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The best Cricket phones to spend your money on

Cricket offers an impressive range of options at equally impressive prices.
By
May 1, 2022
Cricket Wireless stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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 consider is 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 many 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 S21 FE is Cricket’s most expensive Android phone.

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 S21 FE: The Galaxy S21 FE follows one of 2020’s best launches with excellent cameras, a crisp display, and a 4,500mAh battery that lasts all day.
  • Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Although it’s a step below the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy A53 leaves little to chance. It packs an IP67 rating, a 5G-ready Snapdragon processor, and a sharp 32MP selfie camera.
  • Apple iPhone SE (2022): Apple decided to revive its notch-less display and home button for one of the best affordable phones of 2022. 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 matching battery to its Galaxy A53 sibling and 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 (2022): The Moto G Power packs a crisp 48MP primary lens, a 5,000mAh battery, and a 6.5-inch LCD at a price that’s tough to beat.
  • Samsung Galaxy A13: Samsung is bringing 5G to more devices than ever, and the Galaxy A13 is the most affordable way to tap into high-end speeds for yourself.

Apple iPhone 13 series: The best iOS experience

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Series 7
Luke Pollack / 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 ultrawide 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
$799.99 at Best Buy
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 S21 FE: Cricket’s premium Android offering

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE right rear profile near rocks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

While the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE didn’t blow us away in quite the same way as its predecessor, 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 Lavender to Olive.

Samsung chose the Snapdragon 888 to keep the lights on and backed it with up to 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. You can choose from either 128 or 256GB of storage, but expansion is no longer an option. The Galaxy S20 FE offers a trio of rear cameras, but the 32MP selfie shooter is still 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 Victus construction means it can take a tumble or two.

Galaxy S21 FE Green Back RGB
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Samsung's 2021 flagship finally gets a "fan edition"
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is very similar to the vanilla Galaxy S21. However, it pares things down a bit in order to slash $100 from the MSRP.

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 A53 5G: Great build quality for under $500

samsung galaxy a53 standing
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy A53 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 primary camera for under $500.

While the Galaxy S20 FE offered Gorilla Glass 3 durability, the A53 5G ups the ante with Gorilla Glass 5. You’ll also find an in-display fingerprint reader and an IP67 rating in case of water or dust. Samsung may not have packed the most powerful chip in the Exynos 1280, but it’s nice to see up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage on the mid-range device.

The Galaxy A53 5G offers plenty of polish over the previous generation with a great 64MP camera to boot.

Keeping that processor running is a 5,000mAh 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 ultrawide lens isn’t always the sharpest. On the bright side, the 32MP selfie shooter delivers good results binned down to 8MP.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Black
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
A well-rounded mid-ranger with plenty of support
Samsung's latest Galaxy A50 series phone is more of an evolution over the A52 5G rather than a revolution. The Galaxy A53 5G brings familiar features like a quad rear camera system, IP67 rating, and 25W charging. But you also get welcome upgrades like a 5,000mAh battery, Exynos 1280 SoC, four years of OS updates, and five years of security updates.

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 A53.

Apple iPhone SE (2022): The classic iPhone experience

iphone se rear upright
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

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 2022 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.

The latest iPhone SE (2022) launched with Apple’s powerful A15 Bionic chipset onboard. It’s the same as you’ll find on the iPhone 13 series, and delivers benchmark results that are off the charts. 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

However, if you long for the days of Touch ID, 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 rear upright
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Apple's most affordable iPhone is back. You should have no problems keeping up thanks to the A15 Bionic chip onboard, and the familiar design brings back Touch ID once more.

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 against books
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 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 (2022): Battery life for days

motorola moto g power 2022 cameras and fingerprint reader
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Moto G Power is the next Motorola device to consider for your Cricket Wireless adventure. 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 50MP 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 6.5-inch display with up to 128GB of storage, and the 4GB of RAM is a nice bump over previous models.

The 50MP main camera is good fun, especially with Cutout mode.

Mediatek’s Helio G37 isn’t the most impressive and is a side-step from the 2021 model at best. Unfortunately, the Moto G Power is only due for one Android update, which carries it to Android 12 and no further.

moto g power 2022
Motorola Moto G Power 2022
The Moto G Power is back with a few new wrinkles. It packs a Helio G37 processor, more base RAM and storage, and an all-new 50MP main camera.

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.

Samsung Galaxy A13: The most affordable 5G Cricket Wireless phone

samsung galaxy a13 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy A13 is the last pick on our list of the best Cricket Wireless phones. It sacrifices some of the Galaxy A53’s camera features to cut down on the price, yet it keeps smooth 5G speeds. You get a 6.5-inch HD+ display for your money, and Samsung loaded up a hefty 5,000mAh battery.

The Moto G Play comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage out of the box, but you can always expand with the microSD slot. It’s disappointing to see Samsung bring Android 11 to a device launched in 2022, but the Galaxy A13 packs a solid update commitment. You’ll also find a capable 50MP main camera that’s on par with affordable rivals from Motorola and Nokia.

samsung galaxy a13 display
Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
Samsung's new Galaxy A13 brings 5G to the budget sphere for the very first time. It packs a hefty 5,000mAh battery to keep you moving for hours on end with three rear cameras to capture your daily life.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Solid primary camera
  • 5G on a budget

Cons

  • Build feels cheap
  • Outdated software at launch

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy A13.