket.
Best For Android Updates?
Even in 2019, Android updates for non-Google phones are patchy at best. And it doesn’t matter how much your phone cost; even expensive Android phones are sometimes late getting Android updates.
The best option for reliable, timely Android updates is, of course, the Google Pixel 3a – it’s cheap, it runs the purest version of Android of any phone on this list, and it will get Android 10 and beyond as soon as they’re released by Google.
Things To Keep In Mind…
The phones listed above are solid options. But they all do certain things differently, which you should keep in mind before buying one. The OnePlus 7, for me, is probably the best overall option for specs and performance, but it isn’t as good as the Pixel 3a for things like timely Android updates.
Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy A70 is brilliant for looks, camera technology, and battery life. But it isn’t quite as powerful as the OnePlus 7 or Xiaomi Mi 9, when it comes to processing performance, as it uses a less powerful CPU. And these are things you need to keep in mind. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Google Pixel 3a – Incredible value for money; instant Android updates as soon as they’re ready; solid performance; great camera; simple UX; no bloatware; a headphone jack; perfect phone for anyone that wants something simple and powerful that runs Android.
- OnePlus 7 – Probably the best value “flagship” phone on the planet; blisteringly fast performance; great design; an advanced camera that captures amazing pictures; great battery life; iPhone XS Max-grade performance for half the price.
- Samsung Galaxy A70 – Good-looking design; insane battery life.
- Xiaomi Mi 9 – Beautiful design; expansive AMOLED display; big battery life; excellent performance; high-end processing performance; tons of internal storage.