Best Android phones (May 2019): Our picks, plus a giveaway!

One of the great things about the Android market is the diversity of features, prices, and even software. There are a ton of Android phones out there, but what’s the best in 2019?

Related: Refurbished phone guide | Best Android tablets | Best Android watches

Spec sheets and feature lists aren’t always enough to get an idea of how good a phone really is. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best — the Android phones of 2019 you can’t go wrong with. We picked based on a combination of internal testing and subjective reviewing. Phones are judged by four main criteria: the best overall, best camera, best battery, and best value. Without further delay, here are the best Android phones!

Best Android phones update:May 2019

This month, we removed the Huawei Mate 20 Pro from our list to make room for the Huawei P30 Pro. The P30 Pro moved to our third-place spot, overtaking the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. We also added a new giveaway! Head to the bottom of the article for details on how to enter.

Before we dive in, here’s a quick overview of the best Android phones for each category:

  • The best Android phones overall: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10e, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • The best camera phones: Huawei P30 Pro, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
  • Android phones with the best battery life: Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  • The best value Android phones: OnePlus 6T, Honor View 20
  • Upcoming Android phones: LG V50 ThinQ, Sony Xperia 1, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Wondering why each of these Android phones came out on top in each of their respective categories? Read on to find out why we chose these Android phones for our list.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10e

Samsung’s Galaxy S line reaches near perfection with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s little this phone can’t do. Featuring the Snapdragon 855 (or the Exynos 9820, depending on market), up to a massive 12GB of RAM, and a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with the new Infinity-O punch hole, this is an attractive powerhouse. Its high-performance ethos continues on to the rest of the components including storage, which goes as high as 1TB, and a 4,100mAh battery that’s more than capable of making it through the day.

The only weak link is the camera. The new camera package isn’t bad, but it doesn’t hold a candle to devices like the Pixel 3 or even Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 9. Still, if you can look past that, the rest of the phone is amazing and there are few other phones out that that come close to offering this much under the hood.

If you don’t need a giant phone and still want a similar Galaxy S10 experience, you should absolutely check out the Samsung Galaxy S10e. It’s smaller, cheaper, and has a better fingerprint sensor!

What makes it “the best”

  • The S10 Plus is one of the best Android phones overall thanks to a great mix of features, performance, and beautiful design.
  • It’s also one of the best phones for battery life with its massive 4,100mAh battery that’s able to keep on going. 

Why you should buy

  • It has high-end hardware, a long-lasting battery, and a rich feature set.
  • It has the best display you can get on any smartphone.

Why you should pass

  • It’s expensive.
  • The camera isn’t quite as impressive as some of the other options on this list.

Learn more

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review | Samsung Galaxy S10e review
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus specs
  • Where to buy the Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10e
Buy from

Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL

While they may not rival the Galaxy S10 in terms of specs, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL improve on the very aspect that made the Pixel 2 so great — the camera. They still sport the same single rear cameras as the Pixel 2, but there are a ton of camera software improvements here. Top Shot mode will take multiple pictures of your subject and recommend the best one. Night Sight also brings next-level low-light photography thanks to computational photography. Finally, there’s a mode called Motion Auto Focus that lets the Pixel 3 focus on a subject in a video, no matter how much they move around.

They both have 18:9 screens (well, 18.5:9 for the XL), yet they still look very different from one another. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch Full HD+ screen that makes it look like a smaller Pixel 2 XL, while the Pixel 3 XL has a big ol’ notch at the top of its screen. Both phones also come with Qi wireless charging support, no headphone jack (womp womp), and still manage to squeeze in front-facing speakers.

The Pixel 3 could be considered the Android iPhone. But is there anything wrong with that?

What makes it “the best”

  • One of the best Android phones overall thanks to snappy and responsive stock software, paired with the very best Android camera.
  • One of the best Android camera phones thanks to a combination of great camera software and a quality camera sensor. That’s even more impressive considering its one of the few single-camera setups left on the market. 

Why you should get it

  • It takes great photos in all lighting conditions.
  • Speedy software updates come straight from Google.

Any reasons to pass?

  • They’re both pricey.
  • Neither phone has a headphone jack.

Learn more

  • Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL review
  • Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL specs
  • Where to buy the Pixel 3
Buy from Best Buy

Huawei P30 Pro

The Google Pixel 3 might be the photography king, but not if Huawei has anything to say about it. The new Huawei P30 Pro packs a triple-camera setup — complete with a time-of-flight sensor — and brings one of the most versatile camera experiences out there. The 40MP main sensor, coupled with the 20MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses, aim to offer a solid photography experience whether you’re shooting landscape or portrait photos.

This is all backed by a fantastic spec sheet, a striking design, and new hardware features that give other 2019 flagships a run for their money.

What makes it “the best”

  • One of the best Android phones overall thanks to powerful hardware, solid cameras, and a long-lasting battery.
  • The triple-camera setup is truly great.

Why you should get it

  • It has three extremely versatile cameras that rival the best out there.
  • The fast-charging battery also lasts a long time on a single charge.

Any reasons to pass?

  • It’s expensive.
  • If you live in the U.S., you’ll have to import one.
  • Huawei’s software UI is not the best.

Read more

  • Huawei P30 Pro review: A phone with superpowers
  • Huawei P30 Pro camera review: Next level optics, low-light king
  • Huawei P30 Pro vs Mate 20 Pro: Is the better camera worth it?
Buy from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best phones you can buy. It packs a big 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display that shows off video and image content to the highest degree. It’s got a fast processor inside (either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or the Samsung Exynos 9810). It has plenty of memory (6GB or 8GB of RAM) and tons of onboard storage (128GB or 512GB).

The Note 9’s dual rear camera takes excellent pictures. The embedded S Pen has added functionality this time, including remote control support. Even the Note 9’s battery gets an upgrade to 4,000mAh, which means you can work longer on a single charge. It may be expensive, but if you want one of the best all-around Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is hard to beat.

What makes it “the best”

  • One of the best Android phones overall thanks to a big screen, solid hardware and performance, and the included S-Pen for even more features.
  • One of the best Android camera phones thanks to its excellent rear cameras that take great photos.

Why you should buy

  • It has high-end hardware, a big display, and a long-lasting battery (and won our Best of Android 2018 Award).
  • The S Pen adds plenty of benefits to an already enticing package.

Why you should pass

  • It’s expensive.

Learn more

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 specs
  • Where to buy the Note 9
Buy from

OnePlus 6T

What if you could get nearly every feature you’d expect from a high-end flagship phone, but without having to shell out $1,000? You can, thanks to the OnePlus 6T. You get a fast processor — the Snapdragon 845 — plenty of RAM, lots of storage, and a large 6.41-inch Super AMOLED display with a small waterdrop notch.

You even get something not all smartphones have: an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The 3,700mAh battery lasts over a day, and it’s backed up by the company’s fast charging technology, which will fully charge it up in less than 90 minutes. All that and it starts at just $549.

What makes it “the best”

  • One of the best value Android phones thanks to a reasonably low price tag while still featuring specs and a premium body that normally are found on high-end flagship phones that cost around $1,000.

Why you should get it

  • High-end hardware at a much lower price than the competition.

Any reasons to pass?

  • Cameras are not the best.
  • No headphone jack, which is a step backwards from the OnePlus 6.

Learn more

  • OnePlus 6T review
  • OnePlus 6T specs
  • Where to buy the OnePlus 6T
Buy from

Honor View 20

The Honor View 20 has a lot of the same hardware specs as the more expensive Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Honor View 20 has a Kirin 980 processor inside, and you can get it with 6 or 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. This phone’s 4,000mAh battery will last you around two full days on a single charge. You also get a 40MP main rear camera combined with a 3D ToF sensor and a front-facing 25MP camera with a punch-hole design. The Honor View 20 is also much cheaper than the Mate 20 Pro, though still a bit steep.

What makes it “the best”

  • One of the best value Android phones thanks to hardware that is on a par with the Mate 20 Pro for far less money.

Why you should get it

  • Some of the same hardware as the Mate 20 Pro for a lower price.
  • Punch-hole front-facing camera is arguably nicer looking than a notch.

Any reasons to pass?

  • Still might be too pricey for many people.
  • Hard to find support in the U.S.

Read more

  • Honor View 20 review
  • Honor View 20 specs
  • Honor View 20 vs Honor View 10
Buy from Newegg

Upcoming Android phones

That’s the best so far, but there are certainly several other handsets on the way that might be worth checking out. Here’s our list of upcoming handsets to keep an eye out for.

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

The LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be the company’s first 5G phone when it launches later this year. It’s also likely to be one of the first standalone 5G phones to come to market, if not the very first — if you are lucky enough to live in an area where the cell networks will support it.

Sony Xperia 1

Sony wants to get people re-interested in its Xperia phones with this latest release, due out later in 2019. The Xperia 1 has a 6.5-inch screen with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. It’ll also be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Even if you don’t live in a 5G network area, you might want to get the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G when it launches later this year. It will have a truly huge 6.7-inch display, tons of RAM, and an even bigger battery than the S10 Plus. Just be prepared for a very large price tag.

That’s it for our list of the best Android phones you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. If you’re a gamer you might want to consider a gaming phone. Budget shoppers will want to check out our guide to the best cheap Android phones. Want to know what your carrier is offering? Check out our guides to the best Verizon phones, best AT&T phones, best Sprint, and best T-Mobile Android phones.

Now it’s time for you to speak up! Cast your vote below for what you think is the best Android phone, and enter this month’s giveaway for your chance to win the top-voted phone throughout the month of May. Good luck!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Congratulations to the best Android phones (April 2019) giveaway winner, Ben T. from Australia. You won a brand new Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus!

Best Android phones (May 2019) international giveaway

That’s all, folks. What are your thoughts? Be sure to leave a comment below if you feel strongly about any one of these phones?

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