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The best Android phones to buy in 2022

The world of Android phones is huge. The number of hungry phone makers vying to deliver the best Android phone 2022 has seen so far is staggering. They all want to at least convince you that they are the best on the market, and they have a lot to tempt you these days. There are so many great Android phone options with standout features like fast charging, 5G, and next-level multi-camera systems waiting to amaze you.

Still one of the absolute rock stars in the mobile world, Samsung continues to bring us cutting-edge technology (for the higher prices that often accompany such innovation), with bigger screens, higher definition, and more, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and even folding phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Not to be outdone, those of Google pixels 6 The series uses stock Android, custom processors, and comes equipped with a robust camera system on the rear.

But all of those options can also make for an overwhelming and confusing shopping experience, which is why I’ve rounded up my favorite options. These powerful Android The telephones they all have generally great cameras, screens, battery life, or all of the above. I also considered features like 5G and wireless charging. Read on for my top picks for the best Android phones and see top tips on how to buy a new phone, also. The CNET team updates this list periodically as we review new products.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

I like it:
• S Pen is included with the phone and there is a slot to store it
• Great low light photography
• Closer zoom than most competitive phones
• Distinctive design

I do not like it:
• Expensive
• Cameras are mostly the same as on the Galaxy S21 Ultra
• Battery life is not 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 stylus that you can store inside the phone (just like the Galaxy Note), and a quad-lens camera with a zoom range that’s hard to beat. Samsung has also improved the way all of its new Galaxy phones take photos in low light, which is especially important on a photography-oriented phone like the Ultra.

The only drawbacks? The sky-high price of the S22 Ultra and the 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 willing to pay a higher price for those benefits.

Read our Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

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Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

I like it:
• Bright screen
• Good balance between screen size and comfort
• Better camera with improved color and contrast
• Attractive design

I do not like it:
• $1,000 is still expensive for a phone
• Battery life is not 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 has the right balance of size, performance, and camera performance for most people. The 6.6-inch screen provides plenty of room 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 big difference compared to last year’s Galaxy S21 lineup, especially when it comes to color and contrast in photos.

My biggest complaint is that battery life was lackluster, though it outperformed the regular Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Ultra during CNET’s battery test. It would also have been nice to see 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.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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

I do not like it:
• Battery is good, but not great
• Fast charging is not that fast
• No face unlock

Google stayed out of the flagship segment for a couple of years, spending that time building its own specialized machine learning and artificial intelligence chip. The Pixel 6 Pro packs it all with photographic prowess that’s hard to beat.

Google’s $899 top-end phone still beats rivals on price and packs a lot of value. It’s a big phone, with a 6.7-inch screen, which is sharp thanks to its 3,120×1,440-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 basically idle. The 5003mAh battery should be good for a full day of mixed use.

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Patrick Holland/CNET

I like it:
• Two-tone design
• Value for the price
• The main camera is the best of Google

I do not like it:
• 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 on 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 on the market, and a look that sets you apart from the competition. Google has extended its three years of operating system and security updates to five, so it will last. In the US, the Pixel 6 is available through both Google and major carriers.

The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch 1080p display. It can be set to automatically switch from 60Hz to 90Hz based on on-screen content. 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’re at $599 and looking for a new phone, the Pixel 6 is our recommendation.

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Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

I like it:
• Improved camera with better low light photography
• Elegant design
• Great size for people who prefer smaller phones

I do not like it:
• Battery life could be better

Finding a smaller Android phone is no easy task these days. Most phones come with screens that are at least 6.4 inches or larger, leaving people who prefer small phones with little choice. The $800 Galaxy S22 checks that box. It has everything we love about the Galaxy S22 Plus – a striking design, a great camera system with a 50-megapixel main lens and a sharp display – but in a more pocket-friendly size.

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

Read our Galaxy S22 review.

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Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

I like it:
• Good screen
• Fast performance
• IP67 waterproof
• Price payable

I do not like it:
• No wireless charging

The next-gen Pixel 6a is out now, and if you want 5G on the cheap, the smartphone is a solid option. This Pixel phone has a high-end chipset, great rear cameras, a good screen, and average battery life. It’s one of the cheapest good 5G smartphones you can buy right now.

Read our Google Pixel 6A review.

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Andrew Lanxon/CNET

I like it:
• Elegant design
• Powerful performance
• Battery life throughout the day
• Vibrant screen

I do not like it:
• Disappointing camera
• Water-resistant rating restricted to select T-Mobile models
• Lacks 80W fast charging in the US.

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

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Sarah Tew/CNET

I like it:
• 120 Hz cover screen
• Waterproof
• Improved tablet experience
• Software enhancements for multitasking and Flex Mode

I do not like it:
• $1,800 is still expensive

Foldable phones haven’t really hit the mainstream, remaining instead only within the reach of those willing to spend big bucks on the latest in mobile innovation. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best foldable phone out there, offering top-tier performance, excellent camera setup, and a variety of tweaks to its folding technology that make this Android smartphone more desirable than its predecessor. .

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Samsung

Pleasures:

  • Better battery life than before
  • Still the best flip phone to get into foldables
  • Waterproof

Dislike:

  • Same cameras as the Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is an iterative upgrade, but it packs quite a punch for the $1,000 price tag. With better battery life thanks to a more energy-efficient processor and larger battery, the Flip is finally worth investing in as a flagship device.

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Patrick Holland/CNET

At a whopping $2,500 price tag, the Sony Xperia Pro isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a photographer or videographer looking for professional-grade camera phone features, you can’t go wrong. The Xperia Pro is essentially four products in one: a phone, a camera monitor, a fast photo file transfer device, and a 5G machine suitable for streaming and live streaming.

Read our Sony Xperia Pro review.

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