This is a device you'll use all day, every day. It's hard to find an out-and-out bad phone, but it's easy to not get the right one. And if you're looking for the best mix of the five things that matter most, there's one choice that stands out.
APPLE IPHONE 6
The 6 has a 4.7-inch display with enough pixels that you’ll never see them. It has a battery that lasts a full day every time, longer if you’re not obsessively refreshing your Instagram feed. It has the best camera in the industry, with new slow-motion and time-lapse video tricks that make it better than ever. It has Apple’s most powerful phone software ever in iOS 8. But it’s still easy and intuitive and simple to use, a feeling that extends from the fingerprint-reading TouchID sensor to the slight curve on the screen itself that just lets your thumb glide across the display.
The iPhone 6 doesn’t have any eye-poppingly impressive features (except maybe the camera), and it doesn’t do anything you can’t find on another phone. But it does everything well, everything reliably, everything intuitively. And it does it without forcing you to choose between a big phone and a good phone. It’s still comfortable enough to use in one hand (thanks to both the design and some slightly awkward software contortions), but big enough to be immersive and great for video or getting real work done.
The iPhone 6 is the phone most people should buy, the one that checks all of the boxes. It has the performance, it has the camera, it has the battery life, it has the design and screen size we’ve all come to want. It’s not flashy, but it’s fantastic.
THE RUNNER UP
MOTOROLA MOTO X
This year, Motorola kept everything good about the Moto X and fixed almost every one of its problems. It now has a big, high-resolution display, a high-end build, a fast processor, and specs that match the best phones on the market. It’s not a midrange phone with some cool features anymore — it’s a powerhouse. It’s still easy to personalize, too, now with even more options (like a really awesome leather). And it has the same always-listening voice control and always-on notifications that it always has; these were and are the best things about the Moto X.
The X still has a slightly inconsistent camera, though, along with a battery that doesn’t yet last as long as I’d hope. But it’s a fantastic phone, through and through. It’s the best Android phone ever made, and it’s only in second place by a slim margin of camera performance and battery life. You can’t go wrong with the Moto X. (Especially a leather one.)