Carriers and manufacturers are offering big discounts on top-tier smartphones this summer in preparation for new devices launching this fall.
Plus, there are a bunch of relatively new devices that have launched in recent months from just about every big name in the smartphone business.
Here’s what you should be looking at.
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. We only consider phones that are on sale in the US at the time of publication. You can see last month’s smartphone rankings here.
The Q10 is BlackBerry's first device running the company's new BlackBerry 10 operating system with a physical keyboard.
It's a good phone, but you should only consider buying it if having a keyboard is the only feature you really care about. New BlackBerry 10 phones don't have a good app selection, and the Q10's touchscreen is much smaller than other top-tier phones.
Even though the iPhone 4S is approaching its second birthday, it's still a pretty good phone if you're on a budget. Plus you get access to the best ecosystem of apps, games, movies, and music from Apple.
Samsung still sells its flagship phone from last year, the Galaxy S III. The phone is nearly identical to the current flagship Galaxy S4, but has a slightly smaller screen, thicker body, and fewer software features.
The Z10 is BlackBerry's first phone to run the company's new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10.
The Z10 is a solid piece of hardware, plus BlackBerry 10 is an impressive mobile operating system. Unfortunately, the phone has a pretty weak app selection compared to the iPhone and Android phones. If you like apps and games, you're going to be disappointed
Nokia's flagship 900-series Lumia Windows Phones come in two varieties now: The Lumia 920 and Lumia 928. On the inside, both are pretty much the same phone. The only big differences between the two are the design and carrier.
The Lumia 920 is only available on AT&T and the Lumia 928 is only available on Verizon.
Samsung popularised the phablet category (phones with screens so large that they're almost tablets) with the Galaxy Note.
The Newest Galaxy Note II is a great phone, assuming you're OK with the massive screen.
LG's new phablet, the Optimus G Pro, is the best device in the category you can buy.
Its 5.5-inch display is sharper than the Galaxy Note II's screen, and the phone is cheaper than the Note II on most carriers. It also has some zippy internal hardware. If you want a giant Android phone, this is the first one you should consider.
Price: $100 with a two-year contract from AT&T
HTC's Windows Phone 8x is the best Windows Phone you can buy today. It offers most of the advantages and features as the Nokia Lumia 920/928, but in a slimmer and more attractive package.
Verizon and HTC worked together to build the Droid DNA, a gorgeous phone with a 5-inch full HD display. It's definitely a solid option if you're a Verizon customer.
Verizon is about to release the HTC's new flagship One phone later this summer. That phone is a much better phone than the Droid DNA. Hold out if you can.
Price: $50 with a two-year contract from Verizon
There was a lot of hype surrounding the launch of Samsung's newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4.
But most reviews were pretty lukewarm.
Make no mistake, the Galaxy S4 is a great Android phone, but it's also full of a bunch of gimmicky features like touchless gestures that don't always work well. The phone is also made out of cheap-feeling plastic at a time when most top-tier devices are using durable metal. (However, some people like plastic phones because they don't scratch as easily as metal phones.)
Google commissioned LG to make its current flagship phone, the Nexus 4. If you're looking for the best Android experience without any modifications, this should be the only phone you consider.
The only downside is the Nexus 4 doesn't connect to 4G LTE networks, so you'll be stuck on slower 3G or HSPA+ (a slower kind of 4G) connections in most cities. Google recently launched a white version of the Nexus 4.
Google and Samsung partnered together to make a new 'Google Edition' of the Galaxy S4. Instead of running Samsung's modified Android software, this phone has a 'clean' version of Android designed by Google.
That's good news, because one of the biggest problems people have with the Galaxy S4 is that Samsung's software has too many gimmicky features that take up a lot of storage on the device.
The downside: It's expensive. Google sells this phone unlocked, which means you have to pay full price without a carrier subsidy.
Price: $649 and will work on T-Mobile or AT&T if you insert your SIM card.
HTC's newest flagship phone, the One, is the best Android phone you can buy at a subsidy through your carrier.
The One has a gorgeous all-metal design, a large 4.7-inch HD screen, and the latest version of Android. You'll want one as soon as you hold it.
HTC's One phone also comes in a 'Google Edition' variant, and we think it's the best Android phone available.
Like the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, the HTC One runs a clean version of Android without any software extras from the carrier or manufacturer. It also means you're likely to get software updates in a timely manner, something HTC has historically struggled with.
Google sells the phone unlocked and unsubsidized, which explains the high price tag. The good news is, you don't have to worry about your carrier's upgrade cycle.
Price: $599 and will work on AT&T or T-Mobile if you insert your SIM card.
The iPhone 5 is the best choice for most people. You're guaranteed to get the best apps before anyone else, plus Apple is really good at making sure iPhones get timely software updates with new features.
Nokia has a third variant of its 900-series Lumia phone, the Lumia 925. This phone also has similar internal hardware as the Lumia 920 and 928, but a different design. Unlike the other two Lumias, the 925 has a metal frame around its durable plastic body.
The Lumia 925 will be available on T-Mobile, but we don't know the launch date or price yet.
Nokia will announce yet another Windows Phone this month that will likely be called the Lumia 1020. This time, the focus will mostly be on the camera, which is reportedly 41 megapixels.
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