Best Android Phone Under $800 Android Central 2020
Once you step down from the absolute top end of the market, the OnePlus 7 Pro is the best phone you can buy for the money. It's an exceptional phone overall that marries great hardware with a full spec sheet and excellent performance through its simple software. It draws on strengths from the history of OnePlus phones, but steps up the hardware and display quality to make it a competitor at any price.
- Best Overall: OnePlus 7 Pro
- Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL
- Best Features: Samsung Galaxy S10
- Best Compact Choice: Samsung Galaxy S10e
Best Overall: OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro offers exceptional value for the money and has excellent hardware and nice-to-have features that make it a true competitor at the high end regardless of price. The hardware quality and design are right up there with the best, as is its 6.67-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
Though it's more expensive than its predecessor, the 7 Pro easily makes up the difference with lots of added capabilities. The display is dramatically better in all respects, the in-display fingerprint sensor is great, the haptics are now some of the best you can get, and its spec sheet is the envy of everyone. At the same time, it still has OxygenOS software, which continues to be one of the best takes on Android with its clean interface and consistently speedy performance.
Yes, it's missing a few things, like wireless charging and a headphone jack, and despite the company's claims of water resistance, it has no official IP rating. The cameras are also one weak point, but forgivable at this price. The OnePlus 7 Pro is worth comparing to any phone on this list, and it's less expensive.
Coming around on a year since its launch, the OnePlus 7 Pro is still incredibly enticing. All of its core tenets remain, and it's now less expensive than it was at launch.
- Excellent 90Hz display
- Incredible value
- Consistently speedy software
- Regular software updates
- High-end specs
- Camera quality a step down from flagships
- No headphone jack
- No wireless charging
- No water resistance rating
A flagship experience for hundreds of dollars less
The OnePlus 7 Pro saves you a ton of money, but you still get a proper flagship with great hardware, wonderful specs, and a 90Hz display.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL
Google bases much of its marketing for the Pixel 4 XL on its camera, and rightfully so — this is the best smartphone camera you can get today. It's not as versatile as Samsung and Huawei's offerings because it lacks an ultrawide camera, but what it's able to do with what it has is amazing. It's incredibly consistent and can shoot in any situation.
Camera aside, the Pixel 4 XL is a great phone overall. If the features and options found on a Samsung phone are overwhelming, you'll feel right at home here. Google doesn't include the same pile of features or customization options as Samsung, but the result is a software experience anyone can pick up in a couple of minutes and enjoy for months.
The real issue with the Pixel 4 XL, which keeps it from being a great overall pick, is its battery life. The battery is good enough to make it through a day with light usage, but hitting it hard for any point during the day will have you looking for a charger.
- Amazing camera quality
- Beautifully subtle hardware design
- Simple software
- Unique features
- Years of guaranteed updates
- Weak battery life for its size
- Low max screen brightness
- Oddly inconsistent software performance
- No ultrawide camera option
An amazing camera and clean software straight from Google.
Google's cameras lead the industry. Elsewhere, there's an unbelievably good software experience, but also weak battery life.
Best Features: Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung's 2019 flagship phone still has a place on your list if you're looking to save money (worth it considering how expensive the S20 line is). Official price cuts have dropped the Galaxy S10 to a really solid price, and it has actually aged quite gracefully in the last year. The hardware is still excellent, the display has only been bested by the S20 series, and the specs are more than capable for 2020.
The S10 may be more affordable now, but all of its features are still valuable. You're getting every single hardware feature you want, from fast charging and wireless charging to a headphone jack and SD card slot, and nothing is left behind on the spec sheet. It's also now running the same One UI 2 software as the latest phones, so you aren't missing out on any other capabilities.
- Excellent display
- High-quality hardware
- Powerful specs
- Updated to latest Samsung software
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Bad low-light camera quality
- A bit expensive for a 2019 phone
- Slow and inconsistent fingerprint sensor
Samsung's 2019 flagship is still great.
It isn't the latest and greatest, but this hardware, specs, and pile of features are still compelling, particularly at a discount.
Best Compact Choice: Galaxy S10e
All of the same things that put the standard Galaxy S10 on this list apply to the S10e, except the S10e is even less expensive and a great choice for those who want a smaller phone, too. You're getting good specs, the same software, and a consistent camera experience that's only let down in low-light scenes. You also don't lose the 3.5 mm headphone jack in this smaller frame.
Samsung's hardware is still great, even scaled down to a smaller size, and the same goes for the high-quality display. And with so many phones focusing on a "bigger is better" mentality, it's good to still have the S10e here to provide a great compact option, even though it is a year old.
- Great hardware design
- Strong screen quality
- Good specs
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Battery life on the weak side
- Low-light camera quality is poor
Best Compact Choice
You can still get a great compact phone
Samsung's compact phone from last year is still a top choice for the segment, and now it's available at a discount.
If you have a budget that keeps you away from the highest-end phones, you can't go wrong with our top pick the OnePlus 7 Pro. It has a great well-rounded overall experience of features and capabilities that's worthy of a higher price but comes in for much less. The amount of specs and quality materials you get for this money is immense — and it's still an amazing deal even if you get the top-spec model.
The OnePlus 7 Pro still has compromises much like its predecessors, including no water resistance rating and less-than-perfect cameras, but at this point, they're minor and don't in any way detract from how lovely this phone is to use every day. The hardware has stepped up to the highest levels, and the huge 90Hz display is a real treat to look at. Its OxygenOS software continues to be one of the best Android experiences today, with no bloatware and minimal configuration required. Plus, its performance is consistently perfect, and you can expect years of software updates to keep it going.
This is a proper flagship phone — it just isn't priced like one.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Martonik is Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.
Jerry Hildenbrand is a Mobile Nations Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google's Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You'll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
The U12+ is the best HTC phone you probably shouldn't buy
HTC hasn't released a consumer-facing phone since 2018, but its existing lineup is still worth considering for the right buyer.
The Google Pixel 4 is the best phone for taking photos, period
If you want the best Android camera, you should go with the Google Pixel 4. There are many great options that get close, though.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best phone you can buy for long battery life
Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a phone — and even though most manufacturers will claim "all day" battery life, only a few live up to it.