The best Android phones 2024: top Google-powered phones for every budget

Best Android phones: quick menu

Android phones are powerful, stylish, highly-customizable, and totally unique compared to the Apple iPhone that too many folks carry. With so many options to choose from, you can find Android phones that hit your needs at every budget, as well as top-performing phones for even the most advanced enthusiasts. 

You can certainly find an Android phone that meets your needs, as well as phones that offer too much, with features you'll never use. We recommend only the phones that handle all the necessities with aplomb, without wasting time on extra features that you'll pay for but won't actually use. 

If you want to see how these Android phones stack up when we throw the iPhone into the mix, you can check out our definitive list of the best phones. We've also got our list of Android phones with bendable displays in our list of the best foldable phones. If you want to save some money, check out our guide to the best cheap phones. Now, read on for the best Android phones you can buy today. 

Quick List

The best Android phone in 2024 

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below, you'll find full write-ups for each of the best Android phones in our list. We've tested each model extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best Android for most people

Google Pixel 8 review front straight handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1. Google Pixel 8

The best Android for most people

Specifications

Release date: October 2023
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.2-inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
CPU: Google Tensor G3
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,575 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 10.5MP

Reasons to buy

+
Cool AI photo features
+
Seven years of Android support

Reasons to avoid

-
Design changes are minor
-
No temperature sensor

The Google Pixel 8 is the quintessential Android phone, and now that Google is offering seven years of Android updates, it's the best Android phone for most people. You can get the Pixel 8a cheaper, and it's just as powerful, but the Pixel 8 has much better cameras, and cameras are important enough that this is top pick. 

Google's Android software has evolved into a simple, more elegant interface, without the gobs of customization options that used to bog things down. You can still run your favorite launcher on top, if you like to customize, but Google makes things easy without losing the best features. 

In fact, Google's AI features are what makes the Pixel 8 a favorite over Samsung's Galaxy S24. Google's AI just works a little better, especially voice and language model features like the Pixel Recorder app, and the Gemini AI built into apps like Gmail and Messages. 

Google also has the best photo editing software around, and you can even edit photos you didn't take with the Pixel 8. Plus, did we mention seven years of Android updates? We did? Good, because that's an amazing benefit, and we're excited to see how the Pixel 8 gets better over time. 

Read our full Google Pixel 8 review

The best premium Android

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

2. Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

The best premium Android

Specifications

Release date: January 2024
Weight: 196g
Dimensions: 158.5 x 75.9 x 7.7mm
OS: Android 14, OneUI 6.1
Screen size: 6.7-inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3120 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,900 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 10MP (telephoto 3x)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Display is bright enough for sunlight
+
Best battery life in its class

Reasons to avoid

-
Better cameras would have been nice
-
Maybe a little titanium next time?

The Galaxy S24 Plus is no longer the ignorable middle child of the Galaxy S family. This time around, the Galaxy S24 Plus is a big step up from the Galaxy S24 in all the right ways. Plus, it has all the top performance of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, without all the features you don't need. 

Do you really need a pen with your phone? The Galaxy S24 Ultra was our previous best overall phone, but most people don't need that much. The Ultra is a bigger, heavier, and more expensive phone than the Galaxy S24 Plus, without much added benefit.

The Galaxy S24 Plus has the same sharp display resolution as the S24 Ultra, and the screen is only a hair smaller, literally 0.1-inch. It has the same processor and RAM, and it starts with 256GB, twice the storage of the Galaxy S24. 

The camera specs come close to matching the iPhone 15 Pro, but fall a bit short of the Ultra. That's fine, because it's Samsung's shooting modes and software that make its camera great, not the specs. The Galaxy S24 Plus is a winner any way you look at it, and if you really need more, the Ultra is next on the list.

The best Android camera

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

3. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The best Android camera

Specifications

Release date: January 2024
Weight: 232g
Dimensions: 162.3 x 79.0 x 8.6mm
OS; Expected Upgrades: Android 14 / One UI 6; 7 years of upgrades
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: QHD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 200MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 10MP (telephoto with 3x optical zoom) + 50MP (telephoto with 5x optical zoom)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible performance and features
+
Better cameras than ever before

Reasons to avoid

-
AI features can be useless at worst
-
Big, heavy, and more expensive

You won't find a phone that does more than the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but where this phone really pulls away from the pack is in its camera capabilities. If it only had the big 200MP sensor and maybe a single zoom lens, that would be a great camera phone, but the Ultra does more. So. Much. More. 

In addition to the big sensor, the Ultra offers a 5X optical zoom. That may seem a step down from the 10X optical zoom on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but the S24 Ultra uses a much larger sensor on that zoom lens than its predecessor, and the images it produces are higher quality. Whether you're shooting for the moon or just taking shots of your kids on the field, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is up to the task. 

In fact, it's up to every task, because it has such an extensive array of lenses. The 5X zoom uses a 50MP sensor, but there is also a 3X zoom lens that uses its own 10MP sensor. There's also a 12MP sensor for ultra wide shots and super steady videography. 

Samsung isn't letting Google have all the fun with AI editing features, but Samsung also builds AI directly into the camera app. The camera will try to recognize the scene and optimize accordingly. It isn't just the moon that looks better, you'll notice that food shots, monuments, portraits, and tons of other scenes look great when you shoot them with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

The best Android battery life

OnePlus 12R review front angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

4. OnePlus 12R

The best Android battery life

Specifications

Release date: January 2024
Weight: 207g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 14, Oxygen OS 14
Screen size: 6.78-inches
Resolution: 1264 x 2780 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB / 12GB / 16GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,500mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 8P (ultrawide) + 2MP (macro)
Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Display is outstanding
+
Plenty of features

Reasons to avoid

-
No seven-year update promise
-
Not many MP on those cameras
-
Can't charge wirelessly

When we first saw the OnePlus 12R, it was hard to pick out a standout feature on this bargain phone that would make it a true flagship killer. Was it the incredibly bright display? Was it the exceptional camera setup? Was it the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor? After we got the phone back from Future Labs, we knew it was the battery. The OnePlus 12R has the best battery life of any Android phone and any smartphone we've tested in years. 

We achieved almost 18 hours of battery life in our rundown tests. The iPhone 15 Pro Max only lasted 14 hours in the same endurance test. Samsung's best phones fell 15 minutes shy of 17 hours. The OnePlus 12R beat them all, though the OnePlus 12 came closest. 

The 5,500 mAh battery cell inside the OnePlus 12R is usually a capacity that we see on obnoxiously-large gaming phones. Even premium flagship phones don't ship with batteries quite so big: the Galaxy S24 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh display, just like the past few Ultra phones before it. 

What's even more wild is how fast the OnePlus 12R charges. Using the special OnePlus charger, included with the phone, you can charge up to a whopping 80W in the US and 100W internationally. 

To compare, the Galaxy S24 Ultra charges at 45W, and after 30 minutes it's about 65% charged. In the same time, your OnePlus 12R will be 96% charged, with only a few minutes until it's full. 

The best budget Android

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
The best budget Android

Specifications

Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 152.1 x 72.7 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor G3
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,492mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP
Front camera: 13MP

Reasons to buy

+
An affordable way get Google's AI magic
+
Cheap but still gets seven years of Android OS updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be better
-
Not the best performance, but AI-capable

The newest phone on this list, the Google Pixel 8a gives us everything we want in an Android phone for less than $500 / £500 / AU$850. We get the best performance Google offers, since it uses the same Tensor G3 chipset as the Pixel 8 Pro. That also means it gets the same promise from Google for seven years of Android OS updates from the time it launched, in May 2024. 

The Pixel 8 has a smaller display and it's a joy to hold and behold. It comes in a couple of flashy colors, including Google's favorite new Bay blue and a bright Aloe green, and it's more rounded and curvy than previous Pixel A-series phones. 

Sadly, it has the same battery troubles as past Google bargain phones, but that's Google's compromise. You don't lose out on the best AI features on this phone, and it has the same Google Gemini LLM and Magic Editor features in Google Photos that you'll find on the Google Pixel 8 Pro, our new pick for the best AI phone. 

The best thing about Google's A-series may be the discounts they get throughout the year, but this phone feels worth its price right now. It takes great photos that look remarkably similar to the shots we took with our Pixel 8 Pro, and it performs well in every way we'd expect from a Pixel phone. 

The best Android AI

Google Gemini screens on Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
The best Android AI

Specifications

Release date: October 2023
Weight: 213g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1344 x 2992
Chipset: Google Tensor G3
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,050mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 48MP (ultra-wide) + 48MP (telephoto)
Front camera: 10.5MP

Reasons to buy

+
Cool AI features help write messages and edit photos
+
Incredible seven years of updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Android settings and features are confusing
-
Cameras don’t beat the iPhone 15 Pro

Google is leading the race in smartphone AI features, starting with generative AI editing in Google Photos on the Pixel 7, and now featuring Gemini assistant and much more on the Pixel 8 family. Because we've seen these features show up reliably first on the Pixel 8 Pro, this is easily our pick for the best Android AI phone that you can buy, and the best AI phone all around. 

There's a lot to love about the Google Pixel 8 Pro, and it would be our favorite premium Android phone overall if Samsung hadn't swooped in and blown us away with the top-performance of its Galaxy S24 Plus. The Pixel 8 Pro may not be as fast or feature-packed, but it still leads in AI features, even when Google is generous enough to offer the same features to Samsung. 

Both the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 Pro have Google's latest circle to search feature. Both also use AI to transcribe notes in the voice recorder, but Google's AI is much faster and more accurate. Google and Samsung both offer a magic editor in the Photos and Gallery app, respectively, but again Google's tools are more robust and effective. If you want the best AI, you need to use a Pixel. 

Google is even adding its AI tools to other apps on the phone. Google's Gemini LLM now works not only in my text messaging app, but also in Gmail, and it's coming to more of Google's Workspace apps on the phone. When it does, you can be sure the Pixel 8 Pro will be the phone to get those AI features first. 

Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review 

FAQs

What is the best Android phone?

The best Android phone for most people is the Pixel 8, because it's an affordable way to get all of Google's best new AI features and Google's refined Pixel interface and software. 

The best premium Android phone is the Galaxy S24 Plus, because it offers incredible performance, an amazingly sharp and bright display, and great battery life, without a lot of features (like a pen) that you don't want. 

Which Android phone is the best value for money?

The best Android phone for people on a budget is the Pixel 8a, which costs $499 / £499 / AU$849. The Pixel A-series phones are a popular discount item when Amazon puts smartphones on sale, so keep an eye on TechRadar for the latest deals. The Pixel 7a often went on sale for as low as $349 in the US, for instance. 

If you want to spend less than that, the Samsung Galaxy A35 is the best value. It gives you a great display and Samsung's feature-packed Android software, plus 5G networking and good performance for the price. 

Which Android phone brand is the best?

Google invented Android, so it's version of Android is considered the gold standard. But Samsung perfected Android, so if you want to try the most advanced Android features, you need a Samsung phone. Other phone makers like OnePlus, Motorola, Oppo, Xiaomi and more all have benefits as well. Competition is one of the reasons Android has become such a great mobile OS. 

Is Android or iOS better?

Apple's iOS 17 is a better mobile OS than Android because it is easier to use, with more advanced features that reward iPhone owners for knowing other iPhone owners. Android is a more complicated OS, and the interface is bogged down by settings and features that go unused. However, Android allows users to control their phones and interface to customize as they see fit, so Android is potentially a better mobile OS than iOS, but it takes more effort on your part. 

How we test

We've reviewed every phone on this list, so for each, we've passed our expert judgement on them after extensive testing. This testing saw us use each phone as our main handset for at least a week, and often longer.

In the process, we would explore various use cases, including calls, texts, social media, video streaming, gaming, taking photos and more, with some heavy use days and other lighter ones.

In short, we use our Android phones just like you would – but we make sure to test every key feature, as well as running benchmark tests, checking how long they take to charge, and more.

From that, we've then ranked each handset, factoring in price, value, and how they compare to one another, with a particular focus on their screens, designs, battery life, performance, and cameras.

  • You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^
Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.