Today’s best smartphones include Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, but they’re not the only phones worth considering. While Apple’s and Samsung’s flagships remain top buying choices, other phone makers are producing fantastic devices at a variety of prices. The industry is innovating and evolving faster than ever, from 5G connectivity to foldable screens, and all of the competition benefits us.
Verizon subscribers can choose from excellent phones at a range of prices, so we’ve done some digging to give you the straight talk on which phones actually deliver the goods. Read on to find the best Verizon phone for you and check out our tips on how to buy a new phone.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce sweeping changes including a new 48-megapixel camera system, the Dynamic Island and Apple’s new A16 Bionic processor. All of these upgrades come together to make for an experience that feels fresh and fast compared to older generations.
Read our Apple iPhone 14 Pro review.
The Galaxy S23 is a lot, but in a good way. It’s more than most people need in a phone, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Samsung made improvements to the camera’s resolution (200 megapixels compared to 108 megapixels), color tones and dynamic range, while retaining the same edgy design and massive 6.8-inch screen as its predecessor. There’s also a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that’s been optimized specifically for Samsung’s phones, which brings faster performance compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Starting at $1,200, it may be an understatement to call this phone expensive. But those willing to pay more for a giant screen and a high-quality, versatile camera won’t be disappointed. Read our full review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Google’s top-end Pixel 7 Pro packs a superb camera system, beautiful display and smooth Android 13 software into a refined glass and aluminum body. And it does that while still managing to undercut some of its top rivals. It’s not the most powerful phone around and its battery life could be better, but it offers a great overall experience that’s well worth considering.
Read our Google Pixel 7 Pro review.
Apple’s new iPhone SE for 2022 is a mix of an older design with the latest smartphone features, including Apple’s latest A15 Bionic chip and 5G support, for $429. It’s also one of the few phones on the market that includes a smaller, 4.7-inch screen.
Yet it’s that throwback design, which continues the general shape that Apple has used since 2014, that could be what you will love or dislike most about this phone. If you want a larger iPhone in this price range, you can also consider the iPhone 11 at $499 in order to get a bigger screen and Face ID. But that phone, first released in 2019, doesn’t include 5G connectivity.
Read our Apple iPhone SE (2022) review.
CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco called the Google Pixel 6A the “best Android phone under $500” in her review, calling out its solid performance, its 5G connectivity and its excellent camera for its price.
The phone has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 60Hz along with a 12.2-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. The Tensor chip allows for photo technology including the Real Tone skin tone feature, Face Unblur, Night Sight for darker photography and the Magic Eraser, which can remove unwanted elements from a photo.
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With a candybar form that folds down into a smaller square, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers a much more compact footprint than the Z Fold 4. It makes it easier to slide into a tight pocket when not in use, but it still folds out to offer a sizable 6.7-inch display when you need it.
Like the Z Fold 4, the Flip line has seen revisions over the years including improvements to its hinge system and a reduction in the crease marks in its display. It’s got a new camera system too, along with a larger outer display that shows incoming notifications.
It’s pricey, sure, and its battery life could be better. But this is a fun phone and one we’ve enjoyed using.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review.
At a whopping price of $2,500, the Sony Xperia Pro isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a photographer or videographer looking for professional-level camera phone features, you can’t go wrong. The Xperia Pro is essentially four products in one: a phone, a camera monitor, a speedy photo file transfer device and a 5G machine that can broadcast and livestream.
Read our Sony Xperia Pro review.
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If you’re looking for a good budget phone that comes with a basic stylus and support for 5G, then the Moto G Stylus 5 is a great pick. The phone has a stylus you can store inside it, along with a built-in Notes app to help with productivity. This phone also offers a triple-rear camera, 128GB of internal storage and a robust 4,000-mAh battery.
Read our Moto G Stylus 5G review.
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