Best Android Phones in 2022

One of the best advantages android phones let you choose. Android-powered phones come in all sizes and prices from different manufacturers, including Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Google, among others. Many of these phones come with advanced features such as fast 5G connectivity, vibrant Super AMOLED screens, 120Hz refresh rate screens, large batteries and multiple cameras. Those with deeper pockets can access futuristic, cutting-edge technology like the folding screens found on foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z-folding 3.

But all that choice can also make the shopping experience overwhelming and confusing, which is why we’ve rounded up our favorite picks. these Phone(s) all generally have great cameras, displays, battery life, or all of the above. We also considered features like 5G and wireless charging. Read on to see our top picks for the best Android phones and check out our tips on how to buy a new phone, also. We will update this list regularly as we review new products.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

To like:
• The S Pen is included with the phone and there is a place to store it
• Excellent low light photography
• Zoom closer than most competing phones
• Distinct design

Do not like :
• Dear
• Cameras are mostly the same as on the Galaxy S21 Ultra
• Battery life isn’t as long as the S21 Ultra

The $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the most expensive Android phones out there, but for good reason. It has a giant 6.8-inch screen, an S Pen that you can store inside the phone (just like the Galaxy Note) and a quad-lens camera with a hard-to-beat zoom range. Samsung has also improved the way all of its new Galaxy phones take low-light photos, which is especially important on a photography-oriented phone like the Ultra.

The only downsides? The S22 Ultra’s exorbitant price and relatively short battery life. Still, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best phone for people who want the biggest screen and one of the best cameras available in a smartphone. You just have to be prepared to pay a higher price for these benefits.

Read our Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

To like:
• Bright screen
• Good balance between screen size and comfort
• Better camera with improved colors and contrast
• Attractive design

Do not like :
• $1,000 is still expensive for a phone
• Battery life isn’t as long as the iPhone 13 Pro
• No new built-in camera modes
• Fast charging requires a special $50 adapter

The $1,000 Galaxy S22 Plus strikes the right balance of size, performance, and camera performance for most people. The 6.6-inch screen offers plenty of space for those who prefer larger phones but feel the Ultra might be too overwhelming (and expensive). The upgrade to a 50-megapixel camera also makes a huge difference to last year’s Galaxy S21 lineup, especially when it comes to photo color and contrast.

My biggest complaint is that the battery life was just plain poor, although it outlasted the regular Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Ultra in CNET’s battery test. It would also have been nice to see some new features that take advantage of the S22’s improved camera, especially since the S22 Plus is more expensive than several phones on this list. Still, the Galaxy S22 Plus has everything most people need in a new phone.

Read our Galaxy S22 Plus review.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

To like:
• Excellent cameras
• Solid overall performance
• Neat Android 12 interface
• Attractive design

Do not like :
• Battery is good, but not great
• Fast charging is not that fast
• No facial recognition

Google stayed out of the flagship segment for a few years and spent time making its own chip that specialized in machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Pixel 6 Pro delivers all of this with photographic prowess that’s hard to beat.

Google’s high-end $899 phone still undercuts its rivals on price while still offering such great value. It’s a big phone, with a 6.7-inch screen, which is very crisp thanks to its 3,120 x 1,440 pixel resolution. It has an adaptive refresh rate that can go up to 120Hz when playing fast-paced games, but also slows down to just 10Hz when the phone is essentially idle. The 5,003mAh battery should be good for a full day of mixed use.

Patrick Holland/CNET

To like:
• Two-tone design
• Value for the price
• Main camera is Google’s best

Do not like :
• Under-display fingerprint reader can be frustrating
• Battery life is good, but hard to get more than a day
• Ultra-wide camera is decent but not at the same level as the main camera

Google’s Pixel 6 is the smartphone to get if you want a big screen, flagship performance, some of the best cameras around, and a look that sets it apart from the competition. Google has extended its three years of OS and security updates to five, so it’s going to last. In the US, the Pixel 6 is available through both Google and all major carriers.

The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch 1080p display. It can be set to automatically switch from 60Hz to 90Hz depending on the content on screen. However, the fingerprint sensor is slower. It comes with two rear cameras: the main camera with a wide angle lens and a second camera with an ultra wide angle lens.

If you have $599 and are looking for a new phone, the Pixel 6 is our recommendation.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

To like:
• Improved camera with better low light photography
• Sleek design
• Large size for people who prefer small phones

Do not like :
• Battery life could be better

Finding a smaller sized Android phone is not an easy task these days. Most phones come with screens of at least 6.4 inches or larger, leaving few options for people who prefer small phones. The $800 Galaxy S22 ticks that box. It’s got everything we loved about the Galaxy S22 Plus – an eye-catching design, an excellent camera system with a 50-megapixel main lens, and a crisp display – but in a more user-friendly format.

Still, the Galaxy S22 falls short in the same area as its more expensive siblings: battery life. I was able to spend an entire day with the S22’s refresh rate set to adaptive, which bumps it up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling, but barely. That said, the S22’s battery life might be enough for some people, especially those who spend most of their day at home or in the office with a charger nearby. The Galaxy S22 is otherwise a solid choice for any Android user, but especially for those looking for a smaller sized phone.

Read our Galaxy S22 review.

To like:
• Nice screen
• Fast performance
• IP67 water resistant
• Affordable price

Do not like :
• No wireless charging
• US 5G support unclear

Although the next-gen Pixel 6 is available now, if you want 5G on the cheap, the Pixel 5A 5G is still a solid choice. This Pixel phone has good battery life and great rear cameras, and at $449 it’s one of the best and cheapest ways to get 5G.

Read our Google Pixel 5A review.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

To like:
• Sleek design
• Powerful performance
• All day battery life
• Dynamic screen

Do not like :
• Disappointing camera
• Waterproof rating limited to T-Mobile exclusive models
• Lack of 80 watt fast charging in the US

the OnePlus 10 Pro Scored high in our test thanks to its neat design, powerful performance and lower price than its main rivals. It needs some improvements, especially to the camera, which is good, but not great, but this flagship offers an excellent overall experience. If you’re looking for a high-end 5G phone that’s a little different from your friends’ iPhones and Galaxy phones, this is a solid option to consider.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To like:
• 120Hz Coverage Screen
• Water resistance
• Wonderful tablet experience
• S Pen is a pleasure to use
• Software improvements for multitasking and Flex mode

Do not like :
• Battery life lasts about a day
• Strange and heavy phone when closed
• $1,800 is still expensive

Foldable phones haven’t really hit the mainstream, instead remaining only within the reach of those willing to shell out top dollar for the latest mobile innovations. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the best foldable phone around, boasting top-notch performance, an excellent camera setup, and a variety of tweaks to its folding technology that make this Android smartphone more desirable than its predecessor.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.

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