PDF Smartphone Buyers Guide 2011

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Check out our top smartphone choices in multiple categories, along with new and notable phones we're planning on reviewing shortly and the latest rumors about upcoming handsets. It was the best phone, period. Apple is replacing it with the iPhone Xs , and a larger model, the iPhone Xs Max , gives you the option of a bigger 6.

The new phones have a lot to live up to: The iPhone X also offered the top dual cameras you can get in a phone, plus a TrueDepth front camera that enabled everything from Face ID for unlocking the device to Portrait Mode selfies. OnePlus continues its habit of delivering flagship features in a phone that costs hundreds less than what you'd pay for top models from Apple and Samsung.

Best Phones of 2018

The OnePlus 6 introduces a new glass design that holds an expansive, impressive OLED screen and yes, there's a notch dipping down into the display. Battery life isn't as good as on previous OnePlus phones, and the 6 will be a little too large for some people's tastes. Just be aware that a successor, the OnePlus 6T, is likely to debut in a month.

OnePlus 6 Full Review. But this handset is worth the premium if you want the best big-screen phone around. Other highlights include a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen, which makes it easy to remotely control the phone for shooting selfies, changing music tracks and more. Add in more than 11 hours of battery life, and the Note 9 is worth the splurge for power users.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Full Review. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer snappy performance, a Google Assistant you can summon by squeezing the phone and an ingenious new Google Lens feature that can recognize everything from phone numbers and landmarks to restaurants in the photos you take. The Pixel 2 XL lacks wireless charging, but its fast wired charging works well, and its single rear camera produces shots that give the iPhone X a run for its money. We're less than a month away from the Pixel 3's launch, however. Moto's G Series has been the go-to phone for people who don't want to shell out a lot of money for their smartphone but still expect a solid performer.

With its colorful 5. You'll have to live with below-average battery life and a just-OK camera, but the G6 delivers on enough features to make it a great value. In addition to a still mighty A11 Bionic chip that runs circles around Android phones, the iPhone 8 benefits from a bigger and faster camera sensor that takes fantastic-looking photos, including Live Photos with fun new effects in iOS Add in above-average battery life and access to fun new augmented reality apps, and you have the best small phone. We've never tested a phone that's lasted as long as the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom did on our battery test.

Dual rear cameras offer optical zoom in a phone that won't put too big of a dent in your wallet.

Table Of Contents

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom Full Review. The MP camera also captures good-looking pics for the price, including Live Photos.


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The 6-inch OLED display is another plus, which nearly goes edge to edge. The only thing holding this phablet back is relatively short battery life. We rate smartphones using a combination of subjective criteria including design and ease of use ; our own benchmarks e. We also do real-world speed tests such as video editing and take photos in different lighting conditions to compare the results. After we've conducted all of our testing, we rate each device based on its features, performance and overall value.

Only the top-performing devices make our Best list. Obsessed with tech since the original PalmPilot, Mark Spoonauer is responsible for the editorial direction of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for more than 15 years.

Best Value

He became editor-in-chief of the site in Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He speaks at key tech industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Follow him on Twitter at mspoonauer.

Sell Your Old iPhone For Cash!

Best Phone Overall iPhone X. Apple has usually announced a new iPhone once a year, every year during the month of June. This year they waited until October, and they may well do that again next year. If you're reading this in in the fall or winter of , a new iPhone has just been released and you can safely go buy it without worrying that it'll be made obsolete for roughly another year. Conversely, if you're reading this in summer or fall , Apple is probably just about to announce another new iPhone and unless you don't care and absolutely, positively have to have a new phone now, now, now you should hold off until they do.

If you're reading this smack dab at the 6 month point, around spring of , and you want to know if you should buy, here's the simple question to ask: Do you need it now?

One more step

If you've broken your current phone, lost it, or otherwise simply have to buy a new iPhone now get it and have no regrets. There will always be something new on the horizon but that won't help you if you need a phone now. If you don't need it but just want it, wait as long as you possibly can wait then buy the best iPhone available when you can't wait any more. If you're getting a new iPhone, you may be wondering what you can do with your old phone. There's always the option of keeping it around as a backup, or if it's an old iPhone or smartphone, keeping it around as a media player old iPhones make great iPods!


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  • You could also give it to a friend or family member who needs it and would appreciate it. Selling it is something you might also want to consider. There are a lot of options and a lot of things you need to keep in mind so you get the most money, and don't get ripped off. Once you've decided to pull the trigger on a new iPhone, the first thing you need to figure out is which carrier you want to use. It doesn't matter how good a phone is if you can't use it due to poor reception or data. If you only have one good carrier in your area, that's the carrier you should go with.

    If you have two or more carriers that are all pretty much the same in your area, then it comes down to things like customer service, whether or not you already have a plan especially business plans or family plans that would penalize you for switching, etc. If you're not sure ask your neighbors and colleagues which carriers they use and what they think of the service.

    Wherever you use your iPhone most, find out which carrier makes the people there the happiest. In the US there's currently a bigger decision to be made because the three iPhone carriers use different network technologies: You won't be able to change later without breaking your contract and buying a new phone they're not cross-compatible so think it through. Here's some more information to help you decide:.

    But how much is enough? And will Apple's new online iCloud service mean you can get by with less local storage? However, games, movies, TV shows, and all the big photos and giant videos you shoot with your iPhone can add up. We've broken down the prices and capacities, so if you're weighing your options, here what you should consider:. Most often, one look is enough to know your favorite. However, there are some things to think about. Is the white color distracting when you play games or watch videos?

    Does it discolor over time? Does it have any issues with cases or other accessories? You know you're getting an iPhone, you know when, and you know on which carrier. You've done your homework, you've made your choice, and now it's time buy. But where you should you buy it? If you have an Apple Retail Store in your area you can go there, and if it's in stock, leave with your new iPhone right away.

    Smartphone Buying Guide: 9 Tips for Finding the Right Phone

    They also offer help with your purchase and will even help you get set up free of charge. If you're worried about protecting your investment, they can also get you setup with AppleCare, and their Genius Bar can help you with hardware problems in the future. Corny as it sounds, It's not just shopping, it's an experience. Apple Retail has the best customer service in the business and it shows. There are no discounts, however, not ever. If there's no Apple Retail store near you there's also Apple Online in many countries.

    Again, no discounts but you're dealing directly with Apple. In a lot of countries, Apple Retail and Apple Online are also the only places where you can get full price, officially unlocked GSM iPhones if that's an option you want. Can be handy for frequent international travelers. If you want brick-and-morter but don't have an Apple Store, your carrier will often have one or several stores in your area. Drop buy or get it shipped to you. If you're getting a upgrade discount or other carrier incentives it's a great way to get it all setup right away.

    If you have loyalty points or they're just super convenient, check them out as well.