Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (2023)

When it comes to buying a smartphone, there's a huge list of devices to choose from. Today's market is flooded with handsets spread across different price tiers and niche sectors. Then, we have mobile carriers offering various discounts, deals, or monthly payment plans to purchase that one expensive handset that is much easier for the customer.

Chances are, you may be looking to sign a new contract with Verizon and may be wondering which of their phones would make for a good purchase. Whether to get on a plan or score a prepaid phone, Verizon has the full roster. The phones come with a plan, however, and it's good to be well-informed about those as well.

These days all plans revolve around the amount of mobile data you'll get and how you'll use it. Being able to stream movies with HD quality will cost you extra. Using your phone as a hotspot will also cost you extra. It's up to you to pinpoint your priorities and choose the plan that fits them best. To get more information, check our Verizon plans guide.

Once you've selected your plan, it's time to choose the phone to go along with it.

Best Verizon phones, a summarized list:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - The best Android phone of 2023.
  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max / iPhone 14 Pro- The best large iPhone.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra-One of the best phones of the year.
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4-The best foldable so far.
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro-The finest stock Android phone.
  • Apple iPhone 14 / iPhone 14 Plus-The essential iPhone experience.
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 / Galaxy S23 Plus-The Samsung flagship experience, redefined.
  • Google Pixel 7a - The affordable Pixel experience, redefined.

Also read:

  • Best Verizon phone deals right now

How to choose the best phone for you? Four words: budget, ecosystem, plan, and size.

Getting the most expensive smartphones would almost certainly give you the most premium experience with the best possible features, but it's not at all compulsory to go that way. You can even consider a basic phone. Most affordable smartphones these days offer rather similar hardware and software features that mostly match what a more expensive device would get you, save for a few exclusive features. Most of these include exclusive cameras and camera modes, as well as some exclusive software features.

In terms of ecosystem differences, it wouldn't make big sense to go with an iPhone if you have surrounded yourself with Android devices, and vice versa. However, if you're willing to switch, there's currently a rather big selection of top smartphones on either the iOS or the Android ecosystems that let you score a superb device and enjoy the benefits of the opposite camp.

You could also consider getting one of the Verizon prepaid phones, which are similar to their regular versions, but available with select prepaid plans that let you save. Prepaid phones are not engaged with a strict annual plan, but require you to pay in advance for the service you're going to use. Some of the best Verizon prepaid phones are also the most popular handsets available right now, so you should consider scoring one of those prepaid phones.

Finally, when it comes to size, everyone wants a big phone until they have to fit it in a pair of tight jeans, so picking the right size for you is essential. While it's true that the largest phones are usually a tad more premium and more advanced than compact ones, this isn't necessarily always the case. For example, the iPhone 14 Pro is much more compact and adept than, say, the iPhone 14 Plus, so you have to conduct your research correctly.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best Android phone of 2023

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (1)


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Good

  • Battery life is great, big improvement from predecessor
  • New Snapdragon chip is the best one in years
  • Design is improved, feels more ergonomic
  • Screen is less curved and gets very dim (perfect for night time use)
  • Camera improvements are there, but not quite huge
  • Loudspeakers sound much better now
  • You get double the storage (256GB) at base model

The Bad

  • Base model still only has 8GB RAM
  • Charging speeds have not improved
  • Haptics are still not as good as rivals
  • Camera system hasn't improved as much as hoped for
  • Expensive if you buy at full price

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily the best Android phone to get in early 2023, and easily the best Samsung phone right now. Announced in early February, the latest Samsung top-end phone perfects the flagship formula, with remarkable performance gains over its predecessor as well as an exciting new quad-camera configuration, with an exciting 200MP primary camera. Thanks to this, it's a proficient and versatile camera phone that doesn't lack any major features.

If you're constantly looking for the greatest and most modern device, you should consider this one. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, this one pairs the excellent hardware with potent software and sprinkles S Pen support on deck, making it the ultimate power user's dream. With a 5,000mAh battery and fast 45W charging, this one will last you a long time before you have to juice it up.

Overall, we are quite delighted with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, though admittedly, the camera improvements aren't that grand and did not live up to the hype that Samsung built around the phone. Nevertheless, it's still a super-versatile phone that will be supported for years to come, making it an excellent companion for all those on the hunt for the best tech.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max / iPhone 14 Pro

The best large iPhone

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (2)


Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

The Good

  • Exceptional, industry-leading performance
  • Dynamic Island is a fun and useful twist on the punch hole
  • Very good battery life
  • Superb video-recording quality
  • Very bright and beautiful display with Always-On functionality
  • Premium, posh design

The Bad

  • Relatively slow charging speed
  • Small evolutionary improvements
  • Lack of physical SIM feels like an inconvenience

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's best and most advanced new iPhone, with a Dynamic Island punch-hole, a higher-res 48MP camera, a large 6.7-inch Samsung-made OLED display with 1-120Hz refresh rate, and always-on display functionality. The device comes with Apple's new A16 Bionic chipset, 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and will be available in the following storage variants: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and the range-topping 1TB version. All in all, logically the best iPhones are available right now.

Another big selling point of the iPhone 14 Pro Max might be its camera and its new 48MP sensor. It uses a 1/1.3-inch sensor and utilizes quad-binning to achieve much better detail and low-light image quality in comparison with Apple’s 12MP cameras of old.

While some raise valid concerns that the previous-gen iPhone 13 Pro Max was overall a better phone thanks to the better battery life and mostly similar image quality, getting an iPhone 14 Pro Max this year will ensure that you receive software support for a year longer.

iPhone 14 Pro Max/iPhone 14 Pro Verizon prepaid version

Apple's best iPhones are also available as prepaid phones on Verizon. The current deals let you select between a couple of plans: a basic Talk & Text for $35/mo, an essential 15GB plan that will set you $45 a month, and the Unlimited prepaid plan that will set you $60 a month without limitations on monthly data, text, or talk time. Of course, you will have to pay for the phone in full beforehand.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Possibly the best phone of 2022

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (3)


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Good

  • S Pen in a flagship, great for creatives
  • Industry-leading screen quality
  • Faster charging than before
  • 10X zoom camera is improved significantly
  • Video recording gets smoother stabilization
  • 4 years of major software updates!

The Bad

  • Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
  • You get less RAM than last year
  • No microSD card slot, no headphone jack
  • Loudspeaker quality could be better
  • Jittery swiping, microstutter with gesture nav in One UI

The Galaxy S22 Ultra truly has it all: a quad-camera system with a long-range periscope zoom lens, a built-in S Pen that doesn't come at the expense of battery size, the latest and most powerful Android processor, the newest generation Samsung AMOLED display, and wireless charging. Everything it takes for a blockbuster flagship.

Oh, and then add a few bonus features on top like record-breaking screen brightness, a more granular refresh rate, and a few fancy colors. Of course, all of that comes at a premium $1,200 price, but not much higher than last year's model, despite the many new features.

On top of it all, we have the always-useful S Pen stylus inside, the accessory that used to define the Galaxy Note lineup is now part of the main Galaxy S22 flagship series. Or, we can say that Samsung essentially axed its regular Ultras in favor of adopting the Note lineup into the main flagship family. Whatever floats your boat, but the bottom line is that Samsung's top regular flagship is a phone that should be shortlisted by anyone willing to experience the best of Android.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Verizon prepaid version

This Samsung Galaxy Verizon prepaid phone lets you enjoy the same basic Verizon prepaid phone plans, which start at $35 a month for the most basic service, and up to $60 for the Unlimited plan (which goes down to $50 with Auto Pay). Whichever Verizon prepaid plan you choose, you will have to pay for the phone in full (tax not included).

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The best foldable so far

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (4)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4


7.6 inches
2176 x 1812 pixels
120Hz Refresh rate


50 MP (Triple camera)
4 MP front


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1


256GB, not expandable


4400 mAh


Android 12

View full specs

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 improves on some of the core features of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It has the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU, a somewhat different design, a lightweight build, the same camera system as the Galaxy S22 series, and a slew of multitasking features. It also has a new under-display camera, which should be a little more difficult to find.

It also comes with Android 12L and Samsung's newest One UI 4.1.1 software. With a stylus on deck and functionality that certainly rivals most tablets out there, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best Samsung Galaxy you can get right now. Wireless charging is also on board the foldable phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Verizon prepaid phone

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 can be yours as a prepaid phone on Verizon, just like the rest of the best-prepaid phones available on Big Red. Surely, the most advanced Samsung phone to date is one of the best Verizon prepaid phones available today, with all prepaid plans available for the phone. $35 a month gets you the base service, while the $60 a month Unlimited service arguably offers the best value on Verizon prepaid.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The finest stock Android phone

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (5)


Google Pixel 7 Pro

The Good

  • Great deal at $900
  • Speedy performance, clean software
  • Powerful zoom camera
  • Guaranteed day 1 software updates

The Bad

  • Portrait Mode is bad
  • Tensor G2 is not as powerful as rivals
  • Slow-ish charging

If you're a purist, then the Pixel 7 Pro, with its stock Android interface blessed directly by Google itself, could be your best bet going into 2023 and onward. The Pixel 7 Pro is a phone that heavily relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence instead of trying to outdo the competition with raw processing power. Developed in tandem with Samsung, the Tensor G2 chipset kicks and ticks inside the Pixel 7 Pro, unlocking a whole trove of "smarts", as well as some new camera-related utilities.

In terms of camera, there are a few key differences in comparison with the Pixel 6 Pro. The 4X telephoto has jumped to 5X, and the Tensor also unlocks a Super Res Zoom that goes up to 30X, allowing you to get up close and personal with the subjects you shoot. The main 50MP camera of the Pixel also has a new 2X camera mode that crops the center of the camera sensor and produces a slightly zoomed 2X photo. There's also a Macro Focus feature that uses the ultra-wide camera to capture superb close-up shots.

The Pixel 7 Pro is also available at a way more affordable price, but with one less camera, the telephoto one. The Google Pixel 7 is also a great compact phone that's also available on Verizon.

Google Pixel 7 Pro Verizon prepaid phone

One of the best Verizon prepaid phones right now is one of the best Google Pixel devices available, period. What makes this Verizon phone so good is the awesome value it brings. After you pay it in full, you will be able to choose one among the basic Verizon prepaid plans, $35/mo for the basic tier and up to $60 a month for all things unlimited.

Apple iPhone 14 / iPhone 14 Plus

The essential iPhone experience

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (6)


Apple iPhone 14

The Good

  • Improved low-light photos, color balance, and dynamic range
  • Faster graphics subsystem and connectivity options
  • Bright display
  • Good battery life
  • Much cheaper to repair

The Bad

  • Too wide of a specs and performance gap with the iPhone 14 Pro
  • Display calibration is lacking
  • The new penta-core GPU is a battery hog
  • Slow charging

The iPhone 14 is a minor update of the iPhone 13 workhorse, with the same design, a marginally faster version of the A15 chipset, more RAM, a faster 5G modem, a slightly bigger battery, and emergency satellite connectivity. All of this comes with a new blue color in tow at the same $799 introductory price for the iPhone range.

While it's true that the iPhone 14 doesn't exactly bring tons of improvements over the previous iPhone 13 generation, it still is one of the best-prepaid phones you can get on Verizon, especially if you're deep into the Apple ecosystem. But even if you aren't, the iPhone 14 is an excellent entry point into Apple's semi-walled garden.

And if you generally are okay with the feature loadout of the iPhone 14 and its overall skill set, but would go for a larger module, Apple hears you this year. You can opt for the iPhone 14 Plus, a blown-out version of the iPhone 14 that is available for a little extra, but offers a much larger display, the same dual-camera setup with Photonic Engine on board, and a sizeable battery with one of the best battery lives on an iPhone so far.

Apple iPhone 14, Apple iPhone 14 Plus Verizon prepaid phone

Apple's basic iPhones, the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14, are most likely among the most popular Verizon prepaid phones. After you buy both in full, you can choose one among the top four Verizon prepaid plans. We'd expect many will consider these Verizon prepaid phones when shopping for one.

Samsung Galaxy S23 / Galaxy S23 Plus

The Samsung flagship experience redefined

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (7)


Samsung Galaxy S23+

The Good

  • Superb performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Super-bright and vivid display
  • Improved camera image quality
  • Excellent selfie camera
  • Friendly and ergonomic design
  • Superb video stabilization

The Bad

  • Display isn't as accurate as previous Galaxy flagships
  • Lots of storage reserved by the system
  • Boring color options

With a bespoke Snapdragon chip worldwide, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus set new benchmarks for Samsung. With a slightly revamped design that's now more in line with the Galaxy S22 Ultra/Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 also look the part as decent 2023 flagships that aim to bring out the best of Samsung.

With no Exynos chipset in sight and instead exclusively relying on a special version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset globally, the smaller Galaxies are now finally perfectly adept to take on their US-based competitors in the best way possible.

The same but slightly improved triple-camera setup at the back provides a coherent and versatile camera experience, while the batteries of both phones have grown up in size and now provide longer battery backup during web browsing, video playback, and 3D gaming.

On Verizon, you can get the Galaxy S23 or the Galaxy S23+ for free if you trade in a qualifying device and opt for any of the select 5G Unlimited plans.

Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus Verizon prepaid phones

Both of Samsung's flagship devices are available as prepaid phones on Verizon. Verizon offers the four essential prepaid plans for these mid-tier flagships, with the best value one being the $60/month offer. Verizon will still require you to pay these two in full beforehand.

Google Pixel 7a

The affordable Pixel experience, redefined

Best Verizon phones to buy in 2023: With contract and prepaid (8)


Google Pixel 7a

The Good

  • Good value for money
  • Stock Android with tons of AI/ML-powered software features
  • Display finally has a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Compact and user-friendly size
  • Face Unlock on board
  • Wireless charging
  • Capable camera with lots of features

The Bad

  • More expensive than its predecessor
  • Some slight build quality issues
  • Only a single 128GB storage option
  • Uninspiring digital zoom
  • Charges slowly

The Pixel 7a is Google's affordable phone for 2023, and it embodies everything that made older Pixel phones so successful. The Pixel 7a comes with a 6.1-inch 90Hz display and a huge battery that lasts a long time, as well as the flagship-grade Tensor G2 processor.

Overall, the phone is quite small and easy to use. With its small size and strong internals, the Pixel 7a is one of the best compact Android phones available today, a must-have phone for all those clamoring the undisputed reign of all large phones these days.

Then there's the camera, which is just as good as the one on the ordinary Google Pixel 7. Sure, some functions are missing, but the core photographic experience, along with the typical superb image quality, more than compensates.

Can I get a free phone from Verizon?

Although not always, Verizon usually has some super-lucrative deals that allow you to score a phone either for free or at least majorly discounted. Usually, these deals require you to present an eligible trade-in device and/or opt for a new line with Verizon. It's often worth it, as the carrier is willing to offer major discounts on the promoted devices. Such deals are usually rampant during Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping festivals.

Are phones from Verizon sold locked?

Yes, devices purchased from Verizon are sold locked for up to 60 days following your purchase. At the same time, devices bought from Verizon's retail partners are locked for 60 days following their activation. Once the 60-day period expires, Verizon will automatically unlock the device. This policy applies to both prepaid and postpaid devices.

What are the benefits of prepaid phones at Verizon?

One of the key reasons why you might want to get a prepaid phone on Verizon is for cost-cutting reasons. Yes, Verizon's prepaid service seems to be way more affordable than the carrier's regular postpaid contract plans, which are usually more costly in comparison. Another "perk" of prepaid phones on Verizon is the sheer amount of devices you can get, with the added caveat that you can't purchase these on a monthly plan; instead, you have to buy the phone in full or bring in an unlocked device to use with a prepaid plan.

Some of the downsides of a prepaid phone (and plan) are throttling and deprioritization, which could ruin just about anyone's day. Throttling is a rather familiar term for anyone well-versed in carrier practices and usually means that once you go over your data cap, you can kiss your fast data speeds goodbye as you succumb to the depths of 2G-like downlink and uplink bandwidth. On the other hand, deprioritization means that during times of network congestion, you might also experience temporarily slow data speeds.

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