The best phones at US Cellular — which should you buy?

    The fall season is always a fun one when it comes to picking up a new phone. It’s this time of year when various brands introduce their new handsets, hoping to get your attention for the always-interesting Black Friday and holiday period.

    The fifth largest carrier in the United States, US Cellular, has a fairly robust selection of devices. With phones at the top of the line and products at the entry level, there’s plenty in between, too.

    If you’re on the hunt for a new smartphone from US Cellular, and are considering an Android, we’re here to help. What you’ll find below is a a collection of the best phones at US Cellular, as we see it.


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    The following models have been assigned “categories” which should help to identify the target user base. All of them, though, are worth your time and interest.

    Most Robust

    Samsung Galaxy Note 9

    The Note 9 is that big-screen, stylus-packing experience that we’ve long appreciated. With a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845 processor, and 6GB or 8GB of memory, you can purchase it with a whopping 128GB or 512GB of internal storage. Moreover, it offers up the same dual-camera setup introduced in the Galaxy S9 Plus.

    Samsung has ratcheted up the battery from 3,300mAh in the Note 8 to 4,000mAh for 2018. What’s more, the S Pen now supports Bluetooth, meaning you can control your camera and music with the stylus’s button.

    Although the dual-camera setup is essentially the same as the S9 Plus, it can now recognize what’s in a photo, automatically adjusting settings for you on the fly.

    Buy the Galaxy Note 9

    Most Cameras

    LG V40

    The LG V40 ThinQ features a 6.4-inch QHD POLED display. 6GB of RAM and a Qualcomm 845 round out the main specs of this flagship. Storage is your choice of 64GB or 128GB of internal with microSD expansion.

    The V-series continues its lineage of content creation with an additional third rear camera. This brings the combination to a 12MP f/1.5 lens plus a 16MP f/1.9 wide-angle lens and a 12MP f/2.4 2X optical zoom lens. There are even a double 8MP and 5MP front-facing camera layout. That’s five total cameras, none of which is a slouch.

    LG also keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack in an age where companies are consistently abandoning it and adds a QuadDAC for superior audio playback. Lastly, the phone offers all-day battery life with a 3,300mAh power cell.

    Buy the LG V40 ThinQ

    Most Flexible

    Motorola Moto Z3 Play 

    While it isn’t all that much different from its predecessor, the Moto Z2 Force, there’s still a lot of phone here. The hardware closely resembles the 2017 edition, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB internal storage.

    With a 6.01-inch display and 3,000mAh power source, the Moto Z3 houses a pair of 12-megapixel cameras around back. Up front is an 8-megapixel shooter with a f/2.0 wide-angle lens.

    Read: Moto Z3 review

    Although this isn’t quite flagship-beating stuff, the Moto Z3 Play does have a justifiable price. At around $500 it ticks all of the major boxes for things we care about. What’s more the MotoMod capabilities add in a whole array of new tricks and fun stuff.

    Buy the Moto Z3 Play

    Best Bang for the Buck

    Samsung Galaxy S8

    Introduced in the first half of 2017, the Galaxy S8 is still more phone than what most people need. It helps when you have a flagship handset that delivers the goods.

    With a 5.8-inch display that’s curved and sleek, the Galaxy S8 packs a punch. Inside you’ll find an octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal space. Should you need more room, a microSD card slot allows for up to 256GB of storage.

    Additional specifications include a 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and a generous 3,000mAh battery. The Galaxy S8 launched with support for the Samsung DeX dock which essentially turns the phone into a computer.

    Buy the Galaxy S8

    Cheapest

    LG K8+ (2018)

    With such a low price tag you might expect this one to be under-powered and ineffective. That’s not the case at all as the LG K8+ (2018) has a fair amount of hardware.

    With a 5-inch display and an 8-megapixel rear camera, this one offers up a decent battery (2500mAh) that should get casual users through a full day.

    The internals include a power-efficient Qualcomm 425 processor paired with 2GB memory. Storage is pegged at 16GB but a microSD card slot lets one add up to 32GB worth of media.

    Although it runs an older version of Android (7 Nougat), it’s still in line with Google’s design principles and has quite the portfolio of features.

    Buy the K8+ (2018)