These are the Best Android Phones to buy in 2020
We've used 100s of phones, and here are our picks for the Best Android Phones you can buy right now!
As 2020 comes to a close — thank God! — we have a more finalized idea of the entire Android landscape for this year. And it’s been a good one, with slab phones arguably reaching the apex in fluidity and screen-to-body ratio, while brands also pushed out adventurous new form factors that bend or swivel.
No matter if you have $1,400 to spend or $600, there is a very capable Android phone that will meet all your professional and personal needs. We here at XDA have the privilege of testing just about every new release, and here are the best Android phones you can buy right now:
Navigate this guide:
- Best Android Phone overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Best for most people: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
- Best software and speed: OnePlus 8 Pro
- Best point and shoot camera: Google Pixel 5
- Best budget option: Google Pixel 4a
- Best overall camera: Huawei P40 Pro+
- Best Gaming Phone: Asus ROG Phone 3
- Best Foldable Phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
- Best phone not sold in the US: Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra
- Best phone not sold in the US, runner up: Oppo Find X2 Pro
- Best for multi-tasking: LG Wing, Microsoft Duo
Best Android Phone Overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
There were several worthy contenders for this spot. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra edges out some tough competition – don’t worry, we still honored them on this list in other categories – by checking more boxes. The most powerful Android chipset around? Check (if you’re buying the Snapdragon 865+ version, that is). Capable cameras that let you zoom in far or take a step back and go ultra-wide? Check. Premium, unique design, and the best screen possible? Check and check! Heck, the Note 20 Ultra even throws in a stylus to boot, which offers even more functionality that most smartphones can’t claim.
Sure, we can nitpick if we want — the zoom cameras here aren’t quite at the Huawei P40 Pro+’s level; it charges much slower than the Xiaomi Mi Ultra, the boxy corners make the phone less comfortable to hold for some hands — but ultimately, no phone this year packs as much in one package with no noticeable glaring flaws.
If you're looking for the most capable and feature-packed smartphone and not quite ready to jump to the cutting-edge foldable category yet, then look no further than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It has everything you'd need out of a smartphone, including a stylus!
Best Android Phone for most people: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
While the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is, in our opinion, the best slab smartphone money can buy, the just-announced Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is likely the phone for most people as it still gives you much of what makes a Samsung flagship great. This includes that 120Hz Super AMOLED display, a responsive and well-thought-out UX, and well-performing cameras — except the Galaxy S20 FE is half the price of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
You’ll have to make do with a plastic body and just Snapdragon 865 instead of the Snapdragon 865+, but these are concessions we think most people would be alright with if it saves them $600-$700.
Best Samsung Galaxy Phones for every budget and need (updated December 2020)
Best Android Phone for software and speed: OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus is a brand that’s always been all about speed, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is once again the fastest phone on the market. Everything – from the way apps launch at rocket speed to how the notification panel whips up and down along with your finger swipes – even the UI here has been optimized for speed. The effect looks extra fluid this year thanks to a 120Hz panel too.
When it comes to OnePlus’ UI, OxygenOS, it’s not just about speed: it’s also, in my opinion, the best Android skin around, with plenty of customization and shortcut gestures galore. Want to use multiple different icon packs on one home screen? Or change the accent color scheme of your app drawer? Or hide apps in plain sight with a simple swipe? OxygenOS offers more ways to use Android, even more so than Google’s stock UI.
The rest of the hardware is top-notch, too, although the phone looks a bit boring due to the recycled back design. For the first time in a OnePlus phone, the OnePlus 8 Pro gets wireless charging and IP68 water resistance certification. These new additions go well with the improved camera system and the beloved alert slider hardware button.
OnePlus phones have always been able to go toe-to-toe with the big boys in terms of overall performance, and this year's OnePlus 8 Pro is no exception. A large 120Hz AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 865, and a 48MP ultra-wide-angle camera provide more details than the less pixel-dense ultra-wides seen in many rivals. But ultimately, what sets the OnePlus 8 Pro apart is its unrivaled speed and clean yet fully customizable UI.
Best point and shoot camera phone: Google Pixel 5
Google’s Pixel series, even back when it was aspiring to be a premium flagship, never really fully got hardware right. Whether it was the original Pixel’s outdated bezels, Pixel 2 XL’s display problems, Pixel 3 XL’s giant, unsightly notch, or the Pixel 4’s mediocre battery life and wonky facial recognition system, every generation of Pixel has had a glaring hardware flaw that is difficult to overlook. But despite that, many reviewers and tech enthusiasts still gladly carried a Pixel over the years, because Google’s camera software processing was that good.
And that camera prowess is why the Pixel 5 cracks this list, despite a spec sheet and hardware craftsmanship that sits a tier or two below other brands’ offerings listed here. But with the Pixel 5, you know you’re getting color science that is always on point, dynamic range perfectly balanced, and the best portrait/bokeh mode around. And for the first time, we even get an ultra-wide-angle camera in a Pixel. Throw in the usual Pixel perks like the purest version of Android and Pixel-specific features from Google, and the Pixel 5 is an easy recommendation.
Best Cheap Android Phone: Google Pixel 4a
If you want that Pixel 5 primary camera performance but want to save a bit, the Pixel 4a (not to be confused by the larger and more expensive Pixel 4a 5G) is one of the cheapest options on this list.
You lose out on the ultra-wide-angle camera and 5G connectivity, but you still have virtually the same primary camera as the Pixel 5. If it’s just standard 1x point-and-shoot photos, the Pixel series is hard to beat. If you want to see other choices on a budget, check out our guide to the best cheap android phones!
The Google Pixel 4a brings virtually the same main camera as the Google Pixel 5, which means it's got one of the very best cameras on the market. Everything else about the phone is solid if unspectacular -- but when at this price, and with a camera performance this next level, it's hard to complain.
Best overall camera phone: Huawei P40 Pro+
While the Google Pixel 4a’s primary camera is arguably the king due to its color science, dynamic range, and unbeatable portrait mode, the Huawei P40 Pro+ is inarguably the most capable and versatile camera system of the year. Let’s start with the Periscope zoom lens. Other phones like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Oppo Find X2 Pro, or Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra offer a 5x optical zoom camera — Huawei’s P40 Pro+ doubles that with a 10x, thanks to a couple of extra folds and lenses inside the Periscope hardware. Other ultra-wide-angle cameras see a significant performance drop off at night? Not the P40 Pro+’s ultra-wide, which uses the same RYYB sensor tech Huawei first introduced with the P30 series that allows it to virtually see in the dark. Throw in another short telephoto lens to cover portraits, and the P40 Pro+’s cameras are a few steps ahead of the rest. That primary 50MP main camera is excellent too — it can still pull in light in pitch black scenes better than any camera — though it tends to over-process and over-sharpen, hence why we gave the edge to the Pixel 4a.
Unfortunately, the Huawei P40 Pro+ cannot run core Google Mobile Services apps due to the ongoing sanctions placed by the US government, so be sure you weigh the pros and cons before considering one.
Best Android phone for Gaming: Asus ROG Phone 3
If you’re into mobile gaming, then look no further than the Asus ROG Phone 3, which we named “the king of gaming smartphones” in our review. So what makes this a gaming beast? Let’s start with the 144Hz display, which the handset can maintain without micro-stutters. Throw in a massive 6,000 mAh battery to handle that refresh rate without sacrificing battery life. Then add functional shoulder buttons named “AirTriggers” that give extra control to first-person shooters in ways most normal smartphones cannot, and a bunch of optional accessories that add further controls, and you have the most equipped smartphone to handle gaming at a high level.
Of course, when you’re done gaming, the ROG Phone 3 works fine as a regular smartphone too, with a reliable camera system, Snapdragon 865+, and 16GB of RAM, no app will bog this thing down.
Best Android foldable phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
This is a landslide win for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 in this category, considering the only other real option is the Huawei Mate XS, which is pricier, not on sale officially in the US, can’t run core Google apps, and has a folding-screen-on-the-outside design that looks stunning but raises serious durability concerns. The Galaxy Z Fold 2, meanwhile, is widely available, has no software restrictions, and has a firmer folding screen made of “ultra-thin glass” that is protected when not in use.
The device feels the most polished and refined of all foldable phones released so far and has won the hearts of several of us here at XDA already. Other than water-resistance and perhaps a thinner build (neither of which are realistic requests at this time as the technology isn’t there yet), there’s not much you can fault the Galaxy Z Fold 2 for.
Best Android phone not sold in the US: Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra
The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra is the Chinese tech company’s 10th-anniversary commemorative device, but it should be named the Mi 120 because there’s a trio of 120-themed features that make this phone great. It has a 120Hz OLED panel, 120x max digital zoom, and 120W charging speeds. The latter is insanely fast: in our testing, the Mi 10 Ultra can go from 0 to 100 in 23 minutes, or if you’re topping up in the peak charging speed range of between 30 and 80%, expect a five-minute charge to add nearly 24% of juice. That’s utterly insane, to put it mildly.
Throw in 55W fast charging (you need Xiaomi’s specific charger to achieve this speed), a Snapdragon 865, a unique “clear transparent” glass back, a versatile quad-camera system, and a very reasonable sub-$800 price, this is a device worth celebrating. It’s worth noting this phone only has a China version on sale, so you’ll have to sideload Google yourself.
Best Android phone not sold in the US, runner up: Oppo Find X2 Pro
The original Oppo Find X, released in 2018, was a quirky and unconventional smartphone with all of its cameras hidden in an elevating module. While it was a looker, the phone was a bit awkward to use. With the Find X2 Pro, Oppo’s gone a more conventional route, but in return, crafted one of the most well-rounded and polished smartphones of the year.
With a Snapdragon 865, 120Hz OLED display, a Periscope zoom lens that can achieve 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and maximum 60x zoom, the Find X2 Pro has all the specs needed to compete with the best of the best — and if we were compiling this list in mid-2020, this might have well taken the top spot. But in the months since the Find X2 Pro’s 65W fast charging has been surpassed by the Mi 10 Ultra’s 120W, and the display here, while gorgeous, falls a tad short of the new heights set by the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (it’s brighter and has a variable refresh rate).
The camera system here is good enough to fill every need, with the 48MP ultra-wide-angle camera producing noticeably sharper images than the ultra-wide-angle cameras of Samsung’s or Xiaomi’s phones. We are also huge fans of the orange leather back, which adds an extra touch of character.
Best for multi-tasking: LG Wing, Microsoft Duo
If productivity is paramount, then two screens are obviously better than one. The LG Wing and Microsoft Duo take very different approaches to this dual-screen set-up. The Wing, in “normal mode,” resembles any other slab smartphone — it’s big, tall, curvy, with almost all-screen on its face. But give the bottom left side of the screen a little push and the front screen swivels, revealing a second screen screen in the back plate.
The Microsoft Duo, meanwhile, is more like two screens connected together by a very premium hinge. The Duo folds and opens like a book, and unlike the Wing, both screens are the same size and quality.
Neither phone carry the most powerful SoC or best cameras, but these are productivity machines first and foremost. To be able to run, say, Slack on one screen with a word document or an email on the other is something most of us remote workers would enjoy.
The Microsoft Duo is an amazingly thin dual-screen device that opens and close like a book. While there were some software quirks at launch, Microsoft has fixed enough of it that the device is usable. If you need to run two apps at the same time often, this is one of the best options.
2020 has actually been pretty great for Android smartphones, with a fair few smartphones being excellent at what they do. While prices did go north this year, most average consumers need not be paying these prices unless they want the best of the best. There is a wide variety of options for every taste this year, which is refreshing after a few years with homogenous products at the top. The “best” this year still is a conventional glass slab smartphone, but we are very excited to see where foldables as a category lead, as they can very well be the best, next year.