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Best Cell phones & services

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Cell phones & services

Best Cell phones & services

We tested 234 cell phones & services to determine the best-performing models. Our expert lab technicians tested each Cell phone & service based on the following criteria:

  • Camera: Video quality
  • Phoning
  • Operating system
  • Display resolution
  • Camera: Image quality
  • Web browsing
  • Display quality
  • Display diagonal size (in.)
  • Messaging
  • Broadband data
  • Voice quality
  • Battery life
  • Ease of use
  • Portability

Below lists the Cell phones & services that rated best in each of the tests our experts looked for. Learn about how these tests were performed and find out which Cell phone & service is rated best when you subscribe.

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Cell phones & services

Best Cell phone & service for Camera: Video quality

Video quality is based on the judgments of trained panelists who viewed recorded video images shot at the highest quality setting available in multiple lighting conditions.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Camera: Video quality has the following features: Full retail price, Other providers, Carrier used, Basic mobile format, Mac compatible, Case style, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (oz.), Total storage provided (GB), Memory card, Camera (megapixels), Camera flash, Camera recording resolution, Front-facing camera (megapixels), Touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, Music player, Headset, Voice command, GPS navigation, Speakerphone, Voice memo, 4G broadband data, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and World phone.

Best Cell phone & service for Phoning

Phoning considers the step-saving functions for making and receiving calls. These include hands-free capabilities such as voice command and Bluetooth, one-handed operation, speed dialing, ringer controls, call timers, and other features. We also evaluated keypad readability under different lighting conditions, and holding a phone while on a call.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Phoning has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Operating system

Operating system indicates the smart phone's operating system. See "Buying Advice" for more information about the operating systems.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Operating system has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Display resolution

Is the manufacturer-stated number of pixels, horizontally by vertically, that the screen can display.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Display resolution has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Camera: Image quality

Image quality is based on objective and subjective judgments of test images, which includes evaluating resolution, dynamic range, color accuracy, and visual noise.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Camera: Image quality has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Web browsing

Web browsing mainly assesses browser capabilities, including the phone's ability to handle more than one browser, display size, processor, and data connections, such as 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Web browsing has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Display quality

Display quality represents overall picture quality, which includes pixel resolution, contrast in normal and bright lighting (outdoor use), and color accuracy.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Display quality has the following features: Full retail price, Other providers, Carrier used, Basic mobile format, Mac compatible, Case style, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (oz.), Total storage provided (GB), Memory card, Camera (megapixels), Camera flash, Camera recording resolution, Front-facing camera (megapixels), Touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, Document editing, Music player, Headset, Voice command, GPS navigation, Speakerphone, Voice memo, Battery removable, 4G broadband data, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and World phone.

Best Cell phone & service for Display diagonal size (in.)

Display diagonal size is the active diagonal length of main display measured to the nearest tenth of an inch. Some folding models have an additional, external display for viewing the time, music tracks, and other functions.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Display diagonal size (in.) has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Messaging

Messaging mainly assesses keyboard ergonomics, e-mail readability, attachment capabilities, and text-messaging features. It also considers display size and corporate capabilities.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Messaging has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Broadband data

Indicates the highest-speed mobile broadband data network the phone supports in the U.S. Generally, LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA+ are considered the fastest, and EV-DO and HSPA and HSDPA are much faster than 1xRTT and EDGE. Most broadband phones will default to slower data networks when the fastest one they support isn't available. We also indicate which models are considered "4G" based on the definitions from the carriers. Check with your carrier to see which broadband data networks are available in your area.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Broadband data has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Voice quality

Voice quality considers listening quality which reflects what you hear; talking, what's heard by other phones. Tests were conducted in noisy and quiet environments using live phone calls indicated by carrier used.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Voice quality has the following features: Full retail price, Other providers, Carrier used, Basic mobile format, Mac compatible, Case style, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (oz.), Total storage provided (GB), Memory card, Camera (megapixels), Camera flash, Camera recording resolution, Front-facing camera (megapixels), Touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, Document editing, Music player, Headset, Voice command, GPS navigation, Speakerphone, Voice memo, Battery removable, 4G broadband data, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and World phone.

Best Cell phone & service for Battery life

Battery life represents tests under nominal cell-network-signals, including battery consumption performing tasks that involve voice, data, display, and other factors.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Battery life has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Ease of use

Ease of use mainly considers how easy is it is to access the phone's various features and modes, such as phoning, messaging, Web browsing, the camera, the music player, applications and other multimedia content. We also consider one-handed operation, programmable shortcuts and touch screens.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Ease of use has the following features: .

Best Cell phone & service for Portability

Portability represents our judgment based on the best combination of size and weight.


This Cell phone & service which tested best for Portability has the following features: .