The age of the smartphone is getting closer to the grave. Just like the VHS, DVD and iPods–the technology will eventually move on to whatever replaces it. Yes, smartphones are everywhere but advancements in technology are making smaller and smaller leaps than they did 5 or 10 years ago. Flagship models are so good now that the need to upgrade your phone has gone from 12-18 months to 18-24 months (if not more). Of course you can still sell your used phone to upgrade if your old phone is cracked or damaged in other ways but the “urge” to upgrade for upgrading’s sake is long gone. So who’s the best manufacturer these days?

APPLE
LONG LIVE THE KING! Apple has been on top for a long time and rightfully so. Maybe you love the iPhone because everyone else has it too. Or maybe you love the proprietary software that no one else has. Apple has always done the best job by focusing on software/experience vs trying to constantly come out with new untested technology.

SAMSUNG
There was a time a few years ago that Samsung was a far 2nd place behind Apple. Those days are gone. They sell more devices that Apple. They come out with newer technology faster than Apple. They are cheaper than Apple and make a plethora of devices to fit everyone. BUT as hard as they try, they are not Apple and may never be. Look, if you are not a fan of the iPhone (or Apple products in general) then starting your phone search with Samsung is probably the best choice.

HUAWEI
Ok, maybe we have a major trade war going on with China right now. And maybe you can’t purchase Huawei phones from any US Carrier. And maybe you just don’t trust them because of fears of spying. BUT Huawei makes fantastic phones. Their flagship Android phones are some of the best in the world and just like Samsung offer a huge array to fit every customer need. They are now the 2nd largest manufacturer (in terms of unit sales) in the world behind Samsung only.

GOOGLE
The US giant is still dipping their feet in the water but getting closer to fully jumping in. Google first started off with other manufacturers making their phones like Samsung, LG and HTC but over the past few years have been manufacturing their own Google Pixel line of phones. Overall there has been good reviews of the Pixel but sales are underwhelming and we’ll see if they go the way of Microsoft and exit the phone game if the money just isn’t really there.

ONEPLUS/OPPO/VIVO
Chinese owned Oppo makes many lines of brands sold around the world and a heck of a lot too BUT the only brand you’ll see on a rare basis in the US is the OnePlus. The OnePlus started off as an “invite only” phone to build up hype and the marketing scheme clearly worked. The OnePlus is now on their 7th iteration and have a truly dedicated fanbase. Their newest OnePlus 7 Pro rivals any of the top Android phones available in the market.

MOTOROLA/LENOVO
Although Lenovo bought the Motorola phone division a few years ago, they still market it as Motorola which in its heyday was a monster. All the major US carriers carry Motorola and although their flagship Z series isn’t as good as what Samsung or others offer, its still a really nice phone. They’ve carved out a nice niche in the budget friendly phones and if you’re looking to spend under $200, Motorola is a great choice. Additionally Motorola is the only manufacturer to successfully market anything like the Mod Accessory line which gives you tons of options like Cameras, Projectors, Battery packs, Speakers and more.

LG
Korean owned LG may not be giant in the cell phone game like Samsung but in general make excellent products across the board. Their R&D has always been top notch in appliances and maybe someday soon will get back to their glory days for smartphones. LG makes many lower/mid range phones which you can find in any US Carrier. Their flagship models have received good reviews but marketing and distribution has always been a challenge for some reason.

SONY
There was a time when Sony was on top of the world. It had the best name recognition in the game but Japanese manufacturers have had real trouble keeping up with the Chinese and Koreans for at least the last 10 years if not longer. Still though, Sony churns out quality phones and if you ever get to play with one, you’d probably like it. The problem is that no US Carriers carry Sony phones so if you want one, you need to order it Unlocked online.

HTC
At one point a few years ago, HTC was making some great phones and they seemed poised to be one of the top 5 players. But things started unraveling quick and its a surprise that they are even making phones still. Their flagship phones are pretty decent but with so many other options out there, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.

Blackberry/TCL
Talk about the fall of a GIANT. In the 90’s and early 2000’s it seemed like there was a Blackberry in almost everyone’s hands in the USA. Sticking to their guns though was there downfall and never kept up with the market. Not adapting Android until it was too late or implementing decent hardware really killed them. Slowly their dedicated customers looked elsewhere. The KeyOne/Key2 phones are halfway decent and if you still crave a physical keyboard (no idea why) then its worth checking out.

XIAOMI
Xiaomi makes decent mid-range phones. Their flagships don’t exactly compete with the big boys though so unless your looking to save money there are a million other options. Again, anyone running Android can make a halfway decent phone.

ZTE
Same story as Xiaomi. Decent and cheap but not going to rock your world.

BLU
The king of cheap. Runs android. Lots of options but know what you’re getting.

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