Mobile

The best Android phones for 2020

If you’re shopping for a new Android phone, then we have you covered. We test all kinds of Android smartphones at Digital Trends to find out exactly what they’re capable of and we love to compare them. We divided this list into five categories based on different budgets. For each one, we offer our top pick and any alternatives we think are worth mentioning.

New Android smartphones are being released all the time, and the choice can be overwhelming, so we’ve added in some alternatives to each category, or new models to look out for in the near future.

Best Android smartphones at a glance

The best Android flagship: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus screen
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s the best of all worlds, providing a beautiful large screen, good software, masses of features, and a strong camera.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to own a single, good-looking phone for productivity, gaming, video, and more niche features like digital art. The Note 10 Plus has you covered.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus:

Slick and seductive, Samsung’s $ 1,100 Note 10 Plus is still our top choice, even though the new Galaxy S20 range has been released. It’s extremely fast, it has the best display around — an amazing 6.8-inch Super AMOLED — a versatile camera suite, and it boasts a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks. All the basics are taken care of, with solid battery life, accessible and easy-to-use software that also offers plenty of customization options and a gorgeously refined design.

Samsung’s kitchen-sink approach also makes room features like a MicroSD card slot, Bixby, and reverse wireless charging. The S Pen, which acts as a stylus and a remote control for the phone, is the unique extra in the Note series. There’s also a triple-lens main camera with a time-of-flight sensor, a 10-megapixel front-facing camera, and a feature-packed camera app designed to make it easy to squeeze best results from the hardware.

It edges out the $ 1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra by costing less and coming in the stunning aura glow color, which is considerably more exciting than the black or grey S20 Ultra. There’s a 5G version available if you want it too. Alternatives? The Galaxy S20 Ultra is excellent, but it’s very big and expensive. The Google Pixel 4 offers the best camera performance in an Android phone and the latest groundbreaking A.I. features from Google, and there’s the Pixel 4 XL if you prefer a bigger screen and slightly longer battery life, though both have serious issues with stamina. You may also want to look at the $ 1,300 Oppo Find X2 Pro, or the Huawei P40 Pro if Google doesn’t rule your mobile life.

Our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review

The best Android phone for $ 700: OnePlus 7 Pro

oneplus 7 pro
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: The most complete, no-nonsense smartphone package available. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.

Who it’s for: If you want the best current tech without unnecessary features, at a competitive price.

Why we picked the OnePlus 7T Pro:

OnePlus has redefined what you can get in a smartphone without having to pay top-tier prices. If you opt for this phone, you’ll get yourself a truly stunning 6.67-inch AMOLED screen, speedy performance, plenty of RAM and storage, and solid battery life. There’s also a versatile camera which has been improved since release with software updates. OnePlus introduced the wider world to the joys of a 90Hz refresh rate with the OnePlus 7T Pro, which smooths out scrolling and makes the screen easier on the eyes. It’s a must-have feature for 2020.

On the subject of the software, OnePlus’s OxygenOS is one of the best Android interfaces available today. It’s cleanly designed, doesn’t get bogged down with superfluous features or pre-installed apps, and most importantly it’s very smooth and fast to use. The OnePlus 7 Pro also has one of the best haptic feedback system too, so those little vibrations under your fingers feel even better than ever.

This is easily the most luxurious and refined design that OnePlus has ever turned out. If this is your budget, you won’t find a better phone. There’s also the excellent OnePlus 7T, which starts at $ 600, if the 7T Pro is slightly over what you want to spend; but it’s not as technically competent. One thing to remember is that OnePlus refreshes its phones every six months, and the OnePlus 8 will arrive on April 14, so it may be worth waiting to buy a OnePlus phone until we see what the new series brings.

Read our full OnePlus 7T Pro review

The best Android phone for $ 500: Asus Zenfone 6

Why you should buy this: Come for the crazy flip dual-lens camera, and stay for the big screen, long battery life, and great software.

Who it’s for: If you want to choose something different without compromising on specs, performance, or ability.

Why we picked the Asus Zenfone 6:

It’s our top choice of cheap Android phone, even after revisiting it at the beginning of 2020. It sets its own trend by ticking the boxes of what many people want from a phone: long battery life, a good camera, and great software. The design is attractive without being flashy, and although it doesn’t have an in-display fingerprint sensor, the rear sensor is just as fast and arguably easier to locate with your finger.

The motorized camera is fun and capable, taking good shots with the 48-megapixel main lens and 13-megapixel wide-angle lens. There are even a few fun features, such as being able to take panorama shots automatically without physically moving the phone at all. The 6.4-inch screen is an LCD not an OLED, but you do get a 3.5mm headphone jack and a massive 5,000mAh battery for a couple of days moderate use before a recharge.

Finally, we like the new software Asus introduced on the Zenfone 6. It’s closer to what you’d find on the Google Pixel, certainly in terms of clean design and simplicity of use. Asus has been good at keeping it updated so far too.

Read our full Asus Zenfone 6 review

The best Android phone for $ 400: Google Pixel 3a

google-pixel-3a-screen
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: A fantastic camera and excellent software all wrapped up in a low-cost package.

Who it’s for: Someone who wants a Pixel 4, but doesn’t want to pay Pixel 4 prices.

Why we picked the Google Pixel 3a:

With the same excellent camera as the Pixel 3, the affordable Pixel 3a is a fantastic buy at $ 400. Google has cut corners in all the right places, with a slightly slower processor, thicker bezels, and a plastic body, allowing it to pack in the same camera hardware and slick software, complete with guaranteed speedy updates. It also has a decent battery life and a good OLED screen. If your budget will stretch by another $ 80, the Pixel 3a XL will give you a bigger screen.

There aren’t many worthy competitors at this price, but if you want to save another $ 50, then the Nokia 7.2 could be worth looking at. In Europe, the Realme X2 Pro is a great purchase at 450 euros or about $ 450 It’s a solid phone with a decent design, a capable camera, and a nice display, but it can’t match the Pixel 3a. However, the Pixel 3a is getting old, and there’s a good chance Google will replace it with the Pixel 4a in the next few months. If you aren’t after a replacement immediately and fancy the Pixel 3a, it may be worth waiting to see what Google has next.

Read our full Pixel 3a review

The best Android phone for $ 300: Moto G7

Moto G7 review
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s a solid choice if you don’t have much money to spend on a new phone.

Who it’s for: The budget-conscious buyer who still wants decent quality

Why we picked the Motorola Moto G7:

We continue to recommend the Moto G7 to those with $ 300 to spend on an Android phone, but suggest proceeding with caution. Motorola has updated the G range with a bewildering number of phones in 2020, all of which are in its G8 range. The G8 Power and G8 Stylus look good in our hands-on reviews, but we will wait to recommend them until our full reviews have been completed.

The 2019 Moto G7 has a stylish curved glass design, a large 6.2-inch display, and solid performance. There’s a camera that’s reasonably good in ideal conditions, with an impressive portrait mode, though it inevitably struggles in low light. The Moto G7 also boasts a fingerprint sensor on the back, a USB-C charging port, and a good battery life.

If you can stretch to $ 350 then the Samsung Galaxy A50 has a better screen, good performance, and Samsung’s well-designed (but slow to update) software. If you’re set on a Motorola phone, then it may be wise to see how the new G8 phones score before diving in.

Read our full Moto G7 review

That is it for our list of the best Android phones. You may also want to check out our picks of the best smartphones and best cheap phones for more tempting Android phone recommendations.

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