The best Android phones 2024: the top Android handsets you can buy

The best Android phones you can buy, from flagships to affordable bargains, ace alternatives to foldable devices

Best Android phones 2024: Jump Menu

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

(Image credit: Samsung)

00. The list in brief ↴
01.
Best for most people: Google Pixel 8 Pro
02. Best premium: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
03. Best budget: Google Pixel 7a
04. Best mid-range: Nothing Phone (2)
05. Best alt flagship: OnePlus 12
06. Best small-scale: Samsung Galaxy S23
07. Best clamshell: Motorola Razr 40 Ultra
08. Best foldable: OnePlus Open
09. How to choose the phone for you
10. How we test the best phones

There have been so many incredible Android phone launches in 2024 and over recent years too. But which Android handsets are the best of the best? Plenty fall into our best phones list, of course, but this page is completely Apple-free and for Android fans only!

We've been busy reviewing all the latest and greatest phones running Google's mobile operating system, which we've compiled into this handy best-of 2024 guide – it combines the most premium Android flagships with more affordable, lower-spec, cost-effective alternatives, and some higher-end future-facing foldables too (check out our best folding phones guide for a fuller list).

Below, we've rounded up the best Android phones on the market today, including models from Samsung, Google, Nothing, OnePlus and more. So which Android phone is best for you? Read on to find out your match made in heaven...

T3 Top Picks

Best for most people

Google Pixel 8 Pro reviewT3 Best Buy badge


(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best Android phone for most people

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm / 213g
Screen size: 6.7-inch, 1334 x 2992 resolution, 120Hz
CPU: Google Tensor G3, 12GB RAM
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 5050mAh, 30W charging
Rear camera: Triple: 50MP + 48MP + 48MP
Front camera: 10.5MP

Reasons to buy

+
7 years security/software/feature updates
+
Design stands apart from the competition
+
Varied camera setup with bonus AI features

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be better
-
Some features of limited use (temperature sensor, for example)

As said in our review: "The Pixel 8 Pro could be the most accomplished Android phone of a recent generation". That's thanks to great AI features, such as Magic Editor, that help its already brilliant camera arrangement to further excel when it comes to post editing on the device itself. 

Sure, there are some minor disconnects – the battery life could be better, for example – but we think this top-tier Android phone's standout design and ace future-proofing when it comes to power and feature drops (it has 7 years of updates promised) make it the ideal pick in terms of longevity. 

Like the idea of Google's flagship? Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review to learn more

Best premium

Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraT3 Approved badge


(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best flagship Android phone right now

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 162.3 x 79 x 8.6mm / 232g
Screen: 6.8 inches, 3200 x 1440 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 12GB RAM
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh, 45W fast charging
Rear camera: Quad: 200MP, 50MP, 10MP, 12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Seriously powerful hardware
+
S Pen stylus adds unique use-cases
+
Versatile camera system and new zoom

Reasons to avoid

-
S Pen stylus won't be for all
-
Charging could be faster

Much as we love Google's hardware, the winner if you're after a super-premium Android handset is the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It comes complete with integrated S Pen stylus, giving it unique use-cases compared to many of its Android competitors. 

Not that you have to use the S Pen. Those who don't will still be treated to a super-powerful performance, complete with new flat-panel display that's absolutely stunning. The cameras are upgraded, too, with better zoom and new Galaxy AI features. 

The only downside? It's among the priciest of handsets you can buy and the charging, while ample, isn't as fast as some of the Android competition. But as said in our review: "more durable than ever before thanks to a new titanium finish," the S24 Ultra is a titan of design that really is "the jewel in Android's crown for 2024".

Want to know more? Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review to decide if this is the top-end Android phone for you

Best budget

Google Pixel 7a reviewT3 Award


(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best budget Android phone

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm, 193g
Screen size: 6.1-inch, 1080 x 2400 pixels
CPU: Google Tensor G2, 8GB RAM
Storage: 128GB only
Battery: 4385mAh, 18W charging
Rear camera: Dual: 64MP + 13MP
Front camera: 13MP

Reasons to buy

+
Rivals full-fat Pixel for power
+
Great price point

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life not great – and charging slow
-
Chunky screen bezel

Given that Google creates Android, it's not surprising to see the company's hardware rise high up this best-of list. And it's a winner when it comes to more affordable kit, too, as the Pixel 7a's entry here proves. It's a pared-down experience compared to full-fat Pixel, sure, but still reflects excellent value for money. 

As said in our review: "The Google Pixel 7a is a champion among affordable Android phones". That's thanks to "impressive power, impressive cameras, impressive colour options" and the also impressive asking price. 

Downsides are that the screen's edge bezel is a bit bold, while the battery life is only just acceptable. But with Google Pixel 7-matching hardware on board, there's plenty of power and great performance, plus the promise of future improvement through Android feature drops and security updates. That makes it hands-down the best affordable Android phone.

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review where we explain whether it's the most sensible affordable Android phone you can buy

Best mid-range

Nothing Phone (2) reviewT3 Approved badge


(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best mid-range Android phone

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6mm / 201g
Screen: 6.7 inches, 1080 x 412 resolution
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB/12GB RAM
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,700mAh, 45W fast-charging
Rear cameras: Double: 50MP + 50MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Refined design with unique aesthetic
+
Strong performance & battery life
+
Glyph lights are a fun feature

Reasons to avoid

-
Glyph lights won't be for everyone
-
Cameras won't outsmart Google Pixel

As said in our review: the "Nothing Phone (2) is so comfortable to hold and use, with a distinctive design; improvements to everyday essentials compared to the first-gen phone, such as battery life and screen quality, are a real mark of quality; and it adds a dollop of fun on top all of that, with features such as Glyph lighting". 

It's a fair bit pricier than its predecessor, however, which you could argue makes it more 'sub-flagship' than 'mid-range' in this list, but the additional cost is worth it given just how capable this handset is. There's loads of power on board, and while the cameras aren't going to beat the Pixel or Galaxy options, Nothing is certainly on the rise. 

Check out our full Nothing Phone 2 review to see if this affordable yet high-spec handset is the Android phone for you

Best alt flagship

The OnePlus 12 next to a OnePlus anniversary mascot on a pink and grey backgroundT3 Award

A great affordable Android phone 

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)
A great Google or Samsung alternative

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2mm / 220g
Screen size: 6.82-inch, 3168 x 1440 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 12GB RAM
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 5,400mAh, 100W fast-charging
Rear camera: Triple: 50MP + 64MP + 48MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Astounding battery life
+
Flagship levels of power

Reasons to avoid

-
Some cameras don't make the cut
-
Slippery finish

It's not just Google and Samsung that are winners when it comes to the best Android phones. Plenty of other makers offer excellent alternatives – something that OnePlus has been at the forefront of since its conception. Now many generations on, the OnePlus 12 is a great alt-flagship with brilliant features but for less money than many rivals. 

As said in our review: "If you're on a tighter budget, the OnePlus is a no-brainer. It's about a third of the price [compared to Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra], and offers a really substantial amount of tech for the price". There's heaps of power, battery life to smash its rivals, and even a decent array of cameras – although not all quite make the grade, which is one of its bigger downsides. 

Check out our full OnePlus 12 review to read why we think it's a great Google Pixel alternative 

Best small-scale

Samsung Galaxy S23 reviewT3 Approved badge

A great smaller-scale Android flagship

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best small-scale Android flagship phone

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6mm / 168g
Screen: 6.1-inches, 2400 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 8GB RAM
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 3900mAh, 25W charging
Rear cameras: Triple: 50MP main + 12MP wide + 10MP 3x zoom
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Flagship power in a small-scale handset
+
Striking design stands apart

Reasons to avoid

-
The newer S23 offers less screen bezel
-
So-so battery life

If the mega-scale of the S24 Ultra at the top of this list doesn't appeal and you're seeking a smaller-scale option then the 'base' Galaxy flagship is an excellent option. We've picked the Galaxy S23 for our list, however, as it's not massively different to the newer Galaxy S24, yet delivers a more alluring asking price proposal right now. 

The Galaxy S23 is a winner thanks to a versatile cameras arrangement, decent 6.1-inch display, and flagship levels of power that many small-scale alternatives (in our best compact phones list) can't necessarily rival. Yes, battery life suffers somewhat given the scale, but it's an acceptable innings and all part of living with a small yet mighty handset. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 review to see if this small-sized Android flagship is the right choice for you

Best clamshell

Motorola Edge 40 Ultra review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
The best flip phone if you want the biggest cover display

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 170.8 x 74 x 7mm / 185g
Displays: Front: 3.6in AMOLED, 144Hz, 1056 x 1066 / Internal: 6.9in AMOLED, 165Hz, 1080 x 2640
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 8/12GB RAM
Storage: 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 3800mAh, 30W wired charge
Rear cameras: Dual: 12MP + 13MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
The biggest cover display on a flip phone 
+
Gives Samsung a run for its money

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life isn't great for power users
-
Throttles power, can run too hot

With the biggest cover display of any flip phone (or clamshell) on the market, it's Motorola's top-end Razr device that's an obvious option if you're looking for one of the best foldables going. It's named the Razr 40 Ultra in the UK and Razr+ is the US, but both are approximately the same. 

As said in our review: "Motorola has created a shining new star in the Razr 40 Ultra – knocking even the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip out of orbit. The dominant 3.6-inch cover display is what puts this flip-phone worlds apart from the competition though."

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though, as the screen has an inevitable crease, fingerprints can be an issue, CPU throttling is an annoyance, and Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip is still strong competition. But credit where it's due: Motorola's take on the flip phone may appeal more than buying a traditional small-scale phone to some Android fans. 

Read our full Motorola Razr 40 Ultra review to see why this is a choice clamshell flip phone

Best foldable

The OnePlus Open in Emerald Dusk

(Image credit: OnePlus)

8. OnePlus Open

The best folding phone available right now

Specifications

Dimensions & Weight: 153.4 x 143.1 x 5.8mm / 245g
Displays: Front: 6.3-inch, 1116 x 2484, 120Hz / Internal: 7.82-inch, 2268 x 2440, 120Hz
Processor & RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 16GB RAM
Storage: 512GB only
Battery: 4805mAh, 67W charging
Main cameras: Triple: 64MP + 48MP + 48MP
Front camera: Dual: 20MP + 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
The least screen crease of any foldable
+
Great unfolding action

Reasons to avoid

-
Software not always on point
-
You're going to have to pay a lot

When it comes to the best folding phones, those being proper 'phones that become tablet' devices, it's the OnePlus Open that rules the roost. Yes, Samsung and Google have options in this market that might seem more obvious, but the OnePlus' physical unfolding mechanic and low screen crease put it streets ahead of those rivals. 

Sure, the software can irk from time to time, but OnePlus does add foldable specific features that work a treat for multi-app multi-tasking. And while the asking price is inevitably massive for this kind of technology, you simply won't find a better true foldable at this moment in time. It won't be for everyone, given the nature of the design, but if folding is your Android jam then this is a sensational option. 

How to choose

The best Android phone for you isn’t necessarily going to be the most expensive or advanced phone, although of course you’ll find lots of big-name flagship phones such as the best Samsung phones in our list. While flagships are great choices for many buyers we’ve also taken great care to include phones for every kind of Android user, and for every budget.

The Android market gets ever more competitive, and that’s brilliant news for buyers: Android is the OS for many of the best cheap phones you can buy, many of the best compact phones, and almost all of the best gaming phones too. 

Android phones also completely dominate the best foldable phones market: right now interesting new models from Samsung, Huawei, Motorola and more are currently competing for the folding phone crown, unchallenged by Apple. 

Let's face it. Many, perhaps even most, of the best phones overall in 2024 are Android ones that deliver hardware and features as good as or better than any iPhone. 

When it comes to choosing the best Android phone, budget will probably be the single biggest factor that guides your hand. Will you go for the cutting-edge ultra-premium model? Or the second highest tier of still being premium, but without the most ridiculous features? Or are looking for a great bang-for-buck mid-range set? Or do you have a strict lower budget in mind? 

Then, two of the biggest factors are size and the cameras. Phones are still creeping up and up in screen size, and some people want the biggest they can get, while some want to find a more one-handed phone, or a middle ground. Regarding the cameras, we all want something that can take excellent shots, right? But do you need fancy zoom lenses, or are you happy with a simpler array as long as it takes great shots?

How we test

T3 is one of the world's foremost experts in terms of reviewing and rating phones, and when it comes round to testing the best Android phones we've got a very detailed, multi-step process to sort the pretenders from the champs.

The first step we undertake is reviewing the phone from a design and build quality point of view. Here we want to discover exactly what the phone offers physically, aesthetically and in terms of connectivity. We're looking at general things like fit and finish here, too.

Next we're specifically looking at the Android phone's screen. We break the screen out as its own section, as a phone's screen is absolutely critical to a device's usage experience. We want to know what its size, resolution, panel type, coating, brightness and features are.

We also evaluate what the Android mobile offers in term of core internal hardware. So we're talking about its CPU, GPU, RAM and storage specs. Crucially, though, as we understand that specs and benchmark scores on paper can only take you so far in any judgement, we actually use the phone thoroughly in a variety of applications and games to see just what the hardware is capable of in a day-to-day usage case.

Cameras get a lot of weight in T3's testing – as a person's Android handset is also their primary camera in most circumstances. We're looking at not just the quality and size of the phone's camera lenses, but also the types delivered (wide-angle, telephoto, macro, black and white, etc) as well as what advanced sensors are on board. Of course we're obviously judging a camera system's quality by the images it produces, with us looking out for key scoring areas such as accuracy of colour reproduction, detail, and so forth.

We then move on to testing the phone's battery life. T3 does this purely based on real-world testing, using a phone continuously for a series of days as our own and then reporting in on just how long it lasts. We also compare the phone to other Android mobiles that offer the same sort of package or retail for the same sort of money to provide context. 

Only then do we bestow a star score out of 5 and, if it's high-scoring, we then consider it for inclusion in our best Android phones buying guide.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.