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The best T-Mobile phones to spend your money on

The Un-Carrier has plenty of phones, you just have to decide which one you want.
By
May 17, 2022
T Mobile logo on phone stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

T-Mobile is the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States following its merger with Sprint. It offers a wide selection of smartphones from various OEMs for every type of user. Since there are so many to choose from, it can be challenging to figure out the best T-Mobile phones available.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find our roundup of the best T-Mobile phones you can currently get in different categories below. We’ll also discuss bringing your phone to the network and briefly going over the best plans the carrier has on offer. Let’s get started.

The best T-Mobile phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best T-Mobile phones regularly as new devices launch.


1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series — flagship

Samsung Galaxy S22 Family in white spread on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s shiny Galaxy S22 devices sit at the top of this list of the best T-Mobile phones, as they have for a few years now. The Galaxy S flagships have long offered a taste of just how good Android can be. That quality is even better now that Samsung has pivoted back to Gorilla Glass Victus Plus across all three models. Better yet, you get quite a lot without the price climbing any higher. Every phone has at least three cameras on the back and comes with a vibrant display and minimal bezels surrounding it.

See also: Galaxy S22 review | Galaxy S22 Plus review | Galaxy S22 Ultra review

The phones are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset in the US, and all three can connect to T-Mobile’s 5G network. You also get an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and an in-display fingerprint scanner regardless of the three phones you go for. But you don’t get a headphone jack, as it appears that Samsung has no intention of bringing it back on the flagship range.


Samsung Galaxy S22 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Ful HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra — flagship

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra winter
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup may be the hot new option, but it’s not perfect for everyone. If you want an incredible camera setup but you’re not sold on the new, Note-like design, you might want to think about Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Also: These are the best Samsung phones

It’s the only member of the Galaxy S21 family that we still recommend from T-Mobile — the vanilla S21 and S21 Plus are so similar to the S22 counterparts. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a beast all its own. The Contour Cut camera unit houses a 108MP main shooter with a pair of telephoto lenses and an ultrawide option. You also get either 12 or 16GB of RAM to power you through just about anything you can think of.

Under the hood, Samsung also packed a Snapdragon 888 processor to keep you running on T-Mobile’s 5G network all day long. The 5,000mAh battery offers plenty of punch, even if it doesn’t charge as fast as its Galaxy S22 Ultra counterpart.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, WQHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

3. Apple iPhone 13 series — flagship

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

You may be on an Android site, but we won’t deny that the new iPhone 13 series is a great bunch. These phones find a sweet spot that nicely balances performance and usability, but all of them come with stunning cameras, incredible performance, and a great ecosystem of apps and accessories.

Related: Which is the right iPhone for you?

iOS isn’t to everyone’s taste and requires a few file management and customization compromises. But there is no denying the quality of many of the apps available. Editing video on your mobile device is fiddly but doable thanks to the insanely performant processors and games fair exceptionally well.

These are some of the best T-Mobile phones and some of the most popular devices in the industry. Although the iPhone 13 Mini doesn’t seem like a proper flagship, it addresses plenty of the flaws from last year’s models. You’ll also find an A15 Bionic chip at home on all four models, as well as double the initial storage capacity.


Apple iPhone 13 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.4-inch, 2,340 x 1,080
  • SoC: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,438mAh
  • Software: iOS 15.1

Apple iPhone 13 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,240mAh
  • Software: iOS 15.1

Apple iPhone 13 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,095mAh
  • Software: iOS 15.1

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, 2,778 x 1,284
  • SoC: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 4,352mAh
  • Software: iOS 15.1

4. OnePlus 10 Pro — flagship

oneplus 10 pro back on pillow
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The OnePlus 10 Pro is a solid device, and T-Mobile is your best bet to pick one up in the United States. It’s continued to ignore the flagship killer identity, instead offering an excellent all-around experience with a price to match.

See also: OnePlus 10 Pro buyer’s guide

The OnePlus 10 Pro carries the speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, and a brilliant 120Hz display. OnePlus remains among the best phones that T-Mobile has to offer, and the updated Hasselblad camera setup certainly doesn’t hurt. You’ll just have to decide between the green and black finishes.


OnePlus 10 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, WQHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

5. Google Pixel 6 series — flagship

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro angled rear panels
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Google’s new Pixel 6 series represents a new direction for the line, but it remains among the best T-Mobile phones you can buy. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the first phones to offer Google’s Tensor chips, and who can look past the colossal camera bar?

Speaking of the camera bar, it houses a complete set of new sensors capped off by a 50MP primary shooter. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro pack 12MP ultrawide lenses, but the premium device also adds a 48MP telephoto lens to the mix. You can also see just a few of your updated color options above — the Pixel 6 comes in Sorta Seafoam and Kinda Coral, while the 6 Pro comes in Sorta Sunny and Cloudy White. The two models share a Stormy Black finish.

See also: Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro buyer’s guide

Google also brought Android 12 and Material You to market with the Pixel 6 series. That means you can customize your icons and widgets to match your wallpaper like never before. Did we mention that the Pixel 6 starts at just $599? The Pixel 6 Pro will set you back $899, but these are still among the best T-Mobile phones.


Google Pixel 6 specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Tensor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,614mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Google Pixel 6 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Tensor
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 11.1MP
  • Battery: 5,003mAh
  • Software: Android 12

6. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE — mid-range

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE rear centered left
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a brand-new mid-range device that follows in the footsteps of the Galaxy S21 series at a slightly lower price. It follows a similar design language, though you get a full slate of new color options to choose from.

Samsung kicked things off with a 6.4-inch Gorilla Glass Victus display and a Full HD+ resolution. You’ll also get a 120Hz refresh rate and a 32MP selfie camera as the lone interruption. Under the hood, the Galaxy S21 FE packs the Snapdragon 888 on board. You’ll find a 4,500mAh battery, too, complete with 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.

All these things combined make the Galaxy S21 FE one of the best phones you can get from T-Mobile. Although it’s much more affordable than Samsung’s high-end offerings, it still isn’t exactly cheap.


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 8, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

7. Apple iPhone SE — mid-range

iphone se rear upright
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Apple’s iPhone SE has long been the most affordable way to dip your toe into iOS, and now it’s better than ever. The company recently introduced the new iPhone SE (2022), and it’s immediately one of the best phones to buy on T-Mobile’s network.

At first glance, you might not notice anything different about the latest Apple handset, and you’d be right. The design is essentially unchanged from the 2020 version, which itself was unchanged from the original iPhone SE. You still get a 4.7-inch display with a solid forehead and chin, but the return of a Touch ID home button is nice.

See also: iPhone SE (2022) review

The real advantage of Apple’s latest budget device lies under the hood. It carries a 5G-ready A15 Bionic chipset, the same as you’d find in the more expensive iPhone 13 series.


Apple iPhone SE specs:

  • Display: 4.7-inch, 1,334 x 750
  • SoC: Apple A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front camera: 7MP
  • Battery: Not specified
  • Software: iOS 15.3

8. OnePlus Nord N20 — cheap T-Mobile phone

OnePlus Nord N20 rear panel centered
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s easy to turn to T-Mobile when you have a limited budget and basic needs. The OnePlus Nord N20 is a perfect example of what you can get with a low monthly payment, and the specs can easily keep you moving. It’s not a perfect device, but it provides 5G access for $282.

See also: OnePlus Nord N20 review

OnePlus’ Nord N20 isn’t too unwieldy at 6.43 inches, and the 64MP primary shooter highlights the triple-camera system, even if the peripherals let it down. It’s nice to see a headphone jack and 128GB of storage, and OnePlus even added its speedy 33W charging. You shouldn’t have to stay plugged in for long, and the 4,500mAh battery is bigger than the previous generation.


OnePlus Nord N20 specs:

  • Display: 6.43-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 695
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

9. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G — cheap T-Mobile phone

Galaxy A32 in hand taking picture
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re on a budget and don’t demand a lot from your phone, the Galaxy A32 5G might be up your alley. Its specs won’t blow your socks off, but the handset still has more than enough power for everyday tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, and checking social media at 5G speeds.

The device’s screen is quite large, coming in at 6.5 inches, but it only has HD+ resolution. Four cameras at the back get the job done, just don’t expect the world from them — especially in low-light situations. Other specs and features include 32GB of storage, a 5,000mAh battery, and Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI on top.

The phone is also equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, supports expandable storage, and has a headphone jack.


Samsung Galaxy A32 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Mediatek Dimensity 720
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

10. Motorola Moto G Pure — cheap T-Mobile phone

moto g pure cameras and buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you want a phone with a big display and a clean, simple Android skin, the Moto G Pure might be your perfect match. The handset feels like an updated Moto G Play, with a 6.5-inch display and MediaTek’s Helio G25 processor onboard. The cameras aren’t the main draw here, but the 13MP primary shooter should keep you covered in a pinch.

Read next: The best Motorola phones you can get

The Moto G Pure’s other specs and features include a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, expandable storage, and a water-repellent coating. It may not be the same as an official IP rating, but it’s good to see Motorola take care of its affordable devices.


Motorola Moto G Pure specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio G25
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 13 and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

11. Samsung Galaxy A13 — cheap T-Mobile phone

samsung galaxy a13 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The last Samsung device on our list of the best T-Mobile phones is the Galaxy A13. It offers less than the A32 listed above but won’t leave as much of a mark on your wallet, either. Samsung also brought speedy 5G connectivity to its budget-friendly lineup for the first time.

You get a 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-V display that’s surrounded by thin bezels for a modern look and feel. Under the hood, the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset won’t break any benchmark records, but it’s a significant boost over the previous Galaxy A12’s powerhouse. There’s also a microSD card slot on board, a headphone jack, and a 50MP main camera lens.


Sasmung Galaxy A13 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 700
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 50, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

What about basic or flip T-Mobile phones?

Alcatel Go Flip 3 Best dumb flip phones

T-Mobile’s selection of basic and flip phones is weak, as the carrier only has a handful of models at the moment. The best among them is a flip phone from Alcatel called the Go Flip 4, which is cheap at just $96 and suitable for calling and texting.

It has two displays and large buttons that make the phone an excellent choice for older adults. It also has a basic camera onboard and, believe it or not, Google Assistant. You can learn more about the phone and purchase it via the button below.

If you don’t like the Alcatel Go Flip 4 but still want a basic or a flip phone, you can also look at the Sonim XP3 Plus or the Cat S22 Flip. There are plenty of great unlocked options available, some of which you can check out in our dedicated post by clicking here.


T-Mobile prepaid phones

Best Smartphones 4 EOY 2020
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Prepaid phones are usually bought off-contract, which means you can’t get them on an installment plan and have to pay for them up-front.

Unlike with some other carriers, like Verizon, T-Mobile’s selection of prepaid phones is more or less the same as their selection of phones available with postpaid plans. There are some exceptions, but you should be able to get any of the phones listed above.

We have a dedicated post of the best T-Mobile prepaid phones, including a few phones you won’t find on this list.


T-Mobile phones vs. unlocked phones

ROG Phone 2 SIM Card Easter Egg

T-Mobile lets you bring your own device to its network, so you don’t have to buy a phone from the carrier. When deciding which of the two options to choose, you must keep the pros and cons in mind.

Getting a phone from T-Mobile means you don’t have to pay for it up-front, which is a big plus. You only pay a portion of the cost right away and then pay off the rest over some time. When it comes to unlocked phones, things are usually different, as you have to pay for the device in full at the time of purchase.

Read next: The best unlocked phones to get

You also have to take deals into account. T-Mobile often offers great deals that will save you quite a bit of money. Carriers are known for their BOGO deals, which get you two phones for the price of one. You usually won’t find a deal like this for an unlocked phone.

Then there’s support, which is another advantage of T-Mobile phones. If you need help with your device, you can just go down to your local carrier shop to get help in person. There is no need to call tech support and wait for 30 minutes to talk to someone, as is usually the case.

Also, if you get a carrier device, you can be confident that it is specifically configured to work well on the carrier’s network. So if you buy a T-Mobile phone, you can be sure that it will work well on T-Mobile’s network and that you’ll be able to take advantage of all the features you would expect.

T-Mobile phones are locked to the carrier's network.

When it comes to drawbacks, the biggest one is that a phone bought from T-Mobile will be locked for a certain period, meaning you won’t be able to use it on a different carrier. A device on a postpaid account has to be used for at least 40 days on your line of service before you can request an unlock. It also has to be paid off in full. If you have a prepaid device, you may have to wait for up to a year before you’ll be able to unlock it.

On the other hand, if you buy an unlocked phone, you can usually take it to just about any carrier and switch between them as you please. You have much more freedom.

T-Mobile phones may also come with additional apps (bloatware) you don’t get on unlocked phones. The selection of phones can be limited, as the carrier cannot offer every single popular device. For example, T-Mobile sells the OnePlus 8 and 8T, but not the Pro model. So if you want a specific handset that T-Mobile doesn’t sell, getting it unlocked is the only way to go.


Don’t forget to pick a plan

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Your job isn’t finished when you select your T-Mobile phone. The next step is to opt for one of the many plans the carrier offers. Regardless of your wants and needs, T-Mobile likely has you covered.

You can check out a few of the carrier’s postpaid plans in the table below. But if you want to learn more, you should check out our post listing all the T-Mobile plans available in detail, along with how they compare with the competition. Alternatively, you can also read our dedicated best T-Mobile prepaid plans.

EssentialsMagentaMagenta Max
Cost
Essentials
Prices per line:

$60 for one line
$45 for two lines
$35 for three lines
$30 for four lines
$27 for five lines
Magenta
Prices per line:

$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$40 for three lines
$35 for four lines
$32 for five lines
Magenta Max
Prices per line:

$85 for one line
$70 for two lines
$47 for three lines
$43 for four lines
$40 for five lines
Unlimited Talk & Text
Essentials
Yes
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
Unlimited 4G Data
Essentials
Yes, but might slow down during congestion after 50GB per month
Magenta
Yes, but might slow down during congestion after 100GB per month
Magenta Max
Yes, with no speed slowdowns based on usage
5G data included
Essentials
Yes
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
Mobile Hotspot
Essentials
Unlimited 3G
Magenta
5GB of 4G LTE, then unlimited 3G
Magenta Max
40GB of 4G, then unlimited 3G
Netflix perk?
Essentials
No
Magenta
Netflix Basic, one SD screen for two or more accounts
Magenta Max
Netflix Basic, one SD screen for one accounts.
Netflix Standard, two HD screens for two or more acccounts
Unlimited video streaming
Essentials
SD streaming
Magenta
SD streaming
Magenta Max
Up to 4K UHD streaming
55 Plus Plan
Essentials
Yes
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
Military Plan
Essentials
No
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
First Responder Plan
Essentials
No
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes

Frequently asked questions

A T-Mobile employee wearing a black t-shirt with the T-Mobile logo.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

No, it is not. The phone you bought from T-Mobile is locked to the carrier’s network. To learn more about unlocking a T-Mobile phone, click here.

To unlock a T-Mobile phone for use with another network, you must meet specific requirements. These include having an account in good standing and a device that has been active on the network for at least 40 days. Additionally, the device must be paid off in full. For more specific instructions, head to T-Mobile’s website.

Yes, of course it does. The carrier claims to have better 5G coverage than AT&T and Verizon combined. You can learn more about T-Mobile’s 5G tech at the link.

Yes, T-Mobile and Sprint have merged, and the Sprint brand has been axed.

T-Mobile has always been a GSM carrier, while Sprint used CDMA. Since the merger, T-Mobile supports both standards, though the CDMA network will be phased out over time.