There are new phones arriving all the time, especially when it comes to the world of Android. Apple’s iPhones will always be popular but handsets running Google’s mobile OS provide you with a wealth of choice – and usually much better specs for the same price.
2022 has barely started, so we’re only just beginning to see the Android phones that will shape the next year, with phones like the Xiaomi 12 and OnePlus 10 Pro among the new arrivals, and the likes of the Galaxy S22 series and Oppo Find X5 Pro are already on hand.
Until then, last year brought along some phenomenal handsets which are still well worth buying, with the Xiaomi Mi 11 still among our favourites, and a fantastic foldable in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. Sadly it was a dud year for OnePlus flagships, with the OnePlus 9 series simply not good enough to crack our top 10 – though the mid-range Nord 2 did make the cut.
Here at Tech Advisor we independently test each phone thoroughly so we can bring you the very best options worth considering at any given moment. Here we rank the top ten but keep checking back as we update this list regularly.
Clicking through to our in-depth reviews will help, as we have detailed benchmarks, test photography and more for you to explore.
Best Android phones 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – Best Android phone
- Pros: Excellent camera | Phenomenal display | Stylus support
- Cons: Bulky | Expensive | Slower charging
The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t feel like an S22 at all – in fact this is more like a covert revival of Samsung’s once-loved Note brand, with a distinct design from its S22 siblings and a built-in slot to store the included S-Pen stylus.
The camera is one of the best in any phone, with a 108Mp main shooter backed up by an ultrawide and two telephoto lenses at different zoom levels – with the zoom performance particularly improved on previous models.
The expansive 6.8in LTPO AMOLED display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, and with S-pen stylus support it comfortably fills the productivity niche of the former Note phones.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
Google Pixel 6 Pro – Best camera & software
- Pros: Pixel camera | Google’s best software | Beautiful display
- Cons: Divisive design | Big and heavy | Slow charging
Pixel phones are usually all about the camera, and in that sense not much has changed this year. Which isn’t to say the camera’s stayed the same – now packing a 48Mp main lens along with an ultrawide and a periscopic telephoto, this is the most powerful Pixel camera yet.
It’s bolstered by AI smarts driven by Android 12 and Google’s new Tensor chip, and few phones can rival the photographic output here.
You’ll have to put up with slow charging (and buy your own charger to boot), and accept the fact that this is a big phone with a divisive design – you may well love it, but there are plenty out there who don’t.
Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – Best foldable
- Pros: Stunning design | Waterproof | Affordable (for a foldable)
- Cons: Average camera | Limited battery life
Samsung’s first few attempts at foldables were fun, but felt like novelties. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Korean tech giant has unequivocally got it right.
A revamped design not only looks much better, but incorporates waterproofing and is more useful thanks to the larger cover display.
Core specs are solid throughout, with a Snapdragon 888 in tow, and the 12Mp main and ultrawide cameras are solid if not exceptional – though you may miss having a telephoto lens.
The big drawback is battery, with the Flip 3 only just lasting a full day’s use. But if you can live with that, this is the first foldable that feels absolutely competitive at its price point.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G review
Oppo Find X5 Pro – Best all-rounder
- Pros: Best screen around | Versatile camera | Unique design
- Cons: No periscope zoom | Expensive
The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a phenomenal phone by any measure. The 6.7in 10-bit 120Hz QHD+ panel is one of the best displays in any phone right now and Oppo backs it up with 80W wired and 50W wireless charging, a 5000mAh battery, and a top-tier camera that boasts 50Mp sensors on both the main and ultrawide lenses.
You’ll have to live without a periscopic zoom lens – the telephoto here is a measly 2x zoom – but results across all three rear lenses are exceptional. The design is unique too, thanks to a seamlessly sloped camera module built right into the ceramic of the phone’s body.
For pure performance the Find X3 Pro is also hard to beat, with all of the above plus a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 256GB storage and 12GB RAM. You just have to be willing to pay the price, as it doesn’t come cheap.
Read our full Oppo Find X5 Pro review
Samsung Galaxy S22+ – Best for updates
- Pros: Strong camera | Beautiful design | Long-term software updates
- Cons: Middling battery life | Worse value than rivals
Don’t think of the S22+ as a poor man’s S22 Ultra – Samsung has used its Goldilocks model to strike a super balancing act of specs and features that comes with few flaws.
As a result, you get some of the best performance found in an Android phone currently, a glass-bodied design, and the latest Android 12 (dressed in Samsung’s own One UI 4.1, at launch) with a commitment to years of software support.
The battery life is a little inconsistent, and some of the camera features will likely benefit from firmware fixes over time, but this remains an excellent example of what we can hope for from 2022’s Android flagships.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22+ review
OnePlus Nord 2 – Best mid-range
- Pros: Phenomenal value | Glass body | Fast charging
- Cons: Only 90Hz display | No wireless charging
OnePlus’s second proper Nord phone is a worthy follow-up, powered by a custom version of MediaTek’s 5G-capable Dimensity 1200 chipset.
The Nord 2 also totes a 90Hz AMOLED display, a great primary 50Mp main camera, and nippy 65W fast charging.
Software-wise, the company’s OxygenOS user experience is also a major highlight – bringing responsive interactivity and a clean interface to the table that lends itself to the phone’s powerful, premium feel.
OnePlus has also recently launched the Nord CE 5G, which takes most of these great specs but wraps them in a plastic body – with a few other key downgrades elsewhere. Overall we prefer the Nord 2, but the CE 5G is well worth a look if you’re on a tighter budget.
Read our full OnePlus Nord 2 review
Realme GT 2 Pro – Best affordable flagship
- Pros: Flagship specs | Fast charging | Good value
- Cons: No wireless charging | Basic camera
The Realme GT 2 Pro offers a heck of a lot of phone for your money.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset is paired with the fastest RAM and storage around, with 65W wired charging and a 120Hz AMOLED display to seal the deal – all essentially flagship specs.
Of course, this isn’t a flagship price, so there are omissions elsewhere – no wireless charging or waterproofing for starters, and while the main camera and ultrawide are solid enough, there’s no telephoto zoom option.
If performance is your priority then the value here is near-unbeatable however – and the fact that it’s all wrapped in a slick, understated design (albeit in plastic) doesn’t hurt either.
Read our full Realme GT 2 Pro review
Xiaomi Mi 11 – Specs for less
- Pros: Fast wired & wireless charging | Strong specs | Great value
- Cons: No zoom camera | Big | MIUI software
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a rock-solid performer thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, which comes paired with 8GB RAM and plenty of storage.
Throw in a WQHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display (quad-curved, no less), 108Mp rear camera, and 55W fast-charging paired with 50W wireless charging, and you can see that the Mi 11 won’t be beaten for specs at its price.
There are minor downsides – you won’t get an IP rating, there’s no telephoto camera, and Xiaomi’s MIUI software still has room for improvement. But if pure performance is what you’re looking for, then look no further.
There’s also the more expensive Mi 11 Ultra, which upgrades to faster charging and a more powerful camera, but with a massive trade-off: that camera is big and ugly, which is why we prefer the regular Mi 11.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 review
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro – Best budget
- Pros: Exceptional value | 108Mp camera | 120Hz display
- Cons: No 5G | MIUI software
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of the best phones you can buy at its price point, with Xiaomi delivering exceptional value for money.
Highlights here start with the stunning screen, offering AMOLED technology and a 120Hz refresh rate, and continue with an excellent set of cameras. The headline is a 108Mp whopper which is backed up by a reasonable ultra-wide and a surprisingly decent telemacro.
Core specs are decent, hinging on the Snapdragon 732G to ensure smooth performance. However, the Redmi Note 10 Pro doesn’t support 5G, which might be a deal breaker.
MIUI is also a downside with its overly complex interface that’s simply not as stylish or easy to use as many rivals – even if you can make it a lot better than default with some tweaking.
Read our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro review
Vivo X60 Pro – Best design
- Pros: Beautiful design & finish | Slim & light | Gimbal camera
- Cons: Older processor | No wireless charging
The Vivo X60 Pro is the only phone in the X60 series to launch in the UK and Europe, but it’s probably the Goldilocks of the lot anyway.
It’s two biggest strengths are its design and camera. At 7.6mm thick and 177g heavy, it’s one of the thinnest and lightest phones you can find right now, despite still featuring a 6.56in display (120Hz AMOLED, for what it’s worth). The frosted glass finish completes the effect, available in Shimmer Blue (pictured) or a more subdued black.
As for the camera, the 48Mp, f/1.5 gimbal-stabilised main camera is one of the best in any phone, especially in low light or for video. 13Mp wide-angle and 2x zoom lenses complete the set, and they’re more than capable of holding their own too.
There’s no waterproofing or wireless charging, and the display caps out at Full HD – but if you can overlook those drawbacks, this is an exceptional Android flagship.
Read our full Vivo X60 Pro review
Your buying guide for the best Android phones in 2022
While you only get to choose from a handful of Apple handsets, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Android.
They come from a variety of different manufacturers – in all manner of shapes, sizes and colours – and each has unique selling points, whether it’s a sleek, waterproof design, a huge display or an abundance of cameras. Sometimes, you can even find all of those attributes on one phone.
We’ve done our best to rank the phones in order, taking into account build, value, performance and features. However, make sure you get a phone that’s right for your needs – it might not simply be the phone in the top spot.
Important specs to look for are:
- Screen quality: resolution, refresh rate (ideally at least 90Hz), and whether it’s LCD or OLED
- Chipset: does it use the latest Snapdragon 888, a lower 7- or 6-series chip, or even something from rival MediaTek?
- RAM: look for at least 8GB, but more is better
- Storage: look for at least 128GB, and check if it’s expandable or not
- Camera: don’t just check Mp count – look into the types of lenses available, the sizes of the sensor, and check photo samples in our reviews
- Waterproofing: is there an official IP rating or not?
- Battery & charging: will it require a daily charge, and how fast is the charging – both wired and potentially wireless
- 5G: most phones now support 5G, but double-check to be sure
- Software: not all Android skins are created equal – our favourites are stock Android and OnePlus’s OxygenOS, but read reviews to get a sense of each operating system’s strengths and weaknesses. Check the manufacturer’s upgrade promise too, and which software version it ships with – Android 12 is the latest, but it’s not available on phones from every manufacturer.