The best Android Phones 2021

We’ve tested the best of the best Android phones and ranked them so you can make an informed decision based on hundreds of hours of real testing.

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The best Android phones, ranked:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  2. Google Pixel 4a 5G
  3. Samsung Galaxy S21
  4. Oppo Find X2 Pro
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  6. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
  7. Asus Rog Phone 3
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  9. Oppo Find X2 Neo
  10. Google Pixel 4a

How did we pick this list?

Finder's expert team have tested and reviewed every single phone featured in this guide to come up with our list of the best Android smartphones. Testing involves considering the performance, battery life, cameras, design and overall value for money.

Our editorial team selected the phones on this list based on their overall quality and value compared to other phones on the market. The selection and order is not based on review scores.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Compare the best phones of 2021


1. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Samsung's best phone is its highly affordable Galaxy S20 FE 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
6.5-inch display | 128GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 8MP rear camera
  • 120Hz display
  • Good low light camera
  • Great app performance on 5G model
  • 4G model has a lower-spec processor
  • Plastic body
  • 120Hz display is a battery hog
RRP From $1,149

Why we chose it

Samsung's Galaxy S20 FE takes the essential best of Samsung's 2020 handsets and boils it down to the essentials. The 5G version features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, very capable camera and a slick 120Hz capable display at a reasonable price point for a premium phone. It's worth spending extra for the 5G model even if you don't want 5G per se, because the 4G variant makes do with a lower-power Exynos processor instead, and in either case you'll want to use that 120hz display feature sparingly, because it can be a real battery hog.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review.


    2. Google Pixel 4a 5G

    Affordable, snappy and with guaranteed updates.

    Google Pixel 4a 5G
    6.24-inch display | 128GB storage options | 12.2MP + 16MP rear camera
    • Largest display in any Pixel phone
    • Cameras are easy to use
    • Guaranteed updates
    • Only sub-6 5G
    • Plain design
    • No expandable storage
    RRP $799

    Why we chose it

    Google's taken a different tack with its Pixel phones of late, eschewing premium price points for affordability and core features, and that's most evident in the affordable 5G-capable Google Pixel 4a 5G. It's not just about those faster networks, however, with a large and pleasing display, clean Android UI and intelligent camera that makes it very easy to take pleasing photos even if you're not particularly skilled. Like all Pixel phones, you get a clean and up-to-date Android operating system and guaranteed updates, although also like all Pixels, you can't expand the storage, and the design is somewhat plain.

    Read our full Google Pixel 4a 5G review.


      3. Samsung Galaxy S21

      Samsung's affordable 2021 smaller handset is impressively quick.

      Samsung Galaxy S21
      6.2-inch display | 128GB, 256GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 64MP rear camera
      • Pleasing design
      • Highly capable cameras
      • Great in-display fingerprint sensor
      • Exynos models are slower than Snapdragon ones
      • Battery life is highly variable
      • No storage expansion
      RRP From $1,249

      Why we chose it

      Samsung's 2021 flagship range kicks off with the Galaxy S21 family, and the Galaxy S21 itself is the smallest and most affordable of the range. It's even cheaper than its 2020 counterpart Galaxy S20 was, which is great. The design is also highly appealing, with a range of colours and smartly "contour cut" camera block at the back. Speaking of cameras, there's a wide range of easy still and video camera features baked in for both pro and aspiring photographers. As with most Samsung phones, here in Australia we get the slightly slower Exynos variants, which is a tad annoying. Samsung's also dropped an in-box charger, headphones and the ability to expand the storage, so choose your Galaxy S21 model carefully.

      Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review.


        4. Oppo Find X2 Pro

        A powerful Android flagship with great camera capabilities.

        Oppo Find X2 Pro
        6.7-inch display | 512GB storage options | 48MP + 48MP + 13MP rear camera
        • Variety of design choices including faux leather
        • Powerful app performance
        • Fun camera
        • Lacks wireless charging
        • ColorOS is still a little odd
        • Fingerprint sensor could be better
        RRP From $1,599

        Why we chose it

        Oppo's shifted its phone strategy in recent years from the mid-range to encompassing more premium designs, and the Oppo Find X2 Pro exemplifies this. Where else would you find a phone in "Vegetarian Orange Leather" as an option but Oppo? While that's a design choice that may attract some and annoy others, it's great to have the choice. Oppo combines that with an array of fast and fun to use cameras and fast wired charging, although it's the rare premium phone that drops wireless charging entirely. There's also no expandable storage, and Oppo's ColorOS overlay remains a love-it-or-loathe-it proposition.

        Read our full Oppo Find X2 Pro review.


        5. Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G

        A truly noteworthy premium Android choice.

        Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G
        6.7-inch display | 128GB, 256GB storage options | 64MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera
        • S-Pen capable
        • Good cameras
        • Great in-display fingerprint sensor
        • No 120Hz display
        • Space Zoom isn't good
        • Battery life could be better
        RRP From $1,499

        Why we chose it

        The flagship of the Galaxy Note range is currently the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but for most folks the regular, smaller Galaxy Note 20 is the better buy. You still get that iconic S-Pen for note-taking and annotations. You still get great cameras, although like all of Samsung's 2020 phones the "Space Zoom" feature isn't worth pushing hard. What you don't get is the higher cost or chunky camera bump of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is a big plus.

        Read our full Galaxy Note 20 review.


        6. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

        A premium phone with all the trimmings – and the price point.

        Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
        6.9-inch display | 256GB, 512GB storage options | 12MP + 108MP + 12MP rear camera
        • Big, beautiful 120Hz display
        • S-Pen included
        • Great general camera performance
        • Space Zoom is overrated
        • Battery life is variable at 120hz
        • Pricey
        RRP From $1,849

        Why we chose it

        If you can afford it and want to make use of Samsung's S-Pen stylus, there's no finer phone right now than the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G. It's the Note series current flagship, and while the newer Galaxy S21 Ultra does feature S-Pen capabilities too, that phone doesn't include the Pen or a storage space for it. The Note 20 Ultra 5G has a gorgeous 6.9 inch 120Hz capable display that's a true joy to use, albeit at the serious cost of battery life if you don't force it back down to 60Hz when not needed. It's a fast and capable device, but it's also a more expensive option too, which is why it rates lower in our picking list than the cheaper Note 20.

        Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.


        7. ASUS ROG Phone III

        A huge gaming phone with plenty of power.

        ASUS ROG Phone III
        6.59-inch display | 512GB storage options | 16MP + 13MP + 5MP rear camera
        • Overclockable for Android gaming
        • 144Hz display is amazing
        • Air Triggers work well for Android games
        • A huge and somewhat unweildy phone
        • Can get hot under sustained use
        • Lacks water resistance and wireless charging
        RRP From $1,699

        Why we chose it

        Asus isn't a traditional phone brand, but then the Asus ROG phone 3 isn't a traditional smartphone. ROG – Republic of Gamers – is Asus' gaming brand, and this is a gaming-centric Android handset with a lot of appeal if you're into your mobile gaming in a hardcore way. It features an overclockable processor, slick 144Hz display and astonishingly large 6,000mAh battery to keep it going, along with a range of accessories tailored for gaming use.

        The tradeoff here is that it's a big phone, especially with the cooling fan needed to manage higher overclock rates installed. Even with that in place it can run rather hot if you're getting really into your gaming. Unlike most premium phones there's no water resistance or wireless charging functionality on board too.

        Read our full Asus ROG Phone 3 review.


          8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

          The best foldable you can get – for a price.

          Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
          7.6-inch display | 256GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera
          • Easy to switch between 7.6 inch and 6.2 inch displays
          • Great app performance
          • Good cameras
          • Plastic screen lacks traditional smartphone durability
          • Costs a packet
          • Lacks storage expansion
          RRP From $2,999

          Why we chose it

          Foldables are still an emerging category in the smartphone space, with only a few options if you want a phone that can flip back in on itself. Samsung's first model, the Galaxy Fold was ambitious but was plagued with durability problems and a tiny cover screen. Its successor, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a considerably better device, with a truly useable cover display and exceptional 120Hz-capable 7.6 inch internal tablet style display to use. Onboard cameras are improved, and battery life is good. However, it's still a very expensive device, and that plastic display is nowhere near as durable as any other flagship – or as water resistant.

          Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review.


          9. Oppo Find X2 Neo

          An Affordable, 5G ready and easy to use Android phone.

          Oppo Find X2 Neo
          6.5-inch display | 256GB storage options | 48MP + 13MP + 8MP rear camera
          • 90Hz capable displays
          • Great battery life
          • Affordable
          • Lacks wireless charging
          • Single SIM only
          • ColorOS is divisive
          RRP $999

          Why we chose it

          Oppo's still very much in the mid-range phone space, and while we'd prefer the Find X2 Pro, it's also got a lot of mid-range phones that offer up great value for money. The Find X2 Neo is a perfect example of this as an affordable 5G-capable phone with a good 6.5 inch 90Hz-capable display, quad-camera array for easy photography and some of the best battery performance we've seen out of any 5G-capable handset. It's also nicely priced, but the flipside of that is that it only supports a single SIM, lacks any kind of wireless charging, and Oppo's ColorOS plays around with the clean Android UI in ways that some may find less compelling.

          Read our full Oppo Find X2 Neo review.


          10. Google Pixel 4a

          Low cost, but highly capable.

          Google Pixel 4a
          5.8-inch display | 128GB storage options | 12.2MP rear camera
          • Guaranteed Android updates
          • Great low light photography for its price
          • Compact and pocket-friendly
          • Mediocre battery life
          • Plastic body
          • No 5G
          RRP $599

          Why we chose it

          Google's Pixel line took a shift towards the affordable with 2019's Pixel 3a, but with the Pixel 4a Google made subtle improvements that put it at the head of the class when it comes to mid-range phones. As a result, if you're on a budget it's easily one of the best Android phones, period. You get a clean Android UI with the fastest security and feature updates of any Android phone, and the benefits of Google's computational photography, especially for its low-light features. It's a smaller but still powerful phone at a reasonable price point, too. However you're not getting everything, and that means ordinary-at-best battery life, a simple plastic body and no included 5G – although there's the larger Pixel 4a 5G for that.

          Read our full Google Pixel 4a revieww.


            Why you should compare the best Android phones in Australia

            Google's Android operating system runs more phones than any other, having entirely seen off Windows Phone and taken significant market share from Apple's iOS. It's where we see the most innovation, year in and year out, whether it's in battery capacity, new camera features or consumer-friendly ways to make each Android device your own.

            That means it's much more than just a game of comparing specifications, especially as the vast majority of premium phones run off the same OS and mostly the same core processors. Premium Android phones bring features such as improved camera optics, wireless charging, large high-resolution displays and stylish finishes with robust glass.

            Here at finder.com.au, we've reviewed all of the flagship smartphones that have launched in Australia, putting them through their paces to see which is best. We've argued long and hard to create this list of 2021's best smartphones, which we update constantly.


            Glossary: Key Android phone terms to consider

            DisplayAMOLED displays don't need a backlight, screen pixels are actually turned off to produce blacks, which can save energy. Super AMOLED has improved visibility in direct sunlight. LCD displays use a backlight, which reduces contrast. An IPS LCD display has truer colour reproduction and looks better when you view the screen at an angle.
            RAMRAM is your phone's short-term memory. When you use an app, instead of writing data to your phone's internal storage or SD card (long-term memory), the data is stored in the device's RAM so it can be recalled quickly and easily when it's needed. The more RAM the better, and in the premium space that typically means 4GB or more. When the RAM reaches capacity on an Android phone, RAM is recycled through a memory-heavy process called garbage collection.
            MegapixelsMP is short for megapixels and is generally accepted as a guide for image quality. More megapixels doesn't mean a better-looking photo. Megapixels are about the maximum size of the image in relation to image quality. The more megapixels, the larger you can blow up your picture without it becoming distorted.
            Sensor sizeToo many megapixels for a small image sensor will ruin the image quality.


            Amazon prices last updated on 16 June, 2021 at 12:08 pm

            Methodology

            150+
            Mobile phones reviewed
            10,000+
            Hours spent testing
            10
            Best Android Phones ranked
            • We've spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing mobile phones.
            • Our editorial team has a combined 60+ years of experience writing about tech and reviewing the latest devices.
            • The phones on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not based on commercial relationships.

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