9 best Android phones (unlocked, cheap): our 2021 picks


The Pixel 4A (9/10, WIRED recommends) is a lot of things: it’s the best cheap phone, the best small phone, the best budget camera phone and the best Android phone, period.

How much is it costing you? Only $ 350. Yeah. The successor of our previous favorite android phone is $ 50 cheaper and better in every way. It has the same large main camera of the flagship Pixel 4, so you can take great photos even at night with Google’s Night Sight mode. It works great, the battery lasts a full day, and the 5.8-inch OLED display is fantastic, especially since Google has shaved off the bezels around it. It also feels quite compact, considering the size of the screen.

The Pixel 4A 5G for $ 500 is another great choice, but only if you want a bigger phone. It’s a small step up in performance and has an additional ultra-wide camera, as well as support for 5G sub-6 (the most accessible type). Polycarbonate bodies make these two phones more durable than all-glass phones. Not to mention that they have headphone jacks! They’ll receive monthly security updates and Android version upgrades straight from Google for three years (most phones don’t). The only downsides: There’s no water resistance, no wireless charging, and no storage expansion, so you’ll have to make do with the rather generous 128 gigabytes of internal storage.

Works on the three major US networks

April 2021 update: We still think you’re going to be fine getting a Pixel 4A right now, but Google has confirmed that a Pixel 5A will arrive later this year. We don’t know exactly when, but we are betting on the period from August to September 2021.



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