Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra back in hand 2
David Imel / Android Authority

With Android thoroughly dominating the mobile industry, there are countless great Android smartphones to pick from in the UK market. From sleek devices that impress with premium design to powerhouses brimming with features to all-around great devices and affordable phones that punch above their weight, the best Android phones in the UK offer a staggering variety of attractive phones.

Not all smartphone models are available globally for reasons ranging from modem and networks to supply chains and marketing. We’re looking at the absolute best Android phones you can buy in the UK in this roundup.

Best Android phones in UK:

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of best Android phones in the UK as new devices launch and become available in the country.


1. Samsung Galaxy S21 series

The Galaxy S21 family makes some marked departures from its predecessor.

The updated design smoothens the large camera bump into the metal rails. However, if you opt for the standard Galaxy S21, you’ll be getting a plastic back instead of the glass back found on both its predecessor and the larger Galaxy S21 models. Other changes include the switch to 1080p 120Hz displays from the predecessor’s 1440p units and the controversial omission of an included charger.

Samsung's Galaxy S21 is characteristically well-rounded.

All three devices are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 2100 (Snapdragon 888 in other regions), though the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus house 8GB of RAM, with the Ultra model coming with 12 or even 16GB of memory. The Galaxy S21, s21 Plus, and S21 Ultra have 4,000, 4,800, and 5,000mAh batteries, respectively, and all can charge at a maximum of 25W. That said, you’re required to provide your own charger.

Samsung’s Galaxy line has always been known for having some of the most well-rounded smartphones. This generation is no exception. With fantastic cameras, great displays, solid performance, and good battery life, the Galaxy S21 series should be high up on your list for your next smartphone purchase.

Continue reading: Samsung Galaxy S series: A history of the biggest name in Android


Samsung Galaxy S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro

OnePlus’ 9-series duo is a fantastic pair of smartphones. Building on their predecessors, it’s fair to say that the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro have moved from flagship killer territory into the killer flagship game.

The OnePlus 9 is the more approachable of the pair with a 120Hz Full HD+ AMOLED panel that measures 6.55-inches. It’s got the same Snapdragon 888 as the OnePlus 9 Pro and either 8 or 12GB RAM. The OnePlus 9’s new Hasselblad-powered triple camera display is the star of the show with its 50MP and 48MP main shooters.

The OnePlus 9's 120Hz panel works with the Snapdragon 888 and OxygenOS to make for a snappy user experience.

The OnePlus 9 Pro takes this further with a 6.7-inch 120Hz Quad HD+ AMOLED panel with a pixel density figure of 525ppi and supports HDR 10+. The OnePlus 9 Pro debuts OnePlus’ 50W wireless charging and features a much more comprehensive camera system. Included are 48MP wide, 50MP ultra-wide, 8MP telephoto, 2MP monochrome, and 16MP selfie cameras. It also has a large 4,500mAh battery and retains the official IP68 water and dust resistance rating from the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Both devices have a punch hole in the top left instead of a pop-up mechanism, and both have Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back. Both also have very thin bezels around the display and a center-positioned camera bump on the back. The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro also sport UFS 3.1 storage, Warp Charge 65W charging, and OxygenOS 11 atop Android 11. Other shared features include in-display fingerprint scanners, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and 5G support.


OnePlus 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

OnePlus 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Camera: 48, 50, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

The Galaxy Note line has historically been the best of what Samsung can offer.

This time around, though, the Korean firm has chosen to split its Galaxy Note series into a standard and an Ultra model, with more differences than you might imagine. Because of the Note 20’s poorer specs, we’ve picked the Ultra variant for today’s list.

The £1,179 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a massive 6.9-inch 120Hz Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, though it can only be used at either Quad HD+ at 60Hz or Full HD+ at 120Hz. This larger device has a glass back and a 4,500mAh battery with wireless charging and fast charging capabilities. One of the Note 20 Ultra’s biggest upgrades over the Note 20 is its camera system. It gets boosted to a 108MP main camera, 12MP 5x periscope zoom, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. The 10MP selfie setup stays the same, however. 

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is far superior to the Galaxy Note 20.

The Note 20 Ultra comes with an Exynos 990, 8GB RAM, and 256GB or 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage. This is very similar to what we had last year with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus UK variant. This means that you’d be getting worse performance and battery life with the UK Note 20 Ultra than the US Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 model. It’s a shame, but it’s what Samsung has given us.

If you were thinking about purchasing a Galaxy Note 20-series device, we recommend the pricier Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for its far superior display and camera setup. It’s without a doubt one of the best Android phones in the UK to get.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Google Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G

Google Pixel 4a -- best phone in the UK

Last year’s Google Pixel 3a was a brilliant mid-range smartphone, so it’s no surprise that its successors are equally great. 

Read more: Google Pixel 4a vs Pixel 4a: Should you upgrade?

Google’s Pixel 4a is a fantastic mid-ranger with a top-notch screen and a formidable camera system. It only sports a total of one camera on either side, but its image quality is unmatched in this price range. Its Full HD+ AMOLED display comes with a punch hole in the top left and is very accurate. The Pixel 4a‘s panel managed to peak at 719 nits in our brightness testing, which is far beyond the competition and Google’s own Pixel 4!

The Pixel 4a is one of the best sub-£400 smartphones that you can buy right now.

With three years of guaranteed software support, 18W fast charging, great haptics, and polycarbonate build, the Pixel 4a packs in a great user experience at just £349. It doesn’t have the fastest processor or the smoothest display, but it has a headphone port, fast capacitive fingerprint scanner, and clicky, tactile buttons. It comes with the Snapdragon 730G, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage, which is enough for day-to-day tasks and taking plenty of photos.

Related: Google Pixel 4a 5G review: Perfectly balanced, as all pixels should be

If the Pixel 4a isn’t enough phone for you, Google has recently released its Pixel 4a 5G, which adds to the already great Pixel 4a hardware. Included are a new ultra-wide camera, a bigger display, a much larger battery, and the Snapdragon 765G processor, which supports 5G connectivity. The £499 mid-ranger sits comfortably in between the cheaper Pixel 4a and the pricier Pixel 5.


Google Pixel 4a specs:

  • Display: 5.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 730G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,140mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Google Pixel 4a 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Camera: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,885mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Xiaomi Mi 11 series

Xiaomi packed in the latest Snapdragon 888 flagship chipset from Qualcomm in the Mi 11, 8 or 12GB RAM, and up to 256GB storage. It also features a 6.81-inch 1440p 120Hz AMOLED display which combines a high pixel-density with a fast refresh rate. This panel is both larger in physical size and resolution than the previous model‘s. This creates a really well-rounded device packed with specs.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a 2021 version of the brilliantly balanced Mi 10T Pro.

The Mi 11’s camera setup has stayed mostly the same as its predecessor. The rear shooters comprise a 108MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide, and 5MP depth camera. The Mi 11 can record video with the main camera at 8K at 30fps or UHD 4K at 60fps. On the front, there’s a 20MP camera that can shoot 1080P at 30fps. This isn’t the most versatile camera setup on the planet, but for around £600 in the UK, it’s enough to compete with devices like the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro and the OnePlus 8T.

If the standard Mi 11 doesn’t offer enough punch for your needs, you can also check out the Mi 11 Ultra. It takes just about everything a step further, including the massive camera bump. While the front display stays the same, you’re now looking at a trio of rear lenses — 50MP wide, 48MP periscope telephoto, and 48MP ultra-wide to capture all of your moments.

Your Mi 11 Ultra can also soar as high as 12GB of RAM with as much as 512GB of storage space, more than you’ll probably ever need.


Xiaomi Mi 11 specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Quad HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Quad HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 48MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Oppo Find X3 Pro

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the best of what BBK offers as far as Android phones in the UK go.

The device is a beast all on its own, and it looks like it crash-landed out of Star Wars. It sports a 6.7-inch Quad HD+ 120Hz AMOLED display with a pixel density figure of 525ppi. The Find X3 Pro comes with top-class camera hardware that should capture just about anything you can ask for. Its great 50MP main and 50MP ultra-wide sensors are backed up by a 13MP telescope camera and a 3MP microscope lens for good measure.

There’s no lack of performance here. The Oppo Find X3 Pro sports a Snapdragon 888 5G chipset with 8, 12, or 16GB of RAM with up to 512GB of storage. It’s running ColorOS 11.2, which is a huge boost over version 7.1. This new version runs on Android 11 and has all of the customization options you’d really want.

If you like space-age looks, you should at least consider the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

The Oppo Find X3 Pro comes with a large 4,500mAh battery and super-fast 65W charging that charges the cell to 92% in around 30 minutes. Oppo decided to add 30W wireless charging on the Find X3 Pro for some added flexibility after skipping the feature on the previous Find X2 Pro.


Oppo Find X3 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 50, 13, and 3MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5 best android phone in the uk
David Imel / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 5 is unlike previous flagship devices from the big G. For £599, Google’s premier device sports a mid-range chipset, an ultra-wide camera, and many external tweaks to put it more in line with the company’s mid-range devices.

The Pixel 5 is an interesting approach to Google's premier device.

The Pixel 5 has an aluminum chassis with a plastic coating. There’s a cutout beneath the coating near the middle to allow for the wireless charging passthrough. The 90Hz AMOLED display is excellent — something we’ve come to expect from Google Pixel devices over the years. The Pixel 5’s battery is far larger than that found in its predecessor, and so battery life has significantly improved over last year.

Related: Google Pixel series camera shootout: Three generations of progress

Another big improvement over the Pixel 4 is the camera setup. Though still not the most versatile smartphone camera, Google has included a new ultra-wide camera and improved video. Google continues to stick with its main Sony IMX363 camera sensor, which hasn’t changed since the Google Pixel 3. However, Google’s processing is where the Pixel 5’s camera really shines, just like its predecessors.

Overall, the Pixel 5 is a fantastic buy for £599. What you give up in raw horsepower you get back in software support, camera performance, and display quality.


Google Pixel 5 specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,080mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Sony Xperia 5 II

Sony Xperia 5 II best android phone uk
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

We were thoroughly impressed with Sony’s Xperia 5 II. Complicated name aside, the pricey device is one of the best Android phones in the UK that the Japanese firm has ever produced. 

It’s got a flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB RAM, 128 or 256GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery, and an excellent 120Hz OLED display. The device is thin and tall, making it feel different from other devices on the market. Unfortunately, the device ships with Android 10 out of the box instead of Android 11, but we don’t believe this to be a deal-breaker when discussing the viability of the Xperia 5 II.

The Sony Xperia 5 II is one of the best devices that the company has ever made.

Sony’s Xperia 5 II has a triple rear camera array comprised of three 12MP sensors. There are wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras on the rear of the device, which take fantastic photos. Sony’s Pro apps bring in fine controls and settings from the company’s high-end alpha camera series enabling users to control the photography experience.

As an overall package, the Sony Xperia 5 II is a fantastic option at the high end with a great screen, solid camera, and good performance, all in a unique form factor and design. If you don’t mind waiting a bit, the Sony Xperia 5 III and Xperia 1 III have already been announced. They’re available for pre-order from Sony and should become widely available soon.


Sony Xperia 5 II specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

That’s it for our look at the best Android phones in the UK. We’ll add more top phones available in UK stores as they hit the market.