The best phone 2024: top smartphones in the US right now

Best phone iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

When buying the best phone, you need a device that will last for years, no matter how much you pay. Whether you just want the best iPhone for most people, without a lot of bells and whistles, or you want the most amazing new Pixel phone with the best AI, the big trend in smartphones this year is longevity. Phones will start to last longer, according to Google, Samsung, and Apple

We've spent quality time reviewing all of the best phones for every situation, but these phones are built to last and they're going to change over time. We'll keep updating, even as Apple adds new Apple Intelligence, and Samsung finally gives Bixby a brain. When the phone makers change the phone, we change our list of the best phones. 

We have premium selections from the iPhone and Android camps. as well as the phone with the best battery life, the best cameras, the best gaming performance, and the best value. 

If you want to dive deeper among the many options below, check out our brand-specific rankings instead. We’ve reviewed all the latest handsets, and detailed the best iPhones, best Samsung phones, and best Google Pixel phones elsewhere on TechRadar.

Quick List

The best phone in 2024 

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below, you'll find full write-ups for each of the best phones in our list. We've tested each model extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best iPhone for most people

iPhone 15 review images

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best iPhone for most people


Weight: 171g
Dimensions: 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.80mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 2556 x 1179
CPU: A16 Bionic
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 3,349mAh (unofficial)
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) +12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

Dynamic Island retires the notch
Smooth design and soft-feel, color-infused rear glass

Reasons to avoid

No zoom lens
No macro capabilities
Buy it if

You want an affordable iPhone: The iPhone 15 strikes a nice balance between price and cutting-edge features, so you don't feel like you're missing out.

You want a camera upgrade: Between the new 48MP main camera and some excellent portrait photography capabilities, the iPhone 15 offers strong camera specs for the price.

Don't buy it if:

You want Apple Intelligence: If you want the upcoming Apple AI features, you'll need a Pro model or better.

You want bigger zoom: The 2x optical zoom on offer here doesn't quite compare to 3x optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23.

The bottom line

📱 If you're not bothered by titanium sides, 120Hz scrolling or high-spec zoom photography, then the standard iPhone 15 offers pretty much everything you could want from a flagship phone, but for significantly less money. ★★★★½

Apple's iPhone 15 marks the most significant step up for a base iPhone in several years, earning its place as the best value phone money can buy today.

Design: The iPhone 15 does what the iPhone 14 did not: it moves the base model forward with a refreshed chassis design, a brand-new (and eye-catching) rear glass panel, and a compatibility-improving USB-C port.

Display: The iPhone 15's 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display is bright and responsive, however, as on the iPhone 14, its refresh rate is locked to 60Hz. You do get Apple's Dynamic Island this time around, though.

Camera: There are still just two lenses on the back of the iPhone 15, but one of them is vastly improved over the iPhone 14. The 12MP ultrawide is basically the same, but the main camera is now the same 48MP lens that you'll find on the excellent iPhone 14 Pro (and indeed the iPhone 15 Pro).

Performance: The iPhone 15 uses the iPhone 14 Pro's superfast A16 Bionic chipset, which should provide more than enough power for most iPhone owners (for context, the latter was the most powerful handset of 2022).

Battery life: The iPhone 15 is rated for 20 hours of video playback, 80 hours of audio-only, and a 50% recharge in 30 minutes with the optional 20W charger. In our testing, we were able to use the phone casually for a full day. 

Value for money: In recent years, Apple's standard models have felt like minor upgrades that pale in comparison to their respective Pro-level counterparts, but the iPhone 15 bucks that trend by being a genuinely great value product.

Read our full iPhone 15 review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 scorecard
PriceApple is finally giving you more for you money.★★★★☆
DesignThe curved edges and smooth, color-infused glass make this a most modern iPhone.★★★★☆
DisplayLosing the notch and gaining the dynamic Island is a net poisitive, as is the lovely and now brighter screen.★★★★☆
CameraA big main camera leap is paired with some truly impressive computational photography.★★★★☆
PerformanceIt's hard to ask for more than the A16 Bionic, unless you need the very best of the best.★★★★☆
Battery lifeDecidedly battery life.★★★★☆

The best premium iPhone

iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best premium iPhone


Release date: September 2023
Weight: 221g
Dimensions: 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.7 inches
Resolution: 2796 x 1290 pixels
CPU: A17 Pro
RAM: 8GB (unofficial)
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 4,422mAh (unofficial)
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 12MP (telephoto with 5x optical zoom)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

Gorgeous albeit subtle redesign
Excellent photography

Reasons to avoid

Pricier baseline (but more storage)
Charging should be faster
Buy it if

You want to use Apple Intelligence: The iPhone 15 Pro Max is powerful enough that it will be able to use Apple's upcoming AI features, unlike the basic iPhone 15.

You want the most powerful phone: Apple's A17 Pro chipset is more powerful than anything else on the market, so much so that you're able to play console-quality games on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

You want a versatile camera system: In addition to its 5x optical zoom capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro Max features the smartest portrait photography tech around.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want the best mobile zoom camera: The addition of 5x optical zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is welcome, but the 5x camera on the Galaxy S24 Ultra is arguably better.

You need fast charging: The iPhone 15 Pro Max offers reassuringly-solid battery life and functionally-fine charging, but rivals from every angle offer much faster speeds.

The bottom line

📱 When it comes to iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best of the best. But you'll have to pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one, and Samsung's similarly priced Galaxy S24 Ultra has slightly better cameras. ★★★★½

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is indisputably the best iPhone money can buy right now, so for Apple fans with a bottomless supply of cash, this is the top choice. The smaller iPhone 15 Pro is also an exceptional handset that's worth considering if you prefer its more practical 6.1-inch size, but since the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a 5x periscope zoom lens, the latter phone is the objectively superior device.

Design: As with its smaller sibling, the iPhone 15 Pro boasts a gorgeous titanium design that can withstand unwelcome drops more effectively than its predecessor. The addition of a USB-C port and configurable Action button makes this a more versatile device, too.

Display: The iPhone 15 Pro Max packs an excellent 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED screen (with ProMotion), which is unchanged from the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Camera: In addition to that aforementioned 5x periscope zoom lens – which marks the first of its kind on an iPhone – the iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts a 48MP quad-pixel main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, making it the most capable and versatile iPhone yet for mobile photographers.

Performance: Apple's all-new A17 Pro chipset delivers mobile gaming performance that's comparable to some high-end PCs (yes, really). Along with the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most powerful phone on the market.

Battery life: The iPhone 15 Pro Max managed 28 hours of mixed-use in our testing, with the phone recharging to 50% in just over 30 minutes. That's pretty good going for a phone of this size and power, but others charge faster.

Value for money: As with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is an exceptionally expensive handset that can never truly be considered good value for money. That said, you're still getting a whole lot of phone for the price.

Read our full iPhone 15 Pro Max review

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iPhone 15 Pro Max scorecard
PriceMore expensive, but you do get more storage for your money.★★★☆☆
DesignThe combination of a titanium body and new smoother curves is an aesthetic and ergonomic win.★★★★☆
DisplayThe screen in bigger (though not higher resolution) and looks better than ever.★★★★★
CameraThis is the best collection of cameras we've ever used on an iPhone.★★★★★
PerformanceThe A17 Pro makes console gaming a reality in an iPhone.★★★★★
Battery lifeAll-day battery life but still waiting for fast charging.★★★★☆

The best Android for most people

Google Pixel 8 review back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

3. Google Pixel 8

The best Android for most people


Release date: October 2023
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.2-inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
CPU: Google Tensor G3
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,575 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 10.5MP