What Android Phone To Buy
In many ways, the Pixel 7 Pro is the phone the Pixel 6 Pro should have been. Google fixed all of those really annoying bugs that plague the Pixel 6 series, replaced the in-display fingerprint sensor with something that actually works, and added new camera features that make even better use of those newer 50MP sensors in the phone.
what android phone to buy
The Pixel 7 is all about refinement over the Pixel 6. It's not a radically different experience from the Pixel 6 and doesn't make sense to upgrade if you're already on a Pixel 6, but folks coming from older Pixels (or other phones) will find themselves incredibly happy with the experience.
As is the case with any Pixel phone, the camera shines through right away as the best feature. It's amazing what Google has been able to build over the years and you can expect world-class imaging in any light. The Google Tensor G2 processor inside gives Google the ability to pull off some impressive AI processing on photos and videos, ensuring that faces aren't blurry when there's movement and scenes are bright and clear almost no matter what's going on.
Google took Face Unblur a step further this year and added the ability to unblur any photo, even ones taken with other phones or cameras. While Tensor G2 isn't as fast as the latest processors from Qualcomm, Google makes up for it with AI features that make the phone feel truly smart. Instant voice dictation is one of those things you didn't realize you needed, and call screening on a Pixel is better than any other phone on the market. Just make sure you pick up a great Pixel 7 case if scratches bother you. While that new shiny metal camera housing looks great on the phone, it scratches incredibly easily.
The Ultra features the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Devices chipset, an exclusive version of the Qualcomm processor found in many recent smartphones. This internal hardware gives your phone enough power to handle graphics-intensive gaming without totally annihilating your battery life or dropping in performance.
The Zenfone 9 is a lovely little phone, with a design that was made for one-handed use. That doesn't just mean its size. It also means that Asus took the time to develop features that further help make this a one-handable phone, like a side-mounted power button that you can swipe up or down on to scroll the screen.
Inside is the powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a better processor than what you'll find in many phones on this list. With that comes better performance and far less heat output, and it also ensures that you'll be getting two-day battery life out of this tiny phone, too. That, in addition to a gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED display, great cameras, IP68 water and dust resistance, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and loud stereo sound make this the superb small phone we never thought we'd see again.
The Google Pixel 6a is the best phone value available today, period. Google has packed most of what makes the Pixel 6 series good into a smartphone that costs even less. The battery life isn't as impressive as last year's Pixel 5a, but the camera, design, and features will have you so impressed that you won't care.
Impressively enough, it's got the same processor as the more expensive Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, so all of Google's great onboard AI-enhanced features are here. That includes favorites like call screening, live translation, instant voice typing, and plenty of other Google Assistant-powered features. The 6a also boasts 5G, the best haptics in any Android phone on the market, and IP67 water resistance.
First off, there's nothing quite like snapping your phone closed when you're done with it. It sounds silly, but there's a certain psychological component to folding it up and putting it away. The phone itself is more durable than ever, too, featuring an Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus+ on both halves of the back. Inside is a foldable glass that's 45% stronger than last year's phone, and a new pre-installed screen protector has been refined and features better adhesive than previous years, hopefully keeping protectors from peeling off over the lifetime of the phone.
Just like any piece of technology, smartphones evolve and change as time goes on. We've seen screens get bigger, cameras get a lot more capable, and processors rival those found in computers. The next big thing for phones is the folding form factor, and so far, the best yet in this niche is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
If you want a larger canvas, all you need to do is open up the Z Fold 4 up. There, you're treated to a larger 7.6-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and slightly wider aspect ratio than last year. It's a lot like having an iPad Mini that you can fold up and take with you wherever you want, and if you ask us, that's pretty amazing. Samsung also added a new taskbar on the bottom of the larger display, making it operate more like a tablet or laptop than ever before. That makes multitasking as easy as tapping and dragging an icon to perform split screen, or simply tapping an icon on the bar to open any app installed on your smartphone within 2 taps. Now that's multitasking at its best.
Samsung's Galaxy A series is the company's best-selling for a reason. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G deliver all the things you need in a new smartphone without adding in niceties that jack up the price. The inclusion of sub-6 5G means you'll be getting blazing wireless speeds anywhere you go, and a larger battery than last year made it possible for us to get a full day's worth of usage out of a single charge.
Samsung changed up the processor this year, swapping out the traditional Snapdragon chipset with its own Exynos 1280. This one runs faster in all areas, even if it's not a powerhouse for gaming. Additionally, the 120Hz display makes the phone feel blazing-fast at all times, with super-smooth scrolling that'll make your old phone feel like it's from another century. You really have to use it to understand how much of a difference this makes. It's probably one of the best upgrades smartphones have ever received.
Samsung also upgraded the camera sensors this year, so the results look better than ever, even if the on-paper specs look identical to the A52. It's exactly what happened with the company's foldable phones last year and it's amazing what software alone can improve. All in all, it delivers the best camera experience we've seen on a Samsung Galaxy A series yet.
The OnePlus Nord series has gotten better and better with each iteration, and the OnePlus Nord N20 5G feels like the proper return to an almost flagship-killer status. While it's not trying to be a "flagship killer" like other OnePlus phones have claimed, the sub-$290 price combined with the excellent specs make this feel much more like a budget flagship than a mid-tier phone.
Not only that but these specs at this price are basically unheard of. AMOLED on a sub-$300 phone is uncommon enough, but a powerful Snapdragon 695 processor and a 64MP camera that's actually good, as well? The result is a truly cohesive and impressive experience, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "bang for the buck".
Now that's not to say there aren't a few snags in the phone. The Nord N20 ships with Android 11, which is a bit strange given that Android 12 had been available for over six months when the phone launched. Not only that but the Android 12 update is the only major OS update this phone is scheduled to receive. If it weren't for the spec-to-price ratio, this would have been a big ding for OnePlus. At least you'll get three years of security updates to make up for it.
Samsung offers great phones at just about any price point, and the Galaxy A13 5G is no exception. Many U.S. carriers offer this phone for free or just a few dollars per month, so picking one up when you're on a very tight budget is practically a no-brainer.
As with any phone under $200, you shouldn't expect the world from the Galaxy A13 5G. While the processor is just fine for scrolling through social media, browsing the web, or chatting with friends, it's not going to do much for gaming. Sure, simple 2D games like Angry Birds are just fine but anything more graphically intense won't run very well (or at all). The display is also a bit dim and it charges slowly compared to more expensive phones, but you won't have to worry about charging too much thanks to the huge battery inside. That, combined with the low-power processor means you'll have no trouble getting 2-days of battery life out of the A13 5G.
The OnePlus 11 might be the fastest "normal" phone you can buy right now, but the Redmagic 7S Pro is designed to blow everything out of the water with its special design and cooling engine. The styling is definitely aggressive and will turn some folks off, but if you're in it to win it, the Redmagic 7S Pro will deliver blisteringly-fast framerates at all times.
The display on the front is a liquid-smooth 120Hz AMOLED display with crisp 2400x1080 resolution, and it makes games look so darn good you simply won't believe your eyes. Inside is a massive 5,000mAh battery and can be bought with up to 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. In short, if you want a gaming phone that looks the part, the Redmagic 7S Pro is the one to get.
There are many contenders for the best Android phones, but we think the Google Pixel 7 Pro is the best option for most people. The phone has a great mix of sublime hardware backed by Google's brilliantly suave software. It's got a sleek design that allows it to stand out and robust cameras that take fabulous photos in challenging lighting conditions, even when people or pets are moving around.
If you have a few more dollars to spend and want something even more impressive, the obvious choice is the Galaxy S23 Ultra. This phone is the successor of the outstanding S22 Ultra, featuring a near-identical design and the best camera on any Samsung phone. Best of all, you get an integrated S Pen that lets you write notes, doodle, and so much more.
Folks looking for a compact phone with few or no compromises have lots of choices in 2023, which is a breath of fresh air compared to previous years. The Galaxy S23 and Pixel 6a are two of the best smaller phones you can get in the U.S., and folks who live outside of the U.S. and want a small phone would be remiss if they ignored the Asus Zenfone 9. It's a compact phone with a blazing-fast processor, a huge battery, and a great camera. All things that aren't super common together in smaller phones, yet, Asus has figured out a way to deliver them all in one sleek package. 041b061a72