Best Cell Phones

Check out the best cell phones, as rated by Digital Trends’ expert reviewers.

Best Cell PhonesIt often feels like nothing moves as fast as the mobile phone industry. A new release one day is an old phone the next and history soon after. Cell phones continue to wildly evolve, taking on drastic new forms, shapes and sizes every few months, often with new services and features. Unfortunately, most of us can only afford to buy a new phone once every two years, making our choice all the more important. Below is an up-to-date list of our favorite phones available in the United States. This list covers devices on all of the major US wireless carriers and phones from every major operating system. If it’s one of our favorite devices, it’s here.

Our best cell phones list is continually updated as we review new products that enter the market.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 4 is a shining example of how great a phablet can be. It's one of the best Android phones available today -- if not the very best.

  • Release date 10/17/2014
  • Release price $250
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4
  • Proprietary skin TouchWiz
  • Pros: Fantastic big-screen features , Cutting edge processing power , Great battery life , Best Android…
  • Cons: Not waterproof , S-Pen controls hidden in settings , No good way to manage screen size , S Pen…
Our Score 9
User Score 0

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Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola wowed us with the first Moto X, but the second generation is even better. The improved screen, high-end processor, and endlessly customizable design make the 2014 Moto X a true flagship smartphone.

  • Release date 9/2014
  • Release price $99.99
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4.4
  • Pros: Personalized design , Fast processor , Great screen size
  • Cons: Not a great camera , Average battery life
Our Score 9
User Score 0

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is another win for Samsung. If you’re looking to upgrade, there are a lot of watertight reasons to choose GS5.

  • Features Touchscreen, Front-facing camera, External storage, High resolution camera, HD video recording, 4G
  • Release date 4/11/2014
  • Release price $650
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4.2
  • Pros: Fast, powerful processor , Clean, redesigned interface , Waterproof and dustproof , Built-in…
  • Cons: Stale design , Poor speaker quality , No KnockOn feature , Audio jack is on top of phone , Camera…
Our Score 9
User Score 2

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Motorola Droid Turbo

The Droid Turbo is the perfect size phone, and so powerful it would give Superman pause.

  • Release price $200
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4
  • Pros: Industry leading battery life , Gorgeous AMOLED screen , Will get Android Lollipop , Comfortable…
  • Cons: A tad heavy to hold , Smart screen wakes up too frequently , No MicroSD
Our Score 9
User Score 0

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Apple iPhone 6

Even though the iPhone 6 is significantly bigger than every previous iPhone, it’s still a manageable size. If you’ve always used an iPhone and aren’t sure you want a phablet, the iPhone 6 might be the way to go.

  • Release date 9/19/2014
  • Release price $199.99
  • Operating system iOS
  • Launch OS version 8
  • Pros: Crisp, bigger screen , Premium build quality , Great camera with cool video features
  • Cons: Small battery , Not waterproof , No microSD card
Our Score 9
User Score 0

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus

If you’ve avoided previous iPhones because of their diminutive stature, take another look. The iPhone 6 Plus feels smoother than any other phone, sports a top-notch camera, and has the best app selection.

  • Release price $299.99
  • Operating system iOS
  • Launch OS version 8
  • Pros: Industry-leading design, build quality , Reachability feature makes size manageable , Fantastic…
  • Cons: 16GB storage on base model is not enough , Large size is too big for some hands , Specs aren’t…
Our Score 9
User Score 0

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Active loses the fingerprint reader in favor of tactile buttons and a solid plastic shell. Inside, it’s the same powerful Galaxy S5, with long battery life and top-end performance.

  • Features Touchscreen, Front-facing camera, External storage, 4G
  • Release price $199.99
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4
  • Thickness .35"
  • Pros: Very powerful, like the Galaxy S5 , Nice camera , Ruggedized exterior , Long battery life , MircoSD…
  • Cons: No fingerprint reader , Phone vibrates when speaker is cranked
Our Score 9
User Score 0

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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony has nailed a market segment that needs some love. The Z1 Compact is the best small smartphone running Android.

  • Features Touchscreen, High Resolution Camera, 4G
  • Operating System Android
  • Launch OS Version 4.3 GHz
  • Thickness 9.5 mm
  • Height 127 mm
  • Pros: Manageable size , Speedy performance , Premium design , Waterproof and dustproof , MicroSD support…
  • Cons: Fingerprint and dust magnet , Big bezels above and below screen , Flaps on ports , No selectable…
Our Score 9
User Score 2

LG G3

LG’s renaissance continues with the G3, which could be the best Android phone of 2014. The G3’s stunning Quad HD screen, high-quality camera, and sleek design should put it on everyone’s wish list.

  • Features Touchscreen, Front-facing camera, External storage, High resolution camera, HD video recording, 4G
  • Operating system Android
  • Launch OS version 4.4.2
  • Thickness .35"
  • Height 5.76"
  • Pros: Beautiful Quad HD touchscreen , Classy metal-look rear panel , Laser-autofocus works well , Vastly…
  • Cons: LG Health isn’t effective , Smart Notice isn’t that smart , Spotty game performance , Not…
Our Score 9
User Score 10

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Motorola Moto G

The Moto G is the bargain of the year. It refuses to look, act or feel like a cheap phone, and out-performs more expensive phones. The only letdown is its small amount of internal memory, and basic camera.

  • Features Touchscreen, Front-Facing Camera, High-Resolution Camera
  • Release Date January 2014
  • Release Price $179.00
  • Operating System Android
  • Launch OS Version 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Pros: An absolute bargain at $180 unconnected , Stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean/Android 4.4 KitKat , Fast…
  • Cons: The camera is basic , A choice of 8GB or 16GB of memory , No removable battery , External speaker…
Our Score 9
User Score 7

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