9.90
/ 10
9.60
/ 10
9.48
/ 10
8.83
/ 10
8.73
/ 10
8.58
/ 10
8.45
/ 10
8.25
/ 10
8.08
/ 10
8.05
/ 10
8.03
/ 10
7.90
/ 10
7.78
/ 10
7.68
/ 10
7.58
/ 10
7.45
/ 10
7.43
/ 10
7.15
/ 10
7.08
/ 10
7.03
/ 10
6.95
/ 10
6.90
/ 10
6.73
/ 10
6.70
/ 10
6.45
/ 10
6.35
/ 10
6.03
/ 10
5.80
/ 10
4.23
/ 10

Design

PreviousNext
Usability
A+
A
A
A-
A
A
A
A+
B+
A+
A+
A+
A-
B+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A-
A+
A+
A-
A
B+
A
A
A-
C+
D-
Build Quality
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A
A
A+
A+
A
A
A
A+
A-
A-
A+
A-
B+
A
B+
A
B
A
A
B
C
B-
Operating System
iOS 11
iOS 11
iOS 11
Android 7.0
Android 7.1.1
iOS 10
iOS 10
Android 6.0.1
Android 6.0
Android 7.1
Android 7.1
Android 6.0.1
Android 6.0.1
Android 6.0.1
iOS 10
iOS 10
Android 6.0
iOS 9
Android 5.1.1
iOS 9
Android 6.0
Android 5.0.2
Android 5.1.1
Android 6.0
Android 5.1
Android 5.0.2
Android 4.4.4
Android 4.4.2
Android 6.0
Screen Size (inches)
5.8
5.5
4.7
6.2
6.01
5.5
4.7
5.5
5.1
5.5
5
5.5
5.3
5.2
4.7
5.5
5.7
4.7
5.7
5.5
5.2
5.1
5.7
5.5
5.5
5
5.2
5.1
5
Display Resolution
2436 x 1125
1080p
750 x 1334
1440p
1080p
1080p
750 x 1334
1080p
1440p
1440p
1080p
1080p
1440p
1440p
750 x 1334
1080p
1440p
750 x 1334
1440p
1080p
1080p
1440p
1440p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
720p
Pixel Density (ppi)
458
401
326
570
401
401
326
401
577
534
441
401
554
565
326
401
518
326
518
401
424
577
520
403
401
441
424
432
294
Screen Technology
OLED
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
Super AMOLED
AMOLED
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
AMOLED
AMOLED
AMOLED
AMOLED
AMOLED
IPS LCD
Super LCD
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
AMOLED
IPS LCD
AMOLED
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
AMOLED
IPS LCD
AMOLED
In-Cell LCD
Super LCD
IPS LCD
AMOLED
Super LCD
Weight (ounces)
6.14
7.13
5.22
5.47
5.7
6.63
4.87
5.57
5.36
5.93
5.04
5.57
5.61
5.68
5.04
6.77
6.28
4.55
6.03
6.07
4.8
4.87
6.31
5.82
6.17
5.54
5.36
5.11
4.94
Dimensions (inches)
5.65 x 2.79 x .3
6.24 x 3.07 x 0.3
5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29
5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31
6.14 x 2.95 x 0.29
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28
6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29
5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31
6.09 x 2.98 x 0.33
5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33
6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29
5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30
5.74 x 2.83 x 0.35
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29
6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27
6.03 x 3.00 x 0.30
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28
5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31
5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27
6.06 x 3.00 x 0.44
6.16 x 3.01 x 0.28
5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39
5.96 x 2.74 x 0.38
5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29
5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32
5.78 x 2.79 x 0.33
matrix insert 1

Camera

PreviousNext
Image Quality
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A+
A
A+
A+
A+
A-
A
A
A+
A+
A
A+
A
A+
A-
A
A
B+
C+
C
B
A-
D-
Resolution (MP)
12 (2)
12 (2)
12
12
16 & 20
12 (x2)
12
16
12
12.3
12.3
16
16
12
12
12
12.3
8
16
8
12.3
16
21
16
13
20
20.7
16
8
Aperture Size (F-stop)
1.8 / 2.8
1.8 / 2.8
1.8
1.7
1.7
1.8
1.8
2
1.7
2
2
2
1.8
1.8
2.2
2.2
2
2.2
1.9
2.2
2
1.9
2
2
2
2.2
2.3
2.2
2.4
Max Video Resolution
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
1080p
4K
1080p
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
4K
720p
Max Video Frame Rate (fps)
240
240
240
60
120
240
240
120
240
240
240
120
30
120
240
240
240
240
60
240
120
30
60
120
120
120
120
120
30
Flash Type
Quad LED
Quad LED
Quad LED
LED
Dual LED
Quad LED
Quad LED
LED
LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
LED
LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
Dual LED
LED
LED
LED
Optical Image Stabilization
Enhanced Autofocus
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Dual-Pixel
Phase-Detect & Laser
Phase-Detect & Laser
Phase-Detect
Laser
Laser
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Laser
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect
Laser
Phase-Detect
Phase-Detect & Laser
Laser
Phase-Detect
Front-Facing Resolution (MP)
7
7
7
8
16
7
7
16
5
8
8
8
8
5
5
5
8
1.2
5
1.2
5
5
5
5
5
4
2.2
2
5
Front-Facing Video Resolution
1080p
1080p
1080p
1440p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1440p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
720p
720p
1080p
720p
1440p
720p
1080p
1440p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
1080p
720p
matrix insert 2

Internal Specs

PreviousNext
Benchmark Results
100%
97%
97%
75%
80%
74%
74%
65%
53%
50%
53%
62%
48%
53%
56%
47%
35%
29%
38%
29%
26%
38%
24%
17%
31%
32%
19%
23%
5%
Processor Speed (GHz)
2.23
2.23
2.23
2.35
2.45
2.23
2.23
1.975
1.9
1.875
1.875
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.84
1.84
2
1.4
1.8
1.4
1.57
1.8
1.8
2
1.8
1.75
2.5
2.5
1.1
Processor Name
A11 Bionic
Apple A11 Bionic
Apple A11 Bionic
SD 835
SD 835
Apple A10 Fusion
Apple A10 Fusion
SD 821
SD 820
SD 821
SD 821
SD 820
SD 820
SD 820
Apple A9
Apple A9
SD 810
Apple A8
Exynos 7420
Apple A8
SD 808
Exynos 7420
SD 808
SD 625
SD 810
SD 810
SD 801
SD 801
SD 210
Number of Cores
6
6
6
8
8
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
2
2
8
2
8
2
6
8
6
8
8
8
4
4
4
RAM (GB)
3
3
2
4
6/8
3
2
6
4
4
4
6
4
4
2
2
3
1
4
1
2
3
3
3
4
3
3
2
1.5
Built-In Storage (GB)
64 / 256
64/256
64/256
64
64/128
32/128/256
32/128/256
64/128
32/64
32/128
32/128
64
32
32/64
16/64/128
16/64/128
32/64/128
16/64/128
32/64
16/64/128
16/32
32/64/128
16/32/64
32
16/64
32
16/32
16/32
16
Max Expandable Storage (GB)
256
200
2TB
200
256
256
256
256
256
256

Battery Life

PreviousNext
Overall Grade
A
A
A-
B+
B+
C+
C+
A-
B
B+
C+
B-
C+
B
C-
B-
A
D+
A
C+
B+
B+
C+
A+
C-
C
B-
B
B
Web Browsing Test (HH:MM)
10:49
11:16
9:54
10:39
11:03
10:38
9:03
10:27
8:43
11:11
8:16
8:33
7:57
9:56
6:46
8:16
12:25
7:27
9:35
10:00
11:30
8:32
6:27
13:46
8:07
7:14
12:09
9:28
9:04
Battery Capacity (mAh)
2675
2675
1821
3000
3300
2900
1960
3400
3000
3450
2770
3000
2800
3000
1715
2750
3450
1810
3000
2915
2700
2550
3000
3510
3300
2840
3100
2800
2200
Removable Battery
Rapid Charging
Wireless Charging
Some Models
matrix insert 3

Features

PreviousNext
Bluetooth
5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.2
4.1
4.1
4.0
4.1
4.1
4.0
4.0
4.1
Bluetooth aptX Audio
Water Resistance
Rain Only
Rain Only
Fingerprint Scanner
Face ID
USB Type-C Connector
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Lightning
Positional Sensors
No Compass or Gyro
Barometer
Near Field Communication
matrix insert 4

Carrier Availability

PreviousNext
Verizon Wireless
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
AT&T
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
T-Mobile
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Sprint
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Bring to Carrier
Unlocked

Best Smartphones

The Best Smartphones of 2017

We spent over 30 hours testing the new iPhone X, released on Nov. 3, 2017, and Apple once again has the best smartphone. This, of course, isn't a surprise, as it comes on the heels of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8, which only hit the market in late September 2017 and are impressive in their own right. All three iPhones set records for benchmark performances with their new A11 Bionic processor. However, the iPhone X is the better designed smartphone. With a superior 5.8-inch OLED display that hugs all the edges, the X fits more into less – it feels similar to the iPhone 8 but has a display that's bigger than the 8 Plus’s. In addition, the animoji feature, while silly, is more impressive and fun than you may think.

Is the iPhone X better than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus? Yes, it is. Is it worth the additional cost? I think so, but that depends, of course, on what you value most. If overall performance is your main concern, then any of the new iPhones will meet your needs without a hitch; they are all blazing fast. But if you value display quality, overall feel and cutting-edge technology that points toward the future of smartphone tech, then the X is definitely worth it.

Before the latest wave of iPhones were released, the Samsung Galaxy S8 was the best smartphone on the market. Released on April 21, 2017, the Samsung Galaxy S8 set the highest marks in benchmark tests at the time – it combined high performance with a cutting-edge display and excellent usability. While the new iPhones shattered its benchmark records, the S8 is still the best performing Android smartphone available.  

Our pick for the best value smartphone is the OnePlus 5T. This device costs hundreds less than phones from Apple and Samsung, but you wouldn't know it with the performance. In fact, it beat out the Galaxy S8 in some of our benchmark tests. The OnePlus 5T's usability is top-notch, and its extra features, like USB Type-C and a flawless fingerprint scanner, make you feel like you're on the cutting edge of smartphone technology without paying a premium for it.

The Best Smartphones: How We Tested, What We Found

Whenever a major manufacturer comes out with a new smartphone, we put it through its paces with an intense sequence of performance benchmarks – 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, AnTuTu, Basemark OSII, Geekbench 4.2, GFXBench, JetStream and more. These are all third-party benchmark tests that put the phone's processor, display, camera, and battery life through multiple rounds of tests.

We run the same tests for each smartphone, so the overall testing process is identical and repeatable every time a new smartphone is released. As such, we can compare the results to differentiate between the fastest smartphones and the ones that'll freeze up if you try running two apps at once.

Once all the benchmarks have been set, we compile and average the results and then determine scores accordingly. Since we test each smartphone as its released, we adjust the performance scores of all the devices to reflect the new data. For example, when we tested the Samsung Galaxy S8 in April, it received a 100-percent score because it posted the highest benchmarks, but that score dropped to 75-percent when the iPhone 8 was released in September. The 25-percent drop in the score doesn't mean that it's slower, it just reflects just how much faster the iPhone 8 was in comparison to the Galaxy S8.

In addition to the benchmark tests, I test each phone in real-world scenarios. I take hundreds of pictures and videos, surf the web, make phone calls, and play games. In addition, I use it for several days just like it was my own phone because I want to know how it feels in my hand and pocket. I note aspects that are annoying, like the absence of an audio jack, in addition to features that stand out, like the animoji.

Android, iOS or Windows Mobile

The first decision you need to make when picking a smartphone is probably the easiest: Which operating system should you choose? If you already have a preference, then this is an easy choice – go with whatever makes sense to you. Whatever a company's die-hard fans might say, Android isn't better than iOS, and iOS isn't better than Android. All operating systems have learning curves with advantages and disadvantages based on personal preference.

With that in mind, iOS is known to be user-friendly with features that work without problems, but it doesn't come with many customization options. The iOS also comes at a premium – iPhones are among the most expensive smartphones on the market.

If you prefer to customize how the OS operates, then the Android OS is the better pick. Since it's used by most smartphones, even the cheapest phones available, it doesn't come at a premium.

Windows Mobile, recently rebranded by Microsoft from Windows Phone, is the odd platform out. The OS is about to see some extreme revamping thanks to the release of Windows 10, and once that happens, it could well be a serious contender in the market. Until that time comes, however, Windows Mobile isn't as functional or reliable as Android or iOS. It takes more time and taps to do anything on a Windows Mobile device, and its app marketplace is dreadfully underwhelming.

Smartphone Pricing: Flagship, Budget and Mid-Tier

We've long since passed the point when people choose between smartphones and feature phones, or dumb phones, as they've come to be called. Every major carrier and minor cell phone provider offers phones with touchscreens and internet connectivity at virtually any price point – $1,000, $200, even $50. Often the price of the phone is wrapped into the monthly service cost, so upgrading from an iPhone 7 to an iPhone X may only mean that your monthly payment goes up. Still, the question is no longer, "Should I buy a smartphone?" Rather, we now ask ourselves, "Which smartphone is best for me?"

To answer this, it's easiest to break the market into three tiers – flagship, mid-tier and budget.

Flagship phones
Flagship phones are the top-tier, brand-defining devices that people line up and camp out for when released. These devices are meant to push the industry, to make progress, to change the way the world uses technology. They have impressive specifications and tons of raw power under the hood but are usually rather expensive off-contract, clocking in between $600 and $1,000. Samsung's Galaxy S series, HTC's One series, and Apple's iPhones are all flagship product lines.

Mid-Tier Phones
Mid-tier devices split the difference between flagship and budget. These mobile phones range from $150 to $400 off-contract and run either Android or the Windows Mobile operating system. Mid-tier phones are what you think of when you say to yourself, "I don't need the latest and greatest phone. I just want a phone that does what I need it to do." A few phones, like Google's Nexus line or the OnePlus series, are priced as mid-tier phones but deliver the power of flagships.

Budget phones
Budget phones are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Often available from prepaid cell phone providers, these devices can range anywhere from $1 to $100 but are usually around $40 or $50. They almost always run the Android operating system. However, the Android OS is usually a generation or two behind the most recent version. Budget phones are designed to be functional: They have cameras, internet connectivity, and the ability to stream music and video, but they often chug under heavy app loads and don't have the same build quality as more expensive options.