David Imel / Android Authority

Android has constantly been the nice working gadget if you want freedom of choice. There are thousands of super alternatives from heaps of OEMs, but every so often that just makes it tougher to pick the high-quality Android smartphone.

We can’t promise that the selection may be smooth. No telephones are exactly alike, however that’s why we adore this running system. Each manufacturer is developing its personal hardware and crafting its personal model of Android, so it’s all about what you cost in a tool. Now, allow’s get into our high-quality Android smartphone picks for 2021.

Buying the exceptional Android smartphone to your wishes

The shopping for road receives tougher from here, however you’ve already made an important step — deciding on an operating machine. This web page is all approximately Android phones, so that you won’t locate the iPhone 12 or any other Apple product among our choices.

Now it’s time to get into the specifics of your new cellphone. There are such a lot of Android gadgets available on the market, and you may use almost any spec you need to slender down the options. Maybe you need to start with a 5G-ready chipset, or perhaps you need the biggest battery round. You’ll additionally want to do not forget how plenty RAM you need and what sort of garage you need for your apps, films, and extra.

Locking down Android as your operating gadget is handiest the first step.

Another element to maintain in mind is the build excellent of your device. Many top class flagship gadgets are what we call glass sandwiches in 2021 — glass at the back and front with a metal frame to maintain all of it collectively. You can save cash and go for a plastic tool, even though it may now not experience as strong on your hand. There’s also the Google Pixel five, which sports a difficult aluminum build lined in bioresin.

We’ve damaged all of our recommendations beneath into categories that will help you determine out simply what every cellphone is pleasant for. If you’re no longer offered on our top choose, we’ve brought a few honorable mentions to manual you in addition.

The great Android phones

  • The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first-class Android telephone overall, with pinnacle-notch cameras, blistering internals, and S Pen support.
  • The Asus ROG Phone 5 is our top gaming tool thanks to its first rate show, fast refresh rate, and snappy processor.
  • The OnePlus 9 Pro is a true killer flagship, and the twin-SIM capability is simplest the tip of the iceberg.
  • The Google Pixel 4a is at the pinnacle of the small Android telephone recreation, with a palm-pleasant 5.eighty one-inch show.
  • The Google Pixel 4a 5G is an outstanding way to get 5G speeds on a finances at simply $499.ninety nine.
  • The Xiaomi Mi eleven Ultra is our battery king with a 5,000mAh cell and 67W stressed or wireless charging.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a remarkable way to live productive among the massive 6.nine-inch display and delicate S Pen.
  • The Google Pixel five nevertheless commands our camera admire, although the sensor itself isn’t miles ahead anymore.
  • The Sony Xperia 1 III is a creator’s dream, and it maintains the headphone jack alive on premium gadgets in 2021.
  • The Poco F3 is the various most lower priced telephones on our list, and it packs an IR blaster for your faraway manipulate needs.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: The excellent Android telephone proper now

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S20 Ultra launched Samsung’s premium moniker again in 2020, however the sequel brings electricity to an entire new level. Samsung fixed plenty of the S20 Ultra’s issues at the S21 Ultra or even managed to undercut it on pricing. No remember which manner you narrow it, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra sits atop the Android throne.

Samsung refined each detail from the Galaxy S20 Ultra to create one of the best Android phones ever.

It changed into one of the first flagships to release within the US with a Snapdragon 888 processor on board, and it packs up to 16GB of RAM with as plenty as 512GB of garage space. You even get one of the nice, maximum properly-rounded digicam systems on any telephone, highlighted by using a 108MP foremost shooter at the back and a 40MP selfie lens at the the front. As if that’s now not enough, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is one among only a few easily to be had telephones with 10x optical zoom (any other is Huawei’s P40 Pro Plus).

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most high-priced telephone of this yr’s Galaxy flagship crop, and it gives extensive benefits over the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus. You’ll handiest find a WQHD+ show at the top rate handset, and the most inexpensive Galaxy S21 ditches glass for a “Glasstic” production.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

If you want the most powerful cellphone in Samsung’s Galaxy S21 collection, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is for you. It comes with the largest show at 6.eight-inches, the most important battery at five,000mAh, and the fine camera setup with a number one 108MP sensor. It additionally comes with as a whole lot as 16GB of RAM. However, it is also the most costly with a starting rate of $1,199.


  • Big and top notch 120Hz show
  • Versatile digicam machine
  • Super-fast Snapdragon 888 processor


  • No charger in the box
  • Expensive, but more less expensive than ultimate yr

Asus ROG Phone 5: The first-rate Android gaming phone

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Gaming phones have progressed through leaps and limits within the previous few years. The ROG Phone five follows ultimate 12 months’s ROG Phone three, and it takes an already high-quality gaming platform even similarly. It follows the attempted-and-proper technique of “if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it,” and it actually can pay off.

The Asus ROG Phone five packs a critical 6.78-inch AMOLED show with a excellent 144Hz refresh rate, among masses of different specs that make it the best Android gaming phone round. You also get a Snapdragon 888 processor on your money and as much as 16GB of RAM. If you really want the excellent that Asus can provide, there’s usually the ROG Phone 5 Pro or Ultimate — each with 512GB of storage and the Ultimate with as much as 18GB of RAM.

See additionally: Asus ROG Phone 5 customer’s guide

For as brilliant because the ROG Phone five is, it isn’t perfect. While you get a huge 6,000mAh battery ability, there’s no wireless charging available. You won’t get an IP rating both, and you may need Asus’ Aero Active fan to preserve your gaming beast cool below pressure. Also, despite the fact that the principle camera is stable, however the peripheral lenses go away a little something to be preferred.

Asus ROG Phone 5

The ROG Phone five is our present day gaming king, full of Qualcomm’s top rate Snapdragon 888, masses of RAM and storage, and a large 6,000mAh battery.


  • Very responsive display
  • Quad DAC and superb audio system
  • Elite overall performance


  • One hefty beast
  • No IP rating
  • Hot below heavy stress

OnePlus nine Pro: The first-rate twin-SIM Android cellphone

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

OnePlus constructed its name for years as a flagship killer, but now it’s long past to the dark side. The OnePlus nine Pro is a simply killer flagship, and it’s not right here to play games. It nearly topples the enterprise giants, and twin-SIM support is simply another bonus.

The first issue you’ll notice about the OnePlus nine Pro is the revamped rear digicam array. It’s powered with the aid of Hasselblad, which brings a severe punch to the premium handset. Our own Eric Zeman went thus far as to name the OnePlus nine Pro the enterprise’s best smartphone in years, even supposing it does come with a few sacrifices. There’s no microSD aid, and the battery existence will be higher, however they’re no longer sufficient to take away from the general fantastic package.

If you’re hoping to faucet into the Dual-SIM setup, you’ll ought to select up the international model as US-based totally OnePlus phones no longer support the feature. When you do clutch the worldwide version, you’ll find a twin Nano-SIM tray onboard with dual stand-by way of assist.

See also: OnePlus 9, OnePlus nine Pro, and OnePlus 9R customer’s manual

OnePlus tapped the Snapdragon 888 processor to electricity the 9 Pro (and the extra inexpensive OnePlus 9), and each models top out at 256GB of storage. When you do wear the 4,500mAh battery down to 0, OnePlus’ Warp Charge 65T is plenty rapid sufficient to have you ever back on the move right away. The OnePlus 9 Pro packs 50W wireless charging as well, although you’ll simplest get 15W speeds on the OnePlus 9.

OnePlus 9 Pro

The OnePlus nine Pro reaches the market with a refreshed design, a 6.7-inch AMOLED show, a Snapdragon 888 processor, and a new Hasselblad digital camera partnership for progressed imaging.


  • Fast Warp Charging
  • Improved Hasselblad cameras
  • Solid software program experience


  • Hit or omit battery life
  • Inconsistent 5G guide

Google Pixel 4a: The pleasant small Android phone

David Imel / Android Authority

We’ve often been centered on the biggest and maximum effective Android phones so far, however now it’s time to swing lower back in the opposite course. Not all people needs a massive glass sandwich, and we can’t all come up with the money for to break the financial institution, however that’s where the Pixel 4a comes in.

The Pixel 4a offers an all-round super enjoy at an even better fee.

It may be the smallest device in Google’s modern era with a five.81-inch show, but there aren’t many different compromises. The Pixel 4a is a nicely-designed little cellphone, right right down to the pinnacle-hooked up headphone jack. It’s plastic, so the again received’t shatter into 1,000,000 portions at the first drop. However, you do leave out out on convenient wireless charging. You get Google’s premium digital camera software program enjoy as well, even if there’s simplest one lens on the again and any other at the front.

The Google Pixel 4a suggests that small telephones are again in fashion and that less expensive phones are warm. It expenses simply $349, and it’s an excellent Android foil to the Apple iPhone SE. Google simplest gives you a Snapdragon 730G SoC and a 3,140mAh battery, however simplicity is bliss on this top Android telephone.

Google Pixel 4a

The quality of Google for $349

Getting the Google revel in has in no way been extra available. A compact phone it truly is smooth to apply, a stunning screen, and one of the pleasant cameras on this charge variety. The Pixel 4a is difficult to beat.


  • Over three years of updates
  • Headphone jack
  • Wallet-pleasant charge


  • No wi-fi charging
  • No IP rating
  • Only one rear digicam

Google Pixel 4a 5G: Affordable 5G speeds

David Imel / Android Authority

Let’s live on the low cost facet of Android for a while, but this time we’ll upload 5G to the mix. Google’s Pixel 4a 5G is comparable in lots of methods to the Pixel 4a above it, however it’s a strong midrange opportunity to some of the excellent 5G devices in the marketplace. You’ll find the identical plastic build and headphone jack, although the Pixel 4a 5G is bigger in pretty much every other way.

You received’t need to show to this Android cellphone as your move-to for gaming, however the Snapdragon 765G processor handles just about the entirety else nicely. Better yet, it powers a big 6.2-inch display with a first rate 60Hz refresh rate. Google jumped to the twin-camera setup which you’ll find on the Google Pixel five, leaving the single-lens option firmly inside the rearview.

Google’s midrange 5G smartphone does select up some severe points for battery, despite the fact that there’s no wireless charging to get the 3,885mAh cellular lower back on top of things. At $499, it’s difficult to track down a higher cost than the Pixel 4a 5G.

Google Pixel 4a 5G

Affordable 5G, Google-style

The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a cost-orientated smartphone made for folks who don’t need or want a flashy high-stop cellphone. Like the Pixel 4a, the 4a 5G version’s strong points are its cameras, easy software program, and rock-stable replace policy.


  • Better than all-day battery
  • Headphone jack
  • Excellent overall performance for $500


  • No IP rating
  • No wireless charging

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: The first-rate battery revel in

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi 11 turned into the first Android smartphone to go the Snapdragon 888 end line, but the Mi 11 Ultra is the real cognizance of what Xiaomi can do. It’s eye wateringly high-priced, and it’s now not the lightest phone inside the world, however you’ll warfare to discover a extra magnificent average battery setup.

The Asus ROG Phone five may additionally p.c. a bigger battery, however the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra isn’t any slouch at 5,000mAh. However, the charging skills are what surely seal the deal. You can snatch your trusty stressed charger — that still comes within the container — or try a wireless charger for as much as 67W speeds both manner.

The battery may be an awesome start, but the rear camera is what simply sets the Xiaomi Mi eleven Ultra above its popular sibling. Yes, the digital camera bump is massive, but the 50MP most important shooter and its dual 48MP ultra-extensive and periscope shooters are rather bendy. They offer as much as 120x digital zoom, and a small selfie preview show helps you to capture your self in the highest decision.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra americathe ante for Xiaomi’s 2021 flagship collection with faster charging, more base RAM and storage, and an upgraded camera with a 48MP periscope zoom lens and a huge 1/1.12-inch most important sensor.


  • Great battery life and speedy charging
  • Impressive construct quality
  • Flexible digital camera setup


  • Expensive
  • Very heavy
  • Selfie show makes no sense

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The productivity powerhouse

David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has continually been the pleasant course for energy users, way to the S Pen. The effective stylus is even more delicate than ever, and new Anywhere Actions will let you use the S Pen away from your cellphone. You can depart your pen and paper at home — there’s nowhere we’d as an alternative take notes.

Overall, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra now not units the bar for overall performance. It doesn’t revolutionize the phablet, however it does refine the important thing features of previous fashions. Samsung nailed the hardware for its top class device, as ordinary. The huge 6.9-inch display comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and a WQHD+ decision that’s hard to conquer. You won’t discover the cutting-edge Qualcomm hardware onboard — the Snapdragon 865 Plus turned into the quality chipset round in late 2020.

See additionally: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 buyer’s manual

Perhaps the largest downside to Samsung’s top rate phablet is the rate tag. It released at $1,300, and the value hasn’t budged lots inside the months on the grounds that. You can continually get round this with the extra affordable Galaxy Note 20, however you’ll should be equipped for some different sacrifices like the “Glasstic” construct.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Bigger, better, and pricier

Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has always been for the energy users, and this year’s models are no exceptional — specially the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This new extremely-top rate phone is Samsung’s most refined device but.


  • Crisp digital camera results
  • Refined S Pen
  • Premium hardware


  • Hot underneath strain
  • Average battery lifestyles
  • Simply too large

Google Pixel 5: The nice Android camera smartphone

David Imel / Android Authority

The Pixel circle of relatives of gadgets has usually hovered across the summit of Android digital camera telephones, and the Pixel 5 is no exception. While different top rate devices can offer extra lenses and extra megapixels, Google’s fantastic digicam software program is what maintains it most of the leaders.

On the again of the Pixel five, you’re looking at a primary 12.2MP lens sponsored up by a 16MP extremely-wide shooter. The front-going through sensor packs an 8MP decision, and Google Lens is one of the first-rate ways to pick out gadgets around you. None of those character shooters is the first-rate in its magnificence, but that’s part of what makes Google’s software program shine. The Pixel 5 excels at processing your photograph to deliver out a crisp, natural end result. Google Lens additionally packs Google Translate capabilities as well as powerful identity abilties, which can be a lifesaver if you’re touring overseas.

See also: Google Pixel 5 customer’s manual

Outside of the top notch camera, Google’s Pixel 5 simply skips several flagship functions. It stops at 128GB of storage, and you get a Snapdragon 765G SoC in place of a Snapdragon 865. Google’s battery weighs in at four,080mAh, which isn’t the biggest, but it lasts for hours on cease as Google adapts to your utilization.

Google Pixel 5

Google’s first 5G smartphone

The Google Pixel five might not be the high-end Pixel we have been awaiting, but it’s a quite compelling mid-variety alternative. Google goes returned to basics with the Pixel five, ditching better-quit capabilities like face reputation and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.


  • Excellent battery lifestyles
  • Incredible digital camera software program
  • Wireless charging


  • No telephoto digital camera
  • Charging isn’t the fastest

Sony Xperia 1 III: Keeping the headphone jack alive

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Headphone jacks have been an critical part of just about each cellphone in the marketplace at one factor. Then, Apple determined it may do without them, and the relaxation of the sector accompanied. Now, the headphone jack is frequently limited to price range-pleasant and mid-range devices. Sony is one of the few OEMs bucking that trend, and also you’ll nevertheless discover a headphone jack alive and nicely at the flagship Xperia 1 III.

Beyond the headphone jack, you also get a outstanding 21:9 show to your money. It packs a crisp 4K show and 120Hz refresh price for smooth effects. The trio of 12MP rear cameras might not be the exceptional round, however you can sincerely hook your Xperia 1 III on your Sony digicam to serve as a premium screen.

Once you faucet into the pro-grade camera features, you’ll virtually see what Sony became after. It crafted a “holy trinity” of zoom lenses, able to covering the complete range from wide to telephoto zoom. You also can check out the Xperia 1 III’s 20fps burst mode, which is almost equal to what you find on the Alpha A9 mirrorless camera.

You get all the other bells and whistles, too, like expandable garage and wi-fi charging. The Sony Xperia 5 III is a decrease-priced opportunity alternative, and it keeps nearly the entirety that makes the Xperia 1 III so accurate.

Sony Xperia 1 III

Premium product, top class charge

The Xperia 1 III packs within the trendy and best technology from Sony to create a smartphone purpose-constructed for multimedia, photography, and gaming.


  • Great 4K, 21:nine show
  • Improved camera revel in
  • IP68 water and dust rating


  • Very costly
  • Not the fastest charging
  • Too plenty pre-set up bloat

Poco F3: Serious value in your money

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

We’ve run through more than some of the satisfactory Android phones you can purchase proper now, however what if you need a telephone that does lots for not a lot cash? The Poco F3 is our favourite telephone with an IR blaster proper now, and it’s hard to top the hardware at its asking price.

The Poco F3 packs a terrific processor and the build best wows, even if the software is missing.

The Poco F3 gives a premium glass production without cracking €349, which almost seems too excellent to be authentic. It pairs a Snapdragon 870 chipset with a massive 6.67-inch AMOLED panel, and the cellphone feels as properly as it appears. Add in as much as 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and what could pass wrong? Well, the software is what ought to cross incorrect.

Poco were given the four,520mAh battery just right, however it powers a software program revel in that’s been buggy and messy because launch. Perhaps Poco can repair this trouble with destiny software program updates, however the producer doesn’t usually have the high-quality document. If you’re a gamer or an regular energy user, this is a wonderful budget phone for you, just so long as you can triumph over the software program hiccups.

Poco F3

A rebadged Redmi K40

The Poco F3 might look acquainted to some, and that is as it’s a rebranded Redmi K40. That approach you’re getting a Snapdragon 870 chipset, 120Hz OLED display screen, and a four,520mAh battery with 33W charging. Other notable specs consist of a 48MP rear digital camera and side-set up fingerprint scanner.


  • Impressive chipset for the money
  • Great show
  • Solid construct nice


  • Average digital camera
  • Ad-weighted down software program
  • Battery existence might be better

iOS vs Android — which OS is proper for you?

You’ve just finished analyzing about the high-quality Android phones, so we have an idea of wherein you stand in the iOS vs Android debate. However, not anything is ever set in stone. If you have an iPad or maybe a MacBook, you would possibly determine that it’s best to stay with Apple’s environment. On the other hand, you is probably prepared to interrupt unfastened and faucet into more customization options. You’ll face special app selections on both systems, but it’s all approximately your consolation stage.

Check out extra on the long-status iOS vs Android debate right right here.

Other regularly asked questions

Q: What’s the satisfactory Android telephone for kids?

A: We have an in-intensity manual geared up that will help you decide while is the proper time to get your son or daughter a telephone. On the Android facet, we suggest the price range-pleasant Google Pixel 4a or the Motorola Moto E. However, if your toddler has set their heart on iOS, pretty much any older iPhone will do.

Q: What approximately a outstanding Android smartphone for seniors?

A: You’re in luck due to the fact we’ve a reachable guide to help right here too. There are a few particular alternatives for seniors with simplified menus, or we advocate a Samsung tool for its Easy Mode feature. You can also load up a launcher like Big Launcher or Simple Launcher to make menus and dialers more approachable.

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