The Only Smartphones Worth Buying Right Now [RANKED]

HTC Windows 8x Phone BIG

Photo: Robert Libetti/ Business Insider

Happy New Year!We just finished a big pre-holiday release cycle for smartphones, so we’re in a bit of a lull until late winter or early spring. 

But there are still a bunch of great phones available, and many have dropped in price now that the holidays are officially over.

Check out the gallery below for our rankings of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

Note: We update this list approximately once a month. Our rankings are based on a variety of factors including design, software and hardware features, content selection, and price. You can see last month’s smartphone rankings here.

Cover image taken from Millennial Media’s Mobile Mix report.

#10 Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia's newest flagship phone, the Lumia 920, is one of the first devices to run the latest operating system from Microsoft called Windows Phone 8. Most consider the Lumia 920 to be the best representation of what Windows Phone is capable of.

If you're looking for a unique experience from Android or iPhone, the Lumia 920 is worth a look.

Click here for our full review of the Lumia 920 >

Price: $99.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T

#9 iPhone 4S

Even though it's well over a year old now, the iPhone 4S is still a great device because you still get access to Apple's excellent ecosystem of movies, music, and apps.

The iPhone 4S experience is nearly identical to the top-of-the-line iPhone 5, minus the lack of a 4G connection and bigger screen.

Price: Starts at $99 with a two-year contract (Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T)

#8 Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Galaxy Note II is a massive phone with a 5.5-inch display and a special stylus called the S Pen for writing or doodling on the screen.

It's a great phone, but the huge size and weight will turn off a lot of people. On the other hand, there are plenty of owners who love the form factor. We suggest trying the Note II before buying.

Click here for our full review of the Galaxy Note II >

Price: $299.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. The T-Mobile version costs $369.99 with a two-year contract.

#7 LG Optimus G

On paper, LG's new Optimus G is one of the most powerful smartphones you can buy today. It's not the prettiest phone, but it's a good option if you want a lot of horsepower.

Click here for our full review of the Optimus G >

Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T or Sprint

#6 HTC Windows Phone 8x

Microsoft has yet to find a smash hit Windows Phone, but we think HTC's Windows Phone 8x is the best device running the operating system right now.

The 8x is thin, light, and sports a beautiful polycarbonate plastic design. Plus it comes in a bunch of colours for those of you who want a little personality.

Click here for our full review of the Windows Phone 8x >

Price: Starts at $99.99 on AT&T or $99.99 on Verizon

#5 HTC One X+

HTC's One X+ was one of the best smartphones to launch in 2012. It's nearly identical to the HTC One X that launched early last year, but has a faster processor and more memory.

If you're an AT&T customer, the One X+ is one of the first phones to consider buying.

Click here for our full review of the HTC One X >

Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract on AT&T

#4 HTC Droid DNA

HTC's Droid DNA is the first smartphone that can play full 1080p HD video. Impressive.

Even though the DNA has a big 5-inch screen, the device doesn't feel absurdly large. It's the best phone HTC makes right now.

Click here for our full review of the Droid DNA >

Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon

#3 Google Nexus 4

Google's latest flagship phone, the Nexus 4, is an incredible deal considering you can buy it unlocked and contract-free for a fraction of the price of other unlocked phones.

There is one big downside: The Nexus 4 won't connect to 4G LTE networks, meaning you'll be stuck with slower 3G data speeds in most areas.

Click here for our full review of the Nexus 4 >

Price: Google sells the unlocked model starting at $299. You can get it from T-Mobile for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

#2 Samsung Galaxy S III

After all this time, we still think Samsung's Galaxy S III is the best Android phone you can buy today. It has the best design, best screen, and best software features compared to the rest of the Android phones out there.

The Galaxy S III's price has dropped on several carriers recently, so you're getting an incredible smartphone for just the fraction of the cost of a comparable iPhone or other top-tier device.

Click here for our full Samsung Galaxy S III review >

Price: Starts at $199.99 with a two-year contract, but price varies by carrier (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular) Lately, some carriers have been offering discounts as low as $49.99, so shop around.

#1 iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is the best smartphone for most people. As with all iOS-based products, you're guaranteed to get access to the best apps, best content, and incredible customer service in case something goes wrong.

No other phone can offer that.

Click here for our iPhone 5 review >

Price: Starts at $199 with a two-year contract (Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T)

BONUS: The new BlackBerrys will be here soon

RIM is holding a big press event on Jan. 30 to unveil the final version of its new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, and at least one new smartphone. The phone is expected to launch shortly after the event to hit RIM's target Q1 launch.

Click here for leaked photos of the next BlackBerry >

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