The Google Pixel 3 and BlackBerry KEY2 are the most secure Android phones

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The Google Pixel 3 (and 3 XL) is the best Android phone when it comes to security. Google builds its phones to be secure from the start, and you get monthly security patches to guarantee that you won’t be left behind on future exploits. Three years of guaranteed updates will let you use your phone knowing you’ll be up to date for what is likely the life of the phone.

Best Overall: Google Pixel 3

Pixel 3 phones are updated directly from Google with the latest version of Android. Outside of any new features that may come with, the device security model has been updated and strengthened by a dedicated team who regularly audits and enhances the code used to build Android. On top of this, Google releases updates to the security model at the beginning of every month for the people who build Android phones to apply to its software. These are important, more important than any other update.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is transparency. You shouldn’t have to trust a company when it says something is secure or updated, and the Android code for both the platform version and all updates is available for anyone to take a look at. Plenty of people do, and despite any opinions to the contrary, Android, as written, has proven to be a very secure platform. A phone like a Pixel 3 is the embodiment of this.

Pros:

  • Monthly (or more) security updates
  • Guaranteed updates for 3 years
  • Excellent software experience
  • Great cameras

Cons:

  • No headphone jack
  • Pixel 3 has weak battery life
  • Bleeding edge software can be buggy

Best Overall

Google Pixel 3

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$699 at B&H

At the forefront of Android security

The Google Pixel 3 is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones available today. With the default security protections, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL keep you protected from online and offline threats and regularly updated to keep it that way.

Runner Up: BlackBerry KEY2

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BlackBerry built its reputation on building secure smartphones and has been doing so for a long time. The company may have restructured a bit, but the practices that made a BlackBerry secure haven’t. You’ll find the protections Google has built into Android present as well as BlackBerry’s own hardening and security features. Plus you’ll have a great physical keyboard if that’s what you’re looking for.

Pros:

  • BlackBerry reputation
  • Kernal and system software hardening
  • Security-focused feature software
  • Physical keyboard if you love them

Cons:

  • Price
  • Small-ish display
  • Physical keyboard if you hate them

Runner Up

BlackBerry KEY2

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$610 at Amazon

Hardened firmware

BlackBerry is legendary when it comes to mobile device management and security, and follows that trend when using Android to power its phones. With the KEY2, you also get the keyboard experience that only BlackBerry can offer.

Best Value: BlackBerry KEY2 LE

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The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is scaled-back compared to its sibling. While the KEY2 was designed with extra power and performance, the LE version is a more basic experience but still very capable.

You’ll also find the exact same focus on security and security-related software features built-in and the kernel and system image go through the same hardening procedure. The result is a great secure phone at a low price.

Pros:

  • BlackBerry reputation
  • Kernal and system software hardening
  • Security-focused feature software
  • Physical keyboard if you love them

Cons:

  • Not as powerful
  • Small-ish display
  • Physical keyboard if you hate them

Best Value

BlackBerry KEY2 LE

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$430 at Amazon

Inexpensive, secure, and capable

The KEY2 LE is designed to bring the KEY2 experience to a more attainable price point. It doesn’t have the same level of specs, camera, or build quality, but scales things back smoothly to provide a solid experience at a great price.

Bottom line

Media outlets like to give Android a bad reputation when it comes to security, and it’s difficult to blame them. Old, outdated software from manufacturers with no real concern for your security or privacy is the norm when it comes to phones running Android. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL deliver a great smartphone experience that ticks all the boxes for reviewers and average buyers alike, and with no modifications, your personal data is very safe. A team of security professionals and engineers are dedicated to keeping it that way. Any of the phones on our list will do a great job when it comes to security, but the overall experience of using the phone over and above the security aspect makes the Google Pixel 3 the best choice.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

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Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.