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Verizon buyer's guide: The best Verizon phones for every budget

No matter your budget, there's a Big Red phone that should meet your needs.
By
August 1, 2022
Verizon logo on phone stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

A vast network and an extensive menu of phones give Verizon status as one of the best US carriers. If you’re thinking about joining Big Red, you have to know what phones you can choose. These include popular devices available on all carriers and exclusive Verizon phones.

See also: How to unlock a Verizon phone

We’ll show you the best Verizon phones in different categories in this guide, including flagship, mid-level, and budget categories. Additionally, we’ll talk about Verizon’s prepaid phones and the best Verizon plans you should know about. Let’s dive in.

Best Verizon phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Verizon phones regularly as new ones hit the carrier.

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series — Flagship

Samsung Galaxy S22 family in blue spread like cards
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S series consists of the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and the S22 Ultra. The S22 Ultra offers the most of the lineup, moving to a more Note-like design with built-in S Pen storage and the same excellent quadruple-camera setup from last year (108MP+10MP+10MP+12MP). The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and packs a 5,000mAh battery.

The Galaxy S22 Plus, on the other hand, comes with a 6.6-inch display and triple-camera setup at the back, featuring 50MP, 12MP, and 10MP shooters. The phone packs a 4,500mAh battery and 8GB of RAM with the same Snapdragon processor.

The regular Galaxy S22 is still very similar to the Plus model. The main differences are that it sports a smaller 6.1-inch display and packs a smaller 3,700mAh battery. On the bright side, it’s back to a glass back this year.

All three phones sport in-display fingerprint scanners, IP68 ratings, and wireless charging. And no, none of them have a headphone jack.


Samsung Galaxy S22 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

2. Apple iPhone 13 series— Flagship

iPhone 13 Pro review in hand showing camera
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

No matter how much we love Android, we can’t ignore just how good the iPhone 13 series has become. It packs premium A15 Bionic chipsets across the entire range and a newly revamped camera setup. Sure, you’ll pay the Apple tax, but at least Verizon is fully loaded with deals and discounts to take the sting out of it.

See also: Apple iPhone 13 buyer’s guide

Apple is sticking with its four device family for another year — keeping the latest 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini in the mix. You’ll find similar internals, including the Bionic A15 and a pair of 12MP shooters, but be careful when it comes to battery life. We had issues with at year’s model and haven’t had time to thoroughly test the new version. You’ll find a glossy glass finish on both the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, though the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro opt for a frosted glass finish, and they jump to 6GB of RAM.

You’ll even find Apple’s first-ever 120Hz display at home on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, as well as support for ProRes and Cinematic Mode. 


iPhone 13 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.4-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 2,438mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

iPhone 13 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 3,240mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

iPhone 13 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 120Hz Super Retina XDR
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 3,095mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

iPhone 13 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR
  • SoC: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 12MP + 3D depth sensor
  • Battery: 4,352mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

3. Google Pixel 6 series — Flagship

Google Pixel 6 Pro and Google Pixel 6 camera lenses
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

 

After a year in the mid-range segment with the Pixel 5, Google is back in flagship territory for the Pixel 6 series. They’re the largest, most powerful Pixels yet, but they’re not actually the most expensive.

Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro come with Google’s first-ever Tensor chip onboard, as well as revamped cameras. You can’t miss the camera bar, and the new 50MP main shooter is a major upgrade from previous years. Google added 12MP ultrawide lenses, too, and the Pixel 6 Pro rounds out with a 48MP telephoto lens.

You’ll find wireless charging, as well as 21W USB PD PPS wired charging on both models, and the IP68 rating is here to stay. Google doubled down on Gorilla Glass Victus for the front and back panels, so you just have to decide how much phone you want. The vanilla Pixel 6 packs a 6.4-inch Full HD+ panel, while the Pixel 6 Pro swells to 6.7-inches with a WQHD resolution.

We mentioned that these aren’t the most expensive Pixels in the world, and it’s true. The Pixel 6 kicks off at just $599 — $100 less than the previous Pixel 5. You’ll have to drop $899 for the Pixel 6 Pro, however.


Google Pixel 6 specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Tensor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Camera: 50 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,614mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Google Pixel 6 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, WQHD+
  • SoC: Tensor
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Camera: 50, 48, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 11.1MP
  • Battery: 5,003mAh
  • Software: Android 12

4. Google Pixel 6a — Mid-range

google pixel 6a up to ear
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Google’s latest budget offering just might be its best yet. The Pixel 6a pulls almost all of the best features of its flagship siblings into a smaller, more affordable design, and it just landed on the Verizon shelves.

The phone has an excellent build quality even though it’s made of plastic rather than glass. You’ll also find a 4,410mAh battery under the hood, complete with 18W wired charging. Google even brought its in-house Tensor processor on its mid-range device for the first time, backed by 6GB of RAM.

See also: Google Pixel 6a review

While the Pixel 6 series took a large leap forward in terms of camera hardware, the Pixel 6a is a blast from the reliable past. It drops back to the tried and tested 12.2MP primary camera, along with a 12MP ultrawide as a backup. You’re also looking at an 8MP selfie lens, which offers solid results even if it’s not the sharpest in the mid-range.


Google Pixel 6a specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Tensor
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,410mAh
  • Software: Android 12

5. Apple iPhone SE (3rd Gen) — Mid-range

iPhone SE rear showing camera with a green plant in the foreground
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The most affordable iPhone is back for another trip around the block. And although we’re an Android-focused website, we can’t deny that the iPhone SE has some solid internals. It offers tremendous value for money, not something you usually hear when talking about Apple products.

The iPhone SE includes the same glass and metal design we saw on the iPhone 8 and carries a single 12MP camera. Users will also love that Apple didn’t skimp out on the processor, as the iPhone SE uses the same Apple A15 Bionic processor we see in iPhone 13 handsets. Other benefits include wireless charging and an IP67 rating, two features that have become standard on budget phones.

However, there are a few drawbacks you have to keep in mind. The phone has a small 4.7-inch display with a low resolution. It also has large bezels that make it look dated and lacks Night Mode, so low-light photography isn’t anything to write home about.


Apple iPhone SE specs:

  • Display: 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750
  • SoC: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Camera: 12MP
  • Front camera: 7MP
  • Battery: ~2,018mAh
  • Software: iOS 15.4

6. Samsung Galaxy A53 — Mid-range Verizon phone

samsung galaxy a53 buttons and galaxy buds
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

This is one of the cheapest 5G-ready smartphones on this list. The Samsung Galaxy A53 is an excellent mid-ranger, with flexible cameras, a large and fast display, and solid 25W charging. It’s the first to offer an Exynos chip in the United States in a number of years, but it manages to stay right at $499.

The front is covered by a 6.5-inch FHD+ display with a punch hole on top that gives it a modern look. You’ll find the Exynos 1280 chipset under the hood, along with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage that you can expand with a microSD card. The battery comes in at 5,000mAh, but there’s no longer a headphone jack onboard.


Samsung Galaxy A53 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch FHD+
  • Chipset: Exynos 1280
  • RAM: 4/6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Camera: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

7. Motorola Moto G Pure — Cheap Verizon phone

moto g pure app drawer
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re on a budget and don’t demand a lot from your phone, the Motorola Moto G Pure might be up your alley. Its specs won’t blow your socks off, but the affordable phone packs enough power for everyday tasks on Verizon’s best network.

The device’s screen is quite large, coming in at 6.5 inches, and it packs a comfortable HD resolution. Two cameras at the back get the job done, just don’t expect the world from them — especially in low-light situations. Other specs and features include 32GB of expandable storage, a 4,000mAh battery, and Android 11 right out of the box.

See also: Motorola Moto G Pure review

The phone is also equipped with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a headphone jack.


Motorola Moto G Pure specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Mediatek Helio G25
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 13 and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Samsung Galaxy A13 — Cheap Verizon phone

samsung galaxy a13 angle
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s most affordable Verizon-compatible device is one of the few remaining without 5G support. The Galaxy A13 also brings an in-house Exynos chip to the United States for the first time in a while.

Although the omission of 5G might seem like a big deal, it’s unlikely to make or break the experience if you live outside a major city. Instead, you’re more likely to rely on the massive 5,000mAh battery, 50MP primary camera, and large, Full HD+ display. Samsung’s budget-friendly phone also holds onto the headphone jack for just one more year, an increasingly rare occurrence in the budget sphere.

The software experience on the Galaxy A13 gets a thumbs up, as it comes with Android 12 right out of the box with the One UI skin on top.


Samsung Galaxy A13 specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch FHD+
  • Chipset: Exynos 850
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 50, 5, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

9. Sonim XP5s — Basic Verizon phone

Sonim XP5s
Sonim

This phone is built to last. It has a MIL-STD-810-G rating, which means it has gone through a series of 29 tests and can withstand everything from shock and vibration to heat and humidity. It’s also IP68 rated, making it resistant to both water and dust.

The Sonim XP5s looks rugged and is small enough to slide into just about any pocket, making it easy to carry around you while on the job. It’s a great phone for those who work in construction or are just generally clumsy. It’s not a smartphone, so don’t expect it to do the same things as an Android phone. But if calls and texts are all you need from a phone, the Sonim XP5s may be for you.

This is the most expensive basic phone Verizon sells, although the price may be worth it for some due to the handset’s rugged design and the included three-year warranty.


Sonim XP5s specs:

  • Display: 2.64-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 427
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Camera: 5MP
  • Front camera: /
  • Battery: 3,180mAh
  • Software: Proprietary OS

10. Alcatel Go Flip V — Basic Verizon phone

Alcatel Go Flip V
Alcatel

If you’re in the market for a cheap Verizon flip phone, the Alcatel Go Flip V should be the first one on your shortlist. It has two displays and large keys, making this an ideal device for older people.

It’s as simple to use as they get, but it still packs a camera at the back that takes acceptable images. The battery capacity doesn’t sound like much at just 1,350mAh, but the battery life should be excellent since this is a basic phone that isn’t power-hungry.

The device also comes with a headphone jack, a feature most high-end Android phones lack these days.


Alcatel Go Flip V specs:

  • Displays: 2.8- and 1.44-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 210
  • Storage: 8GB
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Front camera: /
  • Battery: 1,350mAh
  • Software: AOSP-based OS

11. Kazuna eTalk — Basic Verizon phone

Kazuna eTalk
Kazuna

If you’re looking for a flip phone on Verizon for as little money as possible, the Kazuna eTalk is for you. It’s very similar to the Alcatel Go Flip V mentioned above, sporting the same display sizes and chipset. The resolution of the camera is also the same at 2MP.

However, the phone comes with less RAM and storage, which is why it’s more affordable. But on the other hand, it does pack a slightly larger battery at 1,500mAh.

Like most flip phones, the Kazuna eTalk has large physical keys that make using it a breeze. Because of the phone’s design, the chance of butt-dialing someone is also more or less eliminated. 


Kazuna eTalk specs:

  • Displays: 2.8- and 1.44-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 210
  • Storage: 4GB
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Front camera: /
  • Battery: 1,500mAh
  • Software: AOSP-based OS

Verizon prepaid phones

samsung galaxy note 10 plus star wars edition s pen 2

Prepaid phones are usually bought off-contract, which means you can’t get them on an installment plan and have to pay for them up-front. Verizon has plenty of them available, although their selection doesn’t include the latest and greatest flagships like the Note 20 Ultra and OnePlus 8 Pro.

If you want to opt for a prepaid Verizon phone, check out the five best ones we think you should consider below.

There are plenty of others to choose from, some of which you can check out in our dedicated best Verizon prepaid phones post at the link.

Verizon phones vs. unlocked phones

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 7

When deciding whether to go for a Verizon or an unlocked phone, you have to keep a few things in mind.

A phone bought directly from Verizon has its advantages, with the biggest one being that you don’t have to pay for it up-front. You only pay a portion of the cost right away and then pay off the rest over a period of time. This up-front cost could be anywhere from zero dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the phone’s price and popularity. With unlocked phones, you usually have to pay for them in full at the time of purchase.

Verizon's deals can save you a lot of money.

Verizon also offers great deals on select devices, so you can save a lot of money compared to getting them unlocked from Amazon or any other retailer. BOGO deals are top-rated, which get you two handsets for the price of one. Deals like these usually aren’t available for unlocked phones.

Support is another advantage of getting a phone from Verizon. Whenever you need help with anything, visit your local carrier shop, and the staff will gladly help you with it. If your phone has some physical defect, Verizon can help you get it fixed.

Another thing worth mentioning is that if you buy a carrier device, you can be sure that that device is specifically configured to work well on the carrier’s network. In other words, if you buy a Verizon phone, you can be sure that it will work well on Verizon’s network and that you’ll be able to take advantage of all the features you would expect.

Read next: The best Android phonesThe best cheap phones

When it comes to disadvantages, the biggest one is that a phone bought from Verizon is locked to the carrier’s network for a certain amount of time. That means you can’t use it on a different carrier before the phone gets unlocked, which is 60 days in Verizon’s case.

If you buy an unlocked phone, you can usually take it to just about any carrier and switch between them as you please. You have much more freedom this way.

Verizon phones may also come with a lot of bloatware you don’t get on unlocked phones. The selection is limited, and you won’t find every popular model in the carrier’s lineup. For example, while Verizon sells the OnePlus 8, it does not offer the Pro model. So if you want a specific phone that’s not available at Verizon, you’ll have to get it unlocked.

Don’t forget to pick a plan

verizon big red v logo at mwc 2019

After you select the phone you want to get, it’s time to choose a Verizon plan. There are many options available, so regardless of what you’re looking for, Verizon likely has you covered. You can check out and compare the carrier’s post-paid plans in the table below. Still, if you want to learn more about the other plans Verizon has to offer and how they compare with the competition, check out our dedicated best Verizon plans and best Verizon prepaid plans posts at the links.

Welcome Unlimited5G Start5G Play More5G Do More5G Get MoreOne Unlimited for iPhone
Cost
Welcome Unlimited
$65 for one line
$55 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$30 for four lines
5G Start
$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$45 for three lines
$35 for four lines
5G Play More
$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
5G Do More
$80 for one line
$70 for two lines
$55 for three lines
$45 for four lines
5G Get More
$90 for one line
$80 for two lines
$65 for three lines
$55 for four lines
One Unlimited for iPhone
$90 for one line
$75 for two lines
$60 for three lines
$50 for four lines
Talk & Text
Welcome Unlimited
Unlimited
5G Start
Unlimited
5G Play More
Unlimited
5G Do More
Unlimited
5G Get More
Unlimited
One Unlimited for iPhone
Unlimited
Data
Welcome Unlimited
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
5G Start
Unlimited 4G LTE
5G Nationwide
5G Play More
50GB Premium data
5G Ultrawide access with compatible phone
5G Do More
50GB Premium data
5G Ultrawide access with compatible phone
5G Get More
Unlimited premium data
5G Ultrawide access with compatible phone
One Unlimited for iPhone
Unlimited premium data
5G Ultrawide access with compatible phone
Hotspot
Welcome Unlimited
Not included
5G Start
5GB 4G LTE or 5G
5G Play More
25GB 4G LTE or 5G
Unlimited 3G
5G Do More
25GB 4G LTE or 5G
Unlimited 3G
5G Get More
50GB 4G LTE or 5G
Unlimited 3G
One Unlimited for iPhone
25GB 4G LTE or 5G
Unlimited 3G
International Service
Welcome Unlimited
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Start
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Play More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Do More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
5G Get More
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
One Unlimited for iPhone
Talk & Text in Mexico and Canada
Texting in over 200 countries
Extra Perks
Welcome Unlimited
480p streaming
5G Start
480p streaming
Apple Music for 6 months
Disney Plus for six months
Discovery Plus for 12 months
5G Play More
720p streaming
Apple Music for six months
Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included
Discovery Plus for 12 months
5G Do More
480p streaming
Apple Music for 6 months
Disney Plus for six months
Discovery Plus for 12 months
500GB cloud storage
5G Get More
480p streaming
Apple Music included
Disney Plus, Hulu, and EPSN Plus included
Discovery Plus for 12 months
500GB cloud storage
One Unlimited for iPhone
Apple One Plus subscription (Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, iCloud Plus)

Frequently asked questions

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 1

No, it’s not. The phone you bought from Verizon is locked to the carrier’s network

All Verizon phones are locked for 60 days after purchase and activation. Once you hit 60 days, Verizon unlocks the phone automatically.

Setting up and activating a new Verizon phone is a breeze. All you have to do is charge it, turn it on, and then follow the on-screen instructions. Once the setup is complete, Verizon will activate your phone and have it ready for use.

If you want to switch devices with someone else on your account, all you have to do is visit the Swap Devices page in My Verizon and follow the on-screen instructions. The process only takes a few minutes to complete.

Generally yes, since both carriers use CDMA technology. So if you have an unlocked Sprint phone, you should be able to use it on Verizon. However, you should check with Verizon before signing up for a plan to make sure since some specific devices may not be compatible. Verizon is also shifting away from its CDMA technology beginning in 2023.