10 best smartphones in the US

Best phones for 2016, from Android to iPhone and back

10 best mobile phones in the US today

Update: HTC 10, LG G5 and iPhone SE all made our best phones in the US list, but it's Samsung that presents a major shake-up for the top smartphone you can buy in 2016. Here's our ranking.

Knowing the best smartphone you can buy as we head deeper into May 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 the updated rankings on a lot of geeked-out factors: design, performance, battery life, camera quality and iOS 10 and Android N updates.

Sure, your personal preference among iOS 9.3, Android Marshmallow 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 outlier. 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 Apple's iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S 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. iPhone SE

A simply brilliant palm-friendly phone

Weight: 113g | Dimensions: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 4-inch | Resolution:640 x 1136 | CPU: Apple A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB | Battery: 1624mAh | Rear camera:12MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Great power
Lower price
Tired design
Old screen technology

Apple's iPhone SE ranks at Number 10 mainly because there are so many other top-notch phones, but also because it has a tired design, screen that's several years old and a display size that's too small to get sucked into apps and movies on the move.

That said, it's one of very few high-end smartphones you can use one-handed and its iOS 9.3 operating system remains slick and easy to use. It won't be for everyone, but for those who dislike the supersized phones of today the iPhone SE is a top performer on a miniature scale.

Remember, the SE has the same power, same camera and same software as Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 6S. It just happens to be in a size you can easily pocket and at a reasonable (for an iPhone) price: $400 unlocked and $50 on contract among US carriers.

Read the full review: iPhone SE

Also consider: Want a cheaper iPhone but find the iPhone SE just too small? Apple's still selling the original iPhone 6, with a 4.7-inch display, sleeker metal body and the same version of iOS. It's a bit more expensive, but you do get a bigger screen.

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