Tuesday , 21 May 2024
Home Tech 15 Best Android Phones (2023): Unlocked, Cheap, Foldable

15 Best Android Phones (2023): Unlocked, Cheap, Foldable

We test a ton of Android phones. We like the ones below, but you’ll be better off with one of the options above. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our Best Cheap Phones guide for more.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE for $600: I used this phone for several weeks and found it was more than enough to meet my needs. The cameras are surprisingly decent—you even get a usable 3X optical zoom, though its results are not as excellent as the ones from the Galaxy S23. The performance gave me zero issues, and the battery often lasted me a little more than a day with average use. The 6.4-inch screen is a pretty nice size that’s not too big and not too small, and you still get perks like wireless charging and a 120-Hz screen refresh rate. It has dipped as low as $400 during Black Friday, so I highly recommend you wait for a sale.

OnePlus Open for $1,699: The OnePlus Open (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is the first folding smartphone from OnePlus, and it’s actually really good. OnePlus has some clever software trickery to make multitasking on this booklike foldable simple and effective. The camera system delivers good results, the screens get plenty bright, and the battery life is excellent. I just wish the water resistance was better and that it had wireless charging.

Google Pixel 6A for $349: Google’s continuing to sell the 2022 Pixel 6A (8/10, WIRED Recommends) at a marked-down price (try not to pay more than $300). It’s still excellent value and a worthy purchase. It’s powered by Google’s first-gen Tensor chip, which means you’re getting some of the best performance for the money, and it supports all the same great (and helpful) software smarts as the flagship Pixel 6 series. It’s got an OLED screen, a decent camera system, and lengthy software support. There’s no wireless charging and it has a 60-Hz screen.

Google Pixel 7 Pro for $649: The 2022 Pixel 7 Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a good buy if you can find it at this price (or lower). You get a 6.7-inch screen with a 120-Hz refresh rate. There’s Face Unlock, but this isn’t secure like the version on the Pixel 8, so you’ll have to rely on the fingerprint sensor to access sensitive apps. Cameras are a big part of Pixels, and the Pixel 7 Pro remains one of the best with an upgraded ultrawide with autofocus, enabling a Macro Focus mode for close-ups. Its telephoto camera has also improved, with excellent 5X optical zoom. It will receive four more years of security updates, which is great, but only two more OS upgrades, which is not as good as the latest models.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 for $1,499: The Fold5 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) remains an excellent big-screen folding smartphone. The cameras can take some great photos, the displays can get shockingly bright, and Samsung promises lengthy software support. But the introduction of the Pixel Fold has shown me how much more I prefer the wider front screen. The Fold5’s external screen feels too narrow, and some apps feel squished (though it’s a little easier to grasp when closed).

OnePlus 11 5G for $600: This OnePlus 11 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is frequently sold at this price, so avoid the MSRP. It’s a speed demon, but it isn’t my first choice of phone, nor is it my second. It feels tremendously fluid and responsive, thanks to the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset inside (and all the other optimizations), and it recharges so quickly with the included adapter and cable—you can go from 0 to 100 in roughly 20 minutes. It’s got a stunning 120-Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, nice stereo speakers, and a reliable battery that easily lasts more than a full day. Even the Hasselblad-tuned cameras produce some nice results, and OnePlus is now matching Samsung with a promise of four years of Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates (though these are bimonthly instead of monthly). It’s not all rosy though. There’s no wireless charging, no support for millimeter-wave 5G, and the water resistance is only IP64 when nearly every phone at this price has an IP67 rating (rated to survive submersions). The overall software interface also isn’t my favorite. But hey, at least it’s pretty! It works on all three major US networks.

Sony Xperia 1 V for $1,398: Sony’s latest flagship phone (7/10, WIRED Review) is super expensive. But it’s one of the few smartphones with a 4K OLED screen, and it’s rare to see a high-end phone with a headphone jack. There are a lot of toys for camera nerds, whether you want to capture a photo with manual settings or use Sony’s Cinema Pro app to capture cinematic footage. You can even use the phone as an external monitor for your camera. It’s a shame Sony has a short software update policy, and its camera system is still too clunky.

OnePlus 10 Pro for $419: OnePlus’ 2022 flagship phone is good but not great (7/10, WIRED Recommends), though it’s a smart buy at this price. It’s spiffy and has powerful hardware, including a 120-Hz AMOLED screen that gets bright, speedy performance, and some of the fastest wired and wireless charging you’ll find in the US. (Yes, unlike the OnePlus 11, the older phone has wireless charging support). It’ll get two more OS upgrades and three years of security updates. You should know that there’s no millimeter-wave 5G here, just sub-6, which is odd for a flagship.

Motorola Edge+ 2023 for $800: A Motorola smartphone with contactless payment support, 5G, wireless charging, plus a promise of three OS upgrades and four years of security updates? Say it ain’t so! The Motorola Edge+ finally matches its peers on several counts and exceeds them in some ways. It has a bright 165-Hz OLED screen, it’s lightweight, and its 5,100-mAh battery easily lasts two days. The downside? The cameras are not as good as the cheaper Pixel 7A. Read our Best Motorola Phones guide for more picks.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G for $300: This OnePlus phone (6/10, WIRED Review) doesn’t break the mold, and you should absolutely pay up for a Pixel 6A or any of the phones above if you can. But if your budget is really tight and this phone goes on sale, it does the job. Performance is good, and there’s two-day battery life.

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