There are a lot of great smartphone options available at any given moment, so it can be a challenge to sort through them all if you’re trying to choose the absolute best one. The stakes here can’t be understated: your phone is the most important gadget in your life, and you’ll probably be living with the one you buy for at least a year, if not two or three.
Most of the time, the best phone stands out from the pack in all the areas that matter: performance, value, camera, and support. And most of the time, that’s usually the most expensive phone on the market. But as it turns out, you don’t have to buy the priciest phone to get the best experience.
This guide focuses on the best phones on the market, regardless of price. If you’re looking for something on a smaller budget, please check out our guide to budget smartphones.
The best phones 2020
Apple iPhone 12 Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
1. Apple iPhone 12
Best iPhone to buy in 2020
There are many new iPhones to choose from this year, each with different characteristics and prices. The one that most people should buy is the iPhone 12, which starts at around $830 for a 64GB model.
The 12 has the same overall design, the same processor, the same wireless charging, the same Face ID system, the same 5G support, the same front camera, and the same main and wide-angle rear cameras as the pricier 12 Pro, but for hundreds of dollars less. On top of all that, it comes in five different colors, one more than you can choose from in the Pro models.
The iPhone 12 balances a big screen with manageable size well
Compared to the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 has a noticeably roomier display and a bigger battery — two things that are important to many people. At 6.1 inches, it’s big enough to make watching video and reading text comfortable and engaging, but isn’t so big that it’s terribly hard to use in one hand or fit in your pocket. Battery life is also very good — you can reliably expect this phone to last all day without needing to charge up before bed.
The 12 gives up the telephoto camera that’s available on the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, but that’s something most people won’t miss. The iPhone 12’s camera system is the best you can get in this price range and is excellent at most anything you’d use it for. It also has the ability to shoot Dolby Vision HDR video for brighter and more dynamic video.
Apple iPhone 12
Prices taken at time of publishing.
Starting at $829, the iPhone 12 comes in three different storage configurations: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Available in black, blue, green, red, or white.
$829 at Apple $799 at Best Buy