More Android manufacturers mean more choices
Android’s “open” operating system allows more companies to join team Android. That means more competition for your dollar.
Samsung has three main families of Galaxy-branded smartphones: its “flagship” S series, including the Galaxy S22 and larger S22 Ultra; the A series, which offers core features at a lower price; and the Z series, including the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip Z, both of which feature foldable screens.
Samsung’s highest-end A series phone, the 6.5-inch Samsung Galaxy A53 5G ($449), offers an advanced camera system with three lenses and dual sensors, 128GB of storage, fast 5G wireless, a faster processor and more system memory (also known as RAM) than other A series phones. All Galaxy devices offer many accessibility features to help people facing challenges in dexterity, hearing and sight.
Google, Android’s parent company, has seen success with its Pixel-branded smartphones, which start at $599 for the Pixel 6 and $899 for the more advanced Pixel 6 Pro.
Android smartphones from Xiaomi (pronounced “shau-mee”) deliver a lot of bang for the buck. The 6.7-inch Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G ($515) includes 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, 5G wireless and a 108-megapixel camera with 4K video recording.
The trade-offs: Samsung’s least expensive phone, the Galaxy A12, now on sale for $179, has modest specs that might be enough for casual users. It includes a 6.5-inch LCD screen, 32GB of storage to hold all your apps and media (with the option to add more memory via a micro SD card), 4G cellular connectivity and a 48-megapixel camera that can take clear photos and 1080p HD video — not 4K or 8K.
Xiaomi’s least expensive phone, the Redmi 9A (starting at $159), has a 6.5-inch screen, dual cameras, 32GB of storage and 4G wireless speeds.
Pro tip: Samsung doesn’t usually cut prices for Galaxy phones, but often it will bundle a device with something else, such as a pair of wireless earbuds, for free. Look for these promotions on Samsung’s website.
Refurbished Android phones are also available online. Check into the same issues as iPhones before buying.