With Black Friday and holiday deals starting to arrive, it’s time to buy a new smartphone. If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, these are the best options available as of November 2022.
Best Android phones – November 2022
9to5Google’s picks for the best Android smartphones look at the overall experience, pricing, reliability, camera quality, and software support duration to determine the best options. This list mainly covers devices over $500 in the United States.
Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
The best value in a flagship phone
The first thing you might think of when you hear about a Google Pixel is its camera, and yes, Google smartphones have the best cameras for still photography out there. But the show goes beyond that.
Looking first at the base spec sheet, the Pixel 7 has a 6.4-inch, 1080p, 90Hz AMOLED display in a matte glass and metal texture. The Pixel 7 Pro has a larger 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440p and a frequency of 120Hz with a shiny metal finish. The Pixel 7 has a 4,355mAh battery while the Pro has a 5,000mAh battery, charging at over 20W over USB-C and supporting Qi wireless charging.
In the camera department, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro share the same 50MP primary camera with a 12MP ultrawide and a 10.8MP selfie camera that is also used for face unlock. (There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor.) The only big difference between the two is the 48MP camera with 5x telephoto lens on the Pixel 7 Pro that greatly improves its zoom capabilities.
Under the hood is the Google Tensor G2 processor. While it’s not quite as powerful as the latest Snapdragon chip, it gets the job done incredibly well, all while improving the heat and connectivity issues of its predecessor. The main hiccup is still battery endurance, as Google’s latest phones won’t last as long as devices from Samsung and others. You’ll find 8GB of RAM and at least 128GB of storage on the Pixel 7, and 12GB of RAM with at least 128GB of storage on the Pixel 7 Pro.
The biggest reason the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are among the best Android phones in 2022 is value.
The Pixel 7 starts at just $599 in the US, making it one of the more affordable devices on this list, though there aren’t huge compromises to get to this price point. It has about the same amount of memory, storage, and overall experience as phones that cost $200-$300 more. The Pixel 7 Pro is a similar story at $899, which lowers devices well above this price in roughly the same package.
Google also offers excellent software support for both devices. You’ll get at least three years of major Android updates and be first in the list of new releases, plus a quarterly Feature Drops. Monthly security updates continue for at least five years after the October 2022 launch, too. Both of them, of course, come with Android 13 out of the box.
You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to make a final decision on the Pixel 7 series, but in our experience, these two are killer devices that punch above their price points. Whether you want the best camera or just a good deal, it’s hard to argue against the Pixel 7.
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+
The best overall
If you look at the overall package from price to camera to performance, the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ are really hard to beat. Samsung’s mass-market flagship phones are popular for a reason, and that’s because they’re incredibly compact.
The Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080p 120Hz while the S22+ has a 6.6-inch screen. The smaller phone has a 3,700mAh battery, while the larger phone comes in at 4,500mAh. Both phones tend to last all day and can be recharged at 25W and 45W respectively with Qi wireless charging.
Samsung’s camera array in the Galaxy S22 series is similar to the Pixel 7 series, with a 50MP primary camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP camera with a 3x telephoto lens. There is also a 10MP selfie camera.
Both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ are currently eligible for Android 13 and will get major Android updates for four years after their early 2022 launch, and security updates for another year after that. Rounding out the spec sheet is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB of RAM, at least 128GB of storage (the microSD card slot is no longer available), and an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
The Galaxy S22 starts at $799 while the Galaxy S22+ jumps to $999. Both phones are reasonably good deals at their regular prices, but often you’ll find excellent discounts or trade-in deals from carriers, retailers, or Samsung itself.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Jack of all trades
If all you care about is getting the best in your new Android phone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is exactly what you’re looking for.
Samsung’s true flagship Android smartphone is one of the best you can buy because it tries, and often succeeds, at doing just about everything. The S22 Ultra has a massive 6.8-inch 1440p 120Hz AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. This screen also works with Samsung’s S Pen, which is housed inside the phone itself — that’s right, this is the Galaxy Note reborn.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is based on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in its base model, and a 5,000mAh battery with 45W wired charging and Qi support. Like the rest of the S22 lineup, it currently has Android 13 and will receive updates for four years after launch and five years of security patches.
In the camera department, Samsung is flexing its muscles a bit with a total of four camera sensors on the back of the phone. There is a 108MP primary camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera two telephoto lenses. Both are powered by a 10MP sensor, but one has 3x zoom while the other manages 10x. There is also a 40MP camera on the front for selfies.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra retails for $1,199, but like the rest of Samsung smartphones, it is not at all difficult to find it at a discount, especially around the holidays and especially from Samsung.com.
Buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra:
Other great Android smartphones
These honorable mentions aren’t our first pick, but they’re still excellent smartphones, and they often serve a specific need or customer.
OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T
Faster charging, better gaming
If mobile gaming is your top priority, then OnePlus is the brand to look forward to. The OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T ship with Game Optimization software on board as well as the fastest charging you’ll find on a smartphone in North America. The OnePlus 10 Pro charges 65W while the OnePlus 10T charges a really insane 120W.
The OnePlus 10 Pro starts at $799 while the OnePlus 10T goes for $649.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4
Take a step into the future
Foldable smartphones are not suitable Everyone Yet — but they just keep getting better, and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 are proof of that.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 brings back the foldable phone that dominated the market before the smartphone. It folds in half to close, with a small external display on the body that opens up to a 6.7-inch 120Hz display. When opened, it’s about the same as your average smartphone, but can shrink to a fraction of the space of other devices.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 builds on the smartphone experience by pushing a tablet inside your regular device. When closed, there is a full-size screen that opens to reveal a screen the size of a small tablet. This inner display can show up to three apps at once (or more), introduces support for Samsung’s S Pen for precise input, and really expands what your smartphone can do.
Of course, all of this comes at a price. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 costs $999 — about the same price as a non-foldable phone, but with some minor compromises on battery life and camera quality. Meanwhile, the Fold 4 costs $1,799, which is a steep price to pay for any smartphone. These foldables are really some of the best Android phones you can buy, but they should be worth it for you. Fortunately, Samsung offers some killer business deals.
Buy Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4:
Buy Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4:
Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and other flagships for 2021
Save a little bit of last year’s experience
If you want to save a few bucks, going the “year ago” route is a great way to do it. Older phones used to make big compromises on Android, but that’s a problem that’s quickly starting to fade.
Take the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, for example. While the Pixel 7 series offers better connectivity and heat management, you’ll get 90% off Google’s latest phone by buying the previous model, and you’ll do so while still getting plenty of software support. If you buy a Pixel 6 this holiday season, you’ll get two more years of major Android updates and four more years of security updates, potentially saving hundreds of dollars.
Best Buy, for example, sells the Pixel 6 Pro with 256GB of storage for just $699. That’s $300 off its original price! Amazon will also sell a regular Pixel 6 for less than $350 through its “Renewed” smartphone store.
Seems like a pretty good deal to me!
The same applies to recent Samsung devices. The Galaxy S21 series or the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 are killer buys bone With the same features and specifications as the 2022 models. And all the flagship phones of 2021 from Samsung are eligible for four years of Android updates and five years of security updates as well, which means that they will not be affected much.
You can get the Galaxy Z Fold 3 for $1,199 on Samsung’s website, $600 off the regular price. Samsung also sells the refurbished Galaxy S21 for a few hundred dollars with certified refurbished models. Amazon sells refurbished Galaxy S21 devices for under $500, often.
Plus, you can even pick up a used device, often for even bigger discounts. eBay is always a good place to check, Swappa is a tried-and-true option for buying (and selling) used phones safely, and there are some really good deals to be found on phones from last year and even this year.
We have a full list of the best Android smartphones, but there are two main budget options that include the following.
Google Pixel 6a
If you are looking for your best, Google Pixel 6a is one of the best options out there.
It has the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the tried-and-true cameras of the Pixel line’s history, and a pretty compact 6.1-inch solid screen. It has good battery life — though no wireless charging — and it’ll get three years of major Android updates with security patches for five years after launch.
The Pixel 6a does all of that, too, for just $449. And around the holidays, the Pixel 6a is easily the best deal on an Android smartphone. For Black Friday, it’s down to just $299, which is a deal that can’t be beat.
Buy Pixel 6a:
Samsung Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A23
On the Samsung side of the equation, the Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A23 are solid options at the budget end in the US. The Galaxy A53 has an absolutely gorgeous 6.5-inch 120Hz display at this price with a 64MP primary camera on the back and an aggressive update policy. Samsung will provide major Android updates for four years and security updates for a year after that.
The Galaxy A23 has a 6.6-inch 90Hz display and a 50MP primary camera. It’s a pretty great deal for the money on paper, though it does come with one catch. While this is a good value phone, it only gets two major Android updates, with four years of comprehensive support. This is still one of the best refresh policies you’ll find at this price point.
The Galaxy A53 usually costs $449 but can easily be found for less through deals, and can be purchased directly from Samsung at huge trade-in values. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A23 retails for $299 and can also net you some solid discounts if you trade in your current device with Samsung.
FTC: We use affiliate links to earn income. more.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: