The very best Android cellphone to purchase in 2023


The Android ecosystem is all about selection. Whereas iPhone house owners have a smaller pool of recent gadgets to choose from when it’s time to improve, there’s an enormous vary of recent Android telephones yearly. A few of them even fold in half! You need a built-in stylus? A flagship processor for much less cash? Perhaps even — dare I say it — an unapologetically pink cellphone with matching earbuds? You’ve obtained choices on Android.

On the flip aspect, all that selection could make for some onerous choices. Right here’s the place I’d like to assist; I’ve examined an entire boatload of latest Android telephones, and I feel there are some actual winners within the present crop. It’s all a matter of what you’re in search of, what you’re comfy spending, and what your definition of a “fairly sized cellphone” is. (I’ve my very own, personally.)

And haven’t you heard? It’s sizzling foldable summer time, and there are a bunch of recent folding telephones debuting over the subsequent few months. Motorola’s Razr Plus seems to be actually promising with an enormous cowl display screen, the Google Pixel Fold is arriving quickly with a likable new type issue, and OnePlus says it’ll have a (doubtless inexpensive) foldable this 12 months. In case you’re interested in foldables, you would possibly need to maintain off for a couple of months till all of the choices are on the desk.

In case you dwell within the US, I’ve some unhealthy information in regards to the Android market, although. For classy causes having to do with “capitalism” and “geopolitics,” we don’t get almost as lots of the choices as you’ll discover in Asia and Europe — manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, and Oppo simply aren’t out there right here. I’ve restricted this information to the gadgets I’ve personally examined in depth; thus, it’s a pretty US-centric set of suggestions. 

With that in thoughts, it’s additionally value acknowledging that most individuals within the US get their telephones “without spending a dime” from their wi-fi service. In case you can handle it, shopping for a cellphone unlocked provides you with probably the most flexibility and freedom if you find yourself wanting to vary carriers within the close to future. Telephone producers additionally supply financing and trade-in offers to make fee extra manageable. However for those who’re glad along with your service and the free cellphone on supply is the one you really need, by all means, take the free cellphone. Simply be sure you perceive the phrases, particularly if it’s worthwhile to change plans to money in on the deal. 

Nonetheless you go about it, you might have some incredible choices to your subsequent Android cellphone.

Greatest Android cellphone general

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus standing upright on a table top showing home screen and colorful wallpaper.

With a large 6.6-inch display screen, good battery life, a whip-fast Snapdragon processor, and a succesful digital camera system, the S23 Plus is an Android crowd-pleaser.

Display: 6.6-inch 1080p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.8 important with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel selfie / Battery: 4,700mAh / Charging: 45W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

Samsung’s Galaxy S collection telephones have been the go-to high-end Android cellphone for the previous few years — significantly within the US — and there’s an excellent purpose for that: they’re glorious gadgets. The Galaxy S23 Plus is a minor replace to that profitable formulation, however that also makes it a winner. It neatly checks each merchandise on the checklist of 2023 must-have flagship options: a stunning, massive 6.6-inch display screen, a succesful digital camera system with a telephoto lens, strong climate resistance, and nice battery life. At $999, it’s not low-cost, however it’s additionally not the costliest flagship cellphone you should buy.

It’s not shocking that the S23 Plus contains Qualcomm’s newest chipset: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However what is shocking is that each one variations of this cellphone bought throughout the globe use that Snapdragon processor — beforehand, some areas would get a Samsung-made Exynos chip. That’s nice information as a result of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is great, and it makes the S23 Plus sing. Day-to-day efficiency is top-notch, and battery stamina is far improved. There’s a bigger 4,700mAh battery cell within the Plus this 12 months, however the 8 Gen 2 can also be well-tuned to preserve battery.

The S23 is an all-around winner with an amazing digital camera and high-quality construct.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The 50-megapixel important digital camera, ultrawide, and 3x telephoto cameras that make up the S23 Plus’ imaging system aren’t showstoppers just like the S23 Extremely, however they’re greater than sufficient for many conditions. Often, the S23 Plus takes beautiful images, significantly in its telephoto portrait mode. But it surely’s additionally liable to some heavy-handed processing that goes somewhat too onerous on the HDR typically.

Samsung’s software program isn’t our favourite, both. With somewhat work upfront, you may uninstall or a minimum of cover many of the proprietary apps and providers Samsung insists on downloading, however it could be good to not must tango with Bixby within the first place. However on the brilliant aspect, Samsung presents one of many strongest software program assist insurance policies from any Android device-maker, with 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of safety updates promised. Even when the preliminary setup takes somewhat work to get proper, a minimum of you gained’t must do it once more in a few years.

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

Greatest inexpensive flagship

The Google Pixel 7 upgrades the usual mannequin of the Pixel with Google’s second-gen Tensor CPU and an upgraded ultrawide digital camera.

Display: 6.3-inch 1080p 90Hz OLED / Processor: Google Tensor G2 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.85 with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10.8-megapixel selfie / Battery: 4,355mAh / Charging: 30W wired, 20W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

Relying on the way you have a look at it, the Google Pixel 7 can cross as both a budget-friendly flagship or a premium midrange cellphone. At $599, it’s a bit cheaper than Samsung’s S-series telephones and likewise a bit costlier than the $499 Pixel 7A, a bona fide midrange system. Its specs comply with go well with: you get the high-quality construct and conveniences of a high-end system, like an IP68 score and wi-fi charging, however you miss out on good extras like a telephoto digital camera and a 120Hz display screen. If these issues aren’t tremendous necessary to you, then the Pixel 7 is one heck of an excellent deal.

The Pixel 7 and its step-up 7 Professional sibling use Google’s newest customized chipset, Tensor G2. It delivers flagship-level efficiency, however it’s additionally a part of the Pixel collection’ particular sauce of Google-exclusive options. They’re usually intelligent however form of a blended bag when it comes to how useful they really are. 

Clear Calling, which is unique to the Pixel 7 collection, is like noise cancellation for cellphone calls that makes it simpler to listen to somebody you’re speaking to after they’re in a loud atmosphere. Different options designed to make navigating cellphone bushes and customer support calls much less painful don’t work as effectively persistently. However they aren’t actively unhealthy, and Google has confirmed dedicated to supporting its gadgets with updates and new options all through their life spans.

There’s no telephoto lens, however it’s nonetheless a top-notch digital camera system general.
Picture: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Software program actually is the Pixel 7’s energy. It runs a clear model of Android, freed from duplicate assistants and app shops ( you, Samsung) and shall be supported effectively into the close to future with three OS upgrades and 5 years of safety patches. On the {hardware} entrance, you’ll must dwell with a few concessions Google made to maintain the value down. The 6.3-inch display screen is simply superb, however its 90Hz refresh fee is a bit slower than the super-smooth scrolling 120Hz screens on most telephones at this value. 

The Pixel 7 can also be lacking a telephoto rear digital camera, although the 2x crop mode from the 50-megapixel important sensor does an admirable impression of a real optical telephoto lens. The ultrawide digital camera can also be a technology behind the Pixel 7 Professional’s. However outdoors of these few drawbacks, you don’t miss out on an entire lot by choosing the Pixel 7 moderately than the 7 Professional — and also you positively get to maintain a couple of further {dollars} in your pocket.

Learn my full overview of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional.

Greatest cellphone with every little thing however the kitchen sink

Samsung S23 Ultra in cream color standing upright on a table with rear facing outward.

The Galaxy S23 Extremely presents an enormous 6.8-inch display screen, built-in S Pen stylus, two telephoto cameras, and a top-notch Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It’s expensive, however there’s nothing else fairly prefer it in the marketplace.

Display: 6.8-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 200-megapixel important with OIS, 10-megapixel 10x telephoto with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel selfie / Battery: 5,000mAh / Charging: 45W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. It’s expensive, beginning at $1,199, and due to a 6.8-inch display screen, it’s big. It’s additionally probably the most highly effective Android cellphone you should buy within the US proper now, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, S Pen stylus assist with a built-in silo for storage, and two — depend ’em, two — telephoto cameras on the rear panel. It’s type of onerous to think about what else Samsung may probably stuff into this cellphone.

The display screen on the heart of this spec monster is a 6.8-inch OLED with a variable refresh fee as much as 120Hz and 1440p decision. It’s beautiful, and the even higher information is that it’s extra battery-efficient than final 12 months’s mannequin. Between that and the brand new chipset, the S23 Extremely will get by way of a full day of heavy use with somewhat extra wiggle room than its predecessor may. 

The S23 Extremely stands alone.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The S23 Extremely’s digital camera system is a significant purpose to contemplate placing within the further money for this mannequin moderately than the S23 Plus. There’s nothing fairly prefer it out there on some other flagship cellphone: there’s each a 3x and 10x telephoto digital camera plus an ultrawide and, oh yeah, a 200-megapixel important digital camera.

The 200-megapixel factor is simply partially a stunt — more often than not, you’ll be getting a 12-megapixel file from it, however the further knowledge from all these pixels appears to assist the system give you some incredible pictures. It sometimes makes some bizarre judgments or turns the HDR as much as 11, however it’s typically superb and, right here and there, is even able to beautiful “I can’t imagine it’s not a ‘actual’ digital camera” images.

Our complaints about Samsung software program stand, sadly, and its faults are much more obtrusive on a really expensive cellphone. Why the spammy clickbait hyperlinks within the climate app? And who on earth desires push notifications from the Samsung Galaxy retailer? You don’t get that type of factor on a Pixel cellphone. Nonetheless, there are sufficient spectacular issues in regards to the S23 Extremely that it’s value some minor software program annoyances.  

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely.

Greatest various to Google and Samsung

OnePlus 11 5G in-hand showing green color option and OnePlus logo with a black and white background.

$699

The OnePlus 11 lacks a few key options, specifically strong water resistance and wi-fi charging. However its large 6.7-inch display screen, glorious efficiency, and quick wired charging are all fairly interesting at its comparatively low value.

Display: 6.7-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.8 important with OIS, 48-megapixel ultrawide, 32-megapixel 2x telephoto, 16-megapixel selfie / Battery: 5,000mAh / Charging: 80W wired (100W outdoors of US) / Climate resistance: IP64

The US Android market is dominated by Samsung and Google (effectively, largely Samsung). However we do have a couple of alternate options to these manufacturers, and the OnePlus 11 5G is a standout for somebody who desires a high-performing system for a bit much less cash. It makes use of the superb Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, however at $699, it’s $300 cheaper than the S23 Extremely with the same processor. 

The OnePlus 11 has a few different issues going for it, too, together with a incredible 6.7-inch 1440p show with a prime 120Hz refresh fee. There’s additionally very quick wired charging with the included quick charger — as much as 80W within the US, which is able to take its large 5,000mAh battery from empty to 100% in lower than half-hour. It’s quick sufficient to make in a single day charging optionally available. 

The OnePlus 11 5G misses a few flagship options however trades them in for glorious efficiency at a cheaper price.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

On the draw back, there are a few issues lacking right here that you simply’ll discover on most different telephones at this value. The primary is wi-fi charging, which can be a deal-breaker for those who’re already invested in charging your cellphone that method. And the OnePlus 11 is simply rated to IP64, not IP68 like just about each different flagship. Which means it’s proof against splashes and spray however isn’t constructed to face up to full immersion in water for any size of time. 

These two lacking options slim the OnePlus 11’s enchantment. In case you’re not involved about dropping your cellphone in a puddle (or rest room or bathtub or sink or swimming pool) and also you’d moderately cost your cellphone rapidly than on a wi-fi charging pad, then the 11 5G is an effective way to get glorious efficiency and maintain somewhat extra cash in your pockets.

Learn my full overview of the OnePlus 11 5G.

Greatest foldable cellphone

$1799

The Fold 4 is a multitasking powerhouse that can be utilized tablet-style or as your each day driver smartphone. It’s a gadget individual’s gadget with a excessive price ticket to match.

Display: 7.6-inch 2176p 120Hz OLED internal display screen, 6.2-inch 2316p 120Hz OLED cowl display screen / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F/1.8 important with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10-megapixel selfie (cowl display screen), four-megapixel under-display selfie (internal display screen) / Battery: 4,400mAh / Charging: 25W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IPX8

There’s nothing fairly just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the marketplace, significantly within the US. The Z Fold 4 is Samsung’s tablet-style foldable — you’ve obtained a 6.2-inch cowl display screen on the skin for regular cellphone stuff, however on the within, it unfolds to an enormous 7.6-inch display screen. It’s a stage of versatility you gained’t discover on any conventional slab-style cellphone. It’s priced accordingly, too, at a steep $1,799 MSRP.

The Z Fold 4 is as sturdy as foldables come proper now. It’s IPX8 rated, so it’s protected in opposition to full immersion in water. However that “X” means there’s no assure in opposition to mud intrusion, and regardless of Samsung’s greatest efforts to strengthen the system’s resistance to environmental components, long-term sturdiness continues to be a query mark. That’s most likely a leap of religion most individuals gained’t be capable of take for a $1,800 cellphone.

There’s nothing fairly as versatile because the Z Fold 4 in the marketplace.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The Z Fold 4 additionally runs up in opposition to one other limitation on the software program aspect: the Android pill app ecosystem. Apps don’t all the time make nice use of the large internal display screen; they’re typically simply scaled-up cellphone apps, leaving plenty of unused clean house. Fortunately, Samsung’s UI presents loads of assist to rearrange a number of home windows for multitasking. It could possibly take somewhat futzing, however you may make use of that large canvas by displaying a number of apps without delay. 

Uncertainty about the way it will maintain up in the long term and the two-hands-on-ness required to profit from it imply the Z Fold 4 is type of a gadget individual’s gadget. It’s a showcase of {hardware} innovation, and you are able to do issues with it that slab-style telephones can solely dream of. In case you’ve obtained the literal and figurative deep pockets for it, you’ll be effectively rewarded.

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Different Android telephones value contemplating

There are a lot of extra nice Android gadgets that weren’t coated right here, and some are value calling out that didn’t fairly make the reduce for a suggestion. The Galaxy S23 Plus’ smaller sibling, the Galaxy S23, is a incredible possibility if you need a considerably smaller Android cellphone. Its 6.1-inch display screen doesn’t put it in “small cellphone” territory, however it’s rather more pocketable than the opposite two S23 fashions. Battery life has been improved this 12 months on the S23, too, which was a weak level for the S22. 

There’s additionally the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung’s clamshell-style foldable. It presents a 6.7-inch internal display screen that folds in half with a small 1.9-inch cowl display screen on the skin for heads-up information and notifications. It’s type of like an everyday cellphone with a smartwatch glued on the entrance. It’s not as versatile because the Z Fold 4, however it prices a way more affordable $999. I’ve the identical considerations about long-term sturdiness as I do with the Z Fold, and the quilt display screen might be extra helpful. Nonetheless, it’s plenty of enjoyable to make use of, and it folds down sufficiently small to slot in your entrance denims pocket. 

In case you’re all in on Google’s ecosystem, then the Pixel 7 Professional is an efficient (and considerably apparent) step-up possibility. It doesn’t supply any important upgrades in comparison with the Pixel 7 however does include an excellent 5x telephoto digital camera. The display screen is larger — 6.7 inches in comparison with 6.3 — and it’s additionally somewhat nicer, with a quicker 120Hz prime refresh fee. However the Pixel 7 is priced so effectively that it’s type of inconceivable not to suggest it, and most of the people will discover every little thing they want within the base mannequin.

There’s another Pixel cellphone to contemplate: the Google Pixel 7A. It’s $499 and has the identical Tensor G2 processor because the Pixel 7 and seven Professional. The 7A is unquestionably the very best cellphone digital camera you may get for the cash, and it comes with good creature comforts not normally seen in price range gadgets, like wi-fi charging. It’s on the expensive aspect of the “price range” class, however it’s designed to go the space.

Lastly, there’s the Motorola Edge Plus (2023). It’s a superb system for $799, with a pleasant display screen, nice battery life, a wonderful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and all of the flagship trimmings like wi-fi charging and an IP68 score. It’s an excellent possibility if the OnePlus 11 appeals however you need wi-fi charging and higher water resistance. However we’re not followers of the curved edge display screen, and the OnePlus 11 comes with a further 12 months of safety updates. In addition to, it doesn’t supply sufficient to face out from the remainder of the sphere to warrant a full suggestion.

Replace June ninth, 2023, 5:25PM ET: Eliminated the Asus Zenfone 9, which shall be changed quickly by the Zenfone 10. Eliminated the Google Pixel 6A from the “additionally think about” part and changed it with the Pixel 7A.

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