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Best Android phone 2024: The top affordable, mid-range and high-end phones

Rear of Google Pixel 8 Pro on wooden desk

Want a great Android smartphone? These are the only phones worth considering

You’re here because you’re looking for the best Android phone money can buy. You’re probably a bit of an Android fan, and you’re not alone: after all, Android is the world’s most popular smartphone platform. If you’re not shackled to an iPhone, it’s the obvious (and only) choice.

The range of Android phones out there is enormous. That means you’re sure to find something to suit you perfectly – as long as you know what you’re looking for.

Here’s our guide to buying an Android phone, with advice about choosing the perfect handset for you and our pick of the best Android smartphones the market has to offer.

READ NEXT: The best smartphones to buy

Best Android phone: At a glance

Best Android smartphoneGoogle Pixel 8 (~£659)Check price at Amazon
Best affordable Android phoneMotorola Moto G54 5G (~£179)Check price at Amazon
Best flagship Android smartphoneSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (~£1,249)Check price at Amazon
Best Android phone for around £100Motorola Moto G13(~£99)Check price at Amazon

How to choose the best Android phone for you

When it comes to picking a new smartphone, there’s a multitude of features to consider. While aesthetics are important, you should certainly pay attention to features and performance. Most flagship phones (which tend to cost upwards of £700) will be more than satisfactory in all areas, but cheaper devices may come with compromises. You can boil the key considerations down to five key questions…

What’s the best smartphone display for me?

A high-resolution display is nice, but on a device this size you probably won’t notice any difference between a 1,080p or a 1,440p screen – and 4K is completely pointless. What’s much more important is contrast and colour reproduction.

AMOLED displays always look fantastic, with perfect contrast and excellent sRGB coverage. Cheap phones tend to opt for standard IPS LCD screens, usually at around 1080p or 720p, but that’s still fine if you don’t plan to do a lot of photo editing or movie watching on your device.

How much storage do I need?

You will need space to store your apps, and you might want to keep photos and music on the device. That’s less of an issue than it used to be, though, as apps such as Google Photos and Google Music mean your personal media can live in the cloud. Internal storage sizes tend to start at the 128GB mark on flagships and around 64GB on cheaper devices. Many handsets let you use a microSD card to cheaply expand this.

What’s the best version of Android?

These phones are all Android devices, but they can look and feel quite different. Certain manufacturers – notably Samsung, OnePlus, Huawei and Xiaomi – put their own customised “skin” on top of the OS, while the likes of Google and Motorola use stock Android (or near-stock) to deliver a clean and crisp experience for their users. Aside from Huawei, they’ll all run the same apps, though, so it’s mostly a case of personal preference.

What’s the best smartphone camera?

A decent camera is a great feature: it means you can always capture a moment without having to carry around a dedicated camera, and share your snaps in a few taps. Most flagships have excellent built-in cameras, but this certainly isn’t something you can take for granted in a mid-range or budget phone. If photo quality matters to you, make sure you investigate the camera before investing.

What’s the best smartphone for battery life?

Smartphone battery life has improved over the years, but we’re still living in a world where a charge may only just get you through the day. Bigger phones tend to have better longevity as they can pack in bigger batteries, and some entry-level phones also have impressive stamina for their size and price. Do your research and, as a general rule, go for the highest-capacity battery you can find.

How we test Android phones

The first thing we do when testing a new Android phone is download the Geekbench and GFXBench applications from the Google Play store. These apps are used to test the CPU and GPU processing capabilities, giving us a set of scores that we can then compare to other handsets in a similar price range.

The phone’s screen is assessed using the DisplayCal software and a display colorimeter, which gives us readings of how accurately the display reproduces colour, as well as figures for maximum brightness and contrast. When testing battery life, we engage flight mode and lock the brightness to 170cd/m2 for consistency across all devices, and run our standard looping video. When we boot the phone back up, we record the timestamp on the video for a precise measurement of the overall battery life.

For cameras, we put all lenses to use in a variety of settings, judging the quality of landscape, low-light and interior shots, as well as the efficacy of the stabilisation when rapidly panning in video mode. Finally, as these phones are Android-specific, we look at how accessible and unencumbered the OS is, noting how many software and security updates the phone is scheduled to receive and whether or not there are any notable bugs in the launcher.

READ NEXT: The best budget smartphones to buy

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The best Android phones you can buy in 2024

1. Google Pixel 8: Best Android smartphone

Price when reviewed: £659 | Check price at Amazon

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Back of black Google Pixel 8 held in hand against green plant

It’s no surprise that the best Android smartphone is the one made by Google. A great showcase for the platform, the Pixel 8 is on a par with most other companies’ flagships, but doesn’t cost quite as much. Not only is the Pixel 8’s stripped-back Android 14 experience as refined and effortlessly simple as ever, but what really sets the Pixel 8 apart this year are its dual cameras, which are simply in a class of their own.

No matter what you’re taking pictures of, and no matter the lighting conditions, the Pixel 8’s images and video are absolutely top-notch, and easily the best you can buy right now. Battery life is also a serious step above, courtesy of improvements to Google’s second-gen Tensor G3 chipset. And with that cut-throat price being yet another part of the Pixel 8’s appeal, there’s little reason to spend more.

Read our full Google Pixel 8 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: 3GHz Google Tensor G3; Screen: 6.3in, 2,400 x 1,080; Cameras: 50MP, 12MP (wide); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 14

2. Motorola Moto G54 5G: Best budget Android phone

Price when reviewed: £179 | Check price at Amazon

Motorola Moto G54 5G sitting face up on a desk, homescreen showing clock and apps

The Motorola Moto G54 5G is the best value Android phone on the market. It undercuts its predecessor on price while delivering improvements to the display, performance and camera suite.

It’s great to see that the display has been bumped back up to 1080p, and the contrast and colour accuracy have been given a welcome boost, too, making it one of the best budget phone displays around.

Performance is also very impressive, with the G54 5G scoring alongside phones that cost a fair bit more. As a result, battery life takes a small hit compared to the previous generation, but what you get here is still very competitive for the price.

On the negatives, Motorola has only committed to one OS update, but even considering this, the Motorola Moto G54 5G is still the best budget Android phone around.

Read our full Motorola Moto G54 5G review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2.2GHz MediaTek Dimensity 7020; Screen: 6.5in, 2,400 x 1,080; Cameras: 50MP, 2MP (macro); Storage: 256GB; Operating system: Android 13

3. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Best flagship Android phone

Price when reviewed: £1,249 | Check price at Amazon

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra leaning against a yellow candle, rear cameras facing outwards

If you want the best of the best, Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra is the flagship to beat. Performance is outstanding in every area, with class-leading performance from the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset, and the best battery life of any smartphone we’ve tested thus far.

The cameras are superb, capturing plenty of detail in the hybrid zoom shots and rich colour from the main camera. There’s also a wealth of fun new features with Galaxy AI, bringing things like frame interpolation and generative fill to the camera software.

Android 14 is the OS of choice, and Samsung has confirmed that you can expect seven years of both security and OS updates, bringing the phone all the way up to 2031. There’s no doubt that it’s expensive, but for the best that an Android flagship can offer, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is unbeatable.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 3.39GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy; Screen: 6.8in, 3,120 x 1,440; Cameras: 200MP, 50MP (5x zoom), 10MP (3x zoom), 12MP (wide); Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB; Operating system: Android 14

4. Motorola Moto G13: Best Android phone around £100

Price when reviewed: £97 | Check price at Amazon

Best Android phone - Motorola Moto G13 in hand in front of graffiti wall

The cheapest of Motorola’s G-series budget smartphones offers outstanding value for anyone looking to pick up a solid handset for as little as possible. The Moto G13 managed to keep pace with its pricier sibling, the Moto G23, in both performance and battery life tests, and the display, while only 720p, offers a slick 90Hz refresh rate – far from guaranteed at this price.

That’s something of a theme with the G13, as you also get an effective fingerprint reader embedded in the power button, a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual-SIM capacity, alongside a microSD slot that supports cards up to 512GB. That’s a whole lot of functionality for this price, and when you wrap it up in an attractively low-key design and tack a serviceable camera suite on top, the Motorola Moto G13 is an outstanding bargain at this price.

Read our full Motorola Moto G13 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz MediaTek Helio G85; Screen: 6.5in, 1,600 x 720; Cameras: 50MP, 2MP (macro), 2MP (depth); Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 13

5. Oppo Find X5 Pro: A simply stunning flagship

Price when reviewed: £549 | Check price at Amazon

If you’re hoping to take a step off the well-trodden path and you’ve got plenty of cash burning a hole in your pocket, then the Oppo Find X5 Pro should be your next flagship smartphone. It’s not cheap, that much is clear, but if you’ve got the funds you will be rewarded with one of the best-looking smartphones on the market, with the usual array of high-spec features.

The Oppo Find X5 Pro’s mirrored design is truly stunning, and its large 6.7in 1,440p screen is one of the most colour-accurate displays we’ve ever tested. The triple-camera offering is also top-notch, and the fact that it lasted over 24 hours in our battery test is a huge bonus as well. Oppo’s Find X5 Pro is a sublime choice if you’re craving the latest and greatest tech, but don’t fancy a Samsung or an iPhone.

Read our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review for more details

Key specs – Processor: 3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Screen: 6.7in, 3,216 x 1,440; Cameras: 50MP, 50MP (wide), 13MP (zoom); Storage: 128GB; Operating system: Android 12

6. Nothing Phone (1): A unique, well-priced handset

Price when reviewed: £370 | Check price at Amazon

The Nothing Phone (1) is something of a design statement. If you’re looking for a phone that turns heads, then this is undoubtedly what you should be buying. Featuring a unique see-through rear and a series of LED lights, there’s nothing else on the market that looks as swish as this. And the lights have a purpose, too – they flash when you receive calls, texts and alarms. Handy.

But it’s not all about the looks, and thankfully the Nothing Phone (1) is a competent mid-priced handset in all other regards. Performance is solid, courtesy of a Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset, battery life is great – lasting over 20 hours in our test – and it comes with a near-stock Android interface, too. A phone for tech geeks, or for those that simply want to show off, the Nothing Phone (1) is a solid pick.

Read our full Nothing Phone (1) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus; Screen: 6.55in, 2,400 x 1,080; Cameras: 50MP and 50MP (wide); Storage: 256GB; Operating system: Android 12

7. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: Best folding phone

Price when reviewed: £1,049 l Check price at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 in the hand, half folded

The Galaxy Z Flip is back and it’s yet again the best folding phone you can buy. With IPX8-rated waterproofing, upgraded performance and a gigantic new cover display, the Z Flip 5 is well worth buying, especially if you’re growing bored of conventional handsets. The 120Hz display is quite special, with top-notch colour accuracy in our tests, and the overall design has been improved, too.

For the price of a bog-standard flagship smartphone, the Z Flip 5 is as unique as it gets, and you don’t have to pay extra for the privilege.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; Screen: 6.7in, 2,640 x 1,080 (cover: 3.4in, 748 x 720); Cameras: 12MP and 12MP (wide); Storage: 256GB, 512GB; Operating system: Android 13

8. OnePlus 11: The best-value flagship

Price when reviewed: £688 | Check price at Amazon

Flagship Android phones don’t always need to run over £1,000, as evidenced by the OnePlus 11. While there aren’t any attention-grabbing features such as 100x zoom, OnePlus’ latest handset nails all of the elements you could want from a flagship. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, performance is terrific across the board, keeping pace with the best in the game, and battery life is among the best we’ve seen on any phone to date, too.

The standout here is the Hasselblad-branded camera suite, with the new portrait module (essentially just a 2x telephoto lens) being a particular delight. Autofocus isn’t the best, so portraits may need a couple of tries, but when you get the shot, images are terrific, with realistic skin tones and crisp outlines around the subject. As long as you aren’t too fussed about having a longer telephoto lens, the OnePlus 11 offers unbeatable value for a flagship.

Read our full OnePlus 11 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 3.2GHz Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 2; Screen: 6.7in, 3,216 x 1,440; Cameras: 50MP, 48MP (ultrawide), 32MP (portrait); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 13

9. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Samsung’s best-value phone yet

Price when reviewed: £433 | Check price at Amazon

Despite what Samsung’s slick adverts would have you believe, your smartphone buying options aren’t limited to £1,000+ flagships. Yes, some expensive Samsung phones make this list, but if you’re after something with a softer impact on your wallet, then the Galaxy A54 5G is just the ticket.

The Galaxy A54 5G is a 6.4in handset with swish looks and features that are more befitting of handsets that cost twice the price. It’s powered by a reasonably powerful Exynos 1380 processor, and it also has a 50MP camera with a 12MP ultrawide and a 5MP macro sensor. Big, powerful, and good-looking, Samsung’s Galaxy A54 5G is a no-brainer for the budget-conscious buyer.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A54 5G review for more details

Key specs – Processor: 2.4GHz Samsung Exynos 1380; Screen: 6.4in, 2,340 x 1,080; Cameras: 50MP, 12MP (wide), 5MP (macro); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 13

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