Best Verizon Smartphones

There’s good reason why Verizon is at the top of its game in the carrier competition, and it’s not just because of the best Verizon smartphones. Big Red has a widely accepted reputation of having the best coverage in the U.S. No one likes to lose the ability to share that delicious-looking meal or our latest locale with our Facebook friends. The internet is life.

So while we’re on the subject, which are the best smartphones that you can score on America’s leading carrier? It’s important to know that carrier smartphone buying underwent a shift. Carriers have phased out subsidized phone pricing and two-year contracts. In its place is financing (or monthly payment plans) of the total phone cost over two years. Let’s check out what that looks like for the best smartphones on Verizon Wireless right now.

Best Verizon Smartphones

 Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 EdgeApple iPhone 6S and 6S PlusHTC 10
Samsung Galaxy S7Apple iPhone 6SHTC 10
Rank#1#2#3
OSAndroid 6.0 (Marshmallow)iOS 9Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Display Type5.1" (S7) or 5.5" (S7 Edge, Super-AMOLED, QHD resolution4.7" (6S) or 5.5" (6S Plus), IPS LCD, 750x1334 pixels
(6S) or 1080P (6S Plus)
5.2", Super-LCD 5, QHD resolution
ChipsetSnapdragon 820 (quad-core)Apple A9 (dual core)Snapdragon 820 (quad-core)
RAM4GB2GB4GB
Storage32GB16GB/64GB/128GB32GB
MicroSD Slotgreen-check-markred-x-icongreen-check-mark
Cameras12MP Dual Pixel
rear and 5MP front
12MP rear and
5MP front
12MP UltraPixel rear and 5MP front
Battery3,000 mAh (S7)
or 3,600 mAh (S7 Edge)
1,715 mAh (6S)
or 2,750 mAh (6S Plus)
3,000 mAh
PriceS7: $672 or $28/month
S7 Edge: $792 or $33/month
6s: $650 or $27/month
6s Plus: $750 or $31/month
$648 or $27/month
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

#1 Pick Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Samsung refines the Galaxy S line with impressive camera technology, larger batteries, and water/dust-proofing

Price: $672 or $28 month (S7) or $792 or $33 month (S7 Edge) | Read Full Review: Galaxy S7 Review and S7 Edge Review | Display Size: 5.1″ (S7) or 5.5″ (S7 Edge) | Battery: 3,000 mAh (S7) or 3,600 mAh (S7 Edge)

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Samsung nears smartphone perfection with worthy component upgrades.

Samsung kicked off 2016 full-force with a strong duo – the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. These two flagships are straight follow-ups to the Galaxy S6 smartphones of last year, adopting almost identical designs. Still, the updates are worthy. We have now have sizable batteries, IP68 water/dust-proofing, and a reworked camera module that is lightning fast. The S7 Edge model received a size boost, to 5.5″, allowing for a hefty 3,600 mAh battery.

On Verizon, you can grab the Galaxy S7 in either black or gold. It retails for $672 but you also have the option of setting up a payment plan for $28/month over two years. The Galaxy S7 Edge runs a tad more expensive, at a retail price of $792, which could be paid in $33/month installments. Also, Verizon offers the S7 Edge with an additional silver color. Both models come with 32GB of internal storage, although, they have microSD card support for up to 200GB.

View on Verizon 

#2 Pick  Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus
Apple improves its current design with faster hardware and an innovative 3D Touch pressure-sensitive display

Price: $650 or $27 month (6s) or $750 or $31 month (6s Plus) | Display Size: 4.7″ (iPhone 6S) or 5.5″ (iPhone 6S Plus) | Battery: 1,715 mAh (iPhone 6S) or 2,750 mAh (iPhone 6S Plus)

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Apple’s excellence boosted by upgraded cameras and 3D Touch display.

Apple iPhone sort of speaks for itself. The giant phone maker knows how to capture consumers’ hearts with sexy design and intuitive software. The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are no exception. They can be seen as merely a refresh to previous iPhone 6, but in actuality, the duo manage to still pack a wallop. The rear and front cameras received a substantial upgrade, improving already one of the best smartphone cameras. What’s more, a pressure-sensitive smartphone display was added, called 3D Touch, which allows different actions based on the force of your press (i.e. previewing a picture or email with 3D touch without actually opening it).

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are available on Verizon in Space Gray, Silver, Gold, or Rose Gold. You have storage options between 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB (bear in mind that Apple doesn’t do microSD expansion). The smaller 4.7″ iPhone 6s is the cheaper of the two, at a starting retail price of $650 or payment plan of $27.08/month. Its bigger 5.5″ brother starts at $750 or $31.24/month.

View on Verizon 

#3 Pick  HTC 10

HTC 10 smartphone
HTC goes back to its One series roots with an UltraPixel 2 camera, which now couples large pixels with a large megapixel count.

Price: $648 or $27 month  | Display Size: 5.2″ | Battery: 3,000 mAh

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Awesome low-light cameras and classy look in and out.

Many say that HTC’s 2016 flagship is the comeback we’ve been waiting for. The Taiwanese manufacturer hasn’t been doing so hot lately. Indeed, the HTC 10 is a killer smartphone and should definitely be on a buyer’s shortlist. Why? The 10 is packed to the gill with top-end specs, such as the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 beast of the chipset and awesome low-light-fighting cameras. Also, not to mention the solid all-metal build and reasonably sized 5.2″ display.

The HTC 10 is available on Verizon in only silver and 32GB of internal storage. This phone does have microSD card support, so you can add up to 200GB more memory. The retail price goes for $648, but you also have the option of paying that over two years, at $27/month.

View on Verizon 

What to look for in the Best Verizon Wireless Smartphone

Pricing: Smartphone prices are a lot more transparent these days. Instead of them all being set at the same subsidized price, we’re now paying what they really cost, either by buying outright or spreading out the cost over 24 months. Therefore, which phones you can consider is based on your monthly budget.

Specs: These days, smartphone performance/quality is as close as ever. But there are distinct differentiating features that you must consider. For example, if you use the camera a lot, then quick auto-focus may be important, or a lens with a larger aperture or larger pixels (lets in more light in low-light situations). Today’s flagships are incorporating these improvements. Additionally, Verizon offers the best from Apple or Android, so you’ll need to decide on a platform.

Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Skimp on Data: The best Verizon smartphone plan isn’t the easiest thing to determine for yourself, especially if you have a family. The data plans are laid out in various tiers, from only 1GB for $30/month all the way to 18GB for $100/month. You’ll have to choose wisely, because if you go over your monthly allotment, you’ll get charged $15 for every GB you go over. The data cap you choose can be shared among multiple lines; the fee for each line is $20/month.

Always Going Brand New: Most shoppers go for whatever the Verizon smartphone is on sale right now.  Prepaid plans are cheaper in the long run, especially if you save hundreds by getting a used phone, or a phone that isn’t brand new. For instance, for $192 you can get an HTC Desire 626 (quad-core, 5″ 720p, 13MP camera) or LG G Vista (quad-core, 5.7″ 720p, 8MP camera). However, you’ll be compromising on the latest specs, and likely need to upgrade sooner than later.

Most Important Features of  Top Verizon Smartphone

Performance

  • No one likes a slow phone. Fortunately, if you’re picking among the best Verizon smartphones, you’ll get a speedy processor and ample memory. Today, the top-end chipset is Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 820, which should pack either 3 or 4GB of RAM. If you’re not getting a flagship on Verizon, we’d recommend at minimum the Snapdragon 600 series and 2GB of RAM.

Battery Life

  • Battery life kind of speaks for itself. We’ve all run into that frantic low-battery situation, and it’s no fun. Smartphones are packing larger battery capacities these days (albeit, most dropped battery swappability). We’d recommend getting as close to a 3,000 mAH capacity as possible, to make sure that you can make it through a day.

Storage

  • It’s unfortunate that we still find new phones these days with a measly 8GB of internal storage. You’re not left with much room for apps, music, etc. after the chunk that the OS takes up. Fortunately, many of today’s flagships come with 32GB of internal storage, with microSD expandability (the Galaxy S7, LG G5, and HTC 10 all have it). If you’re not going with the best, we’d recommend at least 16GB of storage, and microSD support if possible.

Camera

  • If you’re picking among Verizon’s best, then you’ll have a great camera experience. The top-end manufacturers have refined their tiny little cameras over and over, and now they’re all pretty much fantastic. You’ll typically find sensors with around 12-16MP; but megapixel count isn’t everything. Larger lens and pixel sizes allow more light in those tricky low-light situations.

OS

  • Different considerations need to be taken depending on the mobile operating system that you join. Apple is much simpler, as its latest phones have the best specs/software; you just have to decide on a size: iPhone SE (4″), iPhone 6s (4.7″), or iPhone 6s Plus (5.5″). There are vast third-party players with Android, and tiers of specs/prices. Additionally, many are slow to catch up with the latest version of Android (currently on 6.0, aka Marshmallow). Fortunately, all of the top-end Verizon smartphones right now are up to date.

Which Verizon Smartphone is Right for You?

It’s great that at Verizon you’ll be able to find the best smartphones on the market right now. Big Red was even the first to release the brand new HTC 10. We’re glad that its smartphone buying process is a lot more straightforward and transparent. Smartphones are expensive, and having the option to spread the cost out by 24 months, with no interest, makes the top-end reachable for many folks.

Josh Noriega

I'm a tech enthusiast with a particular love for Android. I enjoy discovering new devices and features that add to our lives. My passion also extends to headphones, having an analytical ear. I'm thorough in my critiquing and provide valuable insight in my product reviews.

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