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5 Great Smartphones Not Made by Apple or Samsung

Looking for a phone with premium features? Huawei, LG, and HTC have a lot to offer, too.

While Samsung and Apple are the global leaders in smartphone sales, you don't have to buy one of their products to get cool new features. Other companies make great smartphones, too.

They may not rise to the very top of our ratings, but models made by Huawei, LG, and HTC come close, says Rich Fisco, Consumer Reports' head of smartphone testing.

"The scores are so close," Fisco explains, "that as long as you know what the phones have and what they may be missing and you're okay with that, then save your money and get one."

If you do go that route, you don't have to give up high-end features such as a camera with a portrait mode or an OLED screen—technology used in high-end TVs that makes blacks blacker, improving the video viewing experience.

The concessions may come instead on less-compelling things like facial recognition or display size

Before we unveil our list of the top five phones not made by Apple or Samsung, it's worth pointing out that Huawei—which has a pair of new phones that earned top marks with their displays and battery life—has recently been taking flak from U.S. government officials over its alleged ties to the Chinese government and worries that the manufacturer might be using its devices to spy on U.S. users.

A bill introduced in Congress earlier this year, if passed and signed into law, would prohibit U.S. government agencies from using telecommunications equipment made by Huawei as well as fellow Chinese smartphone maker ZTE. 

In a statement, Huawei, which also sells laptops and tablets in the U.S., calls the accusations "baseless suspicion."

"U.S. authorities have made a series of allegations against Huawei that simply aren't true," the manufacturer says in the statement. "We pose no security threat in any country."

No matter where you stand on the issue, it's likely to be a little tougher to find a Huawei phone these days. AT&T recently dropped a plan to sell the company's models, and there are multiple media reports that Best Buy has stopped ordering them.  

Here’s that list of our top five phones not made by Apple or Samsung. For more information, check out our full smartphone ratings