Galaxy S20 UltraSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Best Big Android Phones Android Central 2020

What we consider a "normal" phone size today would feel downright gigantic just a few years ago. And that normalization of large phones has made it even easier for companies to make even bigger phones at the very top end of their lineup. When you need a big phone to give you the largest screen and most capabilities, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best of the bunch. Not only does it have a huge display, but it's a great display — and everything else about the experience backs it up.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Galaxy S20 UltraSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

The Galaxy S20 Ultra's size is true to its name, with an absolutely huge 6.9-inch screen. The screen is once again the best in the industry, following in the footsteps of every other Samsung screen, and it has a superb 120Hz refresh rate mode that will spoil you for any other phone.

The rest of the phone is unapologetically large, making room for a 5,000mAh battery, all of the latest specs, and an impressive camera array. Those cameras give you great photos in a variety of lighting conditions, and impressive zoom shots at up to 15X. Samsung's software still takes a bit of organizing and fine-tuning to work just right, but is extremely powerful.

Pros:

  • Massive high-quality screen
  • Huge battery
  • Super-sharp main camera shots
  • Solid zoom camera up to 15X
  • Necessarily big and heavy

Cons:

  • Great battery limited to 60Hz mode
  • Slow fingerprint sensor
  • No headphone jack
  • 30X+ zoom is a gimmick

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung goes all-out

Take the S20+ and turn it up a notch — all of the same qualities, but with an even bigger screen and battery, plus improved cameras.

Best With a Stylus: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+Source: Android Central

It's easy to argue that the Galaxy Note defined the "phablet" category so many years ago, and several generations on it's still the standard. The Note 10+ has a massive 6.8-inch display, and, wow, is it incredible. The rest of the hardware experience is as solid as it is beautiful and conceals a packed spec sheet capable of powering anything you want to do. Battery life is excellent, as is its charging speed. It all adds up to make this a real complete package for anyone who wants a do-everything big-screened phone.

On top of it all, where the Note 10+ stands out is its S Pen. It's a feature you either completely get and love, or don't care for — but for those who utilize the S Pen, it's hard to think of using a phone without one. You can write, annotate, sign, and draw, but also remotely control the phone wirelessly to take photos, advance presentations and more.

The Note 10+ is now a (partial) generation behind the S20 series, but that doesn't mean you should overlook it. If you value the S Pen, consider the Note 10+ even though it isn't entirely Samsung's latest and greatest.

Pros:

  • Incredible, huge display
  • Hardware looks and feels expensive
  • Outstanding performance
  • Great battery life and fast charging
  • Best stylus experience on any phone

Cons:

  • Considerably more expensive than Galaxy S10+
  • Inconsistent in-display fingerprint sensor
  • Software requires lots of tweaking
  • Low-light camera quality is weak

Best With a Stylus

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

The phone that defined what 'phablet' meant

The Note 10+ isn't obsolete because the S20 Ultra is out. A massive screen is backed up by incredible capabilities, plus an S Pen.

Best Value: Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung Galaxy A71 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Galaxy A71 is Samsung's best attempt at a mid-ranger this year. The Snapdragon 730 is decidedly not flagship material but still delivers performance perks. The 6.7-inch display is vibrant and maintains much of what makes Samsung's screens so beautiful, along with a 4,500mAh battery that runs through a full day with time to spare. With good levels of storage, RAM, and software optimization, like Game Booster, this is a mid-range device with plenty of range.

All that works nicely with a set of decent cameras that borrow many features from the company's flagships. You may not match the output in every situation, but good shots are more than possible here. With Android 10 and Samsung's One UI out of the box, the phone should also be poised for updates later on.

Pros:

  • Beautiful display for the money
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Android 10 out of the box
  • Quad rear camera array

Cons:

  • No water resistance
  • No wireless charging
  • Slow fingerprint sensor

Best Value

Samsung Galaxy A71

Getting a great Galaxy experience for hundreds less.

The Galaxy A71 is made for the budget-conscious, yet it still crams in enough of the good stuff to make it a great balance between price and capabilities.

Best on a Budget: Moto G Power

Moto G Power ReviewSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

If you want real bang for your buck and spend all those extra hundreds (for a flagship) elsewhere, then the Moto G Power might satisfy your modest needs. This phone won't blow anyone away, but that is partly the point. Its understated design and feature set make it ideal for those looking for a smartphone to do the basics well. You can measure its battery life over more than a day, and the screen is still good for the price.

While the camera setup can take decent shots for its price range, it can struggle in low-light. Then there's the bizarre decision not to include NFC, making Google Pay a non-starter on this device. If you're cool with trade-offs like that, you probably won't be disappointed with the package crammed in here.

Pros:

  • Outstanding battery life
  • Decent camera performance
  • Works with all U.S. carriers
  • Amazing price

Cons:

  • No NFC support
  • No fast charging
  • Software updates unclear

Best on a Budget

Moto G Power

A phone that sticks to the fundamentals and just works

Outstanding battery life and consistent performance make this budget buy stand on its own, even if you have to sacrifice a couple of key features to get there.

Best Camera: Google Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 XLSource: Android Central

The Pixel 4 XL has the best overall camera you can get on an Android phone, no matter the price or size. In daylight, mixed-light, and even super-low-light, it consistently takes better photos than any competition. 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 the only marginal downside here. It still takes crisp, colorful, and bright photos, along with great portrait selfies.

Its screen, coming in at 6.3-inches, is right on that borderline of what you'd consider a phablet. But the screen quality is excellent and has a 90Hz refresh rate — but again, this phone is all about its camera and software.

The Pixel 4 XL, as a whole phone, is, unfortunately, let down by a few shortcomings. Its battery life is the weakest of the phablet competition, which is probably the biggest downside for people who are looking for a big phone. It has lower RAM (6GB) and storage (64GB) than the rest, too, and its face unlock system has only been adopted by a handful of apps. However, that shouldn't detract from all of the great things this phone does — and it is still entirely in the conversation of the best phones you can get today.

Pros:

  • Super-smooth 90Hz display
  • Simple, useful and fast software
  • Extremely fast face unlock
  • Top-notch camera quality back and front
  • Nice-looking and feeling hardware

Cons:

  • Incredibly weak battery life
  • Motion Sense has little real-world use
  • Low RAM and storage for the money
  • Lots of app incompatibility with face unlock

Best Camera

Google Pixel 4 XL

The best camera you can get in a smartphone today

The Pixel 4 XL has excellent hardware and the best camera but is let down by weak battery life and specs for the money.

Most Versatile: OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 ProSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

OnePlus was once an upstart that undercut almost everyone else on price while cramming in flagship features to add real value to every device. But the last couple of years have seen the company creep into flagship pricing, and that's exactly where the 8 Pro fits in. The combination of hardware and software makes this one of the best spec-for-spec phones around, and since performance doesn't disappoint, it's worth real consideration. OxygenOS is about as good as stock Android, and OnePlus is especially prudent at pushing out updates to make it better.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED screen is gorgeous, with the company maintaining the beautiful color and finish on the back. A 120Hz refresh rate offers one of the smoothest experiences on any phone, though it always helps when the interface's visuals are easy on the eyes.

It also helps that OnePlus corrected some snafus with the camera in previous models, so better photos are likely because of it. Unfortunately, they didn't extend to the telephoto lens, which uses a hybrid zoom, rather than an optical one to get closer. Battery life is excellent for the phone's size and performance, and the company finally added wireless charging support.

Pros:

  • Large, beautiful 120Hz display
  • OxygenOS is an excellent experience
  • Improved camera performance
  • Wireless charging support
  • Solid battery life

Cons:

  • No longer priced in mid-range
  • Limited 5G compatibility in U.S.
  • Telephoto camera isn't true optical zoom
  • Can be buggy at times

Most Versatile

OnePlus 8 Pro

A phone whose parts make up an impressive sum

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a super smooth display, better camera, and solid battery life, making it among the best phones available.

Best Audio Quality: LG V60 ThinQ

LG V60 with Dual ScreenSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

LG doesn't always get love for what it includes or maintains, as much as it gets flack for what it excludes or misses. Despite that, the company has been consistent in making audio a priority on its phones, and it starts with the headphone jack. How often do you see that on a flagship device nowadays? Having it is convenient if you want to plug in a wired pair of cans, but there's another reason to do it. The V60 has a Quad DAC (digital-to-analog converter) supporting audio files up to a 32-bit, putting it in audiophile territory.

The tech behind all that is complicated, but it's presented simply because it's already on by default. Under settings, there are options for equalizer, 3D audio, presets, and more. There is a caveat in that not all streaming and music apps use the DAC, so you would have to download an app like USB Audio Player Pro ($8 on Google Play) to replace the stock music player and link to popular streaming apps. Unfortunately, Spotify still doesn't work with it.

The audio prowess extends to capturing better audio when shooting video, too. It does a better job than competitors to separate the foreground subject from the background, and also works really well with microphone attachments, in case you want to go the extra mile.

Pros:

  • Great screen
  • Option to include dual screen
  • Extensive audio options
  • Solid battery life
  • Includes headphone jack

Cons:

  • Software needs an overhaul
  • Camera has room for improvement
  • No 90 or 120Hz refresh rate
  • Cumbersome size with dual screen

Best Audio Quality

LG V60 ThinQ

A phone that can split in two, but also boost what you listen to

The LG V60 ThinQ shines as one of the most useful and feature-laden phones when it comes to how well audio plays on it.

Best Value Outside the U.S.: Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro Amber SunriseSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The Huawei P30 Pro is still a beast by 2020 standards, and its bread and butter is the sheer depth of its camera. Much of what the Chinese giant has done in its phones have influenced what others have done to compete. The Night mode is one of the best available. It offers a level of manual control that no other brand currently does, given you can adjust ISO, shutter speed and stop exposure midway to get the composition you want. Monochrome mode is excellent for black and white flair, while the Pro mode produces amazing results once you learn how to use its tools.

While Huawei's EMUI leaves plenty to be desired in both its visuals and navigation focus, it is at least getting better. Plus, the P30 Pro isn't subject to the ongoing feud with the U.S. government, meaning it still gets Android and security updates. The phone is otherwise robust and offers solid battery life, despite all the stuff it can do.

It's just not officially available in the U.S., though it has been an excellent choice elsewhere in the world.

Pros:

  • World-class mobile camera
  • Excellent battery life
  • Android 10 compatible
  • Great color options

Cons:

  • EMUI needs work
  • Not available in U.S.
  • Not as loud as P20 Pro

Best Value Outside the U.S.

Huawei P30 Pro

Getting one of the best cameras on any phone

The Huawei P30 Pro is a camera that also happens to be a phone, and its additional features make it a solid choice free of restrictions.

Best Budget Camera: Google Pixel 3a XL

Pixel 3a XLSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Google didn't so much as pare down to get to the Pixel 3a XL, it just took some things out from the Pixel 3 XL and came up with this superb budget device. Except much of what remained intact was the camera, which is why this is the best phone camera you can get for under $500. It captures truly impressive results in low-light — better even than some phones that are double the price. Portrait shots also look great, taking advantage of the excellent software processing that does wonders despite using only one lens.

The camera UI is the same as other Pixel phones, including the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, keeping things in sync, so you have a short learning curve if you decide to move up to a better Google device at some point. While the Pixel 3a XL is very much a clone of its former flagship counterpart, it isn't quite as good as an overall performer. This is definitely a phone you pick up because you want stock Android and a camera you can trust.

Pros:

  • Best camera for the price
  • Stock Android with regular updates
  • Excellent battery life
  • Includes headphone jack
  • Lightweight body

Cons:

  • 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage
  • No additional lenses
  • Hardware will eventually show age

Best Budget Camera

Google Pixel 3a XL

The best camera at an affordable price

The Pixel 3a XL takes the best camera features Google has to offer and puts it in a phone that still holds its own in 2020.

Best Gaming Features: ASUS RoG Phone 2

ASUS ROG Phone 2 reviewSource: Android Central

ASUS has expanded its Republic of Gamers line of devices over to phones, focusing on bringing all of the mobile gaming features you could want — no matter what intense game you're into. The RoG Phone 2 is big, as you'd expect for gaming, with a 6.6-inch display that has a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate, and excellent specs to make sure the game never skips a beat. And it has a massive battery to match, so you don't have to worry about not making it through the rest of the day when you've spent an hour or two on a game.

It also stands out with a unique hardware design purely focused on gaming, including secondary charging and headphone ports along the side, so they aren't in your way when playing games in landscape. You also get "Air Trigger" touch sensors that let you use the corners of the phone as customizable inputs for shooters and an external active cooler accessory that lines up with the phone's heatsink to keep thermals in check.

With its polarizing design and massive size, you will 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 them.

Pros:

  • Uniquely designed for gaming
  • 120Hz display refresh rate is gorgeous
  • Air Trigger controls are still innovative
  • Front-facing speakers are loud
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Phone design maybe too gamer
  • Dedicated accessories are pricey

Best Gaming Features

ASUS RoG Phone 2

If you go all-in on mobile gaming, this is your choice

You get a huge display and huge battery to let you game without worry, plus great gaming-specific specs and features all around.

Bottom line

When you're looking for the biggest-and-best phone available, the Galaxy S20 Ultra sets the standard. Not only does it have a massive display, but it's also the best display in terms of quality across the board.

And Samsung makes use of it with an incredible spec sheet, tons of features, and a camera array that gives you great main camera shots and impressive zoom capabilities. You pay dearly to get this complete package, but there's something to be said for going all-in to get the best phone possible when you need a big screen. The Galaxy S20 Ultra rewards you for that decision.

If you decide you're looking for something smaller, there's our list of small Android phones. If you just want a list of the best general Android phones, we've got that too!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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? Send an email to joe.maring@mobilenations.com!

Andrew Martonik is the 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 andrew.martonik@androidcentral.com or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.

Daniel Bader is the 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.

Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar.

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