Best Phones of 2019

The new Galaxy S10 phones add another chapter to the long-running battle between Samsung and Apple for best phone. And though we’re very impressed with what we’ve seen from the S10 so far, Apple retains its edge over the competition with the iPhone XS Max.

With a 6.5-inch OLED screen crammed into a phone that’s not much larger than the iPhone 8 Plus, the XS Max commands a staggering $1,099, but in return you get improved cameras and a processor that blows away many its rivals

However, if you want a big screen and don’t want to pay a premium, the $749 iPhone XR is a great option for most people. You get a big 6.1-inch display, the same great camera and processor and lots of fun color options. And it lasts longer on a charge than the iPhone XS Max, but you don’t get an OLED display or 2x optical zoom. Learn more at our iPhone XS vs iPhone XS Max vs iPhone XR face-off, about how these phones differ in key ways, such as battery life. 

As for Samsung’s latest phones, the Galaxy S10 Plus benefits from a powerful processor, much-improved camera and the best battery life you’ll find in a current flagship phone. It’s the best Android phone right now. If you’d like a smaller phone, the Galaxy S10e offers a more compact 5.8-inch screen and a lower starting price than the other S10 models. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10 is nearly as good as the S10 Plus and $100 less expensive; the phone doesn’t last as long on a charge, though, and its front camera isn’t as good as the dual lens setup on the S10 Plus.

Android purists have a new option for a phone that doesn’t mess with Google’s mobile OS, and it’s a lot cheaper than it was before. The Pixel 3a gives you Google’s great camera and the most up-to-date version of Android in a phone that costs $400 less than the Pixel 3. That makes Google’s new phone one of the best available for under $400.

If you’re on an even tighter budget, check out the Moto G7 Power, which is our best cheap phone. It gives you more than 15 hours of battery for $250. As for flagship phones, the best value comes from the $669 OnePlus 7 Pro, which boasts triple cameras, a terrific display and the best performance among Android devices.

The Pixel 3 had been our choice for best camera phone, and while it still takes great shots, the Huawei P30 Pro bested Google’s phone when we pitted them against one another in a photo face-off. Huawei’s phone is tough to find in the U.S. — and could be even tougher in wake of the U.S. government’s moves against the Chinese phone maker — but it’s the best option if you want the very best camera available.

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