We’ve already covered the best smartphones you can buy from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, but what if you are not the commitment kind? If you’d like to go the prepaid route, Cricket Wireless is a great option. The prepaid carrier has a wide selection of phones and decent coverage all around the United States. It also offers some of the most aggressive rates around, especially if you’re willing to sign up for auto-pay (smartphone plans as cheap as $35 a month, all fees included).

So, what are the best Android phones you can buy on Cricket? While we’ll admit there aren’t tons of phones sold directly through Cricket, there are a few gems. Most of Cricket’s offerings are relatively low cost, so this is a list of all the best smartphones available on the carrier. If none of these devices are your cup of tea, check out our best cheap Android phones or best Android phones list – as any unlocked GSM phone compatible with AT&T’s network will play nicely with Cricket.

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Update, June 2016: We did not make any changes to our list this month.
best mobile carriersSee also: The best prepaid and no contract plans in the US (March 2016)190

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7  has made its way to the masses, and it fixes many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While it don’t offer a removable battery, Samsung included expandable storage on the handset in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bump on the back and made the device a little thicker to make room for larger battery.

In terms of specs, this is a top-of-the-line smartphone. It comes with a Quad HD Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a great 12MP rear-facing camera and it runs the latest version of Android. Seriously, this is an incredible smartphone. It’s a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.


  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

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Buy now from Cricket

Samsung Galaxy S6

While the Samsung Galaxy S6 might not be the latest and greatest from Samsung in 2016, it’s still a great handset that will provide a flagship level experience at a discount thanks to the arrival of its successor, the Galaxy S7. The Galaxy S6 brought with it a major overhaul to design and build quality – something that was definitely needed for the Samsung Galaxy S6 to better compete with the arguably more premium high-end smartphones on offer from the competition. A metal and glass unibody design allowed for the more elegant look and feel that is expected from a Samsung flagship, and worthy of the high price tag that the device commands, even if the changed build did result in previously staple features like expandable storage and replaceable batteries going by the wayside.

Despite the lack of microSD and removable battery, the Galaxy S6 is certainly not lacking in extras, with it retaining hardware features like a heart rate monitor and a fingerprint scanner, as well as a camera package that allows for one of the best smartphone camera experiences available even a year later. While replaceable batteries may no longer be available, Samsung also attempted to alleviate any battery life concerns you may have with the inclusion of fast charging and wireless charging capabilities.


  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2550mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm, 138g

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Buy now from Cricket

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 (5.5-inch variant) is one of the best budget-friendly smartphones on the market. It features a simple and elegant design, a solid 13MP rear-facing camera and a fantastic audio experience. For the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Idol 3 – it has a beautiful 5.5-inch Full HD display, a capable Snapdragon 615 processor, and runs a slightly customized version of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The phone is now available from Cricket for just $129.99 with an activation. If you’d like to purchase the phone outright then bring it to the carrier, Amazon is selling it for around $230.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2910mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 152.7 x 75.1 x 7.4mm, 141g

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Buy now from Cricket
Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Amp Prime

Looking for a capable yet affordable phone running Marshmallow? Samsung’s Galaxy Amp Prime is just the thing for you.

It has a 5.0-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, a quad-core processor, plenty of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, and microSD expansion up to 128GB. It also sports a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera, and can take advantage of a number of great Samsung features like Quick Launch for the camera and Ultra Power Saving Mode.


  • 5.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 293ppi
  • 1.3GHz quad-core processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 142.2 x 71.1 x 7.9mm, 138.9g
Buy now from Cricket

ZTE Grand X3

ZTE unveiled a few budget-friendly handsets at CES 2015, one of which is the Grand X3. While it doesn’t come with the best specs on the market, this device does sport a few key features that many folks will like. It has a big 5.5-inch LCD display, plenty of internal storage, microSD expansion and an 8MP rear camera. The Snapdragon 210 processor under the hood may not be the most powerful out there, it does come with 2GB of RAM. Oh, and it also sports a removable 3080mAh battery, which should be more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. It has a big screen, removable battery and a pretty decent camera for the price point… what more could you ask for?

The ZTE Grand X3 is available from Cricket for $79.99.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 267ppi
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 64GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • Removable 3080mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 154.2 x 76 x 9.4mm, 170.1g

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Buy now from Cricket

Motorola Moto E (2015)

The original Moto E was one of the best low-cost Android smartphones around, and its successor, the Moto E (2015) brings even more value to the table, with it now being capable of high-speed internet access via 4G LTE. The latest edition of the device brings a lot of small enhancements along the way as well, including a slightly larger display, updated processing package, more built-in storage, a front-facing camera, and a larger battery that allows for extremely impressive battery life.

The Motorola Moto E (2015) is currently priced at $29.99 from Cricket.


  • 4.5-inch display with 960 x 540 resolution, 245ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera, VGA front camera
  • Non-removable 2390mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 129.8 x 66.8 x 12.2mm, 145g

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Buy now from Cricket

Going unlocked?

Nexus 5X VS Moto X Pure Edition-9

Why limit yourself to the phones Cricket sells? Not everybody knows this, but this carrier runs on AT&T’s GSM network. Not only does that mean you have good coverage, but it also means you can easily bring in your unlocked devices, something Cricket Wireless supports whole-heartedly. The company even has a dedicated page for bring-your-own-phone subscribers.

The industry is changing. Affordable devices are no longer sluggish and useless, and some high-end smartphones are starting to get much more affordable. In turn, this means customers are starting to accept the idea of moving away from subsidies and installment plans. There are plenty of good options out there, but there are a few handsets leading this movement. Here’s our list of unlocked phones we’d recommend activating on Cricket’s network:

Don’t see anything you like? Try checking out our list of the best cheap Android smartphones.

How do like our list? Is there any device you’d add or remove? Let us know your opinions in the comments!

galaxy s7 vs htc 10 vs lg g5 aa (8 of 10)Next: Best Android phones (April 2016)416

  • DuffBrew85

    I use the Oneplus One on Cricket. Love the low price and service isn’t bad

  • Quint’s Sharking & Seashells

    Does anyone know if the original 2013 moto g will be updated to lollipop with cricket?

    • Chris

      Yes, I just bought it before the news broke and have a big grin now

      • Quint’s Sharking & Seashells

        How certain are you that cricket will update it? Have you heard a time frame? Thanks

        • Randal Starkes

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  • Wayne

    Buying a prepaid device is the only way to buy any mobile device as far as I’m concerned. Anyway I don’t know anything about Cricket (apart from the sports game which I love and the insect that often wakes me up at night and hate) but after some crude currency conversions their prices do look quite attractive.

  • 6161940

    My 1st smartphone HTC DESIRE 510. IT has been easy to use. Only had the Cross Wave with Cricket 6 years broadband & Verizon flip phone. After CWAVE was eliminated, I decided to go with Cricket. Can’t beat free phone, no contract, can’ t go over anything and 20 GB FOR $55.00 plus all the other included . I find the Cricket customer service people very helpful and polite & have called quite a few times. Verizon may have better overall coverage for now, but in my. area Cricket works just fine and I bet they will keep improving and Verizon gives very little for a lot of money.

  • Jordan S

    Also right now if you’re porting your number from another carrier (other than AT&T) the Stylo goes down to $99.99 and the Moto E goes down to $49.99.

    Source: I’m a Cricket rep. ?


      What about porting in from net10 using AT&T network?

      • Jordan S

        Occasionally the port discount won’t apply automatically on Net10 GSM numbers, but if that does occur at my store we will override the price and give you the discount.

        I would explicitly ask them about that possibility and see what they tell you their policy is.

        • ASYOUTHIA

          Thanks, I’ll let my brother know. Is that data “glitch” still active? Where you can use up your 10GB data and switch to 5GB use that and switch back to 10GB and use that data without being charged more?

          • Jordan S

            Afraid not. At least they claim it was resolved.

  • nk01

    AT&T, unlike Cricket, includes tethering and rollover data. Cricket caps data speeds at 8mbps, whereas speeds will be much faster on AT&T. Both are good deals, but at only $5 more per month, AT&T is worth considering.

  • Misfit410

    Nexus 6P/5X is a no go on cricket, carrier provisioning prevents you from using the hotspot you are paying for.

  • Tiffany Green

    Stay away from the Asus Zenfone 2
    The screen on mine malfunction in less than 60 days!
    Asus refused to refund or repair (so fuck Asus!)

    Oddly, I still have the ZTE Max Pro + from Cricket that has Lollipop 0S 5.2 (it works fine, I may get the ZTE Axon 2 later this year)

  • Will

    I have the onetouch idol 3 and hate it. I previously had the Samsung galaxy grand prime and preferred it over the idol 3. Constantly lags, freezes and reboots. I’ve emailed Alcatel support multiple times and never get a response back.

  • La Chica

    worst technology ever made, the cricket wireless samsung galaxy prime is a cheaply made phone with poor life span before it breaks.
    Unlike the Samsung phones original reputation of created a very fast multimedia phone, cricket cut some corners with manufacturing and added there name on the phone. Do not buy this phone, unless you want to replace your phone in 90 days or less. I wouldn’t even give this phone to my kids, it too delicate

  • Mikki Bicknell

    what about the LG Stylo 2? that’s a cricket phone and I want to know if it’s any good.