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 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 is the case every year now, 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, 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
Before we really start talking, let’s just have a quick view of the important specs and features Verizon’s top phones got. Here’s a table for just that.
Well, in this high-end segment of Android phones, you naturally come across the best Android phones on the planet right now. Verizon offers you Samsung’s Note 9, S9 and S9+, Google’s Pixel 3 sets, LG’s V40 and G7, and Motorola’s Moto Z3, among others. OnePlus 6T is also available, although not through Verizon stores.
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.
Phablet: Bigger is better!
At the moment, nothing beats the Galaxy S9+, but if you are in the market for a large device, especially one with a stylus, then there’s no going past the Galaxy Note 9. It also houses one of the best cameras too, so there is no reason you should not buy it if you want a phone that looks beautiful, has a stylus, is large, and gives you awesome camera experience.
The LG V40 ThinQ and Google Pixel 3 XL are also there and while you still get huge display panels on this duo, both have the dreaded notch, although the latter’s size is much bigger. These notches can be hidden via the settings. If you are into the best audio experience, you may want to go for either the V40 or G7 ThinQ, which also offer 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. However, if solid performance, the best camera, comfortable handling, and faster software updates are what you seek, then the smaller Google Pixel 3 is your buddy. The LG G7 may not look as stunning as the Note 9, but it does the job, while Pixel 3 XL’s looks remain debatable, and thus it’s entirely up to you.
If you don’t want to spend big and are willing to part with an outright fee of $549 or even up to $629 to get your hands on a OnePlus 6T with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, don’t even blink an eye. This device packs one of the most premium performance hardware specs of any device on this list and even though it is not sold through Verizon, you can grab one and pop in your SIM card to get going. Besides working just fine on Verizon’s primary LTE band, you also get things like Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE.
Design: My phone should look awesome!
Well, this has to be the Galaxy S8…eer, Galaxy S9 and/or S9+! Samsung’s S8 and S8+ are a piece of beauty, but the S9 and S9+ are refined beauties. They simply take the whole design to the next level by reducing the bezels and mounting the fingerprint scanner in the right place. Like their predecessors, the S9 and S9+ pack in serious hardware specs as one would expect, but looks darn beautiful thanks to that unique dual-curve Infinity Display, the Super AMOLED that is also the best in the business. Don’t look further than S9/S9+ if you want a beautiful premium device.
Samsung went against the wider expectations and retained the same price tags used on the S8 and S8+, which means they still cost less than the likes of Note 9 and Pixel 3 XL while giving you much superior hardware. The camera is great, too, and it gets even better on the Galaxy S9+, which now rocks a dual-lens shooter on the back. As usual, though, you may find yourself in the typical Samsung software predicament after some time, but we hope things will get better.
Next to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is definitely the S8 and S8+, but you can also give LG V40 and G7 ThinQ a serious look too, because both of them are extremely likable in different color choices. You may find the blue LG V30 difficult to ignore, really, especially for haters of the notch. While G7 might cost much lesser than all other top phones mentioned above thanks to deals emerging for the device every now and then, and this also gets you pretty good, if not the best, experience in camera, looks, performance, battery, etc.
Performance: I just can’t bear the lags!
Despite the presence of the seemingly more powerful Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, 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, plus the best hardware. 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.
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, yet 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 photos and videos awesome, 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 S9/Note 9, LG V40/G7 ThinQ, Galaxy Note 8/Galaxy S8, and Moto Z2 Force, 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 and support for slow-motion videos of up to 960fps. 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!
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 Note 9, S9, and LG G7 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.
Now, we wouldn’t rule out V40 and G7 ThinQ here, because if you are after video capture, then either of these two would serve you the 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!
Battery life is the best on the Galaxy Note 9 thanks to the massive 4000mAh unit, but early impressions of the Pixel 3 XL show significant improvements compared to the Pixel 2 XL. Google has installed some great battery saving features into Pixel 3 too, so if you need internet while being good at the battery, then Pixel 3 XL is probably the phone you should buy.
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.
Value for money: I don’t wanna overspend!
Well, this has got to be the Galaxy S8 and especially now that the S9, Note 9 and even Pixel 3 are here, you can expect price discounts to start showing up from all corners. The screen size borders around the phablet category, and it looks and feels awesome. The S8 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 S8 nowadays.
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 S8 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. But wait, for a similarly affordable price tag that would get you a new Galaxy S8, you can also walk away with a new OnePlus 6T that boasts the latest hardware tech, software, and features that may take ages to arrive on the S8 (on-screen gestures).
The 6T is easily the best value-for-money device in the premium segment of Android phones that are compatible with Verizon Wireless at the moment, but as mentioned multiple times already, this device must be paid for outright via the OnePlus online store.
|Android Phone||Verizon||Best Buy|
|Google Pixel 3||$33.33/mo. | $799.99||$33.34/mo. | $799.99|
|Google Pixel 3 XL||$38.74/mo. | $929.99||$37.50/mo. | $899.99|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||$33.33/mo.| $799.99||$33.00/mo.| $792.00|
|Samsung Galaxy S9+||$38.74/mo.| $929.99||$38.00/mo.| $912.00|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9||$41.66/mo | $999.99||$41.67/mo. | $999.99|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8||$33.33/mo. | $899.99||$37.50 /mo. | $899.99|
|LG V40 ThinQ||$32.49/mo. | $979.99||$32.50/mo. | $949.99|
|LG G7 ThinQ||$31.25/mo. | $750.00||$31.25/mo. | $750.00|
|HTC U12+||$34.00/mo. | $799.00 [HTC.com]||NA|
|Motorola Moto Z3||$10.00/mo. | $480||$10.00/mo. | $480|
Mid-range Android phones
If you are looking to save some bucks here, then looking into older flagship devices is a good thought. Okay, not entirely true, because Google Pixel 2 is a 2017 handset but still isn’t cheap, where Best Buy still has the Verizon model priced at $650. But in case you don’t like Pixel 2 or it’s just too expensive to be considered a midrange device, well, have a look at other older premium devices. Not only because these premium handsets can still serve you pretty well in terms of camera and performance,
but sadly, also because you don’t have a luxury of using a device like OnePlus 6 on Verizon because it is not supported — the OP6 packs some super hardware at decent cost, while also on spot with build quality and software update.
Well, the successor to OnePlus 6, the 6T, is among us and guess what? The phone now works with Verizon Wireless now that it comes with the primary LTE band, 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 like in the case of T-Mobile, 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 duo.
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.
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 employ, nearly the same you see on Google’s Nexus and 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.
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
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 Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS pre-installed, 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 a device from a more known brand, then 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.