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Best Smartphone Guide: 7 Top Worthwhile Choices in 2024!

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Best Smartphone Guide - 7 Top Worthwhile Choices in 2024!

With such a wide array of choices, determining which phone best suits your needs can be challenging. In this article, we’ve compiled the best smartphone guide to simplify the decision for phone shoppers. Whether you’re looking for high-end phones loaded with cutting-edge technology or budget-friendly options under $500, plenty of worthwhile choices are available.

 

Best Smartphone Guide: 7 Top Worthwhile Choices in 2024!

Every phone on this list has undergone thorough review and testing to meet CNET’s criteria for the best smartphone, ensuring that there are options across iPhone and Android platforms to suit different needs and budgets. 

Which phone is best suited for most users?

For iPhone enthusiasts, the top choice is the $799 iPhone 15. It boasts Apple’s latest processor, the A16 Bionic chip, which ensures compatibility with future software updates and features. With its superior camera performance and innovative features like the Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 offers a perfect blend of functionality to satisfy most users transitioning from older iPhone models.

As for Android users, our current recommendation is Samsung’s Galaxy S24.

For further information, check out our comprehensive guide to selecting the right phone for your needs. Additionally, explore our tips on purchasing a new Apple iPhone or Android device and where to find the best deals.

Best Phones of 2024

Top iPhone Pick for Most People: iPhone 15

The iPhone 15 is the top choice for most iPhone users, offering innovative features and enhanced performance. Boasting the Dynamic Island, this model introduces a USB-C port for more convenient charging and an upgraded camera featuring higher resolution and crisper zoom capabilities. Compared to its predecessors, the iPhone 15 is a significant leap forward, especially for those transitioning from older iPhone models.

Available in two size options – the 6.1-inch standard iPhone 15 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus – both variants are powered by the A16 Bionic chip, ensuring notable performance enhancements compared to previous generations. Additionally, these devices feature Apple’s second-generation ultra-wideband chip, enabling new functionalities such as easier location tracking of friends or family members in crowded environments.

While the previous year’s iPhone 14 Pro may still be available at discounted rates through third-party retailers and offers the advantage of a dedicated telephoto lens, the iPhone 15 emerges as the most compelling choice for those seeking an exciting upgrade in Apple’s standard iPhone lineup.

Featuring a sharper 5x optical zoom, a faster new processor, and the signature expansive display with 100x digital zoom, Samsung’s “Ultra” phone, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, remains a top pick for mobile photography enthusiasts seeking ample screen real estate. Notably, it introduces Samsung’s new Galaxy AI features, including instant text message and phone call translation tools, and Circle to Search – a novel gesture enabling users to initiate a Google search by simply drawing a circle around the desired item. Like its predecessors, the Galaxy S24 Ultra includes the embedded S Pen, catering to users fond of note-taking or doodling. Additionally, Samsung’s commitment to providing seven years of Android updates ensures that the device will remain relevant for an extended period.

However, it’s essential to consider some drawbacks. With a price tag of $1,300, this phone falls into the expensive category, prompting potential buyers to seek trade-in discounts for an upgrade. Given its premium cost, there’s a reasonable expectation for Samsung to offer additional Galaxy AI features tailored specifically for the Ultra, particularly leveraging the capabilities of the S Pen. Notably, Galaxy AI remains consistent across all Galaxy S24 devices and is set to expand to the Galaxy S23 lineup soon, making the splurge on Samsung’s top-tier phone less necessary for those primarily interested in these features.

Best Premium Android Phone: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the best premium Android phone, boasting a sharper 5x optical zoom, a swifter new processor, and the hallmark expansive display with a 100x digital zoom. This “Ultra” iteration introduces Samsung’s cutting-edge Galaxy AI features and is perfect for mobile photography enthusiasts craving ample screen real estate.

These include instant text message and phone call translation tools, along with Circle to Search – a convenient gesture enabling users to initiate Google searches by drawing a circle around desired items. Continuing the tradition of its predecessors, the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes equipped with the embedded S Pen, catering to users who enjoy note-taking or doodling. Samsung’s commitment to providing seven years of Android updates ensures longevity and relevance.

However, it’s essential to weigh some drawbacks. Priced at $1,300, this phone falls into the expensive category, prompting potential buyers to seek trade-in discounts for an upgrade. Given its premium cost, some may have expected additional Galaxy AI features specific to the Ultra, significantly leveraging the capabilities of the S Pen. It’s worth noting that Galaxy AI remains consistent across all Galaxy S24 devices and will soon expand to the Galaxy S23 lineup, making the investment in Samsung’s top-tier phone less essential for those primarily interested in these features.

Best Smartphone Guide - 7 Top Worthwhile Choices in 2024!

Best premium iPhone: iPhone 15 Pro

Apple has significantly upgraded its Pro models, introducing a lighter build, a new shortcut button, and the world’s smallest processor while maintaining the iconic iPhone aesthetic. Furthermore, there’s now a more apparent distinction between the Pro and Pro Max models, with the 15 Pro retaining the familiar 3x telephoto camera from previous iterations.

The formidable A17 Pro chip powers the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, capable of handling console-tier video games like Resident Evil Village. Paired with iOS 17, which brings numerous quality-of-life improvements such as StandBy mode, Check-In, Stickers in Messages, and enhanced keyboard autocorrect, these devices offer an unparalleled user experience.

In summary, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max represent some of the finest smartphones released by Apple or any manufacturer this year’s seamless performance.

Google’s Finest Selection: Google Pixel 8 Pro

Despite facing some initial hurdles, particularly with its camera performance, our ongoing evaluation and the subsequent software enhancements from Google have significantly improved our opinion of the Google Pixel 8 Pro. This device showcases a sleek, modern design complemented by its user-friendly Android 14 operating system. The rear camera setup has demonstrated its capability to capture stunning images thanks to various software optimizations and enhancements.

Furthermore, Google has introduced various innovative AI features to enhance the user experience. Among these features is a unique tool that leverages generative AI to generate personalized wallpapers for the device, adding a touch of creativity and customization. Additionally, the camera’s functionality has been enhanced with features like group photo optimization, which intelligently combines faces from burst images to ensure everyone looks their best.

A key highlight of the Pixel 8 series is Google’s commitment to providing seven years of security updates, underscoring the company’s dedication to ensuring its devices’ long-term viability and security. While the Pixel 8 Pro may not have surpassed the achievements of its predecessor, the Pixel 7 Pro remains a compelling choice for users seeking a reliable and feature-rich smartphone with lasting relevance.

Top Choice for Android Users: Samsung Galaxy S24

What truly sets the Samsung Galaxy S24 apart from its predecessors isn’t just its new Galaxy AI features, brighter screens, or solid cameras but its remarkable battery life. Through extensive testing, it’s evident that the larger battery in the Galaxy S24 ensures it effortlessly lasts through even the most demanding days of usage on a single charge, making it a standout feature of this device.

Beyond its exceptional battery performance, the Galaxy S24 features an impressive design and build quality that aligns with its predecessors, the S22 and S23. This continuity in design can be viewed as both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, it reflects years of refinement and familiarity, but on the other hand, it may be seen as lacking innovation compared to newer models. However, the consistent performance and reliability of the Galaxy S series continue to impress users.

While certain features, such as the camera hardware, remain unchanged from previous iterations, the outstanding battery life of the Galaxy S24 more than compensates for any perceived shortcomings. With a device that reliably lasts through long days without recharging, users can confidently rely on the Galaxy S24 to keep up with their busy lifestyles.

Best Android Phone Under $700: Google Pixel 8

The Google Pixel 8 emerges as a standout option for individuals seeking a premium Android experience at a more accessible price point. Despite its lower cost compared to flagship models, the Pixel 8 doesn’t compromise on performance or features. Powered by the Tensor G3 processor and equipped with Android 14 software, this device delivers a seamless user experience with AI-driven enhancements that optimize daily usage.

One notable aspect of the Pixel 8 is its longevity, thanks to Google’s commitment to providing at least seven years of security updates. This ensures the device remains secure and up-to-date for years, offering peace of mind to users who prioritize device longevity and software support.

While the Pixel 8 may lack advanced camera features in higher-end models, such as the 5x optical zoom lens, its rear cameras still deliver impressive performance for capturing everyday moments. Whether snapping photos, streaming media, or multitasking between apps, the Pixel 8 provides a reliable and enjoyable user experience.

Moreover, the Pixel 8’s competitive pricing at $699 makes it an appealing choice for budget-conscious shoppers looking to maximize value without sacrificing performance or quality. Compared to earlier models like the Pixel 6 and 7, which continue to offer compelling features at lower price points, the Pixel 8 stands out as a testament to Google’s commitment to delivering exceptional smartphones at accessible prices.

Best Smartphone Guide - 7 Top Worthwhile Choices in 2024!

Top Pick for Foldable Phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 marks a significant advancement in Samsung’s foldable phone lineup, offering a host of improvements over its predecessors. One standout feature is the expanded size of the cover screen, located on the device’s exterior. This enhancement allows users to perform various tasks such as checking directions, capturing photos, and sending messages without the need to unfold the phone, enhancing convenience and usability.

In addition to its improved exterior display, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 boasts impressive battery life and a robust design, making it a top pick for users seeking a dependable and adaptable foldable phone experience. Its sturdy construction ensures durability, while its extended battery life ensures uninterrupted daily usage.

While the Galaxy Z Flip 5 earns our top spot among foldable phones, it’s essential to consider a few drawbacks. Priced at $1,000, it remains relatively expensive for a device lacking a telephoto camera. 

Additionally, not all apps are optimized for use on the front screen, which may impact the overall user experience compared to competitors like the Motorola Razr Plus. Despite these limitations, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 

It shines as an attractive option for users who are looking for foldable smartphones that combine style, functionality, and innovation.

 

Conclusion:

The smartphone market offers many choices in size, price, and features but share traits like fast processors, vibrant screens, and excellent camera capabilities. Whether you’re looking for top-notch performance or budget-friendly options, there’s a smartphone to fit your needs. So, decide well and plan your purchase.

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