Last updated: November 15, 2023 (Changelog)
Seeing how popular our Buyer's guide is, we decided to do one specifically for the US market because it is pretty different from the other parts of the world.
One important difference is that the major Chinese brands are almost absent. Not all of them (there is OnePlus), but the vast majority of popular Chinese brands of smartphones such as Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, vivo, etc., are only available as gray imports.
In addition, the traditional brands with a presence in the US market offer a more limited selection of their smartphones. For instance, the high-end Nords from OnePlus are not available, Motorola's Edge family is small, while Samsung's Galaxy A series has been reduced to just a couple of phones.
The absence of strong competition from the Chinese brands also gives a fighting chance to some OEMs that wouldn't normally take a big cut of the total shipments. Motorola is just one example.
A few things to keep in mind, we didn't include any phones, which are considered gray imports. For once, you won't be getting after-market support and warranty in most cases, and secondly, it's hard to find a phone that would work with US carriers unless it's specifically made for the US market. That's why we try to keep things as official and retail in our selection as possible, and you will find most, if not all, of the handsets below available through the manufacturers' official stores or via the major retailers and the carriers themselves.
So, without further ado, here's our comprehensive list of devices, which are worthy of your attention and hard-earned cash in descending order.
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 1,199.99||$ 1,199.99|
|512GB 8GB RAM||$ 1,399.99||$ 1,399.99|
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple's current best iPhone and we think it’s the best phone you can buy in the US. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is worth getting for its well-rounded user experience, luxurious design, its premium services and warranty, for its clockwork iOS, and for its versatile camera performance with great photos and exceptional videos. The great battery life doesn't hurt, and the introduction of USB-C means one fewer built-in shortcoming too.
Admittedly, iOS makes moving from an Android a daunting task and one that even comes at an extra cost - Apple's price tags tend to be higher than competitors across the OS divide. The slow charging and heavy GPU throttling may or may not be an issue in your world, but they're there anyway, and the photo processing isn't universally likable either.
In any case however, we reckon the good far outweighs the bad, particularly for the US consumer that gets to enjoy all the benefits of the Apple realm. Most of these directly apply to the regular Pro, of course, and it's up to you to decide which size suits you best.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 1,295.00||$ 1,799.99|
|512GB 12GB RAM||$ 1,148.97||$ 1,249.50|
The Galaxy Fold5 offers the best foldable experience on the market - while its hardware seems to trail certain more region-limited competitors there's no matching its complete software package. We applaud Samsung for the multi-tasking implementation on the Fold5 and all neat software tricks available throughout One UI, while the new S-Pen Slim Case means the stylus is now even more convenient to carry around.
Samsung did hold back updating some of the Fold5's internals. The camera system in particular would have benefited from an update - of the ultrawide, at least. The charging speed is rather meh as well. That body, while looking pretty cool on its own, is nowhere near as striking as rivals from China.
Still, the Fold5 offers ingress protection, spectacular displays, great performance, even pretty nice cameras, all things considered. Its battery life is solid, and so are the speakers, and the connectivity options.
At the end of the day, the Fold5 is an easy decision for any tech-addicted user, or any power user. Even with the OnePlus Open and the Pixel Fold available in the US, the Galaxy's versatile software and proven track record with bendy displays makes it a much easier recommendation.Read full review
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 825.00||$ 833.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 915.00||$ 949.98|
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best phones right now with pretty much everything you could think of wanting in a smartphone.
If we had to start with the things you can't get here, we'd have to mention that it doesn't bend in half - there's another Galaxy that takes care of that. Naysayers will also point out that it charges too slowly, but that's relative - it's notably better in this respect than iPhone or Pixel competitors, which is arguably what matters. Maybe the Ultra's worst offence is that it's not all that different than last year's model.
That said, the S23 Ultra offers a couple of incremental upgrades here or there, while keeping the basics that already made the S22 Ultra superb. Small tweaks in the design bring meaningful improvement to handling, while the new 200MP camera is more than just a megapixel increase over the old 108MP unit.
The set of five cameras together deliver one of the most versatile camera experiences in a smartphone overall, certainly so on the US market. The S Pen may not have brought any new features, but existing ones are plenty and it's not like there's any stylus-wielding competition - other than the Galaxy Fold, that is. The spectacular display and excellent battery life round up a top-class showing when it comes to the fundamentals too.Read full review
|512GB 16GB RAM||$ 1,699.99||₹ 139,999|
The OnePlus Open is a great addition to the foldable segment, one that has everything to make the Galaxy Z Fold5 sweat. The Open has a classier and supposedly sturdier design; it's thinner and lighter. And it became evident it has better displays - both are of higher resolution, higher color bitrate, and support Dolby Vision. The cover one also offers a much more convenient aspect ratio than the Samsung.
The OnePlus Open runs on the latest available (at the time of writing) Snapdragon chip, and its cooling solution and software optimizations make for a nicely stable performance with no harsh throttling or frame heating. We also found the battery life of the Open to be great, no matter if it was closed or open. The charging speed is more than adequate - better than on the Galaxy; the 3-speaker Dolby Atmos experience turned out good, too.
The Hasselblad cameras are thoroughly impressive with natural rendition and overall impressive photo and video quality across the board, day and night. We are particularly fond of the selfies, portraits, and closeups shot with this setup. The 'selfie' cameras mostly unremarkable results are not that relevant for this form factor, but the most frustrating thing we experienced was the camera app avoided using the actual telephoto camera for zoom photos at night, which is a shame as it snaps superb photos..
Finally, the OxygenOS 13 is incredibly feature-rich and highly customizable, while the foldable-exclusive Open Canvas multi-tasking is super clever once you get the gist of it. OnePlus is promising 4 years of major Android updates and another one of security patches, too.
The OnePlus Open is an excellent alternative to the Fold5 if a stylus is not a must and if you don't plan on (accidentally) taking it underwater.Read full review
|128GB 12GB RAM||$ 979.99||$ 999.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 1,059.00||$ 1,059.00|
With the Pixel 8 Pro Google has made strides to address a host of the complaints we had about the previous generation. No longer is the selfie camera a hit-and-miss affair, and the new ultrawide is also miles better than before. The improvement in charging speed didn't go unnoticed either, but the Pixel had so much to catch up here that it couldn't all happen in one generation. The in-house chipset isn't quite up to the standard of the day in absolute performance and doesn't handle sustained load with much grace.
Moving to the good stuff, it's not just that the ultrawide camera is no longer a source of grievances, but the telephoto has been improved too. So, with both flanks of an already great main camera now covered, the normally excellent cameraphone is now somehow even better.
The brand-new display is now up there with the leading efforts in the industry - not that the old one was bad, it's just that this Super Actua panel is more deserving of high praise, than a simple 'yeah, that's good enough'. Similarly, the already stellar software support gets promoted to best-in-business - we'll see how quickly Google will forget about that 7-year promise, but right now, it sounds really nice.
This year Google has also fitted a thermometer on the Pixel 8 Pro - we're not quite sure just how useful it is yet, but if no one else has one, it has to be a plus. What we find to be another welcome development is the flat display.
In the end, we think the Pixel 8 Pro is the evolutionary upgrade you'd expect it to be and then some. Google could have done less this generation and still charged the extra $100, but instead, they actually did bring some meaningful improvements that move the series forward. We approve.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 999.99||$ 999.99|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 1,099.99||$ 1,099.99|
The iPhone 15 Pro is a logical if not quite exciting, evolutionary step for the lineup. Small advancement in key areas go with continued refusal to improve on others, but Apple will be Apple. Perhaps that statement alone explains the fact that the new 5x telephoto only comes on the Pro Max and not the Pro, and we're bummed about it on principle, even if it's objectively not a big deal.
The high price, scant retail bundle, iOS quirks, and heavy throttling sound like cons we've listed before and will continue to do so. On the other hand, traditional strong points of the iPhone are only getting stronger - like the upmarket build and in-hand feel, spectacular display, versatile camera system and great speakers. We're more than happy to welcome the USB-C port this year on iPhone too.
Ultimately, the iPhone 15 Pro is what you'd expect it to be - the best one to date in size small.Read full review
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 429.99||C$ 1,420.00|
|512GB 12GB RAM||C$ 1,530.00|
The $999 Motorola Razr+, also known as Motorola Razr 40 Ultra elsewhere, packs some impressive flagship hardware. Both displays are great, and we like the foldable screen implementation. They are vivid and bright enough, while the external screen offers almost full functionality. The chipset may not be the most recent one, but it's capable of running everything you find on Play Store. However, there are several pitfalls that are hard to ignore, even in the context of a foldable device.
The stills and videos are cropped when the device is closed, the charging speed is unimpressive, and the battery life is about average. Sustained performance may also be an issue for some of you who like to play demanding games from time to time. And although powerful enough, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 isn't as energy-efficient as its successor, the SD8 Gen 2. A flip phone with such a small battery would have benefitted from the extra hardware efficiency gains.
All in all, the Razr 40 Ultra marks a big improvement over its predecessor. It's competitive in the clamshell foldable category, and its asking price may get you any 2023 flagship smartphone with fast charging, longer battery life and excellent camera performance. That's the price - both literally and metaphorically - for getting this exclusive form factor and iconic name.Read full review
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 888.88||$ 999.99|
|512GB 8GB RAM||$ 879.99||$ 1,119.99|
The Z Flip5 comes with two meaningful and significant upgrades. The gapless folding design is finally here, so the handset no longer looks like a prototype - it's sexier this way but also simply more compact. The other thing is the cover display - the new one is large enough to actually be useful for a change.
Alongside those two major developments, we're getting a handful of small ones that add up. The new chipset deserves a mention even if it was a given, but it's also at least partially responsible for the improved battery life compared to the previous generation - it has to be, since battery capacity has remained the same. Similarly, the camera hardware is unchanged, yet the 5 takes better pictures than the 4.
The Galaxy Flips have been steadily evolving, and with the Z Flip5, Samsung is approaching that point where it would need to do something big soon. For this year, however, we think a cover display and hinge will do. We'd be happy recommending the Galaxy Z Flip5.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 879.97||$ 929.99|
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 969.97||$ 1,029.99|
Overall, the iPhone 15 Plus boasts a significant upgrade over its predecessor in a couple of key departments - display, battery life, performance, main camera and charging.
It's still nowhere near the Pro lineup, and it's missing features such as this year's chipset, the optical zoom, the autofocus on the ultra-wide camera, the 120Hz high-refresh-rate screen that comes with Always-On Display, or the new customizable Action key. Depending on your priorities, the lack of some of these might be a deal-breaker for you.
The iPhone 15 Plus is one really niche device, but if we had to pinpoint one key feature – it would be its really impressive battery life. And then adding the well-rounded specs, we think have a winner here.Read full review
|128GB 12GB RAM||$ 423.94||$ 649.00|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 479.00||$ 749.00|
The Pixel 7 Pro may have been superceded, but it's still available and comes with savings compared to the new model. You won't be getting the latest chipset, the super bright new display, or the updated ultrawide and tele cameras, but last year's setup was plenty great already.
The characteristic look of the Pixel images comes on the 7 Pro as well, as do a lot of the in-house features that you'd get on the latest model. Some of the cons in this list have been addressed on the 8 Pro, however, so you might be wise to consider spending the extra money for the upgrades.Read full review
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 529.00||$ 849.50|
|512GB 8GB RAM||$ 671.36||$ 775.00|
The Galaxy S23+ offers a solid and dependable Samsung flagship experience with all (okay, most) of the bells and whistles. It features an excellent build with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and the IP68 ingress protection rating we've gotten used to from Samsung. Its display, while not drastically different from the previous generation, still has plenty of brightness to throw around and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate with excellent automatic refresh rate handling.
Battery life is also excellent this generation, in no small part due to the move to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy mobile platform. What is essentially an overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip is still the best the Android world has to offer - in the US, at least. One UI is extra smooth and responsive thanks to added refinement and polish and is still filled to the brim with useful features, including a powerful multitasking system and the Samsung DeX platform.
The S23+ is also a dependable point-and-shoot camera with photos that look great across the board on the first try and with amazing consistency from shot to shot.
A few complaints can be mentioned, like the somewhat slow charging, though it's not like Google and Apple are really competing here, so the Galaxy is actually sort of okay in this context. The 8-bit color display is a blemish in the specsheet, and the relatively heavy throttling of the chipset is also noteworthy.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 450.16||$ 605.00|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 545.00||$ 647.00|
The $800 Samsung Galaxy S23 is one of the most compact Android flagships available and the small size didn't come at the cost of cut features.
The phone has an excellent 6.1-inch OLED screen with high brightness and adaptive refresh rate, the most powerful chipset on the US Android market, and a superb quartet of cameras that will reliably capture whatever you put in front of their lenses.
The smallest Galaxy S23 offers a decent battery life, too. It is one of the most compact droids available right now, the most powerful, too, and an easy enough recommendation.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 773.97||$ 829.99|
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 889.97||$ 929.99|
Apple's smartphone ecosystem is mostly an isolated island at this point snd the vanilla iPhone definitely has its place. It's the one you get when you simply want "an iPhone," and since it just happens to be the cheapest of the latest bunch, it gets a lot of attention on that front as well.
As far as innovations go, the iPhone 15 brings much more to the table than its predecessor. The all-new and incredibly bright OLED display is a great step forward, and we appreciate Apple finally unifying its design with Dynamic Island across all models. And speaking of unification, Type-C was a long-overdue change. The other major novelty this year must be the new 48MP main camera. We found it to be excellent all-around and a noticeable improvement over last year's 12MP cam.
All things considered, the vanilla iPhone 15 will get you most of the way there to the full iPhone Pro-level experience.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 595.00||C$ 820.26|
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 590.00||C$ 997.29|
You could be after a larger display on your iPhone and within this budget, the iPhone 14 Plus will deliver that. A bonus that stems from the size is the larger battery capacity and hence - the better battery life.
The iPhone 14 Plus is one of the lightest 6.7-inch smartphones around with a flagship-grade design, screen, speakers, battery life, performance and video quality. The cameras may not be as good as the ones on the 15 generation, but trade-offs must be made.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 659.99||$ 699.50|
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 685.00|
The OnePlus 11 is a perfect fit as a top pick here for its excellent LTPO3 OLED screen, the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 under the hood, long battery life, blazing-fast charging, a nice set of stereo speakers and the full set of cameras, including a nice 2x zoom unit. Surely, 2x zoom doesn't really cut it in 2023, but it's a rare find in this price bracket.
In short, for $700, the handset delivers pretty much everything you'd need from a high-end phone, except wireless charging.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 679.99||C$ 749.00|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 749.99||C$ 829.99|
The Pixel 8 offers an improved viewing experience in line with 2023's industry standards, excellent camera experience, faster charging, 7 years of software support, and timely major OS updates. And, it is one of the most compact smartphones on the market, one of the most powerful, and one with a remarkable photo quality from its cameras.
But the Pixel 8 isn't without its flaws. For instance, a 3x telephoto unit would have been greatly appreciated. Charging and battery life aren't particularly impressive either, although somewhat okay in Pixel terms. We also wonder why Google decided to skip the autofocus feature on the selfie camera and the support for Pro camera mode on the smaller Pixel.
Bottom line, the Pixel 8 is an easy recommendation because, despite its issues, it's a significant upgrade over the previous generation and manages to pack competent hardware into a compact body.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 575.55||C$ 899.98|
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 644.25||C$ 998.97|
There's an iPhone at every price point now and it's the iPhone 14 that comes in at $700. It was an incremental upgrade over last year's model, while the 15 seems to bring a bit more to the table, but $100 is $100. Battery life is solid, while the now two-year-old chipset remains plenty powerful.
The camera may not be the latest either, but you still get a reasonably large sensor on the main unit, top-notch stabilization and AF for selfies. Nice stereo speakers and robust update policy remain strong selling points as well.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 614.99||€ 729.00|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 649.99||C$ 1,049.99|
The Zenfone 10 continues in the footsteps of the 8 and the 9 and brings heaps of performance into an easily pocketable package. Its small size doesn't get in the way of achieving excellent battery life, the Snapdragon chip isn't all too bothered by the compact body, and there was room for the usual headphone jack, but also for the addition of wireless charging.
All that is great, but there's just not a whole lot of new stuff about the Zenfone 10, and some of the new stuff rubs us the wrong way. We're not entirely sure that the gaming-only 144Hz refresh rate on the display counts, and we most definitely aren't thrilled about AF being gone from the ultrawide and the selfie camera. The continued absence of a telephoto isn't helping the Zenfone's case either.
Still, getting this Zenfone 10 is not a bad idea at all. It remains part of a relatively short list of phones catering to customers prioritizing compactness over everything else. And it does deliver flagship specs and promising performance across the board.Read full review
|512GB 8GB RAM||$ 599.99|
The Motorola Edge+ (2023) is a pure flagship sold at an upper midrange price. The latest Edge+ impresses with a 165Hz OLED screen with Dolby Vision, there is the still-current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, powerful stereo speakers, waterproof design. The phone has only one version and it comes with 512GB UFS 4.0 storage, which is quite nice.
The camera experience seems great, too. There is a 50MP OIS primary, a 50MP ultrawide with autofocus, and a 12MP 2x zoom tele at the back. 8K video capturing is available. Oh, and inside the small display perforation you will find a high-end 60MP selfie camera with 4K video recording capability.
The phone offers all sorts of connectivity options including Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, dial-SIM 5G (via eSIM), Ready For 3.5 support, even USB 3.2 with DisplayPort 1.4 support.
The only thing that’s probably average on this Moto is the short 2x zoom on the telephoto camera, other phones do better.SPECS
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 840.00||£ 595.59|
Known outside of the US as the Razr 40, the Motorola razr can stand its ground successfully against most competitors and it does so from the comfortable position of being the cheapest-but-still-great clamshell. It's a modern foldable with exquisite design that is comfortable to hold and operate.
We found its bendy OLED display to be of excellent quality, while its external panel turned out to be quite useful if a step behind the 2023 trends. The loud stereo speakers were also a nice touch, and the solid camera quality across the board was much appreciated. The battery life turned out to be adequate for such a device, and if Motorola addresses the high standby drain with an update it could well become great.
The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor is perhaps more than enough for the category as we don't see many heavy gamers going for flip phones. So all things considered we liked the Motorola razr and while it doesn't feel like it will be the new V3, it looks destined to become the most popular of the new generation Razr phones.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 286.70||$ 467.00|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 399.99||$ 549.00|
The Pixel 7 is definitely one of the best options in the $600 price range, especially when considering camera quality - albeit last year's model, it's one of the best phones for mobile photography for the money. It has a flagship-worthy performance, although a bit lower than you'd expect, a bright OLED, great-sounding stereo speakers, long battery life (with the size category in mind) and exceptional software ensuring timely updates and smart features.
Sadly, there are a few caveats to consider here. There's no true telephoto camera, the display is limited to 90Hz, and the charging solution is just way too outdated for a 2022 flagship release.
But we do recommend it- at that price, the Pixel 7 offers a unique combination of ultra-premium camera experience, long battery life and AI-based features that make it the smartest kid on the block - well, short of the new kids on the block, that is.Read full review
|256GB 12GB RAM||$ 559.00||$ 699.00|
|512GB 12GB RAM||$ 679.00||$ 749.74|
The Nothing Phone (2) is an excellent sequel and a tempting offer in this pretty tough crowd. The phone has something that no other phone, well, except Phone (1), has, and that's the Glyph UI. Even better, the LED functionality has been expanded, and it's a really cool and convenient way to see what's happening on your phone without looking at its screen.
The Phone (2) has a larger and brighter LTPO OLED display, with a much more adaptive refresh rate, a welcome update over the Phone (1). The most notable upgrade is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship chipset, which makes working with the Phone (2) a breezy experience, gaming included (albeit at up to 60Hz). Then there is the improved battery life. The richer audio from the stereo speakers. And better photo and video quality across the board. Let's not forget the faster 45W charging speed.
If you just want a breath of fresh air, an innovation of sorts in an otherwise boring market, the Nothing Phone (2) will not disappoint you. The fact that it's also solid on the fundamentals doesn't hurt either.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 578.75||C$ 647.47|
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 559.50||$ 584.74|
Slotting inbetween the S23 and the S23+ in terms of screen size, the 6.4-inch Galaxy S23 FE is the not-quite-flagship for those willing to give up on some of the top-tier models' niceties in return for some savings - though the savings might not be enough at launch.
While its name makes little sense, the phone has every chance of finding its footing when its price settles down. What in out minds is a late Galaxy S22 FE has an attractive dual-glass design, a great OLED screen, capable hardware, consistently good cameras, superb speakers, and flagship software.
Overall, the Galaxy S23 FE is a good all-round smartphone, almost like a flagship-killer, even if it's a year late. It's pretty much a hard pass at $600, but at $500 or less - we'd say it's a good deal that makes sense.Read full review
|128GB 4GB RAM||$ 469.97||C$ 649.99|
|256GB 4GB RAM||$ 520.00||C$ 759.99|
As we mentioned as part of our iPhone 14 entry, the iPhone 13 is an equally attractive offer as it is almost an identical phone, cheaper at that - now at $100 lower still. The iPhone 13, just like the 14, does lack a high refresh rate screen – its most notable omission. But the iPhone 13 is still one of the most durable and powerful phones on the market, yet lightweight and comfortable. The OLED screen is great; it has reduced though still huge notch, offers outstanding contrast and brightness, Dolby Vision and HDR10 support.
The iPhone 13 has a powerful Apple chip with 5G, a reasonably competent main camera and okay ultrawide and selfie shooters. Stereo speakers are on board, battery life is solid, and you get MagSafe support.Read full review
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 299.99||$ 375.00|
The appeal of Pixel phones tends to be difficult to explain with just numbers and test results, and such is the case with the 7a. Google hasn't been quick to adopt a high refresh rate display on its 'midrange' model and even when it finally has, it's a 90Hz panel. Battery life is unremarkable, charging speed is downright unacceptable, the lack of storage options is limiting, and the Tensor G2 runs hot and throttles. There are also missteps in what should be any Pixel's forte - camera performance.
Counter the above, we have an Android experience tailored to Google's own vision with a clutter-free interface, Pixel-only features, and an update policy that's hard to rival. An otherwise meh flagship chipset does make for a pretty great midrange one, prone to throttling as it may be. And so long as you avoid people shots in most of their incarnations, the Pixel 7a's camera's system will deliver image quality that wouldn't be out of place on an actual flagship.
In summary, with the 7a, Google appears to have simply created a more affordable Pixel 7, making the latest a-series model the go-to option for someone just looking for a Pixel. And it's one of the most sensible options in its price segment in the US in particular.Read full review
|256GB 8GB RAM||$ 349.99||$ 499.99|
The Motorola Edge (2023), sold in the US, is a mix of two Motos available globally - the Edge 40 and Edge 40 Neo. While we haven't really experienced the US version, we have plenty of findings for the other two to be able to tell what the Edge (2023) is going to be like.
We're really liking the Moto's form factor and it's a really nice option if you're after a more pocketable (especially lightweight) device in this class. The grippy back and IP68 rating are strong points too. The fast charging and wireless charging capability are most welcome as is the brawny Mediatek chipset. The nice camera system rounds up an overall very strong perfomnace.SPECS
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 309.99||C$ 457.99|
|256GB 16GB RAM||$ 399.99||C$ 1,205.00|
The OnePlus 10T is hardly an exciting release, and it makes it easy on us to pick on it for its missteps. For the most part, those were already there in the spec sheet - the so-so camera system and lack of wireless charging and IP rating weren't exactly surprises, and the press images readily reveal the absence of the alert slider too. That last bit, coupled with the fact that OnePlus and Oppo Android overlays have been steadily converging, may also put off long-time fans of the brand.
But the 10T doesn't have to be all things to all people quite like a 'proper' flagship does. Its main selling points are also right there on the official product pages, and the phone does deliver top-level performance and charging speed. For its conservatively specced camera, it brings an okay experience, the display is solid in its average-ness, battery life is similarly middle-of-the-road - all of these to be taken in a good way if that makes any sense.
In its essence, the OnePlus 10T is an upper-midrange phone with a top-tier chipset and class-leading charging capability. We'd say it's priced accordingly and is worth what OnePlus is asking - you can read that as sort of a recommendation, particularly at its now heavily-reduced price.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 204.94||$ 399.00|
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 257.99||$ 283.00|
Following up on the Galaxy A52s was no easy task for the A53, and last year's Galaxy A5x model left us unimpressed. The A54 puts the series back on the right track, we reckon. We're getting a more powerful chipset than last year (though, admittedly, it's roughly on par with the two-year-old A52s), improved battery life, and an even nicer display.
The somewhat generic styling may not be overly eye-catchy, but it does quickly reveal your brand allegiance, and it can easily pass for the brand's flagship too. The dust and water protection rating is almost flagshippy too, and not a given at this price point.
The brand-new primary camera is a significant step up from the A53's, and it's one of the best units of its kind for the class, possibly even punching above its weight. The selfie camera takes great photos too, and the not-so-impressive ultrawide does the job.
That is, so long as you don't need it for video. Add to that the lack of stabilization in 4K, and the A54's viability as a video camera is more than slightly shaken. The fact that you don't get a charger in the box still rubs us the wrong way, and as good as the new chipset may be, it only brings us back to the level the series was at two years ago.
All things considered, we are quite liking the Galaxy A54. It's a meaningful generational improvement and a competent midrange package.Read full review
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 213.82||$ 297.00|
While somewhat old, the Pixel 6a remains quite the deal and as such still a sensible purchasing option. It packs a compact HDR OLED screen, offers excellent performance and top-notch camera quality, particularly for the money, via the dual-camera system on the back. The phone is also IP67-rated for dust and water resistance.
The Pixels are among the first phones to get the new Android versions, which is nice. The only real issue we have with this 6a model is the lack of a high refresh rate support for the screen.Red full review
|128GB 4GB RAM||$ 390.48||$ 499.99|
|128GB 6GB RAM||$ 174.99||C$ 675.00|
Also a bit long in the tooth, but still officially available, the Galaxy A53 is a very good offer and it will save you some dollars off an A54, even if it’s a downgrade from the Galaxy A52s. The A53 offers an IP67-rated design, a great 120Hz Super AMOLED screen, decent performance with 5G, and a reliable versatile camera setup with OIS.
The Galaxy A53 supports up to 25W fast charging, but the charger is sold separately. The missing Wi-Fi 6 and audio jack from the A52s are baffling. But even accounting for these, it is one solid allrounder and deserves a spot on this list.Read full review
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 179.00|
The Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) can be found at about $300 and it’s an outstanding mid-range phone with a 120Hz display, good performance and incredibly reliable cameras with 4K video capturing. The large battery is a thumbs up, too.
The Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) also offers clean no-nonsense Android experience. There are stereo speakers and plenty of storage, too And for that – it is our top pick in this category,SPECS
|64GB 4GB RAM||$ 144.00||$ 269.99|
Nokia G400 is a very tempting offer in this affordable category. It has a 120Hz LCD screen and is powered by the rather good Snapdragon 480+ 5G chipset. The phone also features three cameras on its back and comes with a large 5,000mAh battery.
The Nokia G400 has no-nonsense design and runs on a clean Android 12. If you budget is around $300, you should give this one a try.SPECS
|64GB 4GB RAM||$ 199.99||$ 299.99|
|128GB 4GB RAM||$ 211.99||£ 182.90|
The $260 Galaxy A23 5G deserves a spot here. It is a well-rounded phone with a smooth-running screen, likable design, powerful enough hardware, plenty of cameras, and a large battery with reasonably fast charging. We appreciate the latest software suite and the various fan-favorite features like a standalone microSD slot, a 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, and even the old notch shape.
The 4GB RAM model is a bit slow, but it is also the cheaper one, and it makes sense to get it if you are not too fussy about performance.
While far from perfect, we can see why the Galaxy A23 5G can make sense for some people – it comes from a popular brand with the latest software and offers enough to be a good daily driver – like excellent battery life and good camera.Read our full review
|256GB 6GB RAM||$ 96.18||C$ 381.66|
The $250 Moto G Power 5G has a 120Hz LCD screen, a decent performing Dimensity 930 5g chipset, and a large 5,000mAh battery – and that’s why it is one of the best phones under $300.
The G Power 5G comes with water-repellent coating, there are stereo speakers on board, and it runs on Android 13. It has no ultrawide camera or NFC, but at this price point – we didn’t expect an all-round package anyway.SPECS
|128GB 8GB RAM||$ 229.99|
Overall, we like the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. It has a 120Hz display, a high-res camera, decent performance, stereo speakers, fast charging on a large battery.
We really wish the N30 had an OLED or, failing that, a better and brighter LCD and one backed up by proper high refresh rate handling. The Snapdragon 695 also leaves us kind of wanting, particularly in the video recording department, with its unfortunate 1080p capture limit. Some sort of ingress protection is also attainable in this price range.
However, having said all that, we still don't think the Nord N30 5G is a disappointment. Seeing how the US market has limited options in this price range, the Nord N30 does have a fairly decent market standing. We wouldn't recommend you actively go out to buy one, but you might not have too many alternatives and if you do end up owning it through some amazing deal or another circumstance, it is a solid budget device overall.Read our full review
|64GB 4GB RAM||$ 99.88||$ 199.99|
|128GB 4GB RAM||$ 149.99||$ 159.00|
By definition, the Galaxy A14 5G doesn't excite - as is to be expected from a smartphone that is meant to deliver value for money, and not a lot of money. But it does succeed at precisely that.
Admittedly, it charges slower than most of its peers. Its display is also not as bright as some competitors, if not really trailing by a lot. And the fact that it's missing a wide-angle camera is somewhat of a serious blemish. But at its level, none of these are deal breaking offenses.
On the flipside, the A14 has its set of strong suits and battery life is one of them. Circling back to cameras, it may lack a wide-angle one, but the others that it does have do a great job for the class - the rear camera is solid, and selfies are nice too. It's also running the latest Android with a more feature-packed One UI on top than the 'Core' branding has meant in the past.
All in all, the Galaxy A14 5G is the most phone you can get for $200 in the US.Read full review
|32GB 2GB RAM||$ 85.90||$ 159.99|
|64GB 4GB RAM||$ 159.99||£ 139.99|
The Galaxy A03s is a solid entry-level smartphone - that's undeniable. It has a good screen, a reliable battery, a recent Android OS with OneUI interface, and a no-nonsense primary camera.Read full review
|32GB 3GB RAM||$ 59.00||C$ 137.95|
The Moto G Play 2023 is another possibility in this price bracket, rocking between its $170 MSRP and a discounted rate of $100. It has a large 720p LCD and a sizeable 5,000mAh battery - a virtue that will probably offset the slow charging capability.
The 16MP camera is an upgrade over the 13MP one of the G Pure, while the lack of an ultrawide is common for the price, but still annoying. The low-ish 32GB of storage space is made up for by the mamory card slot, and the water-repellent coating on the internals is a nice touch.SPECS
November 14, 2023: Added the iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15, Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Z Flip5, OnePlus Open, OnePlus 10T, Pixel 8 Pro, Pixel 8, Pixel 7a, Zenfone 10, Motorola Razr (Razr 40), Edge (2023), Moto G Play (2023), Nothing Phone (2).
July 20, 2023: Added the Galaxy S23, Motorola Razr+, Motorola Edge+ (2023), Moto G Stylus 5G, Moto G Power 5G. Removed the Galaxy S21 FE, Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), Motorola one 5G UW ace, Moto G Power (2022), OnePlus 10T, Motorola Edge 30 Fusion. Moved the Galaxy S23+, Motorola Edge 30 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, Motorola Edge (2022) and OnePlus Nord N20 5G to other categories.
April 12, 2023: Replaced Galaxy S22 Ultra with the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Replaced the Galaxy S20 FE with the Galaxy S21 FE. Replaced the Galaxy A23 with the Galaxy A23 5G. Moved the Galaxy S23+ to a different price category (cheaper). Added the OnePlus 11, Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, Motorola Edge Fusion 30, Apple iPhone 13 mini. Removed the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S22+, OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 9, Samsung Galaxy A42 5G, Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Pro, Apple iPhone 12 mini.
March 21, 2023: Replaced Galaxy A13 with Galaxy A14 5G (new top under $200).
November 23, 2022: Added Samsung Galaxy S23+.
November 23, 2022: Added iPhone 14 Pro Max, Galaxy Z Fold4, Galaxy Z Flip4, Google Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, Zenfone 9, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, OnePlus 10T, Galaxy S22+, Motorola Edge+ (2022), iPhone 13, iPhone 12 mini, Galaxy Xcover6 Pro, Nokia G400, Galaxy A13 5G, Galaxy A23 5G, Moto G Pure, OnePlus 9 Pro, Galaxy S20 FE. Removed Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Pixel 6 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, Galaxy S22, iPhone 12, Zenfone 8 Flip, iPhone 13 mini, Galaxy S21 FE, Pixel 6, iPhone 11, Galaxy A52 5G, Motorola Edge (2021), Nokia G20.
August 3, 2022: Added Galaxy S22 Ultra, OnePlus 10 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Asus Zenfone Flip 8, iPhone SE (2022), Galaxy A53, Pixel 6a, OnePlus Nord 20 5G, Samsung Galaxy A03s, Motorola G Power (2022). Removed Galaxy Z Flip3, ROG Phone 6s, OnePlus 9 Pro, Galaxy S21 5G, Zenfone 8, OnePlus 8T, Pixel 5a 5G, iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, Samsung Galaxy A12.
Dec 16, 2021: Replaced the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G with the Motorola One 5G Ace as our Editor's Choice in the sub-$300 category.
Can you please update the list before Black Friday?
Only one person needs the phone pls
With the exception of 1+ this list also applies to the Canadian market; 1+ isn't widely available here. Nokia, Motorola, Google, Asus and Sony can be ordered by Amazon or some Staples or Best Buy stores. Samsung and Apple are the dominant bran...