Verizon has often been known for its expensive plans, consistent service, and restricted smartphone selection. Even Verizon announced a return to unlimited data a couple of weeks ago, they still keep smartphones locked down to what they offer.
That means you won’t be able to purchase an unlocked phone like the OnePlus 3T through Verizon (or Sprint) and get it set up to use like you can with AT&T and T-Mobile. With all the great unlocked phones out there these days, that’s really too bad.
However, there are plenty of great smartphones to choose from that are compatible with Verizon. Here is our ranking of the five best Verizon smartphones you can buy right now:
After Lenovo acquired Motorola, the entire tech world knew the longstanding Chicago telecommunications company was in for a shakeup. Google’s Motorola and Lenovo’s Motorola were going to offer the world very different products.
That has rung true with the Moto Z. It is an entirely different animal to the Moto X, but one with a similarly great experience and its own set of quirks that make it distinct from the rest of the smartphone market. If, and this is a massive if, the modular idea catches on, it could change how people look at smartphones. Instead of seeing a device they’ll hope lasts them two years, consumers might look at the Z and see it as a phone that will be great when they buy it, and maybe even better in the future.—Eric Walters
The newest hotness from HTC isn’t exactly the most standout device. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the company in 2016, which means it might not be the savior of this smartphone manufacturer that it needs to be. But when you just look at the phone itself, it’s hard to find much to complain about.
The device feels great in the hand and it’s a design that has been iterated upon over the years quite well. It’s a bit clunkier than what you’ll get with a phone from Apple or Samsung, but there’s also no questioning this thing’s durability and some people are going to love the idea of going caseless with the HTC 10. What’s more, the HTC 10 feels a step further than the Galaxy S7 or LG G5 on the software end of things, not overly relying on the company’s proprietary Android skin much at all. Instead, you get a light, responsive, and clean interface that makes the new HTC 10 one of the very best options for Android smartphones out there right now.—Luke Larsen
Photo by Flickr user Maurizio Pesce.
Samsung’s “other” phone. Though it’s now over six months old, the Galaxy S7 is the smartphone Samsung would much rather have you talk about at this point. You won’t find the Galaxy Note 7 on this list, which is a phone we can no longer recommend.
With the S7, Samsung reintroduced waterproofing and expandable storage, which pleased many Android users. Most importantly, Samsung pulled in these features without having to compromise the great design and build quality that it introduced last year. Oh yeah—and then there’s that incredible OLED display, which you have to see in person to truly appreciate. The S8 is that far away, but the S7 is still a fantastic smartphone.—LL
Photo by Flickr user Maurizio Pesce.
As Apple likes to say, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus truly are the best iPhones ever made. Aside from the expected speed and performance updates, the camera upgrade alone makes the iPhone 7 a justified purchase for iPhone users. The inclusion of optical image stabilization on the 7 Plus as well as the 7 was a huge welcome that results in some fantastic mobile photography.
Yes, yes—the headphone jack is gone. In my time with the phone, however, I found myself more than happy to give up the headphone jack in exchange for a better camera, battery life, and performance—and I’m sure most iPhone 7 users will agree. The iPhone 7 probably won’t convince Android users to switch over, but it will surely please the hordes of people who love their iPhones and want more of what they love.—Jamie Pham
After years of dancing around the idea, Google finally released a phone designed entirely in Mountain View. If it performs well, it could end the Apple-Samsung duopoly that has dominated the market for nearly a decade. That’s a big deal. But it can’t be a big deal if the Pixel doesn’t live up to expectations. Google clearly learned from the Nexus program, and its other hardware ventures like the Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C, because its first smartphone is rock solid. The design may not impress, but the experience of using the phone certainly does.
From a hardware perspective, even if it echoes the iPhone too much, it’s a well built machine that lives up to the standards set by other premium smartphones. On the software side, Google is showing real innovation with the Google Assistant , while not perfect, is clearly the company’s idea of the future. The Google Pixel is the most important phone of 2016. It may not be the one most remembered, thanks to the explosive tendencies of the Note 7, or the best, thanks to the stacked field of 2016, but it’s the device that will have the most impact on the industry moving forward. Fortunately, it’s also the device that we find the easiest to recommend to just about anyone.—EW