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.
Motorola Edge 2022 for $500: A sub-$500 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 (7/10, WIRED Review) finally matches its peers on several counts and exceeds them in some ways. It has a bright 144-Hz OLED screen, it’s lightweight, and its 5,000-mAh battery nearly lasts two days. It’s also the first Moto that comes in 100 percent recycled packaging. The downsides? The cameras are lackluster, and it’s rated at only IP52 for water resistance.
OnePlus 10T for $649: Always in a hurry? You might like that this phone recharges from 0 to 100 percent in a shocking 20 minutes. The OnePlus 10T is speedy, has daylong battery life, and has a pretty good software update policy. However, the camera is just OK, there’s no wireless charging, and it has an IP54 water resistance rating, which is not good enough for the price.
Google Pixel 6 for $599 and Pixel 6 Pro for $899: You can still buy last year’s Pixel 6 series (9/10, WIRED Recommends) from various retailers, but you should really wait until they’re on sale. They’ve dipped to $499 and $699, respectively, in the past, but I expect they’ll dip even further as stocks start to dwindle.
OnePlus Nord N20 5G for $300: The Nord N20 5G (7/10, WIRED Recommends) packs a ton of features despite the low price. The first caveats I need to mention are that 5G does not work on AT&T, and this phone isn’t compatible with Verizon at all. It will also only get one Android OS update (though it will receive three years of security patches). If none of that matters to you, you’re getting an AMOLED screen, great performance, NFC, a MicroSD card, a headphone jack, and daylong battery life. Not bad at all.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE for $600: The S21 FE (7/10, WIRED Recommends) frequently sits at $600 or less, so you shouldn’t pay a dollar more. It adopts many of the same features from last year’s Galaxy S21 but cuts a few corners to lower the price. It runs smoothly and has a bright 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, plus a 120-Hz screen refresh rate. The battery is bigger than the standard S21 and comfortably lasts more than a full day. The cameras are a bit different, but you still get an ultrawide and telephoto zoom alongside the main camera for a reliable imaging system. This is a no-nonsense phone that checks all the boxes. Its software support is excellent too, with a guarantee of four Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates.