THE BEST PHONE YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW (2017)

THE BEST PHONE YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW (2017)

- in PHONES

here are a lot of great smartphone options available at any given moment, so it can be a challenge to sort through them all if you’re trying to choose the absolute best one. The stakes here can’t be understated: your smartphone is most likely the most important gadget in your life, and you’ll probably be living with the one you buy for at least a year, if not two or three.

Fortunately, we’ve tested and reviewed every major smartphone that’s worth your time and have found the best phone for most people to buy. One thing you should consider: smartphones come in seasons, and it’s often best to wait for the right time. iPhones and Google phones land in the September / October time frame, while everybody else is scattered throughout the year. So if you are in the market for a phone but don’t have to buy right away, consider waiting until later in the year to see what’s coming next.

This article will be continually updated as new phones are released and reviewed, so be sure to check back if you’re not buying a phone right now.

THE BEST PHONE RIGHT NOW: SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 / S8 PLUS

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus rear viewPhoto by James Bareham / The Verge

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus is the best phone for most people. It’s available across all four US carriers and unlocked. It has the best display on any smartphone right now, a head-turning, premium design, a top-of-the-line camera, reliable battery life, and fast performance. Thanks to Samsung’s popularity and the support of all four carriers, the S8 also has plenty of accessories, from cases to battery packs to wireless chargers, available to it.

The S8 comes in two flavors: the standard model and the larger S8 Plus. Deciding between the two basically comes down to whether you want a larger 6.2-inch screen or a more manageable-in-one-hand 5.8-inch display. Everything else (except for price, the Plus model is about $100 more) is the same between the two models.

The mostly glass design of the S8 might concern you about durability, but in the couple of months that we’ve been regularly using the phone, it hasn’t been much of an issue. The S8 also has IP68 water resistance, so you don’t need to worry about dropping it in a puddle or getting it wet at the beach.

Not everything is perfect with the S8 — the placement of the fingerprint scanner is its biggest flaw — but it gets enough right that we’re confident recommending it to everyone.

9VERGE SCORE

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8

Buy for $679.95 from Amazon Buy for $724.99 from Samsung
9VERGE SCORE

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 PLUS

Buy for $739.49 from Amazon Buy for $824.99 from Samsung

A SECOND OPTION: APPLE IPHONE 7 / 7 PLUS

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus camera with lensesPhoto by James Bareham / The Verge

If you’re not into the S8’s curvy design or are locked into Apple’s ecosystem, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the best options for you. Both models have great build quality, sharp, color-accurate screens, fast performance, and easy-to-use software. The larger 7 Plus not only gives you a bigger screen, but it also offers a dual-camera system that allows for unique photographic tricks.

If you are in desperate need of a new phone right now, the iPhone 7 is an good choice, but if you’re able to wait a few months, Apple is expected to release a new model this fall with a new design and larger display. We’d wait if that’s an option for you.

9VERGE SCORE

APPLE IPHONE 7

Buy for $724.55 from Amazon Buy for $699.99 from Best Buy Buy for $649.00 from Apple
9VERGE SCORE

APPLE IPHONE 7 PLUS

Buy for $689.99 from Amazon Buy for $729.00 from Apple

OTHER CONTENDERS

If the Galaxy S8 or iPhone 7 aren’t your style, here are some other options that might work for you. We don’t consider any of them to be the best phone for most people, but depending on your needs, budget, or priorities, they could be a better choice for you.

8VERGE SCORE

HTC U11

GOOD STUFF

  • Gorgeous design
  • Impeccable fit and finish
  • Blistering performance

BAD STUFF

  • Lack of a headphone jack is a nuisance
  • Squeeze feature is a complete gimmick
  • Not offered by 3 of the 4 major US carriers
Buy for $649.00 from Amazon Buy for $649.00 from HTC
7.7VERGE SCORE

LG G6

GOOD STUFF

  • Beautiful, huge screen
  • Attractive design
  • Good performance

BAD STUFF

  • LG’s software design
  • Small power button is fiddly
  • Cameras are only acceptable
Buy for $549.99 from Amazon Buy for $549.99 from B&H
7.9VERGE SCORE

ONEPLUS 5

GOOD STUFF

  • Screaming fast
  • Cutting-edge spec sheet
  • Dash Charge makes up for lack of wireless charging
  • Reading Mode

BAD STUFF

  • Dual-camera system is a failure
  • Unoriginal design
  • Not waterproof
  • Large screen bezels are so 2016
Buy for $629.99 from Amazon Buy for $479.00 from OnePlus
9VERGE SCORE

GOOGLE PIXEL

GOOD STUFF

  • Long battery life
  • Fast and powerful
  • Google Assistant

BAD STUFF

  • Not waterproof
  • Pedestrian design
  • Google’s take on Android needs more polish
Buy for $649.00 from Google Buy for $699.99 from Amazon
9VERGE SCORE

GOOGLE PIXEL XL

GOOD STUFF

  • Long battery life
  • Fast and powerful
  • Google Assistant

BAD STUFF

  • Not waterproof
  • Pedestrian design
  • Google’s take on Android needs more polish
Buy for $798.93 from Amazon Buy for $769.00 from Google
7.5VERGE SCORE

LG V20

GOOD STUFF

  • Replaceable battery
  • Best manual camera controls of any phone
  • Excellent built-in microphones

BAD STUFF

  • Too big
  • LG’s software needs an overhaul
  • No water resistance
  • Embarassing amount of bad carrier apps
Buy for $469.99 from Amazon Buy for $749.99 from Best Buy
8VERGE SCORE

MOTOROLA MOTO Z2 PLAY

GOOD STUFF

  • Slim, light design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Smart software enhancements

BAD STUFF

  • Camera could use optical stabilization
  • Fingerprint gestures are clumsy
  • Only available unlocked or from Verizon
Buy for $569.00 from Amazon Buy for $408.00 from Motorola
7VERGE SCORE

BLACKBERRY KEYONE

GOOD STUFF

  • It has a keyboard!
  • Great battery life
  • Reliable performance and camera

BAD STUFF

  • Small, cramped display
  • Heavy weight
  • Will it ever get a software update?
Buy for $680.00 from Amazon
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