The start of school is just around the corner, so what better way to prepare your kid (or yourself) for the lectures, studying sessions and after-class hangouts than with a new phone. To help you decide which ones to consider, CNET gathered our top picks for the season.
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Google Pixel 2
The pocketable 5-inch Pixel 2 has a water-resistant design and a superlative camera with optical image stabilization and excellent low-light shooting. Its Google Lens feature calls up a trove of information to help you explore your surroundings (perfect for looking up historical landmarks or book titles) and it comes with free unlimited cloud storage to upload all your school memories.
Though it's expensive any way you look at it, Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is ideal for a power user. Its embedded stylus coupled with an expansive 6.3-inch display means you can jot down lecture notes, sketches and memos quickly and easily. But it's not all business -- the phone also lets you send fun photo gifs to your friends and classmates.
The affordable OnePlus 6 proves that you can get a high-performing, premium Android phone even on a student's budget. Starting at $529, the phone is blazing fast, shoots amazing portrait mode photos and has a polished design. It also comes in a bunch of colors including black, white and red.
Though it came out last year, the Galaxy S8 Active is still a great device that's more durable than your average phone. With its rugged design, it can survive the on-the-go lifestyle of any student, plus its battery life is among the longest we tested.
While BlackBerry may not be the hottest phone company around, its keyboard-toting Key2 has the hardware you need for the overzealous typer. Packing a four-row physical QWERTY keyboard, you can let your fingers fly while texting your friend, writing an essay on the fly or jotting down class notes.
As one of the most expensive phones available, we'd suggest the iPhone X for someone who really deserves it (after all, it's a great motivator for good grades). So if you're ready to spoil your grad (or yourself), this phone delivers a gorgeous 5.8-inch screen, a rear-facing telephoto camera and a front-facing camera that snaps impressive portrait mode selfies.
If your grad follows the beat of his or her own drum, consider the G7 ThinQ.
It sort of flies under the radar as far as flagships go, but it packs all the power and punch as much as the next guy -- all at a lower cost depending on the carrier. The phone also features a secondary wide-angle camera lens, a water resistant design and a headphone jack.