Best Android phone 2023: the top smartphones from Google, Samsung, OnePlus and more reviewed
Which Android blower should you buy?
In the market for an Android upgrade? Competition has never been stiffer, with all manner of makers vying for your prestigious pocket space – and wanting to be named best overall smartphone on sale. Which makes selecting the best Android phone a tricky task.
Spoilt for choice? We’re here to help. We’ve tested all of the latest Android handsets and rated our favourites in the list below. That includes premium flagships from the likes of Google, Samsung and Sony, plus a handful of more affordable Android alternatives. If you prefer a smartphone that can fold, check out our dedicated round-up of the best foldables.
Whether you’re ready to shell out on a top-end telephone or shopping for maximum value from a mid-range mobile, the list below will help you find your ideal Android phone.
Our pick of the best Android phones to buy today
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Pick a superlative and it probably applies to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: this is the best Android phone right now, bar none. Spiritual successor to the Note, it’s an undeniably large yet supremely solid smartphone. Like the Note, it ships with an S Pen – and the stylus is more responsive than ever. Bright and sharp and brilliant, the AMOLED display is simply sublime, whether you’re scribbling or scrolling. Silicon is cutting-edge as well; with Samsung going exclusively with Snapdragon for 2023, the Ultra blasts fast but cool through almost any app or game. And the list goes on. Maximised by a new neural processing unit, the versatile camera setup yields too many highlights to cover here, including a 200MP main sensor and 10x telephoto. Even the front camera is exceptional. There’s no denying the serious outlay required to own one, but if you’re an Android fan willing to pay for the best, this is the smartphone to get.
Jam-packed with premium features, Samsung’s range-topping S23 Ultra is all the Android smartphone you could want – and then some
Tech spec:Screen: 6.8in, 1440×3088 AMOLED, 120Hz • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB • Software: Android 13 with OneUI • Cameras: 200+12+10+10MP (rear), 12MP (front) • Battery: 5000mAh • Dimensions: 163x78x8.9mm • Weight: 234g
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Avoiding the compromises which kept previous Pixel phones from competing with full-blown flagships, the Pixel 7 Pro has the hardware to mix it with the big guns. No plastic here: the Pro is all metal and glass, with a distinctive camera shelf setting it apart. Algorithm-assisted shooting modes help its three lenses deliver detailed images in all conditions, raising the high photographic bar set by its predecessors. With separate cores for machine learning, security and imaging, the Pro’s Tensor G2 silicon can comfortably compete with Qualcomm’s top chips. Multitasking is a breeze, while Android 13 is sublimely slick in action. With a 5000mAh cell, battery life is no longer a footnote, while the palm-spanning 6.7in OLED display delivers impeccable contrast, vibrant colours and dynamic refresh rates.
Ambitious and uncompromising, the Pixel 7 Pro pairs top-shelf hardware with incredible photographic skills to produce a true Google flagship
Tech spec:Screen: 6.7in, 1440×3120 LTPO OLED, 120Hz • Processor: Google Tensor G2 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 128/256/512GB • Software: Android 13 • Cameras: 50+48+12MP (rear), 10.8MP (front) • Battery: 5000mAh • Dimensions: 163x77x8.9mm • Weight: 212g
The latest OnePlus flagship ditches the Pro moniker, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still compete with the big boys. An all-screen frontage is very much in the modern mobile mould, while the firm’s classic alert slider remains present and correct. The sizeable circular camera bump at the back is home to three capable lenses, plus Hasselblad branding which hints at enhanced shooting modes. Low-light performance has improved from last year, while daylight snaps are sharp and colourful.
Its 6.7in display looks simply brilliant, with consistent brightness and colour complemented by dynamic refresh rates of up to 120Hz. Performance is unsurprisingly ace, while battery life proves impressively frugal. If you can handle its heft, the OnePlus 11 is a truly top-drawer device.
Offering a killer combo of specs, design and price point, OnePlus hits another home run with its latest Android flagship
Tech spec:Screen: 6.7in, 1440×3216 AMOLED, 120Hz • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 • RAM: 8/12/16GB • Storage: 128/256/512GB • Software: Android 13 with OxygenOS • Cameras: 50+32+48MP (rear), 16MP (front) • Battery: 5000mAh • Dimensions: 163x74x8.5mm • Weight: 205g
Google Pixel 7a
A streamlined vision of vanilla Android excellence, the Pixel 7a is yet more proof that Google makes the best Google phones. With a design distilled from its premium Pixel siblings, the 7a goes easier on your wallet without cutting corners. Its composite construction does a convincing impression of glass, while the shelf styling ties it into the Pixel family. A Tensor G2 CPU inside stomps on almost everything in the same price bracket, running undiluted Android 13 without a stutter. It also continues Google’s track-record of camera excellence, using both a high pixel count sensor and powerful algorithms to extract impressively detailed stills. a 90Hz refresh rate means the screen is a big step up over last year’s Pixel 6a, too.
A wallet-friendly winner that pretty much means there’s no reason to buy the pricier Pixel 7
Tech spec:Screen: 6.1in, 1080×2400 OLED, 90Hz • Processor: Google Tensor G2 • RAM: 8GB • Storage: 128GB • Software: Android 13 • Cameras: 64+13MP (rear), 13MP (front) • Battery: 4,385mAh • Dimensions: 153x72x9mm • Weight: 193g
OnePlus Nord 2T
Staying true to OnePlus’ classic value formula, the Nord 2T isn’t a massive upgrade over its predecessor. Instead, it tweaks the recipe to cement its rep as a formidable mid-range mobile. With a glass back impersonating more expensive handsets, the 2T benefits from a tidy design – apart from the inelegant camera rings on the rear. Unchanged from the Nord 2 is its colourful OLED panel. Not the brightest nor the fastest around, its 90Hz refresh rates are smooth enough for everyday use. Results from the 50MP main Sony sensor remain reliably decent, while the 32MP selfie camera is a significant improvement. There’s no wireless charging, but 80W refuelling is a speedy selling point. And with MediaTek Dimensity 1300 silicon powering proceedings, software flies along too.
A neatly designed 5G smartphone with solid specs at a fair price: the Nord 2T is one of the best mid-range Android phones you can buy
Tech spec:Screen: 6.43in, 1080×2400 AMOLED, 90Hz • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 1300 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 128/256GB • Software: Android 12 with OxygenOS • Cameras: 50+8+2MP (rear), 32MP (front) • Battery: 4500mAh • Dimensions: 159.1×73.2×8.2mm • Weight: 190g
Xiaomi 13 Pro
With a giant 1-inch main camera and Leica-assisted portrait telephoto as backup, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is an exceptionally well-rounded mobile shooter. It’s also packing a capable ultrawide that doubles as a macro lens, so there’s little it can’t capture. Made from premium materials like ceramic, it looks every bit the flagship too. An impeccable display, the latest Qualcomm silicon and some mighty impressive charging times put it up there with the very best in the Android world. It also undercuts the rival Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra by a fair margin, making it a very tempting choice for anyone who’s not fussed about S Pen scribbles.
A no-compromise flagship with a simply stunning set of cameras, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is up there with the very best phones 2023 has seen so far.
Tech spec:Screen: 6.73in, 1440×3200 LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 128/256/512GB • Software: Android 12 with MIUI • Cameras: 50+50+50MP (rear), 32MP (front) • Battery: 4820mAh • Dimensions: 163x75x8.7mm • Weight: 229g
Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony’s top-spec smartphones aren’t for everyone. But if you’re happy to pay for the privilege, the Xperia 1 V is a phenomenally capable Android handset. A flagship in all respects, it delivers exceptional performance, a cinematic 4K display and day-long battery life, all wrapped up in distinctively slick packaging. Android puritans will be pleased by its light-touch interface, but photographers are the true target market: rapid burst shooting, expansive manual options and stellar image quality make it a win for serious snappers. As well as a continuous optical zoom lens, which lets you get closer to subjects without the need for digital trickery, it benefits from an all-new main sensor that fares better in low light. Photography fans with deep pockets won’t be disappointed.
Unapologetically premium, Sony’s no-compromise flagship excels with an exceptional feature set, cementing its position as the ultimate Android camera phone
Tech spec:Screen: 6.5in, 1644×3840 OLED, 120Hz • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 • RAM: 12GB • Storage: 256GB • Software: Android 13 • Cameras: 52+12+12MP (rear), 12MP (front) • Battery: 5000mAh • Dimensions: 165x71x8.2mm • Weight: 185g
Motorola Edge 30 Ultra
It’s been a while since Motorola was top of the handset pack, but the new Motorola Edge 30 Ultra is a superb smartphone that wins back plenty of street cred for the Moto brand. It’s got practically everything going for it, including a premium build, a very capable camera setup (including a pixel-packed 200MP main camera and 60MP selfie cam), along with insanely nippy 125W fast charging. Oh, and a punchy pOLED display with a super-slick 144Hz refresh rate. Phew.
Our only minor gripes are the lack of a waterproof build and expandable storage. Zoom fans will also find the 2x optical zoom lacking. For everyone else though, this is an absolutely cracking handset, especially for the price. Well done Moto.
A rapid-charging powerhouse of a phone with a superb set of cameras… for a tantalising price
Tech spec:Screen: 6.67in, 1080×2400 pOLED, 144Hz • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB • Software: Android 12 • Cameras: 200MP+50MP+12MP (rear), 60MP (front) • Battery: 4610mAh • Dimensions: 162x74x8.4mm • Weight: 199g
Realme GT 2 Pro
Provided you don’t need wireless charging or a dedicated telephoto lens, the Realme GT 2 Pro is a lot of Android flagship at a remarkably reasonable price. Its matte back panel might look like plastic, but it’s actually biopolymer: an eco material derived from renewable sources. And while it feels less premium than glass, it’s significantly more durable. With a 2K resolution, 1400 nits peak brightness and 1-120Hz refresh rates, the 6.7in screen is top-spec peeper-pleaser. So is the camera array: accompanied by a party-trick macro camera and novel 150º ultra-wide, the 50MP main sensor is strong across all lighting conditions. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which is troubled by very little, while the 5000mAh battery easily lasts a day.
A super screen, capable cameras and stacks of power: the Realme GT 2 Pro isn’t a flawless flagship, but it it delivers far more than we’d expect for the price
Tech spec:Screen: 6.7in, 1440×3216 LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 • RAM: 8/12GB • Storage: 128/256GB • Software: Android 12 with Realme UI • Cameras: 50+50MP (rear), 32MP (front) • Battery: 5000mAh • Dimensions: 163.2×74.7×8.2mm • Weight: 199g
What’s the best foldable Android phone?
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Samsung’s latest foldable is its greatest yet. Despite its relative heft, the Z Fold 4 is easy to handle, whether you’re swiping on the 6.2in cover screen or the unfolded 7.6in display. Premium materials leave no doubts as to the build quality, while 5G connectivity and an under-screen selfie camera pad out comprehensive features that are bolstered by a much-improved versatile camera system.
The crease hasn’t entirely disappeared and it remains very expensive, but if you’re shopping for a foldable specifically, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 should be top of your list.
Another unashamedly premium foldable with the price to match – but the streamlined styling and improved cameras go a long way, and software upgrades really make it a productivity powerhouse
Tech spec:Screen: 7.6in, 1812×2176 AMOLED, 120Hz (main), 6.2in, 902×2316 AMOLED, 120Hz (cover) • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 • RAM: 12GB • Storage: 256/512GB/1TB • Software: Android 12 with OneUI • Cameras: 50MP+12MP+10MP (rear), 4MP (under display) • Battery: 4,400mAh • Dimensions: 130x155x6.3mm (unfolded) • Weight: 263g