Best Android Phones Android Central 2020
Competition makes for better products, and the Android ecosystem is more competitive than ever. The best of the best right now is the OnePlus 8 Pro, bringing a great combination of hardware quality, specs, display, cameras, and software to a palatable price for a high-end phone. If you want a new Android phone at any price range, we've done the research to separate the great from the good, and the good from the bad. This list will help you make your next purchase easier.
- Best Overall: OnePlus 8 Pro
- Upgrade Pick: Samsung Galaxy S20+
- Best on a Budget: Moto G Power
- Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL
- Best Value: Google Pixel 3a
- Best Value with 5G: OnePlus 8
- Best Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Best With a Stylus: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
- Best Gaming Features: ASUS RoG Phone 2
- Best Foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Best Overall: OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is impressive and well-designed as any high-end smartphone can be. If you know anything about OnePlus phones, you'll be happy to know it doesn't upend the traditional OnePlus formula. Instead, it extends it to its logical place in the world of 2020 flagships with more features and a higher price.
The hardware goes toe-to-toe with any phone out there, and it's punctuated by the best display OnePlus has ever used. It's bright, colorful and has a 120Hz refresh rate. Inside, there are exceptional specs, and that leads to amazing performance thanks to the super-smooth OxygenOS software — it's just a joy to use.
The 8 Pro also brings the best cameras yet to a OnePlus phone, with a new main sensor that steps up its game to a true flagship level. The entire camera experience is a small step behind the likes of the Galaxy S20+, but then again it's also a little less expensive. That's really where the 8 Pro fits in. It's a true flagship experience top to bottom, for just a bit less money than the traditional players with big brand names.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is currently really hard to find. While we absolutely think that it's the best combination of price, performance, quality, and security, it appears that the company is having a very difficult time making enough of the phones to distribute to sales channels. We do not recommend paying more than the MSRP for the OnePlus 8 Pro, and would push you towards the Galaxy S20 series or the smaller OnePlus 8, both of which have sufficient stock.
- Large, beautiful 120Hz display
- Greatly improved main and wide-angle cameras
- Excellent battery life
- OxygenOS is best-in-class Android software
- Wireless charging and IP68 rating
- Much more expensive than before
- Limited 5G compatibility in the U.S.
- Telephoto camera isn't good
- Some software and camera bugs still present
More expensive, more capable
The OnePlus 8 Pro is an impressive and well-designed Android smartphone that doesn't upend the traditional OnePlus formula.
Upgrade Pick: Samsung Galaxy S20+
Before the Galaxy S20 series came out, our top pick here was the Galaxy S10+ — and everything Samsung did this year made it easy to recommend the S20+. The S20+ makes improvements across the board, with a bigger display that has a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate, a larger 4,500mAh battery, more RAM, and a new Snapdragon 865 processor. Every Galaxy S20+ is 5G capable as well, for all of the U.S. carriers, which isn't the biggest deal right now but will become more important as we push into 2021.
The huge move up is with the cameras, with a new array both front and back. The new sensors are all larger, and let in more light so you can take dramatically better low-light photos. It's not quite on the level of the Pixel 4 XL, but this is a big step up for Samsung and is no longer a shortcoming of this flagship. You also get capable zooming up to 5X, while keeping an ultra-wide camera for more shooting variety.
The only way the S20+ steps down from the S10+ is in its price and removal of the headphone jack. The base phone is a couple of hundred dollars more than it was last year, and removing the audio jack is a tough blow for those who rely on it or prefer the sound quality. But both are a result of the way the whole industry is going — phones keep getting more expensive, and Samsung was already one of the last holdouts in the high-end space the keep a 3.5 mm jack.
- Best-in-class display
- Good battery life
- Exceptional performance
- Great all-around cameras
- 5G enabled
- Expensive for 128GB of storage
- Camera zoom much weaker than S20 Ultra
- Slow fingerprint sensor
- No headphone jack
Samsung's excellent all-rounder
The S20+ has a great screen, top-end specs, a strong array of cameras, and feature-packed software. It's expensive but worth it.
Best on a Budget: Moto G Power
With no Moto G8 models being sold directly in the U.S. this year, the new Moto G Power fills in that gap by offering a solid Android experience at a fantastic price. The phone stands out in the battery department, offering multi-day endurance. Pair that with great software, fun cameras, and solid specs all around and the Moto G Power packs quite a punch.
That said, lacking NFC and facing Motorola's infamous history with slow software updates could be a reason to think twice before picking one up. However, if you want to save money, you can't beat this price.
Note: In some markets globally, you may have access to the Moto G8 instead of the G Power. When buying the Moto G8 in the U.S. it doesn't come with a warranty, and so we recommend the G Power instead.
- Ultra-wide and macro cameras are fun
- Two or three days of battery life
- Motorola's excellent software add-ons
- Compatible with all U.S. carriers
- Can't beat that price
- Fingerprint magnet hardware
- No NFC in 2020 is just ridiculous
- Slow charging speeds
- Motorola's update speed
Best on a Budget
Enough for most people's needs, at an excellent price
The Moto G Power carries on a legacy of superb affordable Motorola phones with solid specs and cameras.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL
The Pixel 3 XL was the best camera you could get in a smartphone, but the 4 XL blows it away. In daylight, mixed-light, and even super-low-light, it consistently takes better photos than any other Android. While we had issues with the 3 XL's speed, the camera app is also now fast and fluid. A secondary telephoto lens, paired with clever software, takes great zoom shots. Its front-facing camera isn't as wide as before, and that's really the only marginal downside here. It still takes crisp, colorful, and bright photos, along with great portrait selfies.
The Pixel 4 XL, as a whole phone, is, unfortunately, let down by a few shortcomings. Its battery life is the weakest of the flagship competition, it has weaker RAM (6GB) and storage (64 or 128GB), and its Face Unlock system hasn't been adopted by all of the most popular apps that need biometric authentication. However, that shouldn't detract from all of the great things this phone does — and it is still fully in the conversation of the best phones you can get today.
- Super-smooth 90Hz display
- Top-notch camera quality back and front
- Simple, useful and fast software
- Nice-looking and feeling hardware
- Excellent face unlock speed
- Incredibly weak battery life
- Motion Sense has little real-world use
- Low RAM and storage for the money
- Many apps still incompatible with Face Unlock
The best camera you can get in a smartphone today
The Pixel 4 XL has excellent hardware and the best camera, but it's let down by poor battery life and weak specs for the money.
Best Value: Google Pixel 3a
You can find your way to the Pixel 3a for multiple reasons. The first being its size because it's one of the few "small" modern phones out there right now. Because it has a larger version, the Pixel 3a XL, the standard 3a remains compact and manageable in one hand. The screen's still big enough to get things done, but the phone won't bulge your pocket or tough to use.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the 3a is its camera, which is nearly on par with the Pixel 4 yet costs less than half as much. The main camera shoots exceptional photos in all lighting conditions, with Night Sight really showing its strength in poor lighting. The front-facing camera is even great. Both front and back, you're getting flagship-level camera quality out of a phone that's a fraction of the price.
The phone also offers exceptional value, especially several months on from its launch with some discounts. Google's clean software runs rather well on this mid-range hardware, even though it's clearly not as fast as the latest flagships. And you don't need to be worried about losing software support as it gets older, because unlike most of its competitors the Pixel 3a has guaranteed software updates for the next couple of years.
Note: The Pixel 4a, this phone's successor, will be available in July. If you're at all able to hold off on getting a new phone, the 4a looks poised to be a really nice upgrade from the 3a.
- Incredible camera for the money
- Excellent build quality with polycarbonate shell
- Guaranteed software updates
- Clean Android build
- Performance not on flagship levels
- Display is no more than functional
Google's budget phone has a ton going for it
The Pixel 3a has flagship camera quality but at a fraction of the price. It's also one of the few great compact phones available.
Best Value with 5G: OnePlus 8
OnePlus didn't change much in the 8 coming from the 7T, but it didn't really need to. You get a fresh hardware design that keeps it more in line with the 8 Pro, plus a bump in specs and 5G with the same great basics. You get a good 90Hz display, great battery life, consistent camera performance, and amazing software.
In keeping its price relatively affordable in the scheme of high-end flagships, you had to miss out on a couple of things. The cameras didn't improve from the 7T, and in some ways got worse — you lose a telephoto camera, and gain a dedicated macro shooter that isn't of much use. Unlike the 8 Pro, there's no wireless charging here. At the same time, you have to deal with the fact that OnePlus is charging more than it did six months ago for effectively this same experience.
Still, if you want to dip your toe into 5G with a higher-end phone, but don't want to spend top dollar, this is the way to go. You can get full 5G support on T-Mobile, or buy directly from Verizon — and internationally, support for 5G on multiple carriers is good in most markets.
- Fantastic software experience
- 5G and excellent specs for the money
- Consistent camera performance
- Sleek and solid hardware
- Excellent battery life
- No wireless charging
- Minimal improvements over 7T
- No zoom camera and bad macro camera
Best Value with 5G
One of the best phones with 5G right now
The OnePlus 8 is a 7T with a few new specs, 5G, and a larger battery. Even at its higher price, it still represents incredible value.
Best Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Just like the name implies, the Galaxy S20 Ultra takes another step up from the Galaxy S20+. It has all of the same specs and capabilities, but with an even larger display — 6.9 inches, Samsung's biggest — and a correspondingly larger battery at 5000mAh. When you keep the phone in 60Hz display mode, it's a complete battery champion; you'll never have to worry about battery life on this phone.
The Ultra also makes use of that extra space (and price) to give you better cameras, with a 108MP main camera that takes even brighter photos, and a telephoto camera that can reach out and get great shots up to 10X (and decent ones at 15X). The trade-offs of getting this extra capability, and battery life, are overall size and price. The S20 Ultra is big, and almost 20% heavier than the S20+; it's also notably more expensive, which can be tough to swallow when the S20+ is already quite spendy. But if battery life is a priority, this is your best bet.
- Massive high-quality screen
- Huge battery
- Super-sharp main camera shots
- Solid zoom camera up to 15X
- Great battery limited to 60Hz mode
- Necessarily big and heavy
- Slow fingerprint sensor
- No headphone jack
- 30X+ zoom is a gimmick
Best Battery Life
Samsung goes all-out
Take the S20+ up a level — all of the same qualities, but with an even bigger screen and larger battery, plus improved cameras.
Best With a Stylus — Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
The new Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra have paired up to replace the Note 10+ as the top-end Samsung phone. But the Note 10+ is still a new device, and it still feels modern and capable in just about every way. The hardware is very similar, the internal specs are behind on paper but not in actual real-world capability, and they run the same software — and the Note 10+ will still get at least one more big platform update.
The only big downsides compared to the newer phones are in the cameras and display. The cameras have been completely overhauled in the new phones, with a huge step up in main camera quality and low-light capabilities that are way beyond the Note 10+. The displays are basically the same in every way, except for one critical one: the S20 series has a 120Hz mode that makes all motion on the screen incredibly smooth and easy on the eyes. It's something you have to experience, and you probably won't want to go back after you do.
But on the other hand, nothing can replace the Note 10+'s S Pen. If you love the functionality a stylus brings, the S20+ or S20 Ultra isn't going to get the job done. And because the new models are now available, the Note 10+ is cheaper than it was at launch and a couple of hundred dollars less than even the S20+ — that in itself makes it appealing.
- Incredible display
- Hardware looks and feels expensive
- Best stylus experience on any phone
- Outstanding performance
- Great battery life and fast charging
- Consistent camera performance
- Low-light camera quality is weak
- Software requires lots of tweaking
- No headphone jack
Best With a Stylus
All of Samsung's great features, with a stylus
For many, there's no replacement for a Note. You get great hardware and specs, with a huge display, plus the unique S Pen.
Best Gaming Features: ASUS RoG Phone 2
RoG stands for Republic of Gamers, and that tells you that ASUS has focused on bringing all of the mobile gaming features you could want — whether you're playing PUBG, Fortnite, or other intense titles.
The ASUS RoG Phone 2 stands out with its unique design that includes secondary charging and headphone ports along the side so they don't get in the way when playing games in landscape mode, Air Trigger touch sensors that let you use the corners of your phone as customizable inputs for shooting games, and an external Aero Active Cooler accessory included in the box that lines up with the heatsink on the back to keep the phone cool for long sessions.
The 6.6-inch FHD+ display features a 120Hz refresh rate for the smoothest possible graphics, and the phone does a great job running games on top settings — even if the ASUS software is a bit busy and clunky. And its battery is massive, so you won't be caught without power. ASUS has refined its vision for the perfect gaming phone, and it delivers. With its polarizing design and huge size, you will really need to have a gaming focus to pick this over something more well-rounded, but some people take mobile games seriously and this phone is perfect for that use.
- Uniquely designed for gaming
- 120Hz display refresh rate is gorgeous
- Air Trigger controls are still innovative
- Front-facing speakers are loud
- Great battery life
- Phone design maybe too gamer
- Dedicated accessories are pricey
Best Gaming Features
A phone that goes all-in on gaming, and does it well
Excellent performance and gaming-specific features like side ports and heatsinks make this a gamer's dream.
Best Foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
The best thing the Galaxy Z Flip has to offer is normalcy and minimal compromises. At its core, the Z Flip is effectively a refreshed and slightly improved Galaxy S10+, which is a good thing. You're getting capable specs and performance, hardware that feels solid and high-quality, and a set of cameras that are just a little bit behind the highest-end phones this year. Compared to the shortcomings of other foldables, the Z Flip shines for having such good daily usability.
The Galaxy Z Flip also has the most durable folding screen available today, with its Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) screen covering. Now, of course, that's all relative, as other foldables up to this point have purely plastic screen coverings, but it's something. The UTG covering can still be damaged rather easily compared to the extremely hard glass found on non-folding phones, but it's more robust than what we had before and it should be a bit more resistant to damage through normal use.
As a compromise, you're giving up a little bit compared to a normal phone of the same (or lower) price. With just a 3,300mAh battery, longevity is on the low side. While its screen is great for a foldable, it's just 1080p and doesn't have the same clarity and quality as a fixed panel. Plus, its large bezels can be cumbersome. You're also getting a pretty weak single speaker, there's no ultra-wide camera on the back, and the tiny 1.06-inch cover display on the outside isn't useful for much more than showing the time and date.
- Most durable foldable screen
- Really strong specs
- Typically great Samsung build quality
- UTG screen covering still isn't very strong
- Camera's a step behind 2020 flagships
- Weaker battery life than standard phones
- Tiny cover display is almost useless
The most user-friendly foldable
The best part of the Galaxy Z Flip is its ability to feel like a normal phone when it's open, and then quickly fold in half to a compact size.
The Android world is incredibly diverse, and no matter your needs you can find a phone that fits them. But if there's one Android that fits the widest number of people, it's the OnePlus 8 Pro. The 8 Pro has excellent hardware in both durability and design, top-end specs and performance, a great 120Hz display, and exceptionally good battery life. Its cameras are solid all-around performers, stepping way up from its predecessor's, but if there's one shortcoming of this phone overall its that the camera quality isn't quite the best in the market.
OnePlus software, on the other hand, is exquisite and is neck-and-neck with Google's own Pixel phones in terms of its overall experience. OxygenOS is incredibly fast, and consistently so no matter what you throw at it. It's clean and simple right out of the box, with minimal bloat, but is still configurable and filled with features if you want to get deeper into customizing your phone as you use it.
How to choose the best Android phone
Android phones are highly complex and feature-rich gadgets that are capable of a lot of different things, and as such, finding the one that's best for you can be a daunting task. Lucky for you, we've put together a little guide below highlighting some of the biggest questions you should ask yourself when buying one, along with rankings of which Android phones have the best display, camera, and more.
How much money do you need to spend?
First thing's first, let's talk about what's likely the most pressing question for many of you reading this — how much money should you spend on a new phone?
Ultimately, this comes down to much you're willing/able to spend and what tier of phone you want. As a general rule of thumb, there are three main categories of phones at different price points:
- Low-end/budget phones
- Mid-range phones
- Flagship phones
In general, spending more money will get you a better-performing and more premium phone. Thankfully, we've seen a trend over the last few years of budget-focused phones getting really, really good.
Take the Moto G Power, for example. It used to be you couldn't get a quality phone for an entry-level price, but with the Moto G Power, you're getting a device with slick hardware, a good display, capable cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and expandable storage — just to name a few features. Mid-tier handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy A71 and Google Pixel 3a XL, offer more powerful specs for a little more money.
Flagship phones have sort of split off into two sub-groups as of late, including "lite" flagships and fully-fledged ones. The OnePlus 8 is a perfect example of a lite flagship. It costs a good deal less than flagships from Samsung, but it still manages to offer a flagship-level processor, an enormous amount of RAM, top-notch build quality, and more. Some things take a backseat with these phones, however, and that's often in the camera department and extras like water resistance.
Then there's fully-fledged flagships — the Galaxy S20+, OnePlus 8 Pro, and so on. These are the most expensive phones the market has to offer, and while they aren't perfect, they're the phones where companies throw in everything they have to offer to create for the best experience possible. You're getting the best materials, best displays, best cameras, and 5G connectivity.
You could make the argument that no one really needs to buy a flagship phone these days considering how good low-end and mid-range options have become, but it all depends on what features you want, what specs matter the most to you, and how flexible your budget is.
What size phone should you buy?
While Android phones pretty much all have the same generic rectangular shape, they come in a variety of sizes ranging from ultra-portable to miniature movie theater. The size of the phone you buy depends a lot on its screen size. The larger the screen a phone has, the larger its physical size will be. As with all things, there are benefits to both small and large phones.
As you'd expect, a smaller phone is easier to use with one hand and more likely to fit in the pockets of your skinny jeans. For people that are always on the go and want something that they can comfortably text on in one hand while chugging their Starbucks latte in the other, a smaller phone is the way to go. However, with a smaller size and smaller screen, you will be more cramped when watching movies or playing games.
On the other hand, a larger phone is the complete opposite. It'll be more challenging to use a large phone single-handedly, but if you want to use your phone for catching up on movies or playing immersive games like Call of Duty: Mobile, the extra screen real-estate will be hugely beneficial.
When talking about what constitutes a "small" and "large" phone, we typically consider smaller phones to have displays under 6 inches. Naturally, this means larger phones will often have a screen size of 6 inches or greater — the Galaxy S20 Ultra even has a 6.9-inch screen.
A 5.9-inch screen might sound large, and a few years ago, it was. However, now that the majority of Android phones have shifted from 16:9 aspect ratios to 18:9 or even 21:9 — meaning they're taller in the same width — and gotten much smaller bezels, it's possible to fit a bigger screen into a compact body.
On top of all that, it's also worth considering the size of your hands. Someone with bigger hands can probably manage a 6.5-inch+ phone perfectly fine, and as such, can go with a larger screen size and not sacrifice their ease-of-use.
How big of a battery do you need?
There are a lot of different specs that make up an Android phone, but one of the most important factors to consider is its battery. It's something that can be easy to overlook if you aren't thinking about it, and if you end up with a phone that can barely make it through a full day of your normal usage, you're going to be faced with a headache-filled future.
Everyone uses their phone differently, and as such, there's not necessarily a perfect battery size. We recommend not getting anything smaller than a 3,500mAh battery, but if possible, 4,000mAh+ is preferable. Of course, as you go higher and higher with the mAh count, you can expect longer and longer battery life. That's why the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a 5,000mAh battery doesn't have to worry about charging often, while the Pixel 3a with 3,000mAh struggles a bit.
There are many other factors that play into battery life, though, such as a phone's screen specs — a bigger, higher-resolution, or brighter screen draws more power. The efficiency of its processor also matters a lot, as does the software running the entire system. But the battery size plays the biggest role in how long a phone can be powered on before needing to be plugged in — you can't get around it.
Should you buy a 5G phone?
5G seems to be all the rage these days, and rightfully so when you see its capabilities. The potential for 5G is enormous, offering substantial speed increases over the 4G (LTE) networks we're used to. You can go out and buy a 5G-capable phone right now if you want, but should you? For most people, it shouldn't factor into a buying decision.
While AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have 5G networks live now, these carriers are still very much so in the early days of building them up. At Verizon, you're relying on mmWave 5G, which is only available in very specific areas of certain cities. T-Mobile's Sub-6 5G network is more widely available, matching a vast majority of its LTE network, but the current speeds aren't that much faster than its LTE service as a result. AT&T is walking the line, with a limited Sub-6 5G network that has the same wide-reaching benefits of T-Mobile's, but also a burgeoning mmWave network with the same density issues as Verizon.
And depending on the carrier, you may have to switch plans and pay extra in order to have access to 5G, which really isn't going to be worth it until the coverage dramatically improves.
As such, if you're in the market for a new phone, don't feel like you'll be missing out by buying a 4G LTE one. It's going to be quite a while longer before 5G is as widespread and reliable as LTE is today, and by the time you're ready to buy your next phone in a couple of years, all of the major quirks with 5G should be worked out.
But as you go to buy a flagship phone in 2020, chances are you'll just get 5G no matter what. You can just take it as an added bonus.
All of the phones highlighted above deserve to be here for one reason or another. They are the best Android phones, after all, but some do certain things better than the others. We've outlined three core smartphone features — display, performance, and camera — with our top five picks for each category based on the phones found on this list.
The display is arguably one of the most important components of a phone. It's the part that impacts you the most, as it's what you look at and interact with every time you pick your device up. As such, having a good display is critical when spending this kind of money on your next daily driver.
Here are our top five picks for the best smartphone display:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20+
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
- OnePlus 8
If we had to pick just one phone for having the best display, it'd be the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Specs-wise, the Galaxy S20 Ultra starts off strong with a huge 6.9-inch size, which just gives you more of a good thing. Then you just look at it: excellent viewing angles, colors, brightness, and outdoor visibility. It also has an excellent 120Hz refresh rate mode that makes everything that moves on the screen incredibly smooth — it's worth dropping to FHD+ resolution to get. Once you see it, you won't want to switch back.
Another great choice is the OnePlus 8 Pro, which doesn't sacrifice a ton compared to the S20 Ultra but is dramatically more affordable. Specs-wise, the 8 Pro has everything you could ask for — a large 6.78-inch screen size, 3120x1440 resolution, vibrant colors and deep blacks, and really good brightness. The display also refreshes at 120Hz, and can even do it while keeping its maximum resolution. The only reason it slots underneath the S20 Ultra is some discoloration that happens when viewed off-center.
Next up, we've got performance. This is how fast or slow a phone runs, largely due to what processor it uses and how much RAM is onboard but also how its software uses the specs. In these regards, this is how our rankings come out:
- OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra
- Google Pixel 4 XL
- ASUS RoG Phone 2
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are absolute beasts in the performance department, and this is something we see with every phone that OnePlus releases. In the case of the 8 and 8 Pro, they're powered by Qualcomm's blazing-fast Snapdragon 865 processor and paired 8GB (or 12GB) of RAM.
Combined with this onslaught of specs is OnePlus's OxygenOS, built on Android 10, which is a custom version of Android designed by OnePlus itself. It's one of the smoothest and most reliable takes on Android that exists, and when you add all of that together, the 8 and 8 Pro are clear winners when it comes to performance.
Samsung also holds its own in this category with the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra. The Snapdragon 865 processor is just as powerful here, and you get an impressive 12GB of RAM, but Samsung's software just isn't quite as efficient as OxygenOS.
Last but certainly not least, let's talk about cameras. Smartphone cameras have made outstanding leaps and bounds over the last few years, so much so that some of them can stand toe-to-toe with professional-grade photography equipment. There are some truly excellent camera offerings out there, and our top five picks are as follows:
- Google Pixel 4 XL
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20+
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- Google Pixel 3a
Ever since the first Pixel was released in 2016, Google's offering of phones has been well-known for being camera champs in the Android landscape. With that being the case, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the Pixel 4 XL is our number one choice.
Hardware-wise, the Pixel 4 XL delivers a 12MP primary camera and 16MP telephoto camera. That may not sound very impressive compared to some of the triple and quad-camera phones out there, but the magic of the Pixel lies with its computational photography that works behind the scenes.
An unbelievable amount of machine learning and post-processing happens every time you press the shutter button on the Pixel 4 XL, and this is why you can take gorgeous-looking pictures with the phone no matter your experience with a camera or what kind of a setting you're in. The telephoto camera retains a phenomenal amount of detail when zooming in, the Astrophotography mode allows you to capture stars in the night sky like never before, you can change the shadows and highlights of a scene in real-time before taking a picture — the list goes on and on. The Pixel 4 XL is a phone that you can whip out of your pocket and snap a photo, or take a few seconds to compose your shot. Either way, you'll end up with something spectacular.
Samsung has stepped up its camera game with the Galaxy S20 Ultra and deserves a mention here. Its main 108MP camera — shooting at 12MP — takes in a ton of light and delivers incredibly detailed photos in a variety of lighting conditions, while its telephoto camera can get great shots at 10X and even 15X zoom.
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.
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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