It’s both good and bad to be a Verizon subscriber right now. On the plus side, Verizon is getting some of the best handsets on the market and its high-speed 4G LTE network is the best in the country. These innovations come at a cost, however, as Verizon has become the most expensive carrier to deal with. New phones are about $100 more expensive than competing carriers like Sprint (though AT&T seems to be upping its prices as it launches its LTE network) and the cost of data has more than doubled in the last year, with a $30 plan now buying you 2GB of data instead of the 5GB (or “unlimited”) it bought just a few months ago. So you’re getting higher speeds, but you can do less with them. Still, its handset selection is pretty great right now. Below are our picks for the current best Verizon phones.
While this list covers Verizon phones, if you’d like information on the best overall cell phones in general check our picks for the best cell phones. The list does span every major carrier.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Screen: 4.65-inch Super AMOLED, 720×1280 pixels
Description: The Galaxy Nexus is a Google Experience phone and the first device that runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). This means it has a completely revamped user interface and is one of the only phones on the market to get updates as they come out. While owners of other Android phones have to wait for months (or never get updates), Nexus owners get updates on time. We’re big fans of the Galaxy Nexus, though its battery life is its one weakness. Read our full review.
Apple iPhone 4S
Screen: 3.5 inches, 640×960 pixels
Description: The iPhone 4S looks identical to the 4 on the outside, but it packs some new features. The update has a dual-core processor, better camera, and a new iOS 5 operating system that has some cool new features. Siri voice control lets you use more natural language to talk to your iPhone and works fairly well, and iCloud will let you automatically store your documents and media on the net. For more info, read iPhone 4S: Everything you need to know.
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
Screen: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED, 540×960 pixels
Description: The Droid Razr Maxx doesn’t catch your eye like the original Razr, but it’s a lot thinner and sports the best battery life we’ve seen of any smartphone on the market. Compared to previous Motorola phones, it also has a much-improved screen, and its frame is quite durable as well. The only downsides are Motorola’s weak camera and bland interface. Hopefully, when the Razr gets Android 4.0, it will look a little nicer. Still, with fast LTE speeds, the Razr is one of the best phones on the market. Read our full review.
Motorola Droid 4
Screen: 4.0-inch PenTile LCD, 540×960 pixels
Description: The Droid 4 is what the Droid 3 should have been. It has the best keyboard on the market, 4G LTE connectivity, decent battery life, and the power of a dual-core processor. Some typical Motorola problems remain, like a weak camera, lame screen, and bland Android UI, but if you want a keybaord, none of this will matter too much. Read our full review.
Phones we don’t know about
The LG Spectrum was also released recently. We had a good experience with it at CES, but cannot vouch for its quality as we were unable to obtain a unit for review.
What do you think of our list of the best Verizon phones? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.
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