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Article updated on May 10, 2024 at 2:30 AM PDT

Best Android Phone of 2024

From foldables to new phones from Samsung, Google and Motorola, these are the best Android phones of 2024.

Our Experts

Written by 
Andrew Lanxon
Lisa Eadicicco
Patrick Holland
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones | Photography | iOS | Android | Gaming | Outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple | Samsung | Google | Smartphones | Smartwatches | Wearables | Fitness trackers
Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple | iPhone | iOS | Android | Samsung | Sony | Google | Motorola | Interviews | Coffee equipment | Cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
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CNET’s expert staff reviews and rates dozens of new products and services each month, building on more than a quarter century of expertise.

What to Consider

iOS or Android

Size

Cameras

Software support

Our Picks

$800 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy S24
Best Android phone for most people
Samsung Galaxy S24
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$699 at Google
Image of Google Pixel 8
Best Android phone under $700
Google Pixel 8
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$1,170 at Best Buy
Image of Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Best premium Android phone
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
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$421 at Amazon
Image of Google Pixel 7A
Best Android phone for under $500
Google Pixel 7A
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$900 at OnePlus
Image of OnePlus 12
Best high performance flagship with a lower price
OnePlus 12
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$1,000 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Best foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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$999 at Best Buy
Image of Google Pixel 8 Pro
The best Google has to offer
Google Pixel 8 Pro
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$1,800 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Best for productivity and entertainment
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
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$700 at Nothing
Image of Nothing Phone 2
A flashy yet affordable phone
Nothing Phone 2
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$1,000 at Motorola
Image of Motorola Razr Plus
Best compact flip phone
Motorola Razr Plus
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$349 at Google Store
The back of Google's Pixel 6A phone
Best camera for its price
Google Pixel 6A
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There are many fantastic Android phones on the market, including flagship and budget models from brands like Samsung, Google or OnePlus. This can also make the buying process more difficult since it can be hard to know where to start. CNET is here to help. We've researched and tested all the best Android phones you can buy in 2024.

A great phone should have high-quality cameras, long battery life, compelling software features and 5G support. We considered these factors when putting together our list of the best Android phones in 2024, which you can check out below. The CNET team updates this list periodically as we review new products. 

What's the best Android phone?

The $800 Samsung Galaxy S24's battery life is amazing. That's not the only reason it's our pick for best Android phone. It gets seven years of major Android updates and the cameras are good (there's even a 3x telephoto lens for zooming). Then there are all the AI features: most are just OK, but Circle to Search is outstanding. Samsung didn't reinvent the phone, but it did take a great phone (the Galaxy S23) and make it better.

There are plenty of other excellent choices out there, although the Pixel 8 is our current favorite.

Best Android phones of 2024

$800 at Samsung

Best Android phone for most people

Samsung Galaxy S24

What impresses me the most about the Samsung Galaxy S24 isn't the new Galaxy AI features, brighter screens or solid cameras. It's the battery life. After testing, I can say the larger battery in the Galaxy S24 has no trouble plowing through a long day of use on a single charge.

The S24 is a wonderful, well-built phone that is excellent right out of the box just as the nearly identical S22 and S23 were before it. This similarity to the S22 and S23 can be viewed as either a strength because the design reflects three years of refinements, or a weakness because features like the camera hardware are essentially identical to what came out in 2022. All of these features are overshadowed by the battery life. you'll never hear anyone complain about getting too much battery life. Read our Samsung Galaxy S24 review.

$699 at Google

Best Android phone under $700

Google Pixel 8

The Pixel 8 has many of the features of the more expensive Pixel 8 Pro but comes in a slightly smaller package and with a smaller price tag to match. You'll find the Tensor G3 processor on board, along with Android 14 software that includes AI tools like the generative image wallpaper creator. It also comes with the same guarantee of at least seven years of security updates so this phone will still be going strong in 2030 -- as long as you look after it. 

The rear cameras are more cut back here though, as the base Pixel 8 lacks the 5x optical zoom camera seen on its bigger brother. As a professional photographer, I love the lens. If photography isn't a priority for you, you can save yourself a bundle and opt for the cheaper of Google's new range. The Pixel 8's higher price $699 seems worth it and makes you realize just how incredibly affordable the $599 Pixel 6 and 7 were and still are. Read our Google Pixel 8 review.

$1,170 at Best Buy

Best premium Android phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

With a sharper 5x optical zoom, a faster new processor and that familiar giant display and 100x digital zoom, the Samsung’s “Ultra” phone remains a top choice for mobile photographers who want plenty of screen space. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is also one of the first phones with Samsung’s new Galaxy AI features, which include tools for translating text messages and phone calls instantly and Circle to Search, a new gesture that lets you launch a Google search for almost anything simply by drawing a circle around it. Like the previous two generations, the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with an embedded S Pen for those who like jotting down notes or doodling. Perhaps best of all, Samsung has committed to updating these devices with new versions of Android for seven years, meaning it shouldn’t feel out of date anytime soon.


Still, there are some important downsides to consider. At $1,300, this phone is expensive, so be sure to look for trade-in discounts if you plan to upgrade. For that high price, I had hoped Samsung would’ve added extra Galaxy AI features that are specific to the Ultra -- perhaps some that take advantage of the S Pen. Galaxy AI is the same on all Galaxy S24 devices, and it’ll be coming to the Galaxy S23 lineup soon too, so you don’t have to splurge on Samsung’s top-of-the-line phone if you just care about those features. Read our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review.

$699 at Google

Best Android phone under $700

Google Pixel 8

The Pixel 8 has many of the features of the more expensive Pixel 8 Pro but comes in a slightly smaller package and with a smaller price tag to match. You'll find the Tensor G3 processor on board, along with Android 14 software that includes AI tools like the generative image wallpaper creator. It also comes with the same guarantee of at least seven years of security updates so this phone will still be going strong in 2030 -- as long as you look after it. 

The rear cameras are more cut back here though, as the base Pixel 8 lacks the 5x optical zoom camera seen on its bigger brother. As a professional photographer, I love the lens. If photography isn't a priority for you, you can save yourself a bundle and opt for the cheaper of Google's new range. The Pixel 8's higher price $699 seems worth it and makes you realize just how incredibly affordable the $599 Pixel 6 and 7 were and still are. Read our Google Pixel 8 review.

$421 at Amazon

Best Android phone for under $500

Google Pixel 7A

Google's budget phone leaped forward in 2023 with the Pixel 7A, which offers many of the same benefits as the Pixel 7 but at a cheaper price. Like the Pixel 7, the Pixel 7A runs on Google's Tensor G2 processor, meaning it has many of the same photo editing and language translation features as its pricier sibling. The Pixel 7A's 64-megapixel camera also takes excellent photos that rival the Pixel 7's in quality. 

While we still like the Pixel 7, the Pixel 7A's lower price makes it a better deal for most people. Only opt for the Pixel 7 if you really want a slightly larger screen and are willing to pay the extra $100 for it. Otherwise, the main differences between the Pixel 7 and 7A come down to the former's more durable build, slightly faster charging and its ability to wirelessly charge compatible accessories. The Pixel 7 also has a larger camera sensor that's more sensitive to light, according to Google, but CNET's Lisa Eadicicco didn't notice much of a difference. Read our Google Pixel 7A review.

$900 at OnePlus

Best high performance flagship with a lower price

OnePlus 12

If fast charging, powerful performance and having a large, bright screen matter most to you in a phone, check out the OnePlus 12. OnePlus’ new phone can go from empty to full in less than 30 minutes thanks to its 80W charging in the US, a perk that can be helpful if you have a long day ahead and forgot your charger. It runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, which feels swift and zippy whether you’re playing games or just scrolling around the interface. The OnePlus 12’s 4,500-nit peak brightness also makes it ideal for outdoor use, since its screen is noticeably brighter than rivals like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. 

There’s room for improvement when it comes to the camera. While shots taken on the Plus 12 are decent, CNET’s Andrew Lanxon found nighttime photos look too dark and described the optical zoom as “very hit or miss.” It’s also worth noting that the OnePlus 12 gets four years of software updates. That would have been fine by 2023’s standards, but Google and Samsung now offer seven years of Android updates, which keeps those devices fresh and relevant for a longer period. Read our OnePlus 12 review.

$1,000 at Samsung

Best foldable phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the biggest leap forward Samsung's flip phone has seen in years. Samsung has significantly expanded the size of the cover screen located on the outside of the device, meaning you can look up directions, take photos and send messages without opening the phone. It's this combined with the Z Flip's solid battery life and sturdy design that makes it a top pick.

The Z Flip 5 may be our favorite flip phone, but there are still some drawbacks to be aware of. At $1,000, it's still expensive for a phone without a telephoto camera. Not all apps work natively on the front screen as they do on the Motorola Razr Plus. Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review.

$999 at Best Buy

The best Google has to offer

Google Pixel 8 Pro

While we had some early issues with the Google Pixel 8 Pro -- mostly with its cameras shooting Raw files -- further testing and software updates from Google meant we eventually came away thinking quite highly of the Pixel 8 Pro. It's got a lot going for it, from its slick design and easy-to-use Android 14 software to its rear camera setup, which can take some genuinely beautiful images. Google has sprinkled a variety of new AI features throughout the phone too, including a tool that uses generative AI to create wallpapers for the phone, and a camera feature that allows you to combine different faces from a series of burst images of a group of friends to make sure that everyone looks their best. 

One of the best updates is Google's commitment to providing seven years of security updates to the Pixel 8 series, meaning this phone will still be safe to use in at least 2030. While we haven't been as impressed with this year's 8 Pro as we were with the 7 Pro, it's still a great phone to consider, especially if you're keen to hold on to your phone for longer. Read our Google Pixel 8 Pro review.

$1,800 at Samsung

Best for productivity and entertainment

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an incremental improvement that further refines Samsung's large-screened foldable. If you're looking for a phone that can double as a tablet for viewing work-related documents, running multiple apps on screen at once or watching movies, the Z Fold 5 is our top choice. The Pixel Fold may have better cameras, but the Z Fold 5's bright screen makes Samsung's phone better at its intended purpose: providing a big display that fits in your pocket.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's $1,800 price is still hard to swallow and puts it out of range for most people. If you can afford it, the Z Fold 5 is the best iteration of Samsung's phone-tablet hybrid yet. Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review.

$700 at Nothing

A flashy yet affordable phone

Nothing Phone 2

The Nothing Phone 2 stands out for its unconventional design that incorporates flashing LED lights, a relatively low price and fast performance. Unlike the Nothing Phone 1, you can buy the Nothing Phone 2 in the US, for $699. It's best suited for those who want a phone with a large, bright screen, powerful processor and a design that makes a statement, all for well below $1,000.

That said, it's important to remember that Nothing has a lot of competition in this price range. If camera quality is your top priority, you can get the Pixel 7A at a lower price of $449. Read our Nothing Phone 2 review.

$1,000 at Motorola

Best compact flip phone

Motorola Razr Plus

The Motorola Razr Plus raised the bar for what a flip phone should be in 2023. Its 3.6-inch cover screen allows you to use almost any app without opening the phone, plus battery life is long enough to get you through a busy day. It's also thinner than the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which could make it the ideal choice for those who prioritize portability in a phone.

While I recommend the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as the best flip phone overall, the Razr Plus is worth considering if you prefer a thinner design and want to use more apps on the phone's front screen without much extra fuss. The Razr Plus felt more fragile than the Z Flip 5 during my testing, but it's certainly thinner, making it a great choice for those who care about compactness above all else. Read our Motorola Razr Plus review.

$349 at Google Store

Best camera for its price

Google Pixel 6A

The Pixel 6A is a solid choice if you want 5G and a great camera on the cheap, especially at its new $349 price. This Pixel phone has the same Tensor chip that powers the Pixel 6, great rear cameras with many of Google's shooting and editing tools, a 6.1-inch display and average battery life. At this price, it's the best value you can get from an Android phone right now. Read our Google Pixel 6A review.

Other phones we tested

The $450 Samsung Galaxy A54 5G proves you can get a phone with solid performance for a very reasonable price. It packs a 6.4-inch display, an octa-core processor that offers enough power for daily essentials (including light gaming) and a camera that does a decent job of handling your out-and-about snaps. Its 128GB of storage will be enough for most people, and those who need more space can expand it with microSD cards up to 1TB in size.

The $1,400 Sony Xperia 1 V retains all the best features of previous Xperia 1 phones, like a 4K high refresh rate display, expandable storage, cutting-edge cameras with eye-tracking autofocus, a 5,000-mAh battery, a dedicated hardware shutter button and a headphone jack, all wrapped in Sony's lovely, mundane utilitarian design. The phone brims with numerous quality-of-life improvements for its target audience of creative types like photographers, filmmakers, musicians and gamers who want nuanced control over the content they make. Its $1,400 price tag keeps this phone squarely aimed beyond most consumers.

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is a $1,200 gaming phone that takes nearly every feature to the extreme. It has a 5,500-mAh battery, a 6.78-inch AMOLED with a high refresh rate and touch sampling rate, 65W wired charging and even a door on the back for a detachable fan to keep the phone's Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip as cool as possible. The software is optimized and easily customized for gaming including touch-sensitive areas on the sides of the phone that double as shoulder buttons for games. 

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How we test phones

A smart funny intelligent man who is charming taking a photo with a phone

We test every aspect of a new phone from the battery and processor to the cameras.

John Kim/CNET

We test every phone in real-world scenarios focusing on its features, design, performance, cameras, battery life and overall value. We document our findings in an initial review that is periodically updated when there are new software updates or to compare against new phones from phones from competitors like Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus.

Photography

Photography is a major focus for most phones these days, so we take pictures and videos of various subjects in a variety of settings and lighting scenarios. We try out any new camera modes such as ProRes Log video that debuted with the iPhone 15 Pro or the Magic Editor photo tool that launched with the Google Pixel 8 series.

Battery life

Battery testing is conducted in a variety of ways. We assess how long a phone lasts during a typical day of use, and note how it performs during more focused sessions of video calls, media streaming and gaming. We also conduct a video playback test, which isn't always included in the initial review and is added later in an update.

The author holding the Z Flip 5 up to take a photo.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 largely has the same camera hardware as the Z Flip 4. But the new chip brings some image processing improvements.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Performance

We use benchmarking apps to measure the performance, alongside our own anecdotal experiences using the phone for our review. Of particular note are how graphics and animations look. Are they smooth? Or do they lag or stutter? We also look at how quickly the phone switches between horizontal and vertical orientations and how fast the camera app opens and is ready to take a photo.

We perform processor-heavy tasks like editing photos, exporting videos and playing games. We evaluate whether a newer version of a particular phone includes enough features to make it worth upgrading from older models.

Read more: How We Test Phones

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Factors to consider when buying an Android phone

Look at last year's phones: Companies typically keep previous models around at a discounted price. For example, while you can buy the $699 Pixel 8 or $999 Pixel 8 Pro, Google still sells the Pixel 7 for $599 and the Pixel 7 Pro for $899.

Get more for less with cheap phones: For a fraction of the cost, you can get a solid phone that does almost everything a pricier flagship phone can do. The Google Pixel 6A packs a good camera and costs only $349 before discounts or trade-in offers.

Check your Android type: Some phones, like Google's Pixel series, run a stock version of Android. Others, like Samsung's Galaxy phones, have their own software (OneUI) on top of Android. Each type has its own appeal and drawbacks. If you've been rocking a Samsung phone for years, you'll likely still be more at home on a new Galaxy phone.

Be ready for Black Friday sales: The holidays usually bring big discounts and sales, even on phones.

Test your phone: It's definitely worth going to a store and trying out a phone before you shell out hundreds of dollars for it.

Find peace of mind with a case: You spent all this time choosing a phone, now protect it from damage with a case.

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Android phone FAQ

How reliable is an Android phone?

Android phones come in all shapes and sizes. Prices range from just a couple hundred dollars for a basic smartphone to $1,800 for state-of-the-art foldable phones. All the phones on this list are durable, have an IP rating for water and dust resistance and years of software support.

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How long does an Android phone last?

While every phone on this list varies in how many years of software support you get and how long you can extend the warranty, most should last you a few years if not more.

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