Right here T3 has compiled a thorough list of thev ery best Android phones available in 2019 from the likes of Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Sony, and Huawei. Each phone in this list has been selected by T3 for its ability to deliver a quality mobile phone experience.
The best Android phone of 2019 isn't necessarily going to be the same for everyone, though, and with that in mind we've covered a range of different phone makers, prices, features, and sizes. As such, whatever you're looking for from an Android phone, you should find something of interest here.
Ready to discover the best Android phones money can buy in 2019? Let's dive in!
The best Android phones of 2019: get the best Android smartphone for you
Simply put, the best Android phone in the world
Reasons to buy
If you're looking for the best Android smartphone money can buy, stop reading and buy the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Simply put, this is the fastest, most feature-packed and refined Galaxy smartphone Samsung has ever built.
The Galaxy S10 Plus is the first handset to employ its all-new Infinity-O design with an AMOLED panel. And what an AMOLED panel it is! The screen is staggeringly good, with gorgeous colours and cavernous blacks. The Infinity-O design, which relocates the front-facing camera to a pill-shaped cut-out in the top right-hand corner of the display, has allowed Samsung to fit the S10 Plus with an expansive 6.4-inch AMOLED panel – that's the same size as the Galaxy Note 9 – while simultaneously shrinking the physical size of the handset compared to the 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus from last year.
Elsewhere, there are dual-selfie cameras to enable Live Focus photos packed with bokeh-style blur, a new ultra-wide angle camera in the rear-mounted triple-camera, and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner that works with wet hands.
Finally, the new One UI operating system, which is based on Android Pie, is infinitely better than anything from the likes of Huawei, LG or Sony. One UI has been designed from the ground-up to acknowledge that while we all want massive screens on our phones, massive smartphones are really annoying to use, especially one-handed while squished into the train carriage during a morning commute. To solve this headache, One UI shifts all the elements of the user interface that you’ll actually need to tap into the lower-third of the touchscreen where they are within easy reach.
Of course, there are some nitpicks with this flagship phone – which we cover extensively in our Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review, but none of these stop this from becoming our new go-to recommendation for anyone who wants the best Android handset around.
The second best Android phone in the world right now
Reasons to buy
We really, really like what Huawei has managed to do with the Huawei P30 Pro, and it easily slides into our best Android phones of 2019 list. It makes an appearance at the expense of the P20 Pro, and builds on everything that made that 2018 handset great as well.
We're talking internal components that are enough to give it lightning-fast performance (note the Kirin 980 processor and up to 8GB of RAM), as well as a quad-lens camera capable of performing some really impressive tricks – not least a whopping 5x of optical zoom!
This being a Huawei phone, the software experience is a long way from being the best in the business. However, the excellent hardware and build quality means that the P30 Pro ends up a long way in credit when everything is considered.
A fantastic Android phone with killer specs and unique stylus functionality
Reasons to buy
The Note 10 excels in every department, from the quality of the components under the hood, to the fit and polish of the design, to the impressive results you can get from the versatile camera system.
What really makes the Note 10 stand out on this best Android phones list, though, is that superb S Pen stylus. It's been improved and upgraded once more this year with a huge 10-hour battery life and new Air Gestures feature, the latter allowing you to control your phone by using the stylus like a wand. Everything from the playback of videos and music tracks, to the browsing of websites, and onto the control of the phone's camera can now be undertaken with a flick of the wrist.
With a screen size of 6.3 inches, and a 3,500mAh battery inside, this is a phone that you can get some serious work done on. There's also some excellent audio capability packed in here, with Dolby Atmos and UHQ upscaling included. Whichever part of the Note 10 you look at, it ends up impressing.
It has a bigger brother, too, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which can be selected in a 5G variant. This phone is technically better equipped than the standard Note 10, but it costs much more and, with a humongous 6.8-inch screen, is unwieldy to use. And, considering the standard Note 10 delivers 95% of its functionality for hundreds of pounds less, it is the obvious choice in the range.
The best Android phone for flagship specs at a bargain price point
Reasons to buy
This handset builds on the excellent Xiaomi Mi 9 to add even more in the way of functionality and features – and it ditches the front display notch to give you even more in the way of screen (the 20MP selfie camera is moved to a motorised pop-up unit).
Like its predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro combines flagship-level specs with a design that's guaranteed to turn heads wherever you get this phone out. Combine that with a very appealing price and it's a fantastic all-round package from Xiaomi – one that's well worth a place on our best Android phones of 2019 list.
There is some cutting of corners here, like the lack of waterproofing and wireless charging, but at this sort of price it's difficult to grumble. Xiaomi continues to outdo itself and give Apple, Samsung and Google plenty to worry about.
If you can live with Xiaomi's rather haphazard take on Android then this is a phone that's going to give you several years of top-notch performance. The camera is another point in the positives column too, giving you very decent results most of the time (even in low light).
Still a simply jaw-dropping Android phone
Reasons to buy
In our Huawei Mate 20 Pro review T3's own Robert Jones said that:
"When you've got a device that not only packs the world's fastest CPU, but also one with some genuine sit-up-and-take-notice features like a fantastically executed in-display fingerprint reader and futuristic reverse wireless charging ability, it's easy to see how the Huawei Mate 20 Pro rises above the me-too melee."
And rise above it does, with a simply stunning hardware, screen, camera and software package propelling it towards upper echelons of our best Android phone buying guide.
The 4,200 mAh battery, for example, is capacious and long-lasting, while the OLED, HDR, 19.5:9 screen is a crisp, colour-rich stunner. Three powerful camera lenses on the back (40MP + 20MP + 8MP), as well as a ridiculously potent front facing lens (24MP!), make photography pleasurable (although not quite as much as when using the P30 Pro!), while the combination of 6GB of RAM with the Kirin 980 CPU means incredibly high benchmark scores.
Oh, and the in-display fingerprint reader and reverse wireless charging capability is hat-tippingly impressive, adding genuine wow-factor to a device. It may be a year old now, but he Mate 20 Pro remains a truly superb Android phone.
A quality Android phone with one of the absolute best cameras on the market
Reasons to buy
The Google Pixel 3 phones aren't a huge leap forward from the Pixel 2 models, but they are enough of an upgrade to warrant a place on our list of the best Android phones for 2019. The specs above refer to the larger Google Pixel 3 XL – if you prefer you can pay a little less money for the slightly smaller (and notch-free) Pixel 3 instead, as almost all the specs are the same.
Inside the phones we have the Snapdragon 845 to keep everything ticking along nicely, while Google is now using a glass backing to enable wireless charging on the Pixels for the first time. Its traditional two-tone design is still in place though, with a textured finish that feels good in the hand.
As in previous years though, it's the camera where the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL really stand out: even though it's a single-lens model, it's capable of some fantastic shots, especially with upgrades like Night Sight for low light photography. Its camera system isn't as flexible as the Huawei P30 Pro's, but the pictures are arguably even crisper and better balanced. It's perhaps the main reason you would pick the PIxel 3 as the best Android phone on the market.
Another reason would be those speedy Android updates, straight from Google. There's no bloatware or extra Android skin here, so you're guaranteed a slick and intuitive software experience for years to come. Google's individual apps continue to impress too, though of course you can get them on any Android or iOS phone.
7. Nokia 9 PureView
The best Android phone for a lot of camera lenses
Reasons to buy
The Nokia 9 PureView has no fewer than five – count them, five – lenses making up its rear camera, and that means it's capable of taking some seriously good photos (even if your mobile photography skills leave a lot to be desired).
It's not all about the camera though. Nokia's newest flagship device comes complete with a Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB of RAM, so it's not going to be slowing down anytime soon... even while it's taking 60MP photos.
You can get better specs than those with some of the other best Android phones of 2019, but factor in the price and the rather appealing build quality, and this is definitely worth a spot on our list.
8. Sony Xperia 10 Plus
A fantastic Android phone for watching movies
Reasons to buy
Slowly but surely, Sony's phones are getting better (and more modern-looking) with each passing year, and the Xperia 10 Plus is definitely going to turn heads thanks to its 6.5-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio display.
Whether you're binge-watching Netflix or trying to fit two apps on screen at once, that screen is going to come in handy (the high-resolution audio helps as well). This being Sony, the camera optics are top-notch too, and a dual-lens rear camera gives you 2x optical zoom.
Some of the other specs are distinctly mid-range but the Sony Xperia 10 Plus will still handle everything you throw at it admirably. You have to factor in the price too, which helps make this one of the best Android phones of 2019.
Deserving of a wider audience, the HTC U12+ is a best Android phone wildcard
Reasons to buy
HTC might not attract as many headlines as the likes of Samsung or Google, but it continues to push out some top-quality Android phones, and the HTC U12+ is its latest flagship smartphone (don't worry, you didn't miss the U12 – HTC went straight to the Plus version).
The phone certainly competes with the best on the hardware front, and you get a Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB of RAM under the hood here, together with up to 128GB of storage space (and a microSD slot to add more). The 6-inch, 1440 x 2880 pixel LCD display looks the part too, and HTC has decided to avoid the display notch by keeping a thin bezel all across the top of the screen.
Around the back of the phone there's a dual-lens 12MP+16MP camera, and like several HTC phones before it, it's capable of some very impressive snaps. You also get a host of unusual features you don't get in many other handsets, like the advanced BoomSound speaker audio system, and the Edge Squeeze feature that lets you squeeze the sides of the phone to launch certain actions.
The glossy design won't be to everyone's tastes, the battery life isn't as great as some of its rivals, and HTC's take on Android isn't one of the best either – but these are minor quibbles with what's otherwise a very good Android flagship.
The best Android phone for quality photos on a budget
Reasons to buy
Anyone paying any attention at all to Android phones will be familiar with the Pixel line – including the hefty Pixel 3 XL listed above – but what you might have missed is the more low-key 3a, released earlier this year. If you did, you're missing out.
The main selling point of the 3a is the price: £399. That gets you a Pixel-branded smartphone with all the bells and whistles of its bigger brothers – guaranteed Android updates, Google Photos storage, an amazing camera – at a fraction of the cost. In fact, almost half the cost.
There are, of course, some cut-backs that accompany such a low price point, the main one being that the 3a is made of plastic, unlike its more expensive brethren. But if that doesn't bother you – plastic has many upsides, most notably not shattering all the time – it's hard to look elsewhere. Plus, thanks to the smaller 5.6-inch display, you can use this phone one-handed.