Best Android Phones of 2019
If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our picks for the best Android phones currently available and for those with more specific needs for their smartphone check out one of our lists below.
Samsung really blew it out with the Galaxy S line this year with three different options and the top end Galaxy S10+ is the classic Samsung kitchen sink approach with every spec thrown into it. The 6.4-inch QHD+ HDR 10+ certified screen is one of the best we’ve ever seen and thankfully Samsung paired with with a massive 4,000 mAh battery to keep the phone going all day. There’s just nothing that this phone won’t handle and given the internals it should have no trouble keeping you happy with your purchase until you are ready to upgrade again.
- Amazing Display
- Fantastic Battery Life
- Unmatched Performance
OnePlus arguably broke its mold with the OnePlus 7 Pro this year as it had always been the affordable flagship killer. And while it’s easy to see why longtime fans feel that way, the reality is the goalposts for affordable just changed with flagship devices from Samsung and Apple eclipsing the $1,000 mark. And the OnePlus 7 Pro absolutely competes with those devices on specs and even surpasses them in some cases with its 90Hz QHD+ display with HDR10+ support. The 8GB or 12GB models compare favorably to the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy Note 10+ for hundreds less and OnePlus has a considerably better update track record than Samsung of late.
- Phenomenal screen
- Reliable updates
- Blazing fast performance
The Note line may not be for everyone, after all there are plenty of other big-screen phones on the market now, but for Note fans there is nothing that can possibly replace it. Others have tried and failed to duplicate the stylus experience of the Note and at this point it is hard to imagine anyone unseating it. Samsung did split the Note line this year so for those that always wanted to give the S Pen a shot, but didn’t necessarily want the massive smartphone to go with it, the standard Note 10 is another option. While it isn’t quite the spec overload that we’ve seen in years past with the Note line, the Note 10+ offers 12GB of RAM, a camera array that matches the S10+ and a unique set of video and of course S Pen related software that always makes the Note line stand out.
- Unique S Pen
- Fantastic Performance
- Excellent Battery Life
The latest Pixel has typically managed to claim the top spot for us and while we are still big fans of this device, it simply has a couple too many issues at its full retail price to warrant ranking it as the best Android phone today. The Pixel 4 ups the camera game yet again, it has claimed the top spot in that category for us, but the weak battery life and high price are problems and Google also took away unlimited full quality photo storage, a big selling point in our minds for previous Pixels. All of this leaves us wanting to recommend at least waiting until you can find the Pixel 4 on sale or taking a serious look at some of our other recommendations if any of the Pixels downfalls are a major buying factor for you. Check out our full review of the Pixel 4 for all of our thoughts on Google’s latest.
- Face Unlock
- Unmatched photo performance
- 90Hz refresh rate
While the future for Huawei remains a little murky, it doesn’t change the fact that the company has been putting out some of the best devices on the market. The Huawei P30 Pro is an absolute standout this year with its insane focal range from super-wide-angle (16mm equivalent) all the way to a 5x optical zoom (125mm equivalent). This is the smartphone that can truly finally take the place of a dedicated camera without sacrifices. And for those that value battery life the Huawei P30 Pro is among the very best, easily lasting into a second day even with heavy use.
- Unmatched low-light photos
- Fantastic performance
- Powerful telephoto lens
If you’ve spent the last few years thinking you really wanted to pick up one of the Pixels from Google, but just couldn’t stomach the price, the answer finally arrived this summer in the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. For less than $400 you can buy into the consistent updates and stock goodness that the Pixel has always promised. What’s more impressive is that Google has managed to deliver virtually the same camera experience in this much more affordable device. With the top-end smartphones commanding higher and higher prices, it’s good to see such a strong option in the mid-tier.
- Outstanding Camera
- Affordably Priced
- Reliable Updates
Another one of Samsung’s Galaxy S devices makes an appearance on our list and while it is technically the bottom device on the totem pole, the Galaxy S10e actually is our favorite of the three in some ways. The side-mounted fingerprint reader and flat display may not be as futuristic-looking, but from a usability standpoint, they are awesome. And of course the price, you can frequently find the Galaxy S10e around or even below $600.
- Solid Performance
- Headphone Jack
- Affordably Priced
Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro is another hardware powerhouse with the new Kirin 990 chipset and a redesigned quad-camera array on the back. The story of this device, at least at launch, is going to be its lack of Google services thanks to the ongoing trade difficulties with the U.S. We can’t ignore this phone as the hardware is simply too good, Huawei has proven itself as among the absolute best in smartphone cameras over the last couple years and the overall look of the Mate 30 Pro, including the optional leather back is fantastic. The Google free experience may be too much for the average user, but we have no doubt some of you will be willing to consider it for this hardware.
- Top end performance
- Killer Camera
- Lacks Google Services
The Google Pixel 3 (and Pixel 3 XL) are definitely a case where the device is greater than the sum of its parts. There’s nothing impressive about the hardware from design to what’s inside, the Pixel 3 is very middle of the road. The standout spec for the Pixel 3 is the software that takes that hardware and produces some the best photos of any smartphone on the market. And the guarantee that you will be the first to have OS updates and security updates is worth quite a bit in the Android world. Now the initial asking prices of $799 and $899 felt a little steep respectively, but at this point you can find them for hundreds less making them a solid value even after the launch of the Pixel 4.
- Unbelievably Good Camera
- Pure Android Experience
- Unlimited Quality Photo/Video Storage
The middle child of the Galaxy S10 lineup, the regular S10 does find itself last among its siblings on our list, but it is still an excellent device. It shares most of the design for the S10+, giving it that high-end look and feel that you don’t get with the S10e. You get the vast majority of the specs found in the S10+ as well, with the exception of the depth selfie camera and a 3,400 mAh battery rather than 4,100. If you aren’t a heavy smartphone user you can save yourself $100 or more by going with the S10 and you’ll never notice the difference.
- Beautiful Design
- Powerful Performance
- Competetive Camera Array
We are rounding out the end of the smartphone launch season, so there isn’t too much on the immediate horizon, but here’s what we are expecting in the coming months.
Motorola’s entry into the foldable market probably grabbed more general attention than any of the rest thanks to the heavy nostalgia for the original Motorola RAZR. Motorola switched things up from its competition with a fairly standard-sized phone at 6.1-inches, that flips down to a more pocketable size. The specs are a bit middle of the road and at $1,500 we are still looking at a significant premium, but we can’t wait to check it out.
Sony Xperia 2
We love the multiple camera array smartphones, but Sony is set to test even our limits for it with the six-camera array on this smartphone that is due out before the end of the year.
Huawei Mate X
Another foldable phone that we’ve known about for some time and should eventually see the light of day, although when exactly still remains up in the air.