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Best Android phones to buy for 2021 – CNET


Phone technology is evolving quickly and today’s leading phone manufacturers are innovating faster than ever before. Features like Super AMOLED displays and super fast 5G connectivity are now commonplace, and those with deep pockets can access a cutting-edge phone with more futuristic tech such as foldable displays. Samsung’s Galaxy line dominates the Android category and that’s probably not going to end anytime soon. But other companies are gunning for the honor of being the best Android phone — and you, the customer, benefit from all this competition.

Tons of great Android smartphone options are available at a variety of prices, ranging from budget Android phones to high-end flagship phones. We took a look at them all and rounded up our favorites. These phones all have generally great cameras, battery life, screens or all of the above. We also took into consideration features such as wireless charging, fingerprint sensor and expandable storage. Read on to see our top picks for the best Android phones and check out our tips on how to buy a new phone, too. We’ll update this list periodically as we review new products.

Read moreBest phones of 2021

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Angela Lang/CNET

Pixel phones have a loyal following and with good reason. Without considering its price, Google’s Pixel 4A Android phone has top-notch camera performance that takes brilliant photos. But this Android device is an even better deal as the budget smartphone costs $349 (£349, AU$599). The 5.81-inch handset also features a headphone jack, 128GB of storage out of the box and better battery life than the previous year’s Pixel 4.

Read our Google Pixel 4A review.

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Juan Garzon/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE packs much of what we’ve come to expect from its premium S range of phones, including multiple rear cameras, great performance and 5G connectivity, but wrapped it in cheaper materials and brought the price down to a more affordable phone. This Android phone won a coveted CNET Editors’ Choice award, and it’s the phone to go for if you want a great Samsung phone but don’t want to empty your bank account to get it.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition review.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The Motorola Edge Plus has pretty much everything you’d hope for in a premium 5G phone: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, a giant battery, an OLED screen with a high refresh rate, and multiple rear cameras with heavy-duty specs. Motorola took features found on other top-of-the-line Android phones, put its own Moto spin on them and built them all into one of our favorite Android phones of the year.

Read our Motorola Edge Plus review.

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