10 best smartphones in the US

What's the best phone in the US for 2017?

Update: The best phone in the US for 2017 is a lot like the list from 2016, because we're expecting a lot of new handsets over the next 12 months. Here are our current picks.

Knowing the best smartphone you can buy at the end of 2016 is more than just a hunch for us. We test out the latest and - sometimes - greatest phones in comprehensive mobile phone reviews.

To drill down to a list of our 10 favorites in the US this year, we based today's updated rankings on a lot of geeked-out factors: design, performance, battery life, camera quality and software updates.

Sure, your personal preference among iOS 10, Android Nougat and Windows Mobile 10 could sway you to another device besides our top-ranked phone. Likewise, your contract with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile is a personal preference. The best phone for AT&T may not be available on-contract on Verizon, and vice-versa.

But that's why we have more than just a No. 1 pick, which, spoiler alert, isn't just Apple's iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. We're not that predictable. Before you lock into a binding contract or spring for an expensive unlocked, SIM-free smartphone, consult our best phone guide, updated regularly.

10. HTC 10

Not 10/10, but the best phone for music by far

Weight: 161g | Dimensions: 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Amazing audio
Great design
Camera not impressive
Boomsound not great

After the success of the HTC One M8, the world wondered if time was up for HTC after it didn't really ignite the smartphone game with the One M9.

Well, that's not the case as the brand went away, made a beautiful phone that's 'sculpted by light', added in a genuinely impressive camera and improved the battery life.

But that's not the best bit - that comes when you plug headphones into this thing. It's sensational - can this thing pump beautiful, Hi-Res Audio into your ears or what? It's sensational.

For that reason alone it's worth a place in the top ten, and the myriad other improvements impress equally.

Read the full review: HTC 10

  • What's next? We're expecting to hear about the HTC 11 in a matter of days, and it may go by the name HTC U or HTC U Ultra.

Also consider: We'd suggest having a gander at the LG G5 if you fancy an 'underdog' brand that can still make it big... great camera and some fancy innovation on offer there. The HTC Bolt is a more budget-friendly alternative in the US, too, at least if you're a Sprint customer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting mobile editor in Los Angeles. As an expert in iOS and Android, he owns over 120 phones that someone keeps setting the alarms on – simultaneously. He received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.