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. So, let’s talk 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 8, S8 and S8+, Google’s Pixel and Pixel 2 sets (along with their XL edition), LG’s V30 and G6, and Motorola’s Z2 Force handset. And then there’s the latest and greatest from Samsung: the Galaxy S9 accompanied by its bigger and better brother, Galaxy S9+.
Each one of the above devices has their own reasons to be the 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 8. 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 V30 and Google Pixel 2 XL are also there, but they offer you slightly less screen size, while about the same size. If you are into the best Audio experience, you may want to go for V30, which also offers best video capture tools. However, if solid performance, the best camera, and faster software updates is what you seek, then Google Pixel 2 is your buddy. The V30 may not look as stunning as the Note 8, but it does the job, while Pixel 2 XL’s looks remain debatable, and thus it’s entirely up to you.
Design: My phone should look awesome!
Well, this has to be the Galaxy S8…eer, Galaxy S9 and 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 display, the Super AMOLED that is also the best in the business. Don’t look further than S9/S9+ if you want a beautiful 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 8, Pixel 2 XL and even the LG V30 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 V30 and G6 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. While G6 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 entry of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the Google Pixel 2 is still your best buddy, period. No phone can challenge Google’s Pixel lineup when it comes to performance, especially the Pixel 2 and its larger brother, the Pixel 2 XL. And you already get Oreo pre-installed on these devices, with Android 8.1 to roll out soon. What’s more, Google is promising three years support, regular as well as major Android OS releases, so you are guaranteed to see your Pixel 2 sets run Android R before the support dries up. Awesome, right?
Now, you also get the best camera experience overall, plus the best hardware. Google’s new Visual Core chip inside the Pixel 2 and pixel 2 XL means you get to capture better photos with apps like Instagram, etc. too (Google enabled its custom chip called Visual Core only recently in the latest 8.1 update, and it is yet to become available under stable builds). battery life is pretty good on the Pixel 2 sets, but where you are a bit let down is the looks department. 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 Pixel 2, then what are your choices. Well, if you can go for an unlocked device, take a look at HTC U11 — it looks awesome, performs awesome, captures photos and videos awesome, and comes with great battery life too. But it’s not available on contract pricing sadly with Verizon.
But if we discard both Pixel 2 and U11, then you can choose between Moto Z2 Force, Galaxy S9/Note 8/Galaxy S8 and LG V30/G6, in that order, depending on which device you like the most. We’d say go for Samsung’s 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.
Camera: Capturing best moments the best way!
Want top-notch camera experience on Android, simply buy either of the Pixel 2 sets. Okay, that’s where the best experience is, but the Galaxy S9+ has just been ranked ahead of the Pixel 2 by f0lks at DxOMark, implying that it’s the new king. This is obviously debatable, which is why the Pixel 2 is still up there. The Note 8, S9, S8, V30 and LG G6 aren’t far behind, and if you also want a stylus and don’t mind the price, then go for the Note 8.
However, if you wanna save some bucks while also getting one of the best cameras, just buy a Galaxy S9, as you also get an awesome looking phone. The variable aperture feature isn’t a gimmick and it’s, in fact, one of the coolest additions to the S9 and S9+ cameras. Of course, the ability to record 960fps slow-motion videos is the icing on the cake.
Now, we wouldn’t rule out V30 here, because if you are after video capture, then it would serve you the best because LG has pre-installed some great software tricks to V30’s camera, and the device looks pretty good too. The device is also expected to receive an update that adds AI capabilities that launched with the AI-inspired V30S ThinQ.
Battery Life: Heavy duty load!
Battery life is great on the Galaxy Note 8, but Pixel 2 XL won’t disappoint you either. It gets even better when it comes to the Galaxy S9 and S9+, but the latter is ahead of the game. Although the same units as their 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 the Samsung’s emergency power saving mode that disables everything else while keeping the phone up for calls and SMSes. Google has installed some great battery saving features into Pixel too, so if you need internet while being good at the battery, then Pixel 2 XL is probably the phone you should buy.
The decision comes down to what feature matters to you the most after battery life, 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 is 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 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 are more than not chances that you will find one. All said, even the official pricing is not as much as that for Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2 XL and V30. So, it’s easily the best value-for-money device in the premium segment of Android phones Verizon Wireless has on offer at the moment.
|Android Phone||Verizon||Best Buy|
|Google Pixel 2||$27.08/mo. | $649.99||$27.08/mo. | $649.99|
|Google Pixel 2 XL||$35.41/mo. | $849.99||$35.41/mo. | $849.99|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||$33.33/mo.| $799.99||$30.91/mo.| $792.00|
|Samsung Galaxy S9+||$38.74/mo.| $929.99||$33.83/mo.| $912.00|
|Samsung Galaxy S8||$31.50/mo. | $756.00||$31.50/mo. | $756.00|
|Samsung Galaxy S8+||$35.00/mo. | $840.00||$35.00/mo. | $840.00|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8||$40.00 /mo. | $960.00||$39.00 /mo. | $949.99|
|LG V30||$35.00/mo. | $840.00||$33.00/mo. | $839.99|
|LG G6||$28.00/mo. | $672.00||$28.00/mo. | $729.99|
|HTC U11||$28.00/mo. | $649.00 [HTC.com]||NA|
|Motorola Moto Z2||$31.50/mo. | $756.00||$31.50/mo. | $756.00|
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 doesn’t cost much, and except for the design, is better than all the best Android phones of last year. But in case you don’t like Pixel 2, well, have a look at 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 5/5T on Verizon because it is not supported — the OP5 packs some super hardware at decent cost, while also on spot with build quality and software update.
So, we have the Galaxy S7 as the best among the lot in the mid-range phones. It offers a great camera and decent hardware. Of course, you will not find the bezel-less display that today’s flagship offer, so this is why we would insist you to keep an eye on deals on current flagships — you’d be glad to know one currently ongoing deal (as on December 04, 2017) wherein the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are going for $300 off, so that easily makes it the best phone to buy right now.
If you are not into Samsung devices, mostly because of their poor performance after a while, then give LG V20 a thought. It’s a phablet, if that’s to your liking, and gives you awesome audio experience. It looks good as well, and the camera is pretty solid too, one that can give Pixel a run for the money while besting the S7 easily. LG’s UI isn’t the V20’s plus point either, but this one also gets you a ticker display that can be a neat trick in itself.
Besides the Galaxy S7 and LG V20, you have a choice between two iterations of Moto Z2 Play and Moto Z Play, both of feature decent hardware, decent camera and stuff, but what we like the most about Motorola phones is the stock UI they employ, 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.
Last but not the least, at the time of writing, Verizon is also selling the Galaxy S7 Edge as Certified Pre-Owned device, for $16.67 per month for 24 months, and it’s a pretty good deal in our books. You are not getting a new device, but with dual-curved screen on-board, the device looks good, better than all the phones we’ve discussed in this section. Once again, the camera is awesome, so is battery life and hardware. If you ask us, we would say you opt for the S7 Edge if you can find this deal, otherwise, the Galaxy S7.
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 without the offer. 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’s 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 probably you will the LG K20 V and Samsung Galaxy J7 V more to your liking. Also, if you find the ZenFone V Live’s 5-inch display scarce, then the 5.3″ screen on LG K20 V, or even bigger, the 5.5-inch panel on Galaxy J7, gives you better 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 Eclipse, that packs in a 5-inch display, and 1.5GB of RAM.