The best phones provide great cameras, the performance you need for multitasking, and the durability to get you through the day. But there's definitely no one size fits all in this category.
That's why we consider all types of buyers and their needs when recommending the best phones. Some may prefer to have the largest display possible along with the most advanced specs. And others are happy with a solid mid-range phone that provides all the basics without feeling cheap.BERLIN WEATHER
Some of the biggest trends in phones right now are foldable phones and 5G. We are not yet sold on foldable phones because there are still concerns about the durability of these types of devices and they are very expensive. We are higher on 5G phones as networks are finally starting to fill up and reach impressive speeds.
Another trend is that phone prices are creeping up for flagship phones, as the latest Samsung Galaxy S20 line starts at $999 and goes up to $1,399. But there are also plenty of value-priced phones, especially unlocked phones, that will work on any carrier. Our list of the best phones has something for everyone.
Based on our tests, the iPhone 11 is the best phone for most people because it takes great photos, has a bright display, and offers long battery life. Those who are prone to splurging should check out the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which offers a telephoto lens, a more colorful OLED display, and even more durability.
When it comes to Android phones, our top pick is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S20. Both offer smooth 120Hz displays, 5G capabilities and improved cameras that take better photos in all lighting conditions. We also like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which adds 10x lossless zoom, but at $1,399, that premium phone is only for power users.
The best cheaper Android phones, including the OnePlus 7T, which starts under $600, and the Google Pixel 3a (under $400). Here are the best phones on the market right now.
The best phone for most people
The best phone for people who don't want to spend a bundle, the iPhone 11 has killer dual cameras and cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro. For the very reasonable price of $699, the iPhone 11 offers surprisingly good low-light photos in night mode, as well as a new ultra-wide lens that lets you fit in more subjects or scenes with its 120-degree field of view. A major upgrade has also been made available for those who are comfortable with landscape, a 12-MP camera that automatically switches to a wider view when the phone is switched to landscape mode.
The 6.1-inch LCD display on the iPhone 11 isn't OLED-great, but it's colorful and bright. The amazing A13 Bionic processor, long battery life, and choice of six colors make the iPhone 11 a winner.
The most versatile iPhone for photographers
The best iPhone is also the best phone you can buy period. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has overtaken the Android competition to become the best camera phone, thanks to a new night mode that provides much better low-light photos and a versatile ultra-wide lens. Plus, the improved Smart HDR mode gives you great portraits. Apple has also raised the bar on video quality with extended dynamic range and smooth cinematic stabilization.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max also offers the fastest A13 Bionic chip processor ever, a more rugged design, and a 6.5-inch OLED display so bright it makes other phones look dingy. I wish Apple offered more than 64GB of storage, but when you add nearly 12 hours of battery life, fast charging, and more immersive audio, you have a nearly perfect smartphone.
Best Android phone
Samsung has three strong phones in its Galaxy S20 lineup, but the Galaxy S20 Plus is the one that takes the top spot on our list of best phones because it offers the best overall feature set for the money. You get a gorgeous 6.7-inch display with a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate, 5G connectivity, and a fast Snapdragon 865 processor, plus a relatively long battery life (at least in 60Hz mode). The only missing features compared to the higher-end Galaxy S20 Ultra are a 108MP camera and a more powerful space zoom - most people will want to save $200 by opting for the $1,199 Galaxy S20 Plus.
This is especially true because the Galaxy S20 Plus has some pretty impressive cameras. The new sensors capture bright and colorful photos, and the 3x lossless zoom is more powerful than what the iPhone 11 Pro Max offers. The regular Galaxy S20 Plus is a good choice at $999 if you prefer a smaller display. But if you want a big screen and future-proof 5G for years to come, you'll love the Galaxy S20 Plus.
A fantastic Android phone at a good price.
The OnePlus 7T is easily one of the best Android phones of the year, especially in terms of value. The very affordable $599 price tag gives you a fast Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with a very smooth 90Hz refresh rate, and a triple camera system that can hang with the iPhone 11 and the best Android phones. We wish the 7T's battery lasted longer, but it charges fairly quickly. Overall, the OnePlus 7T is a steal. There's also a new OnePlus 7T Pro 5G model for those who want to take advantage of T-Mobile's new 5G network.