After acquiring Sprint, T-Mobile became a force to be reckoned with, gaining millions of subscribers and those all-important mid-band 5G frequencies.
But most users aren’t really concerned with 5G or the merger. You probably aren’t either. If you’re here, that means you’re looking to get a brand new phone. You’ve come to the right place, as we have assembled a lineup that will satisfy any need.
But if you’re coming from another carrier, than you also need to select a plan. We can help with that as well, just head over to our Best T-Mobile plans article!
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Now back to the phones…
How to choose the best T-Mobile phone for you
Choosing a phone can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re not following the industry and have a hard time distinguishing between models and brands. Fear not, with just a few questions you’ll narrow it down to maybe a couple of devices.
First off, do you want an Apple iPhone or an Android phone? Most people usually stick to one operating system but jumps from one to the other are also not uncommon, plus now there are enticing phones on each side. If you’ve spent money on iOS apps, music or Apple subscription services then obviously iPhones is what you should be looking at. If not, then Android phones offer a wider variety in brands and designs, so there’s more to choose from.
Second, of course, is the budget. With monthly payments all phones seem affordable. But keep in mind that with a two-year contract, a relatively small difference in the monthly payment can mean hundreds of dollars in the long run. These days, even budget phones are very capable and can do most things flagships can, even if it’s not at quite the same level.
Third: consider your needs. Are you constantly taking pictures? Or would you rather have a phone that lasts days between charges? We all use our phones in a specific way, so think about what you’re doing most with your current phone and what are some features you want that it doesn’t have.
With that foundation in place, time to see which of these T-Mobile phones is the perfect match for you.
Best T-Mobile phones
Best T-Mobile cell phones, a summarized list:
Best T-Mobile iPhone
Apple iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 is a big step up above the iPhone 11 without being much more expensive and it’s our top iPhone recommendation for a reason. Apart from the lack of telephoto camera and lower base storage, it’s pretty much as good as the Pro version, but costs considerably less. The iPhone 12 also has the new design, which many have been waiting for and sets it apart from the last few generations. Meanwhile, Apple’s A14 Bionic chip that’s inside the iPhone 12 is a beast and will keep it snappy for years to come, getting you through at least four iOS versions. And we can’t forget the newly-added support for 5G.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck iPhone from T-Mobile, look no more!
Best T-Mobile Android phone
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
The OnePlus 9 Pro 5G features some impressive cameras, designed in partnership with legendary camera maker Hasselblad. It has a gorgeous, super-smooth 6.7-inch display and excellent performance. This phone also sports some of the fastest wired and wireless charging speeds you can get from a big-name brand, plus its 256GB of storage should be plenty enough for all the content you may want to store on it.
So when it comes to an all-around great 2021 Android phone to pick, that likely checks all the boxes in terms of what you might be looking for, this one is well worth considering.
Best T-Mobile camera iPhone
iPhone 12 Pro Max
While looking for a great camera phone, you’re likely also looking for one that’s using your preferred operating system. And if you’re an iOS user, that leads you to the new iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple put different main sensors on their iPhone 12 Pro models, giving the Pro Max a slightly larger one and with better low-light performance and sensor-shift image stabilization. Both Pro models also have a new LiDAR sensor that helps the phone focus on the right subject even in darker scenarios. Meanwhile, Night mode is now also available when using the Ultra wide and Telephoto cameras as well. Additionally, video recording got a big boost with support for Dolby Vision and Audio zoom. Speaking of zoom, the 12 Pro Max has 2.5X optical zoom compared to the 12 Pro’s 2X, giving it another small advantage.
And while on the Android side there will always be arguments about which phone has the best camera, when it comes to iPhones, it’s pretty clear – right now, it’s the iPhone 12 Pro Max. For more information about it check our iPhone 12 Pro Max review.
Best T-Mobile camera Android phone
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the Android camera phone right now. It has four cameras, including a 108MP main sensor and two telephoto cameras, one with a 3X optical zoom and a periscope one with 10X optical zoom. This phone is ready for pretty much any shooting opportunity. Of course, 8K video is also an option, although you’ll probably prefer the smoother 4K at 60fps option.
What’s more, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports Samsung’s S Pen, which used to be reserved for the Note series. It’s sold separately, but if you find yourself editing photos or wishing you could jot down notes on your phone, an S Pen could improve on your experience. Needless to say, the rest of the specs of the Galaxy S21 Ultra are top tier. In short, this phone is a beast.
Best T-Mobile budget iPhone
iPhone SE (2020)
The iPhone SE is still the budget king of iOS. Sporting the same chip as the iPhone 11 Pro Max within the compact body of the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE is a wolf in a sheep’s skin. Sure, it only has one rear camera, something almost unheard of in 2021, even in the budget segment, but image and video quality are still closer to flagship-grade than they are on many other phones in its price range.
To top things off, the new iPhone SE comes with wireless charging. Now that’s a feature you don’t see on many $400 phones. If you’re ready to enter the Apple ecosystem, or want a powerful iPhone on the cheap, the iPhone SE is the best T-Mobile has to offer right now. To learn more about the phone, check our iPhone SE review.
Best T-Mobile budget Android phone
Google Pixel 4a 5G / OnePlus Nord N10 5G
With so many Android options available, it makes sense to have two winners in the budget category as well. As you can see, on the Android side of the smartphone world, you can get 5G connectivity quite cheaply, while with Apple the best option is the iPhone 12 mini for $699. But 5G is not the first thing people look for in a budget phone, so let’s talk about what the Pixel 4a and the Nord N10 offer.
The Pixel 4a has a more powerful chip, an OLED display and Google’s awesome camera software, which makes it the better choice if photo quality is the deciding factor for you. However, the Pixel 4a costs more than the OnePlus phone.
Despite being almost half the price, the Nord N10 has some advantages over the Pixel 4a 5G. A 90Hz display, albeit an IPS LCD one, a larger 4,300mAh battery (and great battery life) and much faster charging.
In short, if your budget allows it, go for the Pixel 4a 5G ($499). And if you’re looking for a cheap phone that is decent all-around, the OnePlus Nord N10 is the one to go for.