The Best Android Phones (September 2021)

Android has always been the best operating system if you want freedom of choice. There are heaps of great options from tons of OEMs, but sometimes that just makes it harder to choose the best Android phone.

We can’t promise that the decision will be easy. No two phones are exactly alike, but that’s why we love this operating system. Each manufacturer is developing its own hardware and crafting its own version of Android, so it’s all about what you value in a device. Now, let’s get into our best Android phone picks for 2021.

Buying the best Android phone for your needs

The buying road gets tougher from here, but you’ve already made an important step — choosing an operating system. This page is all about Android phones, so you won’t find the iPhone 12 or any other Apple product among our picks.

Now it’s time to get into the specifics of your new phone. There are so many Android devices on the market, and you can use practically any spec you want to narrow down the options. Maybe you want to start with a 5G-ready chipset, or maybe you need the biggest battery around. You’ll also want to consider how much RAM you want and how much storage you need for your apps, videos, and more.

Another thing to keep in mind is the build quality of your device. Many premium flagship devices are what we call glass sandwiches in 2021 — glass on the front and back with a metal frame to hold it all together. You can save money and go for a plastic device, though it may not feel as sturdy in your hand. There’s also the Google Pixel 5, which sports a tough aluminum build coated in bioresin.

We’ve broken all of our recommendations below into categories to help you figure out just what each phone is best for. If you’re not sold on our top pick, we’ve added some honorable mentions to guide you further.

The best Android phones

  • The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone overall, with top-notch cameras, blistering internals, and S Pen support.
  • The Asus ROG Phone 5 is our top gaming device thanks to its brilliant display, speedy refresh rate, and snappy processor.
  • The OnePlus 9 Pro is a true killer flagship, and the dual-SIM functionality is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the best foldable phone you can buy, thanks to its solid price and tiny footprint.
  • The Google Pixel 5a is an excellent way to get 5G speeds on a mid-range phone at just $449.99.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is our battery king with a 5,000mAh cell and 67W wired or wireless charging.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a great way to stay productive between the huge 6.9-inch display and refined S Pen.
  • The Google Pixel 5 still commands our camera respect, even if the sensor itself isn’t miles ahead anymore.
  • The Sony Xperia 1 III is a creator’s dream, and it keeps the headphone jack alive on premium devices in 2021.
  • The Poco F3 is among the most affordable phones on our list, and it packs an IR blaster for your remote control needs.

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