The 5 Best iPhone Alternatives in 2021

The iPhone first hit the market back in 2007, changing the smartphone industry forever. But in recent years, Android phones are fast catching up. And now, there are some excellent iPhone alternatives out there.

The latest smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, and Google give Apple a run for its money. They’ve come a long way in their features, performance, and design. 

So, if you’re looking for the best phone to switch from an iPhone, read on. Or maybe you’ve always been an Android fan, but you want the best there is. 

I’ve compared the best iPhone alternatives that are stylish and packed with features. There are both premium and more affordable options, so browse the reviews and take your pick. 

Whether you’re tied to Android or your budget doesn’t stretch to an iPhone, you’ll find the right phone for you on this list. Plus, I’ve created a buying guide of what to look for when buying an Android device as an iPhone alternative.

Best iPhone Alternative for Creatives: Reviews

Here’s my list of the best Android phones similar to an iPhone. I’ve chosen each one due to its smooth user experience, impressive specs, and sleek design.

So, let’s take a closer look at the best iPhone alternatives in these detailed reviews!

Top 3 iPhone Alternatives: Quick Comparison

TL;DR: In my opinion, the best iPhone alternative overall is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung is well-known for producing amazing phones, and the Galaxy S21 is no different. It’s an exceptional smartphone, coming as close to an iPhone as an Android phone model can do. It has incredible cameras, making it perfect for photographers and content creators. And that display is beautiful! Read on for the full review. 

But it seems there’s a close (and surprising) runner-up for the best Android iPhone alternative. It’s the OnePlus 8 Pro from the newer Chinese brand, Wing. Although it’s a newcomer, it’s sleek, stylish, and powerful, with a 120-Hz Fluid display. There’s not much to dislike!

If you’re on a tighter budget, don’t worry. The Motorola edge could be just what you need. It sneaks in at less than half the cost of the Galaxy S21 and the iPhone 12 Pro. But it provides almost everything you’d need from a smartphone. It has tons of storage, a fast, responsive screen, and long battery life.

samsung galaxy s21 ultra 5g oneplus 8 pro motorola edge
Product NameSamsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: Best Overall iPhone AlternativeOnePlus 8 Pro: Runner Up iPhone AlternativeMotorola edge: Best Cheap Alternative to iPhone
OSAndroid 11 Android 10Android 10
DisplayAMOLEDAMOLEDOLED
Network5G5G5G
MemoryUp to 512 GB128 GB256 GB (expandable with microSD card)
Dimensions & Weight6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches, 8.01 oz6.51 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches, 7.02 oz6.36 x 2.8 x 0.37 inches, 6.63 oz

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Best Android Alternative to iPhone

Best Android Alternative to iPhone

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is one of Samsung’s latest releases, and it’s an impressive iPhone alternative. Not only is this phone sleek and powerful, but it has outstanding cameras. Again, Samsung has outdone itself with this model. 

If you’re all about taking photos and videos, this smartphone is for you. The Galaxy S21 has impressive video capabilities, as it can capture 8K video. And with five cameras on the back providing 108 MP, there isn’t a smartphone out there that can beat it. You can zoom up to 100x and take the best photos possible from a phone. (It rivals many digital cameras out there). 

But that’s not all it has to offer. It has a gorgeous, intelligent AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 1,500 nits of brightness. This screen looks out of this world with crystal-clear definition and super-fast responses. 

If you’ve used iPhones, you’ll know that battery life is one of their weaknesses. But thanks to the smart, intuitive battery, the Galaxy S21 lasts longer than ever. It can keep going for up to (and even beyond 24 hours, so you won’t get caught out with a flat battery. 

That’s even with 5G and all the advanced features you get in this sleek phone. Not to mention that when you need to charge it, it only takes an hour to full battery. You even get the option of wireless charging for versatility, so you don’t need to plug in or stop what you’re doing.

It also has a huge storage space, with 128 GB and a 512 GB hard drive. This much space would be a bonus on a laptop, so it’s amazing for a smartphone.

And even with all these excellent features, it’s much cheaper than the best iPhones out there. Given everything the Galaxy S21 provides, it’s a real bargain at this price. 

You can take your pick from three different models of this phone. If you go for the cheapest S21,  you’ll save yourself several hundred dollars compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. But you’ll get an exceptional experience overall. In my opinion, the Galaxy S21 rivals the iPhone in (almost) every factor.

  • OS: Android 11
  • Display: AMOLED
  • Network: 5G
  • Memory: Up to 512 GB
  • Dimensions & Weight: 6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches, 8.01 oz
  • Outstanding camera and video capabilities
  • Gorgeous AMOLED screen with a fast refresh rate
  • It has loads of storage space 
  • Fast wireless charging and a 24-hour battery life
  • You get amazing value for money – but it’s not cheap

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Google Pixel 5

Best Compact iPhone Alternative

Best Compact iPhone Alternative

(Image credit: Google)

If the Samsung Galaxy S21 is out of your price range, check out the Google Pixel 5. There’s a relatively little buzz around this phone, but it’s an excellent model. And although it may come as a surprise, it’s probably one of the best iPhone SE alternatives out there.

The Google Pixel 5 isn’t as large as other models, but that offers both advantages and disadvantages. If you have smaller hands, you may find that this size suits you better and is easier to use. It’s also a compact size, making it practical for slipping in a pocket or purse. But you do get a smaller screen, so it’s not as conducive to watching videos. 

It’s also packed with user-friendly features that will improve your experience. As you’d expect with 5G, it’s super-fast to download, stream, play games, and more. But you also get a very long battery life thanks to the adaptive battery. (It can last up to two days on a full charge). You can also charge it wirelessly, giving you the freedom to use your phone as you wait. 

Other attractive features include the speedy 90 Hz refresh rate and great security. For example, it comes with inbuilt malware protection.

 And when Google rolls out new Android updates, you’ll get them almost immediately. That will ensure it operates smoothly, as you won’t need to wait around while other brands adapt to the updates. 

It has a sturdy aluminum build and is even water-resistant. So, you won’t need to worry about any scratches or accidental spills. The beautiful OLED screen looks sharp and crisp. Although, you will notice the difference if you’re used to an AMOLED display.

And then there’s the price. With all those features in mind, you’d be forgiven if the very reasonable cost of the Google Pixel 5 shocked you. It’s almost half as cheap as the iPad Pro 12, saving you a pretty penny.

So, are there any downsides? It doesn’t come with a headphone jack, which could be annoying. But given all these amazing features, it’s hardly a dealbreaker.

It’s hard to find fault with this excellent phone. There’s not been much chatter about the Pixel 5. But now you’re in the know, why not scoop up this excellent iPhone alternative?

  • OS: Android 11
  • Display: OLED
  • Network: 5G
  • Memory: 128 GB
  • Dimensions & Weight: 5.77 x 2.77 x 0.31 inches, 5.3 oz
  • Crisp OLED screen with 90 Hz refresh rate 
  • It has excellent security, fast Android updates, and is also water-resistant
  • It’s a compact, lightweight, and durable model with a super-fast 5G
  • A very reasonable price – much cheaper than the best iPhones
  • Very little to complain about – but there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack

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Nokia XR20 5G

Best Mid-Range iPhone Alternative

Best Mid-Range iPhone Alternative

(Image credit: Nokia)

If you’re looking for an iPhone alternative that won’t break the bank, check out the Nokia XR20. 

When you hear Nokia phones, you may think of those old ‘bricks’ from the 90s. But Nokia has come a long way, and the XR20 is a serious contender as an iPhone alternative. It’s especially attractive to anyone who wants the iPhone experience on a budget. 

The Nokia XR20 impresses with its wide range of user-friendly features. For example, it has a fingerprint sensor, customizable buttons, and a dual SIM. It also has simple but useful features like a headphone jack and expandable storage, so you don’t run out of space.

Another great addition to this phone is the wireless charging option. The battery itself is excellent, lasting up to 2 days at a time. AI technology ensures that the phone uses as little power as possible, so you can use it for longer. 

What’s more, this phone in my opinion is much more durable and hardwearing than your regular iPhone. It’s built from aluminum and Gorilla glass and can withstand falls from 1.8m. 

And if it has an unfortunate dip in a puddle, all is not lost. With IP68 water resistance, it should still function even if submerged for up to an hour. So if you’re a little clumsy or just want a sturdy phone, this one is for you. 

As for the screen, it comes down to personal preference. The LCD display has fantastic wide viewing angles and brilliant whites. But colors do appear more muted than on the AMOLED screens Samsung uses on its phones. 

You’ll notice some differences between this model and premium smartphones or iPhones. But that is to be expected for this low price. It has a slower refresh rate, and the selfie camera is pretty poor at just 8MP. 

If you’re looking for an excellent lower-cost alternative to the iPhone, the Nokia XR20 fits the bill. It provides great value for money and a ton of useful features. In you ask me, the pros far outweigh the cons of this robust smartphone.

  • OS: Android 11
  • Display: IPS LCD
  • Network: 5G
  • Memory: 128 Gb, expandable to 512 GB with a microSD card
  • Dimensions & Weight: 6.76 x 3.21 x 0.42 inches, 8.74 oz
  • A super-durable, water and dust-resistant phone
  • Packed with so many features for such a cheap smartphone
  • It has a very long battery life and wireless charging
  • It’s pretty bulky and heavy
  • The screen has a slower refresh rate, and colors aren’t as vibrant as AMOLED displays

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OnePlus 8 Pro

Best Sleek & Stylish iPhone Alternative

Best Sleek & Stylish iPhone Alternative

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Although you may not have heard of the OnePlus 8 Pro, it’s still worth your consideration. Wing, a little-known Chinese company, produces this phone. But that might soon begin to change if this model is anything to go by! 

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a gorgeous design with a large screen boasting a 120-Hz Fluid Display. Not only does that allow for smooth scrolling, but it ensures you have vivid colors and a brighter screen. That makes this phone ideal for gaming, creative work, and streaming HD videos. 

This model is 5G capable, making it super-responsive with lightning-fast download speeds. So, there’s less waiting around for pages to open or messages to send. 

And if having a stylish phone is important for you, you’ll love the OnePlus 8 Pro. It’s slim, lightweight, and beautiful that looks amazing. But it’s not all for show – the Oneplus 8 has excellent ergonomics that make it comfortable and user-friendly. 

As if you needed any more encouragement, it’s also IP68 water and dust-resistant. And the battery life is superb, lasting all day and charging to 50% in 23 minutes. 

There’s a lot to like in the OnePlus 8 Pro. While it might feel a bit of a gamble to go with a newer brand, this one has been tried and tested. It’s not the cheapest iPhone alternative, but it’s sure not to disappoint. 

  • OS: Android 10
  • Display: AMOLED
  • Network: 5G
  • Memory: 128 GB
  • Dimensions & Weight: 6.51 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches, 7.02 oz
  • One of the fastest and most responsive smartphones around 
  • Amazing 120 Hz AMOLED screen 
  • Fast charging & long battery life
  • It’s pretty expensive (not much cheaper than an iPhone)

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Motorola edge

Best Budget iPhone Alternative for Android

Best Budget iPhone Alternative for Android

(Image credit: Motorola)

Last but not least is the Motorola edge. Here we have another powerful, robust smartphone with excellent performance and incredible speed. 

You’ll also love the fantastic triple rear cameras, allowing you to take breathtaking 64 MP shots. 

It also packs 256 GB of storage, which should be plenty for almost all users. You’ll find laptops that provide less storage space than the Motorola edge.  

If cost is your main reason for looking for an iPhone alternative, then the Motorola edge is perfect for you! It’s the cheapest phone on this list right now, offering amazing value for money. For this price, it’s the closest you’ll get to the performance and features of an iPhone. 

So, what else does the Motorola edge have to offer? It’s 5G-capable, making it responsive and efficient. It also looks stylish and is sleek and lightweight, in a slightly smaller size. But you don’t lose much display space, so videos and visuals still look great on this screen! 

It’s ideal for any kind of everyday use, from video calls and photography to browsing and using apps. At this price, the display is outstanding with a 90-Hz refresh rate and HD10 screen.

The Motorola edge provides everything you need from a smartphone (at a fraction of the cost of the iPhone 12 Pro!). So, what are you waiting for? I think this bargain model is well worth snapping up, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

  • OS: Android 10
  • Display: OLED
  • Network: 5G
  • Memory: 256 GB (expandable with microSD card)
  • Dimensions & Weight: 6.36 x 2.8 x 0.37 inches, 6.63 oz
  • Fantastic budget smartphone
  • It has everything you need and provides superb value for money
  • It has a responsive, vivid screen with a 90-Hz refresh rate
  • The triple-rear cameras as excellent with 64 MP 
  • It’s not as powerful as some of the premium smartphones on the market

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The best 5 iPhone Alternatives

Best iPhone Alternative Buying Guide

So, you’ve seen the best iPhone alternatives reviewed for you. But if you have a different phone in mind, here’s what you need to know about buying an iPhone alternative:

Performance

It’s the chip or CPU within your phone that provides the power. The more robust the CPU, the faster it can handle the processes that make your phone function. So, it’s better to go with a chipset with more cores, as these CPUs tend to be much faster. 

The higher the clock speed measured in Ghz, the more efficient your phone will be, too. Both the clock speed and CPU cores have a big impact on the processor power. 

But other factors come into play as well. For example, if you go for a phone with limited RAM, it will take longer to access short-term data, files, and apps. So, that could also slow down your smartphone.

Display

The display is one of the most important factors when choosing a smartphone as you’ll spend hours looking at it. You want to go for a bright screen with a high definition and a fast refresh rate. 

For example, standard phones have a 60-Hz refresh rate. But now, you can models out there with either a 90 Hz or 120 Hz refresh rate. That will make a huge difference to your user experience. You’ll be able to scroll more smoothly or play more intensive games.

The type of display is also crucial. The common display types include LCD, and more commonly now, OLED or AMOLED. Each option has its pros and cons, so I recommend testing them out to see what you prefer. 

Size

You want a phone that fits nicely in your hand. But at the same time, a larger screen makes for a better viewing experience. That’s especially true if you like to watch videos and movies on your phone. 

Many brands are making larger and larger smartphones. But you can still find some excellent smaller phones that are more compact and practical, so it’s up to you. Make sure that the phone you choose suits your needs when it comes to the size. 

Storage

You don’t want to run out of space on your phone if you take a lot of photos or use a range of apps. So, I would recommend going or as much storage space as possible. 

Nowadays, smartphones can rival laptops for the storage space included. Although you will pay more upfront for more memory, the investment is almost always worth it. It will save you hassle and frustration, so you don’t need to delete apps or files to free up space.

Camera

Smartphone cameras have the capability of taking breathtaking shots these days. You can find mid-range phones that can take shots at 40+ MP. So, you basically have a professional camera in your pocket at all times. 

If the camera is a priority for you, look up the specs and see how many cameras the phone has. Find out how many megapixels the camera has and whether the phone has any special lenses. For example, an extra-wide lens is ideal for capturing amazing landscape shots.

Customer Support

The customer support available varies hugely from brand to brand. With iPhone devices, you can go to your nearest Apple Store if something goes wrong.

But many Android brands aren’t as hot on their customer service. So before you buy, find out whether you can access phone, email, or chat support. 

Look into exactly what the warranty on your phone covers and how long it lasts. And finally, double-check whether the brand has any physical locations near you. Knowing this beforehand can make your life much easier if you run into issues with your new phone.

Related Articles:

View All Buying Guides

The Wrap Up

If you’re looking to replace your iPhone or buy a new smartphone, all these models tick the bill. 

An iPhone alternative should provide performance, an amazing display, and user-friendly features. 

Each of these reviewed Android alternatives are sure to impress. And there’s something for everyone and every price range. So, take your pick, and let me know which one you’ve gone for in the comments! 

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more techy and creative reviews and tips! 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

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