While iOS devices solely include those manufactured by Apple, Android is less a brand and more of an ecosystem. If you’re looking for the best Android phone, consider flagship phones, foldable phones, camera system capabilities, battery life, and more.
Since there are so many different Android devices on the market, finding the perfect handset for your needs can take time, energy, and a bit of research.
We’re here to help you find the best Android phone for your needs, whether you want a gaming phone, something with the best battery life, or a telephoto camera so you can get excellent snapshots on your smartphone.
From the Google Pixel series to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, here’s a guide to the best Android phones of 2023.
What are the most important things to look for in an Android phone?
Exploring the massive phone market can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure what to look for. After all, what makes a great Android phone? Is it a high-quality camera setup with telephoto zoom? Or is it a foldable phone that marries style and convenience?
While your specific preferences may vary depending on what you want from a smartphone, here are a few things to look for whether you’re buying pre-owned or purchasing a new phone from a retail store.
- Screen Size and Resolution: The screen is one of the most essential parts of any smartphone, so you’ll want to make sure it’s big enough and has a high enough resolution to be comfortable to use.
- Processor and RAM: These components will determine how fast your phone feels. A good processor and plenty of RAM make your handset responsive and fluid.
- Camera: If you take many photos or videos, you’ll want a phone with a good camera. Look for a phone with a high-resolution sensor and multiple lenses.
- Battery Life: No one wants to stay tethered to a charger, so select a smartphone with a long-lasting battery. Alongside this, you can also determine whether or not your phone includes wireless charging support.
- Storage: If you like to store a lot of photos, videos, music, or apps on your phone, you’ll need one with plenty of storage space.
- Operating System: Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, and there are a variety of different versions available. Choose an Android phone that runs the latest version of the operating system to ensure you have access to the latest features and security updates.
- Price: Android phones range in price from around $100 to over $1,000. Pick a device that fits your budget and needs. For instance, some of Samsung’s phones will have a higher starting price than a third-party manufacturer or a budget handset.
This isn’t a complete list of what you should consider when shopping. It would be best to look at how you use your current phone, whether or not you need to purchase accessories, and how smoothly you can transfer over your existing data, such as contacts, messages, and apps.
Best Android Phones of 2024
Our list of the best Android phones you can buy today includes a bit of everything, from high-end Pixel phones and flagship devices to budget-friendly smartphones that don’t skimp on features and utility.
We looked at everything from battery life to camera performance to find devices that include foldable phones, revamped flip phones, and top-tier releases that feature the best features and peripherals.
A few of the devices that feature prominently on this list include the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (the latest flagship from the largest Android manufacturer), the Google Pixel 8 Pro (Google’s newest and boldest phone with long battery life and Google AI-assisted photography), and a few foldable devices like the Z Flip 5, Motorola Razr, and Huawei Mate X2.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the newest entry in the Ultra lineup from Samsung. It features a large, beautiful display, powerful performance, and an impressive camera system.
While most Android phones include bold screens and responsive displays, only the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra includes the S-Pen. You can easily use the built-in S-Pen to write notes, edit photos, sketch, or leave memos with your onboard stylus.
The S23 Ultra has a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440×3088 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The display is bright and vibrant, and it’s perfect for watching videos, playing games, or just browsing the web.
Suppose you’re looking for a high-quality gaming phone. In that case, you may opt for the Galaxy S23 Ultra thanks to its snappy processing speeds, compatible peripherals like controllers, and bold screen that can outclass several handheld gaming devices.
The latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor powers this device. That processor pairs well with the included 8 or 12GB of RAM, depending on your chosen model and onboard storage selection. The S23 Ultra is also available in a 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage option.
The S23 Ultra has a quad-lens rear camera system with a 200MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, a 10MP telephoto sensor, and a 10MP periscope telephoto sensor. The S23 Ultra also has a 12MP front-facing camera for crisp, colorful selfies and snapshots.
The S23 Ultra runs Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 6 skin. One UI is a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate, though some users dislike that the UI takes up a solid chunk of storage space. Like many other Android phones on this list, the S23 Ultra is compatible with the latest Android 14 release.
The S23 Ultra has a long-lasting battery that can easily last all day on a single charge. The S23 Ultra also supports fast charging and wireless charging, which some other Android phones don’t feature.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an excellent smartphone that offers a great combination of features and performance. It’s a strong choice for anyone looking for a high-end smartphone.
Check out the S23 Ultra at a glance:
- Large, beautiful display
- Powerful performance
- Impressive camera system
- Long-lasting battery
- Fast charging and wireless charging
- Integrated S-Pen stylus
Overall, if you’re looking for one of the best Android phones on the market, you can’t go wrong with the S23 Ultra.
Keep in mind that while you get excellent battery life, wireless charging, and compatibility with upcoming software updates, you do miss out on the conventional headphone jack and some other features that some other Android phones still tout.
Samsung Galaxy S23
With a more affordable price tag and a few fewer features, the Galaxy S23 still offers a lot of bang for your buck if you’re ready for a new smartphone. Like its Ultra counterpart, the S23 base model comes pre-loaded with Android 13, upgradeable to 14, with out-of-the-box access to Samsung’s OneUI.
The S23 also uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for high-quality performance whether you’re playing a graphics-intensive mobile game or you’re streaming 4K videos.
Speaking of streaming, you’ll have a great time watching content on the device’s 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with HDR10+ compatibility. If you’re not interested in a foldable device, this screen size makes the S23 perhaps the best small Android phone next to the Pixel 7a and other 6.1-inch models.
Like many of the devices on our list, the S23 can hit a 120 Hz refresh rate for ultra-smooth usage at the cost of a bit of additional battery life.
Compare the camera setup to the Pixel 7a and the S23 comes out on top again with a triple-lens camera compared to the Pixel 7a’s dual camera setup. The triple-lens configuration uses a 50MP primary lens, 10MP telephoto lens, and 12MP ultra-wide lens. The selfie camera has a standard 12MP lens but offers an enhanced Night Mode for greater noise reduction in all light levels.
Take a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S23:
- 8GB RAM and 128, 256, or 512GB storage for as much space as you need
- Triple-lens camera system for stunning photos that are just behind top-tier smartphones
- Onboard Android 13 with OneUI 6.1
- 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with bold colors and depth
- Several color selections so you can express yourself
The S23 is one of the best base models on our list, and there’s a reason the Galaxy series remains so popular with Android users. It trumps devices like the Pixel 7a in several ways without sacrificing camera or video quality. Buying one used or starting a trade-in is a great way to save money on an S23.
Google Pixel 8 Pro
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is one of the newest handsets featured on this list. It’s Google’s flagship phone that the brand released in October 2023, and it’s currently trying to stake its claim as the best Android smartphone available today.
Whether you want a solid phone for mobile gaming or you’re most interested in camera performance, the Google Pixel 8 Pro likely has something to offer you.
The device comes standard with a 6.7-inch Super Actua display and 1344×2992 resolution. The Google Pixel 8 Pro also supports Smooth Display for a seamless scrolling experience up to 120 Hz.
Google Pixel 8 Pro devices use the brand’s latest chip, the Google Tensor G3. The handset also utilizes a Titan M2 security coprocessor.
If you’re interested in testing out the Google Fi wireless service, you can get money-saving discounts on a Pixel 8 Pro, so it may be the best Android phone for your money when you factor in add-on services and bundles.
Here are some of the pros of the Google Pixel 8 Pro:
- Excellent camera setup with telephoto camera capabilities
- Powerful performance using Google’s latest proprietary chip
- Long-lasting battery life for power users and mobile gamers
- Fast wireless charging (Qi-certified performance)
- Stock Android with timely software updates
- Exclusive Google features
And, of course, a few negatives:
- More expensive than some of the other handsets on our list
- No expandable storage
- No headphone jack
Ultimately, if you want the best Pixel Phone on the market, you should go with the Google Pixel 8 Pro. It has the most feature-richness compared to other devices in the Pixel family, though its price tag reflects that.
The Google Pixel 8 Pro starts at $999, with the amount increasing depending on storage choices and your preferred carrier. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
Google Pixel 8
Much like the Pixel 8 Pro, the Google Pixel 8 dropped in October 2023 and represents a great entry point to the Google flagship series. Though it isn’t quite as feature-rich as the Pro, it still represents a step up over the Pixel 7a (no slouch in its own right) without carrying as high of a price tag.
You won’t get the same camera quality as the Pixel 8 has one less camera in the rear system. However, the dual-camera setup still provides high-quality photos compared to older smartphones. Luckily, the Pixel 8 uses the high-quality Google Tensor G3 chip so you can get robust processing power which is ideal for streaming, browsing, and gaming.
Also, compared to the Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel 8 has a slightly smaller screen and is a standard Actua Display instead of the Pro’s Super Actua setup. You can still get ultra-smooth scrolling up to 120 Hz, but the brightness is capped at 1400 nits as opposed to the Pro’s 1600.
Again, like its higher-tier cousin, you can get appealing discounts on a Pixel 8 if you consider pairing your new device with Google Fi wireless service.
Here are some of the pros of the Google Pixel 8:
- Respectable camera setup that takes quality photos
- Comparable performance to the Pro thanks to Google’s latest chip
- A 4,575 mAh battery for over a day’s worth of use
- Fast wireless charging (Qi-certified performance)
- A less-bloated Android skin
- Exclusive Google features
If you want to save money on a Pixel phone but don’t want to go for the Pixel 7a, the 8 is a great bridge between a budget handset and a high-end flagship model. It sacrifices a bit on camera quality and internal memory but more than makes up for that with a reduced price tag and comparable performance to other base-level handsets on our list.
The Google Pixel 8 starts at $699, with the amount increasing depending on your preferred storage options, carrier discounts, and other sales. Storage options range from 128GB to 256GB.
Google Pixel 7a
The Google Pixel 7a is a mid-range smartphone released in May 2023. It has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a Google Tensor G2 processor, and a 64MP dual-camera system. It also has a 4,385 mAh battery and runs Android 13 with Android 14 compatibility.
The Pixel 7a is a great phone for people who want a powerful device without spending much money. While it may not be the best Android phone in terms of sheer processing speeds or new chips, it offers enough features to make its price tag more than reasonable.
It has a good camera, a long-lasting battery, and a clean version of Android without some of the added bloatware that flagship phones often have.
Highlights of the Pixel 7a include:
- Great onboard cameras
- Long-lasting battery life
- A clean version of Android that isn’t hampered by bloatware
- Exclusive Google features only available on Pixel phones
Some of the cons of the Pixel 7a include:
- Mid-range processor
- No expandable storage
Overall, the Google Pixel 7a may be the best Android phone for people who want a powerful device without spending much money. Here’s a quick look at the device specifications:
- Operating System: Android 13
- Chipset: Google Tensor G2
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.85 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2×2.35 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Google Tensor G2 (5 nm)
- Display: 6.1 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio, 411 ppi
- Camera: 564MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.73″, 0.8µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
13MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1.12µm
- Battery: 4,385 mAh
On our list of best Android phones, this is one of the most affordable for how much feature-richness you get. Sure, you’re not getting the latest and shiniest Google release, but you’re also not paying the same prices. The 7a is a worthy addition to any smartphone lineup.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
What’s old is new again with the introduction of flip-phone devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5. The Z Flip 5 uses a larger cover screen than the Z Flip 4 while trimming down the overall device profile.
Compared to some popular devices on the list, the Z Flip 5 also has more color selections. You can choose between eight eye-catching hues, including a few online-exclusive shades you can get if you purchase your phone unlocked through Samsung.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a solid battery, offering up to 57 hours of listening time, 20 hours of watch time, or a mix of both. While you can find better battery life in a conventional handset, the Flip 5 offers quality use time for its design style.
However, compared to some other batteries, such as the one in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Google Pixel, it’s clear that the Flip 5 made a few compromises. The Flip 5 only touts a 3,700 mAh battery, unlike other Android phones that include a minimum of 4,000 mAh.
While you’ll miss out on the 100x Space Zoom of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you get a better cover screen that enables you to text, snap photos, answer calls, and more.
Here’s the Galaxy Z Flip 5 broken down:
- 6.7-inch main screen and 3.4-inch cover screen both represent leaps over the Z Flip 4
- Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2x provides bright, bold colors on both viewable screens
- Max refresh rate of 120 Hz for buttery smooth browsing
- Two different storage options
- Dual rear camera system and 12MP selfie camera
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for comparable performance to high-end flagships
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a higher-end entry to the foldable market, but its compactness, increased cover screen space, and brighter display make it a worthy contender for your next Android phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
While modern flip phones take an older feature and include a newer twist, foldables take that concept and turn it sideways. Where flip phones try to maximize how compact a smartphone can be, foldables take what looks like your average handset and include what amounts to tablet functionality.
Enter the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. While it’s lighter and thinner than its predecessor, it doesn’t short users on performance power or camera features. By using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, Fold 5 users can get snappy responses and quickly load applications.
The device’s 7.6-inch screen is ideal for streaming, gaming, and browsing, and though the device doesn’t include an S-Pen, it supports the stylus, which makes the Z Fold a unique digital sketchpad.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s specs:
- Extensive battery life that supports up to 72 hours of listening or 21 hours of watching
- A truly large screen that checks in at 7.6 inches
- High-end processing power thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform
- Five onboard cameras for greater content creation capabilities
- A more durable Flex Hinge for less risk of damage during general use
The big caveat is that this may be the single most expensive handset on our list, so you must be ready to spend some real Android phone money to get your hands on one.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts at $,1799. However, the manufacturer is often quite generous with trade-in deals, credits, and upgrades if you want to purchase a new device.
You could also save big on a gently used Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 with Gazelle.
What’s the Best Small Android Phone?
Looking for the best Android phone that won’t take up all of the space in your pockets or purse? Sometimes, the best things come in the smallest packages.
Smaller Android phones often have a screen size of around six inches, meaning you’re looking at the base models of most flagship devices: Think the Samsung Galaxy S23 instead of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Small Android phones typically have many of the same features as larger Android phones. However, you’re likely sacrificing a bit of battery life and processing power, especially if you’re looking for the best-value Android phone.
For something that’s truly portable, you should consider the Z Flip 5. Though both are foldable devices, they prioritize compactness over the tablet mode. When folded, you can tuck either device into a pocket, a clutch, or a purse for maximum portability.
What is the Best Low-Cost Samsung Flagship Device?
If you want great deals on Samsung phones, your best bet is to look for certified pre-owned or renewed devices. A flagship phone doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pay flagship prices.
In fact, many older Samsung Galaxy models go for hundreds of dollars less than their initial retail prices. Currently, a device like the S21 Ultra 5G starts at $289 for a certified renewed model.
The S21 Ultra provides a 108MP rear camera, which equals some mid-range devices released in 2023. It also has a bold 6.8-inch screen with slim bezels for maximum viewable space.
The S21 Ultra still offers robust battery life and quality performance, though you’re compromising on a few years of future update support.
If you want to stay within this model year, your best option may be the Samsung Galaxy S23. It’s smaller than the Galaxy S23 Ultra but offers similar battery life with a few compromises in overall processing power and camera performance.
The Best Foldable Android Phones
Foldable Android phones have a flexible display that you can fold in half or use as a flip phone. This feature allows you to use the phones in two primary ways: as a traditional smartphone mode and as a tablet.
Foldable Android phones have been on the market for a few years now, but they are still relatively new technology. As a result, they are expensive. However, the price of foldable Android phones will likely decrease as the technology becomes more mainstream.
There are several advantages to using a foldable Android phone. First, they offer a larger screen than traditional smartphones. This can be useful for watching videos, playing games, or working on documents.
Second, most phones on our list are more portable than tablets, especially if you opt for one of the newer flip-phone models.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using a foldable Android phone. First, the folding mechanism can be fragile. If you are not careful, you could damage the screen or the hinge.
Also, as mentioned, foldable Android phones are typically pricier. Many users may find the base retail price too high. If you want a foldable phone, consider purchasing an older model or a certified renewed device.
Overall, foldable Android phones are a new and exciting technology. If you are considering buying a foldable Android phone, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully.
Here are some of the best foldable Android phones on the market:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
- Huawei Mate X2
- Motorola Razr 5G
- Oppo Find N3
Out of all of these, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is probably the most popular, though it’s not a budget Android phone. Some models of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 start at $1,499 or higher retail. If you’re looking for the best entry point, you may want to consider the Razr or Z Flip 5, as they’re both more affordable and easy to find.
The Best Cheap Foldable Android Phone
If you want to get in on the excitement of foldable phones but don’t want to pay the high price associated with most flagship Android phones, there are still budget options available. Out of the phones we’ve mentioned on our list, Android users find that the Motorola Razr is easily the most affordable foldable phone.
Since the Razr starts at $699, it represents a great entry point into the foldable phone market. Also, while folded, it’s a reasonably small Android phone, which makes it a breeze to carry and transport.
The Razr doesn’t skimp on camera performance, either. Though its cover screen might not be as good as the Samsung Z Flip series, it still offers serviceable screen real estate and a high enough resolution to compete with other, more expensive foldable phones.
However, the price of certified pre-owned phones can go even lower. Devices like the original Galaxy Fold start at $179 for an unlocked device in good condition. If you’re open to a handset that’s a few model years older, you can get an excellent deal without losing access to top features and quality performance.
Plus, starting with a certified renewed foldable device is a great way to test whether you like the style or if a traditional smartphone would be a better fit for your needs.
Best Budget Camera Phones
Sometimes, you only need a high-quality phone camera without all the added processing power or new features. As long as it can take nice snapshots, send texts, and make phone calls, that may be enough.
In this instance, you might look for a device that gets you access to the camera app in just a few taps, like an older Samsung Galaxy device with its double-press camera access.
A great camera phone doesn’t have to be a bank-breaker. For instance, the Google Pixel 7a starts at $499 and packs quite a punch in the camera department. Plus, it uses the same processor as the standard Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, so you’re not compromising much on performance.
With a device trade-in, you may save quite a bit on a device like the Google Pixel 7a.
What’s the Best Way to Save Money on an Android Phone?
Android phones are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They offer a wide range of features and functionality at a fraction of the cost of iPhones. However, even with the lower price tag, it can still be challenging to save money on an Android phone.
Buy at the right time of year.
The best time to buy an Android phone may be during the holiday season or when a new model is about to be released. Usually, retailers and manufacturers want to clear out their inventory to make room for new products. As a result, you can often find great deals on Android phones during these times.
Look for used or refurbished phones.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider buying a used or refurbished Android phone. These phones are often much cheaper than new ones and can still be in excellent condition.
Gazelle specializes in refurbished and renewed devices. Our trade-in program makes it easy to switch out your old handset for a new device like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at a fraction of the retail price.
We offer phones that work with every carrier and unlocked devices so that you can pick and choose between service plans as you please.
Shop around for the best price.
Once you’ve decided on the type of Android phone you want, shop around for the best price. You can compare prices online or in-store to find the best deal. Some online retailers offer rebates, incentives, and cashback options if you purchase directly.
Use a payment plan.
If you can’t afford to pay for an Android phone upfront, you can use a payment plan. Certain carriers, shopping sites, and credit cards allow you to pay for the phone over time, usually in monthly installments.
Get a trade-in.
If you have an old Android phone, you can probably trade it in for a discount on a new one. Trading up is a great way to get rid of an old phone and save money on a new one simultaneously.
By following these tips, you can save money on your next Android phone. Or, you can work directly with Gazelle to find the best deals on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the Google Pixel series.
Find the Best Android Phones with Gazelle
When you’re ready to upgrade from a device with average battery life, or you’re looking for an affordable phone, Gazelle is here to help. We specialize in certified renewed devices and want you to find the right Android phone.
Explore our Android inventory for a new phone or get last year’s model at a fraction of the retail price. Rest assured that each device in our inventory passed a rigorous inspection to meet our high quality standards.
We offer both carrier-specific devices and unlocked phone options so you can choose a device that works with your existing plan. Whether you want a foldable device or a new flagship selection, we’ve got you covered.