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Best phones to gift your dad for Father's Day

CNET's top phone picks for Dad on Father's Day.

A Dad phone is no joke. It's got to be cool so the kids won't be embarrassed when he takes it out of his pocket in front of their friends. It needs to have a big, sharp screen so he can hand it to a child in the back seat to watch videos and buy time on the way to the in-laws. And it should have a good camera to capture photos of the family on vacation. If you're looking to get Dad a phone he'll love for Father's Day, here are CNET's top choices for phones that should be up for the job.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Moto G7

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If you're on a tight gift budget, don't be lured by one of Apple's or Samsung's flagship phones. At $300, the Motorola Moto G7 is a great budget phone that looks sharp, packs two rear cameras, offers solid battery life, and runs a near stock version of Android. The single speaker sounds OK and low-light photos aren't great, but for 300 bucks, Dad can tolerate just-OK night-time photos.

Pixel 3A

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Costing a bit more than the Moto G7, the $400 Pixel 3A packs the same top-of-the-line camera as Google's flagship Pixel 3 phone and captures amazing night-time photos. It comes in black, the lightest of light purples and white, and you can get a matching fabric case that offers lots of gription so the phone doesn't slip out of Dad's hand. It's not water resistant and doesn't have wireless charging, but it does have a handy headphone jack on top.

Razer Phone 2

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A hot-rod Android phone for the gamer dad, the Razer Phone 2 offers a bright screen, amazing built-in speakers, wireless charging and compatibility with 2TB microSD cards for extra storage. The camera and battery life are just adequate, however, for this otherwise impressive and affordable mobile device.

BlackBerry Key2

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Does Dad claim life was better when phones sensibly came with physical keyboards? You can stop reading here because the BlackBerry Key2 is the phone for him. Equipped with a QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Key2 has excellent battery life and takes crisp daytime photos. It does struggle in weak low-light photography, and its navigation buttons can get in the way.

OnePlus 7 Pro

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If you want to get Dad a phone that attracts attention, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a good place to start. It's packed with just about every cool phone feature that's come out in the last year or so, including an in-display fingerprint sensor and multiple rear cameras. But the one feature Dad may want to fidget with most is the front-facing camera, which pops out of the top of the phone to take selfies and portraits.

iPhone XR

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Does Dad want something sensible? The iPhone XR strikes a great balance between price and features, with an excellent big screen, fast performance, Face ID and wireless charging, and a camera that's mostly as good as the iPhone XS. Its single rear camera lacks optical zoom, however, and it has a limited portrait mode. It also comes with an LCD screen versus the iPhone XS' OLED. But for hundreds less, it delivers most of the advantages of the iPhone XS.

Galaxy S10 Plus

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This is a killer phone for Dad -- or anyone else: It has a phenomenal AMOLED screen, great battery life and loads of useful camera tools to make images captured with the standard 12-megapixel lens, telephoto lens and ultrawide lens pop. It does lag behind the Pixel 3 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro for capturing amazing night shots.

Huawei P30 Pro

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If it's all about the photos, the Huawei P30 Pro captures astounding images -- including in low light -- and has great battery life. It is also a handsome phone that shouldn't cause embarrassment when Dad uses it in public. It does lag behind other top phones in processor performance, and it lacks a headphone jack.

But with the US government ramping up its pressure on this Chinese company, skip this one if Dad works for Uncle Sam -- or if he needs US-based customer support. (The phones are sold only via third parties online.)

iPhone XS Max

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If Dad's looking for luxury, the iPhone XS Max is the XR's more accomplished -- and more expensive -- sibling. It sports a big, brilliant display and solid battery life. It's plenty fast, durable and water resistant. Its two rear cameras capture high-quality images and it offers dual-SIM support. And starting at $1,099, Dad will know money was no object.

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Apple iPhone XS Max (64GB, space gray)
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