Are you ready for the holidays?
Smartphone makers sure are. There are a ton of new devices out this fall, just in time for the big holiday shopping season.
So which phones should you be looking at? Here’s our ranking of the best smartphones available.
Note: We update this list approximately once a month. We did not have a ranking in August or September as there was a brief lull in new smartphone releases. Our rankings are based on a variety of factors including design, software and hardware features, content selection, and price. We only consider phones that are on sale in the U.S. at the time of publication. You can see July’s smartphone rankings here.
Even though it hasn't been a hit with consumers, the BlackBerry Z10 is still a pretty good phone.
The device is the first to run BlackBerry's new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which is pretty good but doesn't offer much past what iPhones and Android phones can do. BlackBerry 10 also has a very poor app selection, so you shouldn't buy this phone if you like having the latest and greatest apps.
If you absolutely must have a phone with a physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Q10 is your best (and pretty much only) option.
Like the Z10, the Q10 runs the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The phone is great for those who want an old-school look and feel. However, the only reason to buy this phone is for the keyboard. There are far better options out there.
By most accounts, Nokia's flagship phone, the Lumia 1020, has the best camera of any smartphone. If photos are your top priority, then this should be one of the first phones you look at.
But there are a few drawbacks. The Lumia 1020 is very thick and heavy compared to most smartphones in order to make room for that fancy camera. There's even a giant bulge on the back. It's also a Windows Phone, which doesn't have the same robust app selection as iPhone or Android.
Price: $199.99 on AT&T.
Nokia's Lumia 925 is the best Windows phone you can buy. It's the most attractive of Nokia's Lumia devices and includes a really good camera. If you're interested in Windows Phones, this is the first smartphone to consider.
LG's Optimus G Pro is the company's flagship phablet, or smartphone with a screen so huge that it's almost a tablet. The Optimus has a 5.5-inch display that can play full 1080p HD video. If you like giant screens, this is a great device.
Price: $99.99 on AT&T.
The G2 is LG's newest flagship smartphone. It has a gorgeous 5-inch display and one of the most current versions of Android. But it does have one odd design quirk: the power and volume buttons are located on the back of the phone, making it a but awkward to use at first.
Samsung popularised the 'phablet' category with the Galaxy Note two years ago. Now the phone is in its third generation with the Galaxy Note III.
The Galaxy Note III has the biggest screen yet, 5.7 inches, yet its body is actually thinner and lighter than last year's model. It also comes with a special stylus called the S Pen for drawing or taking notes.
Google's Nexus phones are designed to show off the best Android has to offer. Google's current flagship phone is the Nexus 4, which is made by LG. You can buy the Nexus 4 unlocked for a steal at just $US199. However, Google is gearing up to release its next Nexus phone as soon as this month, so you might want to wait.
Price: Starts at $US199, unlocked. Works on AT&T or T-Mobile.
The iPhone 5C is one of Apple's two new iPhones. It replaces the iPhone 5 in Apple's smartphone lineup, but that's because it has most of the same specs and features.
The only difference is that the iPhone 5C is made out of plastic that comes in five colour options: blue, pink, green, yellow, or white.
Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 phone was one of the most hyped devices of the year. It's a good phone, but could be a bit too much for some people. That's because Samsung packed the S4 full of noisy and complex features that you'd probably never use. It's also covered in cheap-feeling plastic, which could be a turn off for some people.
Samsung and Google have partnered together to offer a special edition of the Galaxy S4. The 'Google Edition' strips out all the software extras from Samsung and instead has a 'clean' version of Android, straight from Google.
The basic version of Android is one of the best, and it's great to see it running on Samsung's powerful hardware.
Price: $649, unlocked from Google. Will work on AT&T and T-Mobile.
The Moto X is one of the best phones we've used recently. It runs a nearly clean version of Android, but Motorola added a few hand tricks like the ability to quickly check notifications from the lock screen.
AT&T customers can also customise the Moto X design with a variety of colour options.
If you're interested in Android and are locked into a carrier contract, the HTC One is the best phone you can buy.
It has all the best features of any Android phone, wrapped in a gorgeous all-metal design. It's the first Android phone to match Apple's iPhone in design and build quality.
Just like Samsung, HTC partnered with Google to create a 'Google Edition' of its flagship smartphone.
The HTC One Google edition is the best Android phone on the planet. It has the same great design as the one running HTC's software, but has a clean version of Android without any unnecessary extras.
Price: $599 unlocked from Google. Will work on AT&T and T-Mobile.
For most people, the iPhone 5S is the best smartphone available.
It strikes the perfect balance of great design, useful features, and app and content selection. The iPhone 5S looks nearly identical to last year's iPhone 5, but sports a better camera and a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone without a passcode.
HTC is expected to announce the HTC One Max, a giant-sized version of its flagship One phone, some time in October.
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