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

Best Android phones: quick menu

With so much choice in the market, selecting the one of best Android phones is far from easy. Sure, you could pick a Samsung Galaxy but you may not get on well with the software. Pixel phones are great but you might like a different future set. And OnePlus arguably doesn't always deliver the flagship-killer phones it used to. 

But we've tested all the phones you'll find below, from defined battery testing and benchmarks, to how these phones feel in real-world, everyday use. So you can rest assured that any phone on this list is well worth your consideration. 

All of these Android phones are fun to use yet powerful at the same time. In this guide, we've included something for everyone, from budget-friendly handsets to popular, kitted-out flagships. However, if you're after the former, you may be better off sifting through the Google-powered in our best cheap phones guide. So read on for the best Android phones you can buy today. 

Quick List

The best Android phone in 2024 

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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 overall Android phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back with S Pen mostly withdrawn

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

1. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The best overall phone

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

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra looks a whole lot like its predecessor, which previously topped this list. But look more closely and you'll notice some subtle differences. The 6.8-inch display is now flat and the phone's chassis is made of tough but light titanium making for a phone that feels a little lighter but a lot nicer in one's hands. 

Below the hood, you'll find a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip tuned for the Galaxy S24 range, and that chip features in all S24 Ultra models, not just those in the US. The chip's power doesn't just yield blazing-fast gaming, it also powers a host of new generative AI features, like Generative Edit that lets people fully recompose a photo after it's bene take with zero need for Photoshop skills. There are also live translation features and other smart tools. 

The rear camera array may still be headlined by a 200-megapixel sensor but the big change comes in the swapping of the 10MP 10x telephoto camera for a 50MP 5x zoom periscope camera. This means more detail at the expense of pure optical zoom. But with the ability to crop into 10x, there's not really a compromise here, and the new telephoto camera makes for an overall more flexible phone photography package. 

Of course, the Galaxy S24 Ultra ins't cheap but as a do-everythign phone with impressive specs, capabilities, smart tools and more, it's simply the best Android phone you can buy today. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

The best value Android phone

Google Pixel 7 review OS

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
The best value Android phone

Specifications

Release date: October 2022
Weight: 197g
Dimensions: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.3 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Chipset: Google Tensor G2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,355 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (main) +12MP (ultrawide)
Front camera: 10.8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Relatively compact size
+
Clean software

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor battery life
-
Slow charging

While you might expect the Pixel 7a to be our pick for the best value Android phone, Google has given the Pixel 7 such good discounts throughout the past year that it's now worth paying a little bit more for. Even though the Pixel 6a is still on sale at a great low price, for better durability, wireless charging, and much better photography, the Pixel 7 is worth the money.

The Pixel 7 may look like its predecessor and successor but with a suite of colors to choose from you're going to get something that feels fresh even if it's a generation behind the Pixel 8. The lemongrass color option is a particular highlight. Water and dust resistance has been given a boost to IP68. And while the metal camera bar can be divisive, it still a bit of stand-out design from Google and will look subtly different depending on the color option you go for. 

With the Pixel 7 you're getting the same 50MP main camera as the Pixel 7 Pro, as well as a similar 12MP ultra-wide. You also get the same 10.8MP punch-hole selfie snapper, plus 4K video recording up to 60fps and support for 10-bit HDR video capture for better colors, brightness and contrast. While the hardware is interesting, the Pixel camera experience is really more about the processing and software, which is here supported by Google's competent Tensor G2 chip.

The Pixel 7 has a Full HD+ resolution and 20:9 aspect ratio, and it runs at up to 1000 nits in normal use, and can push to 1400 nits at its peak (25% brighter than that of the Pixel 6's display) for better visibility in bright surroundings. We had no trouble getting the phone to last all day, and ended most days at around 15% battery.

Read our full Google Pixel 7 review

The best budget Android phone

Samsung Galaxy A54 review Awesome Violet front angled window sill

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
The best budget Android phone

Specifications

Release date: April 2023
Weight: 202g
Dimensions: 158.2 × 76.7 × 8.2mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.4-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Chipset: Exynos 1380
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 5MP (macro)
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Modern Samsung Galaxy aesthetics
+
Nice camera system improvements

Reasons to avoid

-
A little thick and heavy
-
No wireless charging

The A54 is essentially a 'lite' version of the Standard Galaxy S23, bringing lots of 'S-range' features to a lower price point. It's not the absolute cheapest phone Samsung makes by some distance, but it is unquestionably worth considering if you're on a budget. 

The phone measures 158.2 × 76.7 × 8.2mm and weighs 202g, so we’d call it medium-sized. It’s not so big that it’s uncomfortable to use, so long as your mitts aren’t massive. It's also undeniably attractive; adopting the floating camera design language found on the S23 series. Other colorways are similarly pretty.

The Samsung Galaxy A54 also boasts one of the best-looking screens you’ll see on a phone for this price. It’s a vibrant, colorful 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel, with a FHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and 1,000 nits max brightness, marking some nice upgrades over its predecessor.

The main camera is an optically stabilized 50MP f/1.8 sensor, which is joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 5MP f/2.4 macro sensor. The snappers take photos that are bright and colorful, which makes shots of wildlife, food, landscapes or people 'pop'. There’s good dynamic range for a phone at this price and pictures are sharp too, as long as you take them on the main camera.

The Galaxy A54 may lap same-price rivals in the camera and display departments, but it falls behind on performance. The chip here is the Exynos 1380, which is a home-brewed piece of mid-range kit from Samsung – and, while capable, doesn't measured up to similarly-priced rivals.

The 5,000mAh battery is on the big side, though we see lots of affordable phones pack this kind of power. That bright screen and 5G require a lot of juice, and we found that the phone comfortably lasted a day between charges, but no more.

So, on the whole, the Samsung Galaxy A54 gives you some surprisingly top-end specs for its price in some departments, but in others it's weaker than its rivals.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A54 review

The best Android phone for battery life

Google Pixel 8 Pro standing on a table

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
The best Android phone for battery life

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

+
Great materials and matte finish
+
Stellar battery life 
+
Incredible seven years of updates

Reasons to avoid

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

In truth, when it comes to selecting the Android phone with the best battery life, there's no outright winner, but the Pixel 8 Pro is a truly excellent phone whose battery life is a key part of its offering.

Put simply, this is Google’s most ambitious Pixel yet, with some serious camera upgrades that will satisfy even pro photogs, and a Tensor G3 chipset custom built to run Google’s machine learning features. In fact, Google is so confident in this phone’s performance that it's promising an unprecedented seven years of major updates, which is longer than any other phone maker is currently supporting its phones.

In almost every way, the Pixel 8 Pro's display beats that of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and even some photos look better when shot with Google's latest flagship. Only the Pixel 8 Pro has Magic Editor, too, which combines generative AI with Google's Magic Eraser to fix and change images with a little too much ease. 

But more on that battery: the Pixel 8 Pro has no trouble lasting through a full day of heavy use. That should come as no surprise, since it has a larger battery than either the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus or the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. Google really packed in the biggest cell possible into this phone, and you’ll need to buy a gaming phone to find bigger. That aforementioned screen is bright, but Google keeps it dialed down to a healthy brightness that won’t strain your eyes or drain the battery too much. There are plenty of baked-in power management features, as well. 

You can choose between Standard battery saver or Extreme battery saver modes, the latter of which limits more apps and background processes. There’s also an enigmatic adaptive battery feature that’s turned on by default. All the better, because that battery really lasts.

Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review 

The best alternative Android flagship phone

OnePlus 12 showing TechRadar.com on web browser

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
The best alternative Android flagship phone

Specifications

Release date: February 2024 (outside of China)
Weight: 220g
Dimensions: 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2mm
OS: Android 14; Oxygen OS 14
Screen size: 6.82-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3168
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM: 12GB / 16GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 5,400mAh
Rear camera: 50MP wide + 48MP ultra wide + 64MP 3X zoom
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic design and colors
+
Snappy performance and a great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No robust water resistance 
-
A lack of generative AI tools 

The OnePlus 12 makes for a great alternative to the new AI-centric smartphones. While far from dumb, the new flagship phone from OnePlus focuses on speed, performance and battery life over a host of generative AI tools; much like its predecessor did. 

A smart design is complemented by a rather interesting camera suite that delivers some great photos, providing you're willing to put in a little bit of effort in adapting to the camera quirks. And the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset at the phone's heart means it'll easily blast though games and multitasking. 

And what's extra refreshing here is that the OnePlus 12 is prices competitively against entry-levle models of the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 series, but offers more specs for the money. That's means we're getting a whiff of the OnePlus of the past, which offered flagship-challenging phones for great prices. 

As an overall smartphone package, the OnePlus 12 offers fast performance, a great AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and very fast charging; as is expected from OnePlus. Sure, it's arguably a little old hat in terms of not offering new AI features, but for some that'll be a boon with less to get in the way of an everyday smartphone experience. 

In short, the OnePlus 12 is a great phone and a worthy alternative flagship Android smartphone.

Read our full OnePlus 12 review

The best foldable Android phone

OnePlus Open with Genshin Impact game opening screen on inner display

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