Even though Apple may have officially started the smartphone age, Android-based devices continue to rule the market, especially outside of the US. There is likely an Android out there to suit just about any taste, which is not surprising given the wide variety of manufacturers creating Android handsets across a wide range of pricing points.
Even though Samsung dominates the global market for Android devices, US consumers will also have access to Motorola, Sony, OnePlus, and, of course, Google’s own Pixel smartphones. The major Chinese companies, including as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and others, are much more competitive outside of North America.
That means there is a ton of variety available, far more than you can get from the few new iPhone models that are launched each year. Users of Android devices can also choose from novel form factors like the current wave of Samsung-led foldable phones that are currently available.
Because Android is so open, switching between brands is simple, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to continue with Samsung just because you now use one. Don’t allow the fact that you already own an iPhone deter you; switching to Android is now simpler than ever.
At Tech Advisor, we rigorously evaluate every phone on our own to ensure that you always have access to the greatest options. It will be helpful to click through to our in-depth reviews, as we have comprehensive benchmarks, test photographs, and more. These are now our top 10 picks, but keep coming back as we frequently update this list.
Best Android phones 2022
1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – Best Android phone
The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t feel like an S22 at all – in fact this is more like a covert revival of Samsung’s once-loved Note brand, with a distinct design from its S22 siblings and a built-in slot to store the included S-Pen stylus.
The camera is one of the best in any phone, with a 108Mp main shooter backed up by an ultrawide and two telephoto lenses at different zoom levels – with the zoom performance particularly improved on previous models.
The expansive 6.8in LTPO AMOLED display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, and with S-pen stylus support it comfortably fills the productivity niche of the former Note phones.
2. Google Pixel 7 Pro – Best software
Pixel phones have always been about the camera, and the 7 Pro’s camera – while not quite our favourite right now – is absolutely fantastic, with versatility thanks to the inclusion of an ultrawide and a periscopic telephoto.
The bigger edge to the phone is Google’s software though. The 7 Pro runs the best version of Android around, with the clean simplicity of stock Android plus all of Google’s excellent Pixel-exclusive upgrades, now powered by the company’s second-gen in-house Tensor chip.
You’ll have to put up with slow charging (and buy your own charger to boot), and accept the fact that this is a big phone with a divisive design – you may well love it, but there are plenty out there who don’t. The regular Pixel 7 is a little smaller (and cheaper), but lacks that telephoto camera and has a slightly more basic display.
3. Vivo X80 Pro – Best camera
You may not have heard of Vivo before, but you should definitely be paying attention.
The company is a giant of the Chinese smartphone market, and is slowly expanding its international reach – which is a good thing, because it’s been an open secret for the last few years that Vivo probably makes the best cameras in any phone around.
The X80 Pro is no exception, with four phenomenal rear cameras. The 50Mp main lens is phenomenal, but it’s the 48Mp ultrawide that really blows away all the competition, and the two zoom lenses add extra options. The tech is really at its best in low light, with hands-down the best night mode available anywhere.
It’s a great phone elsewhere too, with a top-class display, fast charging, and excellent battery life. The main frustration is that the company’s Android skin is a little awkward, but if you care about the camera and can afford to spend this much, it’s hard to do better.
4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – Best foldable
Samsung’s first few attempts at foldables were fun, but sometimes felt like novelties. With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Korean tech giant has unequivocally got it right.
Core specs are top-tier throughout, with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in tow, and the 12Mp main camera is as capable as almost any around – though you may miss having a telephoto lens.
Even battery life is now impressive, comfortably lasting a full day’s use when its predecessors simply couldn’t. You’ll just have to be willing to take a chance that the folding screen will last as long as Samsung says.
If you want something bigger, the Z Fold 4 is pretty great too, but the higher price, dodgy under-display camera, and software quirks make it less of a home-run than its smaller sibling.
5. Google Pixel 6a – Best mid-range
If you can’t afford the Pixel 7 Pro or 7, then Google has another option for you: the decidedly affordable Pixel 6a.
This mid-range phone packs a similar flagship Tensor chip to its bigger brothers, along with a familiar design. But it’s a much smaller phone, and made from plastic rather than glass.
There are downside, of course. The camera specs aren’t quite the same, though it still impresses. You’ll also get slower charging and only a 60Hz refresh rate on the display. If you can live with those downsides though, this is an excellent option for the price.
Read also: 5 Reasons Why You should fall in Love with Chinese Smartphones
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