The Best Android Phones Available in Canada
With so many phones on the market and trying to decide between Apple and Android, it can be tough to know what the best decision is when there are new phones coming out every year. Unless you’re running Apple products, nearly every other phone brand runs an Android system, including some of the best-reviewed brands such as Samsung, Google, OnePlus and Motorola. This list can help you navigate what is best for you and may have a lot of the same picks as our other phone reviews, as they’re similar.
Read on for a full list of the top-rated Android smartphones in Canada this year.
Our top picks
How to choose an android phone
When it comes to buying a new phone, here are a few things to make sure you look for:
- Size: If you have smaller hands, you might not want a larger phone that can rival a full tablet. Make sure to check the size of the phones you’re interested in and compare what might work best for you, and whether or not you want to use it one-handed or if using two hands is fine.
- Function: Do you need a crisp and detailed camera? A robust phone that can take some falls and bumps? A phone that’s more suited for basic texts and calls? Decide what you need most from a phone before starting your search.
- Cost: The higher the cost the more functions and tech you’ll have. Keep in mind though that even the most budget-friendly phones are more than capable nowadays.
- Durability: If you always have a case on your phone and still manage to break them, make sure you’re getting a phone that has more of a durable build. Glass and thin phones can be aesthetically pleasing, but if it’s going to drop or break you might wind up with an expensive paperweight.
Why trust us
With Apple and Android leading the mobile phone race, finding time to compare and decide on a new phone can be hard – especially with how necessary it is to own one. From school to work to everything in between, we’ve chosen the top Android running phones that can match any budget, aesthetic, or general need that comes with a new phone.
Our team has spent over 15 hours reviewing and compiling this list to bring you a comprehensive guide fit for your budget, style preference, ease of use, and build quality. Using top Amazon reviews and other trusted review sites we’re sure you’ll find what you need.
Best android phone overall
Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung’s latest and best flagship phones – the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra are top of the line. No stranger to smartphones, the Galaxy S20 is one of their best to date.
With a large 6.7” screen, a bigger 4,500mAh battery, a fourth camera lens that senses depth, and storage upgrade options, this phone has everything for everyone. A 12MP standard camera comes with 12MP ultra-wide and 64MP telephoto sensors that run on top-tier power with Snapdragon’s 865 processor. Arguably the screen and display are the best you’ll find on any smartphone as of this writing.
Reverse wireless charging 5G capability, in-screen fingerprint scanning, and water resistance make this top smartphone the best choice for anyone that’s looking for an astounding all-rounder with great specs that won’t be falling short anytime soon for the next few years.
- Amazing screen.
- Excellent camera.
Best budget android phone
Moto G Power
If you’re looking for a phone that will last all day without needing a charge and costs a fraction of most other smartphones, the Moto G Power might just be what you’re looking for.
With a 16+ hour battery life and cheap price tag, while still being able to hold up against more expensive phones as far as performance goes, it’s an impressive device worth looking at. While the Pixel line from Google has better cameras, the Moto G Power doesn’t fall too far behind, and the Snapdragon 665 processor holds up well for running everything you need, including some games without lagging or falling behind.
The specs are lower than other new model smartphones but it stands on its own, and with a battery life longer than any other phone out there – if you’re looking for a basic phone that can keep up and still survive after a full day, look no further than this stylish option from Motorola.
- Amazing battery.
- No optical zoom or camera.
- Screen could be more vivid.
Best android phone camera
Google Pixel 5
A step-up from previous Pixel models, the Google Pixel 5 stands out with wireless charging and a higher refresh rate.
Pixel 5 runs the latest Android 11 OS, has a bigger battery, and includes a second ultra-wide camera compared to older/other Google Pixel phones. A 90Hz display, 2GB more of RAM for processing anything you need, and a water-resistant aluminum body.
It is very similar to the Google Pixel 4A 5G, just an upgraded step forward. The camera now has an ultra-wide lens as opposed to the previous Telephoto option and that wider field of view is great for anyone that enjoys taking landscape photos or wider framed shots in general. Night Sight takes wonderful low-light shots and now works in portrait mode so you can still take dramatic and nice shots in the dark. Google has also added a tool that allows you to play with the lighting with a few swipes of your finger on the screen.
For video use, it mixes optical and electronic stabilization that gives videos a drone-like quality of smoothness. Google has added customization options for the stabilization, including a Cinematic Pan function that offers a slow, cinematic look for panning. It can all now record 60fps in 4K resolution.
The rear camera bump is smoother and more subdued, making the Pixel 5 a little more sleek than previous generations. It has thin bezels and a hole-punch style design for the camera on the front. All in all, a nice phone for camera work or just basic day to day use.
- Amazing camera.
- 5G capable.
- Reverse wireless charging.
Best android phone for small hands
Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Galaxy S10e isn’t the newest phone on the block, with the S20 being a step-up in 2020, however, it still stands on its own and rivals the iPhone 11. The 5.8-inch screen is small enough to fit and be used with one hand while still having a great combo of good specs and a screen that isn’t too narrow or tiny.
Its chipset is fast enough to rival newer models and other smartphones for years to come, and with a cheaper price-tag now that it isn’t the newest model, this phone can last you years. Two versions are 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for a slightly higher cost, but with deals and other factors – the higher specs version is recommended.
Looking like a small clone of other Galaxy models, the S10e doesn’t include the Infinity edge curved edges and has a flat front with more noticeable bezels, if that’s something that bothers you, you might want to look at other versions, though with how it all looks and feels while in use, you might not even notice the difference.
- Flat display response.
- Great camera.
- Thicker than the S10.
- No in-screen fingerprint scanner.
Best mid-range android phone in Canada
OnePlus has been known as a flagship killer from its debut, and for good reason. Now joining the top ranks as some of the best phones around, the OnePlus 8T is a good mid-range option if you want the quality of OnePlus but can’t or don’t want to pay the high costs for the premium Pro models.
OnePlus’ new Warp Charging system can charge your phone from nearly dead to 93% or so within just half an hour, easily making it the fastest charging phone around. The OnePlus 8T is also the first (besides Google Pixel) to launch with Android 11, no waiting for upgrading required.
They promise three years of software updates for their phones, which is on par with most Android phones/smartphones and is becoming more common as time goes on. Unlike most other Android phones though, OnePlus has its own OxygenOS frontend which adds a unique design and extra features, such as an always-on display setting and customizable Reading Mode.
The quad-camera system could be a bit better, but for the price and where it sits in range with other smartphones, you definitely get a great number of specs and tech that will last years.
- Great battery life.
- Beautiful display.
- No wireless charging.
Best underrated phone for 2021
Google Pixel 3a
The Google Pixel 3a is Google’s first foray outside of the competing high-end smartphones, making it an affordable and alternative to the more expensive flagship Pixel models.
The Pixel 3a is an affordable and underrated handset that has an impressive spec sheet and works wonderfully for the price-point it’s at – made even more affordable as time goes on, with the Pixel 4a superseding it. Having inherited the cutting-edge camera and Active Edge availability that launches Google Assistant when you squeeze the edges of the phone, it’s worth looking into over its more expensive sibling, the Pixel 3.
There’s only one processing and storage model available that includes 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which should be enough for anyone looking for a more basic phone not intended for high-end gaming and the like. Design-wise it could be mistaken for the Pixel 3, with the same rounded edges and screen corners, and same two-toned design. The rear casing on the 3 is glass, whereas the 3a is plastic.
Along with the same buttons being the volume and power on the right side, with the USB-C charging port on the bottom, the Google Pixel 3a also has a welcome addition that most mid-range and even some newer phones don’t have anymore – a headphone jack. There is also the caveat of there being only one speaker on the front of the phone, as opposed to two so audio quality while playing music or videos from the phone itself may not be top tier.
All in all, the Google Pixel 3a is a small and impressive handset that’s underrated and affordable that will last for years to come.
- Includes a headphone jack.
- Active Edge.
- No wireless charging.
Best Android phone under $400
TCL makes handfuls of budget-friendly phones for wireless carriers, and the 10L holds up well as a solid performance for the price.
With above-average battery life, good processing power, and a large, crisp display – the 10L is worth checking out. The design of the phone itself lacks a definite ‘wow’ factor, but it does the job and if you don’t care for the most refined-looking handset then the build may not bother you at all. The camera stack is large and very noticeable on the back of the phone, and the casing definitely won’t be mistaken for glass.
That aside, the phone is a decent 6.3” x 2.9” size and is light enough for use throughout the day, though smaller hands might find it a bit uncomfortable if used with one hand more often than not. The screen is a 6.54” 2340 x 1080-pixel LCD display, with a small hole in the top left corner for the selfie camera. It’s colour accurate, crisp, and does well even in direct sunlight – which is nice for a mid-range/budget phone.
A headphone jack is included in the 10L, which is always a nice inclusion. The main issues users have with the TCL 10L is durability. There is no official protective rating and other reviewers have noted that their handsets were very easily scratched. It is splash resistant, though it wouldn’t be recommended to allow this phone to get too wet. TCL does include a clear protective case in the box, though it’s a good idea to get a more sturdy and trustworthy case instead.
- Crisp display.
- Good performance.
- Easy to scratch.
- Audio could be better.
Best android phone under $300
Moto G Fast
The Moto G Fast from Motorola is the middle ground of their affordable, budget-friendly smartphones. Good battery life, excellent performance, and running on Android 10, it’s an option worth noting.
It sports an attractive design and is on the larger side at 6.37 inches, so if you have smaller hands or like more one-handed friendly phones this one may not be for you. The front of the phone has a 6.4-inch LCD with a notch for the selfie camera. The resolution on the display is 1560 x 720 pixels, putting it on the lower end for clarity. Colour and brightness are great, you just may not get the crispest of displays as images can appear to be a bit softer and more subdued.
The back of the phone houses its fingerprint sensor and a triple camera stack. The plastic panel also does a good job of hiding any fingerprint smudges or dirt. The top of the phone has a headphone jack, while the bottom has the standard USB-C charging port and speaker.
It has a Gorilla Glass 3 display, which will hold up against any drops or bumps and the plastic frame should handle smaller events as well. It is splashproof, but it isn’t recommended to get it wet for too long. The call quality is solid, and the camera is of decent quality for the price of the phone. A solid purchase for being in the price range.
- Excellent performance.
- Good battery life.
- Camera isn’t great.
- Display could be better.
Best Android phone under $200
Coming in at one of the most budget-friendly price points, the Nokia 5.3 is a surprisingly solid handset with great performance, given the cost.
Nokia’s slightly cheaper C5 Endi is similar, though the few extra dollars more than make up the 5.3 being the superior model. A much faster chipset, durability, improved battery life, and guaranteed software updates by Android make it worth the cheap price tag for what you get.
It’s available in grey, blue, or gold and looks fairly sleek. A 6.5” size makes this on par with most other smartphones out there, though it might be a hair too big for those who like one-handed or smaller devices. The plastic back looks great, though it can be a magnet for fingerprints and smudges if you’re not using a case. The fingerprint scanner and cameras are in the middle of the rear of the phone, easy to reach and use. It also has a headphone jack on the top of the phone.
Durability on the Nokia 5.3 seems to be hit or miss and lacks an official IP rating or splash protection. The plastic body should be able to handle some falls, and it does sport Gorilla Glass 3, so it shouldn’t be too fragile if it gets bumped or takes a tumble.
- All-day battery life.
- Great performance.
- Camera and speaker quality are subpar.
Best Android flip phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has been reviewed as one of the best flip phones to use by several sources. It is in a new field with only a few phones fully experimenting with the foldable smartphone screens.
Samsung proves with the Z Flip that foldable smartphone screens aren’t just a gimmick or statement anymore, they do work perfectly fine as regular everyday devices, and can hold up against daily use of being flipped open and closed without breaking. The glass screen is still fragile though and can have issues with breaking if dropped.
Caveats for the Galaxy Z Flip are that it is prone to being vulnerable to water and dust, and the battery life could be improved. The 1.1-inch outer screen is almost too small to be useful, and for the specifications, it can be pricey for anyone that doesn’t want to spend a lot on a phone.
That said, one of the best features of the phone is that it can sit open at almost any angle. You can bend the screen anywhere from its flipped state to the fully flat smartphone stage. It comes with a free plastic case and runs Android 10. The camera specs are fairly strong, and there is relatively no crease where the glass bends and folds, which is a nice upgrade from their previous attempt at creating a foldable glass screen smartphone.
It isn’t a necessary purchase by any means, but for the cost and aesthetic factor, it is a great little flip phone to consider.
- Can sit open at a 90-degree angle.
- Can be fragile.
Best Android phone for gaming
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Nubia’s Red Magic 5G is a top-tier gaming phone that sports the world’s first 144Hz refresh rate display. The current tech list will upgrade as time goes on, ensuring that it will be future-proof for quite some time to come.
The Red Magic 5G comes paired with a Snapdragon 865 chipset and an Adreno 650 graphics processor, making it a powerful and robust smartphone for gaming and easily breezing through any day-to-day activities. With the price point sitting at around $600 you get high flagship tech specs for mid-range cost. The handset has an internal fan with vents on both sides of the display, liquid cooling, and shoulder buttons that make playing games like shooters or just simply controlling mobile games easier.
There are four models available – Eclipse Black and Hot Rod Red have 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a slightly higher tier in Eclipse Black has 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and the blue and red Pulse model has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. None of the model types have any expandable storage options, so choose accordingly for your needs.
Red Magic 5G has a 6.65-inch AMOLED screen and a thick body case to house all of the internals. It is heavier than most handsets, which is to be expected when looking at a phone meant for gaming. Even with the added weight and size, it doesn’t feel too heavy or bulky while in use, which is great for using it day-to-day and when you want to game.
Sides of the phone are busy with buttons and ports – The right houses the power button, volume, a fan vent, and the two shoulder buttons, while the left has the other fan vent, docking station port, and a switch to toggle Game Space: Nubia’s dedicated game launcher. The bottom has a speaker, USB-C charging port, and SIM tray while the top has a headphone jack. The back has a triple camera stack, 64MP main camera, 8MP wide-angle lens, and 2MP macro. There are also adjustable RGB lights because it isn’t a gaming set-up without customizable lights.
- Impressive battery life.
- Shoulder triggers.
- The screen could be better.
How we picked the best android phones
For this buying guide, we reviewed the best phones running Android for 2021, comparing and researching from multiple trusted comparison websites.
In order to select the best within all ranges of budgets and needs, we went through all current still available models and upcoming new models. We want everyone to find an Android that suits their needs, whether it’s budget or specs oriented.
Frequently asked android questions
What is an Android phone?
An Android phone is simply a phone or smartphone that runs the Android OS, as opposed to Apple’s iOS operating system.
Why should I buy an Android phone?
Phones running Android OS are known for being user friendly in terms of ease of use and for the range of customization you have control over with your phone.
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