The very best Android telephone to purchase in 2023

The Android ecosystem is all about selection. Whereas iPhone house owners have a smaller pool of latest gadgets to select from when it’s time to improve, there’s an enormous vary of latest Android telephones yearly. A few of them even fold in half! You need a built-in stylus? A flagship processor for much less cash? Possibly even — dare I say it — an unapologetically pink telephone with matching earbuds? You’ve received choices on Android.

On the flip facet, all that selection could make for some arduous selections. Right here’s the place I’d like to assist; I’ve examined an entire boatload of current Android telephones, and I feel there are some actual winners within the present crop. It’s all a matter of what you’re in search of, what you’re snug spending, and what your definition of a “moderately sized telephone” is. (I’ve my very own, personally.)

And haven’t you heard? It’s sizzling foldable summer season, and there are a bunch of latest folding telephones debuting over the following few months. Motorola’s Razr Plus seems to be actually promising with an enormous cowl display screen, the Google Pixel Fold is arriving quickly with a likable new type issue, and OnePlus says it’ll have a (possible inexpensive) foldable this 12 months. In case you’re interested in foldables, you would possibly wish to maintain off for a number of months till all of the choices are on the desk.

In case you stay within the US, I’ve some dangerous information concerning the Android market, although. For classy causes having to do with “capitalism” and “geopolitics,” we don’t get almost as lots of the choices as you’ll discover in Asia and Europe — manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, and Oppo simply aren’t obtainable right here. I’ve restricted this information to the gadgets I’ve personally examined in depth; thus, it’s a pretty US-centric set of suggestions. 

With that in thoughts, it’s additionally value acknowledging that most individuals within the US get their telephones “without cost” from their wi-fi provider. In case you can handle it, shopping for a telephone unlocked offers you essentially the most flexibility and freedom if you find yourself wanting to alter carriers within the close to future. Telephone producers additionally supply financing and trade-in offers to make cost extra manageable. However should you’re comfortable along with your provider and the free telephone on supply is the one you actually need, by all means, take the free telephone. Simply ensure you perceive the phrases, particularly if it’s worthwhile to change plans to money in on the deal. 

Nonetheless you go about it, you’ve some unbelievable choices to your subsequent Android telephone.

Greatest Android telephone general

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus standing upright on a table top showing home screen and colorful wallpaper.

With a large 6.6-inch display screen, good battery life, a whip-fast Snapdragon processor, and a succesful digicam system, the S23 Plus is an Android crowd-pleaser.

Display: 6.6-inch 1080p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.8 major with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel selfie / Battery: 4,700mAh / Charging: 45W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

Samsung’s Galaxy S sequence telephones have been the go-to high-end Android telephone for the previous few years — notably within the US — and there’s a very good purpose for that: they’re wonderful gadgets. The Galaxy S23 Plus is a minor replace to that profitable formulation, however that also makes it a winner. It neatly checks each merchandise on the checklist of 2023 must-have flagship options: a beautiful, giant 6.6-inch display screen, a succesful digicam system with a telephoto lens, strong climate resistance, and nice battery life. At $999, it’s not low cost, however it’s additionally not the costliest flagship telephone you should buy.

It’s not stunning that the S23 Plus consists of Qualcomm’s newest chipset: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However what is stunning is that each one variations of this telephone offered throughout the globe use that Snapdragon processor — beforehand, some areas would get a Samsung-made Exynos chip. That’s nice information as a result of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is superb, and it makes the S23 Plus sing. Day-to-day efficiency is top-notch, and battery stamina is far improved. There’s a bigger 4,700mAh battery cell within the Plus this 12 months, however the 8 Gen 2 can be well-tuned to preserve battery.

The S23 is an all-around winner with a fantastic digicam and high-quality construct.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The 50-megapixel major digicam, ultrawide, and 3x telephoto cameras that make up the S23 Plus’ imaging system aren’t showstoppers just like the S23 Extremely, however they’re greater than ample for many conditions. Often, the S23 Plus takes gorgeous photographs, notably in its telephoto portrait mode. But it surely’s additionally vulnerable to some heavy-handed processing that goes a bit of too arduous on the HDR typically.

Samsung’s software program isn’t our favourite, both. With a bit of work upfront, you’ll be able to uninstall or at the least conceal a lot of the proprietary apps and companies Samsung insists on downloading, however it could be good to not need to tango with Bixby within the first place. However on the brilliant facet, Samsung gives one of many strongest software program assist insurance policies from any Android device-maker, with 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of safety updates promised. Even when the preliminary setup takes a bit of work to get proper, at the least you gained’t need to do it another time in a few years.

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

Greatest reasonably priced flagship

The Google Pixel 7 upgrades the usual mannequin of the Pixel with Google’s second-gen Tensor CPU and an upgraded ultrawide digicam.

Display: 6.3-inch 1080p 90Hz OLED / Processor: Google Tensor G2 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.85 with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10.8-megapixel selfie / Battery: 4,355mAh / Charging: 30W wired, 20W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

Relying on the way you have a look at it, the Google Pixel 7 can go as both a budget-friendly flagship or a premium midrange telephone. At $599, it’s a bit cheaper than Samsung’s S-series telephones and in addition a bit costlier than the $499 Pixel 7A, a bona fide midrange machine. Its specs observe go well with: you get the high-quality construct and conveniences of a high-end machine, like an IP68 ranking and wi-fi charging, however you miss out on good extras like a telephoto digicam and a 120Hz display screen. If these issues aren’t tremendous necessary to you, then the Pixel 7 is one heck of a very good deal.

The Pixel 7 and its step-up 7 Professional sibling use Google’s newest customized chipset, Tensor G2. It delivers flagship-level efficiency, however it’s additionally a part of the Pixel sequence’ particular sauce of Google-exclusive options. They’re typically intelligent however type of a blended bag by way of how useful they really are. 

Clear Calling, which is unique to the Pixel 7 sequence, is like noise cancellation for telephone calls that makes it simpler to listen to somebody you’re speaking to after they’re in a loud setting. Different options designed to make navigating telephone timber and customer support calls much less painful don’t work as nicely constantly. However they aren’t actively dangerous, and Google has confirmed dedicated to supporting its gadgets with updates and new options all through their life spans.

There’s no telephoto lens, however it’s nonetheless a top-notch digicam system general.
Picture: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Software program actually is the Pixel 7’s energy. It runs a clear model of Android, freed from duplicate assistants and app shops (taking a look at you, Samsung) and shall be supported nicely into the close to future with three OS upgrades and 5 years of safety patches. On the {hardware} entrance, you’ll need to stay with a few concessions Google made to maintain the worth down. The 6.3-inch display screen is simply high quality, however its 90Hz refresh price is a bit slower than the super-smooth scrolling 120Hz screens on most telephones at this value. 

The Pixel 7 can be lacking a telephoto rear digicam, although the 2x crop mode from the 50-megapixel major sensor does an admirable impression of a real optical telephoto lens. The ultrawide digicam can be a era behind the Pixel 7 Professional’s. However exterior of these few drawbacks, you don’t miss out on an entire lot by choosing the Pixel 7 fairly than the 7 Professional — and also you positively get to maintain a number of additional {dollars} in your pocket.

Learn my full overview of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional.

Greatest telephone with every little thing however the kitchen sink

Samsung S23 Ultra in cream color standing upright on a table with rear facing outward.

The Galaxy S23 Extremely gives an enormous 6.8-inch display screen, built-in S Pen stylus, two telephoto cameras, and a top-notch Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It’s expensive, however there’s nothing else fairly prefer it in the marketplace.

Display: 6.8-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 200-megapixel major with OIS, 10-megapixel 10x telephoto with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel selfie / Battery: 5,000mAh / Charging: 45W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IP68

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. It’s expensive, beginning at $1,199, and due to a 6.8-inch display screen, it’s large. It’s additionally essentially the most highly effective Android telephone you should buy within the US proper now, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, S Pen stylus assist with a built-in silo for storage, and two — depend ’em, two — telephoto cameras on the rear panel. It’s sort of arduous to think about what else Samsung may presumably stuff into this telephone.

The display screen on the heart of this spec monster is a 6.8-inch OLED with a variable refresh price as much as 120Hz and 1440p decision. It’s pretty, and the even higher information is that it’s extra battery-efficient than final 12 months’s mannequin. Between that and the brand new chipset, the S23 Extremely will get via a full day of heavy use with a bit of extra wiggle room than its predecessor may. 

The S23 Extremely stands alone.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The S23 Extremely’s digicam system is a significant purpose to contemplate placing within the additional money for this mannequin fairly than the S23 Plus. There’s nothing fairly prefer it obtainable on some other flagship telephone: there’s each a 3x and 10x telephoto digicam plus an ultrawide and, oh yeah, a 200-megapixel major digicam.

The 200-megapixel factor is barely partially a stunt — more often than not, you’ll be getting a 12-megapixel file from it, however the additional information from all these pixels appears to assist the system provide you with some unbelievable photos. It often makes some bizarre judgments or turns the HDR as much as 11, however it’s usually excellent and, right here and there, is even able to gorgeous “I can’t imagine it’s not a ‘actual’ digicam” photographs.

Our complaints about Samsung software program stand, sadly, and its faults are much more evident on a really expensive telephone. Why the spammy clickbait hyperlinks within the climate app? And who on earth needs push notifications from the Samsung Galaxy retailer? You don’t get that sort of factor on a Pixel telephone. Nonetheless, there are sufficient spectacular issues concerning the S23 Extremely that it’s value some minor software program annoyances.  

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely.

Greatest different to Google and Samsung

OnePlus 11 5G in-hand showing green color option and OnePlus logo with a black and white background.

$699

The OnePlus 11 lacks a few key options, particularly strong water resistance and wi-fi charging. However its large 6.7-inch display screen, wonderful efficiency, and quick wired charging are all fairly interesting at its comparatively low value.

Display: 6.7-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.8 major with OIS, 48-megapixel ultrawide, 32-megapixel 2x telephoto, 16-megapixel selfie / Battery: 5,000mAh / Charging: 80W wired (100W exterior of US) / Climate resistance: IP64

The US Android market is dominated by Samsung and Google (nicely, principally Samsung). However we do have a number of options to these manufacturers, and the OnePlus 11 5G is a standout for somebody who needs a high-performing machine for a bit much less cash. It makes use of the wonderful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, however at $699, it’s $300 cheaper than the S23 Extremely with the same processor. 

The OnePlus 11 has a few different issues going for it, too, together with a unbelievable 6.7-inch 1440p show with a high 120Hz refresh price. There’s additionally very quick wired charging with the included quick charger — as much as 80W within the US, which is able to take its large 5,000mAh battery from empty to 100% in lower than half-hour. It’s quick sufficient to make in a single day charging non-obligatory. 

The OnePlus 11 5G misses a few flagship options however trades them in for wonderful efficiency at a lower cost.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

On the draw back, there are a few issues lacking right here that you just’ll discover on most different telephones at this value. The primary is wi-fi charging, which can be a deal-breaker should you’re already invested in charging your telephone that manner. And the OnePlus 11 is barely rated to IP64, not IP68 like nearly each different flagship. Meaning it’s immune to splashes and spray however isn’t constructed to resist full immersion in water for any size of time. 

These two lacking options slim the OnePlus 11’s attraction. In case you’re not involved about dropping your telephone in a puddle (or bathroom or bathtub or sink or swimming pool) and also you’d fairly cost your telephone shortly than on a wi-fi charging pad, then the 11 5G is an effective way to get wonderful efficiency and hold a bit of additional cash in your pockets.

Learn my full overview of the OnePlus 11 5G.

Greatest foldable telephone

$1799

The Fold 4 is a multitasking powerhouse that can be utilized tablet-style or as your day by day driver smartphone. It’s a gadget individual’s gadget with a excessive price ticket to match.

Display: 7.6-inch 2176p 120Hz OLED internal display screen, 6.2-inch 2316p 120Hz OLED cowl display screen / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F/1.8 major with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10-megapixel selfie (cowl display screen), four-megapixel under-display selfie (internal display screen) / Battery: 4,400mAh / Charging: 25W wired, 15W wi-fi / Climate resistance: IPX8

There’s nothing fairly just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the marketplace, notably within the US. The Z Fold 4 is Samsung’s tablet-style foldable — you’ve received a 6.2-inch cowl display screen on the surface for regular telephone stuff, however on the within, it unfolds to an enormous 7.6-inch display screen. It’s a degree of versatility you gained’t discover on any conventional slab-style telephone. It’s priced accordingly, too, at a steep $1,799 MSRP.

The Z Fold 4 is as sturdy as foldables come proper now. It’s IPX8 rated, so it’s protected in opposition to full immersion in water. However that “X” means there’s no assure in opposition to mud intrusion, and regardless of Samsung’s greatest efforts to strengthen the machine’s resistance to environmental components, long-term sturdiness remains to be a query mark. That’s in all probability a leap of religion most individuals gained’t have the ability to take for a $1,800 telephone.

There’s nothing fairly as versatile because the Z Fold 4 in the marketplace.
Picture: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The Z Fold 4 additionally runs up in opposition to one other limitation on the software program facet: the Android pill app ecosystem. Apps don’t all the time make nice use of the massive internal display screen; they’re usually simply scaled-up telephone apps, leaving plenty of unused clean area. Fortunately, Samsung’s UI gives loads of assist to rearrange a number of home windows for multitasking. It could possibly take a bit of futzing, however you can also make use of that large canvas by displaying a number of apps without delay. 

Uncertainty about the way it will maintain up in the long term and the two-hands-on-ness required to profit from it imply the Z Fold 4 is sort of a gadget individual’s gadget. It’s a showcase of {hardware} innovation, and you are able to do issues with it that slab-style telephones can solely dream of. In case you’ve received the literal and figurative deep pockets for it, you’ll be nicely rewarded.

Learn my full overview of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Different Android telephones value contemplating

There are numerous extra nice Android gadgets that weren’t lined right here, and some are value calling out that didn’t fairly make the lower for a suggestion. The Galaxy S23 Plus’ smaller sibling, the Galaxy S23, is a unbelievable choice in order for you a considerably smaller Android telephone. Its 6.1-inch display screen doesn’t put it in “small telephone” territory, however it’s way more pocketable than the opposite two S23 fashions. Battery life has been improved this 12 months on the S23, too, which was a weak level for the S22. 

There’s additionally the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung’s clamshell-style foldable. It gives a 6.7-inch internal display screen that folds in half with a small 1.9-inch cowl display screen on the surface for heads-up data and notifications. It’s sort of like an everyday telephone with a smartwatch glued on the entrance. It’s not as versatile because the Z Fold 4, however it prices a way more cheap $999. I’ve the identical issues about long-term sturdiness as I do with the Z Fold, and the quilt display screen may very well be extra helpful. Nonetheless, it’s plenty of enjoyable to make use of, and it folds down sufficiently small to slot in your entrance denims pocket. 

In case you’re all in on Google’s ecosystem, then the Pixel 7 Professional is an effective (and considerably apparent) step-up choice. It doesn’t supply any important upgrades in comparison with the Pixel 7 however does include a very good 5x telephoto digicam. The display screen is greater — 6.7 inches in comparison with 6.3 — and it’s additionally a bit of nicer, with a quicker 120Hz high refresh price. However the Pixel 7 is priced so nicely that it’s sort of inconceivable not to suggest it, and most of the people will discover every little thing they want within the base mannequin.

There’s yet one more Pixel telephone to contemplate: the Google Pixel 7A. It’s $499 and has the identical Tensor G2 processor because the Pixel 7 and seven Professional. The 7A is certainly the most effective telephone digicam you may get for the cash, and it comes with good creature comforts not normally seen in finances gadgets, like wi-fi charging. It’s on the expensive facet of the “finances” class, however it’s designed to go the gap.

Lastly, there’s the Motorola Edge Plus (2023). It’s a high quality machine for $799, with a pleasant display screen, nice battery life, a wonderful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and all of the flagship trimmings like wi-fi charging and an IP68 ranking. It’s a very good choice if the OnePlus 11 appeals however you need wi-fi charging and higher water resistance. However we’re not followers of the curved edge display screen, and the OnePlus 11 comes with a further 12 months of safety updates. In addition to, it doesn’t supply sufficient to face out from the remainder of the sector to warrant a full suggestion.

Replace June ninth, 2023, 5:25PM ET: Eliminated the Asus Zenfone 9, which will be replaced soon by the Zenfone 10. Eliminated the Google Pixel 6A from the “additionally think about” part and changed it with the Pixel 7A.