Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon
When it comes to buying a smartphone, there's a huge list of devices to choose from. Today's market is flooded with handsets spread across different price tiers and niche sectors. Then, we have mobile carriers offering various discounts, deals, or monthly payment plans to make the purchase of that one expensive handset that much easier for the customer.

One of these carriers Verizon Wireless... you know — only the largest wireless telecommunications provider in the US currently. Chances are, you may be looking to sign a new contract with Verizon and may be wondering which of their phones would make for a good purchase.

Well, no worries, we're here with a buying guide for you! Just decide how much you are willing to spend on that new handset and then click on the appropriate category below:


$0 - $10 per month (up to $250 retail)


Asus ZenFone V Live

($0 per month or $161 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Cheapest Verizon smartphone you can get right now
  • Has fingerprint scanner and metal build

Cons

  • Not much in terms of performance or camera


The cheapest Verizon phone you can get would be the Asus ZenFone V Live, which can be had for $0 per month ($30 one-time activation fee applies). So, yeah, free as long as you grab a 2-year plan with the carrier. The phone is not mindblowing, but at least it has a rather large 3,000 mAh battery, which should do well with the low-power hardware. It has a Snapdragon 425 humming under its hood, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of memory, which is nothing to write home about, but at least it's a bit more generous than Samsung's entry-level J3 when it comes to specs. We'd also skip the LG Stylo 2 V since it's a year-and-a-half old entry-level device.

Moto G6

($5 per month or $240 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Clean Android with snappy performance
  • Long battery life
  • Pretty looks on a budget phone

Cons

  • Tinny speakers
  • Average camera


The best cheap phone from Verizon right now would be the Moto G6. The G series has long been the darling of the smartphone fandom due to its pure Android, snappy performance, and rather timely updates all for pretty decent price tags. The G6 continues this trend but also gives you a nice, shiny build with its glass sandwich design. It's also the first G series phone to adopt the extra-wide 18:9 display.

$10 – $17 per month ($250 to $400 retail)


In this midrange price tier, we have a few refurbished iPhones to look at, plus a rugged phone for those that put their device in danger often.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (refurbished)

($12.49 - $16.66 per month or $299.99 - $399.99 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Hey, look, a headphone jack!
  • Classic iPhone feel with mechanical home button and Touch ID

Cons

  • No water-resistance
  • Design looks dated by now
  • 16 GB base storage


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus feature 3D Touch, a mechanical home button with Touch ID, and a headphone jack, but lack any dual camera options or water-resistance. In terms of future-proofing — the 6s generation is still being sold by Apple, so it seems the company doesn't intend to stop updating it any time soon. As far as hardware power goes — the 2017 iPad 9.7 is also powered by the Apple A9 chip, so we'd say you can expect solid performance.

Kyocera DuraForce Pro

($17 per month or $408 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Rugged, resistant to elements

Cons

  • Not really a performer


Now, for the Kyocera DuraForce Pro — this one is getting a bit long in the tooth and isn't aging as well as the iPhones. The DuraForce Pro was launched in 2016 and is powered by a Snapdragon 617 with 2 GB of RAM. If ruggedness is a priority and the phone is only meant for light use — sure, get the Kyocera. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

$18 – $25 per month ($400 to $600 retail)


Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

($18.74 - $23.74 per month or $449.99 - $569.99 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Probably the last metal-back iPhone you'll be able to get for a while
  • Stereo speakers

Cons

  • Design looks a bit dated by now

The iPhone 7 is a pretty good device to buy right now. It's still powerful, it doesn't have the slippery glass back that the iPhone 8 has, it's water- and dust-resistant and it does have the stereo speaker setup. If you are an iOS guy and don't want to shell out for the newest Apple phones, the 7 is probably your best choice. Also, it comes in two different types of black!

$26 - $33 per month ($600 to $800 retail)


OK, we are in legit flagship territory now. Here, we see all of the recognizable top-tier devices that we review and compare on a daily basis.

Considering the time of the year, we'd skip on the LG G6 and Moto Z2 Force — both of these are due to get a refresh pretty soon. It'd be interesting to see how good their successors are first. Even if you do have your heart set on one of the currently-available phones, their prices might drop as soon as the new ones launch, which would mean you're throwing money away by not waiting for a month or so.

Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8

($29 - $29.16 per month or $696 - $891.66 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Great display and contemporary design
  • Has a headphone jack

Cons

  • No stereo speakers


If you are after one of these gorgeous Samsung Infinity Displays but would rather spend less cash when possible — check out the S8 or the Note 8. They are not that different to this year's S9 and Note 9. Sure, the new phones have the Tuned by AKG stereo speakers and the latest chip. That aside, the older models have a very similar look and feel, with that glass sandwich design.

LG G7 ThinQ

($31.25 per month or $750 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Modern design, flashy looks in cool color options
  • Wide-angle camera
  • Has a headphone jack

Cons

  • Average battery life


LG's 2018 flagship is a pretty solid phone. It doesn't do something insane or push the envelope in some manner, but it has a solid build, a very bright display, nice cameras, and still has a headphone jack while also offering water-resistance. LG's phones are still the only mainstream phone that offer a wide-angle lens for their secondary camera, making the life of vloggers (or those that just want to fit tons of stuff within one picture) much easier. It doesn't have stereo speakers but LG's latest Boombox speaker is kind of nice. And hey, it my be $750, but it's still among the cheapest flagships for 2018. Yeah, that's a crazy thing to consider.

$35 per month and above ($800+ retail)


Google Pixel 2 XL

($35.41 per month or $849.99 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Pure Android - the way Google intends it to be
  • Top-tier specs and amazing camera
  • Front-firing stereo speakers

Cons

  • Some defects and quality issues at launch, should be fine now
  • The Pixel 3 is coming out soon...


The best choice to go with is if you want to get pure Android, the way Google intended for it to be, is the Google Pixel 2 XL. It's large, fast, and mean, with stereo speakers, an OK AMOLED display, and a squeeze trigger (a-la HTC Edge Sense) for the Google Assistant. Its camera is also among the best out there thanks to Google's pristine HDR+ software. However, do keep in mind that the Pixel 3 launch is right around the corner, so splurging $850 for this phone right now is probably not a great investment.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note 9

($38.74 - $41.66 per month or $929.99 - $999.99 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • One-of-a-kind variable aperture camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • Still has headphone jack
  • New remote functionality for the S Pen

Cons

  • Facial recognition is not there yet
  • AR Emoji are kind of mediocre


The best that Samsung has to offer you is in this duo of phones. A large, beautiful, curved screen, a dual camera with Portrait Mode and a mechanical variable aperture, a “properly” placed fingerprint scanner, combined iris and face scanning, the experimental blood pressure reader, good-sounding stereo speakers, and the latest-and-greatest hardware — it's the full package. If you like the idea of writing with an S Pen — go for the Note 9, otherwise save a few bucks and pick the S9+ instead. Both are killer devices.

Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

($41.66 - $45.83 per month or $999.99 - $1099.99 retail)

Best smartphones to buy from Verizon

Pros

  • Stainless steel frames, magnificent displays
  • Stereo speakers
  • Face ID is definitely ahead of the competition

Cons

  • Very high price
  • No fingerprint scanners


And on the Apple side, these are the best iPhones you can buy. This year, Apple evolved the iPhone X by adding a larger version of it — the iPhone XS Max. If you are a fan of a more conventional size — the XS is shaped just like last year's X.

You get stereo speakers, 3D Touch, awesome new cameras, Animoji and Memoji, and a device to hook up one of these new Apple Watches, too. Downside — these are pricey, especially if you want to go for a higher storage tier and / or the oversized Max version.

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15 Comments

1. Derekjeter

Posts: 1448; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I blame T-Mobile for these high phone prices. We should go back to the free phone days and sign a two year contract. Now your paying the full price and staying with the carrier for two years.

7. Godlymansean

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Yeah the "free phone", or the penny phone. They charged higher line access fees for contract phones though. Still can purchase phones outright, and find deals with any carrier.

8. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I disagree plans have not gone down in price yes they include more but the price has stayed about the same. Plus the original reason why T-Mobile quit doing contracts is they were loosing money on phones. The current price structure is more profitable for them. Plus you don't need a contract when if you want to leave you need to pay off your $900 phone. For Example I am on a grandfathered unlimited contract plan its $72 per month including tax. The last contract renewal I did I received a Moto z Force for free. If I chose to leave next month after renewing my contract I would owe a $350 termination fee but the phone was mine. Also my ETF goes down $10 per month for every month I have service. If I went in today and got a Moto z2 my monthly cost would go up $30 per month because of the phone payment. So I would be paying $102 per month. If i decided to leave next month I would owe the remaining balance of the $720 phone cost. How is the contract rate not better?

10. sadamcrymamp

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 25, 2018

if you're on an old grandfathered plan (Like MORE everything) on Verizon, you get a built in line access fee discount which will sort of compensate when you start financing a phone, any phone >$25 gets you a $25 discount and any phone

11. sadamcrymamp

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 25, 2018

Not sure why, but it wouldn't let me finish my comment--anyway any phone

12. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I am on a Nationwide plan its probably around 7 years old and they don't offer a discount when you finance. Now I do understand some of the newer plans do offer that but a fair comparison is the way business was done back in the days where contracts were normal vs now when financing is normal. I don't think you can buy a phone under contract with any of the wireless providers today. I stick to my point that when contracts were normal consumers actually got a better deal overall on phone purchases. Today its a better deal for the wireless company

14. Godlymansean

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Yes, and No. I agree and disagree lol

15. sadamcrymamp

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 25, 2018

Don't get me wrong, I more or less agree with you. I just wanted to point out that Verizon (sort of) offered a compensation of sorts. Also the new Verizon Plan, depending on the Nationwide plan you have now you might be able to get a price to GB or cheaper plan overall--it is up to the individual case though.

13. Godlymansean

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Line access were $40, they're now $20 (without contract). Buy a phone with payment less or equal to 20$, or a phone with a deal on it to make it $20, then you're paying the same monthly. Dependent on the plan of course, but just be consumer aware. Everyone always saying they remember there old phone bills... lol probably not, pull one up compare contrast and get the correct info. I've sold every carriers phones, they all do the same thing.

2. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2118; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Well demand has driven phone prices...

9. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Probably some truth to that statement but the other side is the Service Providers are now making good margin on the phones.

3. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

The consumer has caused these high prices.

4. theot14430 unregistered

I do miss the subsidized phone prices. Now, almost every carrier wants you to take on the phones, and only handle the service end.

5. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Did Verizon stop selling the Note 8?

6. Godlymansean

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

No, they still sell it.

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