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 difficult 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 the possibility of bringing your own phone to the network and briefly go 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 S21 series — flagship

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra 2 1
David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung’s shiny new Galaxy S21 devices obviously sit at the top of this list of the best T-Mobile phones. The Galaxy S series has long defined the very best of Android; that quality is now more approachable than it has been in years: the cheapest model in the Galaxy S21 family has an MSRP of just $799. Better yet, you get quite a lot for that price. Every phone has at least three cameras on the back and comes with a vibrant display with minimal bezels surrounding it.

See also: Galaxy S21 review | Galaxy S21 Plus review | Galaxy S21 Ultra review

The phones are powered by the Snapdragon 888 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 S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Ful HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series — flagship

The Samsung Galaxy S lineup may be more popular, but more demanding Samsung fans will prefer the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smartphones. They come with more powerful specs and an S Pen stylus that turns your device into a productivity machine.

Also: These are the best Samsung phones

We have two versions of the Note this year: the Note 20 and the 20 Ultra. The most notable differences between the two phones are the displays, construction, and cameras. The Ultra model has a larger screen with a higher resolution and refresh rate, better rear cameras, and a larger battery. It also feels more premium in hand, thanks to its glass and metal construction. The rear panel of the regular Note 20, on the other hand, is made of what Samsung calls glasstic — a plastic material with a glass-like paint job.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, WQHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

3. Apple iPhone 12 series — flagship

You may be on an Android site, but there’s no denying that the new iPhone 12 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 an amazing ecosystem of apps and accessories.

Related: Which is the right iPhone for you?

iOS isn’t to everyone’s taste and requires a few compromises regarding file management and customization. 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 extremely well.

These are definitely some of the best T-Mobile phones and some of the most popular devices in the industry. And although the iPhone 12 Mini doesn’t seem like a proper flagship with its relatively small display and offers less than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s still a high-end device thanks to Apple’s A14 Bionic chipset and others features, including Face ID.


Apple iPhone 12 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.4-inch, 2,340 x 1,080
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,227mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

Apple iPhone 12 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

Apple iPhone 12 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 2,532 x 1,170
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,815mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, 2,778 x 1,284
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,687mAh
  • Software: iOS 14.1

4. OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro — flagship

OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 9 backs
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are great devices, and T-Mobile is your best bet to use them in the United States. They’ve pretty much ditched the flagship killer mentality, and now the two devices have become true flagships in their own right.

See also: OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, and OnePlus 9R buyer’s guide

They pack the speedy Snapdragon 888 chip, 128GB and 256GB of storage on the 9 and 9 Pro, respectively, and brilliant 120Hz displays. Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are among the best phones that T-Mobile has to offer, and you can finally get a taste of the powerful Hasselblad camera setups.


OnePlus 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

OnePlus 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Google Pixel 4a 5G — mid-range

The new Google Pixel 4a 5G takes the best parts of the original Pixel 4a and cranks them to 11. It’s not only the largest member of the 2020 Pixel family, but it’s 5G ready without the flagship price.

See also: Google Pixel 4a 5G buyer’s guide

Like its smaller sibling, the Pixel 4a 5G is made of plastic. It’s also without an IP rating, but that’s where the cut corners seem to stop. Otherwise, the Pixel 4a 5G is much closer to the Pixel 5 than the 4a. It’s equipped with a Snapdragon 765G chip as well as a dual rear-camera setup. That means you can explore Portrait Mode Plus and Night Sight to your heart’s content.

As for other specs, the Pixel 4a 5G is a great T-Mobile phone at any price, thanks to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Neither is the largest around, but you’re hardly paying a flagship rate.


Google Pixel 4a 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,885mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Samsung A52 5G — mid-range

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

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a great mid-range device that competes well with others in its class. It offers an excellent screen with solid battery life and speedy performance. It also supports 5G.

The phone has a great build quality and comes with a headphone jack, which is missing on both the more expensive Galaxy S21 and Note 20 series. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 750G, which is more than good enough for most people. There are four cameras at the back that are quite good, although we’d prefer if Samsung skipped the macro lens and went with a telephoto instead.

All these things combined make the Galaxy A52 5G one of the best phones you can get from T-Mobile. But although it’s a lot more affordable than Samsung’s high-end offerings, it still isn’t exactly cheap.


Samsung Galaxy A52 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 750G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 5, 5, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Apple iPhone SE — mid-range

Budget premium phones are all the hype in 2020, with the Pixel 4a and iPhone SE offering amazing quality at very accessible price points. The Pixel 4a isn’t in the carrier’s lineup yet, but the iPhone SE is available for purchase right now, and it’s easily one of the best T-Mobile phones to buy if you are on a budget.

The iPhone SE offers the Apple promise at about $400. It includes the familiar glass and metal design we saw on the iPhone 8 and has a very competitive camera. Users will also love that Apple didn’t skimp out on the processor, as the iPhone SE uses the same Apple A13 Bionic processor we saw in iPhone 11 handsets. Other benefits over the Pixel 4a include wireless charging and an IP67 rating, two features the Google budget phone lacks.


Apple iPhone SE specs:

  • Display: 4.7-inch, 1,334 x 750
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front camera: 7MP
  • Battery: 1,821mAh
  • Software: iOS 13

8. OnePlus Nord N10 — cheap T-Mobile phone

OnePlus Nord N10 camera module
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

When you have a limited budget and basic needs, it’s easy to turn to T-Mobile. The OnePlus Nord N10 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 $299.

See also: OnePlus Nord N10 review

OnePlus’ Nord N10 isn’t too unwieldy at 6.49 inches, and the 64MP main shooter highlights the quad-camera system is solid for the price. It’s nice to see a headphone jack and 128GB of storage, and OnePlus even added its speedy 30W charging. You shouldn’t have to stay plugged in for long, and the 4,300mAh battery is a great size.


OnePlus Nord N10 specs:

  • Display: 6.49-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 690
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

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

samsung galaxy a32 4g render 2
Samsung

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 screen of the device is quite large, coming in at 6.5 inches, but it only has HD+ resolution. There are four cameras at the back that 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 Play — cheap T-Mobile phone

If you want a phone with a hefty display and a clean, simple Android skin, the Moto G Play might be your perfect match. The handset comes with a 6.5-inch display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 460 chipset, and a 5,000mAh battery. The cameras aren’t the main draw here, but the 13MP main shooter should keep you covered in a pinch.

Read next: The best Motorola phones you can get

Other specs and features of the Moto G Play 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 Play specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 460
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 13 and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

11. Samsung Galaxy A12 — cheap T-Mobile phone

Samsung Galaxy A12

The last Samsung device on our list of the best T-Mobile phones is the Galaxy A12. It offers less than the A32 listed above but won’t leave as much of a mark on your wallet, either.

You get a 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-V display that’s surrounded by thin bezels for a modern look and feel. The MediaTek Helio P35 chipset under the hood won’t break any benchmark records, but it’s still more than capable of basic day-to-day tasks. There’s also a microSD card slot on board, a headphone jack, and a fingerprint scanner on the side.


Sasmung Galaxy A12 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P35
  • RAM: 2/3/4/6GB
  • Storage: 32/64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 5, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • 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 one model on offer at the moment. It’s a flip phone from Alcatel called the Go Flip 3, which is cheap at just $100 and good for calling and texting.

It has two displays and large buttons that make the phone a great 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 3 but still want a basic or a flip phone, the best thing to do is buy an unlocked device from a retailer like Amazon and then bring it to T-Mobile’s network. There are plenty of great options available, some of which you can check out in our dedicated post by clicking here.

T-Mobile prepaid phones

2019 camera shootout

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 have to 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 a period of 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 certain 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 Pixel 4a 5G, but not the Pixel 4a. At least for now. It also sells the OnePlus 8 and 8T, but it does not offer 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 what your wants and needs are, 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

Q: Is my T-Mobile phone unlocked?
A: No, it’s not. The phone you bought from T-Mobile is locked to the carrier’s network.

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

Q: Does T-Mobile have a 5G network?
A: 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.

Q: Does T-Mobile own Sprint?
A: Yes, T-Mobile and Sprint have merged, and the Sprint brand has been killed off.

Q: Is T-Mobile a GSM or CDMA carrier?
A: T-Mobile has always been a GSM carrier, while Sprint used CDMA. Since the two companies merged, T-Mobile supports both standards for now, although the CDMA network will be phased out over time.