Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about what you're going to get your loved ones this year. A new Android smartphone is always a good idea, and that's why this gift guide is dedicated to just that.
There are hundreds of Android smartphones released this year, which made developing this gift guide pretty difficult, but there is a perfect smartphone for everyone. From a smaller phone, to bigger phones, to better camera phones to better gaming phones and everything in between.
In this list, you'll find 12 smartphones, ranging in price from around $100, all the way up to over $1500. So there's something for everyone in this best Android smartphone gift guide. We have more in-depth lists of the best flagship smartphones and best value smartphones available too.
Best Android Smartphones – Holiday Gift Guide 2020-21
|Product name||Cost||Where to buy|
|Google Pixel 5||$699||Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo|
|Sony Xperia 5 II||$949||Amazon|
|Nokia 5.3||$199||Amazon, Best Buy, Target|
|ASUS ROG Phone III||$999+||Amazon|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra||$1299||Amazon|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE||$699||Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G||$1449||Amazon, Best Buy|
|Moto G Power||$219||Amazon|
|Google Pixel 4a||$349||Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo|
|Samsung Galaxy A71||$495||Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo|
Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 is a great option to pick up for anyone this holiday season. It works on all of the US networks. That includes AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. As well as working on their 5G networks – including Verizon's mmWave network.
This smartphone comes in at $700, which is quite affordable in 2020. It sports a small-ish display at 6-inches. It's a 90Hz OLED display too. There's the Snapdragon 765G chipset included, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as well. That is all powered by a 4080mAh capacity battery too.
Pixel 5 comes with the latest and greatest version of Android from Google. It also will get updates faster than almost any other Android smartphone on the market. As well as getting quarterly feature drops. Making your older Pixel device continue to improve, even two years after owning it. Of course, it has one of the best cameras in the industry as well.
Sony Xperia 5 II
- Price: $949
- Where to buy: Amazon
The Sony Xperia 5 II is also a pretty small phone, though it is taller than the Pixel 5. The Xperia 5 II sports a 6.1-inch 21:9 aspect ratio display. This allows you to watch movies in their original aspect ratio.
This smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 865, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There's a 4,000mAh capacity battery inside that should keep it going all day long.
Sony has outfitted the Xperia 5 II with a triple-camera setup. There are three 12-megapixel cameras: wide, ultra-wide and telephoto. Which should make for a really incredible camera experience. Sony has brought over the expertise from its Alpha camera line, to its smartphones. So you are going to have an incredible camera in your pocket with the Xperia 5 II.
The Xperia 5 II runs Android 10 out of the box, but will be updated to Android 11 in the very near future.
The Nokia 5.3 is an affordable option for anyone that still needs a smartphone this year. It comes with a 6.55-inch HD+ display, with the Snapdragon 665 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on-board. There is also a micro SD card slot available that will support up to 512GB of storage. Making it easy to add plenty more room to your device.
There is a tear-drop notch on the front for the front-facing camera. With a fingerprint sensor on the back. Making this a great phone to grab during the pandemic. Since you can use your finger, instead of your face, to unlock it.
It does also have a quad-camera setup on the back. With a 13-megapixel main sensor, 5-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor for good measure.
ASUS ROG Phone III
- Price: $999+
- Where to buy: Amazon
The ASUS ROG Phone III is the perfect smartphone for every gamer out there. It has the top-of-the-line specs they'd expect. Including a 6.59-inch FHD+ display with 144Hz refresh rate. It also has the Snapdragon 865+ chipset under the hood, with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. In the US, there are 12/512GB and 16/512GB models for $999 and $1099 respectively.
On top of that high-refresh rate display, ASUS has included a massive 6,000mAh capacity battery inside. So even with plenty of gameplay, it should still last the full day. But that does make this a pretty heavy phone, so do keep that in mind.
There is still a dual-camera setup on the back, with a 64-megapixel main sensor and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide on-board.
- Price: $249
- Where to buy: Amazon
The TCL 10L is perhaps the best spec value on this best smartphone gift guide. It offers some pretty impressive specs for only $250 – and it'll likely be under $200 for Black Friday.
This smartphone has 6.53-inch FHD+ display, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This is powered by a 4000mAh capacity battery that should keep this one running all day without any issues.
There is a quad-camera setup on the TCL 10L. This includes a 48-megapixel main sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, along with two 2-megapixel sensors for depth and macro. Similar to what we see on the Nokia 5.3.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Price: $1299
- Where to buy: Amazon
Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of the most expensive (non-folding) phones on this smartphone gift guide this year. This one comes in at a whopping $1299. But, thankfully, you do get quite a bit for that much money here.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a 6.9-inch Quad HD+ 120Hz AMOLED display. It is powered by the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on-board. There is still a micro SD card slot available here too. If you do need some extra storage. Powered by a 4500mAh capacity battery.
The back does once again have a triple-camera setup. With a main sensor that is 108-megapixels and can do up to 50x zoom. That is accompanied by a 12-megapixel periscope telephoto and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does of course have that all-important S Pen. And this year, Samsung has decreased the latency incredibly, making it great for drawing and playing games. It still has Bluetooth built-in for using it as a remote. And to top it all off, Samsung has added wireless DeX this year.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Galaxy S20 FE is the perfect flagship phone, that does not cost a grand. This is a "fan edition" of the Galaxy S20. Coming in with a 6.5-inch display, which is still FHD+, AMOLED and 120Hz. It's now flat instead of curved though.
It also sports the Snapdragon 865 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on-board. Samsung did keep the micro SD card slot in-tact, if you need to add more storage to your smartphone.
This is powered by a 4500mAh capacity battery, similar to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but you'll get better battery life here. Thanks to the smaller and lower-resolution display. Definitely worth keeping in mind if you are deciding between these two.
- Price: $749
- Where to buy: OnePlus.com
The OnePlus 8T is a whole lot of smartphone, for not a whole lot of cash.
OnePlus 8T is one of the newest smartphones on this list, having been announced in mid-October. It comes in at $749, with a fairly respectable spec sheet. There's a 6.55-inch FHD+ 120Hz display here. Powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is no micro SD card slot available on the OnePlus 8T.
This is also one of the few smartphones on this list that has Android 11 on-board. The only others that have Android 11 right now are the Pixels.
OnePlus 8T is a really awesome pick for a smartphone this year, in its Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver colors.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
If you wanted to pick up a foldable phone this holiday season, then the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the one to get. And that's why it is one our smartphone gift guide this year.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5G isn't quite a second-generation foldable from Samsung, it's more like 1.5. But it did fix quite a few flaws from the first Galaxy Z Flip released earlier in the year. This essentially has a 21:9 aspect ratio display, that folds in half to fit in your pocket nicer. It folds almost completely flat, and has a reinforced hinge.
On the front of the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, you'll find that there is a small screen, that will give you the time and some notifications. Making it easier to see what's happening when you're on the go.
Moto G Power
- Price: $219
- Where to buy: Amazon
The Moto G Power is the perfect smartphone on this gift guide for those that are always on their phone. That is because of its massive battery. It has a 5,000mAh capacity battery, which is going to last you days, literally. In our review, we found it lasted over three days with over 12 hours of screen on time. Which is absolutely insane.
Other specs of the Moto G Power include a 6.4-inch FHD+ display, the Snapdragon 665 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage inside. That small-ish display and slower processor help that 5,000mAh capacity battery last all day and then some.
Google Pixel 4a
The Google Pixel 4a was a surprise hit this year for Google. It's a $349 smartphone with 128GB of storage, an industry-leading camera and of course quick (and frequent) updates from Google. Making this a really incredible device.
It's also one of the few smartphones on this list, released in 2020 that is not a 5G device. But it does work on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The Pixel 4a has a small 5.8-inch FHD+ OLED display (it's still 60Hz, unsurprisingly). This is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is no micro SD card slot available on this model, unfortunately.
It also has the famous Pixel camera around back, which is a 12.2-megapixel sensor. This is going to take some amazing photos, and still supports modes like Portrait mode, Night Sight and much more. This is the perfect phone for someone that likes to take a lot of photos, and doesn't want to use a big phone.
Keep in mind that the Pixel 4a, like the Pixel 5, will be getting three years of guaranteed updates and security patches. So if you know someone that is going to keep their phone for quite some time, then this is a really good option for them as a new smartphone this year.
Samsung Galaxy A71 5G
The Galaxy A71 is available in 5G and 4G LTE models. The 5G model is going to be more future-proof and is actually the same price as the 4G model right now.
Both models have the same specs though. Which includes a 6.7-inch FHD+ display, powered by the Exynos 980 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is a micro SD card slot available here for expanding storage, should you need some more space. There is a 4500mAh capacity battery inside that should keep you running all-day long without any issues.
Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy A71 with a quad-camera setup as well. There's a 64-megapixel main sensor, along with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel depth and 5-megapixel macro sensors available. The macro sensor is actually pretty decent at 5-megapixels, but having that ultra-wide available is really nice. Especially for taking loads of great shots this holiday season. The back is also covered in an interesting pattern, making the Galaxy A71 rather unique.