Update: We've completely overhauled our ranking to show you all the pros and cons of the best phones on Verizon wireless. All the heavy hitters are here, including the HTC One, the Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5S and 5C, as well as the Moto X and the LG G2.
Verizon Wireless is a top tier cellular service provider in the Unites States. Since its launch in December 2010, the Big Red net of 4G LTE coverage has spread quickly across the country, providing reliable and speedy service for those willing to pony up for it. Since you know you're getting reliable call service and fast data speeds, one question remains: what's the best Verizon phone for your dollar?
Being a Verizon customer doesn't come cheap, and as with AT&T, those generous unlimited data plans have gone the way of the dodo. It does have its benefits though. You don't just get access to one of the biggest, fastest 4G LTE networks on the continent, you'll be able to choose from a wide selection of the best new smartphones on the market, all at affordable prices when purchased with a two-year contract.
A new Verizon phone can cost a pretty penny, so we've rounded up our favorite phones and assembled the reasons why they're worthy of our praise and your dollars. While it's awfully hard to pick an overall best phone on the market, it is possible to pick the best phone for you. So click through, browse the choices, and be sure to leave us a nice comment about why we're a Samsung, Apple, HTC or Motorola fanboy/hater for putting some phone somewhere on the list.
Remember, this is a living document, and we'll continue our quest to find the best Verizon phone. Also, Verizon often discounts certain phones on its website. Make sure to check out the online deals before you make an in-store purchase. Shop around and save a little money, why don't you?
10. Galaxy S3 - Verizon's best free phone
Ah, the Galaxy S3. A long time best phone champion here at TechRadar, now it's the best budget option on Verizon.
If you're will to sign on for a two-year contract, Verizon will let you have 16GB model in blue or white, for no charge.
Why you want it
It's free. Before the smartphone market got so competitive, the free phones you got for signing a contract were often junk. That's not the case anymore. The Galaxy S3 might be dated, but it's an absolute steal as a giveaway device. If you can't afford to put down a hundred dollars or so for a newer phone, getting a free S3 is not a bad deal at all.
MicroSD and a removable battery. You might balk that Verizon's S3 is only 16GB, but remember you can boost that with an extra 64GB of microSD. That and you can swap out the battery for a fresh one, if needed. Those two features make a great budget option for those who want lots of space and battery life to burn.
The camera is still quite good. Sure its been bested by all the modern tech, but there's nothing shameful about the S3's snaps. Samsung's software makes those 8-megapixel shots worth taking.
Why you may not it
Being stuck with a dual-core for the next two years. The S3's specs are showing their age. It may not perform so well in the twilight years of your contract.
Who knows when it will get Android updates? Not that any of the carriers are terribly fast, but Verizon has a bit of a reputation when it comes to dragging its feet with Android updates. The S3 is still waiting on 4.3 while all the modern flagships are waiting on Android 4.4: Kit Kat. And who knows how well it will even run that software, which was designed around the quad-core Nexus 5.
You could buy it off contract. Whenever a new phone comes out, that phone's predecessor plummets in value. Now that we're living in a post-Galaxy S4 world, if you shop around a for an S3, you might find a great deal. Then you can bring the phone to Verizon (make sure it's CDMA) and sign up for a month-to-month plan.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy S3 review