Which Android phone is best?
Since smartphone technology advances every couple of years, the flagship Android phone you bought two years ago may no longer be the best phone on the market. The sheer number of Android phone choices makes it even harder to find the right model for you.
If you are in the market for a new Android phone, pay attention to what you need based on durability, camera quality, screen resolution, battery life and speed.
What to know before you buy an Android phone
To find out what you’re looking for in a phone, ask yourself what you use your phone for every day. For example, if you frequently play games on your phone, you may need a phone with great battery life, a high-definition display and more. Here’s what you should consider when shopping for a phone.
Android operating system
The majority of smartphones use an Android operating system (Android OS). But there are several different versions of Android operating systems available, which is something to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right display size, design and speed. Phones with the latest version of Android OS offer faster performance and more power than their predecessors.
Just a decade ago, Android phones were infamous for their short battery life. Since then, there has been a massive improvement in battery technology. If you’re looking for a phone with long battery life, find one with a battery that has a high milliampere per hour rating, or mAh. This indicates the energy storage of a battery. Smartphones with higher mAh ratings have longer run times. For example, a 4500mAh battery will last longer between charges than a 3000mAh battery.
In most cases, bigger phones tend to have bigger batteries, which hold more of a charge. No matter what phone you use, experts calculate a phone’s battery life based on average usage. This means that your battery may not last if you continually use it for longer periods.
A smartphone processor determines the speed and power efficiency of the phone. If you like gaming or watching high-definition videos on your phone, you need a phone with a good processor and random access memory (RAM). Good RAM also makes it possible for apps to run in the background without your phone slowing down or freezing.
The more RAM your phone has, the more apps it can run in the background. While this is an important factor, it’s not as crucial as it is for a PC, Mac or laptop.
If you like saving pictures, using multiple apps, and downloading music, you will need a phone with enough built-in storage. Most midrange and high-end smartphones offer either 32GB or 64GB of storage. Just for comparison, 32GB can hold up to 400 photos on an Android phone, and 64GB can hold up to 1,000 photos.
If you’re unsure how much storage you need, you can buy a 32GB model and expand the phone’s storage capacity with microSD cards when you need it. However, some high-end Android phone models do not support microSD.
What to look for in a quality Android phone
To identify the performance of a camera, pay attention to aperture, image quality, speed and additional features. The aperture is the small opening that lets light into the camera and determines how dark or bright the image will be. It also determines how much of the image is in focus.
High-end smartphones often use sensors to deliver high-quality aperture performance. When you take a picture, the phone can automatically determine what part of the image should be in focus. Because of this, midrange and expensive phones have the best phone cameras on the market.
A great screen displays accurate colors, brightness and rich hues. These ensure you don’t need to worry about images looking blurry or blotchy when you view them from different angles. A good display makes your images and high-definition resolution (HDR) videos look fantastic.
Find phones with either Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (AMOLED) or HDR displays if you want everything to look vivid. High-end televisions and tablets also use this type of display technology.
High-end phones even have displays that adjust based on your surroundings, so you can comfortably view contents on your phone screen outdoors, in direct sunlight or in low light situations.
How much you can expect to spend on an Android phone
Low-priced phones have improved over the years. They often cost $200-$500. They are not as powerful as the more expensive versions, but they get the job done for basic smartphone needs. Midrange phones have better cameras and battery life compared to inexpensive models. Midrange Android phones cost around $600-$800. Expensive Android phones have the best cameras and display quality. They typically cost $800-$1,200.
What’s the best Android phone to buy?
This Samsung flagship model has tons of uncompromising features. It comes with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM, an excellent display with great picture quality, a camera with an excellent zoom lens and S Pen support. The Galaxy S21 ultra also has a high-performance processor and a battery that lasts for two days with regular use. Other S21 Ultra accessories include a wireless charger and the Samsung SmartTag.
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OnePlus 9 Pro
This smartphone has the best camera among the Android OnePlus models. It uses a similar processor to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, has a big battery, and supports lightning-fast wired and wireless charging. Note that you will have to buy the wireless charger separately.
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Samsung Galaxy S21
A more affordable version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S21 has lower screen resolution and noticeably shorter battery life. However, this sleek phone with a Gorilla Glass back is high speed and sports an excellent camera.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Not only does this model have a massive 4,500mAh battery, but it also has a big screen with a high refresh rate, giving you smooth, responsive content. You can write notes or doodle on the screen with an S Pen and take beautiful photos with its pro-level camera.
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Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 is a mid-range phone with a high-quality camera and a bright OLED display. It comes with a headphone jack and decent RAM that can run some demanding apps. The only downside is that its battery does not last very long between charges.
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Michael Rodgers writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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