This best Android phones list isn’t just a replica of the best smartphone 2023 list without the iPhones. While the design, features and specs are taken into consideration when choosing the best Android, the software and skin play a big role, so the experience doesn’t feel bogged.
What makes this process difficult is the massive number of phones available on the Android platform. From the affordable Pixel 6A, which is manufactured by Google that also makes Android, to a high-end device like the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, which is also based on Android but does not come with Google services, the choices are just too many.
Since I am looking at the best smartphones based on Android, I mostly decided to stick to flagships, so expect to pay quite a bit for most smartphones on this list. That does not mean that you won’t find any affordable phones here. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-conscious option, then check out the best phones under AED 2000 list or even the best phones under AED 1000 list.
And if taking great photos is a priority for you, check out the best camera phone in the UAE list, which shares quite a few mobiles from the ones I’ve picked for this guide. You’ll see a list of pros and cons for each smartphone, along with a quick summary and a check price button.
Best Android phones in UAE for 2023: Top phones if you don’t want an iPhone
1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is currently the best Android phone in UAE. It’s the first flagship smartphone of 2023 and is setting up a very high bar for all upcoming smartphones this year. While it doesn’t look like a huge upgrade from last year’s Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung has made all the right changes, starting with the new 200-megapixel camera that takes highly detailed shots during the day and beautiful ones at night.
Samsung has also tweaked the design slightly, and the display is less curved now, which makes the phone fit better in your hand. The processor is faster this year while being more efficient on the battery, and the base model is now equipped with more RAM and capacity without getting a price bump. And yes, you still get the unmatched S Pen experience. Overall, the S22 Ultra might not have the best of everything from other smartphones on this list, but it is the most well-rounded phone and earns the top spot.
Weight: 234g | Thickness: 8.9mm | Screen: 6.8” 1440 x 3088 pixels,, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: up to 1TB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM, eSIM | Rear camera: 200MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 12MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 45W Wired charging
- Excellent performance
- Great cameras
- Superb battery life
- Doesn't charge as fast as other Android phones
- Not too big of an upgrade over the S22 Ultra
Screen: The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 6.8-inch OLED display with 1440 x 3088 pixel resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is the same as last year’s model. However, the S22 Ultra still has the best screen of all smartphones we’ve looked at, so you’re not really losing out on anything. Having said that, I think Samsung could have pushed the refresh rate on the S23 Ultra to 144Hz to continue its dominance.
Performance: The Samsung S23 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which makes it the fastest Android phone currently available. But it doesn’t stop there, as these processors are custom-made “for Galaxy” with faster clock speeds on the GPU and performance core. That means the entire Galaxy S23 range will still be faster than other phones equipped with this chipset.
Camera: While the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an identical camera layout to its predecessor, you now get a new 200MP sensor with excellent performance. Photos taken at full 200MP resolution can crop quite clearly into distant objects. Nighttime photography has also improved with beautiful low-light shots, and so has the performance of the video camera. You still have the highly versatile zoom lenses at 3x and 10x, along with the ultrawide. The selfie camera has dropped from 40MP to 12MP but brings dual pixel technology for better selfies.
Battery Life: The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the same 5000mAh battery capacity as last year’s S22 Ultra; however, with a more efficient chipset, you are getting a lot more out of it. It managed to last almost two days on a full charge with moderate usage, which involved a fair bit of camera and 5G usage. Charging speeds of 45W on wired at 15W on wireless are good but far from industry-leading numbers from other phones in this roundup.
2. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is Samsung’s flagship foldable phone. This 2022 iteration is more of a refinement over the previous generation than something completely new. The outside screen is slightly larger, and the camera is much better. You also get excellent performance and a good battery, along with optional S-Pen support to take notes. If you’re looking for a foldable phone, you should be looking at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Weight: 263g | Thickness: Unfolded 6.3mm, Folded 15.8mm | OS: Android 12L (OneUI 4.1) | Screen: 7.6”, AMOLED, 120Hz, Cover 6.2" AMOLED 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: up to 1TB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM, eSIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 4MP under display | Battery: 4400mAh, 25W Wired charging
- The best foldable phone for most people
- Excellent inner display
- Improved camera
- Foldable tech still unproven
- External screen still too narrow
Screen: Samsung continues to refine the display tech and aspect ratio with the Galaxy Z Fold series. This year’s model focuses more on the external display, making it slightly wider for better usage. The folding screen continues to be massive at 7.6 inches with AMOLED technology, 1812 x 2176 pixel resolution and 120Hz refresh rates for a butter-smooth experience. Although a stylus is not included, you can purchase an S-Pen separately to use with the Fold.
Performance: The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 updates the processor to the fastest one available at launch- the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. You get the same memory and storage options as last year, which are 12GB RAM and 256GB to 1TB storage. You also get 5G support and dual SIM support along with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E.
Camera: The cameras on last year’s fold were strictly ok, and Samsung has rightly improved upon that. The main camera is now 50 MP f/1.8 which is a big improvement over last year’s 12 MP model, especially in nighttime photography. You also get the ultrawide camera as well as an improved zoom lens to shoot at 3X. The selfie camera is still under the display and not the best.
Battery Life: There’s not much change in battery tech on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 from last year’s model. You still have a 4400 mAh battery with 25w charging- it’s fine and should get you through a normal day, but not much beyond that.
3. Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google makes Android, and the Pixel 7 Pro is its flagship phone to showcase the best Android phone can offer. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t officially sell the Pixel line-up in the UAE, Saudi Arabia or the Middle East, but that doesn’t stop you from buying one from Amazon. Be warned that you might not get 5G working in the region, and VoLTE can also be tricky. If you can accept that, the Pixel 7 Pro is a fantastic phone with one of the best cameras. It’s fast and doesn’t have any 3rd party software installed, making it the best phone for Android purists.
Weight: 2102 | Thickness: 8.9mm | OS: Android 13 | Screen: 6.7” QHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Google Tensor G2 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: up to 512GB | Cellular: 5G, Nono SIM, eSIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 10.8MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 23W Wired charging
- Google's flagship Android vision
- Fantastic camera
- Good battery
- Not officially available in the UAE
- Scratches easily
Screen: The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a large 6.7-inch curved display with a fast 120Hz variable refresh rate and 1440 x 3120-pixel resolution. Though it’s not the best screen in this roundup of phones, it is a good screen that feels a tad bit less bright than the competition.
Performance: Google has started using its own series of processors called Tensor and the Pixel 7 series comes with the second generation of this chip. It’s a fast chip that competes with the likes of the Snapdragon 8 series but really shines when it comes to AI performance.
Camera: The Pixel series of phones has long been known to offer incredible camera performance; however, with the introduction of a new sensor on the Pixel 6, Google took a back seat to the competition last year. Thankfully, with a year to work on computational photography, Google has optimized the Pixel 7 Pro, which is back to taking incredible photos that compete with the other flagship phones.
Battery Life: The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a 5,000 mAh battery that, along with the optimizations Google has done with the software, easily lasts you a day and then some. The charging rate isn’t the fastest, with both the wired and wireless charging speeds capped at 23W.
4. Motorola Razr 2022
If you want a foldable but one that flips, then look no further than the Motorola Razr 2022. While the competing Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 may look nicer, two things make the Motorola Razr a better flip phone. The first is the screen on the front which is bigger and more usable. The second is the aspect ratio on the inside screen which is more like a traditional phone which means that, unlike the Galaxy Z Flip4, nothing gets cut out when you’re scrolling through your social media feed.
Weight: 200g | Thickness: 7.6 / 17mm | OS: Android 12 | Screen: 6.7” FHD+, P-OLED, 144Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Nano-SIM. eSIM | Rear camera: 50MP Dual Camera | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 3500mAh, 30W Wired charging
- Excellent aspect ratio for foldable
- Snappy performance
- Good external screen
- Camera could be better
- Big and heavy
Screen: The Motorola RAZR 2022 has one great thing going for it – when unfolded, the screen ratio is closer to regular phones, which means your content, such as social media posts etc., aren’t getting cut out as they do on other foldable flip phones. As for the display tech, you’re getting a nice 6.7-inch OLED screen inside with a fast refresh rate along with a decently sized external screen.
Performance: Motorola has used the latest processor technology available at the time of RAZR 2022’s release, which is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. It’s a fast processor and easily handles anything you throw at it. Along with the 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, you get a phone that’s fast and capable.
Camera: If there is one area where the RAZR doesn’t perform as well, it’s the camera. While the primary camera is a 50MP f/1.8, it’s not as fast as some of the other phones in the roundup. It’s also not the best when light levels go down, which is a shame as an older Google Pixel with lesser capable hardware can give you better pictures.
Battery Life: I wasn’t expecting great battery performance from the RAZR so I was surprised that it easily lasted a day. The 3500 mAh battery is small, but Motorola has done some good software optimizations to keep the phone going. Charging speeds of 30W aren’t too bad though there is no support for wireless charging.
5. Nothing Phone (1)
Nothing is a new company founded by OnePlus co-founder, and the Phone (1) is its first product. OnePlus has many vocal fans, so a lot was riding on NothingPhone (1). Thankfully, the company has made most of the right decisions by releasing a mid-range phone but one that stands out. The design and the Glyph feature that lights up the back of the phone make it unique. Performance and camera could be better, but neither is below average, especially considering the price, which makes it the best affordable phone on this Android phones list.
Weight: 193.5g | Thickness: 8.3mm | OS: Android 12 (NothingOS 1.1) | Screen: 6.55” FHD+, OLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 50MP Dual Camera | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 4500mAh, 33W wired charging
- Glyph lighting on the back adds character
- Good display
- Camera could be better
- Mediocre battery life
Screen: I wasn’t expecting a flagship-level display on Nothing Phone (1), and while it’s not necessarily as high-res as the other android phones in this roundup, it is a good OLED display that’s reasonably big and bright at 6.55 inches.
Performance: No surprise here that the most affordable smartphone on this list also has the weakest processor. That being said, the Snapdragon 778+ is very capable when it comes to everyday tasks, and you’ll only feel the performance pinch when you’re playing a demanding game or rendering videos.
Camera: The camera on the Nothing Phone (1) has improved quite a bit with software updates. Like the processor, it’s a decent camera that can take good photos with ample light, but it doesn’t compare to flagship phones from Samsung or Huawei in terms of flexibility or photo quality. That being said, the benchmark Nothing needs to set are pixel phones from a couple of years back.
Battery Life: Nothing has also kept improving battery with software updates, and the 4,500 mAh capacity now easily lasts you a day- something the phone should have done right from the start. Charging speeds are mediocre, but you do get wireless and reverse wireless charging, which is saying something for a phone that costs a third of other flagship devices.
6. Samsung Galaxy S23
More Samsung phones? Yes- the Galaxy S23 is the most affordable phone from Samsung’s 2023 flagship line-up. It’s also Samsung’s thinnest and lightest, so if you’re looking for a small Android phone with the highest-end specs, this is it. It has a nice 6.1-inch AMOLED screen and a fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The camera is similar to last year, which isn’t bad but not the best.
Weight: 168g | Thickness: 7.6mm | OS: Android 13 (OneUI 5.1) | Screen: 6.1” 1080 x 2340 pixels, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM, eSIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 12MP | Battery: 3900mAh, 25W Wired charging
- Incredibly fast
- Small and Lightweight for 2023
- Reasonably priced
- Same camera as last year
- Max storage at 256GB
Screen: Samsung makes excellent displays is any size, and even though the standard Galaxy S23 has the smallest screen size on this list, it is an excellent display. That’s great news for users that prefer a smaller but flagship phone as the S23 takes that prize when it comes to best small Android phones.
Performance: You’re getting the same processor as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is the fastest phone on this list. I do wish that Samsung allowed for more RAM capacity as the smallest member of the S23 family is restricted to 8GB. That’s fine for everyday usage, but a heavy multi-tasker might notice it.
Camera: The camera on the S23 is the same as last year, which is a decent camera but not one that can compete with other flagship phones. It’s slower when the light levels go down but otherwise reasonably snappy.
Battery Life: The 3,900 mAh battery on the S23 isn’t the largest, but with software optimizations and a fairly efficient processor, you get a day out of it. Charging speeds are also fairly mediocre, so its best to carry a power bank if you’re expecting a long and heavy usage day.
7. OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus has established a reputation for creating no-nonsense phones with high-end specs and fast performance at generally affordable pricing. The OnePlus 10 Pro adds missing features such as an official IP rating but at a higher price. You also get a stellar screen and good battery life with super fast charging with wired and wireless charging. Camera specs are good, but the camera software needs some working- it’s a decent camera but not as impressive as other flagship phones.
Weight: 201g | Thickness: 8.6mm | OS: Android 12 (OxygenOS 12.1) | Screen: 6.7” QHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 512GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 48MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 80W Wired charging
- Fast performance
- Nice big screen
- Fast charging
- Good but not great cameras
- Not a massive update over previous gen
Screen: The OnePlus 10 Pro has a massive 6.7-inch display with a fast 120Hz variable refresh rate and 1440 x 3216 pixel resolution. Colour production and brightness levels are also great.
Performance: The one area where the OnePlus 10 Pro does not disappoint is performance. The phone flies with the latest processor and tons of RAM with fast storage.
Camera: Continuing its partnership with Hasselblad, the OnePlus 10 Pro improves cameras over its predecessor but not by a massive amount. You get pretty good pictures but not as good as some of the other flagship phones.
Battery Life: The OnePlus Pro 10 has a massive 5,000 mAh battery and very fast wired and wireless charging. That combination means that you’ll seldom run out of juice.
8. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Yes, we have yet another Samsung Phone here- the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was the previous best Android phone. The S23 Ultra is the new king but I’m still keeping the S22 Ultra here as it’s still an incredible phone with a lower price tag now. Samsung equipped the Galaxy S22 Ultra with all of its highest-end features at launch, and some of them, like the incredible OLED screen and a massive battery, are the same as this year’s flagship. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has an S Pen stylus, which is useful for note-takers and doodlers or signing a document on the go.
Weight: 228g | Thickness: 8.9mm | OS: Android 12 (OneUI 4.1) | Screen: 6.8” QHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 1TB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM, eSIM | Rear camera: 108MP Quad Camera | Front camera: 40MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 45W Wired charging
- Incredible cameras and zoom
- Excellent S Pen
- Beautiful screen
- Battery life could be better
- Charging could be faster
Screen: The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a massive 6.8-inch OLED display with curved sides. While similar to last year’s model, Samsung has improved the brightness on the display, but besides that, it’s still the slightly curved sides with a sharp 1440 x 3088 pixels resolution and a smooth variable refresh rate of 120Hz.
Performance: The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra uses the fastest processor available at the time of its release- the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It also has 8GB or 12GB of RAM and storage options from 256GB to 1TB. You also get 5G and dual SIM support along with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E.
Camera: There are four cameras on the back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra to get you that perfect shot. The main 108MP camera has an f/1.8 aperture great for nighttime photography as well as videos. You also get two telephoto cameras at 3X and 10X optical zooms while digital zooming allows you to go 100x. There’s also a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 40MP selfie camera.
Battery Life: With a massive 5,000MAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra should last you a full day and then some. You also get fast 45W wired charging which, while not the fastest, is fast enough to get you from 0 to 100 in an hour. There’s also support for 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
9. Xiaomi 12
The Xiaomi 12 is a perfect smartphone to consider for those who want a ‘small’ Android flagship phone. This little phone comes packed with the highest-end specs, a decent camera and a very affordable flagship price. While the primary camera is good, the secondary ones are strictly mediocre. You also “only” get a Full HD screen when competing phones offer a higher QuadHD resolution.
Weight: 179g | Thickness: 8.2mm | OS: Android 12 (MIUI 13) | Screen: 6.28” FHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 256GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 4500mAh, 67W Wired charging
- Small flagship Android
- Fast and power-efficient Snapdragon processor
- Fast Charging
- Secondary cameras aren't great
- Display is only FHD+
Screen: The Xiaomi 12 comes with a 6.28″ AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, which supports 68 billion colours, has a 120Hz refresh rate and is rated for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ with a peak brightness of 1100 nits. Visibility in bright light is good; colours are rich and crisp.
Performance: Under the hood, the Xiaomi 12 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and is supported by 8 or 12GB of RAM. You also get up to 256GB UFS3.1 storage. Put together, and these lead to a very powerful flagship that can handle any task you throw at it.
Camera: The camera on the Xiaomi 12 is 50MP wide with a 13MP ultra-wide and a 5MP macro sensor. While it doesn’t get the same triple 50MP treatment as its elder sibling does, the camera setup on the Xiaomi 12 is a very capable one. Content creators out there can record up to 8K video as well as 4K at 60fps HDR10+ footage. Photos from the 50MP wide lens come out crisp and have natural colours.
Battery Life: The ‘small’ Xiaomi 12 packs a massive 4500mAh battery inside. You get 67W charging (with the charger in the box), which gives you a full juice up from 0 in under 40 minutes. Not just that, if you have the right wireless charger, you can also charge it up with up to 50W wireless charging.
10. Oppo Find X5 Pro
While its Reno range of phones is more popular and easier to find, Oppo’s flagship phone, the Find X5 Pro ticks all the boxes you’d expect from a high-end phone. You get a fast processor, a large battery and a beautiful screen, along with exceptional cameras. Where Oppo could show a bit of restraint is with ColorOS, which I’m not a huge fan of.
Weight: 218g | Thickness: 8.8mm | OS: Android 12 (ColorOS 13) | Screen: 6.7” QHD+, AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 512GB | Cellular: 5G, Dual SIM | Rear camera: 50MP Triple Camera | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 5000mAh, 80W Wired charging
- Beautiful screen
- Large battery that charges fast
- Excellent cameras with dedicated ISP
- Design is a bit bland
- Software could be cleaner
- On the expensive side
Best Android phone 2023 FAQs
Why are there so many Samsung devices on this list?
Samsung makes really good Android phones which is why it occupies four slots in this list.
Which phone has the best camera?
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is currently our pick for the best camera phones list.
Which Android phone has the best camera?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Google Pixel 7 Pro have amazing cameras.
What is the best small Android phone?
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is an excellent small phone, along with the Xiaomi 12.
What matters most in a smartphone screen?
Most new phones have an OLED screen which can produce excellent colours and black levels. You also want a high refresh screen that’s 120Hz or higher. And finally, get a screen with a peak brightness of 1000 nits or more because you live in Dubai.
iOS vs Android, which OS is right for you?
We can debate for days and write pages but won’t come to the right answer. Some people will prefer iOS, while others like Android more.
How much RAM and storage does a phone really need in 2023?
For a flagship phone, 8GB RAM is good enough, but 12GB is better. If you store your data in the cloud, 128GB is sufficient, but if your budget allows, go for 256 GB.
What Is the Best Cheap Android Phone?
The Samsung Galaxy A33 5G is our favoutite cheap phone under $260 dollars (AED 1000), but there are plenty of other good phones on that list too.
What is the current Huawei phone Google situation?
Although Huawei continues to use Android as the operating system, it can’t use Google Mobile Services such as the Play Store or GMail. It is building its own set of services and app store called App Gallery.
Which phone is best to buy in UAE?
Ideally, you would want to buy a phone that is on our list of best phones in UAE, which includes phones from brands like Apple, Samsung and Huawei.
Is the Asus ROG phone good?
Yes, the Asus ROG phone is great, especially if you’re into gaming. However, they’re not officially released or easily available in the Middle East, which is why I don’t have them on this list.
Is the Google Pixel phone available in the UAE?
The Google Pixel is a great phone Google makes but one that isn’t officially available in the UAE. However you can buy one through online retailers such as Amazon.
Does the Google Pixel phone work in the UAE?
Yes- but with restrictions. Even though Pixel phones are capable of 5G, they haven’t received validation from local telcos and thus only run in 4G/LTE mode in the UAE.
Does Samsung provide updates for their phones?
Samsung is one of the best at providing updates for your smartphones- in fact, they offer a longer update cycle than Google’s own phones.
Which brands make the best Android phones?
Considering how many Samsung phones are on this list of best Android phones, I would say Samsung is the brand that makes the best Android phones.
Bottom Line – What Android Phone Should You Pick?
In conclusion, choosing the best Android phone can be a daunting task, but we covered the top options available on the market today. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are both excellent choices for those who want the latest and greatest in technology, with impressive features and performance that set them apart from other devices. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro are also strong contenders, offering premium features and great value for money.
Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. However, with the information provided in this guide, we hope that you will feel confident in your decision.
Abbas Jaffar Ali
Abbas has been covering tech for more than two decades- before phones became smart or clouds stored data. He brought publications like CNET, TechRadar and IGN to the Middle East.