New phones are being added all the time, especially when it comes to the world of Android. Apple’s iPhones will always be popular, but phones powered by Google’s mobile operating system give you a wide range and usually much better specs for the same price. We’re now a few months into 2022 and already have many of the year’s biggest Android flagships, including the Xiaomi 12, OnePlus 10 Pro, Galaxy S22 series and Oppo Find X5 Pro.
The last year has also brought with it some phenomenal phones that are still worth buying, including the Pixel 6 Pro, which is still one of our favorites, and an amazing Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldable. Here at Tech Advisor, we test each one Handy independent and thorough so that we can bring you the best options worth considering at any given moment. Here we rank the top ten, but keep checking back as we update this list regularly.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – Best Android phone
The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t feel like an S22 at all, in fact it’s more of a covert revival of Samsung’s once-beloved Note brand, with a different design from its S22 siblings and a built-in slot for storing the included S Pen Pen’s camera is one of the best in any phone, with a 108Mp main camera supported by an ultra-wide and two telephoto lenses at different zoom levels, with notable improvements in zoom performance over previous models.
The large 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, and with S-Pen stylus support, it comfortably fills the productivity niche of previous Note phones.
2. Vivo X80 Pro – Best camera
You may not have heard of Vivo, but you should definitely pay attention. The company is a behemoth in the Chinese smartphone market and is slowly expanding its international reach, which is good because it’s been an open secret for the last few years that Vivo has been making probably the best cameras in any phone. The X80 Pro is no exception with four phenomenal rear cameras.
The 50MP main lens is phenomenal, but the 48MP ultrawide lens really blows away all the competition, and the two zoom lenses add additional options. The tech really is at its best in low light, with hands down the best night mode available anywhere. It’s a great phone elsewhere too, with a premium display, fast charging and great battery life. The biggest frustration is that the company’s Android skin is a little cumbersome, but when you care about the camera and can afford to spend that much, it’s hard to do better.
3. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – Best foldable
Samsung’s first attempts at foldable devices were fun but felt like novelty. With the Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Korean tech giant has clearly got it right. A revised design not only looks a lot better, but is waterproof and more useful thanks to the larger cover display.
The core specs are solid throughout, with a Snapdragon 888 in tow, and the 12Mp main and ultrawide cameras are decent if not exceptional, although you might miss a telephoto lens. The big downside is the battery, as the Flip 3 can only be used for a full day. But if you can live with that, this is the first foldable device that feels dead competitive at its price point.
4. Google Pixel 6 Pro – Best software
Pixel phones have always been about the camera, but the competition is catching up fast and the Pro 6 camera, while phenomenal, isn’t quite our favorite at the moment. It’s no slouch, though, and benefits from major upgrades from the Pixel 5, which now packs a 48-megapixel main lens along with an ultra-wide-angle and periscopic telephoto lens.
This is the most powerful Pixel camera to date. The bigger advantage of the phone, however, is the Google software. The 6 Pro runs the best version of Android around, with the clean simplicity of stock Android plus all of Google’s excellent Pixel-exclusive upgrades, now powered by the company’s new internal Tensor chip. You’ll have to put up with slow charging (and buy your own charger to boot) and accept the fact that this is a big phone with a divisive design that you might love, but there are many out there that don’t do.
5. Oppo Find X5 Pro – Best high-end all-rounder
The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a phenomenal phone in every way. The 6.7-inch 10-bit 120Hz QHD+ panel is one of the best displays in any phone right now, and Oppo supports it with 80W wired and 50W wireless charging, a 5000mAh battery and a top-of-the-line camera with 50MP sensors on both main and ultrawide lenses. You have to live without a periscopic zoom lens.
The telephoto here is a paltry 2x zoom, but the results from all three rear lenses are exceptional. The design is also unique thanks to a seamlessly sloping camera module integrated directly into the ceramic of the phone’s body. In terms of performance, the Find X5 Pro is also hard to beat, with all of the above plus a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. 256GB storage and 12GB RAM. You just have to be willing to pay the price as it doesn’t come cheap, although the regular Find X5 is a great option that costs a lot less.
6. Xiaomi 12 – Best compact flagship
The Xiaomi 12 is a rock-solid performer thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, but it’s also pocket-friendly thanks to a screen that’s under 6.3-inches small for an Android flagship these days. It’s still a great display 120Hz refresh rate on the AMOLED panel, so no compromises on quality.
The 67W wired charging and 50W wireless charging are among the fastest, and the 50MP main camera is also excellent, although we miss the telephoto lens you’ll find on its bigger sibling, the Xiaomi 12 Pro. We still don’t love Xiaomi’s MIUI version of Android and the lack of an IP rating holds that back a bit compared to rivals, but aside from the regular Galaxy S22, this really is the only small-screen Android flagship, and it’s for that alone Worth a look.
7. Samsung Galaxy S22+ – Best for software updates
Don’t think of the S22+ as a poor man’s S22 Ultra. Samsung has used its Goldilocks model to create a super balance of specs and features that comes with few flaws.
As a result, you get some of the best performance found in an Android phone right now, a glass-bodied design, and the latest Android 12 (clothed with Samsung’s own One UI 4.1, at launch) with a commitment to years of software support.Battery life is a bit inconsistent, and some of the camera features will likely benefit from firmware fixes over time, but this remains a great example of what we can hope to see from the Android flagships of 2022.
8. OnePlus Nord 2T – Best mid-range
OnePlus’ first Nord T-brand phone is a worthy successor, powered by MediaTek’s 5G-ready Dimensity 1300 chipset. The Nord 2T also has a 90Hz AMOLED display, a great 50MP primary main camera and nimble 80W fast charging.
Software-wise, the company’s OxygenOS user experience is also a key highlight, bringing to the table responsive interactivity and a clean UI that lends itself to the phone’s powerful, premium feel. The only downside is that the company only promises two Android version updates and a third year of security fixes.
9. Realme GT 2 Pro – Best affordable flagship
The Realme GT 2 Pro offers a heck of a lot of phone for your money and is more exciting than its (admittedly also solid) non-Pro sibling. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset is paired with the fastest RAM and storage, with 65W wired charging and a 120Hz AMOLED display to seal the deal, all essentially flagship specs. Of course, this isn’t a flagship price point, so there are omissions elsewhere, no wireless charging or waterproofing for starters, and while the main camera and ultrawide are solid enough, there’s no telephoto zoom option.
If performance is your priority, however, then the value here is hard to beat, and the fact that everything is wrapped in a sleek, understated design (albeit plastic) doesn’t hurt either.
10. OnePlus 10 Pro – Great design
OnePlus’ latest flagship phone is a good alternative to devices like the S22 or Pixel 6 series, especially if you live in the US and have few other high-end Android options. Boasting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 80W fast charging cable, the 10 Pro has core specs that rival anything its rivals offer, and were also by and large fans of the sleek design, although not everyone is. Despite Hasselblad’s backing, the camera is still the weakness here.
The rear triple camera is impressive, don’t get us wrong, but inconsistencies, particularly in exposure, are just reminders that it’s not the cream of the crop and that makes it a little harder to recommend this phone over rivals at the same price point unless you know you love the OnePlus OxygenOS software.
Guide for Buying Android:
While you can only choose from a handful of Apple phones, Android has something for everyone, whether it’s a sleek, waterproof design, a huge display, or a plethora of cameras.
Sometimes you can even find all of these attributes on one phone. We’ve done our best to rank the phones in the correct order, considering build, value, performance and features. However, make sure you get a phone that suits your needs. It might not just be the phone on top.
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