17 Best Android Phones (2024): Unlocked, Cheap, Foldable


We test a ton of Android phones. We like the ones below, but you’ll be better off with one of the options above. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our Best Cheap Phones guide for more.

Motorola Moto G Play 2024 for $150: On a tight budget? This Motorola phone doesn’t have NFC for contactless payments, nor does it support 5G. It’ll also only get one Android OS upgrade. That said, performance was pretty good in my time testing it, and the 6.5-inch LCD screen was readable in sunny conditions.

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G for $400: There are better phones for $400, but if you can catch this on a steep sale, it’s a solid handset. The Galaxy A35 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) mostly suffers from mediocre performance. It’s OK, but you’ll notice the slowness and stuttery interface quite often. That just makes it annoying to use. There’s also no wireless charging, though this phone will get four Android OS upgrades and five years of security updates.

Google Pixel 7A for $421: The Pixel 7A (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has a successor, but it’s still a great phone. Try to avoid paying more than $375 for this handset. Anything more and you may as well buy the newer Pixel 8A. Performance is great, the cameras are excellent, and the display is smooth and bright. There’s even wireless charging, and long software support (though not as long as the new Pixel 8A). Just know that battery life is so-so.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE for $600: I used this phone for several weeks and found it was more than enough to meet my needs. The cameras are surprisingly decent—you even get a usable 3X optical zoom, though its results are not as excellent as the ones from the Galaxy S23. The performance gave me zero issues, and the battery often lasted me a little more than a day with average use. The 6.4-inch screen is a pretty nice size that’s not too big and not too small, and you still get perks like wireless charging and a 120-Hz screen refresh rate. It has dipped as low as $400 during Black Friday, so I highly recommend you wait for a sale.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series ($700+): It seems like last year’s Galaxy S23 range (9/10, WIRED Recommends) may be disappearing faster than usual, as stock is low across a variety of retailers. If you can find them, the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23, the 6.6-inch S23+, and the massive 6.8-inch S23 Ultra are full of high-end features, from the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that keeps even the most demanding games running beautifully to the fluid and bright 120-Hz AMOLED displays. Battery life has improved across the board, with the S23 comfortably lasting more than a day and the S23 Ultra hitting nearly two full days with average use. The triple camera systems are the highlight, delivering remarkable results whether it’s day or night. The S23 Ultra has the special 10X optical zoom camera, which is no longer available on the latest S24 Ultra, and I miss it. It was nice being able to capture sharp photos of objects far away. It’s the only phone in the trio with the embedded S Pen stylus if you like to doodle. Try to avoid the MSRP since they’re a year old; sometimes, these prices match the latest models, which is a bad deal.

OnePlus Open for $1,400: The OnePlus Open (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is the first folding smartphone from OnePlus, and it’s surprisingly good. OnePlus has some clever software trickery to make multitasking on this booklike foldable simple and effective. The camera system delivers good results, the screens get plenty bright, and the battery life is excellent. I just wish the water resistance was better and that it had wireless charging.

Google Pixel 6A for $349: Google’s continuing to sell the 2022 Pixel 6A (8/10, WIRED Recommends) at a marked-down price. It’s still excellent value and a worthy purchase. It’s powered by Google’s first-gen Tensor chip, which means you’re getting some of the best performance for the money, and it supports all the same great (and helpful) software smarts as the flagship Pixel 6 series. It’s got an OLED screen, a decent camera system, and lengthy software support. There’s no wireless charging and it has a 60-Hz screen.

Xiaomi Poco X6 for £319 and X6 Pro for £369: Not in the US? You should take a look at the Poxo X6 or Poco X6 Pro (7/10, WIRED Recommends). These are speedy phones considering the low prices, with great displays, and decent battery life, plus the X6 even has a headphone jack! It’s a shame there’s a lot of bloatware, limited water resistance, and the cameras are lackluster.

Google Pixel 7 Pro for $449: The 2022 Pixel 7 Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a good buy if you can find it at this price (or lower). You get a 6.7-inch screen with a 120-Hz refresh rate. There’s Face Unlock, but this isn’t secure like the version on the Pixel 8, so you’ll have to rely on the fingerprint sensor to access sensitive apps. Cameras are a big part of Pixels, and the Pixel 7 Pro remains one of the best with an upgraded ultrawide with autofocus, enabling a Macro Focus mode for close-ups. Its telephoto camera has an excellent 5X optical zoom too.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 for $1,800: The Fold5 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) remains an excellent big-screen folding smartphone. The cameras can take some great photos, the displays can get shockingly bright, and Samsung promises lengthy software support. But the introduction of the Pixel Fold has shown me how much more I prefer the wider front screen. The Fold5’s external screen feels too narrow, and some apps feel squished (though it’s a little easier to grasp when closed). It’s frequently available for $1,499 so try not to pay more.



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