Ryan Haines / Android Authority
From ASUS and Apple to Samsung and Xiaomi, we check out loads of phones every year. But after all the testing is done, what are the phones we actually use as our primary devices or daily drivers?
We poll the Android Authority team every year to find out which phones we use as daily drivers, going all the way back to 2018 and with our last poll taking place in 2022. Well, it’s that time again, and we’ve asked our team members about the phones they’re using as their primary devices as we begin 2024.
As usual, we’ll share results by both phone model and brand. You can view the charts below for a quick look before we head into the dedicated breakdown.
Pixels to the top
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
This might be the first daily driver poll where Samsung isn’t the most popular manufacturer among Android Authority team members. Instead, Google takes home the top spot, accounting for ~47% of all phones (seven).
The Pixel 8 Pro proved to be the most popular Pixel among team members, with four people using this phone. This was followed by the Pixel 7 Pro (two) and the Pixel 6 Pro (one). In fact, the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 7 Pro were the only phones to appear twice or more.
Tech reviewers often live in a bit of a bubble owing to our access to the latest gadgets, so it’s not a surprise to see several Pixel 8 Pro models here. But it’s still interesting to see that the vanilla Pixel line and mid-tier Pixel A series weren’t represented here. It’s also worth noting that the Pixel Fold didn’t make an appearance either.
Pixel-toting Android Authority team members generally praised the brand’s camera quality, exclusive Pixel features, updates, and design (specifically the Pixel 8 Pro’s design). These users also generally complained about slow charging, mediocre battery life, and poor reception.
Features Editor Rita El-Khoury echoed the charging complaint about her Pixel 8 Pro and felt it could’ve been improved in a few more areas:
I would’ve loved a faster charger, a better fingerprint reader, and some extra camera pizzazz. A lot of it feels very iterative compared to the Pixel 7 Pro.
Senior Editor C. Scott Brown noted that people who had much older Pixels should take another look at them:
If you’ve scoffed at Pixels over the years, you really should give them another shot. Things have significantly changed ever since the Pixel 6. If all your experience with Pixels is from before that phone, it’s like a whole new line now.
Both Managing Editor Ollie Cragg and I have the Pixel 7 Pro and we both only recommend getting this phone if it’s on sale. That’s due to the Pixel 8 Pro’s improvements.
Apple Authority or Samsung Authority? Why not both?
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Samsung handsets and iPhones were tied for second place, with two people using Galaxy devices and two people using iPhones.
AA contributor Jonathan Feist uses the Galaxy S23 as his daily driver, adding that he’s also got a Galaxy S20 as his work device. Meanwhile, SEO specialist Tina Sieber is rocking a Galaxy A52s 5G.
Jonathan cited the Galaxy S23’s speed, volume, size, display, and camera when asked what he liked about the handset.
Meanwhile, Tina specifically pointed to Samsung’s extended update pledge for her A52s:
For devices released since 2021, Samsung offers five years of updates, which means less electronic waste due to security concerns.
On the Apple side of things, contributor and audio reviewer for SoundGuys (our sister audio site) Jasper Lastoria is using an iPhone 13, while Senior Writer Aamir Siddiqui is using an iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Aamir noted that he recently switched to the iPhone from the OnePlus Open. He explained that he “really really liked” the OnePlus foldable but had to switch to an iPhone as he wanted to use an Apple Watch. Aside from the Apple Watch support, Aamir also praised the iPhone’s lengthy battery life and “reliable” app ecosystem.
Jasper said he liked the iPhone 13’s compact size, speedy performance, the availability of exclusive apps, and the lack of bloatware.
Other standout picks
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Google, Samsung, and Apple may have accounted for the lion’s share of devices on the team, but four other brands also made single appearances this year.
Perhaps the most interesting manufacturer to appear on the list is HUAWEI, as Senior Writer Andy Walker’s 2019-era P30 Pro made another appearance in our daily driver poll. This was the last HUAWEI flagship phone with Google integration before the US trade ban kicked in.
Andy specifically pointed to the P30 Pro’s great camera quality, decent endurance, and “perfect” size. He did lament that the battery life wasn’t as good as it used to be, the chipset was starting to show its age, and that software updates left him wanting.
I’ve had this phone for ages and never felt the need to upgrade, until this year. There was no need — this phone did everything I could want. However, I think it’s now time to look for something newer now that wear and tear is becoming a factor.
Motorola also made an appearance for the first time in years, as our regular smartphone reviewer Ryan Haines decided to stick with the Motorola Razr Plus after he finished testing it:
Honestly, I like being able to use the cover screen for almost everything I need. I don’t usually unlock the phone to respond to a text or email, and it helps to cut down on my time spent scrolling social media.
Ryan did, however, note that the battery life and cameras “aren’t great.” He added that the phone was a “more fun device” than the Galaxy Z Flip 5 but that Motorola also needs to refine the hinge.
Deals Editor Matt Horne has been a OnePlus fan for a while now, and he’s rocking the OnePlus 10 Pro into 2024. He specifically praised the Warp Charge functionality for quick top-ups. Still, he noted that battery life was “pretty meh” and that camera quality can be a disappointment in some situations (especially low-light scenes).
Finally, Managing Editor Bogdan Petrovan is using the OPPO Find X5 Pro as his daily driver smartphone. He liked the phone’s design, “fairly polished” software, and battery life. Unfortunately, he found that camera image quality was often “disappointing.”
- Two people said they wouldn’t recommend their phones to readers, namely Jasper (iPhone 13) and Andy (HUAWEI P30 Pro). Jasper said the camera was worse than his old P30, while also pointing to other issues like the use of a Lightning port, a slow refresh rate, and some iOS annoyances. Andy pointed to the aging chipset, lack of software updates, and reduced battery life.
- All devices on this list feature OLED screens, but only one has a standard 60Hz refresh rate. That would be the iPhone 13. Apple really needs to get with the program.
- Only one foldable phone makes the list this year (the Razr Plus).
- Six out of 16 phones lack UWB support, namely the P30 Pro, Razr Plus, OnePlus 10 Pro, the OPPO Find X5 Pro, Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G, and Samsung Galaxy S20.
- Only one of these phones packs a 3.5mm port: the Galaxy A52s 5G.
- Two phones on the list support memory cards. The Galaxy A52s 5G supports microSD cards while the P30 Pro supports HUAWEI’s weird NM card standard.
- The average battery capacity is ~4,580mAh. Apple’s iPhones, the Razr Plus, and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 and S20 dragged this average down.
- 25% of these phones lack a telephoto camera. No, we didn’t count the Galaxy S20’s 64MP “telephoto” camera, which was actually a 1x camera that used hybrid zoom.
- It turns out that Chinese brands accounted for 25% of all phones used by the team.
- Three phones on the list lack eSIM support, namely the Galaxy A52s 5G, the OnePlus 10 Pro, and HUAWEI P30 Pro.
When it comes to our next smartphone purchase, the biggest choice was “Nothing.” We don’t mean the phone brand, either, as 20% of our team members simply don’t plan to buy a phone any time soon. Tina Sieber said she’s holding on to her Galaxy A52s 5G until “at least 2026.”
Four team members mentioned that they are looking forward to a Pixel phone of some kind, namely a Pixel 8 entry, a Pixel 9 series phone, or a Pixel Fold 2. Bogdan also mentioned that he “really” needs to switch to a Pixel handset at some point, without naming a specific device.
Two people said they’re eyeing foldable phones as a potential future purchase and one person said they’re waiting for Flip devices. Jonathan said he likes the idea of foldables but needs to see improvements to hardware quality before biting the bullet. Meanwhile, Jasper wants to see better cameras on foldables before he buys one. Ryan Haines specifically mentioned that he’s waiting for the next batch of flip phones.
Do you plan to buy a new phone in 2024?
Two team members were eyeing a Galaxy device as their next potential purchase. Andy said the S23 Plus seemed like his perfect phone but would wait until the Galaxy S24 series launch to make up his mind. Meanwhile, Rita said she’s eyeing the S24 Ultra as she’s always keen to see what Samsung has up its sleeve.
Meanwhile, Aamir and I both eyed multiple devices. He’s looking out for the OnePlus 12, Xiaomi 14 Ultra, and Xiaomi 14 Pro. Meanwhile, I’m keeping a keen eye on the Xiaomi 14 Ultra and vivo X100 Pro Plus.
Finally, Head of Testing and Data Science Robert Triggs said he’s looking forward to OPPO’s next device (ostensibly the Find X7 series) because the cameras are “hot.” Presumably, that’s a technical term.