Why You Can Trust CNET

We handpick the products and services we write about. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

These are the phones you should buy mom for Mother's Day

Your mom deserves the world, but settle for giving her one of these phones instead.


Gordon Gottsegen

See full bio
1 of 18

Best phones for a Mother's Day gift

Flowers and chocolates are too cliche. After all that she's done for you, the  mom in your life deserves a new phone. From the most cutting-edge tech to bargain gems, we guide you through some great options. 

2 of 18 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei dropped the price of the Mate 10 Pro specifically for Mother's Day gift. If you buy from Best Buy, Amazon, Newegg or B&H between May 6 and 9, you can get it for $650, which is $150 off the retail price. The Mate 10 Pro packs in a big 6-inch screen with a big battery and high quality Leica cameras.

3 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone X

For longtime iPhone users, the iPhone X tops them all. It's a splurge, but one that comes with wireless charging, Face ID to unlock the phone with a glance, and a slimmer build than the iPhone 8 Plus. Plus, it's got a great camera with dramatic lighting modes.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
4 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Galaxy S9 Plus tops the iPhone X in low light photography. Take a photo and the variable aperture lens will automatically adjust the lighting -- photos in dark scenes are seriously bright. Plus, portrait mode will help her photos pop.

5 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9

The slightly cheaper, slightly smaller Galaxy S9 has the same gorgeous screen and curved glass as the Galaxy S9 Plus, but it fits even better into smaller hands. You do lose the portrait camera, but it still takes fantastic shots and is one of the best Android phones you can buy.

6 of 18 Josh Miller

Galaxy Note 8

For the mom who loves jotting notes or forever searches for pen and paper to let the little ones draw while out and about, the Galaxy Note 8 is the only Android phone with a built-in stylus. It also boasts top of the line specs like water-resistance, a dual camera that can take portrait shots, wireless charging and a huge 6.3-inch screen.

7 of 18 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact

On the other end of the size spectrum, the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is a rare 5-inch phone that can shoot high-quality 4K HDR photos and video, as well as super slow motion shots. You can pick it up at Best Buy or Amazon.

8 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Pixel 2

The Google Pixel 2 comes from the company behind the Android OS. It has excellent integration with Google services, a clean layout and will be the first to get the latest Android update, so it'll continue feeling fresh. Its camera is also right up there.

9 of 18 Aloysius Low/CNET

LG V30

The LG V30 is the LG most powerful (and priciest) phone to date. It has a stunning 6-inch POLED display that has a high resolution for vivid colors and crisp pictures, plus it includes a lot of tools for capturing your own home movies.

10 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 8

If mom wants a smaller, more straightforward new iPhone, but doesn't want to give up the home button, go for the iPhone 8. It's got plenty of Apple's new iPhone tech like wireless charging and a fast A11 processor. It looks and feels like an iPhone 7 or iPhone 6S, but works much faster.

11 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 8 Plus

The main difference between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus is the larger size and rear camera for taking portrait shots. Also look out for the recently released red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. If you're mom would appreciate the extra pizzazz, the red color will absolutely turn heads.

12 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto G6

Motorola's Moto G line has been a longtime budget favorite of ours, and we have high hopes for the $249 Moto G6. The new phone sports a dual camera on the back, a slim design and the most recent version of Android. It'll go on sale in late spring, so keep your eyes peeled.

13 of 18 Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Moto G6 Play

For long battery life, the even cheaper Moto G6 Play will only set you back $199 and has a large 4,000mAh battery. It's also slated to appear in stores in late spring.

14 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

A tougher version of the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Active lasted 24 hours in our looping video drain tests and is tough enough that you won't need to buy a case. This phone is all about peace-of-mind, and you can get it at AT&T.

15 of 18 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Honor View 10

Not too cheap, not too pricey, but just right. The Huawei Honor View 10 is a strong performer with dual-cameras and good specs, but it's much cheaper than the premium Android competition. You can score one on the Honor website for $499.

16 of 18 Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo R11s

Another good camera phone that's a couple hundred bucks less is the Oppo R11s. Oppo is a Chinese company, but you can find it on Amazon if you want to buy it in the US. This is an option for those who aren't afraid of buying a phone on the open market.

17 of 18 @evleaks

LG G7 ThinQ

The LG G7 ThinQ will be another 2018 contender to the Galaxy S9. LG officially takes the wraps off the phone on May 2, so we don't know yet if it'll go on sale in time for Mother's Day, but we expect it to come to all carriers, so it's one to keep an eye on.

18 of 18 Sarah Tew/CNET

What about the iPhone SE?

The small-but-good iPhone SE is the simplest iPhone you can buy. We love it because it's comfortable to use one-handed and small enough to pocket. But it's also rumored to get an upgrade in the form of the iPhone SE 2. Either wait for the update or see if the original SE price drops.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

43 Photos
59 Weird Objects Seen on Mars, Explained

More Galleries

59 Weird Objects Seen on Mars, Explained

62 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

82 Photos
2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid Is a Proper Land Yacht

More Galleries

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid Is a Proper Land Yacht

46 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos