We test a ton of Android phones. We like the ones below, but you’ll be better off with one of the options above. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our Best Cheap Phones guide for more.
Google Pixel 5A for $449: Google says it will continue selling the Pixel 5A (9/10, WIRED Recommends) for a period of time, and there are a few reasons to stick with it instead of the new Pixel 6A. First, the size. If you prefer a larger phone, the Pixel 5A’s 6.3-inch OLED screen will satisfy you. Second, a larger phone means a bigger battery—the Pixel 5A lasted us nearly two full days during testing. And third, there’s a headphone jack, which is no longer present on the Pixel 6A. It will stop getting software updates in August 2024.
Google Pixel 6 Pro for $899: The Pixel 6 is more than enough for most people. The Pro version adds an excellent 4X optical zoom camera, a larger 6.7-inch screen, and curved edges (which I actually don’t like much). These perks aren’t really worth the $300 upcharge, but it still makes for a very good phone.
OnePlus Nord N20 5G for $300: The Nord N20 5G (7/10, WIRED Recommends) packs a ton of features despite the low price. The first caveats I need to mention are that 5G does not work on AT&T, and this phone isn’t compatible with Verizon at all. It will also only get one Android OS update (though it will receive three years of security patches). If none of that matters to you, you’re getting an AMOLED screen, great performance, NFC, a MicroSD card, a headphone jack, and day-long battery life. Not bad at all.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE for $600: The S21 FE (7/10, WIRED Recommends) frequently sits at $600 or less, so you shouldn’t pay a dollar more. It adopts many of the same features from last year’s Galaxy S21 but cuts a few corners to lower the price. It runs smoothly and has a bright 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, plus a 120-Hz screen refresh rate. The battery is bigger than the standard S21 and comfortably lasts more than a full day. The cameras are a bit different, but you still get an ultrawide and telephoto zoom alongside the main camera for a reliable imaging system. This is a no-nonsense phone that checks all the boxes. Its software support is excellent too, with a guarantee of four Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates.
Moto G Stylus 5G 2022 for $488: This Motorola (6/10, WIRED Review) is a different phone from the Moto G Stylus 2022—confusing, I know. It’s pricier, but it’s much better. Aside from 5G support, performance is smooth enough to never cause any frustration, the battery comes close to nearly two full days, and the stylus remains if you want to sign some documents on the go. It’s also one of the few Motorola phones with NFC, so you can make contactless payments. Unfortunately, it will only get Android 13 in the future and three years of security updates, which isn’t quite as good as peers like the Pixel 5A or Samsung Galaxy A53. Also, the cameras aren’t anywhere near as good.
OnePlus 9 for $500 and OnePlus 9 Pro for $700: Last year’s OnePlus phones are solid buys, especially at these discounted prices (8/10, WIRED Recommends). I’d argue you should wait for prices to dip even further though. The cameras are solid, and the rest of the hardware is excellent as usual. Neither phone has a real standout feature. You’ll only get two more Android OS upgrades (they just received Android 12) and three years of security updates.
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