The 9 Best Android Phones of 2020

Not a fan of the iPhone? These Android phones don't disappoint

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The Rundown
"Samsung's Galaxy Note smartphone series continues to dominate, especially with the latest release."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Google Pixel 4a 5G at Best Buy
"For a 5G phone that won't break the bank, the Pixel 4a 5G offers excellent cameras and smooth software at a reasonable price."
"The Galaxy S20 FE is a reasonably-priced alternative to more costly flagships like the S20+, while still offering solid performance and 5G connectivity."
Best Battery Life:
Motorola Moto G Power at Amazon
"Massive 5,000mAh battery that will get you throughout the night and day and then some."
"The OnePlus 8 Pro features a whopping 6.78-inch display size, which serves up a 120Hz refresh rate"
"Google's new flagship phone comes with a great camera, 90Hz display, and clean Android software."
Best Mid-Range 5G:
Samsung Galaxy A71 5G at Amazon
"The A71 is a mid-range phone that won't hit your wallet hard while still giving you blazing fast 5G connectivity."
"The Z Fold2 5G is one of the most unique and attractive folding phones on the market for those who price is no object."
"The phone to buy if you want to stay ahead of the curve with the best 5G performance possible."

The best Android phones can meet your needs no matter what your budget. The wide range of Android phones and phone manufacturers makes it hard to argue that there isn't an excellent Android phone for any type of phone owner. The Android ecosystem has plenty going for it, especially when it comes to ease of use when modifying as well as the more lenient nature of the operating system. But with all those factors in mind, it becomes that much more difficult to figure out which Android device is right for you. 

There are a wide variety of things you should keep in mind when selecting your newest Android phone. These aspects can range from a Quad HD screen to a higher amount of RAM, better processor, storage, camera array, and more. We've gone through some of the widest varieties of new Android smartphones to help you decide, ranging from the budget buy to the top-tier premium flagships. This way you can secure the phone that's best for you, no matter what it is you're looking for.

You should also browse our general list of the best smartphones if you want an overview of all your options.

Here, the best Android phones to get.

Holiday Deal

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

What We Like
  • Sharp QHD+ display

  • Glass screen

  • Excellent camera

What We Don't Like
  • Can't be laid flat due to camera

  • Can be prohibitively expensive

Samsung's Galaxy Note smartphone series continues to dominate, especially with the latest release. The Note 20 Ultra is an excellent flagship in many ways. It comes rocking a 6.9-inch Super AMOLED screen with a sharp 5x optical zoom camera as well as stylus support for taking notes and operating the camera remotely. The camera array is certainly the biggest draw, as it's somehow even improved over the Galaxy Note 10, which is impressive. 

Beyond that, it comes with a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor as well as 12GB RAM with a 4,500 mAh battery to tie everything together. It's not a cheap phone by any means, but it's certainly one that sets out to get the job done and ensures you only need one massively powerful phone to do it all. This is one of the best Samsung has to offer, and will consistently impress even beyond what it can do with its camera.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Google Pixel 4a 5G

What We Like
  • Stellar cameras

  • Smooth Android OS

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Great, big screen

  • 5G support

What We Don't Like
  • Generic looking design

  • No water resistance

  • Lacks mmWave 5G

The Google Pixel 4a 5G has specs largely similar to its more capable sibling, the Pixel 5. You get a 6.2-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2340x1080 and a pxiel density of 413ppi. It supports HDR, though not the newer HDR10+ standard and it doesn't have a high refresh screen.

Soecs are solid, with a Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage. The camera matches the quality of the Pixel 5, consisting of a 12.2MP primary sensor and a 16MP ultrawide, allowing it to take great low-light shots with the Night Shift mode. It's capable of recording 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps. Battery life lasts for a while, with a 3,8885mAh cell. It also supports fast charging, but not wireless charging or reverse wireless charging.

The real selling point here is that you get 5G connectivity without breaking the bank. It's not mmWave, but it should still keep you connected at blazing fast speeds.

"At $499, you get a 5G-capable phone with a great screen, excellent cameras, and strong battery life, and enough processing power to get the job done." — Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Value: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

What We Like
  • Large 120Hz screen

  • Excellent cameras

  • Speedy performance

  • Beefy battery

  • 5G support

What We Don't Like
  • Under-powered charger included

  • No mmWave 5G in unlocked version

The Galaxy S20 FE is one of the best bangs for the buck you can get from Samsung, especially if you're looking for a 5G phone. The S20 FE has a sharp 2400x1080 display with 407ppi and a 120Hz refresh rate, giving you smooth motion for multimedia and games. It also supports HDR10+ for improved dynamic range and colors. Under the hood, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, has configurations of 128GB storage and 6GB RAm, 128GB storage and 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage and 8GB RAM.

According to our reviewer, the solid specs make it a great option for multitasking, demanding games, and general day-to-day browsing. Camera capabilities are solid, consisting of a 12MP main sensor, 8MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide sensor. It supports 4K recording at 60fps, and comes with a sizable 4,500mAh battery. Fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging are all supported.

"The 4,500mAh battery has a lot of power to fuel your everyday exploits, and I never came close to tapping it out in regular everyday usage." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Battery Life: Motorola Moto G Power

What We Like
  • Excellent battery life

  • Very affordable

  • Great performance

What We Don't Like
  • Great performance

  • No optical zoom available

It's going to be difficult to find a phone that ticks all the boxes that you're looking for in an Android phone while remaining decently affordable. But the Moto G Power from Motorola is an all-over fantastic phone, with a 6.4-inch display, a zippy Snapdragon 665 processor, and 4GB RAM to handle whatever projects you need. But where it truly shines is its massive 5,000mAh battery that will get you through the night and day and then some.

Starting at just $249, it's absolutely the best price you're going to pay for such a powerful battery with all the niceties still attached to it in terms of what you'd normally ask for out of a budget phone.

Best Design: OnePlus 8 Pro

What We Like
  • Amazing 6.67-inch high-res display

  • Amazing 6.67-inch high-res display

  • Three lens rear camera

What We Don't Like
  • Potential battery drain when you use video enhancements

OnePlus has refreshed its flagship phone line with a new, affordable version of its popular line. The OnePlus 8 Pro features a whopping 6.78-inch display size, which serves up a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and QHD resolution. The camera situation is impressive as well, with a 16Mp front camera as well as a rear camera array of 48Mp + 48Mp + 5MP + 8 MP. In terms of longevity, the OnePlus 8 Pro includes a massive 4,510 mAh battery to keep you running for hours and hours. 

With the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 chipset powering everything, this phone can handle just about everything thrown at it, and it comes packing 5G support at that. It comes on board with one of the best phone screens currently on the market, and investing in one now means you'll be able to utilize 5G when it's available in your area as well. There's a lot going for this particular flagship, that's for sure, and while you'll certainly be paying for its niceties, it's worth it.

Best Google: Google Pixel 5

What We Like
  • Best cameras

  • Super speedy 5G

  • Smooth 90Hz screen

  • Incredible battery life

  • Android 11 OS

What We Don't Like
  • Skimps on power

  • Bland design

  • Iffy value proposition

The Pixel 5 is the flagship sibling to the larger, more affordable Pixel 4a 5G. It's also a 5G phone with a very similar set of features and hardware. The main improvements come from its IP68 water resistance, 90Hz refresh rate screen, and features like reverse wireless charging. In other regards, both phones are awfully similar when it comes to specs and capabilities.

The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2340x1080 with a crisp 432ppi density. It's powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 765G processor, has 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. This isn't as powerful as flagship phones from Samsung that come with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 865+ chipset, but Google's flavor of Android tends to be very clean and optimized, so you're unlikely to notice much slowdown.

The real standout is camera performance. Our reviewer noted that the Night Sight feature results in turning a darkly-lit shot into a well-lit and eye-catching photo. The phone also record 4K at 60fps, has a great battery life, and supports full mmWave 5G.

"At $499, you get a 5G-capable phone with a great screen, excellent cameras, and strong battery life, and enough processing power to get the job done."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Mid-Range 5G: Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

What We Like
  • 5G connectivity

  • Solid processor

  • Nice screen

  • Quad camera array

What We Don't Like
  • No HDR or high refresh screen

  • No wireless charging or waterproofing

The Galaxy A71 5G is one of the many mid-range options in Samsung's lineup. It's a large phone with a 6.7-inch 2400x1080 Super AMOLED display, and a 393ppi density. The design is modern, with an edge-to-edge screen, minimal bezels and a camera cutout in the center. It doesn't support HDR or a high refresh rate, but it still looks good and bright. The phone is powered by a solid Exynos 980 chipset with 6GB RAM/128GB storage or 8GB RAM/128GB storage. It can handle most day-to-day apps, browsing, some multitasking, and even a bit of gaming.

Camera capabilities punch above their weight with a 64MP primary sensor, 12MP ultrawide sensor, 5MP macro, and 5MP depth sensor. The phone can record 4K at 30fps and 1080p at an incredibly smooth 240ps. The 4,500mAh battery offers a solid runtime and fast charging is supported, though not wireless charging.

Best Folding: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

What We Like
  • Incredible, gorgeous folding display

  • Powerful processor

  • Great camera capabilities

  • Supports fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless

What We Don't Like
  • Battery seems like it could be bigger

  • No IP68 waterproofing

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G is one of the most interesting and unique new phones on the market. As a successor to the first Galaxy Fold, it builds on the design by improving the durability of the folding screen and packing in more powerful hardware. The phone consists of a folding AMOLED panel that measures 7.6.-inches, making it about the same size as a small tablet when fully unfolded.

Each screen is gorgeous with a resolution of 2208x1768, a 373ppi density, and support for HDR10+ and a 120Hz refresh rate. Content looks incredibly rich and smooth. When folded, you get a 6.23-inch cover display that you can use just like a regular phone.

The processor is the very latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor and configurations include 12GB RAM/256GB storage and 12GB RAM/512GB storage. That's plenty of power for multimedia, productivity, and gaming. The camera array is no slouch either, consisting of a 12MP primary sensor, 12MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide sensor. The phone can record 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps. The front has a pair of 10MP selfie cameras.

The 4,500mAh battery is sizable on paper, though the phone will likely suck a fair bit of juice when fully unfolded. It supports fast charging, fast wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging, but isn't waterproof.

Best 5G: Samsung Galaxy S20+

What We Like
  • Full mmWave 5G support

  • Quad-Lens Camera System

  • 120Hz AMOLED Display

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Real-world 5G coverage still spotty

There’s no doubt that the era of 5G is upon us, and if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve with a future-proof smartphone that will support these upcoming new technologies, Samsung is pretty much the only game in town right now. Further, while all of the new Samsung S20 models now offer basic 5G capabilities, only the higher-end models support the ultra-fast mmWave 5G frequencies, making the S20 Plus the best choice if you want the best 5G performance possible.

Of course, there’s more to the S20 Plus than just 5G support. As Samsung’s newest flagship phone, it also features a stunning AMOLED Infinity display that stretches from edge to edge with a crisp 523 poi resolution, following in the footsteps of last year’s model to use only a simple and clean hole for the front selfie camera. The screen refresh rate also now ramps up to 120Hz, which promises a smoother gaming and scrolling experience. 

The S20 Plus also offers a quad-lens camera system, although the fourth camera is actually a VGA “time-of-flight” sensor that’s used for “bokeh” depth-of-field effects and augmented reality applications. 12MP ultra-wide and standard wide lens and a 64MP telephoto lens make up the other three cameras, arranged in a unique new design that offers better zoom performance. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core CPU is also ensures that you’ll be able to take maximum advantage of the higher speeds that the mmWave 5G chipset can offer.

“Even if you don’t have 5G service in your area yet, the 5G technology is Samsung’s latest phones is ready for prime time, so you’ll be fully equipped for the future.” — Jesse Hollington, Tech Writer

Final Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra (view at Amazon) is the most powerful phone on this list no matter what you plan to do. Whether it's productivity, gaming, or general multimedia use, it won't let you down. For 5G connectivity without breaking the bank, we like the Google Pixel 4a 5G. It has clean software, great camera capabilities, and solid specs.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jesse Hollington has been testing and reviewing smartphones and smartphone accessories for over a decade and has used every smartphone and mobile platform from the early Palm, Symbian, and Windows CE days to the modern era of Apple iPhones and the entire gamut of Android-based phones from the Google Nexus One to the latest Samsung devices.

Lance Ulanoff is a 30-plus year industry veteran and award-winning journalist who has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” Previously, Lance served as a columnist for Medium, Editor-in-Chief of Mashable, and Editor-in-Chief of PCMag.com.

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based writer who has been covering technology and video games since 2006. His areas of expertise include smartphones, wearable gadgets, smart home devices, video games, and esports. He reviewed the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, praising their excellent camera performance and clean software.

Ajay Kumar is Tech Editor at Lifewire. With a decade of experience in the consumer electronics industry, he's previously been published at PCMag where he reviewed hundreds of phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

The Ultimate Android Smartphones Buying Guide

Choosing a new smartphone today isn’t as simple as deciding between Apple’s iPhones or an Android phone. If you select the latter, consider that the starting point: there’s an enormous amount of phones that run the Android operating system, and they vary in style, power, capabilities, manufacturer, and plenty more.

While that might seem daunting, it’s actually a very good thing. Competition has driven up quality and led to a very broad span of price ranges, with cheap entry-level handsets scaling all the way up to wallet-pummeling super-phones that have more top-end tech than anyone could ever need. If all you care about is making calls and sending texts, then you don’t need to spend a mint on a new smartphone. On the other hand, if you want DSLR-quality photos, an incredibly crisp display, and smooth 3D gaming, then you’ll have to pay for those benefits.

Doing just a little bit of research can pay big dividends. While all current Android phones provide the same kind of basic functionality, the little differences between them can significantly impact the way you use your phone on an everyday basis. Here’s a look at all of the key considerations to keep in mind while researching a new Android smartphone, as well as a list of the biggest Android manufacturers today.

Key Considerations

Every Android phone is an amalgamation of various components, features, and perks, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting as many of your must-haves as your budget will allow. Here’s what to look for:

Screen

Every Android phone has a screen, but some are much better than others—and some are much larger than others, too. What used to be considered a large phone or a “phablet” just a few years ago is on the more compact end of the scale today, as screens just keep getting bigger.

Today, a premium Android “flagship” phone will typically have a screen that is 6 inches or larger diagonally, such as the 6.2-inch display of the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the 6.55-inch screen of the OnePlus 7T. “Compact” smartphones aren’t usually much smaller than that: it’s rare to see a brand-name Android phone with a screen smaller than 5.5 inches today. That said, these phones are taller than in the past thanks to aspect ratios of 18:9 or even 20:9, so that helps phones avoid feeling overly wide in your hand. Even so, larger-screened phones can be difficult to control with one hand. If possible, get your hands on a phone before buying it.

Beyond size, your next biggest consideration is screen resolution. Higher is better: many phones opt for 1080p resolution, and the OnePlus 7T’s resolution of 1080x2400 means that there are nearly 2.6 million pixels crammed into that handheld display. That’s very crisp. Some pricier phones go even higher to 1440p (or Quad HD) resolution, while a couple even opt for 1920p (4K Ultra HD). On a screen that small, however, you’re unlikely to see much of an advantage to a 4K display. On the other end of the spectrum, however, some cheaper phones have lower-resolution 720p panels, where text and graphics tend to look fuzzier.

Some pricier phones offer increased screen refresh rates of 90Hz or 120Hz (60Hz is standard), which means that menus and animations look smoother, especially important for gaming. Also, phones with OLED or AMOLED displays tend to have bolder contrast and deeper black levels, while LCD panels typically don’t look quite as punchy. Additionally, some phones offer always-on screens, which means you’ll see details like time, battery life, and incoming notifications on an otherwise black screen when not in active use.

Samsung Galaxy Note10Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note10Plus running Netflix, which steers clear of the camera hole. Lifewire / Lance Ulanoff

Performance

While not always correct, it’s generally true that the more you spend on a new smartphone, the more processing power you’ll get. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are used in most top phones these days, and the Snapdragon 800-series is typically what you’ll find in pricey flagship phones. Right now in 2020, the top of the line is the Snapdragon 865 chip, although some of 2019’s lingering phones use the Snapdragon 855 or slightly improved Snapdragon 855+.

Less-powerful mid-range phones use Snapdragon 600-series or 700-series chips, while budget phones are likely to use Snapdragon 400-series processors. Some makers use lower-powered MediaTek chips instead, and those are typically found in budget phones. Samsung’s own Exynos processors aren’t used much in North America, but a couple of its lower-priced phones run them, while Huawei uses its own in-house Kirin chips.

A powerful processor paired with a solid amount of RAM (usually 4GB or more) and a quality graphics processing unit (GPU) will typically result in a phone that feels snappy in everyday usage, can switch between multiple apps with ease, and can run visually impressive games without sluggishness. Every step down from flagship to mid-range and ultimately the budget range tends to result in slower-feeling phones that are less capable of running top games.

Cameras

As with processing power, you’ll typically get better cameras the more you spend on a phone. Flagship Android phones today often pack several cameras with varying capabilities.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has four back cameras: a 108-megapixel standard wide-angle camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera for zoomed-in shots, a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera that is pulled back for landscape and group shots, and a DepthVision sensor that captures distance data to improve the results. Between those four cameras, the Galaxy S20 Ultra can produce 10x hybrid optical zoom with clear results, and up to 100x “Super Resolution Zoom” that grabs much fuzzier, faraway shots.

That’s the extreme example, and it’s an incredibly expensive phone. Even so, most of today’s big flagship phones have two or three back cameras, and even mid-range phones give you between two and four back cameras. However, mid-range phones are less likely to deliver great results, and budget phones usually produce passable results at best. Google’s Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a phones are an interesting exception, however, as they essentially carry over the excellent single camera from the flagship Pixel 3 phones into a mid-range body.

Today’s Android phones all come with front-facing “selfie” cameras, as well, and sometimes more than one—you might get a wider-angle camera for group shots, as well. These cameras are sometimes in a little “notch” at the top of the screen or in a “punch-hole” camera cutout near the top, or perhaps just in the black strip of bezel above the screen. A couple of phones, such as the OnePlus 7 Pro, even have a motorized selfie camera that pops up from the top of the phone when you load the camera app.

Software

All Android phones run Android… obviously, right? While that’s true, there are different versions of Android. More importantly, each hardware manufacturer puts its own stamp on the operating system, and thus the interface may look or act a bit differently as a result. Again, it’s well worth getting hands-on with an Android phone before you buy it, just to make sure that you like the feel and flow of the customized interface.

Google’s Pixel phones run the purest and latest versions of Android, because Google is the primary developer of Android and its services are considered essential to the experience. Android 10 is the latest version of Android, although many current phones are still running the previous Android 9 Pie… or maybe even the outdated Android 8 Oreo. Each maker must release its own updates to its “skinned” version of Android, so it can take many months for an update to hit your phone after Google releases its new core version.

Battery life

Nearly any smartphone you buy today is equipped to give you a solid full day of uptime, from the moment you wake up to when you plug it back in at bedtime. Some phones will give you even more, such as the Motorola Moto G7 Power, which can reasonably give you two full days between charges. Not every phone lives up to its claims, however: for example, we found that Google’s Pixel 4 XL struggled to last a full day with all of its default features enabled.

Many top-end phones offer wireless charging capabilities in addition to wired charging, which means that you can put the glass back of the phone onto a wireless charging pad to top up the internal battery. It’s usually a slower process, but it’s also very convenient. Some phones also offer a feature called “reverse wireless charging,” which means you can put another wirelessly-chargeable phone on the back to share some of your battery life. Some accessories, such as wireless earbud cases, can also be charged on the back of these phones.

Note that removable batteries are extremely uncommon with today’s smartphones. One rare example that is available for purchase in North America is the budget-friendly Nokia 2.2.

Google Pixel 4
The new Google Pixel 4.  Lifewire / Lance Ulanoff

Storage

The amount of internal storage available in a phone determines how many apps and files you can carry around with you. Many higher-end phones start at around 128GB of internal storage, which is a pretty significant amount to play around with. There may be higher-capacity versions available for more money, such as 256GB or 512GB, if you plan on carrying a lot of local music or video files, or want to have a bunch of mobile games downloaded.

Less expensive phones may only come with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, however, which limits how much data you can carry around. Luckily, many phones let you expand your storage with tiny microSD memory cards, which are pretty affordable and easy to come by. Some phones don’t allow external storage, however, such as OnePlus and Google Pixel phones.

Security

You’ll find a fingerprint sensor on nearly every Android smartphone today, but some of them aren’t immediately visible. Most are located on the back where your pointer finger would normally rest, but some are placed in the power button on the right side of the phone.

Some higher-end phones, however, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and OnePlus 7 Pro, put their fingerprint sensors within the screen itself. These aren’t always as speedy and reliable as the traditional sensors. Samsung’s ultrasonic sensors on its expensive Galaxy phones have been a bit spotty in recognizing your finger to unlock the phone, while the optical sensors seen in OnePlus phones, for example, are pretty swift.

Many phones also offer facial unlock capabilities, but if they have a standard 2D front-facing camera, then it’s not a very secure system—it could be easily fooled by an attacker. Google’s Pixel 4 phones, on the other hand, have iPhone-like 3D facial scanning hardware that is more precise and secure than regular 2D cameras. Some phones also offer an additional layer of security that allows you to remotely wipe the data off of them if they're lost or stolen.

Carrier

Not every phone is compatible with every mobile service, so if you’re buying a phone online or otherwise not directly from your phone carrier, ensure that it will work. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology for their service while Verizon and Sprint rely on CDMA technology. Some phones are “unlocked” and may be compatible with both cellular bands, while others are specific to certain carriers or bands.

Also, only certain phones are compatible with higher-speed 5G cellular service, which is still a pretty new feature. More and more phones will support 5G in the coming months as it gradually replaces 4G LTE as the cellular standard, and the carriers are constantly expanding their respective service maps so that you can access 5G speeds in more places.

Headphone port

A 3.5mm headphone port seems like a very standard feature, but more and more high-end phones have been omitting the feature in recent years—the Galaxy S20, Pixel 4, and OnePlus 7T all lack a headphone port. Your choice, then, is to either use Bluetooth wireless headphones or to use a USB-C-to-3.5mm dongle adapter, which may or may not come with your phone.

Curiously, it’s the cheaper mid-range and budget phones that typically still keep the classic headphone port intact. It’s the odd example of paying less and getting more in the phone world.

Unique form factors

Most smartphones have the familiar slate design with a large touch display, but recently we’ve seen more experimentation with foldable smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and new Motorola Razr are both modern smartphones that reimagine the classic flip-phone design, while the Samsung Galaxy Fold has a small outer screen and a tablet-sized 7.3in display on the inside. All of these phones are significantly more expensive than typical smartphones, so you’ll pay extra for an out-of-the-ordinary, experimental design.

Samsung Galaxy Note10+ and Note10
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ and Note10.  Lifewire / Lance Ulanoff


Brands/Manufacturers

Many different companies make Android-powered devices, but when it comes to quality smartphones in 2020, these are the brands you need to know:

Samsung: Samsung is the most popular Android maker in Western markets, and is well known for its Galaxy line of smartphones and suite of related apps. Currently, the Galaxy S20 is the company’s core flagship-level phone, with larger Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra variants available as well. The company also makes the Galaxy Note 10, which comes with a pop-out stylus. Samsung has mid-range phones, as well, such as the Galaxy A50, and makes experimental phones such as the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip.

Google: Google is the main company behind Android itself and is the maker of the various Pixel phones. As of this writing, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the flagship-level phones, while last year’s Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are lower-priced alternatives made with plastic and less-powerful processors. Pixel phones provide the cleanest, pure Android experience available, while other makers tweak and “skin” their versions of Android.

OnePlus: OnePlus has emerged as a maker of “budget flagship” phones—that is, handsets that are as powerful as more expensive models but may trim down a couple of features or components to save hundreds of dollars. Currently, the OnePlus 7T is the company’s core phone, while the pricier OnePlus 7 Pro has a higher-resolution screen along with a motorized selfie camera that pops up from the top of the phone when needed.

Motorola: Motorola has been around for ages, but recently has focused almost entirely on budget and mid-range phones. Its Moto G phones are typically reliable low-priced phones, while the various Motorola One mid-range models have various styles and perks between them. Motorola has also made a handful of Moto Z phones with magnetic, snap-on accessories, and the new foldable Razr smartphone is a nostalgic throwback to its classic flip phone.

Sony: Sony’s phones of late have embraced super-tall 21:9 displays. The Xperia 1 (with a 4K-resolution screen) and slightly smaller Xperia 5 are pricey flagship phones, while the Xperia 10 is a budget-friendlier alternative.

LG: LG’s most recent phones have embraced various gimmicks to try to stand out, including the LG G8X ThinQ, which has a detachable second full-size screen, and the LG G8 ThinQ with its inconsistent “Air Motion” gestures. LG also makes budget-priced phones, including the stylus-packing LG Stylo 5.

Nokia: Once an exclusive maker of Windows Phones, Nokia now makes a variety of Android phones, most of which are budget and mid-range models. The Nokia 7.1, Nokia 6.1, and Nokia 4.2 are all included on our list of The Best Budget Smartphones for Under $300 in 2020. Nokia’s most recent flagship phone is the Nokia 9 PureView, which has five back cameras.

Huawei: Huawei makes high-end phones such as the P40 Pro and Mate 30 Pro, which have impressive multi-camera setups, along with budget handsets under its Honor brand. However, due to issues with the U.S. government, new Huawei phones can no longer have Google services and apps (including the Play Store for downloading apps), and they’re not widely available in the United States.

Conclusion

Any Android phone on the market can accomplish the basic tasks of placing calls, sending texts and emails, browsing the internet, and playing apps and games, but there’s a wide gulf in quality and capabilities between them.

The more expensive phones do typically pack in better screens, improved performance, and additional perks, but we don’t recommend throwing money at a lavish phone without doing some research, reading reviews, and ideally getting hands-on time to see if you like the feel and experience of using the phone.

For many users, a good-quality mid-range phone like a Google Pixel 3a, Samsung Galaxy A50, or Motorola Moto G7 may satisfy your needs. You’ll have to consider whether features like extra power, glossier screens, and enhanced camera capabilities are really worth spending extra for. Be sure to consult our ever-updated list of the best Android smartphones above, and keep an eye out for reviews of the latest and greatest.