Best Android phones in 2022

Best Android phones in 2022 (updated November)
2022 is almost out the door and all major smartphone announcements are well behind us. With the holiday season looming over, now is the time to take a long look at what the best Android phones of the year are and pick our next purchase!

We'll be looking at the best Android phones available right now, but take note that foldables are excluded — see here if you are looking for the best foldable phones.

Also check out: the Best phones to buy right now

Contents:


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
8.8

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra


The Good

  • S Pen in a flagship, great for creatives
  • Industry-leading screen quality
  • Faster charging than before
  • 10X zoom camera is improved significantly
  • Video recording gets smoother stabilization
  • 4 years of major software updates!

The Bad

  • Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
  • You get less RAM than last year
  • No microSD card slot, no headphone jack
  • Loudspeaker quality could be better
  • Jittery swiping, microstutter with gesture nav in One UI

The biggest, meanest kid on the block. The Galaxy S22 Ultra dropped in the February of 2022 to gain a good bit of momentum before anyone else does. It's powered by a new-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and an Exynos 2200 for those outside of the US. And, the big news of course — it now supports an S Pen. No, not like the S21 Ultra — the S22 Ultra actually stores the S Pen in its body.

You know. Like a Galaxy Note. Yes, the Note series is back! In the form of the most expensive S phone, but it's still back!

The excellent camera with upgraded focusing and improved 100x zoom is just the cherry on top. The battery life should be pretty close to the S21 Ultra's, as it's the same-sized 5,000 mAh cell. As a true contemporary flagship, it has a 120 Hz screen for buttery-smooth animations too.


Google Pixel 7 Pro


Google Pixel 7 Pro
8.8

Google Pixel 7 Pro


The Good

  • Great deal at $900
  • Speedy performance, clean software
  • Powerful zoom camera
  • Guaranteed day 1 software updates

The Bad

  • Portrait Mode is bad
  • Tensor G2 is not as powerful as rivals
  • Slow-ish charging

Google came back to the premium smartphone market after taking a break in 2020. And it came in hard and fast — the Pixel 6 Pro was big, pretty, and smart! Now comes its heir — the Pixel 7 Pro. Still priced at $900, it's a pretty hefty package with a triple camera, a lot of AI doing the heavy lifting, exclusive Google Assistant features, and a very pretty screen. It's the full package, only lacking a top-tier chip inside (though, the Tensor G2 has strengths when it comes to AI and computational photography).

Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+


Samsung Galaxy S22
8.5

Samsung Galaxy S22


The Good

  • Awesome display
  • Compact-ish
  • Good haptics
  • Good camera
  • OneUI is all grown up and fleshed out

The Bad

  • Not a huge improvement over S21
  • Battery life is a bit weak
  • Speakers need improvement

These two are almost the same phone. The S22 is there for those that prefer a more compact experience (though, it's not really small) or would like to save an extra buck. Otherwise it has the same internals as the S21+ and S21 Ultra, as well as the same cameras as the S21+.

The Plus version is slightly bigger — its screen size is almost as big as on the Ultra, so if you want that big Samsung phone experience but don't care for the Ultra's insane 100x camera, this one is your next best bet.

While the S22 and S22+ cameras are a step below the S22 Ultra's, they are most probably still going to be quite good — flagship grade, even. The phones should perform just as fast as their big sibling and also have 120 Hz displays.

The only thing that bothers us is that their batteries were slightly downgraded. The Galaxy S22's cell fell down to 3,700 mAh, the S22 Plus — to 4,500 mAh, which is better but not ideal for that size. Stay tuned for battery tests later this month!


Asus ZenFone 9


Asus Zenfone 9

Asus Zenfone 9


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The ZenFone 9 certainly got the tech industry rubbernecking when it landed. It's unique, it does its own thing, it looks... kind of posh? The back is a soft texture that looks and feels special, the camera bump is big, bold, and stylized, and its overall size is on the compact side — at least so far as Android phones are concerned.


Google Pixel 7


Google Pixel 6
9.0

Google Pixel 6


The Good

  • Great price to value
  • Good-looking OLED screen with 90 Hz refresh
  • Great camera
  • Android 12 runs fast and smooth
  • Smart features and exclusive Assistant functions

The Bad

  • Speakers are thin-ish
  • Android 12 needs some polish in presentation
  • Tensor chip is smart but not a super-performer

The bargain-priced Pixel 7 comes at $600 but still has the same Tensor G2 chip, same Assistant features, and same main camera as the Pixel 7 Pro. It's the core premium Google experience, compressed and offered at a very, very competitive price point.

We find the Pixel 7 to look and feel fantastic — yes, it's short of being being premium tier, but we can't really find major faults with it. It's a very, very solid phone for very, very good money.


Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro


Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro
9.0

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro


The Good

  • Fast performance, doesn't throttle easily
  • Amazing stereo speakers
  • Beautiful screen, can be very accurate
  • Tons of storage and RAM for hardware future-proofing
  • Ecosystem of gaming accessories
  • Solid battery

The Bad

  • Only 2 years of software support
  • A bit heavy, a bit slippery
  • No wireless charging
  • Cooler accessory is a separate purchase now (can be included in various promo bundles)
Gaming phones are a bit of a meme, but it’s nice to see Asus fully embracing it. The ROG Phone 6 Pro has an aggressive-looking design, a tiny screen on the back whose sole purpose is to display custom logos, and 2 hardware pressure point buttons for enhanced gaming. It wouldn’t be a “gaming phone” if it didn’t have absolutely silly specs, too, and the ROG Phone 6 Pro delivers. 18 GB of RAM on a smartphone? 165 Hz screen? External cooler to keep the device cool while gaming? Yes, yes, and how else would you have it?

It’s a niche phone, absolutely, but it’s hard to keep it away from a “best” selection. After all, it is probably the (or among the) most powerful Android phones out on the market right now. Even if you don’t need all the power — you definitely get the bragging rights.

If the ROG Phone 6 Pro is a bit too much for you, go for the non-Pro version. It’s just as good, it just cuts back on a little of that overhead that you may or may not need.


Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate


Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate
9.0

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate


The Good

  • Fast performance, comes with fan in box
  • Great-sounding speakers
  • Screen is dense, colorful, accurate
  • Lots of storage and RAM
  • Long battery life, quick charging

The Bad

  • Only 2 years of software support
  • On the heavy side
  • No wireless charging
The ROG Phone 6D series is an alternate take on the ROG Phone — these are powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 9000+ chip. Are they better or worse? Well, in our time with the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate we found it to be on par with the ROG Phone 6 Pro. Apparently, the two variants will be sold in separate markets. Where there is overlap, you will have a choice between the Snapdragon ROG Phone 6 and the Dimensity ROG Phone 6D. Whichever one you go for — both are overkill in specs.

OnePlus 10 Pro


OnePlus 10 Pro
8.5

OnePlus 10 Pro


The Good

  • Great performance with good thermal management
  • Gorgeous display
  • Nice haptics and lovely sound
  • Premium design
  • Versatile camera
  • You get a charger in the box

The Bad

  • Sometimes bleak image colors
  • Color temperature inconsistencies between the different lenses
  • No auto Night Mode

OnePlus' 2022 flagship entry is priced exactly as a Google Pixel 6 Pro competitor. Now, while OnePlus does not have the camera chops or the Tensor smarts, it certainly has its own charm. A selection of special features, borrowed from Oppo's Color OS, make the new Oxygen OS 12 highly customizable and... fun. The haptics are great, the screen is pretty, and the cameras are certainly above average.

With its own look and feel, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a nice alternative for those that wish to stray off the beaten path for a while.


OnePlus 10T


OnePlus 10T
8.0

OnePlus 10T


The Good

  • Sets a new standard for fast charging
  • Very fast thanks to Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • 16GB RAM option is a sweet overkill
  • Large, bright display with gorgeous colors

The Bad

  • No zoom camera
  • Overall camera quality not quite on par with the best
  • Alert slider is gone
  • USB 2.0 speeds from the port
  • Who needs a macro camera?

The OnePlus 10T is faster than the OnePlus 10 Pro, owing to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 inside, but cheaper. How so, you ask? It cut back on other features, mainly in the camera department.

So, if you want an all-rounder, the Pro is still probably the better choice, but if you want raw power — OnePlus made the 10T for you.

Read more: OnePlus 10T review

Nothing Phone (1)


Nothing Phone (1)
9.0

Nothing Phone (1)


The Good

  • Unique design elements
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Pretty good camera
  • Good performance
  • Dependable battery life
  • Pretty-looking, 120 Hz screen - very good at the price point

The Bad

  • Speaker sound is OK, but a bit tinny
  • Glyph notification may not be as practical
  • No sign of what that wide Nothing ecosystem might be
  • Software still suffers from small but annoying bugs

After teasing us for almost a year, Nothing finally launched its Phone (1). It's not as bombastic as some might have hoped, but it's pretty cool. The light module on the back is definitely unique, the phone feels great in the hand, and it's on the affordable side.


Motorola Moto Edge 30


Motorola Edge 30
8.8

Motorola Edge 30


The Good

  • A nice and fluid display
  • Finally, dual speakers
  • Very nice looks
  • Compact, thin, and amazingly light
  • Great performance
  • Fast charging speeds

The Bad

  • Ultra-wide camera struggles in low-light conditions
  • Video capture and selfies captured during the night aren’t great
  • Third camera is pointless

The Moto Edge 30 is a pretty cool high-class phone for an affordable price. Some corners were cut, but the Snapdragon 778+ inside is still a pretty competent chipset. Those that want a higher-tier Motorola can go for the Moto Edge+ (a.k.a. Moto Edge 30 Pro), but Motorola phones are generally known for their bang-for-buck ratio. That's why we figured the Edge 30 will be the more interesting phone to list here.

It still has a 144 Hz AMOLED screen, which is pretty bonkers at the price point, and a pretty OK camera, though we weren't impressed by its video capabilities. Still, a good choice for Motorola fans, we believe.


Google Pixel 6a


Google Pixel 6a
9.3

Google Pixel 6a


The Good

  • Great value for money
  • Fast processor
  • Excellent camera
  • Great 6.1" size that does not feel too big
  • Clean Android, timely updates
  • Pleasing "staccato" haptic feedback
  • Pleasing loudspeaker quality

The Bad

  • Lacks a zoom camera
  • Pixel reputation for bugs and issues does not inspire confidence
  • Only runs at 60Hz
  • Headphone jack is gone
  • No charger in the box

The Google Pixel 6a is a budget offer based on the Pixel 6 platform. It shares the same looks and the same custom Google Tensor chip. The screen is slightly smaller and the 6a is capped at 60 Hz, while the Pixel 6 can go to 90 Hz refresh rate.

Those things aside, the Pixel 6a is a great value offer with a good chip inside, and a camera experience, which we are sure will not disappoint. It uses an older 12.2 MP sensor, which will be enhanced thanks to Google's computational photography and the new chops of the Tensor chip.

Though, it's not out yet, the Pixel 6a is expected to launch towards the end of July. We'd suggest holding out for that one instead of getting a Pixel 5a, for example.


Samsung Galaxy A53


Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
9.0

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G


The Good

  • Great 120Hz screen
  • Dual speakers do a great job
  • Cameras produce solid image and video quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Clean design
  • Has microSD expandable storage

The Bad

  • Disappointing haptics
  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • No more headphone jack
  • Gaming experience is a bit of a let down

Samsung has been knocking it out of the park with its midrange A series over the past couple of years. The Galaxy A53 specs hit just right and the phone offers the full Samsung experience at a much lower price than the S series. Unless top-of-the-line features and specs are absolutely needed, this is arguably the perfect Android smartphone for most people, as it should check the necessary boxes for all but the most hardcore Android users.

It sports a big, beautiful 120 Hz Super AMOLED display, a respectable camera setup with optical image stabilization, good stereo speakers, and good battery life. Its downsides are its somewhat bulky plastic build and, as is to be expected, its somewhat lower-tier (but still pretty stable) performance.


OnePlus Nord N20


OnePlus Nord N20 5G

OnePlus Nord N20 5G


View full specs

OnePlus' attempt at a mid-ranger should have the competition scared — the company is well-known for its aggressive pricing and the Nord N20 is definitely a lot of phone for its $300 asking price. It may have midrange hardware, but the lightweight OxygenOS doesn't hog up all your resources, so it's still quite responsive.

It has an upgraded AMOLED screen, instead of the LCD of the predecessor, and if the camera of the N10 is anything to go by — we believe the N20 will be a satisfying phone all-round for its asking price.

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