We test a ton of Android phones. We like the ones below, but you’ll be better off with one of the options above. If you haven’t yet, check out our Guide to the best cheap phones for more.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE for $600: I used this phone for several weeks and found it to be more than sufficient for my needs. The cameras are surprisingly decent: you even get a usable 3X optical zoom, although its results aren’t. as excellent like those of the Galaxy S23. I had no issues with performance and the battery often lasted me a little over a day with average usage. The 6.4-inch screen is a pretty nice size, not too big or too small, and you still get perks like wireless charging and a 120Hz screen refresh rate. up to $400 on Black Friday, so I highly recommend waiting for a sale.
OnePlus opened for $1,699: THE OnePlus Open (7/10, WIRED recommends) is OnePlus’ first foldable smartphone, and it’s really, really good. OnePlus has a clever software trick to make multitasking on this foldable book simple and efficient. The camera system performs well, the screens are very bright, and the battery life is excellent. I just wish the water resistance was better and there was wireless charging.
Google Pixel 6A for $349: Google continues to sell the Pixel 6A 2022 (8/10, WIRED recommends) at a discounted price (try not to pay more than $300). It’s still great value for money and a worthwhile purchase. It’s powered by Google’s first-generation Tensor chip, which means you get some of the best performance for your money, and it still supports excellent (and useful) software intelligence as flagship product Pixel 6 Series. It has an OLED display, a decent camera system, and extensive software support. There’s no wireless charging and it has a 60Hz display.
Google Pixel 7 Pro for $649: The Pixel 7 Pro 2022 (8/10, WIRED recommends) is a good buy if you can find it at this price (or less). You get a 6.7-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s Face Unlock, but it’s not secure like the Pixel 8’s version, so you’ll have to rely on the fingerprint sensor to access for sensitive applications. Cameras make up a big part of Pixels, and the Pixel 7 Pro remains one of the best with an improved ultra-wide with autofocus, allowing a Macro Focus mode for close-ups. Its telephoto lens has also improved, with an excellent 5X optical zoom. It will get four more years of security updates, which is great, but only two more operating system upgrades, which isn’t as good as the latest models.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 for $1,499: The Fold5 (7/10, WIRED recommends) remains an excellent large-screen foldable smartphone. Cameras can take great photos, screens can get incredibly bright, and Samsung promises long software support. But the introduction of the Pixel Fold showed me how much I prefer the larger front screen. The Fold5’s external screen feels too narrow and some apps appear squashed (although it’s a bit easier to grip when closed).
OnePlus 11 5G for $600: This OnePlus 11 (7/10, WIRED recommends) is frequently sold at this price, so avoid MSRP. It’s a speed demon, but it’s not my first choice of phone, nor my second. It’s extremely smooth and responsive, thanks to the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (and all the other optimizations), and it charges so quickly with the included adapter and cable: you can go from 0 to 100 in 20 or so. minutes. It has a stunning 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, nice stereo speakers, and a reliable battery that easily lasts more than a full day. Even Hasselblad-tuned cameras produce good results, and OnePlus now matches Samsung with a promise of four years of Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates (although these are bimonthly instead of monthly). But all is not rosy. There’s no wireless charging, no millimeter wave 5G support, and water resistance is only IP64 while almost every phone at this price has a IP67 rating (rated to survive submersion). The software’s overall interface isn’t my favorite either. But hey, at least it’s pretty! It works on all three major US networks.
Sony Xperia 1 V for $1,398: Sony’s latest flagship phone (7/10, WIRED Review) is super expensive. But it’s one of the few smartphones with a 4K OLED display, and it’s rare to see a high-end phone with a headphone jack. There are plenty of toys for camera enthusiasts, whether you want to capture a photo with manual settings or use Sony’s Cinema Pro app to capture cinematic footage. You can even use the phone as an external monitor for your camera. It’s a shame that Sony has a short software update policy and its camera system is still too bulky.
OnePlus 10 Pro for $419: OnePlus 2022 flagship phone is good but not great (7/10, WIRED recommends), although it’s a smart buy at this price. It’s stylish and has powerful hardware, including a 120Hz AMOLED screen which delivers bright, fast performance and some of the fastest wired and wireless charging you’ll find in the United States. (Yes, unlike the OnePlus 11, the older phone supports wireless charging). It will get two additional operating system upgrades and three years of security updates. You should know that there is no millimeter wave 5G here, just sub-6, which is strange for a flagship.
Motorola Edge+ 2023 for $800: A Motorola smartphone with contactless payment support, 5G, wireless charging, plus a promise of three operating system upgrades and four years of security updates? Say it’s not true! The Motorola Edge+ finally matches its peers on several points and exceeds them in some respects. It has a bright 165Hz OLED display, it’s lightweight, and its 5,100mAh battery easily lasts two days. The wrong side? The cameras aren’t as good as the cheaper Pixel 7A. Read our Guide to the best Motorola phones for more choice.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G for $300: This OnePlus phone (6/10, WIRED Review) doesn’t break the mold, and you should definitely pay for a Pixel 6A or one of the phones above if you can. But if your budget is really tight and this phone goes on sale, it fits the bill. Performance is good and battery life is two days.