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The best Cricket phones to spend your money on

Cricket offers an impressive range of options at equally impressive prices.
The Best
By
October 24, 2021
Cricket Wireless stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Table of contents

If you’re gearing up for a move to one of America’s most affordable carriers, you might be ready for a new phone, too. Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T, which means you already know you’ll get reliable service just about everywhere. Now, the hard part is to work your way through the best Cricket Wireless phones you can buy.

It would be easy to pick out all of Cricket’s most expensive phones and say they’re the best, but that’s not our goal. We’ve covered a full range of options for all users. That said, our list does work from most expensive to least, so make sure to consider your budget while you browse.

See also: The best Android phones | The best cheap Android phones

Buying the right Cricket Wireless phone for your needs

Picking up a new phone from Cricket is no different than buying one anywhere else. The first thing you’ll want to do is consider whether you want to use Android or iOS. It will narrow your choices considerably if you choose iOS — leaving you with just the iPhone 13 series and the iPhone SE.

If you choose Android, you may also want to consider how much you’re willing to spend. You can choose from plenty of free devices like the Moto G Play or the Samsung Galaxy A02s. Of course, there are quite a few discounted devices that can give you more bang for your buck, like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. If budget is no issue, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is the most expensive Android phone on Cricket.

Cricket Wireless is a GSM carrier, so any phone you buy or bring must support the correct bands. While this may not be a worry when buying a phone, it does help to know that you can bring that phone to carriers like T-Mobile and Mint Mobile next time you make a move.

The best Cricket Wireless phones

  • Apple iPhone 13 series: It may be the most expensive option Cricket offers, but the iPhone 13 series does it all. You have four models to choose from with A15 Bionic chips, powerful new cameras, and smaller notches.
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: The Galaxy S20 FE was one of our favorite phones of 2020 for a reason. It offers excellent cameras, a crisp display, and a 4,500mAh battery that lasts all day.
  • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Although it’s a step below the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy A52 leaves little to chance. It packs an IP67 rating, a 5G-ready Snapdragon processor, and a sharp 32MP selfie camera.
  • Apple iPhone SE: Apple decided to revive its notch-less display and home button for one of the best affordable phones of 2020. While you only get one camera, the iPhone SE is a great pick if you want iOS without the cost.
  • Samsung Galaxy A32 5G: One of the most affordable 5G phones on the market, the Galaxy A32 offers a bigger battery than its Galaxy A52 sibling, along with expandable storage up to 1TB.
  • Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G: If you want a stylus with your phone, there’s no other way to go. The Moto G Stylus is Motorola’s first 5G-ready G series device, and it offers an all-day battery to go with.
  • Motorola Moto G Power: The Moto G Power packs a crisp 48MP primary lens, a 5,000mAh battery, and a 6.6-inch LCD at a price that’s tough to beat.
  • Motorola Moto G Play: The Moto G Play carries a pair of rear cameras and a stylish blue finish. You can also try out Motorola’s light and fast Android skin for cheap.

Apple iPhone 13 series: The best iOS experience

iPhone 13 Pro review in hand showing camera
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The iPhone 13 series is the best way to experience iOS on Cricket Wireless. All four models are back, including the pocket-friendly iPhone 13 Mini. It packs a slightly larger battery this year, which should combat most of the battery issues of the iPhone 12 Mini. Above that, you’ll find both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro rocking 6.1-inch displays. However, Apple’s Pro models now offer 120Hz displays while the non-Pro models are stuck on 60Hz.

The iPhone 13 series is the best way to try iOS on Cricket Wireless — especially the high-end iPhone 13 Pro Max.

As always, the most premium iPhone is the new iPhone 13 Pro Max with its 6.7-inch display. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max also add a telephoto lens to the mix. If you opt for the iPhone 13 Mini or the standard model, you’ll find 12MP wide and ultra-wide lenses on the back. No matter which way you go, the notch is still present, though it’s finally a bit smaller than in previous generations.

Under the hood, you’ll find the new A15 Bionic chip onboard, which comes 5G-ready. All four iPhones also come with iOS 15 right out of the box, and Apple has doubled the base storage to 128GB.

Apple iPhone 13
$799.00 at Apple
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
$699.00 at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
$999.00 at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
$1,099.00 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Extensive software support
  • All-day battery life

Cons

  • Proprietary Lightning port
  • Slower charging speeds
  • Only 60Hz displays on non-Pro models

Check out our buyer’s guide to learn more about the iPhone 13 series.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Cricket’s premium Android offering

Best Cricket Wireless Phones Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
David Imel / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

While the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE may no longer have Qualcomm’s latest hardware, it’s still one of the best Cricket Wireless phones you can buy. It offers a crisp 120Hz display, a solid 4,500mAh battery with 25W fast charging, and a durable IP68 rating. Better yet, you can grab Samsung’s premium mid-ranger in a variety of colors from Cloud Navy to Cloud Mint.

Samsung tapped 2020’s Snapdragon 865 SoC to keep the lights on and backed it with 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM. You can expand the 128GB of base storage up to 1TB, and the phone already has its Android 11 update. The Galaxy S20 FE offers a trio of rear cameras, but the 32MP selfie shooter is the sharpest of the bunch.

No matter how much you use the cameras, Samsung’s crisp 120Hz Super AMOLED display will always be the star of this show. It’s an Infinity-O panel, so you’ll notice the punch hole right away. The Full HD+ resolution is great for streaming your favorite shows, and the Gorilla Glass 3 construction means it can take a tumble or two.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE back 3
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
If you don't mind cutting a few corners, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for "Fan Edition") might be the phone you are looking for. It offers most of the flagship specs and features of the Galaxy S20 family but trims things down to keep the price low.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Solid battery life
  • Great display

Cons

  • Glasstic construction
  • Average cameras

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Great build quality for under $500

Samsung Galaxy A 52 5G rear on table with things
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Galaxy A52 5G is another step down Samsung’s ladder as far as pricing is concerned, but it offers excellent value. It’s one of the best Cricket Wireless phones you can get with 5G and a solid main camera for under $500.

While the Galaxy S20 FE offered Gorilla Glass 3 durability, the A52 5G ups the ante with Gorilla Glass 5. You’ll also find an in-display fingerprint reader as well as an IP67 rating in case of water or dust. Samsung may not have packed the most powerful chip in the Snapdragon 750G, but it’s nice to see up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage on the mid-range device.

The Galaxy A52 5G offers plenty of polish over the previous generation with a great 64MP camera to boot.

Keeping that processor running is a 4,500mAh battery with 25W wired charging and no wireless charging to speak of. The Galaxy A52 5G also carries a 64MP primary camera, which is probably the only one worth using. The 5MP macro feels like a gimmick, and the 12MP ultra-wide lens isn’t always the sharpest. On the bright side, the 32MP selfie shooter delivers good results binned down to 8MP.

Samsung Galaxy A52 2
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G offers a lot of bang for the buck. It packs a 6.5-inch, 120Hz display, a large 4,500mAh battery that lasts all day, and a 64MP main camera. With 5G on board, it could be a mid-range smash.

Pros

  • Large 120Hz display
  • Solid build quality
  • Good main camera

Cons

  • Average performance
  • Weak secondary cameras

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy A52.

Apple iPhone SE: The classic iPhone experience

Best Cricket Wireless Phones iPhone SE

We all remember the first iPhone SE, complete with bright colors and a classic design. Apple decided to bring its “Special Edition” phone back for 2020 with updated internals and a familiar overall design. It’s still one of the best ways to get an iPhone on Cricket Wireless, especially for the price.

When the iPhone SE launched, it was running on Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip. It may not be the newest option anymore, but it does have the benefit of long-term support. One thing that hasn’t benefitted the iPhone SE is the 4.7-inch LCD panel. It’s not very big, but the bezels are sizeable, and it doesn’t get as bright or dim as newer OLED options.

See also: The best Cricket Wireless plans

If you long for the days of Touch ID, however, this is the iPhone for you. It’s the last model to launch with the classic home button, and it’s safe to expect any future iPhone SE to move to a notched design. You’ll also want to consider the battery life given Apple’s tiny 1,821mAh cell.

iPhone SE home screen
iPhone SE 2020
The essential iPhone experience
The Apple iPhone SE 2020 doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its more expensive stablemates, but you're still getting access to Apple's ecosystem here. Otherwise, the phone also includes features like wireless charging, water resistance, and a fast A13 Bionic processor.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Solid build quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • LCD panel isn’t very bright
  • Big bezels
  • No night mode

Check out our full review to learn more about the iPhone SE.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G: A smart Samsung entry point

Galaxy A32 on table showing notification shade
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We’ve already seen what the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G can do, but its more affordable sibling is excellent in its own right. The Galaxy A32 5G is one of the most affordable 5G phones around, and it’s one of the best value Cricket Wireless phones right now.

The Galaxy A32 5G is one of the best sub-$300 5G experiences on the market right now.

You can probably think of the Galaxy A32 as a scaled-down version of the Galaxy A52 — it offers a slightly smaller display, a somewhat weaker processor, and more modest base options. However, the 5,000mAh battery is tough to wear down, and the 48MP main shooter delivers impressive results in most situations. The Galaxy A32 5G also moves from an in-display fingerprint sensor to a side-mounted one, and it’s impressively quick.

One point of caution, though, this phone is slick. The design looks great, but the Galaxy A32 5G tends to slip and slide around when placed on most surfaces. You’ll want to invest in a case.

Samsung Galaxy A32 upright samsung apps
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Tap into Samsung's feature-rich Galaxy without making your wallet tap out. The Galaxy A32 5G packs an impressive camera setup, minimalist design, and more for under $300.

Pros

  • 5G access for under $300
  • Gorilla Glass 5 display
  • Solid main camera

Cons

  • Tends to run warm
  • Very slippery design

Check out the best Samsung phones you can buy right now.

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G: Stylish with a stylus

Best Cricket Wireless Phones Moto G Stylus 5G
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Cricket Wireless and Motorola go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the G series. The Moto G Stylus 5G is the first of three budget-friendly options from the series, and it’s the only one to offer 5G speeds. However, the key feature of Motorola’s Moto G Stylus is the built-in stylus pen. With LG out of the smartphone game, it’s one of few ways to get your hands on a stylus outside of Samsung’s premium Note line.

Motorola’s green finish is a real eye-catcher on the Moto G Stylus 5G. It highlights the build quality on this large — and we do mean large — 6.8-inch phablet. The display itself is made of glass, but the rest of the device is crafted from a polycarbonate material that tends to pick up a few fingerprints here and there.

See also: The best Motorola phones

You can choose between 4 and 6GB of RAM on your Moto G Stylus 5G, along with up to 256GB of storage. The Snapdragon 480 SoC provides you with enough power to get through your day as well as the 5G access. Be prepared to spend a while at an outlet, as the 5,000mAh battery packs just 10W charging.

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5Gstylus on screen
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G
The Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G offers a stylus and 5G with a big screen and even bigger battery life.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Robust build quality
  • Built-in stylus

Cons

  • Limited performance
  • 5G doesn’t add enough value
  • Awkward size

Check out our full review to learn more about the Moto G Stylus 5G.

Motorola Moto G Power: Battery life for days

Motorola Moto G Power home screen
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The next Motorola device to consider for your Cricket Wireless adventure is the Moto G Power. It’s an absolute battery monster thanks to the 5,000mAh cell and the lack of 5G. While you won’t find the most incredible speeds around, you should easily see the Moto G Power last two days on a single charge.

Motorola also tapped a 48MP main camera to lead the way on the back panel, and it delivers good results most of the time. The Cutout feature is also fun if you want to go beyond portrait mode and turn yourself into a sticker. The Moto G Power features a 6.6-inch display with up to 64GB of storage, but the 3GB of RAM may not be enough for everyone.

The 48MP main camera is good fun, especially with Cutout mode.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662 processor offers plenty of punch given the lack of 5G, and the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is quick and responsive. Unfortunately, the Moto G Power is only due for one Android update, which carries it to Android 11 and no further.

Motorola Moto G Power home screen
Motorola Moto G Power 2021
The Motorola Moto G Power packs enough juice to keep you going far beyond a day with the 5,000mAh battery. It has a Snapdragon 662 and a 48MP main camera that live up to the Power moniker.

Pros

  • Multi-day battery
  • Good main camera
  • Great Android skin

Cons

  • Only an HD+ display
  • Just one Android update
  • Macro camera is lacking

Check out our full review to learn more about the Motorola Moto G Power.

Motorola Moto G Play: The most affordable Cricket Wireless phone

Best Cricket Wireless Phones Moto G Play
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The last pick on our list of the best Cricket Wireless phones is Motorola’s Moto G Play. It sacrifices some of the Moto G Power’s camera features to cut down on the price, yet it keeps a few key specs intact. You get a slightly smaller 6.5-inch HD+ display for your money, yet Motorola kept the same massive 5,000mAh battery.

The Moto G Play comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage out of the box, but you can always expand with the microSD slot. We’re also big fans of Motorola’s light and fast Android skin, as it keeps bloatware and extras to the bare minimum. Unfortunately, future update support is also the bare minimum, with the Moto G Play receiving Android 11 and just two years of security patches.

Moto G Play lock screen
Motorola Moto G Play
The Moto G Play is one of Motorola's most affordable models, and it offers plenty of value for your money. It packs a 5,000mAh battery, Snapdragon 460 chipset, and a light, breezy Android skin.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Near-stock Android
  • Just the right amount of power

Cons

  • Build feels cheap
  • Limited cameras
  • Weak future software support

Check out our full review to learn more about the Motorola Moto G Play.