The best phones to buy in 2024: Top smartphones compared

The best phones to buy in 2024: Top smartphones compared
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Best phones: Samsung Galaxy S24 screen (left) and iPhone 15 (right), both in hand.
The best phones offer stellar performance, cameras, and battery life at affordable prices. Our top picks include the Samsung Galaxy S24 (left) and iPhone 15 (right).

It’s tough to go wrong with most phones available in the US these days, and it’s almost impossible to find a bad phone if you’re looking for a premium device in 2024. With that in mind, the “best phone” depends on your budget and priorities. Still, we can make a general assessment of the best phone overall.

Among the best phones available, Apple’s iPhone 15 is our top option for most people due to its balance of performance, camera quality, camera reliability, battery life, and ecosystem for the price. Samsung’s Galaxy S24 is the ideal pick for Android users for the same reasons as the iPhone 15. 

On the more affordable end of the spectrum, Apple’s iPhone 13 and Google’s Pixel 7a are superb devices that offer incredible value. It’s true they’re not exactly “cheap,” but we think they’re well worth the price considering what they offer and their potential longevity.

Our top picks for the best phones

Best overall: iPhone 15 – See at Best Buy

Best phone for Android users: Samsung Galaxy S24 – See at Amazon

Best budget iPhone: iPhone 13 – See at Best Buy

Best budget phone for Android users: Google Pixel 7a – See at Amazon

Best camera phone: Google Pixel 8 Pro – See at Amazon

Best battery life: iPhone 15 Plus – See at Best Buy

Best foldable phone: OnePlus Open – See at Amazon

Best overall

These days, most smartphone users fall into either Team iPhone or Team Android. If you’re platform agnostic and want a phone that requires the fewest compromises, we recommend the iPhone 15. (For those who prefer Apple, our best iPhone guide shows what else we recommend.)

While Android phones seem to go through identity changes more often than Ethan Hunt, iPhones have stayed relatively consistent year over year. Apple is largely sticking to a successful playbook for the iPhone 15: A phone that delivers a great user experience that revolves around a stable operating system, best-in-class camera system, popular apps, and the latest tech.

iPhone 15 screen and back shown side by side
It may look like a typical iPhone, but the iPhone 15 has several improvements and new features over its predecessor.

The iPhone 15 isn’t a big departure from the iPhone 14, but there are noteworthy upgrades. It runs on the A16 processor and incorporates the Dynamic Island notification display, both of which were introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro. Performance has increased over the iPhone 14 and 13, which used the A15. The 6.1-inch display is also much brighter, with a slightly higher resolution.

The big new feature is the iPhone’s switch to USB-C from Lightning, which, depending on the user, could be a celebration or an annoyance. There is satisfaction in using the same cable to charge all your devices. But it’s inconvenient if you own just Lightning cables and accessories, which would require purchasing new chargers and adapters. 

Most people, however, probably already have USB-C accessories, particularly those who own the newest MacBooks, iPads, PCs, and even Android phones, which have been using USB-C for some time now. Our disappointment with the iPhone 15’s USB-C implementation is that it doesn’t offer an improvement over Lightning regarding fast charging and data transfer.

The iPhone 15’s main camera sensor has been bumped up to 48 megapixels from 12, and the optical zoom is now 2x instead of 1x. While iPhone cameras have always been solid, the iPhone 15 delivers improved low-light performance and picture quality, particularly when cropping into a photo.

While the newest Android phones aren’t anything to sneeze at, we still recommend the iPhone for most people due to the polished hardware and software, ease of use, and Apple’s lauded support.

For older iPhone owners who held back due to the lack of upgrades in the iPhone 14, the iPhone 15 is a more attractive recommendation. However, those who could use Apple’s latest high-end features should consider the iPhone 15 Pro models, as they exclusively offer faster USB 3 charging, a customizable Action button, and dedicated zoom lenses. 

See our guide to the best iPhone 15 cases to protect the phone. 

Best phone for Android users

With its triple-lens camera, class-leading performance, AI features, and excellent battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is the complete package. No other phone offers as much as the Galaxy S24 for an $800 base price, even among iPhones.

Indeed, the Galaxy S24’s three cameras set it apart from other Android phones in its 6.1-inch size range and $800 price range. By including a 3x zoom lens, the Galaxy S24 offers a more versatile camera experience, allowing you to take better-quality photos of subjects further away.

Two photos side by side of the Galaxy S24's front and a closeup of the phone's cameras.
Samsung’s Galaxy S24 is easily the top Android phone for most people, as it makes the fewest compromises for a solid price.

Ironically, the Galaxy S24’s cameras are among our few complaints. To be sure, they’re very good cameras, but they’re generally less consistent than premium phones from Google and Apple, as irregular lighting can produce flat, shallow photos with reduced character.

That said, overall, the Galaxy S24 is our top pick among the best Android phones, as it is likely to satisfy most people with its stellar performance and high-end features at a reasonable price point. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 review, and see our guide to the best Samsung Galaxy S24 cases to protect the phone. 

Best budget iPhone

If you’re looking for the best iPhone experience for the lowest price, go for the iPhone 13 rather than the iPhone SE (2022). Yes, the iPhone 13 has a $599 starting price compared to the iPhone SE’s $429, which stretches the definition of “budget.” However, we feel the iPhone 13’s extras are well worth it. 

The iPhone 13 runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor (the same as the iPhone SE, coincidentally). Although two generations old, it can easily handle any app or game in the App Store. 

Author's hand holding an unlocked iPhone at a 3/4 angle to show the boxy shape
The iPhone 13 is expensive for a “budget” iPhone, but it’s a significantly better phone than the true budget iPhone SE (2022).

The iPhone 13 also features Apple’s modern design rather than the iPhone SE’s antiquated look with its top and bottom bezels. It also includes Face ID, a larger 6.1-inch OLED display, a dual-lens camera, and support for Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging and accessories. To top it all off, the iPhone 13 has significantly better battery life than the iPhone SE. 

With all this in mind, we think you’ll better enjoy the experience with the iPhone 13 for the years you’ll use it. Based on Apple’s support cycle, we’d estimate Apple will support the iPhone 13 for another three years. 

However, if budget matters more than features and design, you’ll still be happy with the iPhone SE (2022), as it remains another top option among the best cheap phones available. But be aware that the iPhone SE uses an outdated design with a small screen and Touch ID.

Best budget phone for Android users

Budget Android phones often try to appear more premium than they are, mostly with high-refresh-rate displays and bunk “macro” cameras that few people will use. Most fall flat when it comes to performance or camera quality. Google’s Pixel 7a, however, is the exception. 

At its $499 starting price, the Pixel 7a pushes the boundaries of “budget.” Yet, we feel it’s well worth it if your budget allows for it, as it’s easily the best budget Android phone you can buy now, and it’s often discounted. (We expect Google to announce a new A-series model during the company’s I/O event on May 14. Consequently, you might want to wait for a price drop of the Pixel 7a or see what the next model offers.)

The front and rear camera module of Google’s Pixel 7a in the blue color option.
Google’s Pixel 7a can be pricey for a budget phone, but the features are worth it.

The Pixel 7a has a smooth 90Hz display, but that’s par for the course on budget Android phones. What’s impressive is that it runs on the same Tensor G2 processor as Google’s flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, meaning it has high-end performance at an excellent value. 

The Pixel 7a’s cameras also beat any other phone in its price range. In fact, the Pixel 7a’s camera system comfortably competes with phones that cost twice as much. You don’t get a dedicated zoom lens with the Pixel 7a, but it’s not expected on a budget phone.  

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review, and see our guide to the best Google Pixel 7a cases to protect the phone. 

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Best camera phone

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has three cameras: a 48MP ultrawide camera, a 50MP main camera, and a 48MP 5x zoom camera. It takes excellent photos and imparted the most confidence during our testing, over both Samsung and Apple phones, that it would reliably do so repeatedly. 

The Pixel’s signature photo look is present, with rich and natural colors, and lighting is properly balanced without trying to enhance darker and brighter details with extra brightness. Pixel photos have plenty of contrast, too, which gives photos gorgeous depth.

Pixel 8 pro
The Pixel 8 Pro gives us the most confidence that photos and videos will turn out great.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s three lenses offer plenty of versatility, and we love its 5x zoom compared to the 3x zoom cameras that are more common.

If you want to stick to Apple’s ecosystem, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers the best camera system among iPhones, and it’s the only option that matches the Pixel 8 Pro’s 5x zoom lens. 

Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review, and see our guide to the best Google Pixel 8 Pro cases to protect the phone. 

Best battery life

The iPhone 15 Plus is our recommendation if you’re looking for a phone that can last over a day on a single charge. Every user’s mileage will vary, but we achieved, on average, 66% of battery life remaining after rounds of testing. A close runner-up is the Samsung S24 Ultra, which yielded similar test results but is a more expensive phone.

In terms of performance and features, the iPhone 15 Plus shares the same pros and cons as the iPhone 15. But the iPhone 15 Plus is a larger device that can accommodate a bigger battery. It also has a 6.7-inch display versus 6.1, which gives you more viewable real estate. The problem is that you can’t get longer battery life without getting a large phone, so it’s something to consider and worth trying out at a store. That said, we haven’t experienced issues when holding it in our hand or stashing it in a pocket.

iPhone 15 Plus screen in hand (left). iPhone 15 Plus beside standard iPhone 15, back cameras showing (right).
The iPhone 15 Plus’ larger size allows for a bigger battery. Most people can expect over a day’s worth of battery life before recharging

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, with its 6.8-inch display, is a good example of how larger phones tend to offer longer battery life. However, it scored notably higher than other phones with large screens, like the Galaxy S24 Plus and Google Pixel 8 Pro. That’s all to say that the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers the best battery life for Android users, but they have to pay a higher price than iPhone users.

See our guide to the best iPhone 15 Plus cases to protect the phone. 

Best foldable phone

We prefer book-style foldable phones that unfold into compact tablets for their superior functionality and performance relative to clamshell foldables, which fold into compact squares. 

Among the three phone-tablet hybrid foldables available in the US, the OnePlus Open is our favorite option, topping the Google Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

The OnePlus Open folded and unfolded.
The OnePlus Open sets itself apart with its build quality, larger displays, and a traditional shape and size for the cover display that’s familiar and comfortable to use.

All phone-tablet hybrid foldables essentially offer the same level of performance, top-of-the-line displays with premium specs, like 120HZ refresh rates and OLED panels, excellent camera quality, and superlative battery life. 

What sets the OnePlus Open apart is its superior, rock-solid build quality, its cover display that’s sized and shaped like a traditional phone, and its slightly larger cover and tablet displays compared to other available foldables. 

The only gripe we have with the OnePlus Open is the omission of wireless charging, which should be expected on a phone with a $1,700 price tag. It does support super-fast 67W charging speeds, but only with the included proprietary OnePlus charger.

See our guide to the best foldable phones for more information and other top options. 

What is the best phone to buy right now?

Overall, Apple’s iPhone 15 is the phone we’d recommend to most people, at least those who live in the US. Android phones these days are fantastic, but they still lack certain key features, like advanced biometric authentication that’s on par with Apple’s Face ID. Even minor features, like Apple’s Dynamic Island, make us lean toward the iPhone 15 for an overall recommendation.

SpecsiPhone 15Samsung Galaxy S24iPhone 13Google Pixel 7aGoogle Pixel 8 ProiPhone 15 PlusOnePlus Open
Starting price$799$799.99$599$499$999$899$1,699.99
ProcessorA16 BionicQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Optimized for GalaxyA15 BionicGoogle Tensor G2Google Tensor G3A16 BionicQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Release dateSeptember 2023January 2024September 2021May 2023October 2023September 2023October 2023
Screen size6.1 inches6.2 inches6.1 inches6.1 inches6.7 inches6.7 inches7.82-inch interior; 6.31-inch interior
Rear cameras12MP main, 12MP ultrawide

50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x zoom

12MP main, 12MP ultrawide64MP main, 13MP ultrawide50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP 5x zoom48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP 2x zoom (uses main camera sensor)48MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP 3x zoom
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB512GB

How we test phones

We test iPhones and Android phones as if they were our daily drivers for at least a week, often longer, to get a feel for their performance, battery life, cameras, and new features. We have extensive experience testing various phone models from different companies at various price points, which lets us quickly identify any issues.

In addition to real-world usage, we conduct standardized tests on all phones reviewed and included in our guides.

For performance, we put phones through a series of benchmarking apps to check for discrepancies between devices. We use Geekbench 6 for general performance and the 3DMark Wild Life Stress Test to gauge extended heavy gaming performance. These tests help us estimate how long a phone could maintain its performance relative to comparable phones.

For camera testing, we photograph a consistent set of scenes with every phone and compare the results with their direct competitors. We take photos and videos with each lens on each phone and evaluate the differences. We even compare budget camera phones to premium options to assess the discrepancies in image and video quality.

For battery life, we run phones through a stress test that simulates a range of typical daily workloads, like streaming video and music, and high-intensity activities, like playing demanding games. This test includes five runs of the Geekbench 6 app, two runs of the 3DMark Wildlife Stress Test, two hours of video streaming at a set average brightness, and one hour of music streaming with a Bluetooth speaker connected. At the end of the test, we note the phone’s remaining battery percentage.


How much storage should a phone have?

These days, 128GB is the standard, minimum option for storage on most phones. Anything lower than that, like 64GB, can be quite limiting in terms of how many apps you can install, and you can basically forget about storing a significant number of photos, videos, and music.  

128GB of storage can be enough, especially if you use cloud storage for photos and often stream. Depending on how many apps you use, you can also get by downloading videos for flights.

You should opt for more than 128GB of storage if you tend to download your music rather than stream it or store lots of photos and videos on your phone. More storage can be helpful if you have many apps and games.

How long should a phone’s battery life last?

A phone’s battery should last you through a typical day, even for heavy users with extensive screen time. Thankfully, most phones tend to have good enough battery life to do so.

Larger phones tend to have longer battery lives than smaller ones, so heavier users would benefit from a larger phone if not for the larger display.

Your best options for a phone that can last longer than a day routinely are Apple’s iPhone 15 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra, large-screen devices that scored the highest among all phones in our intensive battery test. 

What is a good camera for a phone?

More than anything, a good camera for a phone should give you the confidence that you’ll get a high-quality photo or video without making you feel like you need to check and retake your content.

We find that Google’s Pixel phones and Apple’s iPhones tend to give us the most confidence in this regard. Correspondingly, our top overall picks for phone camera systems are Google’s Pixel 8 Pro and Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, which both offer a dedicated 5x zoom lens. 

Best phone overall: iPhone 14
Apple iPhone 14
Apple’s excellent iPhone 14 offers exceptional value at its new starting price.

Pros: Enhanced value after recent $100 price drop, stellar performance, excellent camera quality, excellent battery life, valuable safety features

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Cons: 60Hz display feels outdated, no dedicated zoom lens

Apple has released the iPhone 15 generation, and once we’ve reviewed those phones, one of those models will likely replace the iPhone 14 as the best phone overall. For now, however, the iPhone 14 is still technically our pick for the best iPhone and best phone overall, and that’s especially the case now that its starting price has dropped by $100 down to $699.

The iPhone 14 offers a hard-to-beat balance of features, battery life, camera quality, and performance for its price, which all combine to make it our top recommendation for most people. 

Some might point out that Samsung’s Galaxy S23 devices, which are among our best Android picks, don’t make the same compromises as the iPhone 14 does, like a 60Hz display, or a camera system with “only” two lenses. These are valid points, but looking at the overall picture, the iPhone 14 is still the phone we can most widely recommend. 

Apple’s ecosystem is still a major hook for the iPhone, and while Samsung is building out its own ecosystem, it’s not there yet. Popular Apple devices, like the Apple Watch, Macs, AirPods, iPads, and iPhones work seamlessly with each other to offer access to popular services like iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, taking and making phone calls, and instant mobile hotspot connectivity. 

The safety features Apple introduced with the iPhone 14 series, including Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection, especially, are valuable to have on hand, even if you hope to never use either. Both have proven to save lives, or at least been useful, in emergency situations. 

There’s also something to be said about Apple’s physical presence with Apple Stores — if iPhone users need help or repairs, the Apple Store is an easy, clearly defined place to go. To be fair, official repairs by Apple are often pricey. Still, at least it’s a convenient option to get help, if imperfect, compared to the murkier options available for Android phone users.  

Read our full iPhone 14 review.

Best phone for Android users: Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
The front and back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus in white.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus is our top overall pick among Android phones.

Pros: Excellent performance, versatile triple-camera system, smooth 120Hz display, superb battery life, 45W charging speed

Cons: Occasional shutter lag, some unwanted bloatware

Chances are that if you’re looking for a particular feature, or all the best phone features you can get in 2023, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus has what you need at a starting price of $1,000. 

The Galaxy S23 Plus, our best Android phone overall, is a delight to use thanks to its smooth 120Hz display and incredibly snappy performance from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that’s specially optimized for Samsung’s Galaxy S23 phones. 

To be sure, the Galaxy S23 Plus with its 6.6-inch display is for those who like larger displays. But despite its screen size, the Galaxy S23 Plus maintains a comfortable 6.91-ounce weight, which is positively featherweight for a phone of this size.

Battery life is excellent and support for fast 45W charging speeds is a cherry on top. Wireless charging is included and rated for up to 15W on the Qi common standard. You can even charge other devices off the back of the Galaxy S23 Plus, albeit at a slow 4.5W that’s best suited for smaller accessories, like wireless earbuds.

The Galaxy S23 Plus’ versatile triple-lens camera offers nearly everything you would want in a premium phone, with sharp, clear, high-quality photos and video. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review.

Best budget iPhone: iPhone SE (2022)
The red 2022 iPhone SE held in the author’s hand showing the home screen with app icons.
Apple’s iPhone SE offers entry to the Apple experience and ecosystem for the lowest price.

Pros: Excellent performance-to-price ratio, impressive single camera, lightweight, 4.7-inch display is comfortable to use one-handed

Cons: Antiquated design, lacks multiple cameras, 60Hz LCD display, short battery life compared to larger phones

The least expensive way to get the Apple experience, as well as access to its ecosystem of apps, accessories, and services, is the third-generation iPhone SE. Starting at $429, it’s also less expensive than even our budget Android pick.

The iPhone SE runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which also powers the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. That means it’s a powerful processor that opens and runs apps quickly now and for the next few years. 

For its relatively low price, the iPhone SE is missing some high-end features. It has a 4.7-inch LCD display, which not only is small, but isn’t as high-quality as the OLED displays on other more expensive iPhones. Having a small display and overall size doesn’t have to be a negative, as some may actively want a smaller screen for the most comfortable one-handed reachability. Plus, at 5.09 ounces, the iPhone SE is the lightest iPhone currently available.

The biggest caveat with small phones like the iPhone SE is a smaller battery, which leads to shorter battery life than bigger iPhones — it might need a charging top-up once or twice during the day, depending on your usage. 

The iPhone SE also has an antiquated design. Many liken it to the iPhone 8, but the design with large bezels above and below the display can be traced back to the iPhone 6 generation from 2014. 

Still, having such large bezels affords the iPhone SE an old favorite — Touch ID. While not as seamless as the more modern Face ID, Touch ID is still incredibly reliable, and some prefer to use their fingerprints rather than their faces to unlock their iPhones. 

Then there’s the question of cameras, or a single camera, to be precise. The iPhone SE lacks the ultrawide and zoom lenses of more expensive iPhones, but its main camera can still hold its own with high-quality photos. Again, they’re not as high-quality as those on more expensive iPhones, but anyone would be more than happy with the iPhone SE’s photos for its sub-$500 price.

Best budget phone for Android users: Google Pixel 7a
Side by side images of the front and rear camera module of Google’s Pixel 7a in the blue color option.
Google’s Pixel 7a is available at a new low price that further cements its position as the top budget Android phone.

Pros: Flagship performance on a budget phone, stunning dual-camera system, 90Hz display, wireless charging

Cons: mmWave 5G model is more expensive and a Verizon exclusive, thicker and heavier than premium phones its size

Budget Android phones often try to appear more premium than they are, mostly with smooth high refresh-rate displays and bunk “macro” cameras that few people will use. Most fall flat when it comes to performance or camera quality. Google’s Pixel 7a, however, is the exception. 

Marked down from its typical MSRP of $499, the Pixel 7a is an especially great deal at its current starting price of $374, which easily makes it the best budget Android phone you can buy. 

The Pixel 7a has a smooth 90Hz display, but that’s par for the course on budget Android phones. What’s impressive is that it runs on the same Tensor G2 processor as Google’s flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, meaning it has high-end performance at an excellent value. 

The Pixel 7a’s cameras also beat any other phone in its price range. In fact, the Pixel 7a’s camera system comfortably competes with phones that cost twice as much. You don’t get a dedicated zoom lens with the Pixel 7a, but it’s not expected on a budget phone.  

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review.

Best camera phone: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra front and back in a dark earthy green color.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra is simply the best phone for taking photos thanks to its versatile four-lens camera and S Pen that offers more precision for on-device editing.

Pros: Exceptional quad-lens camera system, 10x optical zoom ability, stellar optical image stabilization, large screen and S Pen make on-device editing easier

Cons: Surprisingly lackluster battery life for its size, may be too large for some people, occasional shutter lag

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra has the most camera tech out of any other phone we’ve tested. It’s the most versatile phone for taking photos thanks to its four lenses, including a main camera, an ultrawide, a 3x zoom, and a 10x zoom. 

The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200MP camera takes 12MP photos by default, but you can set it to take photos at 50MP or the full 200MP for stunning clarity and detail. The caveat is that a 200MP photo can take up to 200 megabytes, so storage inside and out of the phone should be a consideration. 

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Another perk of the massive 200MP sensor is better low-light performance, as more megapixels can combine to capture more light in a process called “binning.” Indeed, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is also the best phone for taking high-quality photos in low-light situations.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 10x zoom lens is one of those things you never knew you needed until you tried it. I often wish I had 10x zoom when I’m using a different phone, as no other phone can capture far-away subjects as sharply and clearly as the Galaxy S23 Ultra. To take sharp photos at such a high zoom, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has impressive optical image stabilization, too, which also makes for incredibly stable video recording. 

Then, there’s the S Pen — a built-in stylus that offers more precision and functionality than any finger could for editing photos right on the device, which is only made easier by the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s larger-than-usual 6.8-inch display. There’s no better phone if content capture is your top priority. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review.

Best battery life: iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 Plus sits on a wicker basket surface with the home screen illuminated.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus had the best result to date in our intensive battery test.

Pros: Large screen for sub-$1,000 price, best battery life on any phone we’ve tested

Cons: Previous generation processor, antiquated 60Hz screen

Once we’ve finished testing and reviewing it, the new iPhone 15 Plus could replace the iPhone 14 Plus as the phone with the longest battery life. For now, though, the iPhone 14 Plus still reigns in that department.

Apart from offering the big-screen iPhone experience for less than a Pro Max model, the iPhone 14 Plus also has the best battery life out of any phone we’ve tested to date. It ended our intensive battery test with 73% remaining, which is astounding. Out of the dozens of phones I’ve tested with our latest battery test, only one other phone obtained a result in the 70th percentile — the OnePlus 11 with a 71%. 

Otherwise, the iPhone 14 Plus is essentially a bigger version of our pick for the best phone overall, the iPhone 14. It runs on the same processor, has the same cameras, the same 60Hz screen, and the same features. 

Following the announcement of the iPhone 15 generation, Apple reduced the iPhone 14 Plus’ price by $100 down to $799. That’s a stunning deal for an iPhone with a 6.7-inch display, but you may find the iPhone 15 Plus warrants the $100 premium.

Read our full iPhone 14 Plus review.

Best foldable phone: Google Pixel Fold
The Google Pixel Fold, folded and unfolded.
Google’s Pixel Fold is the best foldable we’ve reviewed thanks to the familiar, traditional shape of its exterior display.

Pros: Smooth flagship performance, excellent five-camera system, familiar-shaped exterior display, 120Hz displays inside and out, stellar battery life, thin and light as a tablet

Cons: Thick and heavy as a phone, prohibitive pricing

Between clamshell-style foldables like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus, and tablet hybrids like the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5, we’ve decided the hybrid design is the best form factor for foldable phones. That’s primarily because clamshell phones sorely lack the battery life and cameras of traditional flat phones, while the best hybrid foldables are more comparable to high-end flat phones in those respects.

Out of the tablet-hybrid foldables we’ve tried and reviewed, Google’s Pixel Fold tops our list thanks in large part to the exterior display’s familiar, traditional phone shape. The tall, narrow displays on the Galaxy Z Fold series phones are more awkward to use and take more getting used to than the Pixel Fold’s exterior display. (The new OnePlus Open foldable has a cover screen that strikes a welcome middle ground between the narrowness of the Z Fold phones and the width of the Pixel Fold, and it could take the Pixel Fold’s spot here once we’ve finished testing and reviewing it.) 

The Pixel Fold runs on the same Tensor G2 processor as the Pixel 7 flagship lineup, so performance is stellar. It also comes with a total of five cameras, and when talking about Google’s excellent Pixel cameras, more can only mean better — there are three cameras on the rear, a front-facing camera, and an interior camera for tablet mode. Not to mention, you can unfold the Pixel Fold and use its superior main rear camera to take selfies while using the exterior display as a viewfinder, which is a common perk in foldable phones. 

Both the Pixel Fold’s OLED displays run at a smooth 120Hz for a seamless experience, inside and out. 

As with any tablet-hybrid foldable, the Pixel Fold is rather heavy and chunky as a traditional phone, even more so with its smaller 5.8-inch exterior display. Still, its small display means it’s comfortable to use one-handed and offers superior reachability with your thumbs relative to large displays. To boot, the Pixel Fold is also thin and light as a 7.6-inch tablet.

Battery life is also excellent on the Pixel Fold, as it ended our intensive battery test with a 69% result while in folded phone mode — that’s a result we’d expect for phones with larger, 6.7-inch displays. In tablet mode, the Pixel Fold scored 65%, which may not seem impressive for a 7.6-inch tablet, but it still means you can use the Pixel Fold exclusively in tablet mode all day, like you would your traditional phone, without worrying about battery life, though that’ll depend on how intensively you use it. 

Read our full Google Pixel Fold review.

Best phones compared
SpecsiPhone 14Galaxy S23 PlusiPhone SE (2022)Pixel 7aGalaxy S23 UltraiPhone 14 PlusPixel Fold
Starting price$699$1,000$429$374$1,200$799$1,799
ProcessorA15 BionicQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Optimized for GalaxyA15 BionicGoogle Tensor 2Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Optimized for GalaxyA15 BionicGoogle Tensor 2
Release dateSeptember 2022February 2023March 2022May 2023February 2023September 2022June 2023
Screen size6.1 inches6.6 inches4.7 inches6.1 inches6.8 inches6.7 inches5.8-inch exterior; 7.6-inch interior
Rear cameras12MP main, 12MP ultrawide

50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x zoom

12MP main64MP main, 13MP ultrawide200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x zoom, 10MP 10x zoom12MP main, 12MP ultrawide48MP main, 10.8MP ultrawide, 10.8MP 5x zoom
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB256GB, 512GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB128GB256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB256GB, 512GB
Best phone FAQs

What is the best phone to buy right now?

While we rigorously test the iPhone 15 series, Apple’s iPhone 14 offers the best overall combination of performance, camera quality, battery life, and value with its new starting price of $699. If you want to buy into the Apple ecosystem at a more affordable price point, we recommend the third-generation iPhone SE starting at $429 as the best budget iPhone currently available. 

The best Android phone overall is Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus for its comprehensive mix of high-end features. The best budget Android phone you can buy is Google’s Pixel 7a, which offers an essentially premium experience for a new starting price of $374. 

Which phones get the most updates?

The new Google Pixel 8 phones have the best explicit support window of any phones on the market with their guaranteed seven years of Android operating system and security updates, and they’ll likely take at least one spot on this list once we’ve finished testing and reviewing them.  

While Apple doesn’t explicitly state how long it will support its devices, the company’s recent history has shown that it will support iPhones for at least six years of software updates. That means the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and third-generation iPhone SE included above should see iOS and security updates at least through 2028. 

Among the Android phones on our list, Samsung’s flagship devices have the best current support window for software and security updates, as the company said its Galaxy S23 phones will get four years of Android software updates and five years of security updates from their February 2023 release. 

The Google phones included above, on the other hand, have a comparatively short support window. Google said that the Pixel Fold will see Android software updates until June 26, 2026 and security updates until June 25, 2028, while the Pixel 7a will see software updates until May 8, 2026 and security updates until May 7, 2028.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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