RANKED: The best smartphones in the world

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Lisa Eadicicco

It has been a big few weeks for smartphone launches.

Apple released two new iPhones in September, and Google announced its new Nexus phones last week.

Whether you’re an iPhone or Android fan, there are tons of choices out there if you’re in the market for a new phone.

Here’s a look at the best phones you can buy right now.

(Note: All prices below indicate how much each phone typically costs without a carrier contract. Prices may vary depending on the retailer.)


18. BlackBerry Passport

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BlackBerry

The BlackBerry Passport doesn’t look like your average smartphone – it’s almost perfectly square with sharp edges. There’s also a physical keyboard at the bottom. It’s a great choice if you’re a BlackBerry fan looking for something with a larger, wider screen and a physical keyboard.

Price: $500


17. BlackBerry Classic

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BlackBerry

The new BlackBerry Classic looks a lot like the BlackBerry Bold from years ago. It has a physical keyboard, a trackpad, and a touchscreen. It’s a great choice for die-hard BlackBerry fans who are looking for something new that still has all the features BlackBerry is known for.

Price: $379


16. HTC One M8 for Windows

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Steve Kovach/Business Insider

If you want a Windows phone that looks and feels great, it’s worth checking out the HTC One M8 for Windows. It has the same great hardware HTC has put on the Android version of its phone, including its attractive all-metal design and dual camera.

The problem with Windows Phone in general, however, is that there aren’t as many apps for the platform as there are for the iPhone and Android. You’ll end up having to wait a while for popular apps to be available for your phone.

But if you’re a big fan of Windows who doesn’t necessarily care about having a wide selection of apps, the HTC One M8 is a worthwhile option.

Price: $500

Read more about the HTC One M8 for Windows here >>


15. Microsoft Lumia 735

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Microsoft/Nokia

Microsoft’s Lumia 735 is made for those on a budget. If you’re looking for a cheap Windows Phone device, go with the 735. It comes with a 4.7-inch screen, supports wireless charging, and has a 5-megapixel-wide angle-front camera. Microsoft markets this one as a “selfie” phone.

Price: $199


14. Moto G (third generation)

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Lisa Eadicicco

Motorola’s new Moto G is a game changer when it comes to cheap smartphones. The phone costs $179 without a carrier contract, which is cheaper than what most phones cost with a carrier contract.

For that price, you’re getting a 13-megapixel camera, water resistance, and a 5-inch screen. It’s not as powerful or as attractive as most flagship phones, but it’s an unbelievable bargain.

Price: $179

More on the new Moto G here >>


13. Google Nexus 6P

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Google

The Nexus 6P is an affordable, large-screened Android phone. Most phones with a big 5.7-inch screen cost around $700, while Google’s latest phone is priced at $500. It comes with a lot of the same features you’ll find in flagship phones, too, such as a fingerprint scanner, a premium metal design, and a high-resolution screen.

If you buy a Nexus phone, you also get the benefit of using a clean version of Android that’s not loaded with bloatware and you’ll also get Google’s Android updates first. The one feature that’s always lacking on Google’s Nexus phones is its camera, but the company promises that its newest phones have the best cameras they’ve ever put into a smartphone.

It’s available for preorder now.

Price: $500


12. Google Nexus 5X

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Google

If you’re looking for an Android phone and are on a tight budget, Google’s new Nexus 5X is also a great option. It comes with a 5.2-inch screen, which makes it the same size as Samsung’s Galaxy S6, and includes a 12.3-megapixel camera.

But Google claims that the pixels in the Nexus 5X’s camera are larger than that of the typical smartphone, which should result in better photos. The real benefit of buying a Nexus phone like the 5X is that it runs on a completely pure version of Android. It’s always the first to get Google’s big Android updates, too.

The phone is available for preorder now.

Price: $379


11. HTC One M9

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Business Insider

The HTC One M9 is a minor improvement over HTC’s previous Android phones. It has the same attractive aluminum design, an improved camera, and a faster processor. If you liked HTC’s other One phones, chances are you’ll like the M9, too.

Price: $649

Check out our HTC One M9 review here >>


10. OnePlus 2

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The OnePlus 2, with the new Oxygen Shelf feature displayed.
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Matt Weinberger

The OnePlus 2 is excellent if you’re looking for a large-screened phone that won’t cost you too much. The 16GB version sells for $329, while the 64GB edition sells for $389. It’s more expensive than last year’s model, which started at $300, but OnePlus has made some significant improvements.

The newer phone has a more powerful 64-bit processor, a 1080p 5.5-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera, and a fingerprint sensor. The specs are almost on par with other flagship phones, and it costs much less.

Price: $329

Learn more about the OnePlus 2 here >>


9. Moto X Pure

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Antonio Villas-Boas/ Tech Insider

Motorola’s Moto X Pure might be the best value you’ll find when shopping for an Android phone. For $400, you get a super-sharp QHD screen and a 21-megapixel camera. It also runs on a version of Android that’s not crowded with bloatware or unnecessary apps, which makes the experience feel more smooth.

It’s significantly cheaper than Samsung’s newest Galaxy phones, and you’re getting a similar experience. The main difference is that it’s not as sleek and attractive as the new Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, and it doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor. If those factors aren’t deal breakers for you, it’s worth looking into the Moto X Pure.

Price: $400

More on the Moto X Pure here >>


8. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

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Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a gorgeous phone. Not only is it the best-looking phone Samsung has ever made, but it’s probably the best-looking smartphone period. It’s the same size as the Galaxy Note 5, but it doesn’t come with a stylus and it has a screen that slightly curves.

While the curved screen makes the phone look really nice, it doesn’t add that much of a benefit that makes it worth paying a higher price.

Price: $799


7. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

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Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge is just as beautiful as its larger sibling, the Galaxy S6 Edge+, but it also has the same problem: It’s more expensive than the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S6 Edge is essentially a version of the Galaxy S6 with a curved screen.

There are a few neat things you can do with the curved portion of the screen, such as adding shortcuts to your favorite contacts and making it so that the screen lights up a certain color when a particular contact calls you. While those features are nice to have, they don’t change the overall experience enough to justify the phone’s higher price.

Price: $700

More on the Galaxy S6 Edge here >>


6. iPhone 6 Plus

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Business Insider

The iPhone 6S is among the best phablets you can buy. If you want a big-screened phone and prefer the iPhone over Android, this is a great bet for those who don’t necessarily care about having the latest iPhone.

Price: $649

More on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus here >>


5. iPhone 6

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Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns

Although it’s not the newest iPhone, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth checking out if you’re an Apple fan looking for a new phone. It has the same screen and the same nice-looking all-metal design as Apple’s newest iPhones.

If you’re looking for something that offers a similar experience and don’t want to splurge on Apple’s latest phone, the iPhone 6 is still a great choice.

Price: $549

Read our full review of the iPhone 6 here >>


4. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Lisa Eadicicco

If you’re looking for an Android phone with a big screen, the Galaxy Note 5 is probably your best choice. It has a gorgeous display and a great camera, and Samsung’s stylus is optimized to work well with its version of Android. For example, pulling the pen out of its holster launches a special menu for apps that work with the stylus.

This year’s Note is better than ever, especially since Samsung improved its design so that it matches that of the Galaxy S6. You can also write on the screen even if the display is turned off, which makes it easier to quickly jot down notes.

Samsung’s newer phones also work with Samsung Pay, which works at any cash register, regardless of whether or not it supports NFC.

Price: Around $700


3. Samsung Galaxy S6

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Lisa Eadicicco

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is its best flagship phone yet. The company totally redesigned the phone from scratch, giving it a metal and glass body that looks and feels much nicer than any of its previous phones. And its 5.2-inch screen is right for most people.

Samsung has loaded its latest Galaxy S phones with a few handy features you won’t get elsewhere, too, such as the ability to launch the camera by pressing the home button twice and a built-in heart-rate monitor.

Price: Around $600

Check out our Galaxy S6 review here >>


2. iPhone 6S Plus

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George Frey/Getty

The iPhone 6S Plus is an excellent large-screened phone. Although Samsung’s newest Galaxy Note phone is its best yet, the iPhone offers the best mix of hardware, design, and overall app selection.

This year’s iPhone 6S Plus is faster than the last, has a better camera and an improved fingerprint scanner, and comes with Apple’s new pressure-sensitive technology.

Price: $749


1. iPhone 6S

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Steve Kovach/Tech Insider

The iPhone 6S is the best phone for most people. It’s not drastically different than its predecessor, but it comes with a ton of subtle improvements. These include faster performance, a better camera, and Apple’s 3-D Touch technology. It’s a better version of a phone that was already great.

If you want something bigger, you should go for the iPhone 6S Plus, but for most people, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S is about the right size.

Price: $649

More on the iPhone 6S here >>