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The best US Cellular phones

Grab one of our top phones or follow a few easy steps to bring your own!
By
May 22, 2022
US Cellular MVNO carrier stock photo 1

US Cellular has plenty to offer as a carrier, though it doesn’t boast the largest list of available phones. You’ll find plenty of flagships, but it’s tougher to nail down a mid-range or budget option. Luckily, we’ve done what we can to help guide you along, so here are the best US Cellular phones to try. We’ve also included information on how to bring your own device, which adds plenty of flexibility.

Here: US Cellular buyer’s guide: Pricing, plans, and more

The best US Cellular phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best US Cellular phones regularly as new devices launch.

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series

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

As usual, Samsung kickstarted the year with its hottest device lineup: the Galaxy S22 family. Just like last year, there are three flagship models to choose from — the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. While many of the design elements remain the same, there’s only one option for Galaxy Note fans.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S22 buyer’s guide — Everything you need to know

The most affordable iteration is the Samsung Galaxy S22. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and finally the Galaxy S22 Ultra. You’ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Galaxy S22 and its S21 predecessor, with contour-cut cameras and memorable Phantom finishes. Under the hood, though, the alterations are impressive. You’ll get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with 8GB of RAM on both of the smaller devices.

The only phone that truly stands out is the Ultra version, as it has a much more impressive camera and support for Samsung’s S Pen stylus. While you could only pair an S Pen with last year’s model, the new Galaxy S22 Ultra is more Note-like than ever. It’s boxier with flat sides and a price tag to match.


Samsung Galaxy S22 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 8Gen1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: SD 8Gen1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 8Gen1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8 or 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB, 256, or 512GB, or 1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 10, 10, and 108MP
  • Front cameras: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 half folded with AA
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S line-up may be more popular, but the unique Galaxy Z Flip 3 is sure to turn you some heads. It’s Samsung’s latest clamshell foldable phone, and it packs more flagship specs than ever before. For starters, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offers a Snapdragon 888 chipset to keep the lights on.

You’ll also find an IPX8 rating to keep water at bay and the Gorilla Glass Victus rear panel is as you as you’ll find. Samsung finally expanded the display on the back of the phone to make notifications easier to read, too. You can choose between 128 and 256GB of storage space, and both versions come with 8GB of RAM.

See also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 buyer’s guide

Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t given its most affordable flagship a boost in the battery department. You’ll still only find a 3,300mAh cell onboard. The good news, however, is that the 15W wired charging and 10W wireless charging should get you back on your feet in no time.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

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

If you’re not quite ready to splash for Samsung’s flagships, the Galaxy S21 FE might be right up your alley. It packs most of the same features as last year’s Galaxy S21 series in a slightly more affordable package.

For starters, it comes in right between the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus at 6.4-inches with a 4,500mAh battery to boot. You’ll still get an IP68 rating, though the phone is unmistakably plastic. Under the hood, you’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE buyer’s guide — Everything you need to know

Unfortunately, the camera array might be the letdown feature for Samsung’s affordable flagship. It carries two 12MP lenses with an 8MP telephoto that don’t always keep up. You do, however, get a 32MP selfie camera that picks up some of the slack.


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 888
  • RAM: 6 or 8GB
  • Storage: 128 or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 8, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

4. Motorola Moto G Play 2021

Moto G Play close on fingerprint reader and cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re in the market for a mid-range smartphone, the Moto G Play 2021 is one of the best US Cellular phones. It falls among the most affordable options on the carrier, yet it offers a near-stock Android experience that’s easy to dive into.

More: The best budget phones you can get

The Moto G Play packs the Snapdragon 460 chipset under the hood and 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. You also get the old-fashioned headphone jack. The display is 6.5-inches across, with an HD+ resolution and a small notch at the top. You’ll only get one major Android update, but the best selling point here is the price tag.

 

Motorola Moto G Play specs:

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

5. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

samsung galaxy a53 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy A53 5G is a follow-up to the wildly popular Galaxy A52. It stays firmly in the mid-range category, though it’s styled closer to a Galaxy flagship than ever. Samsung’s latest Galaxy A entry packs a whopping four rear cameras and an all-day 5,000mAh battery. You’ll also find an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance and a 5G-ready Exynos 1280 SoC — the first Exynos chipset to land in the US in years.

More: The best Samsung phones — High-end, mid-range, and entry-level models

Music lovers will be disappointed to see that Samsung has finally abandoned the headphone jack. You’ll no longer find one on this great US Cellular device, but it does offer an updated Bluetooth 5.1 connection. As you can see, the Galaxy A53 5G has plenty of features and powerful specs, as well as an enticing price point that undercuts most of its competition.


Samsung Galaxy A53 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Exynos 1280
  • RAM: 4/6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

6. Apple iPhone 13 series

iPhone 13 Pro rear sun glint
Gary Sims / Android Authority

You may be on an Android site, but there’s no denying that the new iPhone 13 series are 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 US Cellular phones and some of the most popular devices in the industry.


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 A15 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 A14 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

7. Motorola Moto G Power 2021

Motorola Moto G Power home screen
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

For great value, look into the Motorola Moto G Power (2021). This device comes with modest specs, but it’s paired with a huge 5,000mAh battery that should last up to three days on a single charge.

It’s also not a horrible contender. Specs include a Snapdragon 662 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and a large 6.6-inch screen. And while it won’t be winning any awards, it should be good enough for most casual users.

The price makes it one of the best US Cellular phones to get on a budget, as you can have it for $3.33 per month if you get it on a 30-month installment plan. Regardless, it’s still a great deal, even if you buy it outright.


Motorola Moto G Power specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 662
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 48, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

8. Your current phone

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Sony Xperia 1 III, OnePlus 9 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max side by side
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Although this list of the best US Cellular phones only includes devices you can actually buy from the carrier, you aren’t stuck with these. US Cellular has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program with a pretty hefty list of compatible smartphones.

With that in mind, if you are looking to switch to US Cellular and already own an unlocked version of a compatible device, you don’t have to buy a new phone. If you take advantage of the BYOD program, you can even earn some hefty discounts and bill credits.

Also read: The best unlocked phones you can buy today

To check if your device is compatible, click the button below and enter your device’s IMEI number, which you can locate by dialing “*#06#” using your phone’s built-in dialer app.