The most effective Android cellphone to purchase in 2023


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

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

And haven’t you heard? It’s scorching foldable summer time, and there are a bunch of recent folding telephones debuting over the subsequent few months. Motorola’s Razr Plus appears to be like actually promising with an enormous cowl display, the Google Pixel Fold is arriving quickly with a likable new kind issue, and OnePlus says it’ll have a (probably inexpensive) foldable this yr. For those who’re inquisitive about foldables, you may wish to maintain off for a number of months till all of the choices are on the desk.

For those who dwell within the US, I’ve some dangerous information in regards to the Android market, although. For classy causes having to do with “capitalism” and “geopolitics,” we don’t get practically as lots of the choices as you’ll discover in Asia and Europe — manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi, Honor, and Oppo simply aren’t accessible 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 price acknowledging that most individuals within the US get their telephones “without cost” from their wi-fi service. For those who can handle it, shopping for a cellphone unlocked offers you probably the most flexibility and freedom if you find yourself wanting to vary carriers within the close to future. Telephone producers additionally provide financing and trade-in offers to make fee extra manageable. However in the event you’re comfortable together with your service and the free cellphone on provide is the one you actually need, by all means, take the free cellphone. Simply be sure you perceive the phrases, particularly if it is advisable to change plans to money in on the deal. 

Nonetheless you go about it, you’ve got some implausible choices to your subsequent Android cellphone.

Finest Android cellphone total

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

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

Display screen: 6.6-inch 1080p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 50-megapixel F1.8 foremost 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 collection telephones have been the go-to high-end Android cellphone for the previous few years — notably within the US — and there’s a very good cause for that: they’re wonderful gadgets. The Galaxy S23 Plus is a minor replace to that successful method, however that also makes it a winner. It neatly checks each merchandise on the record of 2023 must-have flagship options: a beautiful, massive 6.6-inch display, a succesful digicam system with a telephoto lens, sturdy climate resistance, and nice battery life. At $999, it’s not low-cost, nevertheless it’s additionally not the most costly flagship cellphone 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 cellphone 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 great, and it makes the S23 Plus sing. Day-to-day efficiency is top-notch, and battery stamina is way improved. There’s a bigger 4,700mAh battery cell within the Plus this yr, however the 8 Gen 2 can be well-tuned to preserve battery.

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

The 50-megapixel foremost 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 beautiful photographs, notably in its telephoto portrait mode. Nevertheless it’s additionally liable to some heavy-handed processing that goes a little bit too laborious on the HDR generally.

Samsung’s software program isn’t our favourite, both. With a little bit work upfront, you may uninstall or at the least conceal many of the proprietary apps and companies Samsung insists on downloading, however it will be good to not must tango with Bixby within the first place. However on the brilliant facet, Samsung provides 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 little bit work to get proper, at the least you gained’t must do it once more in a few years.

Learn my full evaluation of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

Finest 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 screen: 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 cellphone. 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 system. Its specs comply with swimsuit: you get the high-quality construct and conveniences of a high-end system, like an IP68 ranking and wi-fi charging, however you miss out on good extras like a telephoto digicam and a 120Hz display. If these issues aren’t tremendous essential 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, nevertheless it’s additionally a part of the Pixel collection’ particular sauce of Google-exclusive options. They’re typically intelligent however kind of a blended bag by way of how useful they really are. 

Clear Calling, which is unique to the Pixel 7 collection, is like noise cancellation for cellphone calls that makes it simpler to listen to somebody you’re speaking to once they’re in a loud setting. Different options designed to make navigating cellphone bushes and customer support calls much less painful don’t work as effectively persistently. 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, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a top-notch digicam system total.
Picture: Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Software program actually is the Pixel 7’s power. It runs a clear model of Android, freed from duplicate assistants and app shops ( you, Samsung) and shall be supported effectively into the close to future with three OS upgrades and 5 years of safety patches. On the {hardware} entrance, you’ll must dwell with a few concessions Google made to maintain the value down. The 6.3-inch display is simply nice, however its 90Hz refresh charge 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 foremost 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 outdoors of these few drawbacks, you don’t miss out on an entire lot by choosing the Pixel 7 slightly than the 7 Professional — and also you undoubtedly get to maintain a number of additional {dollars} in your pocket.

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

Finest cellphone 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 provides an enormous 6.8-inch display, 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 screen: 6.8-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy / Cameras: 200-megapixel foremost 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 because of a 6.8-inch display, it’s enormous. It’s additionally probably the most highly effective Android cellphone 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 laborious to think about what else Samsung may probably stuff into this cellphone.

The display on the middle of this spec monster is a 6.8-inch OLED with a variable refresh charge as much as 120Hz and 1440p decision. It’s pretty, and the even higher information is that it’s extra battery-efficient than final yr’s mannequin. Between that and the brand new chipset, the S23 Extremely will get by way of a full day of heavy use with a little bit 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 cause to think about placing within the additional money for this mannequin slightly than the S23 Plus. There’s nothing fairly prefer it accessible on every other flagship cellphone: there’s each a 3x and 10x telephoto digicam plus an ultrawide and, oh yeah, a 200-megapixel foremost digicam.

The 200-megapixel factor is just partially a stunt — more often than not, you’ll be getting a 12-megapixel file from it, however the additional knowledge from all these pixels appears to assist the system give you some implausible pictures. It sometimes makes some bizarre judgments or turns the HDR as much as 11, nevertheless it’s usually excellent and, right here and there, is even able to beautiful “I can’t consider it’s not a ‘actual’ digicam” photographs.

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

Learn my full evaluation of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely.

Finest different to Google and Samsung

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


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

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

The US Android market is dominated by Samsung and Google (effectively, largely Samsung). However we do have a number of alternate options to these manufacturers, and the OnePlus 11 5G is a standout for somebody who desires a high-performing system 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 implausible 6.7-inch 1440p show with a prime 120Hz refresh charge. 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 massive 5,000mAh battery from empty to 100% in lower than half-hour. It’s quick sufficient to make in a single day charging optionally available. 

The OnePlus 11 5G misses a few flagship options however trades them in for wonderful efficiency at a cheaper price.
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 in the event you’re already invested in charging your cellphone that manner. And the OnePlus 11 is just rated to IP64, not IP68 like nearly each different flagship. Meaning it’s immune to splashes and spray however isn’t constructed to face up to full immersion in water for any size of time. 

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

Learn my full evaluation of the OnePlus 11 5G.

Finest foldable cellphone


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

Display screen: 7.6-inch 2176p 120Hz OLED inside display, 6.2-inch 2316p 120Hz OLED cowl display / Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 / Cameras: 50-megapixel F/1.8 foremost with OIS, 10-megapixel 3x telephoto with OIS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 10-megapixel selfie (cowl display), four-megapixel under-display selfie (inside display) / 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 bought a 6.2-inch cowl display on the surface for regular cellphone stuff, however on the within, it unfolds to an enormous 7.6-inch display. It’s a degree of versatility you gained’t discover on any conventional slab-style cellphone. 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 towards full immersion in water. However that “X” means there’s no assure towards mud intrusion, and regardless of Samsung’s finest efforts to strengthen the system’s resistance to environmental elements, long-term sturdiness continues to be a query mark. That’s most likely a leap of religion most individuals gained’t have the ability to take for a $1,800 cellphone.

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 towards one other limitation on the software program facet: the Android pill app ecosystem. Apps don’t at all times make nice use of the large inside display; they’re usually simply scaled-up cellphone apps, leaving lots of unused clean area. Fortunately, Samsung’s UI provides loads of assist to rearrange a number of home windows for multitasking. It may well take a little bit futzing, however you can also make use of that massive canvas by displaying a number of apps directly. 

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. For those who’ve bought the literal and figurative deep pockets for it, you’ll be effectively rewarded.

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

Different Android telephones price contemplating

There are a lot of extra nice Android gadgets that weren’t coated right here, and some are price calling out that didn’t fairly make the minimize for a advice. The Galaxy S23 Plus’ smaller sibling, the Galaxy S23, is a implausible possibility if you would like a considerably smaller Android cellphone. Its 6.1-inch display doesn’t put it in “small cellphone” territory, nevertheless it’s rather more pocketable than the opposite two S23 fashions. Battery life has been improved this yr 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 provides a 6.7-inch inside display that folds in half with a small 1.9-inch cowl display on the surface for heads-up data and notifications. It’s sort of like an everyday cellphone with a smartwatch glued on the entrance. It’s not as versatile because the Z Fold 4, nevertheless it prices a way more cheap $999. I’ve the identical considerations about long-term sturdiness as I do with the Z Fold, and the quilt display might be extra helpful. Nonetheless, it’s lots of enjoyable to make use of, and it folds down sufficiently small to slot in your entrance denims pocket. 

For those who’re all in on Google’s ecosystem, then the Pixel 7 Professional is an efficient (and considerably apparent) step-up possibility. It doesn’t provide any important upgrades in comparison with the Pixel 7 however does include a very good 5x telephoto digicam. The display is greater — 6.7 inches in comparison with 6.3 — and it’s additionally a little bit nicer, with a quicker 120Hz prime refresh charge. However the Pixel 7 is priced so effectively that it’s sort of inconceivable not to advocate it, and most of the people will discover every little thing they want within the base mannequin.

There’s yet another Pixel cellphone to think about: the Google Pixel 7A. It’s $499 and has the identical Tensor G2 processor because the Pixel 7 and seven Professional. The 7A is unquestionably the very best cellphone digicam you may get for the cash, and it comes with good creature comforts not often seen in funds gadgets, like wi-fi charging. It’s on the expensive facet of the “funds” class, nevertheless it’s designed to go the space.

Lastly, there’s the Motorola Edge Plus (2023). It’s a nice system for $799, with a pleasant display, nice battery life, a superb Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and all of the flagship trimmings like wi-fi charging and an IP68 ranking. It’s a very good possibility 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, and the OnePlus 11 comes with a further yr of safety updates. Apart from, it doesn’t provide sufficient to face out from the remainder of the sphere to warrant a full advice.

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



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