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Phones without a headphone jack

Continuing a trend that started in 2016 with Lenovo/Motorola and Apple, phone makers are turning away from the 3.5mm headphone jack and selling more phones that exclude this feature.

There are a handful of reasons for doing this, like saving space for other key components inside or eliminating it for better water resistance. But with these phones, users have to listen to their calls and music with either wireless Bluetooth headphones, or USB Type-C and Lightning port headphones. 

To see which phones waved goodbye to the headphone jack, click through the slideshow. And be sure to check out "22 great phones with headphone jacks you can buy right now."

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL

With a single rear lens, the Pixel 3 and the larger 3 XL take brilliant photos, even in super low-light. The phones also have a second wide-angle front-facing camera, a water resistant design, wireless charging and they can screen unwanted calls. In addition, unlike last year, the phones come bundled with their own pair of earbuds.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone XS, XS Max and XR

Both the iPhone XS and XS Max (left and right) have improved dual cameras, a faster processor, faster face ID and they add dual SIM support. Meanwhile, the iPhone XR (middle), which comes in a variety of colors, delivers nearly the same features as the XS duo, but at hundreds less.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto Z3 and Z3 Play

The Moto Z3 is only available to US customers on the carrier Verizon. It's a reliable midranger that works with an upcoming modular accessory that will connect the phone to faster 5G network speeds. Meanwhile, the Moto Z3 Play (pictured here) comes with an extra battery pack that gives it two-day battery life. Its take on Android 8.0 Oreo is a pleasure to use, and the fingerprint sensor on the phone's right side is easy to reach.

Published:Caption:Photo:Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

OnePlus 6T

Though it doesn't have a headphone jack or a water-resistant design, the OnePlus 6T offers top-notch hardware including a lightning-speed processor and an excellent camera for hundreds of dollars less than its competitors. For US customers, it works on Verizon's network.  

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact

The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact can shoot HDR photos with 4K resolution and record super slow-motion video at 1080p resolution. For the most part the phones share similar specs, but the XZ2 Compact (left) is smaller, with a 5-inch display, while the XZ2 has a 5.7-inch screen.    

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC U12 Plus

While you can find the U12 Plus through online retailers and HTC's own site, this vivid, translucent phone won't sell with a carrier. That's a shame -- the squeezable phone brings innovation to a stagnant playing field.

Published:Caption:Photo:Juan Garzon/CNET

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

You can't buy it in the US, but the Mate 20 Pro's impressive list of features (like an in-screen fingerprint reader and an eye-catching design) puts it unquestionably among the top phones of the year.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone 2

Despite its unimpressive battery life, the Razer Phone 2 adds IP67 water resistance, a brighter 120Hz screen and wireless charging. That's on top of its great gaming performance and amazing built-in speakers.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Oppo Find X

The Find X has a beautiful design, a super-cool camera that pops out of its body and a long battery life with fast charging. It also has top-of-the-line features such as 3D face scanning for unlocking.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Juan Garzon / CNET

Xiaomi Mi 8, 8 SE and 8 Explorer Edition

The Mi 8 (left and right) looks strikingly similar to the iPhone X, including its on-screen notch and vertically stacked cameras. There's also a smaller variant known as the Mi 8 SE that has a 5.88-inch display and a slower processor. As for the Mi 8 Explorer Edition (middle), it sports a transparent glass back panel and it's the first Android phone to have a 3D face unlocking feature that projects over 30,000 infrared points on the face.

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Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

The P20 (right) takes terrific low-light photos from its dual rear camera. It comes in some astounding colors and is small enough to use with one hand. The P20 Pro (left) goes a step further and adds three cameras on the back. 

But if you're in the US, good luck finding these phones. In February, the heads of the FBI, CIA and NSA all expressed security concerns over the company's phones. Since then, AT&T and Verizon reportedly torpedoed plans to carry other Huawei handsets and Best Buy dumped Huawei as a customer.

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Axon 9 Pro

Announced at the IFA 2018 conference in August, the Axon 9 Pro was ZTE's first phone to launch after striking a billion-dollar deal with the US government that ended ZTE's import ban over violating trade sanctions. Some of its features include a water resistant design and a 6.21-inch, 1080p AMOLED display.

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Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X

With Apple's 2017 line of iPhones, which include (from left to right) the iPhone 8X and 8 Plus, the company finally introduced wireless charging capabilities. During the same announcement, Apple unveiled its charging pad, known as AirPower. However, more than a year later, there's still no news on when that product will launch.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL

Even though they came out last year, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL still have superb cameras that take clear low-light shots. They're also water resistant and were one of the first phones to come with Google Lens built in, which called up a trove of information to help you explore your surroundings.

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

HTC U11 and U11 Life

The U11 (left) gives you excellent performance, a gorgeous design, water resistance and a big-screen for much less than the U12 Plus. Meanwhile, the smaller U11 Life (right) has squeezable sides, an attractive design and decent midrange specs.

Published:Caption:Photo:Juan Garzón/CNET

Motorola Moto Z2 Force

The slim Moto Z2 Force had one of the best batteries we tested in 2017. Better still, it kept true to its namesake and survived several hard drops without shattering.

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The Essential Phone

Created by the founder of Android, the Essential phone is especially appealing now that it has a new low price of $499 (roughly £360 or AU$635). It feels brilliant in the hand and it's one of the fastest phones we've tested. It's compatible with all major US carriers and its once wonky camera app is now totally usable.

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HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play

Though we just couldn't get over its expensive price when it launched, we'll admit that the U Ultra (left) had a sharp design, crisp display and loud speakers. A secondary display gave quick access to notifications and app shortcuts too. Fortunately there was the smaller U Play (right), which was meant to be the more affordable version of the U Ultra. It too used artificial intelligence software to give you a more streamlined experience.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Phone

In 2017, the Razer Phone gave us the smoothest Android experience at the time. It was also built like a tank, and its twin Dolby-powered speakers blew away the competition. Indeed, it set a new bar for mobile performance (and game responsiveness) with its 120Hz screen and loud speakers, but we didn't consider it a top-tier phone in any other way.

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Xiaomi Mi 6

Though it was only sold in China, the Mi 6 showed off a premium body and top-of-the-line hardware that could compete against the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 at the time. But its dual-camera setup wasn't great and the phone's glass back was slippery to hold.

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Mate 10 Pro is sleek and solid, powerful and takes great photos in both color and black and white. It's also water resistant and battery life is superb. In general, it earns its place in the high-end big-screen pack.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

As the first iPhones to abandon the headphone jack, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus made quite a stir during their debut in 2016. They're still available to buy and you'll get a reliable camera, decent processing speeds and a solid-state home button (unlike the iPhone X-series).

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto Z and Z Force

Before the iPhone 7 grabbed headlines for its lack of a headphone jack, Lenovo and Motorola were already ahead of the game. Their Moto Z and Z Force from 2016 didn't include the audio port either. They were also the first line of Moto phones that had magnetic pins on the back that allowed you to swap out modular accessories. These accessories either acted as a customizable back cover or enhanced the phone by increasing battery life or pumping out music through a speaker.

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