The Best Verizon Phones of 2016

We've got the highest-rated handsets for Verizon Wireless, including some Big Red-approved unlocked options.

The Best Verizon Phones of 2016

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.

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 .


Apple iPhone 6s (Verizon Wireless)

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Apple iPhone 6s is one of the fastest phones on Verizon, with improved camera quality and network performance over its predecessor. Read the full review ››

Apple iPhone 6s Plus (Verizon Wireless)

%displayPrice% at %seller% Thanks to its big, beautiful screen, fast performance, and excellent optical image stabilization for video capture, the Apple iPhone 6s Plus is the ultimate phablet on Verizon. Read the full review ››

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge combines state-of-the-art components with a smart, gorgeous design and a big battery, making it a killer Android smartphone. Read the full review ››

Google Nexus 6P (Unlocked)

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Google Nexus 6P is one of the best unlocked smartphones you can buy, thanks to a heady combination of powerhouse hardware, an excellent camera, a reliable fingerprint scanner, and the promise of the latest Android updates. Read the full review ››

HTC 10

%displayPrice% at %seller% The HTC 10 is the best Android phone for audiophiles and it offers plenty for everyone else too. This could be HTC’s big comeback. Read the full review ››

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (Unlocked)

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Motorola Moto X Pure Edition is in the same class of unlocked, affordable flagship phones as the OnePlus 2, with one huge advantage: You can actually buy it. Read the full review ››

Apple iPhone SE

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Apple iPhone SE is the best choice if you’re looking for a small, but powerful smartphone. Read the full review ››

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (Verizon Wireless)

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is the most powerful phablet available on Verizon, but you’ll pay a heavy price for it. Read the full review ››

%displayPrice% at %seller% The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is a sturdy, powerful smartphone, but its huge battery and tough design come with Verizon bloat and an uncertain Android update future. Read the full review ››

%displayPrice% at %seller% The LG G5 is a powerful smartphone with a semi-modular build, making it a unique alternative to more typical flagship handsets. But heavy software changes won’t please Android purists. Read the full review ››

You can also check out our exclusive Verizon coupons here .

PCMag may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page. These commissions do not affect how we test, rate or review products. To find out more, read our complete terms of use .’s lead mobile analyst, Sascha Segan, has reviewed hundreds of smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in more than 9 years with PCMag. He’s the head of our Fastest Mobile Networks project, one of the hosts of the daily PCMag Live Web show and speaks frequently in mass media on cell-phone-related issues. His commentary has appeared on ABC, the BBC, the CBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and in newspapers from San Antonio, Texas to Edmonton, Alberta. Segan is also a multiple award-winning travel writer, having contributed. More »

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