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The best Android phones of 2024

One clear advantage Android has over iOS is the wide variety of phones you have to choose from. Apple makes the iPhone the only game on iOS, but with Google’s operating system, manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus and others have dozens of options. But it also means that when it’s time to upgrade, or if you want to switch from iPhone to Android in the new year, it can be difficult to decide which device is best for you. If you’re looking for a new phone but don’t know where to start, we’ve rounded up our picks of the best Android phones for every budget.

When it comes to picking our favorite Android phone, the main factors we look for are pretty simple: good performance (computing and AI), a nice display, a solid design, a sharp camera, long battery life, and continued software support major commitment. For performance, we not only look at benchmarks and other metrics, but we also evaluate phones based on responsiveness. Whether you’re reading, texting, browsing social media or playing games, no one wants a gadget that feels sluggish.

While the specs haven't changed much from last year, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display is still one of the best smartphone screens on the market.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

When it comes to displays, we generally prefer OLED panels that produce rich, saturated colors with at least 600 nits of brightness, although many of our top midrange and high-end phones can reach 1,000 nits or more. Lately, most of our favorite devices also support screens with fast 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates, which adds an extra layer of smoothness and fluidity.

Now we admit that there’s some subjectivity in deciding which phones look the best, but there are other design aspects, like dust and water resistance or screen durability, that can have a big impact on long-term survival. It’s also important to consider factors such as support for wireless charging, power sharing (also known as reverse wireless charging) and UWB connectivity, which may affect how the phone interacts with other devices.

Obviously, for photos, we want to take clear, colorful photos in bright and low-light conditions. We want our video clips to have high dynamic range, rich audio, and smooth image stabilization. Extra cameras for ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lenses are a plus. The best cameras should also include features such as a dedicated night mode, support for various video recording resolutions, and other photo modes such as time-lapse and slow-motion.

Finally, in terms of battery life, we’d like the device to have all-day battery life and also perform well in our local video running test (at least 16 hours on a single charge, but obviously longer is better). Wireless charging has become almost ubiquitous over the past few years, and most of our top picks come with this extra feature. Some Android phones also support fast charging. Finally, with people using their phones longer than ever, we’d like to see companies commit to at least three years of software support, upgrades, and regular security updates.

Photography: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

processor: Google Tensor G3 | exhibit: 6.7-inch Super Actua, up to 120Hz | camera: Rear array (50MP wide angle, 12MP ultra wide angle, 48MP telephoto), 10.5MP front lens | Battery:5,050mAh

Read our full review of the Google Pixel 8 Pro

Thanks to the Tensor G3 chip, updated sensors, and a host of new artificial intelligence capabilities, Google Pixel 8 and 8Professional Offers more features for photography and everyday use. The new Magic Editor on Pixel phones makes it incredibly easy to remove distracting objects from photos, while the Audio Magic Eraser reduces annoying ambient sounds in videos. For all those group photos, Best Shot ensures everyone looks their best, even if they didn’t smile in the first photo.On top of that, Google’s call screen is getting smarter and Assistant function, such as the ability to summarize or actual articles out loud, so you can easily stay on top of the news. Add to that a more refined design, a brighter display, longer battery life, and improved performance, and Google’s latest flagship phone may be the most well-rounded Android phone on the market.

Amazon $890

Photography: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

processor: Google Tensor G3 | exhibit: 6.1-inch 1,080 x 2,400 OLED, up to 120Hz | camera: Rear array (64MP wide-angle, 13MP ultra-wide-angle), 13MP front lens | Battery:4.49mAh

Read our full review of the Google Pixel 8a

Google’s A-series Pixels have long been among the best mid-range phones on the market. But now with the addition of Tensor G3 chip, Pixel 8a It supports the same powerful and versatile AI features as Google’s flagship phones, as well as a great camera, a gorgeous 120Hz OLED display and outstanding battery life. The device also has creature comforts like IP67 dust and water resistance and convenient (but slow) 7.5-watt Qi wireless charging. But best of all, with a starting price of $499, this is probably one of the best prices on the market.

advantage

  • Color 120Hz OLED display
  • Great battery life
  • excellent camera
  • great value
shortcoming

  • Wireless charging is slow
  • Thick bezels

Amazon $499

Photography: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | exhibit: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD+, up to 120Hz | camera: Rear array (200MP, dual pixel autofocus, 100x digital zoom, 50MP macro, 12MP UW), 12MP front camera | Battery:5,000mAh

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung offers its latest ultra-premium phone S24 super A more durable titanium frame, faster performance (thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip) and longer battery life. The company has also tweaked its longest telephoto lens to feature 5x optical zoom, making it suitable for a wider range of situations. But the biggest upgrade is a new suite of comprehensive artificial intelligence tools, including the ability to proofread text, edit images and transcribe audio recordings. When you throw in the best display on a phone today and a built-in stylus, you’ve got a very compelling flagship phone. Unfortunately, at a starting price of $1,300, the S24 Ultra is a bit pricey and not recommended for those with deep pockets.

$1,300 on Amazon

Photography: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | exhibit: 6.2-inch HD+ front display (up to 120Hz), 7.6-inch QXGA+ main display (up to 120Hz) | camera: Rear array (50MP wide angle, 12MP ultra wide angle, 10MP telephoto), 10MP (cover) + 4MP UDC (main) front camera | Battery:4,400mAh

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Despite the increasingly fierce competition Pixel foldingfor people who want to maximize their mobile productivity, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Still the best large foldable phone on the market. On the latest model, Samsung has not only added two new gestures for launching side-by-side multitasking or switching from full screen to windowed apps, but it’s also increased the number of recent apps you can see on the taskbar from two to four. . The Z Fold 5’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset also offers faster performance than the Pixel Fold, and although the Samsung phone has a smaller battery (4,400 mAh vs 4,800 mAh), it also has better battery life. But the biggest change this generation is Samsung’s new Flex Hinge, which allows the phone to close completely flat and make the phone thinner when turned on. Unfortunately, its camera system is largely unchanged from last year, and with a starting price of $1,800, the Z Fold 5 is far from affordable.

Amazon $1,920

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