May 19, 2022

Best Android phones 2022

By Harish Jonnalagadda Jeramy Johnson last updated 1 day ago

The definitive guide to the best Android phones you can buy this year.

Included in this guide:1

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SamsungGalaxy S22+CHECK PRICE2

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GooglePixel 6CHECK PRICE3

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GooglePixel 6 ProCHECK PRICE4

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SamsungGalaxy S22CHECK PRICE5

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SamsungGalaxy S22 UltraCHECK PRICE6

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OnePlus10 ProCHECK PRICE7

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GooglePixel 5aCHECK PRICE8

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SamsungGalaxy Z Flip 3CHECK PRICE9

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SamsungGalaxy Z Fold 3CHECK PRICE10

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SamsungGalaxy A53 5GCHECK PRICE11

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OnePlusNord N20 5GCHECK PRICE12

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NokiaG20CHECK PRICE13

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RedMagic7CHECK PRICE

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Best Android Phones Hero

Best Android Phones Hero (Image credit: Marco Miranda / Android Central)

If you want to get your hands on the best Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ is the best option right now. It strikes the ideal balance between the regular S22 and the massive S22 Ultra, and the best part is that you get all of Samsung’s latest camera innovations. 

The S22+ has all of the high-end features you’re looking for in a flagship phone, and with Samsung now guaranteeing four Android OS updates, it will stay relevant for a lot longer than just about any other Android device, including the latest Pixels. 

What are the best Android phones?

There are many contenders for the best Android phones, but we think the Galaxy S22+ is the best option for most people. The phone has a great mix of sublime hardware backed by global 5G connectivity, a sleek design that allows it to stand out, and robust cameras that take fabulous photos in challenging lighting conditions. 

But what makes the Galaxy S22+ and the rest of the S22 series stand out is the long-term software commitment. Samsung will deliver four platform updates and five years of security patches, and with the phone launching with Android 12 out of the box, it will be updated to Android 16. https://www.youtube.com/embed/WGNEdowZdsw

If you have a few more dollars to spend and want something even more impressive, the obvious choice is the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Although not labeled as a Note device, the S22 Ultra is the eventual successor of the Note 20 Ultra, featuring a similar design and the best hardware that Samsung has to offer at the moment. Best of all, you get an integrated S Pen that lets you write notes, doodle, and so much more.

We should also mention that the standard Galaxy S22 is a fantastic choice if you want a small Android phone in 2022. The compact phone category hasn’t received as much attention in recent years, but the S22 delivers high-end internals in an easy-to-use package.  

Ring, ring: The best Android phones are here

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus between Nanoleaf Shapes lights
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22+

Best Android phone overallTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Sublime 120Hz AMOLED screen+Latest internal hardware with 5G+Powerful cameras+All-day battery life with 45W charging+All the extras you want+Four guaranteed Android OS updates

REASONS TO AVOID

-Costly-No microSD slot

The Galaxy S22+ gives you everything you’re looking for in a high-end Android phone in 2022. The 6.6-inch AMOLED screen is the ideal size for browsing, streaming videos, or playing games, and you get HDR10+ playback on your favorite streaming services as well as powerful stereo sound. 

The 120Hz refresh rate ensures day-to-day interactions are sublime, whether you’re scrolling through social media or playing your favorite game. This is one of the best screens you’ll find on any phone today. 

The internal hardware has been refreshed for 2022, with the S22+ featuring Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This is a monstrous chipset that will deliver stellar performance for several years to come. The phone also includes IP68 dust and water resistance as well as 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging as standard. 

There’s also a meaningful upgrade on the charging front, with the S22+ now offering 45W wired charging as standard. 

Then there are the cameras: the S22+ has a 50MP primary lens with OIS that takes outstanding shots in any lighting condition, and you also get a 12MP wide-angle lens and a 10MP zoom lens that goes up to 3x zoom without any loss in detail. 

Samsung has delivered reliable cameras for a while now, and it fine-tuned its software and camera tuning algorithms for 2022, allowing the S22+ to outmatch its predecessors. 

Then there’s the software side of things; Samsung is now the de facto leader for software updates thanks to its promise of four Android OS updates. The S22+ runs One UI 4 based on Android 12 out of the box, and you get the latest Google additions here along with a suite of Samsung’s own features. 

With the phone slated to pick up the Android 16 update down the line, you won’t be left wanting for long-term updates. 

There are a few downsides: you won’t find a 3.5mm jack, microSD slot, or a bundled wall charger. But when you consider what you actually get here, Samsung has managed to create the best all-around flagship in the Galaxy S22+. If you’re thinking of an upgrade, now is the time to switch. 

google-pixel-6-Widgets-Material-You-Green
(Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Google Pixel 6

Best value flagshipTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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View at AmazonView at Conrad ElectronicSee all prices (4 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Truly amazing cameras+Best value in this category+Gorgeous, unique design+Three Android OS updates+IP68 and wireless charging

REASONS TO AVOID

-Bigger than its predecessor-Limited to select global markets-Has been a bit buggyAdvertisement

The Pixel 6 lowers the barrier to entry for the best camera on Android. The 50MP primary camera takes truly amazing photos in any situation, and you get the best hardware in this class backed by a gorgeous 90Hz AMOLED panel, making it a truly great choice. 

The phone has the same 5nm custom Google Tensor chipset and an identical 50MP camera at the back as the Pixel 6 Pro, but it costs significantly less, making it a highly enticing value.

Back that up with Android 12 out of the box, the same three platform updates, and five years of security updates, and there’s no reason to look at any other phones in this category. The Pixel 6 has all the hardware extras you’re looking for — including IP68 dust and water resistance and wireless charging — and you get stunning cameras and a bold design backed by long-term updates.

The Pixel has to be the best value you can find today, and when you factor in the hardware and the amazing cameras, it is an easy recommendation.

Sorta Sunny Google Pixel 6 Pro in Fall leaves
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Most reliable camerasTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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VIEW AT AMAZON

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REASONS TO BUY

+Stunning, unique design+Incredible cameras+120Hz LTPO OLED panel is buttery smooth+Custom Tensor chipset offers unique features+First in line to get Android updates

REASONS TO AVOID

-Software isn’t as customizable-Flaky fingerprint module-Loses out to Samsung in terms of long-term updatesAdvertisement

Google’s earlier Pixel phones had great cameras, but as phones, they were lacking in several areas. The hardware wasn’t on par with what Samsung, Xiaomi, and others were offering in the high-end segment, and they were plagued by a lot of quality control issues.

With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google is changing all of that. The phone has the same caliber of hardware as the latest flagships from Samsung and Xiaomi, but that doesn’t come at the cost of camera innovation; if anything, Google has managed to deliver huge upgrades on that front. There’s now a 50MP primary camera that takes outstanding photos, and you’ll also find an ultra-wide lens that holds up just as well and a 48MP zoom lens with 4x optical zoom.https://www.youtube.com/embed/upTcgjHh890

That means that the Pixel 6 Pro has the best cameras you’ll find on any phone today, but it isn’t just a phone with great cameras; the rest of the hardware is also refined. You’ll discover a gorgeous design at the back with a wide camera bar, the screen is a 6.71-inch AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate, and you also get a large 5,000mAh battery with 30W wired and 23W wireless charging.

A true differentiator is the internal hardware. The Pixel 6 Pro is the first phone to feature Google’s custom Tensor platform, and it is on par with high-end designs from Qualcomm and Samsung. It features two Cortex X1 cores along with A76 and energy-efficient A55 cores, basically ensuring that it can handle anything you throw at it with ease.

Google messed up with memory and storage in the past, but it isn’t making those mistakes with the Pixel 6 Pro. The phone comes with 12GB of RAM as standard, and you can pick it up in 128GB or 256GB storage configurations. Advertisement

The Pixel 6 Pro has its bases covered on the software side as well: it comes with Android 12 out of the box and will get three Android platform updates and five years of security updates. It isn’t quite the same as what you get with Samsung’s latest phones, but Google will be looking to address this issue pretty soon. 

And when you account for the fact that the Pixel 6 Pro costs less than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you have a standout winner.

Samsung Galaxy S22 in white
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22

Best compact phoneTODAY’S BEST DEALS

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VIEW AT AMAZONView at AT&TView at AmazonSee all prices (17 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Ideal for one-handed use+Same internal hardware as S22+/Ultra+Stunning 120Hz AMOLED screen+Amazing cameras+Four guaranteed Android OS updates

REASONS TO AVOID

-Limited to 25W wired charging-No microSD slot-Average battery lifeAdvertisement

With the Galaxy S22, Samsung has delivered the best compact phone you’ll find today. Phones have gotten taller and narrower over the last three years, and we haven’t seen many manufacturers cater to users looking for a small phone — particularly in the high-end category. 

The S22 fills that void, and although it has a 6.1-inch screen, it is diminutive at just 146mm, a full 17.3mm shorter than the S22 Ultra. It is also light, making it a delight to hold and use. 

While Samsung shrunk the size here, it didn’t omit any features. The Galaxy S22 comes with a 120Hz AMOLED screen that’s of the same caliber as the S22+ and Ultra, and it is powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. 

You also get the same stellar cameras as the S22+, and the extras like IP68 rating and wireless charging are all intact. Unlike last year’s S21, the S22 has a glass back, and it has a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus+ at the front and back. 

Finally, the S22 will also get the same four guaranteed Android OS updates as its siblings. The only downside with the phone is the battery; the 3,700mAh battery manages to last a day, but only just — and when you need to charge it, you’re looking at 25W wired charging. 

But other than that, the S22 is a truly standout choice if you’re in the market for a small phone in 2022. 

Black Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen out of the holster
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The ideal phone for Note fansTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AT&TView at AT&TView at AmazonSee all prices (13 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Designed for productivity+Includes an integrated S Pen+Fabulous 120Hz AMOLED screen+Latest hardware and cameras+All the extras you need+Four guaranteed Android OS updates

REASONS TO AVOID

-No bundled charger-Costly-Base model gets 128GB storageAdvertisement

If you want the best Android phone that Samsung has to offer right now, you’ll need to take a look at the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The phone is particularly interesting if you’re a Note fan; Samsung killed off the Note series in 2021, but with the S22 Ultra, it has essentially created the successor to the Note 20 Ultra. 

Basically, the S22 Ultra eschews the design of its siblings and instead offers the boxier aesthetic of the Note 20 series. So if you’re using a Note device at the moment, you’ll feel right at home on the S22 Ultra. There is a new design at the back for the camera housing, but other than that, this phone looks and feels like a Note flagship in a Galaxy S moniker. 

But the biggest addition is the integrated S Pen stylus. It’s just as great as previous iterations, and comes with latency tweaks that better mimics the feel of writing. 

The phone comes with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and a massive 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen that is an absolute joy to use. The 4,500mAh battery lasts over a day with ease, and there’s 45W charging alongside 15W wireless and 5W reverse wireless charging. 

And of course, the S22 Ultra packs a lot of camera tech, featuring a 108MP primary lens that is outstanding in any situation. While the sensor itself hasn’t changed from last year, Samsung made a lot of noticeable tweaks to its algorithms, and the result is that you get much better photos. 

Finally, the S22 Ultra will receive four Android OS updates and five years of security patches, making it a great option for long-term use. 

Samsung should have added 256GB of storage as standard here — considering the phone has 8GB of RAM out of the box (4GB less than S21 Ultra) — but other than that, the S22 Ultra is the obvious choice if you want the ultimate flagship. 

OnePlus 10 Pro photos
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

OnePlus 10 Pro

Best phone for Android enthusiastsTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZONView at AmazonView at Amazon

REASONS TO BUY

+Sublime 120Hz AMOLED screen with dynamic scaling+Unique design and textured glass back+Incredible haptic motors+Hasselblad collaboration+80/65W wired / 50W wireless charging+Three Android OS updates

REASONS TO AVOID

-Buggy software-Auxiliary cameras aren’t as good as the competition

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