You’ve never had more high-quality phone options than you do right now. So if you’re looking to buy someone a phone this year, it’s actually a lot harder to screw that up. There are a ton of viable choices in different categories at different prices. No matter your budget this holiday season, your biggest challenge will be in choosing which phone is right for the person you have in mind. And that’s where we come in. Read on to see what the best phones are right now and check out our tips on.
Note that these products are independently tested and chosen by our editors. CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products from the links.
Starting at $700, the iPhone 11 is the best midtier model Apple has ever made. Its cameras get an excellent new Night Mode and an ultrawide-angle camera adds extra detail in photos. Video is fantastic, too. It also houses the latest and fastest Apple processors, making it among the fastest iPhones ever.
The refined, feature-packed Note 10 Plus closes the gap with rival phones. This top-of-the-line phone was made for people who want the best Android. It has a killer 6.8-inch screen, all-day battery life and excellent camera tools.
A year after its release, the iPhone XR is still a fantastic choice. It’s fast, has a bright and colorful screen and at $600 is one of the best phone values out there.
The iPhone 8 (and 8 Plus) is the only iPhone with a home button that Apple still sells new. If you’re not a fan of swiping up to get to your home screen, but still want a powerful iPhone, this is the best and most affordable one at $449.
Phones nowadays are constantly one-upping each other with pop-up selfie cameras, in-display fingerprint sensors and multiple rear cameras. The OnePlus 7 Pro has all the features du jour to keep us enticed. But it’s the phone’s $669 (6GB of RAM/128GB) starting price that’s the deal maker. (There’s also an 8GB of RAM/256GB variant that costs $699 and will be the one available from T-Mobile.)
As the most wallet-friendly Galaxy S10 phone, the Galaxy S10E has a lot to offer. It’s a smaller phone, which is great for those looking for a small grip, it has a superfast Snapdragon 855 chipset and a lengthy battery life. It can also wirelessly charge other phones and accessories.
The new-for-2019 Pixel 3A shaves a few features off of last year’s Pixel 3: It’s not water-resistant, doesn’t have wireless charging, and it maxes out at 64GB of storage. But it adds a headphone jack and keeps the same amazing Night Sight camera that can shoot great photos in the dark. (Daytime photos look amazing, too.)
The Moto G7 is one of the most affordable and reliable phones. Though its single speaker doesn’t offer the greatest sound and it takes mediocre low-light photos and video, the G7 has dual rear cameras, an enduring battery life and a sleek design. It also charges quickly, which is useful when you need to juice up while on the go.