Electronics & Gadgets

12 Best Smartphones Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

We’re a smartphone-dominated nation, with 4G LTE networks beating many home internet connections in terms of speed, and 5G just beginning to launch in select cities. We have more good wireless carrier options than we’ve had in years, thanks to vigorous competition between the four major carriers and smaller virtual carriers like Google Fi and Visible. But some of our choices have constricted a bit: The smartphone OS marketplace is basically down to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, and it’s hard to find a really good simple voice phone nowadays.

Top 12 Smartphones

Bestseller No. 1
myQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener - Wireless & Wifi garage hub with Smartphone Control, New Model- myQ-G040
  • New free in-garage delivery with key by amazon available in select areas (check eligibility at...
  • Smartphone control: Control, secure and monitor your garage door from anywhere and receive real-time...
Bestseller No. 2
TCL 10L, Unlocked Android Smartphone with 6.53" FHD + LCD Display, 48MP Quad Rear Camera System, 64GB+6GB RAM, 4000mAh Battery - Arctic White
  • 6.53” FHD+ Dotch LCD display, powered by NXTVISION, will upgrade your visual experience with the...
  • Quad rear cameras with dual LED flash: 48MP (high-res) + 8MP (118° super wide-angle) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP...
$10.00Bestseller No. 3
OUKITEL WP5 Rugged Cell Phone Unlocked, Android 10 Smartphone 8000mAh Battery IP68 Waterproof Rugged Smartphone, 5.5" HD+ 4GB 32GB Face ID Fingerprint Triple Camera Global Version 4G LTE GSM (Black)
  • 【IP68 Waterproof Dustproof Drop-proof】The rugged phone OUKITEL WP5 is IP68 waterproof, operating...
  • 【Android 10 System & 4GB RAM+32GB ROM】Oukitel WP5 cellphone is equipped with 4x Cortex-A7 MT6761...
$1.50Bestseller No. 4
In Another World With My Smartphone: Volume 15 (In Another World With My Smartphone (light novel), 15)
197 Reviews
Bestseller No. 5
Smartphones News
  • Smartphones News Android Application. Top Smartphones Technology News in One Android App.
  • Smartphones information such as full specifications, in-depth reviews, latest news, carrier available and...
Bestseller No. 6
In Another World with My Smartphone Vol. 1
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Fuyuhara, Patora (Author)
Bestseller No. 7
Vakili Mobile Phone Game Joystick Game Control Touch Screen Joypad Game Controller for iPad iPhone Android Mobile Tablet Smart Phone Joystick Touch Screen Joypad Tablet Funny Game Controller 2PACK
1,382 Reviews
Vakili Mobile Phone Game Joystick Game Control Touch Screen Joypad Game Controller for iPad iPhone Android Mobile Tablet Smart Phone Joystick Touch Screen Joypad Tablet Funny Game Controller 2PACK
  • NEW GENERATION OF MOBILE JOYSTICK - uses a special elastic material to improve the adsorption surface,...
  • HIGH SENSITIVITY PLASTIC ROCKER - ANTI-HAND SWEAT! Mini Mobile Joystick will give you the best precision...
Bestseller No. 8
Smart Phone
93 Reviews
Smart Phone
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Madeline Cripe (Director) - Don Reo (Producer)
Bestseller No. 9
Travelon Floating Waterproof Smart Phone/Digital Camera Pouch, Yellow
1,719 Reviews
Travelon Floating Waterproof Smart Phone/Digital Camera Pouch, Yellow
  • Protects smart phone or camera from water, dirt, dust or sand
  • Air and water-tight
$25.04Bestseller No. 10
IN ANOTHER WORLD W/SMARTPHONE CS LE BDC [Blu-ray]
512 Reviews
IN ANOTHER WORLD W/SMARTPHONE CS LE BDC [Blu-ray]
  • Josh Grelle, Amanda Gish, Felecia Angelle (Actors)
  • Tia Ballard (Director)

But what should you be looking for when buying a cell phone? Here are some key points to consider:

Which Cell Phone Carrier Should You Choose?

Despite all the recent hardware and mobile software innovation, your wireless service provider remains your most important decision. No matter what device you buy, it’s a doorstop unless you have solid wireless coverage. Maybe you have friends and family on the same carrier that you talk to for free, and you don’t want that to change with your next phone. Maybe you’re lusting after a certain device—say, an unlocked smartphone for international travel. And of course, you want to choose a carrier that offers fair prices and provides the best coverage in your area. These are all good reasons to put the carrier decision first.

Do You Need a 5G Phone?

5G is if officially here. And while 5G may change everything, it’s not going to happen immediately. 5G is a much faster wireless system that will not work with current phones. In 2019, 5G rollouts will be limited and devices will be expensive, so don’t worry too much about waiting if you want to buy a phone this year.

The 5G networks and devices will get much more interesting, and more widespread, toward the end of 2020. The real differentiating coverage and speeds will initially be in large cities. If you consider yourself an early adopter, you live in a large city, and you want the ultimate in connectivity, you should assume you’ll probably want a 5G phone next year. By 2021, the 5G situation will be even better.

Locked vs. Unlocked Phones

As carriers have moved to increasingly more confusing service and pricing plans, the value of unlocked phones has been rising accordingly. Unlocked phones are bought from a third-party store or directly from the manufacturer, and aren’t tied to any specific carrier. Usually, you can use them with AT&T or T-Mobile. But some popular unlocked phones work on all four major carriers. If you want the best flexibility, look for a recent Apple, Google Pixel, or Samsung flagship, or a Motorola phone.

If you buy an unlocked phone, you’ll be able to move it freely between compatible carriers. But even if you don’t intend to ever change your carrier, unlocked phones are free of carrier bloatware and (with Android phones) often receive software and OS updates more quickly than the carrier versions do.

What Is the Best Smartphone?

As more people become accustomed to instant email, web, music, and messaging access at all times of the day, regardless of where they are, smartphones have become almost indispensable. That said, there’s plenty of variety out there—not to mention devotees of specific OS platforms. That makes sense, though; sometimes, a platform’s user interface or app selection just speaks to you, and that’s all there is to it. With that in mind, and at the risk of attracting flames, let’s break it down as well as we can for those who aren’t so fully vested.

The Best Feature Phones

A good portion of the US population is still using simpler phones, but there are surprisingly few current choices out there. There are still reasons to get a simple, less-expensive device: They’re easier to use, and they charge much lower monthly fees because data isn’t involved. There are some killer deals for voice-only usage on virtual carriers like TracFone and Consumer Cellular.

There’s a big problem with voice phones and current networks, though. Because all of our carriers are eliminating or reducing the quality of their 2G and 3G networks, voice phones must be verified by the carriers for 4G voice-over-LTE coverage to get good quality and connectivity in the future. Older voice phones don’t have that, and there aren’t many voice-over-LTE voice phones, period. It’s frustrating.

The Best Budget Phones

This story tends to be headlined by very expensive phones, but you can get a perfectly good smartphone for between $200 and $300 upfront. We’re big fans of Motorola’s low-end and midrange phones. They’re unlocked and compatible with all US carriers, and they use a fast, clean version of the Android OS. The Moto E series is available from carriers for under $100, and the Moto G7 Power is available online for $250; they’re great deals.

 

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