Fall is when gadget makers typically like to pump out all their new gadgets. And there’s a lot on the horizon.
But if you need a new smartphone now, here are the best ones.
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 available 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 August’s smartphone rankings here.
If you're still married to the idea of a physical keyboard on your phone, then BlackBerry's Q10 is the first (and only) phone you should consider buying.
The downside: BlackBerry doesn't have a good app selection.
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.
Price: $199.99 on AT&T
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.
But unless you really need a new Galaxy Note right away, you should wait. Samsung recently unveiled the successor, the Galaxy Note 4. That phone will launch later this fall.
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.
Apple is expected to announce new iPhone models soon, and the iPhone 5C might not be around much longer. There's also a chance the 5C will get a price reduction. If you can wait until Apple announces new iPhones on Sept. 9, you should.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has been the company's flagship phone for well over a year now. But it's about to be replaced by the newer Lumia 830. Still, it's a well-loved device among Windows Phone fans. It also has a really nice camera.
Price: $0 on AT&T.
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.
Price: $199.99 on AT&T
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.
Price: $199.99 with a two-year contract.
LG's newest 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.
Google's current 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.
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.
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.
$300 unlocked. Works on T-Mobile or AT&T.
HTC's latest 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.
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.
However, new iPhone models are going to debut on Sept. 9. Unless you absolutely need a new iPhone today, it's probably best to wait and see what Apple has planned.
Samsung's new flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 4, will launch later this fall. It has the same size screen as before (5.7 inches), but the resolution is much sharper. It also has a metal band around the edges, which makes the phone feel more sturdy.
The Note Edge is similar to the 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.
The Note Edge will launch this fall.
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