Finding the finest Android phone for your needs might be challenging. It’s simple to be persuaded by a visually appealing device or a tempting price. Carriers will entice you with a discount or a 24-month payment plan, but do your research before making a snap decision. These are our top picks out of the limitless selection of phones available, including our top pick, the Google Pixel 5A. Based on our rigorous testing, we’ve listed the benefits of each of the phones we’ve chosen here as honestly as we can.
Google Pixel 5A 5G
The Google Pixel 5A 5G is now our top pick for the majority of users but Google has already shown its successor, the Pixel 6A 5G, which will go on sale on July 28. It’s worth the wait because it vastly outperforms its predecessor. For instance, it will continue to cost $449 while being powered by Google’s Tensor chip, which is also found in the premium Pixel 6 series. In other words, you’ll get some of the greatest Android performance for your money and all the same software innovations that make Pixel phones so distinctive. Here, we’ve compiled a list of all the best benefits of owning a Pixel, including three years free OS and security updates. However, Google will still be selling the Pixel 5A (for a while), and there are a few benefits to doing so. The size comes first. In comparison to the Pixel 6A’s smaller 6.1-inch OLED display, the Pixel 5A’s 6.3-inch OLED screen will satisfy you if you prefer a larger phone. (OLED is also rather uncommon at this cost.) Second, a greater battery is a benefit of a larger phone. During testing, the Pixel 5A lasted us over two whole days, but don’t anticipate the same from its replacement. (Google states that the 6A should last for about a full day.) The cameras are identical—a 12-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor—but the Pixel 6A will probably produce somewhat better images because to its upgraded processor.
Samsung Galaxy S22
These days, it can be difficult to find an Android phone that is smaller in size. People who want small phones have limited options because the majority of phones have screens that are at least 6.4 inches wide or larger. That is satisfied by the $800 Galaxy S22. Everything we adored about the Galaxy S22 Plus is included in this device, but in a more portable size: a striking design, a superior camera system with a 50-megapixel main lens, and a clear screen. The Galaxy S22 still has the same issues with battery life as its more expensive siblings. With the S22’s refresh rate set to adaptive, which increases it to 120Hz for better scrolling, I was just about able to make it through the entire day. Having said that, the S22’s battery life may be adequate for some users, particularly those who spend the majority of their day at home or at work with a charger close by. Other than that, the Galaxy S22 is a great option for any Android user, but especially for those searching for a smaller phone.
Vivo X80 Pro – Best camera
Even if you’ve never heard of Vivo, you should definitely pay attention.
The company, which dominates the Chinese smartphone industry, is gradually growing its global presence, which is a good thing since it has long been known that Vivo produces some of the greatest cameras found in any smartphone.
With its four exceptional rear cameras, the X80 Pro is no exception. The 48Mp ultrawide lens absolutely destroys the competition, and the two zoom lenses provide you other alternatives, even if the 50Mp main lens is fantastic. The technology truly shines in dimly lit environments, and its night mode is unquestionably the best out there. Other than that, it’s a terrific phone with a premium display, quick charging, and long battery life. The company’s Android skin is a bit odd, which is the main source of annoyance, but if you care about the camera and have the money to spend, it’s difficult to find a better option.
Google Pixel 6 Pro – Best software
The Google Pixel 6 Pro ($899 starting price) is the brand’s most ambitious smartphone to date and a significant upgrade over the Pixel 5 from the previous year. The Pixel 5 has a great camera, good performance, and a lot of value for the money, but it was also a little bit monotonous. Google completely redoes everything with the Pixel 6 Pro. The phone has a brilliant OLED display, a new Tensor chip with excellent performance, and an all-day battery. With its upgraded sensors, lenses, software updates, and Tensor processor, the Pixel 6 Pro maintains Google’s lead in the smartphone camera market. Three sensors are on the rear camera bar. The main camera has a 50MP resolution, an f/1.85 aperture, pixels that are 1.2 mm wide, and a huge 1/1.31-inch sensor format. For clear 12.5MP images, it employs an Octa PD Quad Bayer technique with all-pixel autofocus. Next to it is a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and pixels that are 1.25 mm wide. The field of vision of the lens is 114 degrees. Completing the camera stack is a 48MP telephoto lens. Its sensor size is half an inch, and its field of view is 23.5 degrees. With a few limitations, images taken in low light also look great.
Setting a new standard for Android flagships is the Google Pixel 6 Pro. In addition to becoming our new Editors’ Choice winner for high-end Android phones, the phone is deserving of Google’s asking price due to its impressive battery life, performance, display, and software. However, if you’re trying to save money, the Pixel 6 is a great substitute. It provides a similar experience to the Pixel 6 Pro for $300 less, despite having a little less RAM, a smaller screen, and no telephoto lens.
Flagship Alternative OnePlus 10 Pro
The newest flagship device from OnePlus is decent but not fantastic (7/10, WIRED Recommends). It has a sleek design and strong hardware, including a 120-Hz OLED screen that performs brightly and quickly as well as some of the fastest wired and wireless charging you can find in the US. Its camera system is not as good as the Pixel 6 or Samsung’s Galaxy S22, but you can still capture some excellent photographs on it and there are a few entertaining settings because of a collaboration with Hasselblad, a photography manufacturer. Even better, it will receive four years of security updates and three OS upgrades. However, it remains to be seen whether OnePlus can deliver these updates as quickly as its competitors.It’s important to note that this phone only has sub-6 GHz wireless, which seems strange for a device with such a high price tag. Additionally, the T-Mobile device has an IP67 water-resistance classification, whereas the unlocked variant does not. Although it shouldn’t have any problems submerging in water, having additional assurance would be good.
Oppo Find X5 Pro
By every standard, the Oppo Find X5 Pro is a fantastic phone. Oppo backs up its 6.7-inch, 10-bit, 120Hz QHD+ panel, one of the greatest displays on a phone right now, with a 5000mAh battery, 80W wired and 50W wireless charging, and a top-notch camera with 50Mp sensors on both the primary and ultrawide lenses.
The telephoto here has a meagre 2x zoom, so you’ll have to make do without a periscopic zoom lens, but the results from all three back lenses are fantastic. A flawlessly sloping camera module that is integrated into the phone’s ceramic casing further distinguishes the appearance. With all of the aforementioned features plus a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 256GB of storage, and 12GB of RAM, the Find X5 Pro is also tough to match for sheer performance. It isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to be ready to spend for it, while the normal Find X5 is a terrific alternative and much less expensive.
Specs to check for include:
Quality of the display: resolution, refresh rate (preferably at least 90Hz), and LCD or OLED type
Chipset: Is it powered by the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a less powerful 7- or 6-series chip, or even a competitor MediaTek chip?
RAM: Look for RAM with at least 8GB, although more is preferable.
Storage: Make sure it has at least 128GB, and find out if it can be expanded.
Camera: Check the sorts of lenses that are offered, the sizes of the sensor, and the photo samples in our evaluations when looking at cameras rather than just the megapixel count.
Waterproofing: Is there an official IP rating for waterproofing?
Battery and charging: How often will it need to be charged, and how quickly can it be charged both wired and, maybe, wirelessly?
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