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

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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

Reasons to buy

Cool AI photo features
Seven years of Android support

Reasons to avoid

Design changes are minor
No temperature sensor
Buy it if

You want Google's version of Android: The Google Pixel 8 will get Pixel Feature drops, and hopefully the latest Android, before other phones.

You want a compact camera phone: The Pixel 8 is a great size for pockets, and it also has fantastic cameras for a phone this size, making it a pocketable companion.

You'll have this phone a while: The Pixel 8 gets seven years of Android OS updates, and that's huge, so if you plan on holding onto your phone a while, this one will last longer.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need the best battery: We only got about six hours of constant screen time with the Pixel 8, so if you need longevity look elsewhere.

Telephoto zoom is important: We liked the basic cameras on the Pixel 8, but if you're shooting photos of kids on a far away field or national monuments, get a phone with zoom.

The bottom line

📱 With solid cameras and AI features that keep getting better, the Google Pixel 8 is an all-around winner for Android fans looking for a Google phone that will last. ★★★★

The Pixel 8 is a great phone for Android fans who want the best of what Google's mobile OS has to offer today and into the future. With a Tensor G3 inside, same as the Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel 8 has the same promise of seven years of Android updates, and so far all of Google's best new AI features have come to Pixel 8 owners right on time. 

Design: The Pixel 8 design may be getting long in the tooth, but I still think it stands out as one of the coolest-looking Android phones, and Google has really nailed the color options this year. 

Display: The display is the standout feature on all the Pixel 8 family phones this year, and the Pixel 8 delivers Google's new 'Actua' screen with excellent brightness and great color, as well as a healthy 120Hz refresh rate. 

Camera: Google doesn't just rely on AI for its photo features, it also packs great cameras into the Pixel 8, including a 50MP main camera with a wide aperture, great for low-light pics. After you're done shooting, Google Photos on the Pixel offers some of the easiest AI editing tools you'll find on a smarphone. 

Performance: While Google Tensor chips don't have the raw power of Apple silicon or Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, Google has enough confidence in the Tensor G3 and its AI capabilities that it's promised seven years of software updates, and so far it's delivered the best features to the Pixel 8 first. 

Battery life: Battery life could certainly be better, especially if you're using the AI features continually. If you need a lot more battery life, your best bet is to buy a bigger phone. 

Value for money: The Pixel 8 starts at a nice price for the advanced AI features and sharp photography skills. The seven years of updates could prove great for resale value in the long-run. Watch for Amazon to put this phone on sale often. 

Read our full Google Pixel 8 review

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Google Pixel 8 score card
ValueWhile pricier than its predecessor, the long-term software support makes this a great-value buy.4 / 5
DesignMore rounding across the range and smaller screen than the 7 make this a pocketable delight.4 / 5
DisplayFinally reaching a 120Hz refresh rate, this is a nice, bright all-round Full HD+ OLED.4 / 5
SoftwareAndroid 14 adds a customizable lock screen, and the Pixel boasts an impressive seven years of OS and security updates.5 / 5
CameraThere's no telephoto sensor, but the cameras that are present are powerful and impressive.4.5 / 5
PerformanceThe new Tensor G3 chip enables a lot of great AI-enhanced experiences.4 / 5
BatteryPerfectly adequate all-day battery life and charging but room for improvement.4 / 5

The best premium Android phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

4. Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

The best premium Android phone


Release date: January 2024
Weight: 196g
Dimensions: 158.5 x 75.9 x 7.7mm
OS: Android 14, OneUI 6.1
Screen size: 6.7-inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3120 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Storage: 256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,900 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 10MP (telephoto 3x)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

Display is bright enough for sunlight
Best battery life in its class

Reasons to avoid

Better cameras would have been nice
Maybe a little titanium next time?
Buy it if

You want superior performance: The Galaxy S24 Plus gives you the same performance as the Ultra, with all the Galaxy AI features, for less.

You want a bigger, better screen: The Galaxy S24 Plus is a nice upgrade over the Galaxy S24, with a better display that gives you more space, and more battery beneath.

You want the best battery life: On a premium smartphone, you won't find better battery life than we got on the Galaxy S24 Plus.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want the superior cameras: The camera is the biggest difference between the Galaxy S24 Plus and its more expensive S24 Ultra sibling.

You like simple software: Samsung's OneUI software is a convoluted mess, and it's much more difficult to use than the iPhone's iOS and Google's Pixel 8 Android. 

The bottom line

📱 The Galaxy S24 Plus is super-fast with extra-long battery life and a huge, bright display. You don't need more in a premium Android phone. ★★★★½

The Galaxy S24 Plus is the Samsung Galaxy phone that gives you everything without giving you too much. It has all the power and Galaxy AI features of Samsung's most expensive Ultra model, but it won't break the bank or give you options you'll never use, like a hidden pen. 

Design: With a bigger display, the Galaxy S24 Plus sits in the middle of the Galaxy S24 family, borrowing from each side of price divide. The Galaxy S24 Plus looks more like the Galaxy S24 than the Ultra, and that's too bad because the Ultra has a slick titanium frame that we enjoyed in our review. 

Display: Instead of just giving the Galaxy S24 Plus a bigger screen with the same resoution as the Galaxy S24, this year's Plus model has a much sharper display with more pixels, closer to the Ultra, making it a better choice than ever before. 

Camera: Samsung offers plenty of shooting options with three lenses on the back of the Galaxy S24 Plus, including a real 3X optical zoom lens. If you need a lot more, the Ultra gives you astronomically more zoom, but the Galaxy S24 Plus has great shooting modes, plus new AI editing features in the Gallery app. 

Performance: The Galaxy S24 Plus delivers stunning performance with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. In some benchmarks, the Snapdragon even beat the latest iPhone 15 Pro Max, so this Galaxy will handle all of your gaming, productivity, and multi-tasking needs with no trouble at all. 

Battery life: A big reason we love the Galaxy S24 Plus is its superlative battery life, some of the best longevity we've seen from any premium smartphone we've tested.  With a bigger display and a bigger battery beneath, the Galaxy S24 Plus proves once again why it's the right premium Android pick. 

Value for money: The Galaxy S24 Plus starts around the same price as the iPhone 15 Pro, but here's a secret: Samsung phones often go on sale. We've already seen price cuts on this phone up to 20% off in the US, and we expect more sales as the next Unpacked event approaches. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus scorecard
ValueThe Galaxy S24 Plus is significantly cheaper than the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it's still a mightily expensive phone.4 / 5
DesignThe phone's slim bezels and flatter sides look great, but the lack of Gorilla Armor glass is dissapointing.3 / 5
DisplayThe Galaxy S24 Plus' display is big, bright, outdoor-friendly and as good as the Galaxy S24 Ultra's.5 / 5
SoftwareSamsung's Galaxy AI features are welcome addition, but they don't do enough to mitigate OneUI's dizzying complexity.3 / 5
CamerasThe Galaxy S24 Plus' camera array is objectively solid, but some hardware upgrades are long overdue.3 / 5
PerformanceDespite the region-based chipset discrepancy, the Galaxy S24 Plus is a phenomenally powerful phone.5 / 5
BatteryThe phone's class-leading battery life and speedy charging make it a battery champion.5 / 5

The best camera phone

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra from the back with S Pen mostly withdrawn

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

5. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The best overall phone


Release date: January 2024
Weight: 232g
Dimensions: 162.3 x 79.0 x 8.6mm
OS; Expected Upgrades: Android 14 / One UI 6; 7 years of upgrades
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: QHD+
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 200MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 10MP (telephoto with 3x optical zoom) + 50MP (telephoto with 5x optical zoom)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

Incredible performance and features
Better cameras than ever before

Reasons to avoid

AI features can be useless at worst
Big, heavy, and more expensive
Buy it if

You want more than just a smartphone: The Galaxy S24 Ultra gives you more than any other smartphone. It can act as a laptop replacement, a drawing tablet, and an entire camera bag.

You want to feel the future: The Galaxy AI features can sometimes feel magical, especially if you use the language translation and some of the better summary features. There are definitely more AI features to come, so this phone could get better with time. 

Don't buy it if:

You don't need all of that phone: If you don't need everything and more, you can spend less and still get a great phone. It just won't be Ultra.

You prefer elegance and simplicity: The Samsung software is really showing its age, especially against newer and simpler phones like the elegant iPhone 15 Pro running iOS 17, which is sociable and fun, not confusing. 

The bottom line

📱 The Galaxy S24 Ultra takes smartphone features to the extreme. You won't find a more capable, adaptable, and clever device for any price, but that price is mighty steep. If you don't need everything, you can keep reading, but if you want the best phone, the best cameras, and the best overall, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is the phone to beat. ★★★★½

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra takes smartphone features to the extreme, then keeps going. It's a top-performing phone, the best phone you can buy overall in so many ways. It has better battery life and performance than the iPhone, more versatile cameras than any other Android, and it packs features we don't see in smartphones these days, like the Samsung DeX desktop environment. 

Design: The differences between the Galaxy S24 Ultra and last year's phone are subtle but significant. The S24 Ultra is a big slab of phone, now more flat than before, and that makes it easier to see in bright light and easier to use, especially with the S Pen. Unfortunately, it's still a gigantic device, and titanium didn't help Samsung shed weight. 

Display: You won't find a better all-around display on a smartphone than the bright OLED screen on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. You can find a bit brighter, a bit faster, but the anti-glare finish helps in bright light, and Samsung's display is colorful and sharp for every task.

Camera: Samsung has done more work behind the scenes on its Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras than on the spec sheet, and the results pay off with better images in every setting. Portrait and landscape photos are much better, but even zoom shots have been improved, though we do miss that extra 10X zoom.

Performance: If you need the fastest phone, this is the one to buy. In our benchmark tests and real world gaming and photo editing, the Galaxy S24 Ultra was the fastest phone we've ever used, even beating the iPhone 15 Pro, which is a first for Android phones since Apple starting baking its own chipsets. 

Battery life: You can easily use the Galaxy S24 Ultra for two days of normal use, and it lasted through a full day of intense usage with no trouble. The battery hasn't gotten any bigger, Samsung is just better at managing power on this phone than ever before.  

Value for money: The Galaxy S24 Ultra is more expensive than last year, and you don't get a lot more for the money, but what you get is a big deal. Samsung promises seven years of software updates, including major Android OS updates, and that makes this phone a better value than any Samsung Galaxy Ultra to come before. 

Read our full Galaxy S24 Ultra review

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra scorecard
PriceEven more than last year, with fewer deals to find, but you get the best when you pay for it.★★★☆☆
DesignIt looks like last year, but the screen is flat which makes it less reflective, but also sharper. Just as heavy, even with titanium. ★★★★☆
DisplayYou won't find a better display on a smartphone worth buying, and the anti-glare finish really helps outdoors. ★★★★★
CameraBetter camera performance all around, even if the spec sheet looks a bit suspicious. Still the best, most versatile camera system. ★★★★★
PerformancePerformance that can top an iPhone 15 Pro, for the first time in recent memory putting Android ahead of Apple. ★★★★★
Battery lifeBetter power management this year means the Galaxy S24 Ultra has some of the best battery life we've ever seen on a smartphone. ★★★★★

The best battery life

OnePlus 12R review front angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

6. OnePlus 12R

The best battery life


Release date: January 2024
Weight: 207g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 14, Oxygen OS 14
Screen size: 6.78-inches
Resolution: 1264 x 2780 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB / 12GB / 16GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,500mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 8P (ultrawide) + 2MP (macro)
Front camera: 16MP