The 10 Best Verizon Smartphones to Buy in 2018

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If you’ve selected Verizon as your carrier of choice, you can rest comfortably knowing that its large network is matched by an equally large selection of superb phones. From flagships to budget-priced, there’s no shortage of choices whether you are team Android or team iPhone. Verizon’s claim of having the widest coverage is only as good as the device that runs on it, and we’ve looked at Big Red’s entire smartphone lineup, so read on to see which one best suits you.

Our Top Picks

Best Apple: iPhone Xs

iPhone Xs
 Courtesy of Best Buy

As a proper successor to the iPhone X, the Xs is the best Apple smartphone out there for Verizon customers. It has the same design qualities everyone loves about the X — the OLED screen, the nearly bezel-less look, the premium build materials — with a few choice upgrades that give you some great value. First, the screen resolution is befitting of today’s expectations: a 5.8-inch Super Retina with a 2436 x 1125 pixel count (that’s 458 ppi). There’s now IP68 water/dust resistance, allowing you to submerge this phone up to two meters for as long as 30 minutes without issue. The upgraded A12 Bionic chip amps up the speed and bolsters the neural engine for improved AI, FaceID, and more.

The other centerpiece here is the camera system. The rear-facing setup offers two 12MP sensors: one with a wide-angle lens, the other with a telephoto lens. The front system has a 7MP selfie cam. Both have image stabilization, and both benefit from Apple’s latest software upgrade. You can now take layered composite HDR shots that take both over- and under-exposed pictures and blend them for the ideal light response. You can also employ an updated portrait mode for beautiful, software-realized background bokeh blur that can actually be adjusted after you take the picture. You can pick up this phone in silver, space gray or gold, and you can opt for 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. And with a stainless steel edge, glass front and back, and the latest iOS 12 loaded in, this phone truly feels like a premium Apple product.

Want to take a look at some other options? Check out our guide to figure out which iPhone you should buy

Runner-Up, Best Apple: iPhone X

iPhone X
Courtesy of VerizonWireless.com

Apple's iPhone X has an outstanding 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED screen. Fortunately, the iPhone X has even more than just the display to win you over, including the True Depth camera for popular features like portrait photography, wireless charging and the addition of Face ID, which finally does away with Apple’s familiar home button for facial unlocking. Apple’s jump into the Facial ID arena also transitions Apple Pay from a fingerprint-based payment system to scanning your face to confirm payment. Even the addition of Animoji allows you to unlock your inner panda or robot for great conversation with friends and family. The dual 12-megapixel cameras on the rear are easily Apple’s best yet, with larger sensors producing incredible results that will have you leaving the DSLR at home.

Best Samsung: Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9
 Courtesy of Verizon

The first flagship smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 845 processor, the Galaxy S9 is a speedy Android device that captures excellent photos. With 4K video recording (at 30 fps or 60fps) on board, the 12-megapixel rear camera immediately stands out for its optical image stabilization, 8x digital zoom and dual aperture for capturing more light in every photo. For video playback, the Galaxy S9 adds Dolby Atmos technology and stereo speakers tuned by AKG that feature 40 percent more sound than the previous Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. Samsung’s intelligent Bixby system, a smart personal assistant, is built right into the camera and learns to tell you the number of calories in your mal or translate foreign languages so you can read a menu. Add in water-resistance, a 3,000mAh battery and 64GB of storage and the Galaxy S9 is one of the most versatile smartphones Verizon customers can choose from.

Runner-Up, Best Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
 Courtesy of Verizon

With a network like Verizon, offering coverage and speeds that stand pretty far ahead of the pack, you need a phone that can take that coverage and run with it. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 steps up the previous generation in a few really amazing ways. First off, their new S Pen, though still a great sketching tool, is now a full-on Bluetooth expression device (you can even use it as an external camera shutter). The 6.4-inch screen has also been taken to the next level, sporting a Quad HD+ resolution (2960 x 1440, 516 ppi) brightened up with the Super AMOLED tech. The selfie cam is 8MP, while the rear cameras are 12MP wide-angle and 12MP telephoto. Plus, the wide-angle lens offers an amazing variable aperture (f/1.5 or f/2.4). The camera will shoot up to 4K video at up to 60 fps, and Samsung has equipped the system with some interesting AI features.

Another standout feature here is the battery: At 4,000 mAh, Samsung is giving you a truly massive power bank that's further bolstered by fast-charging capabilities. The processor is a 64GB Octa-Core running at speeds up to 2.8GHz. You can pick up the phone with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of space or 8GB of RAM and 512GB of space, but in either case, you can expand it up to 512GB more with a micro SD. Even the speakers are upgraded with high-quality, AKG-tuned, Dolby Atmos sound. If you’re a Samsung fan, it’s really hard to go wrong with this offering.

See more reviews of our favorite Samsung phones available for purchase.

Best LG: LG G7 ThinQ

LG G7 ThinQ
Courtesy of Verizon 

The LG G7 ThinQ is a proper flagship from a line of phones that has been turning heads for a few years now, and while it doesn’t offer anything that the other flagships don’t, it doesn’t leave too much on the table either. For starters, the thing is powerful — it puts an octa-core 2.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at its center that puts many lower-end laptops to shame. To add to that power, there is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (that you can bolster with more space if you toss in a micro SD card). The 6.1-inch QHD+ screen offers 1,000 nits of brightness, and with a resolution of 3120 x 1440, you’re going to want to see every inch of the screen’s brilliance. There’s a 16MP camera on the back and an 8MP camera on the front and holds its own with the rest of the smartphone pack. But what may be the unsung hero of this phone is its software skin. In a world where people love Google’s stock Android feel and are growing increasingly tired of Samsung’s heavy-handed approach, LG’s refreshingly basic skin gives you Google Assistant, some interesting menu customization, and even hides the notch in the display while using some stock LG apps, making the phone seem truly bezel-less.

Check out our guide to the best LG phones.

Runner-Up, Best LG: LG V30

LG V30
Courtesy of VerizonWireless.com

Right off the bat, LG’s FullVision 2880 x 1440 six-inch OLED display captures your attention as its beautiful colors and rich visuals look great previewing photos or playing back 4K videos recorded at 30fps. The LG’s dual rear cameras help make the display even more valuable, with a 16-megapixel standard-angle lens and a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens that can easily be previewed, edited and shared all while seen in HDR+ glory on the V30’s display.

Powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, the 3300mAh battery lasts nearly 38 hours on Verizon’s LTE advanced network. Helping to differentiate the LG from the competitive pack is the inclusion of Hi-Fi Quad AC, which brings digital filters and sound presets directly to your smartphone for a playback experience that’s unlike anything else across the smartphone world. Water-resistant and military tested for durability, the LG V30 adds the best of both Verizon and Android worlds and combines them for one fantastic smartphone.

Best HTC: HTC U12+

HTC's new U12+ surprised a lot of tech reviewers as a serious contender on the 2018 smartphone market. First, the look of the phone is expectedly sleek, giving you a few color options and a semi-translucent back (a great touch that lets you see the phone’s inner workings). There’s a 6-inch display with a QHD+ resolution (2880 x 1440), impressive color gamut, and HDR support. The 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor gives you speeds of 2.8 GHz, and the 6GB of RAM offers a ton of power, no matter how much you’re throwing at this thing. The camera system appears to be where HTC has placed most of its efforts though, offering dual sensors on the back (a 16MP telephoto and a 12MP wide angle) and a dual-lens system on the front with a pair of 12MP cams. In fact, according to the manufacturer, these cameras have the highest score of any smartphone camera on the market.

Best Prepaid: Moto E4 Plus

For the past few generations, Motorola has really been gunning for market share solely on the back of its battery capacity and operation. And for the E4 Plus, it seems they have succeeded, for the most part. At 5,000 mAh, Moto advertises that this smartphone can last up to two days, depending on use — a figure that is practically unheard of for any phone that isn’t a tank or a flip phone. The 5.5-inch display only offers HD resolution (not 4K or QHD) and the main camera gives you 13MP. These aren't exactly top-tier specs. But they have included a water-repellent coating and a fingerprint unlock option to keep up with the other flagships. The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor only offers 1.4 GHz of speeds, and there’s 2GB of RAM here, both of which are on the lower range of modern smartphones. But, to be honest, it should run smoothly enough, and all of those restrictions in features will actually end up giving the battery even more headroom.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Motorola phones on the market today.

Best Value: Moto Z3

Motorola Z3

Courtesy of Motorola 

Good news, Verizon users. With the Motorola Moto Z3, you have access to the first smartphone to promise 5G capabilities thanks to the phone’s 5G Mod. Available in early 2019, the mod will connect to Verizon’s millimeter-wave 5G network to allow for speeds that are up to ten times faster to what users currently get. Containing its own modem, it will also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot and a USB-C modem for a PC.

While you might have to wait to take advantage of the new network, the device itself is a strong competitor among other mid-priced smartphones. Its Snapdragon 835 processor, 64 GB of storage, and 3,000mAh battery make it reliable throughout the day, and Moto Actions allow you to make gestures — like twisting or chopping motions — to launch different apps. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the right, and though the phone no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, the USB-C dongle provides the option of wired audio. Visuals are dynamic and bright thanks to the six-inch, 2160 x 1080 AMOLED screen that offers 402 pixels per inch. 

Best 2018 Release: iPhone Xs Max

iPhone Xs Max
Courtesy of Best Buy

While the iPhone Xs has earned our top iPhone spot on the list, we’re giving the Xs Max the “Best 2018 Release” spot because it finally takes the edge-to-edge design of the X and gives you an even bigger screen. In fact, at 6.5 inches measured diagonally, it technically gives you more screen than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. The display’s size doesn’t hamper the looks either, because it’s an OLED Super Retina screen with a resolution of 2688 x 1242 and a ppi of 458. No sacrificing sharpness here. Add that in with the newly updated A12 Bionic chip, which gives you boosted speeds and an upgraded AI-focused neural network, and you have a powerhouse of a phone.

The rear-facing camera system employs two 12MP sensors for the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, giving you some great flexibility for photography. The front-facing camera has a 7MP sensor which, though relatively low on resolution, works pretty well with the image stabilization and latest iOS software. And that software is where the real upgrade is. Apple has been hard at work to compete with phone cameras from Samsung and Google, and they've delivered. The Xs Max has a truly modern HDR layering function, stellar low-light performance, 4K video recording, and even the ability to adjust the background blur of portrait mode photos after you’ve taken them. Pick up the phone in one of three colors (silver, space gray, and the new gold) with internal storage options ranging from 64GB to 512GB.

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