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Best Android Phone for 2019

April 5, 2019

5:15 am

Given the sheer amount of choice on offer, buying any Android phone — let alone picking the best one — can be overwhelming.

Fret not, though – we’re going to round up the best Google-powered phones on sale right now. And, unlike iPhones, you won’t always have to pay $1,000+ to get the best ones – in fact, some of our favorites cost as little as $350.

In this guide to buying the best Android phone, we’ll cover:

Which is the Best Android Phone?

When it comes to Android phones, the amount of choice can make it difficult to definitively choose the ‘best’ phone. For example, do you want the phone with the best camera? Or the one with the most power? What about the best screen? Some phones might tick one or more of these boxes, but none manage to be the best at everything.

You might have to make a compromise, but with so much choice, you’re likely to find a brilliant phone regardless.

  • Best Android phone overall – Despite tough competition, we’d still choose the Google Pixel 3 XL.
  • Best cheap Android phone – It’s difficult to look past the sub-$400 Moto g7 Plus
  • Best value Android phone – The OnePlus 6T is a phone that can do it all, and for a surprisingly low price

Scroll horizontally to view the full table on mobile

Google Pixel 3 XLSamsung Galaxy S10Samsung Galaxy S10eSamsung Galaxy Note 9Google Pixel 3Huawei Mate 20 ProHuawei P30 ProOnePlus 6TMoto g7 Plus
google pixel 3 xl smallsamsung galaxy s10 smallsamsung galaxy s10e smallsamsung galaxy note 9 smallgoogle pixel 3 smallhuawei mate 20 pro smallHuawei P30 Pro smalloneplus 6t smallmoto g7 plus small
VerdictThe best Android phone, bar noneComes very close to stealing the Pixel’s crown$250 less than the S10, with no big downsideNeed a phone to do literally everything? Look no furtherDated design and small battery mean it loses out to the XLA huge, and hugely impressive phone from HuaweiIf you want the largest feature set on a phone, this is for youIncredible value flagship alternativeA brilliant phone , despite the low price
Price$899$899$749$999$799$1,215$1,126$579$350
Screen size (in)6.36.15.86.45.56.396.476.416.2
Ram (GB)486 / 86 / 846 / 86 / 86 / 84
Storage (GB)64 / 128128 / 512128 / 256128 / 51264 / 128128 / 256128 / 256 / 512128 / 25664
Front cameras (Mp)8 + 8101088 + 824321612
Rear cameras (Mp)12.212 + 12 + 1612 + 1612 + 1212.240 + 20 + 840 + 20 + 8 + depth sensor16 + 2016 + 5
Buy it nowClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick here

How to Choose an Android Phone

When it comes to choosing an Android phone, it pays to keep the price and brand in mind at all times.

While all Android phones use the same core Android operating system, companies differ greatly in the way they actually implement the operating system on their phones. For example, some brands will apply skins on top of Android, changing the whole look and feel of their devices.

Some companies also release Android updates at a slower pace than others. Samsung and LG, for example, are known for taking a while to issue new versions of the OS to customers’ phones. Meanwhile, Google Pixel phones – unsurprisingly – get Android updates as soon as they’re ready. You’ll also find some phones using the Android One operating system – basically a completely stock version of Android – that get updates shortly after the Pixel phones.

When it comes to pricing, the variety of options on offer can throw up some interesting choices. For example, do you want to spend $899 on a new Samsung S10, or save $150 and buy an S10e for $749? Or what about the OnePlus 6T, which starts at $569?

If you go for one of the cheaper options, it’s worth considering that while you might not lose out on paper, it might not be constructed of the same high quality materials, and it might not have the same customer support offered by bigger brands.

Android vs iPhone

If you’re considering ditching Apple for Android, you’re not alone. It’s easier than ever to switch, and more people are jumping ship every day.

Android phones offer better choice, better value, and often better features than their iPhone counterparts. What’s more, Google has massively improved the security of its Play Store, formerly one of Apple’s key iPhone selling points.

You might be worried about Google search tracking, but the problem is almost as bad on iPhones now as it is on Android phones, with Google being Apple’s default search engine.

So, with all that out the way, let’s take a look at the best Android phones for 2019.

Google Pixel 3 XL

The Google Pixel 3 XL is the best Android phone on the market. It has a class-leading camera, runs a clean, stock version of Android, is beautifully made, and has performance to match even the fastest phones on the market.

Sadly, it’s not perfect. Its large notch can be a bit unsightly, and it doesn’t feature a headphone jack or expandable storage – both of which are still relatively common sights on Android phones.

However, the Pixel 3 XL offers the most complete and fully realized Android experience out there. While there are small tradeoffs, you’ll still be getting an incredible phone.

Read our full Google Pixel 3 XL review

google pixel 3 xl medium

Pros

  • Exceptional cameras
  • Speedy performance
  • Stock Android
  • Fantastic build quality
  • Great display

Cons

  • No expandable storage
  • Large notch
  • Doesn’t have all the features found on some Samsung and Huawei phones

Samsung Galaxy S10

The Galaxy S10 is Samsung’s latest flagship phone, and it is stunning.

Samsung phones have had brilliant displays for a while now, but the S10 takes it a step further with an incredible Dynamic AMOLED panel, virtually no bezels, and a new punchhole camera cut out. It also has support for HDR10+, which will make the content you watch look better than ever.

Beyond that, you get a new Snapdragon 855 processor, loads of Ram, a headphone jack, and expandable storage. It also uses OneUI, a new and significantly improved version of Samsung’s Android skin. It’s easier to understand and use, as well as looking a lot cleaner. If you’re the type of person that needs a phone that can do just about everything, the S10 is the perfect phone for you.

samsung galaxy s10 medium

Pros

  • Incredible display
  • Powerful processor and heaps of Ram
  • Now feels closer to stock Android
  • Unique design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Samsung is slow to issue updates

Samsung Galaxy S10e

The S10e might be the baby of Samsung’s new S10 range, but it’ll still blow your socks off.

It uses the same knockout Dynamic AMOLED screen tech as the bigger S10, and the same punch hole front camera design (although it loses the S10’s curved sides). It also uses the same Snapdragon 855 processor and has 6GB of Ram, so performance won’t be an issue.

In fact, there’s precious little that separates the S10e from its larger cousin – apart from the price. The S10e costs $749, a whole $250 less than the S10. This makes the S10e one of the best value phones on the market.

samsung galaxy s10e medium

Pros

  • Top-notch display
  • Fantastic value
  • Expandable storage and headphone jack
  • Punch hole camera design makes it look more expensive than it is

Cons

  • Smaller screen than S10
  • Single rear camera, unlike the S10’s dual rear cameras

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Note 9 is designed for people who need their phone to do literally everything, unlike the S10, which does just about everything.

Like the other Samsungs in this list, the Note 9 has a brilliant display – this time a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED unit. It also features stunning dual rear cameras, and is exceptionally well-built.

Its signature pop-out stylus (known as the S Pen) brings a range of new ways to interact with the phone, from using it as a camera remote, to sketching and note-taking while the phone itself is locked.

The Note 9 is a mobile worker’s dream. It offers split-screen multitasking, a large battery, and a powerful processor capable of running everything from Microsoft Excel to Fortnite.

However, it might be simply too big for a lot of people: It weighs 201 grams, and that 6.4-inch display means it dwarfs other large phones. It’s also expensive, with prices starting at $999. But, you’re getting a crazy amount of phone for your money.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 9

samsung galaxy note 9 medium

Pros

  • Large, sharp display
  • Unique S-Pen stylus
  • Powerful processor
  • Ideal for mobile workers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Might be too large for most people

Google Pixel 3

The Pixel 3 is like the Pixel 3 XL we spoke about above, but smaller. It swaps the XL’s 6.3-inch display for a smaller, lower resolution panel. It also has a smaller 2,915 mAh battery compared to the 3,430 mAh unit in the XL.

However, you get the same incredible front and rear cameras, the same clean Android experience, and the same impressive performance. Build quality remains excellent, too.

Starting from $799, the Pixel 3 is available for $200 less than the XL – an attractive saving.

google pixel 3 medium

Pros

  • Better value than the Pixel 3 XL
  • Exceptional cameras
  • Clean Android experience
  • No notch

Cons

  • Large bezels make it look a bit dated
  • No expandable storage or headphone jack

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Chinese company Huawei has been on a roll recently, announcing killer phone after killer phone – despite its phones not being offered by any US carriers.

The Mate 20 Pro is a powerhouse of a phone. It uses a 6.39-inch OLED display, runs Huawei’s own crazy-powerful Kirin 980 processor, and uses 6 or 8GB of Ram depending on which storage option you select. You get a huge 4,200 mAh battery and three rear cameras, including one with a 40Mp wide angle lens.

It’s expensive, mind, with prices starting at €1,049 (about $1,215). And, as we mentioned above, it has some availability issues in the US.

huawei mate 20 pro medium

Pros

  • Incredible triple rear cameras
  • Loads of power
  • Huge battery
  • Impressive display

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not available in the US

Huawei P30 Pro

The recently released P30 Pro is a technical tour de force. It features a 6.47-inch OLED display, with a tiny semi-circle notch and curved sides. It has the same large 4,200 mAh battery as the Mate 20 Pro, as well as the same powerful Kirin 980 processor.

However, the biggest improvements have been to the cameras. The P30 Pro features a 32Mp front camera and four rear cameras, including a time-of-flight depth sensing camera and an innovative ‘periscope’ camera which allows for a remarkable 5x optical zoom.

Again, though, you’ll need to pay through the nose to get at all those cameras. Prices start at €999 ($1,126), and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get one stateside, either.

Huawei P30 Pro Medium

Pros

  • Remarkable camera tech
  • Huge screen
  • Powerful processor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Availability issues

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has long been the go-to choice for people after a great value Android phone. With flagship specs and a surprisingly low price, the 6T is definitely a phone worth considering.

The 6T uses the powerful Snapdragon 845 processor, along with 6 or 8GB of Ram. It features a large 3700 mAh battery, and an equally large 6.41-inch AMOLED display. It also uses two 16Mp rear cameras and another 16Mp front camera.

All this top-notch hardware will set you back just $549 – remarkable value considering the specifications.

oneplus 6t medium

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Strong cameras
  • Large, sharp screen
  • Huge battery

Cons

  • Materials aren’t quite as impressive as flagship phones
  • Runs a fairly heavy Android skin

Motorola Moto g7 Plus

The Moto g7 Plus is one of the most impressive phones on the market today. It costs just £269 (about $350), but it looks like it should cost more than twice that.

It uses a 6.2-inch 1080×2270 resolution display, with a tiny teardrop notch, and minimal bezels. It has dual rear cameras, capable of taking impressive photos. It uses USB-C for remarkably quick fast charging abilities, and features a headphone jack and expandable storage.

Its Snapdragon 636 isn’t the fastest on the market, but it’s more than acceptable for everyday tasks. And, like the OnePlus, its materials aren’t quite as premium as some flagship phones. However, it feels reassuringly solid, and is very comfy to hold.

moto g7 plus medium

Pros

  • Remarkable value
  • Impressive display
  • Great cameras
  • Expandable storage and headphone jack
  • Uses a very light Android skin

Cons

  • Materials aren’t always the best
  • Processor sometimes struggles with intensive games

Which Android Phone Should You Buy?

The latest Samsung S10 is probably the most-featured packed phone on the market, so if you want to wow your friends, that’s the one to go for.

If you’re on a budget, get the OnePlus 6T or Moto g7 Plus. And if you simply want the best Android on the market, you should get the Google Pixel 3 XL.

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.co with a range of experience in the world of tech publishing. Tom covers everything from cybersecurity, to social media and website builders when he's not reviewing the latest phones, gadgets, or occasionally even technology books.