Best Verizon Phones

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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

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Screen: 4.65-inch Super AMOLED, 720×1280 pixels
Specs: 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage
OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Camera: 5MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 1.3MP front
Price: $200 with two-year contract

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

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Screen: 3.5 inches, 640×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 16/32/64GB storage
OS: iOS 5
Camera: 8 MP rear, 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $200-$400 with two-year contract

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

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Screen: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 1.3MP front
Price: $300 with two-year contract

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

 

HTC Rezound

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Screen: 4.3-inch S-LCD, 720×1280 pixels
Specs: 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with HTC Sense
Camera: 8MP rear (dual-LED flash, 1080p rec), 2MP front
Price: $300 with two-year contract

Description: Don’t buy the Rezound for its Beats support. You can only get high fidelity audio if you play music through HTC’s own special app and listening to audio on the Beats earbuds without the Beats filter turned on sounds muffled. This is highly disappointing. If you can get over the gimmicky Beats support though, the Rezound is a good dual-core LTE device, with a 720×1280 screen, promised Android 4.0 upgrade, and Incredible-like red design.

 

Motorola Droid 4

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Screen: 4.0-inch PenTile LCD, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 1.3MP VGA front
Price: $200 with two-year contract

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

 

HTC Trophy

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Screen: 3.8-inch LCD, 480×800 pixels
Specs: 1GHz single-core processor, 576MB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $30 with two-year contract

Description: Microsoft isn’t making it easy to support Windows Phone on Verizon. The HTC Trophy lags behind all major Android phones and the iPhone from a features perspective, especially LTE support and dual-core processing, which are non-existent. The only thing it has going for it is a very low $30 price and the Windows Phone interface, which quickly grows on you. We think WP7 is a great operating system, especially if you have a large MP3 collection or like podcasts. If you’re up for a change, give it a try.  

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.