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Update: We’ve updated our best Android phones list with the latest handsets from OnePlus and Huawei.
There’s one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition – the number of phones out there running Google’s hot mobile OS.
The big names are all here; Samsung, LG, Huawei, OnePlus and Google are at the fore. The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.
While we’ve already had a huge number of major launches this year, but the HTC U12 Plus is just finishing off our in-depth review process before we see where it lands in our list.
Will it manage to top our list of best Android phones? Only time will tell.
- Best smartphone: the 15 top phones we’ve tested
- Best cheap phone: head here if you need a device under £200
To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we’ve rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
So here they are – the best Android phones money can buy today.
Samsung has once again taken the top spot of the best Android phone in the world right now.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy S9 Plus is in the top position of this list thanks to an incredible design, amazing display and some truly great power packed into the phone.
Everything that has made Samsung phones great over the last few years has been packed into this 6.2-inch device – that’s almost bezeless too – and comes with top of the range hardware and some easy to use Android software.
Samsung has added a dual-camera to the rear to enhance low-light photography, plus there’s a better located fingerprint scanner and 960fps slo-motion video recording.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is now the second best Android phone in world, missing out on top spot narrowly to its bigger brother which boasts an extra camera on the rear.
There’s still a lot to love about the S9 though, with an expansive 5.8-inch Infinity Display, powerful chipset, 4GB of RAM and excellent 12MP rear facing camera.
Its battery life isn’t quite as strong as the S8 it replaces, and visually it’s almost identical to its predecessor. However, the small changes are welcome and it’s an impressive all-round offering.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9
What’s this? A Huawei phone at number three? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P20 Pro really is third in our best Android phone rundown.
After years of threatening the top players in the smartphone game without really worrying them, 2018 has seen a significant uptick from the Chinese firm and the beautiful P20 Pro.
The triple camera setup on the rear of the P20 Pro provides great flexibility – and an excellent low-light mode – while the battery life comfortably gets through a day.
Then there’s the eye-catching, two-tone finish on the rear which really sets the P20 Pro apart from the competition.
Read our full review: Huawei P20 Pro
The LG G7 ThinQ is a confident step up from its predecessor – the LG G6 – with LG allowing itself to be a little bolder with the design and features on its latest flagship Android phone.
Its display comes with an ultra-bright mode which boosts brightness to an eye-dazzling 1000nits, handy if you’re desperately trying to Instagram your latest snap from the beach.
The AI built into the camera can recognize what you’re shooting and adjust the settings accordingly, to give you the best shot.
There are two cameras on the rear of the G7 ThinQ, with the secondary snapper offering up a super-wide angle lens to give you a different perspective on things. We just wish LG would drop the ‘ThinQ’ part of the name.
Read our full review: LG G7 ThinQ
Huawei is getting really good at making competitive, high-end flagships these days and the Mate 10 Pro is a top Android phablet.
The standout feature is battery life, toppling pretty much every other phone on this list, but it’s also got a decent slug of power under the hood to handle any task you can chuck at it.
For those looking for a strong camera performance from their phone need to take a look at the Mate 10 Pro as well. Phones higher up in this list offer better auto modes, but for camera enthusiasts the Mate 10 Pro provides a great selection of modes and settings.
Read our full review: Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- Also consider: After something a little smaller? Then check out the Huawei P20 – a flagship phone that fits a little easier into the palm of your hand, it has a heap of power and dual cameras too.
Three Samsung phones in the top six?! It may seem extreme, but there’s a very good reason why – they’re all really, really good.
The Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t quite hit the heights of its newer S9 siblings, but it’s a triumphant return to form for a series that was potentially in trouble after the Note 7 debacle.
But enough about other handsets, what makes the Galaxy Note 8 worthy of its fifth place birth? There’s no question the phablet is more of a niche device, but its iconic S Pen stylus is now even better, with higher accuracy and more levels of pressure sensitivity making it great for sketching and drawing.
Then there’s the massive 6.3-inch QHD Infinity Display which is superb for movies and games, and with a display this big using apps side-by-side isn’t just possible, it makes sense!
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Also consider: Does the S Pen scream productivity to you? If it’s a business workhorse you want the BlackBerry Key2 is an email machine with a full QWERTY keyboard for you to bash out messages on.
Google’s Pixel range matured in 2017, and the Pixel 2 XL is the firm’s top dog with its impressive, slender bezel design, dual front-facing speakers and simply fantastic camera.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone and camera quality is of high importance, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. The camera on the Google Pixel 2 XL is one of the most impressive snappers we’ve used on a phone.
There’s also a whole heap of power under the hood, and the 6-inch display gives you lots of space to operate.
It’s not the most premium feeling phone in the hand – a shame considering the price tag – and the viewing angle on the screen is very narrow before a blue tint creeps in, but there’s no question this is a great device.
Read the full review: Google Pixel 2 XL
The OnePlus 6 excels in the flagship arena thanks to a combination of impressive specs and an affordable price tag.
It has the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, there’s a premium all-glass design making it look and feel the part, and you get to choose from either 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s fingerprint and face unlock, dual rear cameras and water proofing – all for a price which is lower than pretty much every other phone on this list.
Read the full review: OnePlus 6
- Also consider: If the OnePlus 6 is still a little rich for your liking, take a look at the Honor 10. It’s got a big screen, loads of power under the hood and a premium design for less.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus may have been usurped by the Galaxy S9 Plus, but the differences between the two are low.
It means that the Galaxy S8 Plus is still a great buy, and it now has a lower price tag making it an enticing proposition.
You still get a fantastic display, futuristic design and a great camera, making it a solid choice for those looking to save a few pounds.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
There are lot of super-sized smartphones in our best Android phones list, but what about those crying out for a dinky dialler that fits more snugly in the hand? Enter the Google Pixel 2.
It packs the same powerful punch and stunning camera capabilities as its larger sibling, the Pixel 2 XL, but wraps it all up in a smaller package complete with a more manageable 5-inch display.
The resolution is ‘only’ full HD, and the battery life isn’t the strongest on show here, but for a pure Android experience that fits in your palm and will take great photos the Pixel 2 is hard to beat.
Read the full review: Google Pixel 2