What's the best phone? Our verdict on the best smartphones - constantly updated
Sometimes choosing between two cell phones is easy. Just look at the specs and it becomes woefully clear that some phones (even those positioned directly against one another) aren't created equal.
But most of the time it's not as easy as just reading numbers. A phone is something you'll use everyday for two years (if you're lucky). It needs to be durable, adequately future-proof and feel right in your hand.
Where do we begin?
We have for you here our continually updated comparison of the top 20 best cell phones you can get in the US.
We've given you a brief overview of every phone and why we love it. But feel free to check out our incredibly extensive mobile phone reviews for a more in-depth look to decide for yourself which cell phone is best.
20. HTC First
The HTC First, the so-called Facebook phone, isn't really the ultimate device for sharing on the world's premier social network. Instead, it's a not at all bad mid-range device, blessed with a stock version of Android 4.1: Jelly Bean and LTE service from AT&T.
Still, it's hard to recommend that your average user buy a device and disable its primary selling point, in this case Facebook Home. Instead, what we have here is a good Android device for phone geeks on a budget.
As long as you stick normal tasks, it has all day battery life, thanks to its dual-core processor and smaller 4.3-inch screen. A lot of big, 1080p LTE handsets struggle to cross this finish line, but not the First. However, heavy Wi-Fi and LTE use will drain it down.
The HTC First is a good phone, but not for any of the reasons being highlighted in its marketing. It's compact, durable and has great LTE service from AT&T.
It could become the next cult Android device, and might even be the last decent dual-core handset ever made. Sans Facebook Home, it's exactly the type of device we wish we'd see more often.
19. BlackBerry Z10
The Z10 is a decent smartphone offering up a strong range of features and a fancy new operating system that may catch the eye of the technologically adventurous.
Web browsing deserves a special mention, as we were seriously impressed with the speed of the BlackBerry Z10 when it came to loading pages.
Also worth pointing out are the expandable storage, removable battery and Adobe Flash support providing small wins for the Z10, and will help as it tries to stand out in a crowded market.
But the unproven operating system and severe lack of headlining applications will turn a lot of consumers off at point of sale, and it's the image of the BlackBerry brand as a whole which needs to be worked on fast if it stands a chance of winning back the hearts of the general public.
18. Nokia Lumia 920
The Nokia Lumia 920 is a big, brutish smartphone, but under that weighty exterior is a decent phone that just wants to do things the simple way.
The Windows Phone 8 is an intriguing proposition offering up something very different to the iOS and Android systems we've become accustomed too, and the Lumia 920 is currently the most powerful handset running it.
The sheer size and weight of the Nokia Lumia 920 will be a deal breaker for some and while we were able to adapt to the phone's bulky body, we had several friends who were not fans.
The Nokia Lumia 920 isn't a groundbreaking, game-changing device, it's a refreshed Lumia 900 with a newer operating system and some additional power.
What Nokia has produced here is a solid, well-built device, which does the job you'd expect of a smartphone, without any of the lag we sometimes see from the convoluted Android system.
17. HTC One X
The HTC One X is a phone that's had us intrigued for a while - running a quad core CPU (Nvidia's Tegra 3) plus one of the largest screens on any HTC.
Integrated with its super-thin chassis, HD screen and beautiful graphics, the One X is the next-generation Android platform, all rolled into one.
Which is why the battery life is such a shame here. All the other niggles, like the touchscreen sensitivity and apps failing to register a press have been eradicated by HTC - and although the battery issues have been looked at, we're still not in the mood to say it's the equal of many other smartphones out there especially when the phone manages to power down regularly before bedtime.
If you're thinking of making the HTC One X your HTC Desire HD update - and many of you will be, then we can say this is definitely worth a look. While the battery life is poor, it's not as bad as that little ol' phone (although you may find the cheaper HTC One S very much desirable too...).
16. HTC Droid DNA
The Droid DNA is a very good smartphone, thanks to beefy hardware and Android 4.1: Jelly Bean. It's also a very big smartphone. Coming in at over 5-inches, it barely fits in a pocket. At that size, it might be something of a niche device, but its one we recommend with few reservations.
The overall performance of the Droid DNA is very impressive. A quad-core smartphone is nothing new, but 2GB of RAM is. These specs show from the minute you boot up the DNA and start flying across its panels. Standard apps open in the blink of an eye, and the load times on games are a breeze.
The battery was merely ok, which is not surprising on a 4G LTE phone with a humongous screen, but better than other HTC devices like the One X+. Still, if you go easy on the media streaming, the DNA will get you through the day just fine. If you plan to game a lot, say on the train to work, consider a second charger for the office.
It's a handsome phone with just the right amount of flash. The unibody design gives it a clean, simple look. The price is right, too. At $199 with new contract, the DNA is one of the best deals you'll find on Verizon.