Google Pixel 4a
Best Android smartphone
The best version of Android with guaranteed updates through August 2023 plus a fantastic camera make the Pixel 4a better than phones that cost several times as much.
Google’s Pixel 4a is a budget version of the now-discontinued Pixel 4, but it retains almost all of what made that phone good. The Pixel 4a has Google’s clean, fast version of Android 10 with three years of guaranteed updates. It also offers camera performance that’s better than what you get from phones costing three times as much. However, the Pixel 4a isn’t quite as fast as the Pixel 4 was, or as the upcoming Pixel 5 will be. On top of that, it doesn’t offer wireless charging, and the plastic body isn’t water resistant. It does, however, have a headphone jack.
The biggest good Android phone
The huge, 6.55-inch screen offers an OLED display with satisfying, deep blacks plus a high refresh rate to make animations smooth. The OnePlus 8 has a top-of-the-line processor and years of guaranteed OS updates, too, but it lacks water resistance and wireless charging.
If you need a bigger screen than any of the Pixel models offer but don’t want to spend over $1,000 on a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S20+, buy the OnePlus 8. It has a spacious, 6.55-inch 1080p display that refreshes 90 times per second (90 Hz), which makes scrolling and navigating through apps look impressively smooth. This phone ships with the latest Android 10 OS without any troublesome add-ons, and OnePlus promises Android updates through April 2022 and another year of security updates after that. The OnePlus 8 has a triple-camera setup that’s better than the cameras of many phones we’ve tested, though the features and photo quality aren’t as good as what you can get on the current cameras from Google, Huawei, or Samsung. The OnePlus 8 also omits high-end features such as wireless charging and water resistance, both of which are present on the more expensive OnePlus 8 Pro, Galaxy S20, and Pixel 4.