The 6 Best Android Phones You Can Buy in 2023
From ultra-flagships to mid-range phones with killer specs and great price tags, there are the best Android phones you can buy right now…
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
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|OnePlus 9 Pro
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|Google Pixel 5
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|Xiaomi Mi 11
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|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
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|VIVO X60 Pro
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What Is The Best Android Phone on The Market Right Now?
Before we get to the list, I want to offer my 2¢ on the best Android phone.
The OnePlus 11 5G has a great design, one of the best OLED displays in the business, a stunning camera, and the best-looking Android software available inside the Android space – save for only Google’s Pixel phones.
I like Samsung phones too. But I just think the OnePlus 11 5G is just more special and has more about it. I prefer its design, I think OnePlus’ software is better-looking and more intuitive, and I think the camera and battery life, while not quite as good, are still very impressive.
Plus, it costs about $500/£500 less than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Or, if you want something even cheaper, go with Google Pixel 7 – it is utterly fantastic. I’ve been using mine for several months now, and it hasn’t missed a beat. The new design is great, the camera is better than ever, and the battery life is incredible. For me, it’s all the phone I need!
Best Android Phone 2023
#1) Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
If you want the best of the best with respect to design, specs, performance, and camera performance, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is just about as good as it gets in the Android space right now.
Like Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max, this is Samsung’s true-flagship release for 2023. It has the best specs, the most advanced camera and display tech, and it has the most iconic design language we’ve seen to date from Samsung. That said, if you loved Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra, you’ll be blown away by the S23.
It is mightily expensive, though, but it is also impressively good too – in all areas. It doesn’t really have any weak elements. It is solid across the board, and exceptional in nearly every setting – from performance to stellar battery life and imaging. The Galaxy S23 Ultra also arguably has the best camera in the industry right now.
Plus, with the Galaxy S23 Ultra you will get three years’ of Android updates – just like you do with a Pixel phone. This makes any of Samsung’s recent Galaxy phones a great buy. Add in the Ultra’s additional USPs, and you’re probably looking at one of the best Android phones ever created.
#2) OnePlus 11 5G
If you cannot stretch to Galaxy S23 Ultra money, your next best option is the OnePlus 11 5G. The OnePlus new phone is an absolute stunner, and it outperformed my wildest expectations when I tested it earlier on this year.
OnePlus has nailed the industrial design, creating a phone that is both smart-looking, modern, and immensely attractive. Inside, you have some of the best specs and hardware money can buy, including Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU.
The camera, as you’d expect from OnePlus, is a tour de force. It will snap beautiful pictures in all environments, capture 8K video at 30fps and 4K at 120fps, and comes with Super-Res 4X image enhancement. If you’re after a killer camera, the OnePlus 11 5G delivers big time.
The OLED panel is stunning to watch and consume media on, thanks to its insane 1300nits of brightness, native support for HDR10+ and its 120Hz refresh rate.
I didn’t put the OnePlus 11 5G in the #1 spot because the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a slightly more accomplished phone on paper and in practice. But in all honesty, this is the phone I would get. The reason? It is cheaper and, in my opinion, just as good as the S23 Ultra.
#3) Google Pixel 7
Compared to the OnePlus 11 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Pixel7 comes across a bit pedestrian. It isn’t flashy, nor is it specced-out to the hilt with the latest and greatest specs and hardware, nor the overly advanced software features.
Instead, Google is going for value for money with the Pixel 5. The phone is considerably cheaper than both the OnePlus 11 5G and Galaxy S23 Ultra, and this is down to its stripped-down nature.
It has 5G, but, like other Pixel phones, it runs on Google’s proprietary Google Tensor G2, not the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform. I used this phone for six months straight, and it didn’t miss a beat.
The camera is brilliant and will effortlessly capture picture-perfect images in any type of lighting.
Performance, while not as good as the S23 Ultra or OnePlus 11 5G, is more than enough for what most people do with their phone – web browsing, social media, apps, and texting.
If all you want is a reliable, solid phone that has brilliant battery life, a great camera, and a gorgeous OLED display (that isn’t too big), the Pixel 7 comes highly recommended.
#4) Xiaomi Mi 12
Xiaomi makes killer phones that possess the same specs as iPhones and top of the range Samsung phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It makes these, and then it sells them for quite a bit less. And the Xiaomi 12 is no exception.
Price-wise, the Xiaomi 12 is within the same range as Samsung’s Galaxy S23, but unlike that phone, it runs specs and hardware that are more akin to what you’ll find inside the Galaxy S23 Ultra model.
You have a 108MP sensor on the rear, and that sensor is packed up by three others. It runs Android 12 out the box and can be updated to Android 13. You have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, full 5G support, and 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard. You can also opt for the slightly cheaper option that packs less firepower at 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
The software isn’t as polished or as easy to use as it is on a OnePlus or Samsung phone, but if you want ultra-flagship specs for a lot less than usual, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is a great Android phone that’s well worth a look.
#5) Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Foldable phones are still niche as heck, but if you fancy jumping on the band wagon with the other early adopters, the best foldable phone you can buy right now is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. Despite being around for a couple of years now, Samsung’s foldable phone line is still not nearly as popular as it was expected, but it is definitely worth its price for anyone looking for that tablet-smartphone hybrid experience.
Whichever way you slice it, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a killer phone. It’ll run as a normal Android phone, but flip it up, and you got yourself a tablet. Samsung’s design is outstanding on this model, too; it is near-perfect in its construction and execution.
With specs, they’re great too: it runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 12GB of RAM, and it comes with 256GB of storage as standard. As with most phones, you also have the choice to upgrade your storage to as much as 1TB. You don’t get any SD card support, but it does have a decent sized battery and a stunning OLED screen.
Compared to its predecessors, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 also has an upgraded camera made up of a trio of 10, 12, and 50 MP sensors with support for wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lens. Add in 32-bit/384kHz audio tuned by AKG and solid stereo speakers, and it is easy to see why, when people buy foldable phones, it tends to be this model.
#6) VIVO X90 Pro
You might not have heard of VIVO, but it is actually the fifth biggest phone brand on the planet as of Q4 2022, and it accounts for 9% of the global smartphone market share. Its growth is largely down to its cheaper phones. Like Xiaomi, it competes aggressively on price at all levels of the market.
But when VIVO makes a flagship, it is always very impressive. And the VIVO X90 Pro is testament to this fact. The phone runs a gorgeous 6.78in Super AMOLED display with HDR10+ and a 120Hz refresh rate.
Inside, you have a Mediatek Dimensity 9200 chipset, a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128GB or storage as standard. Although you can get the phone with 256GB as well. VIVO also included 55W fast charging as well.
The star of the show, however, is the VIVO X90 Pro’s camera which is made up of four sensors: a 50MP wide, an 8MP periscope telephoto, a 50MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide. The camera module benefits from Zeiss optics and features gimbal stabilisation.
And if that wasn’t enough to get you pumped, VIVO’s software looks more or less identical to stock Android, so it just looks like a big, sexy Pixel phone when you’re using it – only here you’ve got WAY more spec and hardware at your disposal.
#1) Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus Pros (Why You’d Buy It)
Samsung has three S23 models for your consideration – the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Ultra is the most expensive model, with the Galaxy S23 Plus sitting between it and the base model Galaxy S23. Our #1 pick from the range, however, would have to be the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. And this is why…
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is a top-of-the-line, premium phone. It packs in a ton of bleeding-edge specs and hardware, and, most importantly, it is $200/£200 cheaper than the S23 Ultra model. You get the same the same rapid-CPU, the same amount of RAM and storage, and it looks and feels just as premium.
If you can live without the S23 Ultra’s reportedly “best-ever smartphone camera,” as we can, then the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is the model to go for. From a performance and usability perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is essentially the same as the Ultra – only it costs less. And that, for us, makes it a better value option.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus’ display, a 6.6in 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED panel, is positively stunning to behold. You get support for 5G, too, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, as well as a 4700mAh battery that’ll provide all-day performance, even with heavy use. For me, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is the ultimate Android phone. And while it is pricey, you do get A LOT of phone for your money, and you still end up spending less than for the Ultra version.
And because you can get 5G with it, you’re essentially future-proofed for the next several years. The potent specs – basically overkill at this point – will provide solid performance for years to come, so if you do splurge out on this phone, you can rest assured that you will be able to use it for years to come.
Where To Get It:
#2) VIVO X90 Pro+
VIVO X90 Pro+ Pros
As one of the best bang-for-your-buck flagship Android phones, the VIVO X90 Pro+ is a great alternative to the newest Samsung offerings with its great specifications and highly competitive pricing. At $900/£760, it packs a powerful chipset, great camera performance, and a solid battery life.
The X90 Pro+ has a beautiful 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+. Suffice to say, whatever you do on this phone, it is bound to look great. The quad-lens camera with 50.3MP wide, 64MP periscope telephoto, 50MP telephoto, and 48MP ultrawide lenses rivals most of the substantially more expensive models, bar only the S23 Ultra’s revolutionary camera.
Performance-wise, it can’t really get any better than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. If you’re an Android gamer, you’ll be happy to know that the X90 Pro+ comes with an integrated Adreno 740 GPU. With raytracing support and post-processing acceleration, you’ll be able to play even the most demanding games at the highest possible settings. So yes, if you’re in the market for a gaming phone, the X90 Pro+ is the perfect pick.
One of the only areas where VIVO’s flagship model falls short of the competition are its speakers. They’re basically standard stereo speakers whose sound quality can’t really be compared to the high-end Samsung or OnePlus models. In my opinion, this is a very minor flaw, considering that most of the time, you’ll probably use headphones anyway.
All in all, VIVO X90 Pro+ is a fantastic flagship phone to buy if you’re on a budget. It takes beautiful photos, performs incredibly well even when running the most demanding software, and has a battery life that will easily last you the entire day.
Where To Get It:
#3) OnePlus 11 5G – A True iPhone 14 Pro KILLER
OnePlus 11 5G Pros
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 11 5G is an utter monster of a phone. It has a huge 6.7in Fluid AMOLED display, 8GB of RAM (a 16GB version is also available), Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU, and a triple-lens (50MP, 32MP, 48 MP) 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 11 5G almost 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.
Where To Get It:
#4) Pixel 7 Pro – Insane Value For Money
Pixel 7 Pro Pros
One of the cheapest flagship phones available on the market, the Pixel 7 Pro swaps out its predecessors’ plastic body for an aluminum one, and comes with Google’s own Tensor G2 CPU, which is still no match for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but is definitely better than Qualcomm’s budget chipsets Google opted for in their Pixel line-up in recent years.
When it comes to the price-performance ration, it would be no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best camera phones money can buy right now if; 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 only thing that may raise some eyebrows in 2023 is the Pixel 7 Pro’s lack of water resistance, which is slowly becoming a standard for just about every phone from the premium range.
Where To Get It:
#6) Huawei Mate 50 Pro
Huawei Mate 50 Pro Pros
Although Huawei’s brand popularity has taken a dip ever since their phones stopped getting shipped with Google Play Services preinstalled, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer remains one of the brands that consistently puts out great Android phones on a yearly basis.
Huawei Mate 50 Pro’s camera is a performance champion, with three lenses packing respectively 50MP, 64Mp, and 12MP. It is also capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames-per-second. It is no match for the cameras included in this year’s Samsung flagship Android phones, but you’ll be able to take sharp, Instagrammable photos with it nonetheless.
But it’s not just a brilliant camera phone. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro also packs in great performance with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU and 8GB of RAM. This level of spec makes short work of everything – from web browsing to editing images and video.
Bottom line? The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is easily one of the most reliable Android phones money can buy right now – for imaging, for design, for performance. For everything, basically. Oh, and it’s A LOT cheaper than this year’s other Android flagships.
Where To Get It:
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)
#1) Google Pixel 6A
If you want the best possible Android experience, consistent and timely updates, and a fantastic camera, then the Google Pixel 6A is very hard to beat right now. Retailing for just $449, the Google Pixel 6A is the cheapest “flagship” Pixel phone you can buy right now. And in my opinion, it is a better option than the Pixel 6, which will cost you $150 more, with little to justify the price difference.
I’ve been using the Pixel 6A ever since it first launched earlier in 2022. I love the size of it, I love the software, and, for the asking price and specs inside, I think it is just about the best value Android phone money can buy right now.
Where To Get It:
If you want a Samsung phone but you don’t want to pay Galaxy S23 money, then the Samsung Galaxy A53 is worth a look. The Galaxy A53 features a triple-lens camera on the rear, a beautiful, expansive Super AMOLED panel, and packs in some of the best battery life of any phone on this list.
Inside you have an Exynos 1280 CPU backed up by 4-8GB of RAM (we advise against buying smartphones with 4GB RAM in 2023, but it is definitely the cheapest option). If you opt for the 6 or 8GB RAM option, 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 A53 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.
Where To Get It:
#3) 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.
Perhaps the best testament to Xiaomi’s dedication to producing high-quality, cheap phones is the Mi 9, which, despite being released as a flagship all the way back in 2019, continue to rival budget options offered by the competition.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 looks like a flagship phone, and it has the specs and hardware to back that up. 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. Even though it will be a three-year-old model in 2023, its internal specs make it one of the best budget phones you can pick up.
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 even better than the Samsung Galaxy A53, and it’s got more or less the same pricetag.
Where To Get It:
Best For Camera?
All the above options have great cameras, but for me, I think it is the Xiaomi Mi 9 that serves up the best overall imaging performance out of all our recommended budget options. You have a 48MP sensor backed up by a 12MP sensor that takes care of depth (AKA that bokeh effect everybody loves).
The result? Stunningly realistic images. The earlier Xiaomi models were also impressive in this context, but the Xiaomi Mi 9 takes things several steps further, adding in support for things like advanced depth-sensing via its secondary 12MP 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 A53. And the reason is simple: it packs in a massive 5000mAh 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 A53 is KING in this price bracket.
Best For Android Updates?
Even in 2023, 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 6A – it’s cheap, it runs the purest version of Android of any phone on this list, and it will get Android 13 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 11 5G, for me, is probably the best overall option for specs and performance. If budget and Android updates are your main concerns, then choosing the Pixel 7 or 6A should be your primary choices to look into.
Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy A53 is brilliant for looks, camera technology, and battery life. But it isn’t quite as powerful as the OnePlus 11 5G or Xiaomi Mi 12 when it comes to processing performance, as it uses a less powerful CPU. And these are things you need to keep in mind.
Recap of The Best Android Phones You Can Buy Right Now:
- Google Pixel 6A – Incredible value for money; instant Android updates as soon as they’re ready; solid performance; great camera; simple UX; no bloatware; perfect phone for anyone that wants something simple and powerful that runs Android.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – This is probably the best Android phone on the planet right now for overall performance, looks, and general awesomeness. It’s pricey, but the attention to detail that has gone into designing and creating this phone, as well as its specs, performance, and camera, make its lofty price tag understandable. It wipes the floor with everything, including Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- OnePlus 11 5G– 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 14 Pro-grade performance for half the price.
- Samsung Galaxy A53 – Good-looking design; insane battery life.
- Xiaomi 12 – Beautiful design; expansive AMOLED display; big battery life; excellent performance; high-end processing performance; tons of internal storage.