Best Phones

Best Phones of 2024: Expert Reviews and Recommendations

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We put the best phones (including iPhones and Androids) to the test and discovered the ultimate choices that cater to power users, budget-conscious shoppers, foldable aficionados, and beyond.

With so many smartphones available, finding the best one can be tricky. That’s why I’ve tested and reviewed most of the major ones released in the past year to bring you a clear list of the top options available today.

Galaxy S24 Series

Top Picks for 2024: Expert-Tested Phones That Redefine Innovation

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra takes the crown as the best phone overall, boasting an immersive and vibrant display, dependable battery life, and a plethora of special features, including those powered by the company’s latest generative AI model. However, keep in mind that the best overall phone might not suit everyone’s needs. Check out the list below for other top options.

Galaxy S24 Series

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S24 lineup marks a significant leap in AI integration, with the S24 Ultra standing out as the top Android phone of today. This premium model introduces the cutting-edge Galaxy AI model, unlocking a range of generative capabilities such as real-time phone call translations, image-based Google searches by circling objects on screen, AI-powered photo editing and transcriptions, and a Chat Assist feature for nuanced messaging tones.

Sumsung Galaxy S24 Series

Continuing the legacy of its predecessor, the S23 Ultra, the S24 Ultra sports a spacious 6.8-inch AMOLED display and a robust 5,000mAh battery. Despite a price increase to $1,299 (up $100 from the S23 Ultra), the enhancements are well justified. The S24 Ultra boasts a lightweight yet durable titanium frame, a departure from last year’s aluminum build, and incorporates Corning’s advanced Gorilla Armor for added protection.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The newest iPhone 15 Pro Max ticks all the boxes of a premium flagship smartphone, boasting a stunning 6.7-inch AMOLED display ideal for media consumption and productivity on the go. What sets this year’s model apart is its titanium construction, a departure from previous Pro Max devices, resulting in a significantly lighter and more ergonomic feel in hand. ZDNet Editor-in-Chief Jason Hiner highlighted this improvement in comfort in his review.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

One standout feature of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is its USB-C connector, offering faster charging and data transfers. Moreover, this connector allows for charging other devices like the Apple Watch directly from the iPhone, transferring photos and videos to a portable SSD, and connecting to an external 4K monitor. These capabilities are game-changers for professional content creators.

iphone 15 pro

iPhone 15 Pro Max tech specs: Processor: A17 Pro | Display size: 6.7 inches | Storage options: Up to 1TB | Rear cameras: 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto (2x), 12MP telephoto (5x) | Front camera: 12MP

Google Pixel 8 Pro

When it comes to camera performance, you can’t go wrong with flagship devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google. Depending on your color temperature preference and desired features, you might lean towards one brand. However, Google’s Pixel camera system often wins over users, and the latest Pixel 8 Pro continues this trend as a top choice for both instant capturing and post-processing.

The Pixel 8 Pro boasts a reliable triple-lens setup, featuring a 50MP primary lens, a 48MP ultrawide that excels at macro and close-up photography compared to the older Pixel 7 Pro’s 12MP sensor, and a 48MP telephoto lens for distant shots. For users seeking precise control over camera settings, the Pixel 8 Pro offers Pro controls to adjust exposure and shutter speed, enhancing the overall photography experience.


Google Pixel 8 Pro tech specs: Processor: Google Tensor G3 | Display size: 6.7 inches | Storage options: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Rear cameras: 50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto | Front camera: 10.8MP

OnePlus Open

Foldable phones are flooding the market, thanks to efforts from manufacturers like Google with the Pixel Fold, Motorola with its Razr lineup, and OnePlus with the OnePlus Open. While Samsung has long dominated the foldable arena, my current top pick is the OnePlus Open.

What sets the OnePlus Open apart is its optimal weight-to-size ratio. It’s incredibly lightweight when folded, akin to an iPhone, yet unfolds into a visually stunning 7.8-inch display. OnePlus maximizes this screen with intuitive multitasking features, notably the “Open Canvas” function. This feature allows you to seamlessly open three apps simultaneously, with the inactive ones elegantly tucked away until needed again.

OnePlus Open

OnePlus Open tech specs: Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | Display size: 6.3 inches and 7.8 inches | Storage options: 512GB | Rear cameras: 48MP main, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto| Front camera: 32MP (outer) and 20MP (inner)

OnePlus 12

OnePlus has experienced a rollercoaster ride over the last four years, transitioning from budget-friendly smartphones to ultra-premium offerings and then back to its roots with last year’s OnePlus 11. This year, the focus is back on value-driven flagships.

Priced at $899, the OnePlus 12 offers a compelling package that undercuts its competitors like the $999 Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and Google Pixel 8 Pro. For this price, you get a spacious 6.8-inch AMOLED 120Hz display, a robust 5,400mAh battery, a triple camera setup led by a capable 50MP main lens, the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, and more. Plus, there’s an additional $100 discount available when you trade in any phone, regardless of its condition, to OnePlus. It’s a deal worth taking advantage of.

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