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The best Verizon Android phones right now

Verizon Wireless is the largest mobile carrier in the US and one which has had a strong influence on Android’s growth thanks to its ‘Droid Does’ campaign. We still have fond memories of the Droid Does thing even when the Droid brand is no longer as strong as it was back in the day. Nevertheless, Droid device or not, Verizon offers you some of the best Android phones in each segment for purchase, and we are here to help break down its portfolio of Android phones to help you make that okay-I-am-buying-this decision easily.

As it has been the case every year, you have some of the best from Samsung, LG, and Google available on contract with Verizon, but these devices offer a variety of features and have their own ups and downs when it comes to design, features, updates, price, and overall experience. Also, OnePlus has finally jumped aboard the Verizon ship, which is a welcome move. So, let’s talk about which one is the most suitable for you.

Premium Android phones

Well, in this high-end segment of Android phones, you naturally come across the best Android phones on the planet right now from Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, OnePlus and so on. Verizon offers you Samsung Galaxy S10 series, Note 9, Google’s Pixel 3 sets, LG’s G8 ThinQ (and the upcoming LG V50 ThinQ with 5G), among others. OnePlus 6T is also available although not through Verizon stores, but it should soon be replaced by the newer OnePlus 7.


Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know


Each one of the above devices has their own reasons to be labeled the best Android phone at Verizon, so let’s break this down to why any one of those should be your next purchase, considering what you’re really after.

5G phones: Faster is better!

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

5G has been the rage ever since the year started and things got clearer at the MWC 2019, with several companies making their plans known in regards to the fastest mobile network yet. While it will take some time before 5G becomes the standard, Verizon Wireless users have a chance to get on board beginning April 18th with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

This is by far the best 5G phone that has been announced to date. The phone, basically, is the Galaxy S10+ on steroids. It takes every aspect of the S10+ and improves on some like the display screen size, the main camera, the battery capacity, and of course, the addition of faster wired charging technology. Surprisingly, the Galaxy S10 5G misses out on expandable storage, which is a bit strange from Samsung, especially since the S10+ gets up to 1TB storage with room to expand up to 512GB.

Specs
  • 6.7-inch 19:9 QHD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • Snapdragon X50 5G modem
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB 0r 512GB of non-expandable storage
  • Quad-lens main camera: 12MP (OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 4K video recording, f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture) + 16MP (ultra-wide angle, 123 degrees, f/2.2 aperture) + 3D ToF depth sensor
  • Dual-lens front camera: 10MP (f/1.9 aperture, Dual Pixel AF) + 3D ToF depth sensor
  • 4500mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie with One UI
  • Extras: 5G capable, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, 25W fast wired charging, Fast wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6, IP68 dust and water resistance, AR Emoji, in-display fingerprint scanner, face recognition, heart rate sensor, etc.

You can pre-order the Galaxy S10 5G from Verizon beginning April 18th, but in-store availability begins on May 16th.

Alternatively, you can wait for the arrival of the LG V50 ThinQ, another great phone that supports 5G network. Unlike the S10 5G, the V50 ThinQ doesn’t have a specific release date on Verizon, but the Big Red is expected to carry the device when it arrives later this year.

The V50 ThinQ, being a 2019 flagship phone, packs premium hardware specs akin to the S10 5G. It has things like expandable storage, MIL-STD-810G standard, Quad DAC, and Stereo Boombox that make it stand out, but the S10 5G is still better in just about every other aspect. In Korea, the V50 is available for about $1050 beginning the 19th of April 2019. Check out this page for more on the LG V50 ThinQ.

Verizon users with the Moto Z3 can also jump aboard the 5G bandwagon with the 5G Moto Mod, but you must have received a software update from the carrier to enable the support for this accessory.

Phablet: Bigger is better!

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus colors

A few months ago, the Galaxy Note 9 was the undisputed king of this section, but we now have a new king – the Galaxy S10+. The device matches the screen size of the Note 9 and betters it by including a Curved Dynamic AMOLED panel with an Infinity-O design and in-display fingerprint scanner.

Another area that the Note 9 comfortably beat the S9+ to the title of the best phablet was the battery capacity that came with it, but this is no longer the difference now that the Galaxy S10+ ships with an even bigger 4100mAh unit, slightly bigger than the Note 9. It gets even better when it comes to photography, where the S10+ now has not two, but three camera lenses on the back, one more than the Note 9 and Note 8. The front has two for the selfies, which makes it even better.

Being the newest kid on the block, the Galaxy S10+ also packs the latest and most powerful processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855. Those outside the U.S. have an Exynos 9820 chipset, which is basically the same as the 855, but the RAM and storage options are the same all through, with figures of up to 12GB for the RAM and 1TB for the storage. Insane figures these are huh!

To put the icing on the cake is the included support for not just fast wireless charging, but also reverse wireless charging that lets you charge other devices like the Galaxy Buds or other devices capable of wireless charging by simply placing them on the back of the S10+.

There is more to this device that you can check out here, but in case your primary reason for buying a Samsung phablet is the S Pen, then there is no going past the Note 9. Of course, the Galaxy Note 10 should take over soon, but this will have to wait. Right now, the Galaxy Note 9 can be seen as a slimmed-down version of the S10+.

It is almost as powerful as the S10+ but with a year-old processor, less one camera lens on the back and front, misses out on the latest display and authentication tech as well as the reverse wireless charging feature. The fact that the Galaxy Note 9 can also be had for a slightly cheaper price makes it a great deal for bargain hunters.

The LG V40 ThinQ (at least until the LG V50 ThinQ arrives later in Q2 2019) and Google Pixel 3 XL are also there and while you still get huge display panels on this duo, both have the dreaded notch, with the latter’s size much bigger. These notches can be hidden via the settings. If you are into the best audio experience, you may want to go for the V40 ThinQ, which also offers some of the best video capture tools and a combination of USB-C and 3.5mm audio jack, something that is becoming quite rare these days.

In terms of raw power, none of these devices can match what you get on the Galaxy S10+ for obvious reasons – the older Snapdragon 845 simply can’t match the newer Snapdragon 855.

But wait, for a rather very affordable price tag that is nowhere near any of the above mentions, you can also walk away with a new OnePlus 6T that boasts a massive 6.41-inch display screen, a year-old hardware tech, the latest software, and features that are mostly associated with high-end phones.

The 6T is easily the best value-for-money device in the premium phablet segment of Android phones that are compatible with Verizon Wireless at the moment, but this device must be paid for outright via the OnePlus online store.

Design: My phone should look awesome!

Samsung Galaxy S10 colors

Well, this has to be the standard Galaxy S10. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are a piece of beauty, but the S10 is easily the better of them ergonomically. Make no mistake, the Galaxy S10+ is equally good-looking, but being taller, the buttons on the side aren’t such easy to access. Also, the wider cutout in the display screen doesn’t cut it like the single-lens cutout on the S10 display screen.

Thanks to the Infinity O display, the bezels have further been reduced when compared to the Galaxy S9, hence the bigger display screen on the S10 housed in a nearly identical body-size. The issues with the fingerprint placement have now been addressed, where the S10 has it under the display screen, the first of its kind from Samsung.

On the overall, you don’t have to look anywhere outside the Galaxy S10 realm if beauty is on top of your list, but of course, the S9 and S9+ are really close with their unique dual-curve Infinity Display, the Super AMOLED that is also one of the best in the business.

Next to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is definitely the S8 and S8+, but given their age, you can also take a look at the LG V40 or G8 ThinQ because both of them are extremely likable in different their color choices. For notch haters, though, none of these two are a go-to option. Of course, there are always ways you can use to hide the notch, that is if you are willing to go to that extent.

Performance: I just can’t bear the lags!

Despite the presence of the seemingly more powerful Samsung Galaxy S10 series, Google Pixel 3 is still your best buddy, period. No phone can challenge Google’s Pixel lineup when it comes to smooth performance, especially the Pixel 3 and its larger brother, the Pixel 3 XL. And you already get the latest and greatest from Google pre-installed on these devices, Android 9 Pie, with a promise of three more OS upgrades and not just two, so you are guaranteed to see your Pixel 3 sets run Android S before the support dries up. Awesome, right?

Now, you also get the best camera experience overall, although currently not the best hardware available. Google’s improved Visual Core chip inside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL means you get to capture better photos. Battery life is pretty good on the Pixel 3 sets, but where you are a bit let down is the looks department, especially the bigger XL and its monstrous notch. It’s well settled that Google is yet to impress us with its design of Pixel handsets, which is the only improvement we still want from Google. Rest all is just awesome.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus best Verizon phones

So, if you don’t want a Pixel 3, then what are your choices? Well, if you can go for an unlocked device, the OnePlus 6T is a great pick. The notch is there, but the teardrop-style makes up for an interesting take on the design of this divisive display cutout. The phone, as usual with other OnePlus devices, ticks nearly all the boxes of a 2018 flagship phone, including a Snapdragon 845 chipset, up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

The battery has also grown bigger and runs Android 9 Pie out of the box, but you can only have it via the company’s online store at an outright price of $549 for the base model. You may also wanna take a look at HTC U12+ — it looks awesome, performs awesome, captures awesome photos and videos and comes with great battery life too, although initial units had some mixed reports. But sadly, as noted, it’s not available on contract pricing with Verizon.

Other than the Pixel 3, OnePlus 6T and U12+, then you can choose between Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, LG V40/G8 ThinQ, Galaxy S9, and Moto Z3, in that order, depending on which device you like the most. We’d say go for Samsung’s latest handsets because they offer the best display, raw power, camera and boast a bunch of nifty features like the variable aperture, support for slow-motion videos of up to 960fps, and reverse wireless charging. Though, if you are okay jumping on an unlocked device, don’t go past the OnePlus 6T.

Camera: Capturing the best moments the best way!

Google Pixel 3 XL

Want top-notch camera experience on Android, simply buy either of the Pixel 3 sets. Despite having a single-lens camera on the back, Google has proven time and again that it’s not about the hardware, but the software. Well, considering how good the Pixel 2 handsets stack up against 2018 flagship phones, you can only imagine what you get from the upgraded Pixel 3 handsets. The Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, S9+, LG G8 ThinQ, and LG V40 aren’t far behind, and if you also want a stylus and don’t mind the age, then go for the Note 8. The S8 and S8+ are also great photography companions and especially now that they are available on the cheap, they can be some of the best deals to score on Verizon.

However, if you wanna save a few bucks while also getting one of the best cameras, just buy an unlocked OnePlus 6T, as you also get an awesome looking phone, big battery, the latest software with timely updates. Things like Nightscape and Studio Lighting aren’t gimmicks and are, in fact, among the coolest additions to the 6T camera. Of course, the ability to record 960fps slow-motion videos in HD isn’t present, but you can get HD slow-mo videos of up to 480fps and 1080p at up to 240fps. At its price, though, this is still great.

If you are after video capture, then either of the LG G8 ThinQ or LG V40 ThinQ would serve you best because LG has added some great software tricks in the camera app, and the devices look pretty good too. The devices also include plenty of AI capabilities that launched with the AI-inspired V30S ThinQ earlier in 2018 and even better is that the V40 ThinQ gets a third lens on the back and a second lens on the front-facing camera.

Battery Life: Heavy duty load!

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus battery life on Verizon

Battery life is the best on the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy Note 9 thanks to the massive 4000mAh units, but impressions of the Pixel 3 XL show significant improvements compared to the Pixel 2 XL. Google has installed some great battery saving features too, so if you need internet while being good at the battery, then Pixel 3 XL is probably the phone you should buy.

The LG G8 ThinQ and its 3500mAh battery also promise great battery life, but of course, how long it lasts will depend on your usage. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are not far behind, but the latter is ahead of the game. Although the same units as their S8 predecessors, both are pretty good at giving you more than a day of usage, however, stay off navigation and streaming.

If calling and texting make a major part of your phone usage, then you would love Samsung’s emergency power saving mode that disables everything else while keeping the phone up for calls and SMSes. The 3700mAh battery in the OnePlus 6T also makes it an interesting proposition, although the phone is not available through Verizon.

In the end, the decision comes down to what feature matters to you the most after battery life, be it the design, performance, or camera. For that, look right above.

Compact: Smaller is better for one-handed use

Samsung Galaxy S10e Prism WhiteWith every smartphone vendor going crazy with screen sizes, it’s increasingly becoming harder to bump into a decent compact smartphone with premium capabilities. Sony has been doing a great job with the Compact models of their premium XZ handsets and so has Google with the standard Pixel, the latest of them being Xperia XZ2 Compact and Google Pixel 3, respectively, but now we have something newer and better – the Galaxy S10e.

The device boasts a small body akin to the Galaxy S7 but with a screen size similar to the S8 and S9. It has the same Infinity-O display screen as the S10 and S10+, but this one is flat and ditches the in-display sensor in favor of a side-mounted unit. On the inside, the S10e packs the same hardware as the standard S10 and S10+, but it misses out on the tri-lens camera on the back in favor of a dual-lens setup.

The result of all these skimps is that you end up with a slightly cheaper price tag compared to other devices with equally premium hardware and features.

Value for money: I don’t wanna overspend!

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Speaking of cheap, if you don’t want to spend big and are willing to part with an outright fee of $479.99 to get your hands on a Google Pixel 3a XL, don’t even blink an eye. This device doesn’t pack the most premium performance hardware specs, but it has the blessings of Google on matters software, which makes buying one a no-brainer for anyone interested in timely software updates.

But timely software updates aren’t the only goody on offer. The Pixel 3a XL also ships with the best camera in the business, yet available at half the price of the competition. You can read more about it here.

Alternatively, you can walk away with the Galaxy S9 or S9+ at a discounted price, especially now that the Galaxy S10 series is here. The screen size borders around the phablet category, and it looks and feels awesome. The S9 also packs in great camera and hardware, and while the performance over a long period time could be an issue, a factory reset would do wonders to make the phone speedy again, and above all, you do not need to spend a lot for the S9 nowadays.

Galaxy S9 Plus One UI

Various good deals keep popping up often, so even if the official pricing is not cheap at Samsung or Verizon, you can watch out this very blog for great deals as and when they arrive. Sure, search for the Verizon Galaxy S9 over at eBay and Amazon to see if any good deal exists, as we believe there is a good chance that you will find one.

Pricing details

Android Phone Verizon Best Buy
Samsung Galaxy S10 $37.49/mo. | $899.99 $35.40/mo. | $899.99
Samsung Galaxy S10+ $41.66/mo. | $999.99 $39.57/mo. | $999.99
Samsung Galaxy S10e $31.24/mo. | $749.99 $29.15/mo. | $749.99
Google Pixel 3 $33.33/mo. | $799.99 $18.74/mo. | $799.99
Google Pixel 3 XL $38.74/mo. | $929.99 $37.50/mo. | $899.99
Samsung Galaxy S9 $24.99/mo.| $599.99 $25.00/mo.| $599.99
Samsung Galaxy S9+ $29.16/mo.| $699.99 $29.17/mo.| $699.99
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 $41.66/mo | $999.99 $41.67/mo. | $999.99
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 $37.49/mo. | $899.99 Out of stock
LG V40 ThinQ $20.42/mo. | $979.99 $40.83/mo. | $979.99
LG G8 ThinQ Coming soon $35.00/mo. | $899.99
HTC U12+ $34.00/mo. | $799.00 [HTC.com] NA
Motorola Moto Z3 $0.00/mo. | $480 $10.00/mo. | $480
Google Pixel 3a XL  $15.83/mo. | $479.99 $20.00/mo. | $479.99

Mid-range Android phones

Google Pixel 3a

If you are looking to save some bucks here, then looking into older flagship devices is a good thought. But why the hassle when a device like the Google Pixel 3a is available at half the price yet with top-level photography and guaranteed software updates until May 2022?

Priced at $399.99, the Pixel 3a not only brings over some of the premium features of the Pixel 3 such as Active Edge, USB-C, 18W fast charging technology and so on, but it also revives one of the best features that had long been forgotten on Pixel phones – the 3.5mm audio jack. There’s more to this phone that you can read about here.

In case you don’t like the Pixel 3a, well, have a look at older premium devices. Not only because these premium handsets can still serve you pretty well in terms of photography and performance, but also because you are saving a significant chunk while still getting a classy device.

The OnePlus 6T is one such great device to look at. The phone works with Verizon Wireless now that it comes with the primary LTE band needed for the Big Red, meaning you will get VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling too. Of course, the U.S. carrier deal is currently limited to T-Mobile, so you will have to go to the official OnePlus store to get one for you. Although no financing, the device has an affordable price tag of just $549, yet it rides as high as the Galaxy Note 9 when it comes to hardware specs, even better than the Google Pixel 3.

We also have the Galaxy S8 as one of the best among the lot in the mid-range premium phones. It offers a great camera and decent hardware as well as a bezel-less display that you find in all of today’s flagship phones – with no notch, which sadly, is on the OnePlus 6T, but good luck getting hold of one.

Other than OnePlus 6T, Galaxy S8 and S8+ for that matter, you have a choice between the new boys from Motorola – Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play, although the latter can be bought through Amazon as an unlocked model. The pair features decent hardware, camera, modularity and stuff, but what we like the most about Motorola phones is the stock UI they come with, nearly the same as what you see on Google’s Pixel phones. You don’t have to rue about the custom skins that the likes of Samsung and LG load on you — although with time those skins have gotten easy on eyes — as stock UI remains the most pleasant one to date.

Even better is that the Moto Z3 has flagship specs and features, albeit from 2017 and can be had at a cheaper price tag of just $480 compared to the Play variant.

Related: Motorola Android 9 Pie update news and device list

If after something different, maybe because you are a lover of outdoor environments and want a phone that can withstand significant rough treatment, the second-generation Kyocera DuraForce Pro is what you just need. At a one-time price of $444 or a 24-month device payment plan at $18.50/month accompanied by a 2-year standard warranty, the DuraForce Pro 2 packs a powerful midrange Snapdragon 630 processor, a dual-lens camera on the back, MIL-STD 810G certification, IP68 dust and water resistance, Qi Wireless Charging, fingerprint scanner, and runs Oreo out of the box.

Budget Android phones

Asus ZenFone V Live

Well, Verizon is currently offering the Asus ZenFone V Live for free, which is a great deal for a device that costs you $7/month if you qualify. With 2GB RAM powering the device, and an upgraded Android 8.0 Oreo OS, it is easily the best choice handset in the low-end range of Android phones at Verizon. Asus’ custom skin is pretty good too, so you really have the 5-inch ZenFone V Live as the best choice here when it comes to specs, and it’s pretty handsome too looks-wise.

If you want something stock, the Nokia 2 V should be a great choice. This is basically the same phone as the Nokia 2.1 sold globally, where you get a 5.5-inch 16:9 display with an HD resolution, a Snapdragon 425 chipset allied to 1GB RAM and 8GB expandable storage (up to 128GB), and Android Oreo Go out of the box with a promise to receive Android Pie in Q1 2019. The phones biggest selling point is the massive 4000mAh battery that promises two days of usage on a single charge. The phone starts selling on January 31, 2019.

Alternatively, you can opt for any of the LG Stylo 4 with a stylus pen or the cheaper LG K20 V. Samsung’s Galaxy J7 V 2nd Gen is also a great alternative, but you won’t get the trendy 18:9 aspect ratio as in the case of the Stylo 4. Also, if you find the ZenFone V Live’s 5-inch display scarce, then the 5.3″ screen on LG K20 V, or even better, the 5.5-inch panel on Galaxy J7 V 2nd Gen, gives you more screen real estate.

The Galaxy J7 too comes with 2GB of RAM, while we find the K20 V’s 1GB RAM a bit short of Android OS’s requirement. If you are a fan of Samsung, you also have a choice of Galaxy J3 V 3rd Gen, that packs in a 5-inch display, and 2GB of RAM.

Travel and adventure junkie. Which is why he's now one of those cliche guys with a camera around his neck at all times. When doing neither, you'll find him uber lazy and glued to Netflix. Email: prajith@theandroidsoul.com