Best Android smartphones 2019: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and more

Here's a lowdown of the best devices for those who can't stand Apple

The iPhone may have kickstarted the age of the internet in your pocket, but nowadays it’s certainly not your only choice. Android has overtaken iOS to become the world’s most popular smartphone platform, with users flocking to its open ecosystem and huge variety of handsets.

The question is, with so many phones to choose from, which is right for you? Whether you need a phone for business or pleasure, there are so many options out there, offering different levels of performance, display quality, camera specs and more, that the task of choosing the best one can seem daunting indeed. 

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Here’s our selection of the greatest Android smartphones on the market, along with our guide to each one’s distinguishing features. So if you’re not sold on Apple, read on to find the handset that’s perfect for you.

Asus ZenFone 6

Like Apple’s high-end iPhones, the ZenFone 6 features a stylish full-face display – but unlike the iPhone, there’s no ugly notch encroaching at the top. That’s because the ZenFone doesn’t have a front camera, as such: rather, its 48MP rear camera can be flipped up over the top of the casing to face forward when needed.

It’s a neat idea that sets this phone apart from the crowd, but the ZenFone 6 has other plus points too. The Snapdragon 855 processor means it’s as powerful as many flagship smartphones, while the large, unencumbered display looks great and supports HDR10. Battery life is excellent, allowing the ZenFone 6 to happily play full-screen video for upwards of 22 hours in our tests – while the price is a lot less than you’ll pay for other phones with worse performance and smaller screens.

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CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM

6GB

Display

6.4in 1080p IPS

Battery

5,000mAh

Price when reviewed: £416 exc VAT

Read our full Asus ZenFone 6 review for more information.

Google Pixel 3

The Pixel 3 was a very likeable little phone, but it suffered from iffy battery life. The newer 3a model brings substantially increased longevity, while keeping all of the things we loved about the original model – and slashing the cost at the same time.

The compromise is that performance has been dialled down slightly, but there’s still plenty of power here for day-to-day use, and the camera  – which was one of the Pixel 3’s big selling points – remains just as good as it ever was. In all it’s a better phone than its forebear for a much lower price, and that’s pretty hard to complain about.

CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM4GB
Display5.5in 1080p AMOLED 
Battery2,915mAh 

Price when reviewed: 332 (exc VAT)

Read our full Google Pixel 3a review for more information.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Galaxy S10 5G

It’s fair to say that 5G isn’t exactly ubiquitous just yet: even in the middle of London, coverage is patchy. But if you want to be ready for ultrafast services as soon as they become available, this is the phone to get. 

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Aside from 5G connectivity, there’s very little difference between this and the regular Galaxy S10. The S10 5G keeps up the same design, build quality and performance, and you can expect the same strong battery life and display quality too (indeed, this is one of few phones that can play HDR10+ video content as it was meant to be viewed). It’s hardly a value option, but for early adopters with deep pockets this is a very attractive phone indeed.

CPU

Samsung Exynos 9820

RAM

8GB

Display

6.4in 1440p Dynamic AMOLED

Battery

4,500mAh

Price when reviewed: £915 exc VAT

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review for more information.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

The name gives the game away: this phone’s USP is a remarkable 10x zoom, allowing you to get breathtakingly close to your photographic subjects. Strictly speaking, the optical zoom factor is only 5x, but a 48MP sensor allows it to do a decent job of digitally doubling the reach, to produce clean-looking 12MP results.

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If you’re thinking this sounds like a one-trick pony, however, think again. With expandable storage, a massive notch-free display and a Snapdragon 855 processor delivering first-rate performance, the 10x Zoom more than measures up as an everyday smartphone. Our only gripes are that Oppo installs a fair amount of bloatware, and there’s no waterproofing – which could hinder your photographic ambitions.

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM

6GB

Display

6.6in 1080p AMOLED

Battery

4,065mAh

Price when reviewed: £583 exc VAT

Read our full Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review for more information.

Sony Xperia 1

With its unfamiliar 21:9 aspect ratio, the Xperia 1 looks oddly tall and thin next to more conventional phones. Start browsing the web though and the extra height makes perfect sense, while flipping it around into landscape mode gives you a widescreen cinematic experience that other phones can’t match.

The Xperia 1 isn’t just about consuming media, though. The triple-lens rear camera is capable of producing superb results, and can even shoot 4K video at 30fps, while the Snapdragon 855 processor means it’s as fast and responsive as any Android handset in its class.

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CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM

6GB

Display

6.5in 1644p OLED

Battery

3,330mAh

Price when reviewed: £708 exc VAT

Read our full Sony Xperia 1 review for more information.

Huawei P30

It wouldn’t initially seem like the P30 is worth choosing over its bigger brother, the P30 Pro: the standard P30 has a smaller display, 6.1in to 6.5in, and it also lacks the 5x telephoto camera lens and waterproofing of the Pro version.

However, not only is it a full £200 cheaper, but it matches the P30 Pro at just about everything else. The resolution is the same, the HDR10-compatible screen looks just as bright and vibrant, and frankly there’s hardly any difference in photo quality unless you’re actually using the P30 Pro’s superior zoom capabilities. On pure value, then, the P30 deserves its place in this list.

CPU

Huawei Kirin 980

RAM

6GB

Display

6.1in 1080p AMOLED

Battery

3,650mAh

Price when reviewed: £699 exc VAT

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Read our full Huawei P30 review for more information.

OnePlus 7 Pro

The 7 Pro represents a shift in OnePlus’ usual tactics: instead of producing a straightforward flagship at a lower-than-average price, as with the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T, the 7 Pro is the closest the Chinese firm has come to an all-out, top-end phablet.

Still, it’s much cheaper than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10+ or the Google Pixel 4 XL, while delivering premium flair to spare. A mechanical pop-up front camera allows for a true edge-to-edge, notch-free display (which also runs at 90Hz, not at the far more common refresh rate of 60Hz), and the inclusion of Qualcomm’s ubiquitous Snapdragon 855 keeps performance on par with the best.

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM

6GB

Display

6.67in 1440p AMOLED

Battery

4,000mAh

Price when reviewed: £583 exc VAT

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review for more information.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

While the reveal of the Galaxy Note 10+ was a bit of a surprise - the Note series has never seemed in dire need of even bigger, higher-resolution ‘Plus’ variants - there’s no denying it’s a fantastic Android phablet.

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This is a luxury handset that excels in almost every area, from the beautiful, sprawling 6.8in display to the immensely powerful Exynos 9825 CPU. Long battery life and a great camera complete the essentials, and there’s plenty of extras too, including automatic transcriptions for handwritten notes you make with the S-Pen stylus.

CPU

Samsung Exynos 9825

RAM

12GB

Display

6.8in 1440p Dynamic AMOLED

Battery

4,500mAh

Price when reviewed: £833 exc VAT

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review for more information.

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