Phone technology moves fast, with today’s top manufacturers pushing out innovations faster than ever.
Features such as super-fast 5G connectivity and Super AMOLED displays are commonplace, with more futuristic tech like foldable displays available for those who want the cutting edge (and who have the deep pockets to pay for them). Samsung’s Galaxy line dominates the Android category, and that probably won’t stop anytime soon. But other companies are gunning for the honor of being the best Android phone — and you, the potential customer, benefit from all this competition.
There are a number of fantastic Android phones options available at a variety of prices, ranging from high-end flagship phones to budget devices.CNET took a look at the best Android options and found these three favorites. All have generally great battery life, screens, cameras or all of the above, as well as features like fingerprint sensors, wireless charging and expandable storage.
WHAT Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
THE COST $1,199.99
AVAILABLE FROM samsung.com
As Samsung’s elite flagship phone for 2021, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a brilliant 6.8-inch AMOLED display with an ultrasmooth 120-Hertz refresh rate that also supports Samsung’s S-Pen stylus, an awesome rear camera with incredible zoom skills and 5G connectivity for super speedy data.
This is the best in mobile technology that Samsung has to offer, and it’s the Android phone to go for if you’re keen to put cutting-edge tech in your pocket.
WHAT OnePlus 9
THE COST $729
AVAILABLE FROM oneplus.com
While OnePlus isn’t as well-known as Apple or Samsung, the OnePlus 9 offers a premium experience at a somewhat more affordable budget price than rivals. The OnePlus 9 is 5G-enabled, runs the most powerful Qualcomm processor and has a multilens camera.
The 9 is our favorite OnePlus model, with all of the features we love from the series but at a more affordable price and with better battery life than the OnePlus 9 Pro, its upgraded sibling. It’s a solid option if the lofty prices of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are out of your reach.
WHAT Google Pixel 4A 5G
THE COST $499
AVAILABLE FROM store.google.com
If you want a 5G phone that doesn’t cost too much, the Pixel 4A 5G is one of our top Android mobile phone picks. The handset has a solid battery life, fantastic dual rear cameras and robust software support from Google.
If you want to splurge a bit more, there’s also the Pixel 5, which has a great 90-Hertz display and runs $699.
The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior associate editor Patrick Holland, senior editor Andrew Hoyle, former CNET staff member Lynn La and copy editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit cnet.com.