Android phones come in assorted sizes and at various prices, ranging from cheap handsets with modest screens to expensive foldable models that can turn from a tablet into a phone.

After spending hundreds of hours testing Android smartphones, we’ve concluded that the Google Pixel 8—which sits in the sweet spot of competitive pricing and great hardware—is the best Android phone for most people.

It offers outstanding software and camera performance, and it costs less than other high-end handsets. It will receive guaranteed software updates for longer than most Android phones, too.

Our pick

The Pixel 8 offers the best version of Android, with guaranteed security updates through fall 2030, and it has one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever tested. It also has excellent build quality and costs less than Apple’s latest iPhones.

Google’s Pixel smartphones have always offered the best Android software experience, but the Google Pixel 8 proves that Google is doubling down on hardware. It has a crisp 6.2-inch OLED screen and a solid wrap-around aluminum frame. The Pixel 8 also offers the best camera performance of any Android phone save for its sibling, the Pixel 8 Pro, and Google’s custom Tensor G3 processor holds its own against the high-end chips in other phones. In addition, the Pixel 8 is more likely to remain secure for years longer than most Android phones thanks to its seven years of guaranteed monthly patches. And at $700, it costs hundreds less than other Android phones that won’t last as long or perform as well (though we don’t love Google’s decision to raise the prices of its latest Pixel models across the board).

Upgrade pick

The Pixel 8 Pro takes the Pixel 8 and adds a bigger, better screen and more camera features, but it’s more expensive than previous Pro models.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has a larger OLED screen than the Pixel 8, with a higher resolution and refresh rate, as well as a 5x telephoto camera. The improvements bump this phone’s price up to $1,000, so the value isn’t quite as strong as with the Pixel 8. But the Pixel 8 Pro is a more capable phone with the same excellent software and seven years of update support.

Budget pick

The Pixel 7a has a higher price tag than Google’s budget phones usually do, but it offers more features for the cost. The 7a offers a better display, an improved camera, Face Unlock, and Google’s custom Tensor G2 processor in a plastic body. It’s not as premium as a flagship Pixel model, but you get plenty for your money.

Though Google’s Pixel 7a is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the Pixel 8, you don’t sacrifice many features in choosing this model. The Pixel 7a runs on Google’s Tensor G2 processor and has an improved 64-megapixel camera sensor, wireless charging, Face Unlock, and an upgraded 1080p display with a smooth 90 Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 7a has a plastic body, an aluminum frame, and a dual-camera setup on the rear, and it will receive many of the same Android 14 features that the higher-end Pixel models will. The one downside: The Pixel 7a will receive software updates for only five years, rather than the seven years of updates that Google has promised for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Also great

A fast processor, a huge screen, class-leading camera hardware, and a stylus make the Galaxy S23 Ultra the most full-featured Android phone available. But you should buy it only if it’s on sale.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the biggest, brightest screen of any smartphone you can buy, and the included S Pen can help you take notes, mark up documents, and create art in ways you can’t do on any other phone. It offers the best build quality of any Android phone we’ve tested, with a custom aluminum-alloy frame that wraps around the edges and matte glass that repels fingerprints. The Galaxy S23 Ultra also has the best camera hardware in a phone, including a 200-megapixel primary lens and a 10x “periscope” zoom. Its primary drawback is its high price; for $200 less, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is better at most things. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is ideal if you demand maximum versatility from your phone, but you should buy it only on sale—we recommend purchasing when it’s closer to $1,000, or if you have an older Samsung phone to trade in.

Also great

The Galaxy S23 has the same powerful processor as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but its compact frame and smaller display make it easier to use.

Most good Android phones are big and heavy, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 is petite enough for those with smaller hands. The 6.1-inch OLED display looks even better than the Google Pixel 8’s screen, and its build quality is every bit as good as that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It’s built to last on the software side, too, with the same five-year update commitment as on Samsung’s other flagship phones. The Galaxy S23 lacks the advanced camera array of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it still shoots better photos than anything else that isn’t a Pixel. However, the smaller size means a smaller battery—the Galaxy S23 lasts a day, but only just.

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