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Article updated on March 1, 2024 at 2:30 AM PST

Best Verizon Phone for 2024

Want a new Verizon phone? These are the best options.

Our Experts

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Written by 
Andrew Lanxon
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
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What to Consider

iOS or Android

Size

Cameras

Software support

Our Picks

$799 at Apple
Image of iPhone 15
Best iPhone for most people
iPhone 15
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$999 at Apple
Image of iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
Best all-round phone
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
View details
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$1,380 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Best premium Android phone
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
View details
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$599 at Best Buy
Image of Google Pixel 7 Pro
Superb Google-made Android phone
Google Pixel 7 Pro
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$499 at Best Buy
Image of Google Pixel 7A
Best budget Google phone
Google Pixel 7A
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$429 at Apple
iPhone SE 2022
Most affordable iPhone
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
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$365 at Amazon
Image of Google Pixel 6A
Cheapest Google phone
Google Pixel 6A
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$1,120 at Samsung
Image of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Best foldable phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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$170 at Motorola
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G
Best phone with a stylus
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G
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Verizon sells today's most popular smartphones including the Apple iPhone 15 Pro lineup and Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra. Those are far from the only phones worth considering. While the flagships from Apple and Samsung often dominate the market, several devices offer a very similar experience for a whole lot less. If you're a Verizon subscriber, you already have your pick of the best Verizon phones -- which include foldable phones; phones that come with larger-than-life displays; and phones that could probably give some flagships a run for their money.

We've done some digging to give you the straight talk on which Verizon phones deliver the goods. Read on to find the best Verizon phone for you and check out our tips on how to buy a new phone.

No matter what you want or use the phone for, there's a device for you. To simplify the decision, we've rounded up our top picks. Every phone on this list has been thoroughly reviewed and tested, and you'll find options across iPhone and Android that fit different needs and different budgets. Below we've picked the best Verizon phones you can get this year. Read on to learn more about the best Verizon phone for meeting your particular smartphone needs, and check out our tips for how to buy a new phone.

The Galaxy S24 series has arrived. We are working our way through thoroughly testing all three new models -- the Galaxy S24, S24 Plus and S24 Ultra -- and will update this list as soon as we're done. With the new phones out, Verizon still sells its S23 series at a discount, which makes some of them a great deal.

What is the best Verizon phone for most people?

The best phone for iPhone fans is the $799 iPhone 15. It has one of Apple's most recent processors, the A16 Bionic chip found in last year's iPhone 14 Pro, meaning it should support new software features for years to come. The iPhone 15 has the best balance of camera performance and features (like the Dynamic Island) that will feel new to those coming from older iPhones to satisfy most people.

For more info, read our guide to help find the best phone for your needs and take a look at our tips on how to buy a new Apple iPhone or Android phone and where to snag the best phone deals

$799 at Apple

Best iPhone for most people

iPhone 15

With the Dynamic Island, a USB-C port for more convenient charging and an upgraded camera with a higher resolution and a crisper zoom, the iPhone 15 is a significant upgrade for those with older iPhones. It feels like a scaled-back version of the iPhone 14 Pro, making Apple's entry-level iPhone 15 feel like a bigger leap forward than last year's.

The iPhone 15 is available in two size options: the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus. They run on the same chip as the iPhone 14 Pro, the A16 Bionic, which should bring notable performance upgrades to those with an iPhone that's several years old. These phones also have Apple's second-generation ultra wideband chip, enabling a new feature that makes it easier to find friends or family members in a crowd. 

Last year's iPhone 14 Pro may be a better choice if you can still find it through third-party retailers at a discount, particularly because it has a dedicated telephoto lens. The iPhone 15 is the most exciting upgrade Apple's standard iPhone has seen in years. Read our iPhone 15 and 15 Plus review

$999 at Apple

Best all-round phone

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

Apple gave its Pro models a glow-up with a refreshed lighter build, a new shortcut button and the world's smallest processor. It did all this while managing to keep that tried-and-true iPhone aesthetic front and center. They also made more of a differentiation between the Pro and Pro Max models. The 15 Pro also still has the same familiar 3x telephoto camera found on previous models while the Pro Max takes that zoom up to 5x which is great for keen photographers.

The brain behind the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max is the A17 Pro chip, which has the performance chops to handle console-tier video games like Resident Evil Village. If the A17 Pro chip is the brains, then iOS 17 is the 15 Pro and Pro Max's soul. The new OS is filled with lots of quality-of-life improvements throughout like StandBy mode, Check-In, Stickers in Messages and better autocorrect for the keyboard. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are some of the best phones released by Apple or any phone maker this year. Read our Apple iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max review.

$1,380 at Samsung

Best premium Android phone

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Galaxy S23 is a lot but in a good way. It's more than most people need in a phone, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Samsung made improvements to the camera's resolution (200 megapixels compared to 108 megapixels), color tones and dynamic range while retaining the same edgy design and massive 6.8-inch screen as its predecessor. There's also a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that's been optimized specifically for Samsung's phones, which brings faster performance compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. 

Starting at $1,200, it may be an understatement to call this phone expensive. Those willing to pay more for a giant screen and a high-quality, versatile camera won't be disappointed. Read our full review of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

$599 at Best Buy

Superb Google-made Android phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google's top-end Pixel 7 Pro packs a superb camera system, beautiful display and smooth Android 13 software into a refined glass and aluminum body. It does that while still managing to undercut some of its top rivals. It's not the most powerful phone around and its battery life could be better, but it offers a great overall experience that's well worth considering.

$499 at Best Buy

Best budget Google phone

Google Pixel 7A

Google's budget phone took a leap forward in 2023 with the Pixel 7A, which offers many of the same benefits as the Pixel 7 but at a cheaper price. Like the Pixel 7, the Pixel 7A runs on Google's Tensor G2 processor, meaning it has many of the same photo editing and language translation features as its pricier sibling. The Pixel 7A's 64-megapixel camera also takes excellent photos that rival the Pixel 7's in quality. 

While we still like the Pixel 7, the Pixel 7A's lower price makes it a better deal for most people. Only opt for the Pixel 7 if you really want a slightly larger screen and are willing to pay the extra $100 for it. Otherwise, the main differences between the Pixel 7 and 7A come down to the former's more durable build, slightly faster charging and its ability to wirelessly charge compatible accessories. The Pixel 7 also has a larger camera sensor that's more sensitive to light, according to Google, but CNET's Lisa Eadicicco didn't notice much of a difference.

$429 at Apple

Most affordable iPhone

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple's iPhone SE, introduced in 2022, is a mix of an older design with the latest smartphone features, including Apple's latest A15 Bionic chip and 5G support, for $429. It's also one of the few phones on the market that includes a smaller, 4.7-inch screen.

Yet it's that throwback design, which continues the general shape that Apple has used since 2014, that could be what you will love or dislike most about this phone. If you want a larger iPhone in this price range, you can also consider the iPhone 11 at $499 to get a bigger screen and Face ID. That phone, first released in 2019, doesn't include 5G connectivity.

$365 at Amazon

Cheapest Google phone

Google Pixel 6A

CNET's Lisa Eadicicco called the Google Pixel 6A the "best Android phone under $500" in her review, calling out its solid performance, its 5G connectivity and its excellent camera for its price. It's since been replaced by the Pixel 7A which offers better processor and camera performance, but you can still pick the 6A up for an even lower price. 

The phone has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 60Hz along with a 12.2-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. The Tensor chip allows for photo technology including the Real Tone skin tone feature, Face Unblur, Night Sight for darker photography and the Magic Eraser, which can remove unwanted elements from a photo.

$1,120 at Samsung

Best foldable phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the biggest leap forward Samsug's flip phone has seen in years. Samsung has significantly expanded the size of the cover screen located on the outside of the device, meaning you can look up directions, take photos and send messages without opening the phone. It's this combined with the Z Flip's solid battery life and sturdy design that makes it a top pick.

The Z Flip 5 may be our favorite flip phone, but there are still some drawbacks to be aware of. At $1,000, it's still expensive for a phone without a telephoto camera. Not all apps work natively on the front screen as they do on the Motorola Razr Plus. 

$170 at Motorola

Best phone with a stylus

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G

If you're looking for a good budget phone that comes with a basic stylus and support for 5G, then the Moto G Stylus 5 is a great pick. The phone has a stylus you can store inside it, along with a built-in Notes app to help with productivity. This phone also offers a triple-rear camera, 128GB of internal storage and a robust 4,000-mAh battery.

Other phones we tested

On the outside, the $699 iPhone 14 inherits the iPhone 13's tried and true flat-sided aluminum design. On the inside, Apple essentially repackaged the iPhone 13 Pro, sans the telephoto camera and high-refresh-rate screen. The result is lovely and the iPhone 14 is a good upgrade for most people. It has several safety tools including Crash Detection and satellite connectivity for sending emergency messages when you're out of range of a cell tower. The iPhone 14 also got an internal redesign that helps dissipate heat better and allows its glass back to be repaired more easily and for less money.

The $450 Samsung Galaxy A54 5G proves you can get a phone with solid performance for a very reasonable price. It packs a 6.4-inch display, an octa-core processor that offers enough power for daily essentials (including light gaming) and a camera that does a decent job of handling your out-and-about snaps. Its 128GB of storage will be enough for most people, and those who need more space can expand it with microSD cards up to 1TB in size.

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Factors to consider when buying a Verizon phone

Don't forget to buy a case or screen protector: You'll protect your phone from damage and increase its resale value.

Check out sales: Holidays usually mean discounts and deals on phones.

Go to a store first: The best way to know if you're going to love or hate a phone is to try it out in person.

Consider a more affordable phone: Features of last year's flagships always trickle down to this year's midrange handsets.

Check if you're already invested: Have you already bought a lot of iPhone apps and iTunes movies? Stick with an iPhone if you still want access to them. Likewise, if you've invested in loads of Android apps, you'll want to stay on that side of the fence. Otherwise, it's simple enough to switch platforms.

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How we test phones

We test every phone in real-world scenarios, focusing on its features, design, performance, cameras, battery life and overall value. We document our findings in an initial review that is periodically updated when there are new software updates, or to compare it against new phones from competitors such as Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus.

The author holding the Z Flip 5 up to take a photo.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 largely has the same camera hardware as the Z Flip 4. But the new chip brings some image processing improvements.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Photography

Photography is a major focus for most phones these days, so we take pictures and videos of various subjects in a variety of settings and lighting scenarios. We try out any new camera modes, such as Action mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line, or the Unblur photo tool that launched with the Google Pixel 7 series.

Battery life

Battery testing is conducted in a variety of ways. We assess how long a phone lasts during a typical day of use and note how it performs during more focused sessions of video calls, media streaming and gaming. We also conduct a video playback test, as a simple, replicable measure of pure battery life, which isn't always included in the initial review but sometimes added later in an update.

Performance measuring

We use benchmarking apps to measure each phone's performance, alongside our own anecdotal experiences using the phone for our review. Of note are how graphics and animations look. Are they smooth? Or do they lag or stutter? We also look at how quickly the phone switches between horizontal and vertical orientations, and how fast the camera app opens and is ready to take a photo.

A man holding an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a remote hillside

Emergency SOS might be one of the most important features to come out on any phone this year.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

We perform processor-heavy tasks like editing photos, exporting videos and playing games. We evaluate whether a newer version of a particular phone includes enough features to make it worth upgrading from older models.

Read more: How We Test Phones

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Phone FAQs

What makes a good phone camera?

All of today's phones pack some kind of camera setup on the back, with most packing multiple ones like ultrawide or telephoto zooms. More expensive phones, like the iPhone 15 Pro, use larger image sensors, better-quality lenses and image stabilization that let in more light, capturing detailed images with beautiful colors -- in daylight and at night. Typically, the more you pay, the better quality you'll get, with the most advanced features being reserved for the most expensive flagships.

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What is the best phone case?

There's a vast array of case options for almost every phone on the market, so which one is best really comes down to what you need it for. Many cases are simply there for the style. While these cases will certainly help keep light scratches and scuffs off your phone, you should look toward more specialized rugged cases if you want to take your smartphone on a rough-and-tumble adventure into the outdoors.

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How long should a phone battery last?

Most smartphones -- even those at the top end -- should be able to deliver a full day of mixed use out of a single charge. That means you should have a bit of juice left at the end of your day, but you should expect to give it a full charge when you plug it in next to your bed at night.

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How much storage should my phone have?

Most phones tend to come with a minimum of 128GB of storage, which is a good amount for apps, games and locally stored music. It's important to think about what you'll be doing with your phone. If you want to download and play a lot of games, then consider opting for a higher-capacity version.

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What makes a phone a smartphone?

Smartphones let you do more than just make calls; they connect to the internet for web browsing, you can download apps and games, and they typically have cameras capable of taking -- and displaying -- photos and videos. In short, they're just what we know of today as a "phone," and everything on this list qualifies as a smartphone.

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