If you’re ready for a new smartphone, now is a good time to buy.
Smartphone makers are refreshing their lineups this spring with a bunch of new flagship devices. Plus, there are several models from last year that hold up very well.
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, carrier availability, and price. We only consider phones that are on sale in the U.S. at the time of publication. We’ve listed discounted prices carriers give for signing a contract at the time of publication. You can see March’s smartphone rankings here.
If you need a physical keyboard on your smartphone, the BlackBerry Q10 is the best phone you can buy. The phone doesn't have as many apps as the iPhone or Android phones, but that never seems to be a problem for devoted BlackBerry users.
LG released the first-ever curved screen phone, the G Flex, in the U.S. this year. The G Flex has a large, 6-inch curved screen and a self-healing backing that can repair minor scratches.
Unfortunately, LG had to make a few compromises to get that curved screen on the device. The resolution is a lot lower than Apple and Samsung phones, so images, text, and video look grainy in comparison. LG's user interface for Android is also unattractive and buggy.
The HTC One Max is the company's first phablet. It has a giant 5.9-inch screen and a fingerprint sensor that can unlock the phone and launch apps.
It's an attractive device made out of metal, but all that metal also makes it extremely thick and heavy compared to most phones that size.
Most consider the Nokia Lumia 1020 to be the best Windows Phone you can buy. It has one of the best cameras you can get in a smartphone, which is nice if you don't mind the giant bulge it adds to the back.
Other than that, it's mostly the same Windows Phone experience you get on any other device.
Price: $99.99 on AT&T.
If you're accident prone, then Sony's new Xperia Z1S might be a good choice for you. The Android device is virtually waterproof, and it can survive under five feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
Price: $0 down plus $US25 per month for 24 months on T-Mobile.
The iPhone 5C, which launched at the same time as the iPhone 5S, is Apple's slightly cheaper model of the iPhone. It has almost all the same specs and features as the iPhone 5 that launched in 2012, but wrapped in a variety of colourful plastic cases. You can get it in blue, pink, green, yellow, or white.
The G2 is LG's latest flagship phone. It has a gorgeous 5-inch display, one of the best you can get on a smartphone. But it does have one odd design quirk: the power and volume buttons are located on the back of the phone, making it a bit awkward to use at first.
Samsung's flagship phone launched to a lot of hype, but only got so-so reviews. Samsung tried to pack a lot of features into the device, which made it feel bloated and clunky. It's a good phone, but not the best.
However, Samsung's new Galaxy S5 phone will launch in just a few days. If you're a Samsung fan, you might want to wait.
Samsung popularised the 'phablet' category with the Galaxy Note more than two years ago. Now the phone is in its third generation with the Galaxy Note 3.
The Galaxy Note 3 has the biggest screen yet, 5.7 inches, yet its body is actually thinner and lighter than the last model. It also comes with a special stylus called the S Pen for drawing or taking notes. It's the best phablet you can buy.
The Moto X is one of the best Android phones. Motorola added some new features to Android, like the ability to check notifications easily from the home screen. But it's still mostly the 'clean' version Android from Google.
You can also fully customise the look of your device with a variety of colour options for the case and buttons.
Google's latest flagship phone is the Nexus 5, which was made in partnership with LG.
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.
Price: $349 unlocked from Google. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and several other international carriers.
HTC released a new version of its flagship phone, the HTC One.
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.
Also like the original, the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone you can buy.
HTC partnered with Google to create a version of the HTC One (M8) that runs a clean version of Android. That means you don't get any of the extras that come with the regular version you buy through carriers. You also get software updates directly from Google shortly after they're ready.
If you want a great phone with the best possible Android experience, this is the device to buy.
Price: $699 unlocked from Google. Works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and several other international carriers.
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.
Samsung officially unveiled its newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It has a 5.1-inch screen, heart rate monitor, and a water resistant body.
The phone launches globally April 11, so it might be worth holding out a few days if you need a new phone soon.
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