RANKED: The Best Smartphones In The World

Lisa EadiciccoThe Sony Xperia Z3v can survive under water.

Holiday shopping starts this month, and if you want to buy someone a smartphone, there are a ton of great devices to choose from.

Here’s our monthly list of the best smartphones you can buy.

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, carrier availability, and price. We only consider phones that are available in the U.S. at the time of publication. We list approximate prices for what phones cost without a contract. Prices vary from carrier to carrier and retailer to retailer. You can see October’s smartphone rankings here.

#15 BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry's newest smartphone is the square-shaped BlackBerry Passport. It's fat and wide compared to all other smartphones, a design BlackBerry hopes will help it stand out. It also has a physical keyboard, a rare thing these days.

Unfortunately, early reviews for the Passport were pretty negative.

Price: $US600 unlocked from BlackBerry

#14 Amazon Fire phone

Amazon's first smartphone, the Fire phone, generated a lot of hype before it launched in July. But just about every critic bashed it. It's an interesting device thanks to its screen's 3D effects, but it doesn't have the same vibrant app ecosystem as the iPhone or Android phones.

Click here for the Amazon Fire phone review >>

Price: Starts at $US450, only on AT&T.

#13 Nokia Lumia 1520

The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone phablet ever made. It has a huge 6-inch screen, which gives you extra room for more apps and Live Tiles on your home screen. If you like Windows Phones and want a giant screen, this is your best option.

Click here for the Nokia Lumia 1520 review>>

Price: Around $US585, only on AT&T

#12 HTC One M8 For Windows

The HTC One M8 For Windows is the best phone you can buy running the Windows Phone operating system. It has a gorgeous metal body and the new version of Windows Phone, 8.1, which includes the excellent digital assistant Cortana.

It's only available on Verizon for now, but will come to AT&T and T-Mobile later this year.

Click here for the HTC One M8 for Windows review >>

Price: Around $US600, only on Verizon

#11 iPhone 5S

Apple's iPhone 5S may be over a year old, but it's still a really good phone, especially if you don't want a bigger screen. If you want a great iPhone experience at a discount, get the iPhone 5S. However, if you want the best experience, you're better off spending the extra $US100 on an iPhone 6.

Click here for the iPhone 5S review>>

Price: Starts at $US549

#10 LG G3

LG's current flagship, the G3, has one of the sharpest displays ever put on a smartphone. It's also massive thanks to its 5.5-inch display. That makes the G3 more like a phablet than a standard smartphone.

It's a good Android phone, but LG put the power and volume keys on the back of the device, which is pretty awkward.

Click here for the LG G3 review >>

Price: Around $US599

#9 Google Nexus 5

Even though Google just announced its newest flagship phone, the Nexus 6, last year's model is still a good phone.

Like all of Google's Nexus devices, the Nexus 5 runs a pure version of Android, meaning you won't find any modifications to the software. It also gets software updates much faster than other Android phones. But perhaps the best part is the value. You can get the Nexus 5 unlocked for about half the price as other top-tier smartphones.

The only downside: the camera isn't that great.

Click here for the Nexus 5 review>>

Price: $US349 unlocked from Google. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and several other international carriers.

#8 Sony Xperia Z3

Sony's flagship Z3 phone is one of the best Android phones to come out this year. It has a sharp 5.2-inch screen, incredible camera, and is resistant to water.

Click here for the Sony Xperia Z3 review >>

Price: About $US630

#7 Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, is a nice improvement over last year's phone. Instead of weighing the device down with a bunch of unnecessary features, Samsung focused on improving the stuff people care about the most. The Galaxy S5 has the best screen ever made for a smartphone. The camera is really good, too.

But if you don't like phones made out of plastic, you should probably look for something else.

Click here for the Galaxy S5 review>>

Price: Around $US610

#6 OnePlus One

What if you could get a smartphone with a huge 5.5-inch screen, great software, and zippy internal specs that rival the best smartphones?

That's what Chinese startup OnePlus did with its new flagship phone, the One. The OnePlus One only costs $US300 unlocked, which is much cheaper than other premium phones like the iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S5, which can cost $US650 or more.

The downside? Supplies are extremely limited and you need an invitation from a current OnePlus One owner to buy the phone.

Click here for the OnePlus One Review >>

Price:
$US300 unlocked. Works on T-Mobile or AT&T.

#5 Moto X

Motorola's new Moto X, which just launched in September, is a strong contender for best Android phone. Similar to Google's Nexus 5, the Moto X runs a nearly clean version of Android, meaning you get software updates a lot faster. The phone also looks really nice and has a 5.2-inch display.

Click here for the Moto X review >>

Price: Around $US500

#4 HTC One (M8)

HTC's flagship phone, the HTC One (M8), is the best Android phone you can buy.

Like the original, the new HTC One, which is also called the M8, has a gorgeous design and high-quality metal construction. It also has an extra rear camera that acts as a depth sensor so you can edit photos later and change the focus.

Click here for the HTC One (M8) review>>

Price: Around $US540

#3 Galaxy Note 4

Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4 is the best phone the company has ever made.

It has an incredibly crisp 5.7-inch screen, the best display ever used on a smartphone. It also has a metal frame around the edges, which makes the phone feel a lot sturdier than previous versions. If you want a phablet-sized phone, the Galaxy Note 4 is one of the top devices you should consider.

Click here for the Galaxy Note 4 review >>

Price: About $US750

#2 iPhone 6 Plus

If you want a phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus is the best phone you can buy. Unlike other phablets that can be thick, chunky, and plasticky, the iPhone 6 Plus is thin, gorgeous, and made of metal. It doesn't feel like you're lugging around a giant phone.

Click here for the iPhone 6 Plus review >>

Price: Starts at $US749

#1 iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 is the best smartphone. Unless you really like using Android or Windows Phones, the iPhone 6 should be your first choice.

Why? It's the perfect mix of design, hardware specs, and app selection. Apple also finally caught up to its competitors by adding a larger screen to the iPhone 6. It's 4.7 inches, up from the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5S.

Click here for the iPhone 6 review >>

Price: Starts at $US649

BONUS: Google's new Nexus phone will launch later this month

Google's newest flagship phone, the Nexus 6, will go on sale in a few weeks. It has a massive 5.9-inch display and is the first phone to run the redesigned version of Android called Lollipop.

Click here to see photos of the Nexus 6 >>

Price: Starts at $US649

BONUS: Samsung's Note Edge has a curved screen and will launch in the fall.

The Note Edge is similar to the Galaxy Note 4, but it has a secondary screen on the side that changes depending on what app you're using. The 'edge' screen can also display information like news updates and other notifications when the rest of the screen is switched off.

Samsung hasn't said when the Note Edge will launch, but it will likely be a limited release soon.

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