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The best smartphones you can buy right now

Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are officially here and offer welcome updates to their already excellent predecessors. But the smartphone market is larger than just Apple (AAPL). Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, LG, HTC and Motorola all released impressive smartphones this year, as well.
Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are officially here and offer welcome updates to their already excellent predecessors. But the smartphone market is larger than just Apple (AAPL). Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, LG, HTC and Motorola all released impressive smartphones this year, as well.

So with a plethora of new handsets on the market, one question remains: Which is the right one for you? Well, I’ve got the answer. Whether you’re looking for a big-screen, a huge battery or just the best handset for your buck, these are the best smartphones you can buy.

Up until, oh, let’s say the moment the iPhone 7 Plus was unveiled, if you had asked me what the best smartphone you could buy was, I’d have told you Samsung’s Galaxy S7. And if you said otherwise, I’d have challenged you to a fistfight, which I would then have immediately tried to weasel my way out of.
 
But I’m changing my tune, and preparing for the delicious Twitter hate I will receive in the process, by declaring the iPhone 7 Plus the best smartphone you can buy.
What makes the 7 Plus the best smartphone? Let’s start with its dual lens camera, which allows you to capture normal photos on its primary lens and optically zoom in up to 2x with its telephoto lens. That’s a huge benefit, as it means your photos will look nice and clear, rather than a muddy, pixilated mess, whenever you zoom in on a subject.
Then there are the improvements to iOS 10, including the updated Messages app, the phone’s loader speakers, longer battery life and its water-resistant design. Of course, if you’re completely turned off by the phone’s lack of a headphone jack — and if you are you’re probably cursing my name right now — you can always opt to use the Lighting to headphone jack adapter included in the iPhone’s box.

Best phone for big-screen lovers

If I were writing this post in August, I’d say the best big-screen phone, and by virtue the all-around best, would be Samsung’s Galaxy Note7. It’s got a great camera, long-lasting battery, water-resistant design, a stylus and a beautiful screen. It can also act as a virtual reality display.
And then September came, and with it reports that the Note7 was catching fire and exploding. A few short weeks later and Samsung has issued a full-blown product recall for the handset due to the risk of fire.
All of that is to say, if you’re looking for a great big-screen smartphone, go for the iPhone 7 Plus. When the Galaxy Note7 is back on the market, we’ll likely revisit this recommendation.

Best small-screen smartphone

No matter how great it is to have a smartphone with a big-screen, some people just want to go small. Fortunately, there’s still one small-screen phone on the market that’s genuinely worth your attention, and yes, it’s another iPhone. The iPhone SE packs a 4-inch display, making it small enough for one-handed use.
Inside, the SE gets the same A9 processor as Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, as well as the same 12-MP rear camera. The 6s Plus, however, offers optical image stabilization.
Basically, this is last year’s iPhone crammed into a more compact package.

Best Android smartphone

If you want a new smartphone, but can’t stand the thought of owning an iPhone, then you’re going to get an Android handset (sorry, Windows Phone fans … all four of you).
And if you want the best Android smartphone on the planet, you’re going to get the Samsung Galaxy S7. My previous favorite for best all-around smartphone, the Galaxy S7 has an absolutely gorgeous Super AMOLED (active matrix of organic light-emitting diodes) display, fantastic 12-MP camera, expandable storage, and lightning fast performance. Oh, and it’s water-resistant.
If it wasn’t for the iPhone 7 Plus’s telephoto lens and the improvements to iOS 10, I’d likely still side with the Galaxy S7.

Best long-lasting smartphone

I burn through my smartphone’s battery pretty quickly, which means I spend a lot of time tethered to a wall outlet. If you want to avoid that, though, you’ll need a phone with great battery life. The best out there: Motorola’s Moto Z Force. The handset packs a massive 3,500 mAh battery that’ll easily last you more than a day.
When your handset does die, though, you can use the phone’s fast-charging technology to get 15 hours of battery life back in 15 minutes. If that’s not good enough for you, you can opt for the Moto Z’s Power Back battery booster, which magnetically connects to the handset’s rear panel.
Basically, this is the smartphone for people who can’t keep their handsets charged.





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