The 12 Best Verizon Smartphones of 2019

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The Rundown

Best Android: Google Pixel 3,"5.5-inch OLED screen that can show a mind-boggling 16.77 million colors and looks great for videos, games, and your Instagram feed."

Best Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Note 9, "The 6.4-inch screen has also been taken to the next level, sporting a Quad HD+ resolution (2960 x 1440, 516 ppi) brightened up with the Super AMOLED tech."

Runner-Up, Best Samsung: Galaxy S9, "With 4K video recording (at 30 fps or 60fps) on board, the 12-megapixel rear camera immediately stands out for its optical image stabilization, 8x digital zoom and dual aperture for capturing more light in every photo."

Best Apple: iPhone Xs, "5.8-inch Super Retina with a 2436 x 1125 pixel count (that’s 458 ppi). There’s now IP68 water/dust resistance, allowing you to submerge this phone up to two meters for as long as 30 minutes without issue."

Best LG: LG V40 ThinQ, "With a total of five cameras onboard, LG’s newest flagship offers unparalleled flexibility."

Best Big Screen: iPhone Xs Max, "An OLED Super Retina screen with a resolution of 2688 x 1242 and a ppi of 458."

Best Phablet: Google Pixel 3 XL, "A gargantuan 6.3-inch OLED screen and measures 6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches, meaning that it’s perfect for watching videos and playing games."

Best New Release: Samsung Galaxy S10, "With 8GB of RAM and a 2.73GHz, Octa-Core processor, this phone can handle it all with impressive speed."

Runner-Up, Best Apple: iPhone XR, "The rear 12-megapixel wide-angle camera takes incredible shots that look terrific as prints or on social media."

Runner-Up, Best LG: LG G8 ThinQ, "An octa-core 2.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at its center that puts many lower-end laptops to shame."

Best Value: Moto Z3, "Its Snapdragon 835 processor, 64 GB of storage, and 3,000mAh battery make it reliable throughout the day."

Best Small Screen: Palm Companion Phone, "Standing 3.8 inches tall and 1.99 inches wide, it’s about the size of a credit card and features a 720 x 1280-pixel display."

Our Top Picks

Best Android: Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

 Courtesy of Best Buy

4.8

One of the very best phones you can run on Verizon’s network is the Google Pixel 3, a powerful and versatile Android device that runs the latest Google software and has one of the best phone cameras on the market. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch OLED screen that can show a mind-boggling 16.77 million colors and looks great for videos, games, and your Instagram feed. 

This phone is a multitasking powerhouse as well, with 4GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. For charging, you’ll have the option to physically charge via its USB-C port or wirelessly charge via Qi wireless charging. Battery life on the Pixel will last you roughly a day thanks the large 2,915 mAh battery inside. As for the aforementioned camera, it shoots 12.2-megapixel photos and it has dual-pixel phase detection, optical and electronic image stabilization, and a flicker sensor — all of which lead to some of the best photos you’ll find taken on a smartphone.  

Best Samsung: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
 Courtesy of Verizon
4.8

With a network like Verizon, offering coverage and speeds that stand pretty far ahead of the pack, you need a phone that can take that coverage and run with it. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 steps up the previous generation in a few really amazing ways. First off, their new S Pen, though still a great sketching tool, is now a full-on Bluetooth expression device (you can even use it as an external camera shutter). The 6.4-inch screen has also been taken to the next level, sporting a Quad HD+ resolution (2960 x 1440, 516 ppi) brightened up with the Super AMOLED tech. The selfie cam is 8MP, while the rear cameras are 12MP wide-angle and 12MP telephoto. Plus, the wide-angle lens offers an amazing variable aperture (f/1.5 or f/2.4). The camera will shoot up to 4K video at up to 60 fps, and Samsung has equipped the system with some interesting AI features.

Another standout feature here is the battery: At 4,000 mAh, Samsung is giving you a truly massive power bank that's further bolstered by fast-charging capabilities. The processor is a 64GB Octa-Core running at speeds up to 2.8GHz. You can pick up the phone with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of space or 8GB of RAM and 512GB of space, but in either case, you can expand it up to 512GB more with a micro SD. Even the speakers are upgraded with high-quality, AKG-tuned, Dolby Atmos sound. If you’re a Samsung fan, it’s really hard to go wrong with this offering.

See more reviews of our favorite Samsung phones available for purchase.

Runner-Up, Best Samsung: Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9
 Courtesy of Verizon
4.4

The first flagship smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 845 processor, the Galaxy S9 is a speedy Android device that captures excellent photos. With 4K video recording (at 30 fps or 60fps) on board, the 12-megapixel rear camera immediately stands out for its optical image stabilization, 8x digital zoom and dual aperture for capturing more light in every photo. For video playback, the Galaxy S9 adds Dolby Atmos technology and stereo speakers tuned by AKG that feature 40 percent more sound than the previous Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. Samsung’s intelligent Bixby system, a smart personal assistant, is built right into the camera and learns to tell you the number of calories in your mal or translate foreign languages so you can read a menu. Add in water-resistance, a 3,000mAh battery and 64GB of storage and the Galaxy S9 is one of the most versatile smartphones Verizon customers can choose from.

Best Apple: iPhone Xs

iPhone Xs
 Courtesy of Best Buy
4.7

As a proper successor to the iPhone X, the Xs is the best Apple smartphone out there for Verizon customers. It has the same design qualities everyone loves about the X — the OLED screen, the nearly bezel-less look, the premium build materials — with a few choice upgrades that give you some great value. First, the screen resolution is befitting of today’s expectations: a 5.8-inch Super Retina with a 2436 x 1125 pixel count (that’s 458 ppi). There’s now IP68 water/dust resistance, allowing you to submerge this phone up to two meters for as long as 30 minutes without issue. The upgraded A12 Bionic chip amps up the speed and bolsters the neural engine for improved AI, FaceID, and more.

The other centerpiece here is the camera system. The rear-facing setup offers two 12MP sensors: one with a wide-angle lens, the other with a telephoto lens. The front system has a 7MP selfie cam. Both have image stabilization, and both benefit from Apple’s latest software upgrade. You can now take layered composite HDR shots that take both over- and under-exposed pictures and blend them for the ideal light response. You can also employ an updated portrait mode for beautiful, software-realized background bokeh blur that can actually be adjusted after you take the picture. You can pick up this phone in silver, space gray or gold, and you can opt for 64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. And with a stainless steel edge, glass front and back, and the latest iOS 12 loaded in, this phone truly feels like a premium Apple product.

Want to take a look at some other options? Check out our guide to figure out which iPhone you should buy

Best LG: LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ

 Courtesy of Best Buy

3.5

If you’re tired of every smartphone manufacturer claiming to have the best camera, get ready for one more. Except this time, the LG V40 ThinQ actually brings something truly new to the table. With a total of five cameras onboard, LG’s newest flagship offers unparalleled flexibility.

The rear of the device is decorated with three cameras that capture standard photos, wide-angle shots, and close-ups. The two front cameras are perfect for video calling and selfies — they can even capture extra-wide views for group shots that fit all your friends. The addition of these different fields of view makes the V40 truly stand out from the flagship pack.

The 6.4-inch OLED display adds 3120 x 1440 resolution for vibrant colors that are really impressive. The V40 also keeps its headphone jack in an age when most manufacturers are eliminating them (a boon for those who’ve been reluctant to go all Bluetooth). There’s also IP68 ruggedization for extra durability, wireless charging for doing away with cords and Android 8.1 software for the latest Android goodness.

Add in a 3300mAh battery for all-day use and the LG quickly becomes the only smartphone — and camera — you need. 

Check out our guide to the best LG phones.

Best Big Screen: iPhone Xs Max

iPhone Xs Max
Courtesy of Best Buy
4.7

While the iPhone Xs has earned our top iPhone spot on the list, we’re also mentioning the Xs Max because it finally takes the edge-to-edge design of the X and gives you an even bigger screen. In fact, at 6.5 inches measured diagonally, it technically gives you more screen than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. The display’s size doesn’t hamper the looks either, because it’s an OLED Super Retina screen with a resolution of 2688 x 1242 and a ppi of 458. No sacrificing sharpness here. Add that in with the newly updated A12 Bionic chip, which gives you boosted speeds and an upgraded AI-focused neural network, and you have a powerhouse of a phone.

The rear-facing camera system employs two 12MP sensors for the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, giving you some great flexibility for photography. The front-facing camera has a 7MP sensor which, though relatively low on resolution, works pretty well with the image stabilization and latest iOS software. And that software is where the real upgrade is. Apple has been hard at work to compete with phone cameras from Samsung and Google, and they've delivered. The Xs Max has a truly modern HDR layering function, stellar low-light performance, 4K video recording, and even the ability to adjust the background blur of portrait mode photos after you’ve taken them. Pick up the phone in one of three colors (silver, space gray, and the new gold) with internal storage options ranging from 64GB to 512GB.

Best Phablet: Google Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL

 Courtesy of Best Buy

4.8

If you love big screens, the Google Pixel 3 treads a fine line between smartphone and full-on tablet. It has a gargantuan 6.3-inch OLED screen and measures 6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches, meaning that it’s perfect for watching videos and playing games. It has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM for fast performance even when multiple apps are open. The 3,420 mAh battery can last for more than a day at a time, and when it is time to charge, you have the option to use a cord via the phone’s USB-C port or Qi wireless fast charging via the optional Pixel Stand (sold separately). Just like its smaller sibling, the Pixel 3 XL also comes in white, black, and pink colors for the discerning customer. The only design drawback for some will be the large “notch” that is present on the top middle of the screen, which can be a little distracting.

Best New Release: Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10

 Verizon

4.8

For the Galaxy’s 10th anniversary, Samsung has really brought the big guns. The Galaxy S10 is as powerful as it is beautiful, and even though the brand's past few installments have been amazing futuristic phones, they’ve somehow managed to step it up even further for the S10. The 3040 x 1440 pixels in the 6.1-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display gives us arguably the best screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. That’s further bolstered by the fact that Samsung has virtually done away with bezels by including a “hole punch” on the top right corner of the screen to accommodate the front-facing camera. (And if you opt for the S10+ model, that camera turns into a dual lens setup, which features a dedicated wide-angle lens for wider selfies.) The triple rear-camera system is remarkable because it sports three different dedicated lenses and sensors, with a 12MP wide-angle system that allows you to change the physical aperture.

There’s a lot of power under the hood, too. With 8GB of RAM and a 2.73GHz, Octa-Core processor, this phone can handle it all with impressive speed. The S10 gives you up to 512GB of storage and the S10+ allows you to increase that to up to 1TB — a capacity that was virtually unheard of on a smartphone even two years ago. Plus, with half a dozen colors to choose from, including the stunning Prism White and Flamingo Pink, you’ve got a really amazing entry into the flagship field. 

Runner-Up, Best Apple: iPhone XR

iPhone XR

 Best Buy

 

Available in an array of colors, the iPhone XR is an outstanding choice for Apple fans. Its 6.1-inch “Liquid Retina” LCD adds a nearly edge-to-edge display that’s beautiful. And it also has one of Apple’s best smartphone cameras ever. The rear 12-megapixel wide-angle camera takes incredible shots that look terrific as prints or on social media. Optical image stabilization helps keep things steady especially while capturing 4K video, and a 7-megapixel front-facing camera works for both FaceTime calls as well as for Apple’s new animojis.  

Taking a look at the hardware, Apple’s “budget” iPhone is anything but. There’s an IP67 rating for water resistance for up to three feet of water for 30 minutes. Wireless charging is along for the ride as well. Face ID has replaced the famous home button, allowing you to unlock your phone by simply looking into the camera. It also doubles as the method with which to purchase apps in the App Store and to confirm your identity when using Apple Pay. 

Runner-Up, Best LG: LG G8 ThinQ

The latest addition to LG’s flagship line, the LG G8 ThinQ wants to make its mark among high-end smartphones. LG fans might recognize the 19:5:9 aspect ratio, wide notch, and 3,120 x 1,440 resolution from the LG G7 ThinQ, but the G8 more than builds on the success of its predecessor.

The supercharged octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor is complemented by a 3,500 mAh battery with up to 16 hours of power for all-day speed. If the 128 GB of internal memory is not sufficient, it can be upgraded to up to 2 TB with a microSD card. Unlock your phone with your face, your fingerprint, or your hand; 3D sensors on the Z Camera system scan the veins on your palm through Hand ID.

The same system also lets you increase volume, take photos, or answer calls with a wave or gesture with Air Motion, which captures hand movements so you can control your phone without touching it. But despite its forward-looking tech, the phone is sturdy, with an IP68 rating against water and dust. 

Best Value: Moto Z3

Motorola Z3

Courtesy of Motorola 

Good news, Verizon users. With the Motorola Moto Z3, you have access to the first smartphone to promise 5G capabilities thanks to the phone’s 5G Mod. Available in early 2019, the mod will connect to Verizon’s millimeter-wave 5G network to allow for speeds that are up to ten times faster to what users currently get. Containing its own modem, it will also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot and a USB-C modem for a PC.

While you might have to wait to take advantage of the new network, the device itself is a strong competitor among other mid-priced smartphones. Its Snapdragon 835 processor, 64 GB of storage, and 3,000mAh battery make it reliable throughout the day, and Moto Actions allow you to make gestures — like twisting or chopping motions — to launch different apps. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the right, and though the phone no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, the USB-C dongle provides the option of wired audio. Visuals are dynamic and bright thanks to the six-inch, 2160 x 1080 AMOLED screen that offers 402 pixels per inch. 

Best Small Screen: Palm Companion Phone

Palm

 Verizon

Good things really do come in small packages, as proven by Verizon’s Palm Companion Phone. Standing 3.8 inches tall and 1.99 inches wide, it’s about the size of a credit card and features a 720 x 1280-pixel display. The Palm holds a robust 1.4GHz Octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and an 800 mAH battery (7.5 hours of use). Additionally, this tiny phone boasts 50% higher peak speeds in over 450 cities within the United States.

Think of your Palm Companion as an accessory to your smartphone, similar to an Apple Watch. The compact size allows for easy traveling, and the NumberShare app syncs to your primary device, so you can still answer texts and calls on the go. Also, the Palm’s controls are very user-friendly, offering voice commands and a “quick-action” Gesture Pad to help navigate the small screen. If you're feeling too dependent on your main smartphone — or simply don't want to carry a big screen with you everywhere you go — then the Palm Companion Phone may be a good solution. It's available in gold and titanium gray finishes.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought eight top-rated Verizon smartphones and our reviewers tested them for more than 500 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these Verizon smartphones, from their camera quality to their durability. We’ve outlined the major points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Verizon Smartphone

Apple vs. Android - The first decision you’ll likely make when choosing a smartphone is whether you want an iOS or Android device. While iOS smartphones are generally more popular, there are many more Android options; the most high-end of these are more advanced than Apple’s offerings.

Camera - Many of us have ditched traditional point-and-shoot cameras in favor of the ones on our smartphones. If you plan to use your phone’s camera often, it’s important to make sure that the model you choose has one that’s capable of taking great pictures. Some phones even allow you to shoot 4K video.

Durability - Many phones have glass on both the front and back, which looks gorgeous but is also more fragile; a simple drop can leave you stuck with a pricey repair bill. If you’re fairly accident-prone, or if you like to carry a phone without a case, it’s worth keeping durability in mind before you make a purchase.

Test Results: Google Pixel 3 (Best Android)

Google Pixel 3 XL
 Courtesy of Best Buy
4.8

What We Like

  • Easy to use

  • Excellent camera

  • Great sound quality

What We Don't Like

  • Glitchy

Google Pixel 3
Pixel 3
Google Pixel
Google Pixel 3 smartphone
Google Pixel smartphone

What I like most about the phone is its simplicity,” declared one of our testers. “It’s simple to set up, easy to use, and I’ve had no major issues thus far.” The phone’s built-in speakers were “super loud and crisp,” according to one reviewer, and its camera was excellent: “The picture you get from the camera app is really stunning,” she said. The one big negative, according to one of our testers, was glitchiness: “One glitch caused the screen to flash white when I received a text. It probably happened once out of every 10 times,” she noted.

Test Results: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (Best Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
 Courtesy of Verizon
4.8

What We Like

  • Excellent camera

  • Superb battery life

  • Immaculate display

What We Don't Like

  • Fragile build

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Our testers were impressed with this phone’s battery life and vibrant screen display. Its camera was also one of its best features, according to one reviewer: “The camera really competes with the iPhone X camera,” she said. “Its automatic mode really focuses on the picture’s surroundings to ensure that you’re capturing the scene in the best way possible.” One tester, however, was nervous about the phone’s durability: “It’s actually very fragile feeling,” she said. “The shape and surface of the phone make it more prone to slipping off of surfaces. Without a case, this could cause some serious damage to the phone’s body.”

Test Results: Samsung Galaxy S9 (Runner-Up, Best Samsung)

 Courtesy of Verizon
4.4

What We Like

  • Sleek build

  • Excellent display

  • Great camera

What We Don't Like

  • Slightly dated look

  • Not as impressive battery life

Samsung Galaxy S9
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Samsung Galaxy S9
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Samsung Galaxy S9
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Samsung Galaxy S9
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

“The Galaxy S9 has a sleek and impressively refined build that's ideal for one-handed usage,” raved one of our testers. “The Quad HD Super AMOLED display is one of the best on any smartphone today.” One reviewer also loved its camera, which he said “delivered excellent snaps.” The negatives? Even though its design was “attractive,” according to one tester, “it did feel a little dated compared to the rapidly-evolving competition.” Another downside was its battery life, which one reviewer thought “wasn’t as overwhelmingly impressive as on some competing phones.

Test Results: iPhone Xs (Best Apple)

 Courtesy of Verizon
4.7

What We Like

  • Gorgeous display

  • Substantial build

  • Incredible speed

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Can easily shatter

iPhone XS
iPhone XS
iPhone XS
iPhone XS

“If you're looking for a flagship device, this is the one to buy,” raved one of our reviewers, “especially if you're an Apple fan.” One tester thought that this phone had many excellent features, including an “absolutely gorgeous” display and fast speed: “It’s absolutely one of the fastest smartphones on the market right now” he said. On the other hand, our testers weren’t fans of its high price tag, and one reviewer also said that because of its glass back, “it's susceptible to shattering after even a single drop.”

Test Results: LG V40 ThinQ (Best LG)

LG V40 ThinQ
 Courtesy of T-Mobile
3.5

What We Like

  • Amazing camera

  • Easy to use

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

  • Doesn’t come in enough colors

LG V40 ThinQ
LG V40
LG V40
LG ThinQ
LG

“This phone is very lightweight, the screen clarity and pictures are amazing, and multitasking is very easy,” declared one of our testers. Overall, according to one reviewer, it was “definitely much better” than the other LG phones she’d used previously. On the other hand, our reviewers wished that they had the ability to customize SMS messaging themes without using a separate app. One tester also wished that there were more colors available.

Test Results: iPhone Xs Max (Best Big Screen)

 Courtesy of Verizon
4.7

What We Like

  • Impressive dual cameras

  • Great for running high-end games

  • Beautiful, minimal design

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Battery life is only decent

“The iPhone XS Max is the most powerful smartphone on the market today,” declared one of our testers. “It can run high-end games and graphics-rich apps with ease.” Its “big, beautiful” screen and its “impressive” dual cameras were other pluses, according to one reviewer. On the other hand, one tester noted that its battery “doesn't last as long as some high-end Android rivals.” One tester also flagged its high cost. Overall, though, our reviewers thought it was a very worthwhile investment if you can swing it in your budget.

Test Results: Google Pixel 3 XL (Best Phablet)

Google Pixel 3 XL
 Courtesy of Best Buy
4.8

What We Like

  • Beautiful design

  • Easy to use

  • Great features

What We Don't Like

  • Screen not bright enough

  • Back of phone scratches easily

Google Pixel 3 XL
Google Pixel 3
Google 3 XL
Pixel 3 XL
Google Pixel 3 XL phone

According to our testers, this phone was beautiful, well-built, and easy to use. One tester was especially impressed with its photo and video quality: “The Pixel 3 XL takes phenomenal photos with true-to-life color,” she said, “This device is also capable of shooting a full feature film, something which previously could only be achieved with high-end and extremely expensive cinematography equipment.” The downsides? Our reviewers wished that its screen display was brighter, and one tester observed that the back of the phone scratched easily: “I wish Google would have utilized a different material or method of frosting the glass on the back,” she noted, “as it has proven to be highly prone to scratches.”

Test Results: Samsung Galaxy S10 (Best New Release)

Samsung Galaxy S10
Lifewire 
4.8

What We Like

  • Excellent AMOLED display

  • Fast speed

  • Triple-camera setup

  • Good battery life

What We Don't Like

  • Spotty in-screen fingerprint sensor

  • No more iris sensor

  • A big price jump from the Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S10
 Lifewire
Samsung Galaxy S10
 Lifewire
Samsung Galaxy S10
 Lifewire
Samsung Galaxy S10
Lifewire 
Samsung Galaxy S10
 Lifewire

“The Galaxy S10 one of the best all-around flagship phones on the market right now,” raved our tester, “with dazzling looks and impressive tech all around.” Specifically, he loved its triple-camera setup, “gorgeous” display, long battery life, and fast speed: “It’s impressively swift during day-to-day use,” he said. Although he felt its in-screen fingerprint sensor didn’t work as well as the standard sensor in previous models, he thought that, overall, it was a great buy: “If you can handle the high-end price tag, it doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.

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