5 Incredibly Powerful Android Phones for Tech Nerds
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Looking to buy an Android phone? From budget phones to premium, from just functional enough to almost super-powered, there are many brands and models to pick from.

But what if you’re looking for the most powerful Android phones on the market? Well, Android brands take many of the top spots when it comes to processing power, battery life, advanced GPUs, and media playback performance.

Here’s a look at some of the most powerful Android phones currently on the market, along with their strongest features.

Processing and Multi-Tasking Power:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

samsung-galaxy-note-8

Samsung SM-N950UZKAXAA Galaxy Note8 (US Version) Factory Unlocked Phone - 6.3" Screen - 64GB - Midnight Black (U.S. Warranty) Samsung SM-N950UZKAXAA Galaxy Note8 (US Version) Factory Unlocked Phone - 6.3" Screen - 64GB - Midnight Black (U.S. Warranty) Buy Now At Amazon $871.55

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a smartphone you can call a mini-computer without exaggerating. The fact that the device literally acts as a small PC when attached to the Samsung Dex and a display is a testament to this.

Add to this its stylus functionality, bundles of RAM, and general processing power, and you have an extremely powerful device. The only feature of the device where Samsung was conservative is the battery—and that’s due to the notorious Note 7 exploding battery fiasco.

Its hardware specifications include:

  • 6.3-inch Quad HD+ display
  • 12MP + 12MP dual rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM

Samsung has marketed the phone heavily towards business professionals, but its camera technology expands its appeal to a wider audience. The S-Pen stylus is a convenient tool for taking notes, but also has a fun side which includes creating written animations.

However, the steep price tag is also a notable factor that makes Android fans consider choosing an alternative.

Gaming and Media Viewing:
Razer Phone

Razer Phone - 120 Hz Ultra Motion Display - 64GB Memory - 8GB RAM - Dual Camera - Dual Front-Facing Speakers - Gaming Phone - Black Razer Phone - 120 Hz Ultra Motion Display - 64GB Memory - 8GB RAM - Dual Camera - Dual Front-Facing Speakers - Gaming Phone - Black Buy Now At Amazon $599.99

The Razer Phone (our review) took quite a few people in the tech community by surprise. After all, it was the gaming hardware giant’s first attempt at a smartphone. But rather than being an over-hyped addition to 2017’s list of Android releases, it actually proved itself as one of the best gaming phones out there.

In terms of critical reception, the phone’s 120Hz UltraMotion screen played a big role in attracting praise from reviewers. But there are other notable features of the device that make it perfect for gaming and viewing content. According to the company, the Razer Phone is the first smartphone to support both Netflix HDR and 5.1 surround sound—making it ideal for media streaming and viewing.

Other specs of the phone include:

  • 5.7-inch IGZO LCD QHD display
  • 12MP dual rear cameras
  • 8MP front camera
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 8GB RAM

With so much RAM and its impressive processor, the phone is also a powerhouse when it comes to performance. However the display, audio, and refresh rate are what really make the device stand out.

Pure Processing Power:
OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5 Phone

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While the OnePlus 5 gets praise for its price, appearance, and cameras, it truly excels when it comes to processing power. In fact, according to Antutu’s performance benchmarks, the OnePlus 5 is the Android device with the highest performance score. The only devices with a higher score are the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

The phone is no wallflower when it comes to other features either. It comes with a powerful dual camera, a decent battery, and an appealing design. The phone is so impressive that it scored 9/10 in our review of the device.

Other hardware specs of the phone include:

  • 5.5-inch Full HD display
  • 16MP + 20MP dual rear camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • 6/8GB RAM

It is one of the most pricey and well-known Chinese Android phones, but this premium reputation means that it is also available in markets like the US, which often misses out on Chinese releases. However, it’s important to note that the phone is not compatible with Sprint and Verizon in North America, according to the maker’s website.

Battery Behemoth:
Oppo R11 Plus

Oppo R11 Plus

OPPO R11 Plus 6GB+64GB 6 Inch Octa Core Front and Back 20MP Smart Phone International Version Support VOOC Large Battery 4000mAh (Golden) OPPO R11 Plus 6GB+64GB 6 Inch Octa Core Front and Back 20MP Smart Phone International Version Support VOOC Large Battery 4000mAh (Golden) Buy Now At Amazon $539.00

As our phones have become more advanced, we’ve had to compromise when it comes to battery life How to Save Battery Life on Android for Beginners How to Save Battery Life on Android for Beginners If you're just getting started on Android and you're not sure why your battery life is so bad, these tips can help you out. Read More . No longer can you expect the one-week battery life that we saw with feature phones.

However, more phone makers are making battery power a priority. They’ve realized that while consumers love fancy phones, it would also be nice if we could get through a work day without the battery going flat.

That’s where a phone like the Oppo R11 Plus comes in. It’s not only one of the most powerful Android phones available, but also has a great battery life.

When looking at PCMark for Android‘s latest battery and performance test results, the Oppo R11 Plus is the only phone with a battery life of over 16 hours and a performance score of over 5,000. This means that not only is the phone making incredible use of its 4000mAh battery, but its performance is on-par with or even better than phones like the LG V30 and the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.

Other hardware specs of the phone include:

  • 6-inch Full HD display
  • 16MP + 20MP dual rear camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM

Unfortunately, the phone’s release is limited to certain markets, but you always have the choice to import.

Best Performer Across Benchmarks:
Xiaomi Mi 6

xiaomi-mi-6

While benchmarking apps tend to have similar results, the fact that they each test slightly different aspects of a phone’s CPU performance means that the overall ranking can differ—especially in their top 10 results.

But one phone manages to make it into the top 10 performers of three major benchmarking apps (Geekbench 4, Antutu, and PCMark for Android): the Xiaomi Mi 6. Not only is the phone another example of excellent hardware for a lower price than most premium handsets, but it competes with some of the biggest names out there when it comes to performance.

It was also one of the first few phones to come equipped with the Snapdragon 835 processor, which was the star of 2017 smartphone hardware.

Some of the phone’s specs include:

  • 5.15-inch Full HD display
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 12MP dual rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 6GB RAM

The main drawback of the phone compared to its more expensive peers has nothing to do with its hardware. Rather, it comes down to looks. In a year packed with edge-to-edge displays 5 iPhone X Alternatives With Edge-to-Edge Displays 5 iPhone X Alternatives With Edge-to-Edge Displays Smartphone displays that cover a phone's front have been around for a few years. But now Apple brings it mainstream with the $1,000 iPhone X. So what are the best iPhone X alternatives? Read More , the Mi 6 lacked the bezel-less display that has become so desirable.

Which Android Phone Gets Your Mark of Approval?

We’ve listed some of the most powerful Android phones on the market, but there are so many that excel in other areas as well.

Your definition of quality depends on your priorities when it comes to choosing a phone. Maybe rather than raw processing power, you prefer value for money. Or you could be like me and prize camera quality 8 Phones With the Best Cameras Today 8 Phones With the Best Cameras Today With advancements in hardware and a demand for multi-function devices, smartphone cameras can indeed replace standalone cameras. Read More above most other aspects.

Explore more about: Android, Buying Guide.

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  1. Chad Higgins
    April 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    No V30 really?

  2. sagimarius
    March 9, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Why not mentioning the biggest battery ever phone, made to date, the Oukitel K10, with 11000mAh battery, 6GB Ram, 6" 4K screen and so on for 249$ ?
    https://www.oukitel.com/products/k/oukitel-k10-84.html

  3. David Martchouk
    March 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    All of your phones have snapdragon processors. While these are the most popular, you could have at least included the most powerful Huawei phone, with its Kirin processor, I think that would be the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

    • Tim
      March 9, 2018 at 3:11 am

      I love my Mate 9. Fastest phone I've ever owned.

    • Megan Ellis
      March 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Hi David :) The Note 8 we sampled has an Exynos processor in non-US territories, but you're right about the majority sharing Snapdragon processors.
      I took into account personal experience, benchmarking scores and other tech journalist reviews to come up with the list, rather than focusing on choosing one per brand.

      But you're right that the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a very powerful device and it's Huawei's most powerful so far. I also see that the latest rankings on Antutu have it in second place for overall score. It just didn't top any of the categories we used for the story (e.g. battery behemoth, multi-tasking, etc).

      Hopefully I'll get a chance to cover the Mate 10 Pro or another one of Huawei's flagships in a later story :)

      Thanks for your comment!