The 7 Best Verizon Smartphones to Buy in 2017

Shop for the best smartphones on America's largest network

If you’ve selected Verizon as your carrier of choice, you can rest comfortably knowing that its large network is matched by an equally large selection of superb phones. From flagships to budget-priced, there’s no shortage of choices whether you are team Android or team iPhone. Verizon’s claim of having the widest coverage is only as good as the device that runs on it, and we’ve looked at Big Red’s entire smartphone lineup, so read on to see which one best suits you.

iPhone 7S Plus
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The iPhone is a very sticky device in that if you ever own an iPhone, it’s hard to move away from it when it’s time to upgrade because you’re so used to having Apple’s services like iMessage and FaceTime. So that means the only decision you’ll likely need to make when upgrading to a new Apple phone is do you get an iPhone 7 or a 7 Plus?

Each person is different, but we like the 7 Plus a little more for one big reason: battery life. Because the device is larger, there’s more room for battery space and the phone lasts several hours longer than its smaller sibling during normal usage. The iPhone 7 Plus also has a better camera than the iPhone 7 as well, with a second telephoto lens that lets you zoom in closer on subjects and lets you take photos in Portrait Mode.

When it comes to storage, we’d recommend the 128GB version over the 32GB version, as it gives you plenty of room for photos, videos and music. We’ve linked to the unlocked version of the iPhone 7 Plus here, which you can bring to Verizon Wireless or any other carrier. But, of course, you can also purchase the device directly from Verizon if you want to go through them or use a specific plan. More »

Samsung Galaxy S8_Verizon
Courtesy of Verizon

Competition for the best Android phone is fierce, but the Galaxy S8 takes the top spot on our list due to many factors, especially its curvaceous body. “Samsung’s design prowess hasn’t just overtaken Apple, it has been lapped,” said Forbes of the S8.

Measuring 5.86 x 2.68 x .31 inches, the S8 is tall and narrow, ideal for one-handed use. It sheds almost all traces of a bezel to make room for its 5.8-inch, 2,960 x 1,440-pixel Super AMOLED display. It’s no doubt slim, but still manages to include a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor is placed next to the 12-megapixel rear camera lens, which might take some getting used to. While it feels rather fragile, Samsung said that using Gorilla Glass 5 makes it more durable than its predecessor. Not to mention, it’s waterproof.

On the inside, the S8 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, boasting improved graphics, modem capabilities and Web performance, plus a 3,000mAh battery that can get you through the day. It’s an Android phone with not just beauty, but brains, too. More »

iPhone SE
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Choosing a smartphone that offers the best value is no simple decision. Looking for the right combination of hardware, camera, battery life and price can lead to a lengthy search. Thankfully, we’ve done all the analysis and searching for you and nailed down the iPhone SE as the best value device on Verizon’s network. The device is a mirror image of the iPhone 6s, just in a more pocket-friendly hardware. The 12-megapixel camera is among the industry’s best, and while the 4” display is small, the screen's retina clarity helps make the text easy to read. The A9 processor is fast and it offers the best battery life of any iPhone on the market; the 1,642mAh battery edges out the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, thanks to some magical energy efficiency paired with the smaller and less resource-intensive display. More »

Google Pixel
Courtesy of Verizon

The Google Pixel is one of the best five-inch Android phones out there, and one of the best camera phones, period. It has a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera with precise autofocus that is capable of recording 4K video at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps, as well as an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Together they yield best-in-class performance, excelling in both well-lit and low-light settings. You’ll also get free and unlimited photo and video storage with Google Photos, which helps bolster its 32GB of internal storage.

The Pixel’s 1,920 x 1,080-pixel AMOLED display has 441 pixels per inch (ppi), which is sharper than the iPhone 7’s Retina display. Your screen settings will directly impact battery life, but at standard settings it performs well. It won’t quite match the S8 there, but it’ll give the iPhone 7 a run for its money. On top of that, it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and coupled with 4GB of RAM, so it will handle all your streaming and gaming needs with ease. More »

Like AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon has embraced unlocked devices running on their network in recent years and that’s opened the door to a wide number of smartphones that customers wouldn’t normally consider for purchase. In fact, Verizon has embraced the notion so much that “Bring Your Device” is now front and center on the company’s homepage. Options like the Nexus 6P offer an arguably superior experience compared to many of the smartphones Verizon currently sells, often for a lower two-year cost-of-ownership price. Huawei’s Nexus 6P fully embraces Verizon’s network, offering the exact same speeds and LTE connectivity as one would get with an officially approved piece of hardware. The 6P, which was released late in 2015, has been touted as one of the best, purest Android experiences a smartphone owner can run. Simply put, the camera is excellent, battery life is superb, performance is awesome and everything else just comes together and fits.

The 5.7” AMOLED display offers 518 pixels per inch, which for layman means the display is really, really sharp. The 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera offers some of the best low-light camera performance on any Android device we’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. There’s a slightly slower shutter speed compared to the iPhone 6s Plus, but overall images were comparable and, needless to say, both were excellent. The 2.0 Octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor is smooth and unless you are solely focused on loading every application available in Google’s Play Store, you won't find a slowdown in performance. The 3,450mAh battery lasts longer than the iPhone 6s Plus and Galaxy Note 5, and as a Google Nexus device user, you’ll be at the forefront of software releases; you’re guaranteed at least 14 months of Android updates with purchase.

Droid Maxx 2
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As you might be able to tell from our Apple pick above, we love battery life here at Lifewire. It’s one of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a new smartphone because if you don’t have a charge, you don’t have a phone.

Our pick for battery life amongst Verizon phones is the Moto Z Play Droid. This isn’t the flashiest phone overall, but the battery is incredible at nearly two days of mixed usage on a single charge. Motorola claims it can last 50 hours, but even if you’re getting 36 hours during heavy usage, there’s no modern phone that comes to close to beating this in the battery department. This means that even if you forget to charge your phone at night, you’d still be able to make it to work the next day with a decent charge.

The Moto Z Play Droid’s specs outside of battery aren’t as amazing, but they are still quite good. It runs Android 6.01 and has a 5.5-inch 1080p HD screen, a 16-megapixel camera that takes good-but-not-amazing photos, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a headphone jack and a USB-C connector. All of this makes for a great phone that will likely last you a long, long time. More »

DuraForce PRO with Sapphire Shield
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We put our smartphones through a lot, but if you need a phone that endures life’s obstacles with aplomb, look no further than Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO. It’s waterproof up to 6.5 feet for 30 minutes (rated IP68), dustproof, shockproof and also meets HazLoc Protection standards for extreme military conditions. Plus, its five-inch Sapphire Shield display is the hardest mineral barring diamonds, which makes it essentially scratchproof.

With a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a five-megapixel front-facing camera, you can take fantastic underwater photos and even record full HD, wide-view action videos. It has hard keys, which make it easy to navigate while wearing gloves and you can program the side button to activate Push to Talk Plus. Its 3240mAh non-removable battery will score you up to 15 days of standby time or around 24 hours of use time. If durability is what you’re after, you won’t find a tougher phone from Verizon. More »

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