The best Android phones at $700 and above

The Best

The smartphone market has a lot of options to pick from and this has resulted in a never-ending debate about which phone is the best. While it is easy to suggest that all $700+ phones are the best in the market, you’d be surprised at how good phones in the lower segment have become. That said, not everyone has the privilege of shelling out $700+ on a premium phone, but if you do, we are here to help you walk out with the best Android phone in this price range.

Of course, this page will be updated regularly to reflect the best there is at the moment.

Related:

The best Android phones [November 2018]

Device USA UK India
Google Pixel 3 (XL) $799 £739 INR 71,000
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 $1000 £899 INR 67,900
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Coming soon £900 Coming soon
Samsung Galaxy S9 (S9+) $700 £739 INR 57,900
Sony Xperia XZ3 $900 £699 To be confirmed
HTC U12+ $799 £699 To be confirmed
LG V40 ThinQ $950 To be confirmed To be confirmed
Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 (10GB) To be confirmed To be confirmed To be confirmed
OnePlus 6T $549 £499 INR 37,999

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google-Pixel-3-and-XL-1

As pointed out earlier, the Android smartphone industry has lots of options and the competition is getting even much tighter at the top of the spectrum. At this time, there is no doubt the Google Pixel 3 XL is the best phone the big G has ever made and that makes it the best Android phone you can have at the moment.

As usual, Google is keeping things simple with a great hardware design, the best software experience that includes features that are actually useful, the best camera on the overall and even better is that you are promised up to three years of Android OS upgrades. If you are not a fun of the notch and the sheer size of the Pixel 3 XL, there’s a smaller version that makes up for an even better proposition as it is easy to handle in one hand, it’s cheaper, and yet it offers the same experience as the bigger model.

Both Pixel 3 phones are amazing to use and experience not because of their specs and features, but because Google’s software experience is the best you can get out there. The latest Android 9 Pie runs the show out of the box and besides being smooth, simple and easy to use, the software also comes without any bloatware or unwanted preinstalled apps.

The cameras are actually the best thing about the Google Pixel 3 phones. Although a single-lens, the main shooter promises the best photos in the industry. The front has gotten even better with the addition of a second lens that offers wide-angle photography needed for group selfies. You also get other cool stuff like super-loud stereo speakers and wireless charging, but unfortunately, the 3.5mm headphone jack is nowhere.

Specs

Pixel 3
  • 5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Pixel Visual Core co-processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 12.2MP main camera
  • Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera
  • 2915mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Pixel 3 XL
  • 6.3-inch 18:9 QHD+ OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Pixel Visual Core co-processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 12.2MP main camera
  • Dual 8.1MP + 8.1MP selfie camera
  • 3430mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, Stereo speakers, Active Edge, etc.

Yes, it’s true the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones miss out on a number of big specs and features, but honestly, the cons are nothing compared to the pros.

Related:

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Galaxy-Note-9

As noted, the Pixel 3 duo certainly misses out on a number of big specs and features. On the brighter side, there are plenty of other alternatives that make up for these Pixel 3 shortcomings and still manage to deliver some of the best Android experiences out there. High on the list is Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which, to some, is the best in the world.

While there is no shred of doubt regarding the quality of the Galaxy Note 9, it is the basic things that make the Note 9 lag behind the Pixel 3 XL. The latter’s notched display and lack of big features may stand in the way of some, but the fact that Android is all about software makes the Note 9 the second-best choice in this range.

To give you a better perspective, the Pixel 3 duo has Android 9 Pie preinstalled and will receive upgrades to Android Q, R and S. As for Note 9, it has Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and by the time every unit receives an update to Pie, the Pixel 3 handsets will be almost ready to get going with Android Q developer preview. Let’s not even talk about the bloatware and plenty of preinstalled apps that you may never use.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ Super AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (Exynos 9810)
  • 6GB RAM or 8GB RAM
  • 128GB or 512GB expandable storage up to 512GB
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.5
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C, Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm audio jack, IP68, 1.2Gbps LTE, (Cat-18), rear-mounted scanner, iris scanner, S Pen, etc.

That aside, the Galaxy Note 9 is a great piece of hardware. You are getting high-end specs and features, a big AMOLED display screen and an equally big battery of 4000mAh, top-end camera, and so much more. What makes the Note 9 a unique proposition is the S Pen, but the question is are you ready to shell out $1000 to get this phone?

Related:

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Galaxy-S9-Android-9-ROM-1

As you think about the premium price tag of the Galaxy Note 9, you’ll be glad to learn that you can get a similar experience on the Galaxy S9+ at more than $200 less the price of the former. That means you still get top-notch hardware specs and premium design, a top-level camera, an industry-leading Super AMOLED display screen that is slightly smaller in size, a sizeable battery unit, and so much more. But of course, you miss out on the S Pen, which shouldn’t be a problem for those who still crave for size but want little to do with the stylus.

Speaking of size, not everyone wants a huge phone. While the 5.5-inch Google Pixel 3 is without a doubt the ideal compact phone for anyone out there, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 is also a great piece of hardware. Now that it can be had at under $700 depending on where you grab one, it makes it an even better choice for those who love Samsung and feel the Note 9 and S9+ are too big.

Specs

Galaxy S9
  • 5.8-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
  • 12MP main camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, iris scanner, face recognition, AKG-tuned stereo speakers, etc.

Galaxy S9+
  • 6.2-inch 18.5:9 QHD+ AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Rear-mounted scanner, Fast charging, Wireless charging, IP68, iris scanner, face recognition, AKG-tuned stereo speakers, etc.

Related:

Sony Xperia XZ3

Sony-Xperia-XZ3

Sony Xperia XZ3 is the first from the Japanese tech giant with an OLED display screen. This makes the device, although not readily available in some markets, quite a big deal. Being an incremental upgrade over the Xperia XZ2 launched in early 2018, it carries the same design language, hardware specs and features but improves on a few elements like the display size and quality, battery capacity, and best of all, the software, where it comes preinstalled with Android 9 Pie out of the box.

The Xperia XZ3 also debuts Sony’s Side Sense, which is the company’s version of the squeezable edge technology. However, not everyone can handle the massive 6-inch panel on the XZ3 comfortably and this is where the smaller Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact comes in. It packs just about the same hardware specs and features as the rest of the phones on this list, meaning you get the likes of Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, IP68 dust and water resistance, and so much more, but at a much cheaper price than most devices on this list.

Specs

  • 6-inch 18:9 OLED QHD+ HDR TRILUMINOS display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage, up to 512GB
  • 19MP Motion Eye back camera
  • 13MP front camera
  • 3330mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, IP65/68, rear-mounted scanner, wireless charging, Quick Charge 3.0, stereo surround speaker, etc.

Related: The best Sony phones

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei-Mate-20-Pro-1

Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the company’s ultimate flagship of 2018, just a class above the incredible Huawei P20 Pro. Like the latter, one of the former’s major highlights is the camera, where it comes with a tri-lens setup on the back that promises the best photography out there.

The Mate 20 Pro also boasts of the being the first Android phone with a 7nm processor, the Kirin 980 and also happens to have the biggest battery on this list, featuring a 4200mAh unit that can be charged both wirelessly or wired, with the latter capable of 40W fast charging that gets you 70% battery juice in just 30 minutes while the former can manage up to 15W fast charging.

Other highlights include 3D Face Unlock, an under-display fingerprint scanner and support for reverse wireless charging technology, where the phone can be used to wirelessly charge other phones that support this technology. Cool huh!

Specs

  • 6.39-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ (3120 x 1440) OLED display
  • Kirin 980 processor
  • 6GB or 8GB RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • Tri-lens 40MP + 20MP + 8MP main camera
  • 24MP main camera
  • 4200mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3D face unlock, 40W SuperCharge, 15W wireless quick charge, NFC, IP68, IR sensor, In-display FPS, etc.

HTC U12+

HTC-U12

HTCs fortunes aren’t getting any better, but this doesn’t mean the Taiwanese company has lost touch with making some of the best Android phones out there. The latest testament to this statement is the HTC U12+, a great device that is only let down by the lack of carrier availability in the U.S., but in markets where such carrier deals are non-existent, you won’t have much to regret upon spending a premium on the U12+.

Premium build? Check. Top-end hardware specs? Check. A great camera? Check. A big battery? Check. Big display with no notch? Check. IP68 certification? Check.

In short, the HTC U12+ has it all and believe you me, any of the color variants of the phone look stunning, but it is the translucent blue color variant that stands out. The company has also included extras like Edge Sense 2 for the squeezable edges, support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, BoomSound Hi-Fi technology, USonic with Active noise cancelation, 3D Audio, Hi-Res stereo audio recording, LDAC up to 32-bit Hi-Res wireless audio using Bluetooth and USonic noise-canceling USB-C headphones, which means you don’t get a 3.5mm audio jack.

Specs

  • 6-inch QHD+ (1440 x 2880) Super LCD6
  • Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB storage (expandable up to 2TB)
  • Dual 12MP + 16MP back camera
  • Dual 8MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 156.6 x 73.9 x 8.7-9.7 mm
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, IP68, rear-mounted scanner, Quick Charge 3.0, NFC, Chromecast support, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 4K video recording, EIS, OIS, HTC USonic, BoomSound Hi-Fi, etc.

Related: HTC U12 Plus Pie update news

LG V40 ThinQ

LG-V40

LG V40 ThinQ is the five-camera wonder that boasts three lenses on the back and two more on the front. The phone steps up from what the LG G7 ThinQ offers by coming in with a bigger OLED display screen with a notch and a slightly bigger battery capacity, but most of the other stuff remains unchanged. We are looking at things like the processor, memory, software, audio technology, wireless connectivity, battery charging technology and so on.

Given that there is nothing really compelling that LG V40 offers over the LG G7, some might find it hard to justify the company’s hefty asking price. On the brighter side, the V40 is already seeing massive discounts with an aim of boosting the adoption rate, just like it happened with others before it. In fact, it is the anticipated price drops that make the LG V40 ThinQ an interesting proposition, especially if the price keeps dropping.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ P-OLED display with a notch
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage with microSD support
  • Tri-lens 12MP + 16MP + 12MP main camera
  • Dual 8MP + 5MP selfie camera
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack,  BoomBox speaker, DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Quick Charge 3.0, wireless charging, etc.

Related: LG V40 ThinQ Pie update news

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 (10GB RAM model)

Mi-Mix-3-5-e1540501743581

After three tries, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 seems to have finally delivered what the company has been trying to do – pushing the boundaries of what’s possible beyond. A few years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine a smartphone with virtually no bezel, but Xiaomi did it.

The Mi MIX 3 uses a slider mechanism to reveal a front-facing dual-lens camera and thus eliminate the need for a notch at the top of the display panel. To minimize cases of damage, Xiaomi went for a magnetic slider that relies on the user to manually slide to reveal the front camera, contrary to other vendors that are using a mortar that’s likely to fail at some point. Xiaomi says it has tested the Mi MIX 3 slider over 300,000 times to ensure that it can survive for as long as possible.

Like any other Xiaomi flagship phone, the Mi MIX 3 is big on specs. In fact, it is the high-end variant that makes it to this list thanks to its first-in-the-world 10GB RAM module coupled with 256GB of internal storage. While it might not be easy getting hold of this guy, it sure will be a marvel for anyone who can get their hands on it.

Specs
  • 6.39-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB, 8GB or 10GB RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera
  • Dual 24MP + 2MP front camera
  • 3200mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, Rear-mounted FPS, Quick Charge 4.0+, Wireless charging, NFC, AAC/aptX/aptX-HD Audio, etc.

What’s better is that it costs much cheaper compared to other flagship phones on this list with way weaker hardware specs, but of course, not everyone is a fan of MIUI 10 that runs on top of Android 9 Pie. However, with such huge RAM, you shouldn’t even notice any lags in performance as it is usually associated with heavily-customized Android skins like MIUI.

RelatedShould you buy the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 over the Google Pixel 3?

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus-6T-smartphoneAs often noted, spending $700+ on a smartphone isn’t within every person’s means. With that said, the OnePlus 6T is the best device you can get for less this amount and still walk home with a device worth your money. The phone packs nearly all the bells and whistles of a flagship phone, be it a big, AMOLED display screen (with a teardrop-style notch), a Snapdragon 845 processor mated with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, a big 3700mAh battery unit, a great camera with features like Nightscape and Studio Lighting, and runs the latest Android 9 Pie out of the box.

Unlike others before it, OnePlus 6T is now available for financing via T-Mobile and can also work perfectly with a Verizon SIM card, with the Big Red’s features like Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE in the offing. The 6T also comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner, but you miss out on the 3.5mm audio jack, although there is a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle inside the box.

Specs
  • 6.41-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ Optic AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB or 8GB RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB storage
  • Dual 16MP +20MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 3,700mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, In-display FPS, Face unlock, etc.

At less than $700 – or $629 to be specific – you’ll walk away with a 6T variant that houses 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. That’s simply unmatched, however, this model isn’t available on T-Mobile, rather, you only get the 8/128GB variant that goes for $579. As for the base model of 6/128G, you get to part with just $549. Now this, folks, is what we call a true flagship killer.

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