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Last Update
Jun 2017
This month we removed the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge from our list.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Samsung Galaxy S10 display

When it comes to choosing the right smartphone that’s supported by your carrier, the task can be pretty daunting. If US Cellular is your preferred carrier, there are far fewer choices as compared to other carriers. Therefore, figuring out the best US Cellular phones can be tricky.

Luckily, we have a running list here that will help you find the best phone for you. Below you’ll find the best flagships, mid-rangers, and older devices that you can buy directly from US Cellular and use on that network. We also give you some info on how you can bring your own device to the network and save big!

If you’re in the market for the best US Cellular phones, look no further. Check out the best Android phones you can buy on the nation’s fifth-largest mobile carrier below!

Best US Cellular phones:

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


Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus
Samsung went all out with its latest flagship smartphones, introducing three new handsets for its Galaxy S10 lineup; the Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S10, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. They are by far the best US Cellular phones you can buy at the moment

All three of these phones share much of the same hardware and features. All of them have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor inside, a USB-C port for charging, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. All of them also support wireless charging and come with Android 9 Pie installed and out of the box.

The biggest differences for each of the Galaxy S10 phones center around screen size, cameras, and battery sizes. The Galaxy S10e has a 5.8-inch flat display with Full HD+ resolution and a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone. The Galaxy S10 has a 6.1-inch curved display with Quad HD+ resolution, while the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch curved Quad HD+ display. Both of those phones have an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

All three phones have one 10MP front camera that can record 4K video, and the Galaxy S10 Plus throws in a second front-facing 8MP depth sensor. The Galaxy S10e has two rear cameras:  an ultra-wide 16MP sensor and a wide-angle 12MP camera. Both the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have those same cameras, and in addition, they also have a third telephoto 12MP camera.

Finally, the battery sizes range from 3,100mAh for the Galaxy S10e, 3,400mAh for the Galaxy S10, and 4,100mAh for the Galaxy S10 Plus. Again, these are the best US Cellular phones that are available as of this writing.


Galaxy S10e specs:

  • Display: 5.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Rear cameras: 12 and 16MP 
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Galaxy S10 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Rear cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP 
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,400mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Galaxy S10 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB and 1TB
  • Rear cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP 
  • Front cameras: 10 and 8MP
  • Battery: 4,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Google Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3 waterproof phones

A combination of high-end specs, a great software experience, and a fantastic camera is what makes the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL two of the best US Cellular phones you can buy. Depending on your taste, you might prefer one over the other, but either way, grabbing one of these is a solid choice.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL only sport a single camera at the back but are still among the best phones for photography. They can capture fantastic images, even in low-light conditions thanks to Google’s Night Sight technology. As they run stock Android, they will be among the first to get updated to the latest version of the OS.

The phones are similar in terms of specs, both featuring the same chipset, camera, and memory options. However, the Pixel 3 XL does have a larger display with a higher resolution, a bigger battery, and a notch.


Pixel 3 specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8 and 8MP
  • Battery: 2,915mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Pixel 3 XL specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP 
  • Front camera: 8 and 8MP
  • Battery: 3,430mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Experience Homescreen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a year old at this point, but that doesn’t mean its not a fully capable handset. Despite its age, it is still one of the best US Cellular phones available.

The device packs the Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood and as much as 8GB of RAM, depending on whether you go with the 128GB storage version or the 512GB storage variant. The phone also sports a large 4,000mAh battery, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. It’s also IP68 rated for protection against water and dust.

It comes with the signature S Pen stylus, which now has Bluetooth LE support. This allows you to use it to remotely control the camera, open apps, and more. The Note 9 can also work in a PC desktop mode thanks to Samsung’s newest version of its DeX technology. You only need to connect the phone to a monitor or TV with a USB-C to HDMI adapter and cable.

Other specs and features of the Note 9 include a large display with curved edges, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a dual-camera setup on the rear.


Galaxy Note 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Rear cameras: 12 and 12MP 
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ sitting on a window showing home screen

The LG V40 ThinQ was the first smartphone with a total of five camera sensors (three on the back, and two on the front), but there’s more to why it’s one of the best US Cellular phones.

For example, the V40 ThinQ has some incredible audio capabilities. The 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC delivers the best-wired headphone experience on a smartphone (because it still has a headphone jack!), while the Boombox Speaker tech turns the phone into a mini speaker.

Elsewhere, we also appreciate the V40 ThinQ’s support for wireless charging and Quick Charge 4.0. The phone even has IP68 certification, which means its water- and dust-resistant. Inside, the V40 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of expandable storage, along with a 3,300mAh battery.

When you first turn on the V40, it will still have Android 8.1 Oreo installed. However, it will then upgrade to Android 9 Pie.


LG V40 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear cameras: 12MP, 16MP, and 12MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP and 5MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 8.1 Oreo (upgrade to Pie available)


Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

Pixel 3a back on table

The Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are Google’s contribution to the mid-range market, which it hasn’t really been a part of since it retired the Nexus series. The design language stays largely the same as Google’s flagship Pixel range mentioned earlier on this list of the best US Cellular phones. The shift from matte to glossy plastic on the back doesn’t even look much different from the glass of the Pixel 3.

The biggest selling point of the Pixel 3a series though is the fact that it provides the same camera experience and quality that you get with its flagship sibling at almost half the price. That’s almost reason enough to consider buying the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Some compromises have been made to get to this price of course. The Pixel 3a smartphones pack less power under the hood, don’t have wireless charging, and don’t have an IP rating, among other things.

There are few major differences between the two Pixel 3a devices though, other than physical size. Apart from a larger display, the XL also packs in a larger battery and is also the more expensive of the two.


Pixel 3a specs:

  • Display: 5.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Pixel 3a XL specs:

  • Display: 6.0-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ Review display

Like the V40 ThinQ mentioned earlier, the LG G8 ThinQ is a great phone for music lovers. It sports a headphone jack, stereo speakers, and a Hi-Fi Quad DAC for an improved audio experience with the right headphones. It’s also IP68 rated for protection against water and dust, supports expandable storage, and has a decent dual-camera setup at the rear.

The biggest difference between the V40 and the G8 is an innovative front-facing time-of-flight (ToF) sensor on this device. It can map out the veins in your palm that can then be used to unlock the device. It also lets you take a screenshot or open an app of choice with hand gestures, all without touching the screen. But as noted in our review, these features don’t work quite as well as we’d like.

The G8 also has an updated processor as compared the V40 and twice as much internal storage. Its notch is a bit smaller and it has a slightly larger battery all in a slightly smaller form factor.


LG G8 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 12 and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP and ToF sensor
  • Battery: 3,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie


Samsung Galaxy S9

Of all the devices on this list of the best US Cellular phones, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is the oldest. However, US Cellular still sells the phone and it’s absolutely worth a look if you’re on the hunt for a cheaper handset that will still deliver lots of power and features.

With the Galaxy S9, you’re not going to get the Snapdragon 855 processor on board with the Galaxy S10, and you’re also not going to get the nearly all-screen display with a punch-hole cutout for the front-facing camera. Instead, you’re going to get a typical 2018 smartphone form factor with the majority of the screen being a display but with a “forehead” where the front-facing sensors get housed.

On the back, you’ll find a fingerprint sensor underneath a solitary camera lens.

Once again, the Galaxy S9 is certainly no powerhouse in 2019, but it will deliver an exceptional user experience if you don’t need all the latest bells-and-whistles. Interestingly, US cellular doesn’t sell the Galaxy S9 Plus — but the next item on this list will address how you can work around that.


Samsung Galaxy S9 specs:

  • Display: 5.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear camera: 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 8.1 Oreo (upgrade to Pie available)


Your current older phone

The front of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Although this list of the best US Cellular phones only includes devices you can actually buy from the carrier, that doesn’t mean those are the only devices you can use. US Cellular has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program with a pretty hefty list of older 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 even need to buy a new phone. In fact, if you do take advantage of the BYOD program, you can even earn some hefty discounts and bill credits.

Additionally, if you find a great deal on a smartphone that saves you some cash over buying directly from US Cellular, you can just bring that device with you.

The full rundown of what US Cellular’s BYOD program offers is here. To check if your device is compatible, click here and enter your device’s IMEI number, which you can locate by dialing “*#06#” using your phone’s built-in dialer app. Some popular supported phones are the entire Google Pixel line (including the original Pixel and Pixel 2), the LG G5, the Motorola Moto Z3 Play, and the Samsung Galaxy S7.


That’s our look at our picks for the best US Cellular phones at the moment. Stay tuned as we’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch!

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