The iPhone 6 combines a striking, rounded design with a bright, 4.7-inch Retina display. But it's what you can do with this phone that makes it our top pick. The A8 processor delivers swift performance, especially when you're playing games, and the improved iSight camera offers faster autofocus and captures crisp 1080p video at 60 frames per second. With Apple Pay, you can buy items (in the real world or online) with just a touch of your finger. Add in the best library of apps, and the iPhone 6 is the phone to beat.
The iPhone 6 Plus is also great if you're looking for a bigger and sharper 5.5-inch display along with longer battery life, but the iPhone 6 is more one-hand friendly.
The unsung hero of smartphones, the Moto X deserves your attention because it delivers silky-smooth performance, without any obtrusive skin running on top of Android. The device boasts a 5.2-inch full-HD AMOLED display along with a zippy, 13-MP camera. With Moto Voice, you can start playing music or get Siri-style answers to all sorts of questions without lifting a finger. Best of all, you can customize your own design.
The king of phablets, the Galaxy Note 4 wows with its bright and sharp quad-HD display, which serves as a great canvas for the included S Pen. The 16-MP camera is the other big highlight, because it snaps gloriously detailed images even in low light, thanks to the built-in optical image stabilization. Want a taste of virtual reality? You can plug the Note 4 into the $199 Gear VR to enjoy a whole new world of 360-degree entertainment.
The OnePlus One is not easy to get. You can buy one during the company's open sale each week; otherwise, you need to be invited by a friend. But the hassle is worth it, because no other phone gives you this much for just $299. The One packs a 5.5-inch, full-HD screen; a Snapdragon 801 processor; and a battery that lasted an epic 13 hours on our test. The OnePlus One is also great for tinkerers, as its Cyanogen Mod software lets you customize the look and feel and security options.
No, the price isn't a typo. For less than $150, you can nab an Android smartphone with a 4.5-inch Gorilla Glass display, 4G LTE capability and a perfectly decent Snapdragon 410 processor. The Moto E also delivers an above-average battery life of 8.5 hours in a body that you can customize.
Samsung has two "next big things" for smartphone shoppers, offering sleek and strong designs that give the iPhone a run for its money. We love how the Gorilla Glass backs play with light, making it seem like the handsets change colors. Both devices boast a sharp 5.1-inch QHD display, built-in wireless charging and enhanced 16-MP cameras that let in more light. The S6 Edge is the more alluring of the two phones, sporting a curved display that provides quick access to your favorite contacts. Just be prepared to do without expandable storage or replaceable batteries.