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These are the best phones for any dad

A new toy for Dad? Indeed. The best and coolest kinds of toys.

Gordon Gottsegen
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
1 of 16 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.

2 of 16 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Mate 10 Pro packs in a big 6-inch screen with a big battery and high-quality Leica cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
3 of 16 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 your dad's photos pop.

4 of 16 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. You do lose the portrait camera, but it still takes fantastic shots and is one of the best Android phones you can buy.

5 of 16 Josh Miller

Galaxy Note 8

The Galaxy Note 8 is the only Android phone with a built-in stylus. If Dad finds himself always taking plenty of notes in meetings, this is the phone for him. 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.

6 of 16 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.

7 of 16 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 and 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 in quality.

8 of 16 Aloysius Low/CNET

LG V30

The LG V30 is LG's most powerful (and priciest) phone to date. It has a stunning 6-inch POLED display with high resolution for vivid colors and crisp pictures, plus it includes a lot of tools for capturing your own home movies. Could your dad be a budding filmmaker? 

9 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 8

If your dad 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. Basically it looks and feels like an iPhone 7 or iPhone 6S, but works much faster.

10 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 8 Plus

The main differences between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus are the larger size and rear camera for taking portrait shots. Also look out for the recently released red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

11 of 16 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.

12 of 16 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.

13 of 16 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.

14 of 16 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 Huawei's Honor website for $499.

15 of 16 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 the R11s on Amazon if you want to buy it in the US. Would your dad like the idea of scoring a deal by buying a phone on the open market? This might be the one. 

16 of 16 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 an iPhone SE 2 is on the way. Either wait for the update or see if the original SE price drops.

See more of our Father's Day tech gift guide here.

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