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The perfect smartphones to purchase in 2024

You might need an concept of which smartphone you need to purchase subsequent. However there are extra choices than ever earlier than which might be stable — loads of firms are making stellar handsets these days, at related costs, all with comparable function units. That stated, the selection isn’t at all times cut-and-dry. If you already know you need an iPhone, your decision-making course of is a bit simpler. In case you’re an Android individual, you’ve much more choices to select from and extra inquiries to reply earlier than you spend any cash. At Engadget, we assessment telephones often and have examined dozens over time; to date for 2024, our prime picks stay the identical as they have been final 12 months, with Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and Google’s Pixel 8 handsets sitting on the prime of the record. Whether or not you’ve had your eye on them, one in every of Samsung’s new Galaxy S24 telephones or one other machine, we’re right here that will help you resolve which is the most effective cellphone to purchase this 12 months.

Android or iOS?

If you’re trying to find the most effective smartphone, it turns into clear that every OS has its professionals and cons. Apple’s tight-knit ecosystem makes it tremendous straightforward to share knowledge between iPhones, iPads and Macs or seamlessly hand-off cellphone calls or music from one machine to a different. On the similar time, you’re successfully locked in, as companies like Apple Messages aren’t out there on different platforms.

As for Android, there’s a a lot wider vary of handsets from firms like Google, Samsung, Sony and extra. Nonetheless, Android telephones don’t get pleasure from that very same size of software program help and sometimes have decrease trade-in values. Briefly, there’s no incorrect reply. Nonetheless, it would be best to contemplate how your cellphone will slot in with the remainder of your gadgets. So except you’re actually fed up with one OS and prepared to study one other, it in all probability doesn’t make numerous sense to change from an iPhone to an Android cellphone (or vice versa) – particularly if everybody else in your family is utilizing the identical platform.


Since your cellphone usually pulls double responsibility as your main digicam, determining what sort of picture instruments you need is vital. These days, virtually each cell phone can take an amazing image in shiny mild. However if you need an extended optical zoom, you’ll in all probability must improve to a costlier machine.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Mid-range phones usually solely have two rear cameras (a main wide-angle lens and a secondary ultra-wide digicam) and may typically wrestle in low-light conditions. Every cellphone maker additionally has numerous options that may be a greater match on your fashion, with Apple providing 4 completely different colour presets on the most recent iPhones, whereas Google’s Pixel 8 comes with neat instruments like devoted lengthy publicity and Motion Pan modes.

Will you get mmWave 5G or Wi-Fi 7?

The excellent news is that in 2024, most telephones have at the very least Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e and help for some sort of 5G connectivity. Nonetheless, if you need the quickest wi-fi speeds doable, it’s going to value you just a little further. For instance, on sure networks, mmWave 5G gives as much as gigabit obtain speeds, much less latency and higher bandwidth. However mmWave 5G additionally requires extra subtle (and pricier) modems, which suggests help for it’s usually lacking on inexpensive gadgets, even these just like the unlocked model of the Pixel 8.

On the brilliant facet, mmWave 5G isn’t as extensively out there as different variations of 5G, so relying on the place you reside and what community you’re on, you might not be lacking out on a lot proper now in case you purchase a cellphone that doesn’t help it. It’s an identical scenario for Wi-Fi 7, which is obtainable on some high-end handsets just like the Galaxy S24, however tougher to seek out on cheaper gadgets. Wi-Fi 7 additionally requires you to have a compatible router, so except you already know you want it or have a particular use case in thoughts, the shortage of help for mmWave 5G or Wi-Fi 7 shouldn’t be a dealbreaker when searching for a brand new cellphone.

Different options to think about

As a result of not everybody agrees on what makes the most effective cellphone, you need to take into consideration every other specs that may be further necessary for you. Cell avid gamers will nearly actually recognize the 120Hz refresh charges you get on telephones just like the Samsung Galaxy S23 or the Apple iPhone 15 Professional. Alternatively, if lengthy battery life is necessary, you’ll in all probability need to go together with a bigger iPhone or an Android cellphone with a battery that’s between 4,000 and 5,000 mAh in measurement. In the meantime, if you end up juggling numerous gadgets, it may be very nice to have a cellphone that helps reverse wi-fi charging, which on Samsung telephones even permits you to recharge the corporate’s Galaxy Watches.

Photograph by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 6.7-inch | Storage capability: As much as 1TB | SIM help: Twin eSim | Battery Life: About two days

Read our full review of the iPhone 15 Pro Max

The modifications to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max could appear small when thought-about on their very own, however collectively they add as much as greater than the sum of their components. For the iPhone 15 Professional Max, specifically, the smaller, lighter titanium construct means it may be throughout the realm of consideration for a lot of consumers for the primary time. It’s now not sharp and hefty like a weapon, however nonetheless has one of many longest-lasting batteries in the marketplace.

The bigger handset additionally will get a brand new 5x telephoto digicam that helps it catch as much as flagships on the Android facet, which have had zoom lenses for years. Although Apple doesn’t outclass the competitors on pictures, it’s actually closed the hole and also you’ll discover nice cameras on each the Professional and Professional Max. Additionally they have up to date portrait results and enhancing instruments, so pictures is improved whether or not you’re capturing faraway topics or one thing simply in entrance of you.

Each iPhone 15 Pro fashions have the brand new Motion Button and USB-C charging, the latter of which will likely be extra significant in a few years when the world presumably ditches Lightning ultimately. The Motion Button, in the meantime, takes the usually unused mute slider and provides you the choice of mapping a regularly used shortcut to it, so you may shortly launch the digicam, flashlight, voice recorder or magnifier. Having this some ways to configure the Motion Button means it’s much more helpful to extra individuals than a easy toggle for silencing your cellphone.

This 12 months’s A17 Professional chip not solely brings wonderful efficiency, however its six-core GPU additionally allows console-level gaming and hardware-accelerated ray tracing for life like lighting results. Later this 12 months, you may dig into titles like Resident Evil Village and, in early 2024, Murderer’s Creed Mirage on the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max. You’ll additionally get a second-generation extremely wideband chip for improved precision object location, and reverse USB charging so you may energy up your equipment in a pinch.

When you think about all these options as an entire, the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max should not only a stable improve from their predecessors, they’re additionally among the many finest telephones round. – Cherlynn Low, Deputy Editor


  • Smaller and lighter than earlier Professional Maxes
  • Helpful zoom cameras
  • USB-C is the best way of the long run
  • Lengthy-lasting battery
  • Reverse charging through USB-C

  • Motion button is difficult to succeed in on the bigger handset
  • Boring colours

$26 at Walmart

Photograph by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

(Pixel 8) Display screen measurement: 6.2-inch | Storage capability: As much as 256GB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, 1x eSim | Battery Life: 20+ hours

Read our full review of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

The final two generations of Pixels supplied a ton of worth, combining sensible options with stable {hardware}. However on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, Google has achieved some critical leveling up because of its new Tensor G3 chip, brighter shows, upgraded cameras and a spread of helpful AI instruments. Peak brightness now sits at 2,000 or 2,400 nits, relying on the mannequin, whereas nonetheless producing life like colours. And that’s whereas truly seeing battery life improve between 20 to 25 p.c in comparison with final 12 months’s gadgets.

The Pixel 8’s cameras additionally soak up extra mild, so your images and movies look even higher. And with the arrival of options like Greatest Take and Magic Editor, there are much more methods to create the proper shot. The Google Assistant can be extra succesful now resulting from newfound talents like extra correct voice typing, the flexibility to summarize or learn new articles aloud and proofreading your texts. However, maybe most significantly, with Google committing to seven years of software program help – longer than just about every other Android cellphone in the marketplace – the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional are in it for the lengthy haul. – Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter


  • New Actua show
  • Genuinely helpful AI options
  • Tensor G3 chip
  • Seven years of software program help

  • $100 greater than earlier mannequin

$999 at Google

Photograph by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 6.1-inch | Storage capability: As much as 128GB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, 1x eSim | Battery Life: Near 18 hours

Read our full review of the Google Pixel 7a

The $500 Pixel 7a delivers every thing we search for in an amazing reasonably priced cellphone. New options embrace a sooner Tensor G2 chip, a smoother 90Hz show and for the primary time on one in every of Google’s A-series telephones: help for wi-fi charging. And with a refreshed design with IP67 water resistance, it appears and seems like the usual Pixel 7 however for $100 much less. You additionally get nice help thanks to 5 years of safety updates and at the very least three OS upgrades. The cellphone’s solely shortcomings are quite small and embrace an absence of a devoted zoom lens and no help for mmWave 5G (except you buy a barely costlier $550 mannequin from Verizon). – S.R.


  • New 90Hz OLED display
  • Lengthy battery life
  • Now has wi-fi charging
  • Wonderful cameras
  • Similar nice Pixel-specific software program

  • Wi-fi charging is sort of gradual
  • No devoted zoom lens
  • No XL mannequin
  • Audio system sound a bit shallow

$499 at Google

Photograph by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 4.7-inch | Storage capability: As much as 256GB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, Twin eSim | Battery Life: 12 hours

Read our full review of the Apple iPhone SE

With an A15 Bionic chip and iOS 15, the most recent Apple iPhone SE is probably essentially the most highly effective cellphone you could find for beneath $450. Positive, it has a dated design, however some of us would possibly truly recognize the retro look. The perfect factor in regards to the iPhone SE is its house button: It’s the one new iPhone to have Contact ID. And although it solely has a single rear digicam, the SE nonetheless takes stable footage. If you will get over the small, low-res display, the iPhone SE will serve you properly. It’s additionally actually the one sub-$500 choice for iOS diehards.

In case you’re open to contemplating Android and need to spend lower than $400, contemplate one thing from Samsung’s Galaxy A-series or the OnePlus Nord N20. These seeking to spend even much less can take a look at the Moto G Power – simply be ready to compromise on options like show and cameras at these cheaper price factors. – C.L.


  • Acquainted house button and TouchID
  • Speedy A15 Bionic chip for the worth
  • Digital camera takes surprisingly good images

  • Base mannequin’s 64GB of storage is measly
  • Only one rear digicam
  • Small and lackluster display

$429 at Apple

Photograph by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 6.7-inch | Storage capability: As much as 1TB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, 1x eSim | Battery Life: 21 hours

Read our full review of the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Due to a brand new suite of sensors together with a 50-MP fundamental cam, a 48-MP ultra-wide and a 48-MP telephoto digicam with a 5x zoom, the Pixel 8 Pro shoots sharper and extra detailed pics than ever. Tack on Google’s wonderful HDR+ processing, its class-leading Evening Sight mode and options like Motion Pan, and also you get a smartphone that may seize high-quality photos in virtually any scenario. However what pushes the Pixel 8 Professional to the highest is its newest batch of AI-powered enhancing instruments. Greatest Take means that you can choose the most effective expression for every individual’s face from a number of photos. In the meantime, Magic Editor makes it tremendous easy to take away distracting topics, recompose your shot, or transfer issues round, with AI serving to to fill in any holes. For video, Audio Magic Eraser can drastically minimize down on ambient noise from wind, site visitors and different sources. Between upgraded {hardware} and complicated machine-learning instruments, the Pixel 8 Professional is the whole package deal for capturing images and movies. – S.R.


  • New Tremendous Actua show
  • Genuinely helpful AI options
  • Tensor G3 chip
  • Seven years of software program help
  • New temperature sensor
  • A lot improved battery life
  • Configs now go as much as 1TB of storage

  • $100 greater than earlier mannequin
  • Face Unlock setup generally is a little difficult

$999 at Google

Photograph by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 7.6-inch (fundamental) | Storage capability: As much as 256GB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, 1x eSim | Battery Life: Nearly 20 hours

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Whereas Samsung didn’t make a ton of modifications to the Z Fold 5, it’s nonetheless the most effective massive versatile cellphone in the marketplace. As earlier than, you get native stylus help, IPX8 water resistance (good for dunks of as much as 5 toes for half-hour) and naturally, a surprising 7.6-inch fundamental show. New for 2023 is a sooner Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, improved brightness, expanded multitasking capabilities and most significantly, a very redesigned hinge. Not solely does Samsung’s new Flex hinge remove the hole between the 2 sides of the cellphone when it is closed (to assist preserve mud out), it additionally makes the cellphone thinner (all the way down to 13.4mm from 15.8mm), which is a pleasant change for what was already a considerably cumbersome machine. The most important challenge stays its value: Samsung’s newest flagship foldable stays exorbitantly costly at $1,800. — S.R.


  • New Flex Hinge
  • No extra hole
  • Improved efficiency
  • Further multitasking gestures
  • Nice battery life
  • Brighter fundamental display

  • Very costly
  • S Pen comes individually
  • Unchanged cameras
  • Nonetheless quite cumbersome

$1,500 at Walmart

Photograph by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Display screen measurement: 6.7-inch (fundamental) | Storage capability: As much as 512GB | SIM help: 1x nano SIM, 1x eSim

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

In case you’re looking for a foldable within the US, you even have selections now. The clear winner of that race within the flip-phone class, although, continues to be Samsung. Whereas Motorola’s Razr+ gave the Galaxy Z Flip sequence some critical competitors, it nonetheless wasn’t adequate. With this 12 months’s Z Flip 5, Samsung introduced a bigger exterior show that’s extra useful than earlier generations. You’ll have to leap by a number of hoops to allow full-sized apps and maximize the expertise on that display, however when you do, the Flip 5 realizes its potential.

This 12 months, Samsung additionally up to date the hinges on its Z sequence, utilizing a brand new dual-rail construction that’s supposed to higher diffuse influence than earlier than. It additionally creates a water drop-shaped crease that the corporate says leads to much less stress on the display, which ought to enhance total sturdiness. Even when your Flip does break, Samsung is healthier positioned to deal with repairs than every other foldable maker within the US, because it’s essentially the most established participant right here.

The Flip 5 additionally has superior cameras in comparison with the Moto Razr+, delivering richer, extra saturated colours in daylight. After all, don’t anticipate flagship-level footage from any flip-style foldable. The Flip 5 pales compared to the likes of the most recent iPhone or Pixel in low mild, however for essentially the most half, its footage will likely be adequate for Instagram. Plus, you’ll have much more enjoyable snapping selfies or group images with a foldable, since it will possibly act as its personal tripod when flexed and you may see your self within the exterior show. And don’t neglect Samsung’s helpful open-palm gesture that triggers a digicam timer, which is able to make capturing stills or movies a lot simpler from a distance.

When it’s time to relax in your sofa, the Flip 5 additionally delivers. It has the quickest processor on a foldable and a vibrant inside display that refreshes at as much as 120Hz for easy scrolling and animations. It doesn’t have the longest battery life, particularly when in comparison with non-folding flagships just like the Galaxy S23. However in case you don’t thoughts charging your cellphone everytime you’re close to an outlet, and a flipping foldable is in your buying record, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the most effective foldable with this manner issue. — C.L.


  • Helpful exterior display
  • Compact when folded
  • New hinge allows gapless design

  • A variety of settings to dig by to maximise use
  • Quick battery life in comparison with typical Android telephones

$800 at Amazon

Different smartphones we have examined

Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely

For its newest super-premium cellphone, Samsung gave the S24 Ultra a extra sturdy titanium body, sooner efficiency because of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and a for much longer battery life. The corporate additionally tweaked its longest telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom so it is extra usable in a wider vary of conditions. However the greatest improve is a brand new full suite of AI instruments, which incorporates the flexibility to proofread texts, edit photos and transcribe recordings. And while you tack on the most effective show out there on a cellphone at the moment and a built-in stylus, you’ve a really compelling flagship handset. Sadly, beginning at $1,300, the S24 Extremely is a bit too costly to suggest to anybody with out deep pockets.

OnePlus 12

Whereas the OnePlus 12 wasn’t in a position to unseat the most recent Pixel, it’s value mentioning as a result of it gives highly effective specs for the cash. It encompasses a speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, a giant and shiny 6.8-inch, 120Hz OLED display and the most effective battery life we’ve seen on any cellphone thus far. OnePlus additionally introduced again help for wi-fi charging for the primary time in a number of generations, together with a great (however not nice) IP65 ranking for mud and water resistance. And although its big digicam module appears a bit ungainly, its images are surprisingly sharp. However the most effective factor is that, with a beginning value of $800, the OnePlus 12 prices $200 lower than a Pixel 8 Professional or a equally specced S24+.


How do I do know which smartphone is the most effective for me?

Whereas selecting the most effective smartphone may be difficult, it largely comes all the way down to how you intend on utilizing the machine. The entire finest telephones out there now get the fundamentals proper — you’ll be capable of make calls, textual content and entry the web with out many hiccups. In case your smartphone is your most used gadget, you could need to contemplate paying for a tool on the upper finish of the worth spectrum. That can get you higher total efficiency, higher-quality cameras and a cellphone that can final for a few years. In case you don’t use your cellphone for every thing, you might be able to compromise on efficiency and additional perks and spend much less on a still-capable handset.

How a lot is a smartphone?

Smartphones vary in value from $300 to over $1,500. The perfect price range telephones out there now will often compromise on total efficiency, design, digicam prowess and additional options to maintain prices down. On the flip facet, the most costly telephones could have highly effective processors, triple-camera arrays and even flip or fold designs. Most individuals will discover a cellphone that matches their wants someplace in the midst of that vast value vary — we’ve discovered that many of the finest smartphones out there proper now value between $500 and $1,000.

What are you able to do on a smartphone?

Smartphones are primarily small, transportable computer systems that allow you to do issues like examine electronic mail, browse social media, comply with map instructions, make contactless funds and extra. That is all on prime of the fundamentals like making cellphone calls and texting, which we’ve come to anticipate in all trendy cell telephones. Smartphones have additionally largely changed compact cameras because of their high-quality, built-in shooters, and the truth that most smartphones at the moment as simply as transportable, if no more so, as compact cameras.

How lengthy do smartphones final?

Smartphones can final years and individuals are holding on to their phones longer now than ever earlier than. Software program updates and battery life are two of the largest components that may have an effect on cellphone longevity. Apple guarantees 5 years value of software program updates for its newest iPhones, and Google guarantees the identical for its Pixel telephones. Samsung telephones will get 4 years value of Android updates from the time they launch. As for charging speeds and battery life, your cellphone can deteriorate over time as you utilize and recharge your cellphone regularly.

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