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GALAXY S10 PLUS

Best Android Phone

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $999.99Best Buy 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.4-inch OLED (3040 x 1440)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 855
  • RAM
    8GB, 12GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 512GB, 1TB / Yes

 

 

Samsung marks the tenth anniversary of its Galaxy S lineup with some noteworthy innovations. An ultrasonic fingerprint sensor lives under Galaxy S10 Plus’ 6.4-inch display, letting you easily unlock the device, and the phone’s Wireless PowerShare feature lets you charge other devices wirelessly. But the S10 Plus also does a superlative job with more standard features, such as its 12.5-hour battery life. The Snapdragon 855 chipset powering Samsung’s phone delivers the best performance we’ve seen yet on an Android device and even approaches the iPhone’s pace-setting A12 Bionic processor. The three rear cameras on the S10 Plus also produce some stellar photos that give the Pixel 3’s camera a run for its money. Get the Galaxy S10 Plus if you want the best total Android experience.

MORE: Galaxy S10 Plus Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
GOOGLE PIXEL 3

Best Camera Phone

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $799Best Buy 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    5.5-inch OLED (2160 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    4GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    64GB, 128GB / No

 

 

The Pixel 3 is the best camera phone and best pure Android phone we have ever tested, and it’s not because of the hardware. Google has found amazing ways to leverage AI on this 5.5-inch handset, including a Top Shot feature for the camera that automatically picks the best photo and a screen calling feature that uses Google Assistant to transcribe calls as they come in on the fly. The photo quality here is just stunning; you can even get optical zoom results without a second lens. Add in the equally smart and helpful Android Pie OS and an improved OLED screen and you have one heck of a phone.

MORE: Google Pixel 3 Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
ONEPLUS 6T

Best Value

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $549OnePlus 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.4-inch OLED (2340 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    6GB, 8GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 256GB / Yes

 

 

The OnePlus 6T delivers a couple of key firsts at a great price. It’s the first phone sold in the U.S. with an in-screen fingerprint reader–and it works almost instantly. The 6T is also the first phone from OnePlus sold through a U.S. carrier in T-Mobile. Whether you go that route or buy it unlocked, you’ll be happy with the OnePlus 6T’s strong performance, stunning 6.4-inch OLED display and improved dual cameras. You get great specs for the money: a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for just $549 (£499, €549) or you can upgrade that to 8GB of RAM for just $20 more at $579 (£529, €579).

MORE: OnePlus 6T Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
IPHONE XR

Best iPhone Value

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $749.99Best Buy 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.1-inch LCD (1792 x 828)
  • CPU
    A12 Bionic
  • RAM
    N/A
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No
 

 

 

The iPhone XR costs $250 less than the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9, and yet this phone delivers pretty much everything you’d want from a big-screen flagship. That includes a bright and colorful 6.1-inch LCD display, the fastest processor you can get in a phone (A12 Bionic) and great camera quality. No, you don’t get dual rear shooters for 2X optical zoom, but otherwise this phone is top-notch in every way. The best part is the battery life, as the iPhone XR lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes on our web surfing battery test. That beats most flagship phones.

MORE: iPhone XR Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
GALAXY NOTE 9

Best Big-Screen Phone

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.4-inch OLED (2960 x 1440)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    6GB, 8GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 512GB / Yes
 

 

 

With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has joined the iPhone X in the pricey $1,000 phone club. But this handset is worth the premium if you want the best big-screen phone around. The 6.4-inch display is gorgeous, and you get a new AI-assisted cameras for automatically recognizing various scenes to get the best photo. Other highlights include a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, which makes it easy to remotely control the phone for shooting selfies, changing music tracks and more. Add in more than 11 hours of battery life, and the Note 9 is worth the splurge for power users.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
MOTO G6

Best Phone Under $250

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    5.7-inch LCD (2160 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 450
  • RAM
    3GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    32GB / Yes
 

 


 

Moto’s G Series has been the go-to phone for people who don’t want to shell out a lot of money for their smartphone but still expect a solid performer. With its colorful 5.7-inch display, capable processor and inviting design, this year’s Moto G6 continues to live up to that standard. You’ll have to live with below-average battery life and a just-OK camera, but the G6 delivers on enough features to make it a great value. Best of all, the G6 works on both GSM and CDMA networks, so you’re not restricted to using select carriers.

MORE: Moto G6 Review

 

 

 

 

APPLE IPHONE 8

Best Small Phone

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    4.7-inch LCD (1334 x 750)
  • CPU
    A11 Bionic
  • RAM
    Unknown
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    64GB / Yes
 

 

 

If you’re not a fan of phablets, the iPhone 8 gives you the most power per inch of any device on the market, especially now that Apple’s more recent phones all boast screens sizes of 5.8 inches or larger. In addition to a still mighty A11 Bionic chip that runs circles around Android phones, the iPhone 8 benefits from a bigger and faster camera sensor that takes fantastic-looking photos, including Live Photos with fun new effects in iOS 11. Add in above-average battery life and access to fun new augmented reality apps, and you have the best small phone.

MORE: iPhone 8 Full Review

 

ASUS ROG PHONE

Best Phone for Gamers

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW $899.99Amazon 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    8GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 512GB / Yes
 

 

 

For those serious about gaming, the Asus ROG Phone is tailor-made for you. This beast packs a gorgeous 6-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 845 processor with four cores that run at overclocked speeds and 8GB or RAM. In addition to impressive performance, the ROG Phone sports a head-turning design with a logo that can glow 16.8 million colors. Other highlights include a vapor cooling system and even an included active cooling attachment with its own fans. Add in a bunch of accessory options and you have the best gaming phone yet.

MORE: Asus ROG Phone Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
IPHONE 7

Best Phone for Kids

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $449Apple 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    4.7-inch LCD (1334 x 750 pixels)
  • CPU
    A10 Fusion
  • RAM
    2GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    32GB, 128GB / No
 

 

 

With the iPhone SE gone from Apple’s iPhone lineup, the iPhone 7 takes its place as the best smartphone you can hand over to your kids. At $449, it’s now the cheapest iPhone Apple has to offer. And while you’re getting 2016’s A10 Fusion chip, only 32GB of storage and a 4.7-inch LCD screen, you’re not making too many other trade-offs. The iPhone 7 has IP67 dust- and water-resistance, meaning a splash of water won’t wreck your kid’s phone. Access to Apple’s App Store means your kids can download a great array of games and social networking apps, while the phone’s support for iOS 12 puts you in control of just when they can use those apps.

MORE: iPhone 7 Full Review

What Smartphones Cost

The best premium phones like the Galaxy S10, Pixel 3 and iPhone X cost anywhere from $700 to as much as $1,000. However, there are great values with flagship-level specs under $500. On a budget? You can get a very good Android phone for less than $250.

How We Rate Phones

We rate smartphones using a combination of subjective criteria (including design and ease of use); our own benchmarks (e.g., our battery, audio and display tests; and synthetic benchmarks (Geekbench 4 for speed, 3DMark for graphics). We also do real-world speed tests (such as video editing) and take photos in different lighting conditions to compare the results.

After we’ve conducted all of our testing, we rate each device based on its features, performance and overall value. Only the top-performing devices make our Best list.

Related Buying Guides:
Best Phone Cameras
Best Unlocked Phones
Smartphone Buying Guide

  

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ABOUT THE AUTHORMARK SPOONAUER@mspoonauer

Obsessed with tech since the original PalmPilot, Mark Spoonauer is responsible for the editorial direction of Tom’s Guide and has covered technology for more than 15 years. He became editor-in-chief of the site in 2013. Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He speaks at key tech industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
IPHONE XR

Best iPhone Value

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $749.99Best Buy 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.1-inch LCD (1792 x 828)
  • CPU
    A12 Bionic
  • RAM
    N/A
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No

 

 

The iPhone XR costs $250 less than the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9, and yet this phone delivers pretty much everything you’d want from a big-screen flagship. That includes a bright and colorful 6.1-inch LCD display, the fastest processor you can get in a phone (A12 Bionic) and great camera quality. No, you don’t get dual rear shooters for 2X optical zoom, but otherwise this phone is top-notch in every way. The best part is the battery life, as the iPhone XR lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes on our web surfing battery test. That beats most flagship phones.

MORE: iPhone XR Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
GALAXY NOTE 9

Best Big-Screen Phone

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6.4-inch OLED (2960 x 1440)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    6GB, 8GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 512GB / Yes

 

 

With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has joined the iPhone X in the pricey $1,000 phone club. But this handset is worth the premium if you want the best big-screen phone around. The 6.4-inch display is gorgeous, and you get a new AI-assisted cameras for automatically recognizing various scenes to get the best photo. Other highlights include a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, which makes it easy to remotely control the phone for shooting selfies, changing music tracks and more. Add in more than 11 hours of battery life, and the Note 9 is worth the splurge for power users.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
MOTO G6

Best Phone Under $250

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    5.7-inch LCD (2160 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 450
  • RAM
    3GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    32GB / Yes

 

 

 

Moto’s G Series has been the go-to phone for people who don’t want to shell out a lot of money for their smartphone but still expect a solid performer. With its colorful 5.7-inch display, capable processor and inviting design, this year’s Moto G6 continues to live up to that standard. You’ll have to live with below-average battery life and a just-OK camera, but the G6 delivers on enough features to make it a great value. Best of all, the G6 works on both GSM and CDMA networks, so you’re not restricted to using select carriers.

MORE: Moto G6 Review

 

 

 

 

APPLE IPHONE 8

Best Small Phone

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW VIEW PLANSWhistleOut 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    4.7-inch LCD (1334 x 750)
  • CPU
    A11 Bionic
  • RAM
    Unknown
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    64GB / Yes

 

 

If you’re not a fan of phablets, the iPhone 8 gives you the most power per inch of any device on the market, especially now that Apple’s more recent phones all boast screens sizes of 5.8 inches or larger. In addition to a still mighty A11 Bionic chip that runs circles around Android phones, the iPhone 8 benefits from a bigger and faster camera sensor that takes fantastic-looking photos, including Live Photos with fun new effects in iOS 11. Add in above-average battery life and access to fun new augmented reality apps, and you have the best small phone.

MORE: iPhone 8 Full Review

 

ASUS ROG PHONE

Best Phone for Gamers

4/5TOTALLY WORTH ITREVIEW $899.99Amazon 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    6-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080)
  • CPU
    Snapdragon 845
  • RAM
    8GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    128GB, 512GB / Yes

 

 

For those serious about gaming, the Asus ROG Phone is tailor-made for you. This beast packs a gorgeous 6-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 845 processor with four cores that run at overclocked speeds and 8GB or RAM. In addition to impressive performance, the ROG Phone sports a head-turning design with a logo that can glow 16.8 million colors. Other highlights include a vapor cooling system and even an included active cooling attachment with its own fans. Add in a bunch of accessory options and you have the best gaming phone yet.

MORE: Asus ROG Phone Full Review

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
IPHONE 7

Best Phone for Kids

4.5/5SUPERIORREVIEW $449Apple 
  • DISPLAY SIZE (PIXELS)
    4.7-inch LCD (1334 x 750 pixels)
  • CPU
    A10 Fusion
  • RAM
    2GB
  • STORAGE / EXPANDABLE
    32GB, 128GB / No

 

 

With the iPhone SE gone from Apple’s iPhone lineup, the iPhone 7 takes its place as the best smartphone you can hand over to your kids. At $449, it’s now the cheapest iPhone Apple has to offer. And while you’re getting 2016’s A10 Fusion chip, only 32GB of storage and a 4.7-inch LCD screen, you’re not making too many other trade-offs. The iPhone 7 has IP67 dust- and water-resistance, meaning a splash of water won’t wreck your kid’s phone. Access to Apple’s App Store means your kids can download a great array of games and social networking apps, while the phone’s support for iOS 12 puts you in control of just when they can use those apps.

 
 
 


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