Samsung Galaxy S21

Phone technology moves fast, with today's top manufacturers pushing out innovations quicker than ever. Features such as super-fast 5G connectivity and Super AMOLED displays are commonplace, with more futuristic tech like foldable displays available for those who want the cutting edge (and who have the deep pockets to pay for them).

Samsung's Galaxy line dominates the Android category, and that probably won't stop anytime soon. But other companies are gunning for the honor of being the best Android phone — and you, the potential customer, benefit from all this competition.

There are now a number of fantastic Android phones options available at a variety of prices, ranging from high-end flagship phones to budget devices.

We took a look at the best Android options and rounded up our favorites. These phones have generally great battery life, screens, cameras or all of the above. We also take into consideration features such as a fingerprint sensor, wireless charging and expandable storage. Read on to see three of our top picks for the best Android phones.

Top-of-the-line Android

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

CNET TAKE: As Samsung's elite flagship phone for 2021, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a brilliant 6.8-inch AMOLED display with an ultrasmooth 120Hz refresh rate that also supports Samsung's S-Pen stylus, an awesome rear camera with incredible zoom skills and 5G connectivity for super speedy data.

This is the best in mobile technology that Samsung has to offer, and it's the Android phone to go for if you're keen to put cutting-edge tech in your pocket.

Flagship phone with a great value

OnePlus 9

CNET TAKE: While OnePlus isn't as well-known as Apple or Samsung, the OnePlus 9 offers a premium experience at a somewhat more affordable budget price than rivals. The OnePlus 9 is 5G-enabled, runs the most powerful Qualcomm processor and has a multilens camera.

The 9 is our favorite OnePlus model, with all of the features we love from the series but at a more affordable price and with better battery life than the OnePlus 9 Pro, its upgraded sibling. It's a solid option if the lofty prices of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are out of your reach.

Best phone for affordable 5G

Google Pixel 4A 5G

CNET TAKE: If you want a 5G phone that doesn't cost too much, the Pixel 4A 5G is one of our top Android mobile phone picks at just $500. The handset has a solid battery life, fantastic dual rear cameras and robust software support from Google. There's also the Pixel 5, which has a great 90Hz display, but it costs a bit more at $699.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Associate Editor Patrick Holland, Senior Editor Andrew Hoyle, former CNET staff member Lynn La and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit

React to this story:


Trending Video

Recommended for you