The nation's number one wireless carrier has the nation's number one wireless network, according to our Fastest Mobile Networks tests. But as much as Verizon Wireless would like to tell you that "it's the network," a network isn't very useful without a device to connect to it.
We're here to help. We put every new phone released by each of the major wireless carriers through rigorous testing in the PCMag Labs to find out which ones live up to their ad copy, and which ones are just phoning it in. If you're buying a phone on Verizon right now, these are the best you can get.
Pricing and Unlocked Options
Verizon, like the other major carriers, has been moving away from two-year contracts and subsidies in favor of monthly phone payment plans. That has made many phones "zero dollars down," although you'll end up paying full price for them in the end.
See How We Test Cell Phones
Almost all Verizon phones are bought through the carrier, because Verizon isn't compatible with most unlocked devices. To make voice calls on Verizon's network, phones still need CDMA radios that have been approved by Verizon, and relatively few unlocked phones have those. Some very good ones do, though, and we've put them all here: the iPhones, the Motorola Pure Edition, and the Nexus 6P.
Verizon's network may become more flexible and open next year if the carrier approves LTE-only phones. We're not quite there yet, though, so for now, if you want a Verizon phone, you must make sure it has CDMA.
The ten phones listed here are the best we've reviewed that are currently in Verizon's lineup. They include phones sold by Verizon and phones sold directly by the manufacturers, running Android and iOS. (Sadly, there isn't much to recommend in terms of BlackBerry or Windows Phone at the time of writing.)
If you need more help buying a cell phone, check out our cell phone product guide for the most recent reviews. And if you're looking for a new carrier, see How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Plan. While you're at it, take a look at our lists for the best phones on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.