If you’re going prepaid, you can certainly try to bring your own device to Verizon. Verizon is pretty strict about which phones it’ll allow, and many unlocked phones aren’t even compatible with the network. Otherwise, Verizon has a selection of prepaid phones that you can purchase directly, which may make for less of a headache in the long run. Here are a few that you should consider first.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S10+
There are few phones more well-rounded and versatile than the Galaxy S10+. From the moment you pick it up, the S10+ screams “premium!” with a metal-and-glass construction that feels as great as it looks. The curved glass makes it comfortable to hold, and it’s protected by IP68 water and dust resistance.
Inside, the S10+ has a massive 4,100mAh battery that lasts all day and well into the next, along with a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855 chipset. There’s also a futuristic in-display fingerprint sensor for quick authentication. The Galaxy S10+ also has one of the best displays on the market — a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with outstanding color reproduction that gets extremely bright for outdoor use.
There’s something for everyone in the Galaxy S10+.
One of the S10+’s highlight features is its triple-camera array around back. There’s a wide-angle primary camera that’s backed by OIS, along with a 2x telephoto lens and an ultra-wide-angle for capturing landscapes and shooting comfortably even in tight spaces. These cameras all work together to make the S10+ a powerful photography device with a different lens for just about any situation.
Factor in other features like a 3.5mm headphone jack and reverse wireless charging, which lets you top up accessories like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds (or even other phones, albeit at a very slow rate), and the Galaxy S10+ offers something for just about any kind of user. It isn’t cheap, but the S10+ is well worth its high price.
- Amazing display
- Top-of-the-line specs
- Versatile triple camera system
- Terrific battery life
- Great build quality
- Too large for some people
- Very expensive
Samsung Galaxy S10+
The most well-rounded phone you can buy.
The Galaxy S10+ leaves little to be desired, offering everything from all-day battery life to powerful cameras, a great display, and high-end specs.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 3
The Pixel 3 is perfect for Android enthusiasts who always want to be on the latest version of Google’s software since it’s made directly by Google themselves. It’s the first phone to receive any new builds, including beta versions of Android Q, and it’s guaranteed to receive continued software support for years past its release cycle.
It’s also a stunning phone for photography. Though the Pixel 3 only has one lens, Google makes use of computational photography to pull off stunning photos, even in low light thanks to the Pixel 3’s revolutionary Night Sight mode. Those photos can also be backed up to Google Photos at full resolution with unlimited storage, a Pixel-exclusive benefit.
- Timely Android updates
- Outstanding camera
- Unlimited full-res Google Photos uploads
- Front-facing speakers
- Available in small and XL
- Lackluster battery life
- No ultrawide or telephoto lens
Google Pixel 3
Computational photography and clean software.
The Pixel 3 is the first phone to receive new versions of Android, and it takes amazing low light photos with a single camera.
Best for Video: LG V40 ThinQ
The V40 is a big-screened Android phone with a focus on media consumption. Like the Galaxy S10+, the V40 features three rear cameras, along with standard and wide-angle front cameras, and the viewfinder software is equipped with powerful video controls like manual focus and custom LUTs.
You also get LG’s 32-bit Quad DAC, which is unparalleled in hi-res wired audio quality, and there’s a resonance chamber inside the phone that allows for great external audio as well. If you like to consumer and create a lot of content with your phone, the V40 is a great option.
- Quad DAC for wired audio
- Triple-camera system
- Powerful manual video controls
- Boombox speaker
- Finely tuned vibration motor
- No OIS in secondary cameras
- Middling battery life
Best for Video
LG V40 ThinQ
Manual video controls and excellent audio.
LG’s Quad DAC offers amazing wired audio, and the V40 features a myriad of manual video controls for its triple-camera array.
Best for Productivity: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Galaxy Note 10 is just around the corner, but in the meantime, the Galaxy Note 9 remains the ultimate productivity device, thanks in large part to its unique S Pen stylus, with thousands of levels of pressure sensitivity and wireless functions. Think Galaxy S10+ with some more traditional design traits like a capacitive fingerprint sensor.
The Note 9 doesn’t have the Galaxy S10+’s triple-camera array, but it still has a wide-angle and telephoto lens at its disposal, and you can launch the camera and even take pictures remotely by pressing the button on the S Pen. You can also draw or take notes on the screen, which is a gorgeous 6.4-inch AMOLED display.
- S Pen with wireless functionality
- Two great rear cameras
- Long battery life
- Huge, great-looking display
- Gorgeous design with IP68
- Successor is due soon
- Last year’s specs
Best for Productivity
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Wireless S Pen functionality and a huge screen.
The Galaxy Note 9 has a powerful S Pen that allows you to draw, take notes, or remotely control features like photography and music playback.
You don’t have to sign up for a postpaid plan to get the best phones in Verizon’s lineup. The Galaxy S10+ is a does-it-all flagship with next to no compromises; it combines excellent battery life with a great screen, three excellent cameras, and modern Android software.
Likewise, if you value staying up to date with the most current and clean Android software possible, and don’t mind sacrificing telephoto and ultra-wide cameras to get there, the Pixel 3 is another excellent choice. If, on the other hand, video is more important to you, or you still listen to a lot of wired audio, it’s hard to go wrong with LG’s V40.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.