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Top 10 Best Android Smartphones – Updated April 2021

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Finding the best Android smartphones can be tough. Even tougher to narrow that list down to the one you want, or should buy. That’s where we come in. Throughout the year, a lot of Android smartphones come across our desk, making it easier to find which ones are the “best”. It also makes it easier to find out which ones are not worth your attention.

This list has the best smartphones in different areas like battery life, camera experience, 5G, etc. So no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find the right smartphone for you. If you are looking for something a bit cheaper, you can check out our Top 10 Best Value Smartphones.

Top 10 Best Android Smartphones 2021

We are on the cusp of a new crop of smartphones, running on Qualcomm’s latest chipsets. But those won’t be available until the end of January at the earliest. So these are the best smartphones available right now, and many of them are discounted now.

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If you’re in the market for a new smartphone right now, you really can’t do wrong going with any of the ten smartphones listed below. And they range from $349 up to $1449, so there’s something for everyone’s budget.

CostWhere to buy
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra$1199Samsung.com
OnePlus 8T$749OnePlus
Google Pixel 5$699Amazon
Google Pixel 4a$349Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra$1299Samsung.com
ASUS ROG Phone III$715Amazon
ASUS ZenFone 6$549Amazon
OnePlus 9$729OnePlus
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+$1099Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G$1199Samsung.com

Best Overall Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Hands On AH 4
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

As you might expect, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is now our pick for the best overall smartphone. It is also the only smartphone on this list with the Snapdragon 888 5G. But that won’t last long.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra sports a 6.8-inch QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, along with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can get 16GB of RAM and 512GB of RAM for $180 more too. It is the best of the best, and now it works with the S Pen, though that is not available in the box. You will have to pay extra for the S Pen.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - Samsung.com

Best Battery Life Smartphone

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OnePlus 8T

OnePlus 8T

OnePlus’ newest smartphone, the 8T, is our new pick for the best battery life smartphone. It sports a 4500mAh capacity battery, which is pretty decent in size. It also has a 6.55-inch FHD+ 120Hz display. Which is going to be pretty impressive for those that are looking for a really great smartphone, that can last a full day.

It also sports a Snapdragon 865 chipset, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is a 8GB/128GB model available outside of the US.

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There’s also a quad-camera setup on the rear, with a 48-megapixel main sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor included. All that for just $749, which is pretty impressive.

OnePlus 8T - OnePlus.com - $749

Best Camera Smartphone

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Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5

The Pixel 5 is no surprise, the best camera smartphone you can buy today. Sure there are other phones with crazier camera setups like the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But from a pure photo quality perspective, nothing is able (still) to beat the Pixel.

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Pixel 5 is the company’s  latest smartphone. It comes with a 6-inch FHD+ OLED 90Hz display, the Snapdragon 765G chipset, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It is available in two colors: Just Black and Sorta Sage. And it is powered by a 4080mAh capacity battery too.

With the Pixel 5, Google finally gave users what they wanted. An ultra-wide camera. So this one has a 16-megapixel ultra-wide and a 12-megapixel main sensor. It also has 4K60 video support, Cinematic Pans, Night Sight Portait Mode and so much more. All for just $699.

Google Pixel 5 - Amazon - $810

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Best Compact Smartphone

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Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

The Google Pixel 4a is our pick for the best compact smartphone. It’s not necessarily a high-end smartphone, but at 5.81-inches, it is definitely compact. And offers a lot of the same features as the larger and more expensive Pixel 4 XL.

That includes the same great Pixel camera. Allowing you to capture some really great looking portrait shots, as well as stunning photos at night, all on a phone that is under $400.

Internally, the Pixel 4a has a Snapdragon 730G chipset, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Which is right on par with some of the smartphones on this list, at a much cheaper price.

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Google Pixel 4a - Amazon - $349

Best 5G Smartphone

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is now our pick for the best 5G smartphone. It includes the best display, best processor, big battery, and even the S Pen is here. For $1299, it is a really good phone, and you’d expect that for that price.

With the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, you’re getting a 6.9-inch QHD+ AMOLED display at 120Hz. As well as the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is a micro SD card slot for expanding storage as well. Samsung has also included a 4500mAh capacity battery on this one.

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The cameras have been upgraded as well, with there being a 108-megapixel main sensor, capable of 50x zoom (not the 100x zoom on the Galaxy S20 Ultra), and then 12-megapixel periscope telephoto and ultra wide cameras. It’s a really great smartphone, especially for those that want the best of the best, and the S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Samsung.com

Best Gaming Smartphone

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ASUS ROG Phone III

ASUS ROG Phone III

The ASUS ROG Phone III isn’t yet available to buy in the US, but it will be soon. So only the Chinese version is available without a warranty. So do keep that in mind here.

The ROG Phone III is by far the best gaming smartphone available. It kept that huge 6000mAh capacity battery, which will keep you gaming for hours. It also sports a 6.59-inch FHD+ display that has a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There are models that go up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage as well.

This is a monster of a phone, which is what makes it great for gaming. And that battery is going to last all day and then some. Even with some heavy gaming.

ASUS ROG Phone II - Amazon - $715

Best smartphone with stock Android

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ASUS Zenfone 6

ASUS ZenFone 6

You might be a bit surprised that ASUS is the one with the best stock Android experience. Given, a few years ago ASUS had a pretty heavy skin on their smartphones. But starting with the ZenFone 6, ASUS started going fully stock Android. It removed a lot of its own pre-installed apps, and ones it kept, it redesigned to match the design of Android 10. Making it look and feel really good.

On top of it having stock Android, the ASUS ZenFone 6 is a really powerful device for the money. It sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ display, with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a pretty sizeable 5000mAh capacity battery that should get you through the day and then some.

You might have noticed that the front of the ZenFone 6 doesn’t have a camera. And that’s because technically, there is no front-facing camera. Instead, the rear camera will pop up and take care of any selfie needs. And that’s a 48-megapixel camera sensor, that also has a 13-megapixel ultrawide lens accompanying it.

All of this for just $549 might sound pretty insane, and that’s because it kind of is, but that’s why this is such a great value.

ASUS ZenFone 6 - Amazon - $549

Best Flagship Value

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OnePlus 9

The OnePlus 9 is the latest flagship smartphone to be released, and its our pick for the best value flagship right now. It has a starting price of $729, which includes a 6.55-inch FHD+ 120Hz display, the Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can upgrade to 12GB/256GB too for only $829.

Of course, the OnePlus 9 series does run on Android 11 and OxygenOS 11. And it should get Android 12 before the end of 2021 (Android 12 isn’t expected to launch until September). Additionally, OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad for their cameras this time around. So you’re getting some really great cameras out of this one too.

All powered by a 4500mAh capacity battery.

OnePlus 9 - OnePlus.com - $729

Best smartphone with a stylus

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

There aren’t many smartphones available with stylus’, so it really comes down to the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+. We ended up going with the standard Note 10 here, because it is cheaper and still has all of the same flagship features as the Galaxy Note 10+. Which we have listed at the top of our best Android smartphones right now.

The Galaxy Note 10 also has a smaller display. That’s a thing that many people have been asking Samsung for, for many years now. It’s a 6.3-inch full HD+ display. And it is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is no micro SD card slot available though. All powered by a pretty hefty 3500mAh capacity battery.

The S Pen is available on the Galaxy Note 10. Allowing you to write and draw, and of course do some air gestures. Which can be very useful for swiping through photos or controlling a Powerpoint presentation.

Galaxy Note 10 is a really good phone, not just in the “Best Stylus” category either. And if you’re looking for a new phone, this is a good option.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 - Amazon - $949

Best foldable smartphone

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

You might expect to see the Galaxy Z Fold 2 listed as the best foldable but, we think its the Galaxy Z Fold 5G. And that is because Samsung just gave it a permanent price drop. So it is now $1,199 (cheaper than the non-5G model). Which almost makes it an affordable foldable smartphone.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5G is a really impressive device, with a 6.7-inch FHD+ display, the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage on-board. Not to mention, it’s a flip phone, so you can hang up on people and actually make a sound. Like you could in the early 2000s.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip - Samsung.com