The best and best-selling Android phones of 2022
Want a great Android smartphone? These are the only phones worth checking outAccording to JBQ, You are here because you are looking for the best Android phones of 2022. You’re probably a bit of an Android, and you’re not alone: after all, Android is the world’s most popular smartphone platform. If you’re not attached to an iPhone, this is the obvious (and only) choice.
The range of Android phones available in the market is huge. That means you’re sure to find something that suits you perfectly as long as you know what you’re looking for.
Here’s our guide to buying an Android phone, with advice on choosing the right phone for you and our pick of the best Android smartphones of 2022.
The best Android phones: at a glance
- Best Android smartphone: Google Pixel 7
- The best cheap Android phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 11
- Best flagship Android smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- The best Android phone for just £100: the Nokia C21 Plus
When it comes to choosing a new smartphone, there are many features to consider. While aesthetics are important, you should definitely consider features and functionality. Most flagship phones (those priced above £700) will be more than satisfactory in all areas, but cheaper devices may come with compromises. You can summarize the key considerations into five key questions…
What is the best smartphone display for me?
A high-resolution display is nice, but on a device this size, you probably won’t notice a difference between a 1080p or 1440p display – and 4K is completely meaningless. What is much more important is contrast and color reproduction.
AMOLED displays always look fantastic, with excellent contrast and excellent sRGB coverage. Budget phones tend to opt for standard IPS LCD screens, usually around 1080p or 720p, but if you don’t plan on doing a lot of photo editing or watching movies on your device, it’s still fine.
How much storage space do I need?
You need space to store your apps and you may want to keep photos and music on the device. This is less of a problem than it used to be, as apps like Google Photos and Google Music mean your personal media can live in the cloud. The size of internal memory usually starts from 128 GB in flagships and around 64 GB in budget devices. Many phones let you use a microSD card for cheap expansion.
What is the best version of Android?
These phones are all Android devices, but they look and feel completely different. Some manufacturers notably Samsung, OnePlus, Huawei, and Xiaomi — layer their own custom skins on top of the operating system, while companies like Google and OnePlus use stock (or close to stock) Android to deliver an immersive experience. They use clean and clear for themselves. Apart from Huawei, users all run the same apps, so it’s more a matter of personal preference.
What is the best smartphone camera?
The handy camera is a great feature: it means you can always capture a moment without carrying a dedicated camera and share your photos with just a few taps. Most flagships have great built-in cameras, but it’s certainly not something you can take for granted in a mid-range or budget phone. If photo quality is important to you, make sure you check out the camera before investing.
What is the best smartphone for battery life?
JBQ says, Smartphone battery life has improved over the years, but we still live in a world where charging can only get you through the day. Bigger phones tend to last longer, though – because they can be packed with bigger batteries – and some budget phones also have impressive endurance for their size and price. Do your research and as a general rule, go for the highest capacity battery you can find.
1. Google Pixel 7: The best Android smartphone
No wonder it is the best Android smartphone made by Google. A great showcase for the platform, the Pixel 7 (and 7 Pro) is on par with most flagships from other companies, but at a much lower price point. Not only is the Pixel 7’s seamless Android 13 experience as simple as ever, but what really sets the Pixel 7 apart this year is its dual cameras, which are simply in a class of their own.
No matter what you’re shooting, and no matter the lighting conditions, the Pixel 7’s images and videos are absolutely top-notch and easily the best you can buy right now. Battery life is also a serious step up from last year’s Pixel 6, thanks to improvements to Google’s second-generation Tensor G2 chipset. And with that low price being another part of the Pixel 7’s appeal, there’s little reason to pay more.
Key Specifications – Processor: 2.85 GHz Google Tensor G2. Screen: 6.3 inches 2400 x 1080; Camera: 50 megapixel, 12 megapixel (wide); Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB; Operating system: Android 13
2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 11: The best cheap Android phone
Price: 199 pounds Shop now on Amazon
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is amazing value for its price. The Redmi Note 11 doesn’t skimp on features, achieving performance levels similar to phones twice the price. The Redmi Note 11 is in a special place in terms of photography, with the most powerful 50MP camera, and the 90Hz Full HD display is also a big plus.
If money is tight and you’re looking for a smartphone that packs a lot of punch, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is a smart choice.
Key Specifications – Processor: 2.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 680; Screen: 6.43 inches, 2400 x 1080; Camera: 50 megapixels, 8 megapixels (wide), 2 megapixels (macro) and 2 megapixels (depth); Storage space: 128 GB; Operating system: Android 11
3. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: The best Android flagship
Price: from £1149 | Shop now on Amazon
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra certainly lives up to its hyperbolic name, featuring pen-friendly features, a sharp 6.8-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a robust design, and a 22% improvement in CPU performance over its predecessor. If that wasn’t enough, the S22 Ultra can be charged up to 50% in just 20 minutes, while the included S Pen is ideal for jotting down notes and fits neatly on the bottom of the phone.
As you’d expect from a shiny new Samsung, the cameras are impressive. The module has been redesigned from the ground up and now features a 108-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and two 10-megapixel telephoto units on the back, as well as a massive 40-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The results in our photography tests were stunning, even in low light.
The price is high, but with the Galaxy S22 Ultra you get a lot for your money. If your pockets are deep enough, it’s the best Android flagship around.
Key Specifications – Processor: Samsung Exynos 2200 octa-core (1 x 2.8 GHz, 3 x 2.5 GHz, 4 x 1.8 GHz); Screen: 6.8 inches, 3088 x 1440; Camera: 108 megapixels, 10 megapixels (10x zoom), 10 megapixels (3x zoom), 12 megapixels (ultra wide), 40 megapixels (selfie); Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB; Operating system: Android 12
4. Nokia C21 Plus: The best Android phone under £100
Price: £100 a liter Buy now on Amazon
If your budget can’t exceed £100, or you’re simply hoping to dip your toes into the world of smartphones but don’t want to spend too much, the Nokia C21 Plus is a good choice. At a double-digit price, the Nokia C21 Plus is great value, and while it doesn’t come with the usual mix of high-end flagship features, what’s on offer here is still pretty exceptional for the price.
For starters, it has a large 6.52-inch display (which we found to be very bright and vibrant in our tests), a solid build, and has been updated to Android 11 Go. Sure, it’s not the fastest phone on the market and it lacks NFC, but for just £100 you can’t really do better.
Key Specifications – Processor: 1.6GHz Unisoc SC9863A; Screen: 6.52 inches 1600 x 720; Camera: 13 MP, 2 MP (depth); Storage space: 32 GB; Operating system: Android 11 Go
5. Realme 9 Pro Plus: Flagship features at an affordable price
Price: 349 pounds Shop now from Realme
The Realme 9 Pro Plus is an incredibly good, mid-range smartphone to beat. The MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor blew away the competition in all our benchmark tests, handling everyday tasks without complaint and doing very well in gaming too.
Battery life was equally impressive, managing to last over 25 hours, placing it in the top ten of our phone battery life hierarchy. After charging, the included 60W fast charger can bring the battery back to 100% in 40 minutes. This combination of long battery life and super fast charging is something of a game changer, even at this price.
It’s not perfect in every way – there’s no IP rating for weatherproofing, and the ultra-wide camera isn’t the best we’ve seen in this price bracket – but for absolute value, the Realme 9 Pro Plus sets a high bar.
Key Specifications – Processor: Octa-core 2.5 GHz MediaTek Dimension 920 5G; Screen: 6.4 inches, 2400 x 1080; Camera: 50 megapixels, 8 megapixels (ultra wide), 2 megapixels (macro), 16 megapixels (selfie); Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB; Operating system: Android 12
6. Oppo Find X5 Pro: A simple and stunning flagship
Price: £1,015 a liter Buy now on Amazon
If you’re hoping to take a step off the beaten track and have plenty of cash in your pocket, the Oppo Find X5 Pro should be your next flagship smartphone. It’s not cheap, that much is for sure, but if you’re on a budget, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best-looking smartphones on the market, with the usual high-spec feature set.
The Oppo Find X5 Pro’s mirror-like design is truly stunning, and its large 6.7-inch 1440p display is one of the most accurate color displays we’ve tested yet. The triple camera offering is also top-notch, and the fact that it lasted over 24 hours in our battery test is also a big plus. Oppo’s Find X5 Pro is a great choice if you’re craving the latest and greatest tech, but aren’t into Samsung or the iPhone.
Key Specifications – Processor: 3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Screen: 6.7 inches, 3216 x 1440; Camera: 50 megapixels, 50 megapixels (wide), 13 megapixels (zoom); Storage space: 128 GB; Operating system: Android 12
7. Nothing Phone (1): A unique and affordable phone
Price: £399 L Buy now on Amazon
The Nothing (1) phone is something of a design statement. If you are looking for a smartphone, this is definitely the one to buy. With a unique back and a bunch of LED lights, there’s nothing else on the market that looks this good. And the lights have a purpose too – they flash when you receive calls, texts and alarms. manual
But all is not what it seems, and thankfully the Nothing Phone (1) is a mid-range phone in other respects. Performance is good, thanks to the Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset, battery life is great – lasting over 20 hours in our testing – and it also has a pretty much stock Android interface. The Nothing Phone (1) is a good choice for the tech-savvy, or for those who simply want to show off.
Key Specifications – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus; Screen: 6.55 inches, 2400 x 1080; Camera: 50 megapixels and 50 megapixels (wide); Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB; Operating system: Android 12
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