The 20 best smartphones in the world

19

This month we welcome the Galaxy Note 7 onto the list, as the faulty battery issue is fixed and the device is now deemed safe to use.

Good thing, too, because it would be a shame to leave out such an otherwise excellent smartphone. 

Here's our ranking of the best phones you can buy. 


 

Note: All prices below indicate how much the phones typically cost without a carrier contract. Prices may  vary depending on the retailer.

20. BlackBerry Passport

The BlackBerry Passport may look strange, but a lot of BlackBerry fans seem to love it. It has a really nice physical keyboard, but the key feature is its unique square design.

Price: $470

19. BlackBerry Classic

If you were a BlackBerry fan back in the company's heyday, you're going to love the BlackBerry Classic. It looks similar to older BlackBerry models, but features a sharp touchscreen and an excellent physical keyboard.

Price: $284

18. BlackBerry Priv

The BlackBerry Priv is a huge departure for BlackBerry. Instead of running BlackBerry's own operating system, the Priv runs Android. While it may look like a standard Android phone, the Priv has a slide-out keyboard. This could be a great device for those who want a physical keyboard but still have access to Google's apps and services that aren't available on other BlackBerry devices.

Price: $500

17. Moto G4

The Moto G4 is available in three different models, including the regular $200 G4, the $250 G4 Plus, and the yet-to-be-priced G4 Play that's coming later this summer.

We reviewed the G4 Plus model, which has a 16-megapixel camera compared to the 13-megapixel shooter on the regular G4, and found that it's the best cheap smartphone you can buy. The G4 Plus also comes with a fingerprint sensor while the other models don't.

Price: $200 - $250

16. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Galaxy Note 5 is a killer big-screen phone. Like previous versions of the Note, it has a large, vibrant display and a stylus for taking notes. The new metal and glass design is great too.

Price: $529

15. ZTE Axon 7

The Axon 7 is made by ZTE, a relatively unknown Chinese smartphone maker in the US.

Why does it deserve a spot on this list? Because it offers the same, if not better, specs as the top Android players here, and it'll cost you $250 less that going for the big name brands like Samsung, LG, or HTC. That means if you don't like the Nexus devices, and you don't want to pay top dollar for a Galaxy S7 or HTC 10, the ZTE Axon 7 might just be the phone for you.

Price: $400

14. LG G5

LG's G5 smartphone has a gorgeous all-metal design. It also has a removable bottom that lets you swap out a dead battery with a fresh one. The removable bottom can also be exchanged with "modules" that offer new functions, like a camera grip with a zoom dial and a shutter button for better control.

If that weren't enough, it's also got a dual-lens camera, which gives you unusual versatility when it comes to taking pictures.

Price: About $650

13. HTC 10

The HTC 10 is a beautiful, extremely well-built smartphone. It runs a near-pure version of Android, and can be bought unlocked, which means you won't find annoying bloatware on the 10. 

Price: $549

12. Moto Z

The regular Z model is one of the thinnest phones we've held, and it's gorgeous. We also love the fact that it runs a near-pure version of Android.

The Moto Z phones also support different modules that can be attached to the back of the phone to give them new and better functionality. For example, you can attach a speaker module for better sound, or a projector module to project videos on a nearby wall.

The Moto Z will be released later this fall, and it should work with most carriers. The Moto Z Force model is a Verizon exclusive that's currently available for a pricey $720. Compared to the regular Z model, it has an extra strong screen that Motorola claims is shatter-proof, as well as a larger battery.

Price: $625 - $720

11. OnePlus 3

The OnePlus 3 is easily one of the best Android smartphones you can own right now, and unlike previous OnePlus phones, you don't need an invite to buy it.

The new metal back looks and feels fantastic, and it runs a near-pure version of Android, which is also a huge plus in our book. It also has some of the highest specs around for smooth and speedy performance, including an enormous 6GB of RAM. Some might dislike the fact that it doesn't have expandable storage, but the OnePlus 3 comes only with 64GB of storage, which should be more than enough for most users. It also has a camera that rivals the Galaxy S7's, which is considered the best smartphone camera ever made so far.

If you don't care about water-resistance like the Galaxy S7 has, and you'd like to save $250 from the usual premium smartphone price tag, the $400 OnePlus 3 is absolutely the smartphone for you, and it's worth every penny.

Price: $400

10. Nexus 5X

The Nexus 5X is one of Google's newest flagships, and it's one of the best phones you can buy today. The only true rivals it has are its big brother, the Nexus 6P, and the iPhone. If you don't want an iPhone and want to see the best of Android, then the Nexus 5X won't disappoint.

You might want to hold off on buying the Nexus 6P and 5X, as Google just announced its newPixel smartphones that will take the wheel from Nexus as Google's flagship devices.

Price: $320

9.Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P is a slightly larger version of the Nexus 5X. It's made by Huawei, a Chinese smartphone company with an excellent reputation for hardware. Like the 5X, you get timely updates straight from Google as soon as they're released, whereas other Android phones usually get updates several months later.

You might want to hold off on buying the Nexus 6P and 5X, as Google just announced its newPixel smartphones that will take the wheel from Nexus as Google's flagship devices.

Price: $499

8. iPhone SE

The iPhone SE, with its 4-inch screen, is the best small-form smartphone you can buy at the moment. You get all the best apps, ecosystem, support, and the same performance as the iPhone 6s for a relatively low $400 price tag.

It also comes with Apple Pay among other premium features, like Live Photos and a fingerprint sensor, not to mention great battery life.

 Price: $399

7. iPhone 6S Plus

Now that the iPhone 7 Plus is out, the iPhone 6s Plus gets a $100 price cut, and that's a great deal.

Fine, you don't get all the latest features that the iPhone 7 Plus has, like water-resistance or that fancy dual-lens camera, but the iPhone 6s Plus is no slouch, either. It runs on the powerful A9 chip and has features like 3D Touch, which can detect how hard you press down on the screen and open up a new layer of controls for you apps.

It also has an incredibly fast fingerprint sensor, as well as Live Photos, which captures a three-second video with audio when you press the shutter button.

Price: $649

6. iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6s is also a great deal, as you still get the premium Apple experience for $100 less than the new iPhone 7.

In addition to beautiful hardware, iPhone owners are guaranteed to always get the best apps first from third-party developers and reliable software updates with the latest and greatest features from Apple. 

Price: $549

5. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Galaxy S7 Edge has a bigger 5.5-inch display and larger battery than the regular Galaxy S7, while retaining the same features (water-resistance, a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage, and Samsung Pay).

Price: $617

4. Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 sports the best camera we've seen on a smartphone, even beating the iPhone 6s Plus. It's also very powerful and it sports some great features, like water resistance and a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage.

You also get Samsung Pay, which works with almost any payment terminal in any store, which the iPhone's Apple Pay can't do.

Price: $554

3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now safe and back on sale.

Samsung suffered an unfortunate, giant setback with the Galaxy Note 7 and its faulty batteries, but they're now safe to use and back on the shelves.

The Note 7 is a fantastic phone in every respect. It has a sublime premium all-glass curved design, a super sharp and vibrant AMOLED display with curved sides, incredible performance, and the best smartphone camera available.

Nope, we didn't forget about its water-resistance, fancy iris-scanner for extra security, and the Note's signature stylus with added functionality.

Price: around $850 depending on your carrier.

2. iPhone 7

Without a doubt, the iPhone 7 brings the best apps and ecosystem to its users. And by ecosystem, we mean the support you get from Apple if something goes wrong, as well as getting the latest software updates straight from Apple. It also works amazingly well with other Apple products, too, like the new AirPods wireless earphones.

The hardware also got a few improvements over the iPhone 6s, like water-resistance, a camera that performs better in low light, a more powerful processor than its predecessor, and even redesigned antenna bands.

Price: $650

1. iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 Plus is the best smartphone you can buy for the apps, ecosystem, water resistance, and its dual-lens camera. 

The dual-lens camera is the key feature that places the larger iPhone 7 Plus in the top spot over the iPhone 7. It lets you take pictures with a professional-looking "bokeh" effect where the background is blurry in contrast to the subject — that particular feature won't go live until later this year, but you can still use the iPhone 7 Plus' second telephoto lens to achieve 2x optical zoom, which means it zooms into subjects without sacrificing picture quality like digital zoom does on most smartphone cameras.

Price: $769

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