We won’t see any major new smartphone releases for another two months or so. But if you need a phone now, there are plenty of great choices.
Here’s our ranking of the best phones you can buy right now in the U.S. based on factors including design, software and hardware features, content selection, carrier availability, and price. We’ve included the approximate unsubsidized cost for each.
The BlackBerry Passport is a funky-looking phone. It's almost perfectly square with a narrow physical keyboard at the bottom.
A lot of people like to scoff at the Passport, but BlackBerry fans seem to love it.
Price: Around $US500
BlackBerry has gone back to the basics.
The BlackBerry Classic looks a lot like the BlackBerry Bold from a few years ago. It has a physical keyboard, trackpad, and larger touchscreen. If you want a phone with a keyboard, the Classic is the best phone to buy.
Price: Around $US449
The Nokia Lumia 830 is one of the newest phones from Microsoft. It runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system and has a sharp 5-inch screen.
The HTC One M8 For Windows is the best phone you can buy running the Windows Phone operating system. It's the best-looking Windows Phone available thanks to its all-metal design.
Price: Around $US500
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.
Price: Around $US870
Google's latest flagship phone is the Nexus 6, a massive device with a 6-inch screen. It's made by Motorola and is the first phone to run Lollipop, the new version of Android with a brand new design. Google's Nexus phones are good if you want to make sure you get the latest Android features before anyone else.
Price: Starts at $US499
Apple's iPhone 5S may be approaching its second birthday, 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.
Price: Starts at $US549
What if you could get a phone 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 flagship phone, the One. The OnePlus One only costs $US300 unlocked, which is much cheaper than other premium phones.
Warning: The next phone from OnePlus is coming soon, so you might want to wait.
Price: $US300 unlocked
The G4 is the latest flagship phone from LG. It has one of the best screens and best cameras ever put on a smartphone. But there have been a lot of complaints about the software design.
Price: Around $US600
Motorola's new Moto X, which launched in September, is a strong contender for best Android phone. Similar to Google's Nexus 6, 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.
Price: Around $US300
HTC's flagship phone, the One M9, is a minor iteration over last year's model. It has a better camera, slightly tweaked design, and faster processor. But other than that, it's pretty much the same phone HTC made before.
Price: Around $US630
Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4 is the best Android phablet you can buy.
It has an incredibly crisp 5.7-inch screen, one of the best displays available on a phone. It also has a metal frame around the edges, which makes the phone feel a lot sturdier than previous versions. If you want a supersized phone, the Galaxy Note 4 is one of the top devices you should consider.
Price: Around $US700
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a variation on the company's new flagship phone. It can do everything the 'regular' Galaxy S6 does, but comes with a curved display that looks really nice.
Price: About $US750
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is the best phone Samsung has ever made and the best Android phone you can buy.
It's Samsung's first phone with a premium metal and glass design. It also has one of the best cameras available in a phone.
Price: Starts at about $US650
If you don't want a big-screen phablet, the iPhone 6 is the best phone you can buy. 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.
Price: Starts at $US649
The iPhone 6 Plus is the best phone for most people. Yes, the 5.5-inch screen is huge and may feel cumbersome to some, but you get the added bonus of incredible battery life. It's also a lot thinner and easier to manage compared to other phablets.
If you're trying to decide between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, go with the Plus.
Price: Starts at $US749