The 7 Best Verizon Smartphones to Buy in 2017

Shop for the best smartphones on America's largest network

If you’ve selected Verizon as your carrier of choice, you can rest comfortably knowing that its large network is matched by an equally large selection of superb phones. From flagships to budget-priced, there’s no shortage of choices whether you are team Android or team iPhone. Verizon’s claim of having the widest coverage is only as good as the device that runs on it, and we’ve looked at Big Red’s entire smartphone lineup, so read on to see which one best suits you.

Best Apple: iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S Plus
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Apple’s flagship smartphone has class-leading performance paired with standout hardware and an excellent camera. The A9 chip offers a buttery smooth operating system experience, 3D touch offers quick access to the device through your fingerprint and global capability helps you take the iPhone anywhere in the world. However, we wish Apple would heed Samsung’s lesson and add water resistance. In fact, it may be one of the most requested features for the next-generation iPhone. Battery life lends itself to all day use if you’re careful not to play with apps at every available opportunity. The 12-megapixel “iSight” camera is almost always at the top or near the top of every smartphone camera test and has been for years. The retina display provides crisp, clear colors and 4K video recording offers the very best in today’s technology for quality.

Best Android: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
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Competition for the best Android smartphone is fierce, with competitors like the Galaxy Note 5, Droid Turbo 2 and LG V10 all vying for the top spot. However, it won’t surprise many in the Android community to see the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as the best Android smartphone available to Verizon customers. It improves on its predecessor in every way with a super Quad HD Super AMOLED display, water-resistant (up to five feet for 30 minutes) design, stellar camera, expandable memory via microSD and so much more. The 5.5” display is packed into a 2.86-inch wide hardware with curved glass that's stylish and functional. The 3,600mAh battery will handily last you from morning until night with average use, but it is still superior to the batteries of the nearest competition. Pair the hardware with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel camera and it makes sense why this phone is at the top of the smartphone game.

Best Value: iPhone SE

iPhone SE
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Choosing a smartphone that offers the best value is no simple decision. Looking for the right combination of hardware, camera, battery life and price can lead to a lengthy search. Thankfully, we’ve done all the analysis and searching for you and nailed down the iPhone SE as the best value device on Verizon’s network. The device is a mirror image of the iPhone 6s, just in a more pocket-friendly hardware. The 12-megapixel camera is among the industry’s best, and while the 4” display is small, the screen's retina clarity helps make the text easy to read. The A9 processor is fast and it offers the best battery life of any iPhone on the market; the 1,642mAh battery edges out the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, thanks to some magical energy efficiency paired with the smaller and less resource-intensive display.

Best Camera: Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7
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If the Galaxy S7 Edge is the best Android smartphone, it’s the slightly smaller sibling, the Galaxy S7, which takes the prize for best camera. Narrowly edging out alternatives like the LG V10, iPhone 6s Plus and HTC 10, the Galaxy S7 is a fantastic choice as your only camera or the perfect option when you want to leave your DSLR at home. Whereas the Galaxy S7 Edge offers a 5.5” display, the 5.1” display on the S7 makes it slightly more pocket-friendly and easier to hold, but, realistically, both devices share just about everything else. You’ll find the very same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 12-megapixel camera.

Like Samsung flagship smartphones before it, expectations for overall camera quality are high on the Galaxy S7 and, thankfully, they more than met our hopes. Reducing the camera size from 16 megapixels to 12 megapixels from the previous iteration has helped overall quality by letting each megapixel become slightly larger, thereby allowing more light in with each shot. This change results in improved performance for low-light photography and sharper shots overall. Samsung’s camera app has a host of gimmicks, modes and options that most average smartphone shooters won’t ever bother to use, but that’s not to say they don’t have their purpose. If you want good quality photography, turn on automatic mode and point-and-shoot. Fire up HDR and you’ll find even better performance at the cost of each image being slightly larger. Samsung even answered Apple’s Live Motion shots with Motion Picture and Motion panorama, which suffice to say, don’t outperform Apple’s own creation, but offer a similar, if gimmicky, experience.

Best Durability: Droid Turbo 2

Droid Turbo 2
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While it doesn’t offer the military grade specs that might jump to mind when you first see the word “durability,” the Droid Turbo 2 is an impressively rugged phone all the same. Motorola’s introduction of the Turbo 2 claimed that the device has the “world’s first shatterproof display,” which is arguably the number one concern of most smartphone owners today. Pair the 5.4" shatterproof display with a 3,760mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 21 megapixel camera and you’ll quickly fall in love with this Verizon-exclusive device. And that's not even counting the other great features such as 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with microSD expandable memory.

Best Unlocked: Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P
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Like AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon has embraced unlocked devices running on their network in recent years and that’s opened the door to a wide number of smartphones that customers wouldn’t normally consider for purchase. In fact, Verizon has embraced the notion so much that “Bring Your Device” is now front and center on the company’s homepage. Options like the Nexus 6P offer an arguably superior experience compared to many of the smartphones Verizon currently sells, often for a lower two-year cost-of-ownership price. Huawei’s Nexus 6P fully embraces Verizon’s network, offering the exact same speeds and LTE connectivity as one would get with an officially approved piece of hardware. The 6P, which was released late in 2015, has been touted as one of the best, purest Android experiences a smartphone owner can run. Simply put, the camera is excellent, battery life is superb, performance is awesome and everything else just comes together and fits.

The 5.7” AMOLED display offers 518 pixels per inch, which for layman means the display is really, really sharp. The 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera offers some of the best low-light camera performance on any Android device we’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. There’s a slightly slower shutter speed compared to the iPhone 6s Plus, but overall images were comparable and, needless to say, both were excellent. The 2.0 Octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor is smooth and unless you are solely focused on loading every application available in Google’s Play Store, you won't find a slowdown in performance. The 3,450mAh battery lasts longer than the iPhone 6s Plus and Galaxy Note 5, and as a Google Nexus device user, you’ll be at the forefront of software releases; you’re guaranteed at least 14 months of Android updates with purchase.

Best Battery: Droid Maxx 2

Droid Maxx 2
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Verizon offers the Droid Maxx 2 with 48 hours of battery life, which is paired with the latest hardware, and excellent camera and Motorola’s quality design. Under the hood, Motorola included a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor and 2GB of RAM, which offers a slightly lower powered experience over its biggest competitor, the Droid Turbo 2. In fact, both devices share the same excellent 21-megapixel sensor that offers fantastic shots even in low-light conditions. The 16GB internal storage is a little disappointing as we’d like to have seen this device begin at 32GB, but on the plus side you can add your own storage with a microSD slot.


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