Best Verizon Android phones (December 2015)

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With the largest network and an excellent selection of phones, it is no wonder why Verizon is largely considered to be the “top dog” out of all the major U.S. carriers. For those on Big Red’s network, there are quite a few options to pick from, including major flagships that are universally available on all carriers, as well as handsets specific to Verizon only.

Related: Best prepaid phones for Verizon

With this in mind, we are bringing you the top phones in each of the following category: those above $500, those under $500, and those under $250. Keep in mind Verizon has done away with contract pricing. It’s also worth noting that some of these phones are even cheaper when purchased via Amazon, so we’ll try to include the relevant links to Amazon if we can find cheaper prices for you. So without any further ado, let’s dive right in!

Editor’s note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Update, December 2015: This month we saw the Galaxy Note 5/S6 Edge+ reach the top spot, moving the Galaxy S6 down to second place. Since it’s been a little while since we last updated this list, we had some removing to do – the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Droid Turbo, LG G3 and most of the budget options were removed as well to make room for the LG V10, Droid Turbo 2, Nexus 6P, Motorola Moto X Pure Edition and a few others. 

Best phones above $500

#1 – Samsung Galaxy Note 5 & Galaxy S6 Edge+

Go big or go home, right? That’s the philosophy fans of these super-sized Samsung phablets definitely live by. But these handsets not only offer among the largest screen sizes in the industry, they are also some of the most capable devices available. Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are fast and have ample battery life. To make things even better, they look great. In fact, they take the design language the Galaxy S6 introduced, adopting a metal frame and glass body. You really can’t go wrong with either of these. And if you are a fan of edged displays, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has enough curves to suit your needs.

The only issue is these bad boys won’t come cheap. The Note 5 is priced at $699.99, while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ starts at $768. Far from affordable, but definitely worth it if you care about screen size and performance. Not to mention, the Galaxy Note 5 has all those additional S Pen features for productivity buffs. You will also enjoy Samsung’s new design language and build quality, which is a much needed improvement over previous Note devices.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 16MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Note 5: 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm, 171 grams / S6 Edge+: 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm, 153 grams
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy the Galaxy Note 5 from Amazon – $699.99
Buy the Galaxy S6 Edge+ from Amazon – $768


#2 – Samsung Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung really hit the ball out of the park with its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices. These were the first to adopt a better design language and build quality, something that proved to be a success under most reviewers’ eyes.

These are essentially the same device, with the only difference being the obvious curved screen on the Galaxy S6 Edge. Aside from a few software enhancements on the Edge (and 50 mAh of battery), there are barely any other differences. Both are sleek, powerful, fast and well built. We must also mention the display and camera, which are among the best in the market!

While not as pricey as their larger brothers, the Samsung Galaxy S6 series is still up there. You can get the normal version for $576.00. Meanwhile, Verizon also sells the Edge iteration for $672.00.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options, no microSD expansion
  • 16 MP rear camera with OIS
  • 5 MP front-facing camera with 90 degree wide angle lens
  • Non-removable 2,550mAh battery (S6) and 2,600mAh battery (S6 Edge)
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138 grams
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S6 from Verizon – $576
Buy the Galaxy S6 Edge from Verizon – $672


#3 – LG V10

If you aren’t completely satisfied with the LG G4, perhaps the V10 will suit your needs. It has the same powerful Snapdragon 808 processor and 16MP rear-facing camera as the G4, but with a few extra features included. Most notably, the V10 sports a secondary “ticker” display LG calls the Second Screen. This extra display aims to provide its users useful information without the need to turn on the main screen. It will display app shortcuts, notifications, and even weather and battery percentage information. Although the placement is a bit wonky, we’re sure you’ll be pretty happy with the added benefit of having a secondary display.

The V10 also has two front-facing cameras for wide-angle selfies, a fingerprint scanner that’s actually really reliable, a MIL-STD-810G Transit Drop Compliant rating for shock absorption, and a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC electronic processor with support for Qualcomm’s QFE2550 closed-loop antenna tuning solution. It’s also the first smartphone ever to come with a manual mode for taking video.

Both the V10 and the G4 are great smartphones. If you aren’t concerned with spending a bit more money, though, you should buy the V10. It’s available now from Verizon for $672.00.

Specs

  • Main display: 5.7-inch IPS Quantum Display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513ppi
  • Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • Adreno 418 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 16MP rear-facing camera, 5MP Dual Lens front-facing camera
  • Removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm, 192g

Read more

Buy now from Verizon – $672


#4 – Motorola Droid Turbo 2

As the successor to last year’s well-received Droid Turbo, Motorola’s new Droid smartphone is being aimed at the clumsy folks this time around. Not only does this phone tote top-of-the-line specs – a Snapdragon 810 processor, Quad HD display, microSD expansion, a giant battery and a super impressive camera – it also comes with a shatterproof display. Yes, really, it’s shatterproof.

Motorola has implemented its new ShatterShield technology on the Droid Turbo 2. Motorola says the Turbo 2’s display consists of an integrated system of five layers that are designed to absorb shock and never shatter.

Aside from the unbreakable screen, you’ll also get Moto Maker support with this device, allowing you to customize nearly every accent of the phone. Motorola really hit it out of the park with the Droid Turbo 2. It has a great software experience (if you can get past the Verizon bloatware), amazing hardware, a solid camera and a customizable aesthetic for no extra cost. That’s definitely a good thing, because this smartphone doesn’t come cheap. The Droid Turbo 2 is available on Verizon’s network starting at $624.00.

Specs

  • 5.4-inch AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 540ppi
  • 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  •  21MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3760mAh battery
  • 149.8 mm x 78 mm x 7.6 mm – 9.2 mm, 169g
  • Customizable via Moto Maker
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Verizon – $624


#5 – LG G4

HTC was king of the 4th spot in this section for long enough. Now we have a new big player in the market and it truly deserves to be among the best. In fact, for some of you it may even be better than the options mentioned above. The LG G4 enters the market promising pristine performance, a design that will have any crowd turning heads, insane battery life and customization like we no longer see in modern smartphones.

In an industry where most manufacturers sacrifice battery life for thinness, LG manages to stand out from the crowd by offering a massive 3000mAh battery. It also happens to be removable, so you can easily swap batteries at will. Furthermore, it supports expandable memory, which also happens to be a feature under risk of extinction.

Oh, and this phone looks good! You can switch your back plates, but I am sure you won’t want to once you put that genuine leather back in there. Add in the fact that the phone comes with one of the best smartphone cameras in the market and you have a true winner. Add in the fact that the phone comes with one of the best smartphone cameras in the market and you have a true winner. You can buy the LG G4 from Verizon starting at just $552.00.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD Quantum Dot display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (534 ppi)
  • 1.82 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • Adreno 418 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
  • 16 MP rear camera with LED flash, 8 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,000 mAh  battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 9.8 mm, 155 grams

Read more

Buy now from Amazon
Buy now from Verizon – $552


Best phones under $500

#1 – Nexus 6P

As the successor to last year’s Motorola Nexus 6, Google recently unveiled the Huawei-made Nexus 6P. This device is the higher-end of the two Nexus phones announced at Google’s event, and that’s incredibly apparent when looking at the spec sheet.

It comes with a big 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a giant 3450mAh battery and an impressive 12MP rear-facing camera. Want to get your hands on one? The Nexus 6P is pretty cheap, considering the specs and build quality. You can purchase it from the Google Store starting at just $499!

This is really one of the best Android handsets we’ve ever seen. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend and aren’t keen on the best from Samsung or LG, get the Nexus 6P.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card slot
  • 12MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera
  • Non-removable 3450mAh battery
  • 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, 178g
  • Aluminum, Graphite, Frost
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store – $499
Buy now from Amazon – $590


#2 – Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (Moto X Style)

With the original Moto X, Motorola proved you don’t need to have the latest specs to get a great user experience. With the second generation, the Lenovo-owned company took no chances and double-downed on the spec side as well, packing the new Moto X (2014) with a dense 5.2-inch AMOLED screen, a beefy processor, and a capable 13MP camera. But with the Moto X Style, Motorola reaches the perfect balance between performance, simplicity, price and… well, style.

By Style we are mostly referring customization capabilities, a factor which has been an integral part of the Moto X experience since day one. Customers can use Moto Maker to manipulate their devices’ aesthetics to their will. You can change the color of the metal areas, engrave the back and even choose from a plethora of back options, including materials leather, wood, rubber and other materials.

The device is not a bad contender in terms of hardware, either. The larger screen puts the phone up with contenders like the OnePlus 2, Nexus 6, LG G4 and the Galaxy Note series. It may not sport the “best” processor in the market, but the Snapdragon 808 is pretty close to the 810, and Motorola has proven time and again they can make a super fast phone without the greatest chipset.

It’s worth noting that the phone will be sold in most markets under the Style branding, though in the United States it will be sold as the Moto X Pure Edition, an unlocked model that will play nice with all U.S. carriers. You can purchase the Moto X Pure Edition from Motorola or Amazon for only $399.99.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch display with QHD 2560x1440p resolution
  • 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 21MP rear cam, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm, 179g
  • Customizable via Moto Maker
  • Water resistant
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Motorola – $399
Buy now from Amazon – $399


#3 – Motorola Droid Maxx 2

If you happen to value battery life over most other things, the Motorola Droid Maxx 2 is the smartphone for you. It has a giant 3630mAh battery, a Full HD display and a Snapdragon 615 processor that should do wonders for the battery life. It also sports microSD card expansion, the same wonderful camera that’s found on the Droid Turbo 2, and has a simple, stock-like software experience.

No, this device doesn’t have the best display or processor on the market. But if what you’re looking for is a solid smartphone on a budget, the Maxx 2 might be the one for you. The Droid Maxx 2 is available from Verizon for $384.00.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1080 x 1920 resolution, 403ppi
  • 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 21MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3630mAh battery
  • 148 x 75 x 10.9 mm, 169g
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Verizon – $384


Best phones under $50

#1 – HTC Desire 626

The HTC Desire 626 might not be the most high-end device on the market, but it’s not bad considering the price.

The Desire 626 comes with an exceptional design, which is something to be expected from the Taiwanese phone maker. If you’re looking for a well-built smartphone with a solid software experience and don’t mind sacrificing a bit on the performance front, the Desire 626 might be the smartphone for you.

It’s available now from Verizon for only $192.00.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch display with 720 x 1280 resolution, 294ppi
  • 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 8MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2000mAh battery
  • 146.9 x 70.9 x 8.19 mm, 140g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Verizon – $192


#2 – LG G Vista

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If you don’t mind spending a little extra on your budget-friendly smartphone, the LG G Vista might be just the one for you. Offering its users a giant 5.7-inch display and a long-lasting 3200mAh battery, the G Vista is a great device for consuming all types of media. It may not have the most high-end processor, display or camera on the market, but it will certainly do the trick for many folks out there.

You can purchase the LG G Vista from Verizon for just $240.00.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution, 258ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 64GB
  • 8MP rear cam, 1.3MP front cam
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • 152.1 x 79.2 x 9.1 mm, 168g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Read more

Buy now from Verizon – $240


#3 – HTC Desire 526

HTC Desire 526 Verizon

If you don’t want to spend the extra money on the 626 but still want a solid device from HTC, you should get the Desire 526. It has a solid build, decent specifications for the price, and comes with all of the things you could ask for in a smartphone nowadays – an 8MP rear camera, a Snapdragon processor as well as a big battery that should last the entire day on a single charge.

The HTC Desire 526 is available on Verizon’s network starting at $120.00.

Specs

  • 4.7-inch display with 540 x 960 resolution
  • 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 CPU
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 8MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2,000 mAh battery
  • 140 x 70 x 9.9 mm, 156g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Buy now from Verizon – $120


How did you like our list? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

Next: Best Android smartphones of 2015

By | 2015-12-19T01:00:07+00:00 December 19th, 2015|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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