The 10 Best T-Mobile Smartphones to Buy in 2018

Pick out which T-Mobile phone is best for you and your budget

T-Mobile is a disruptive force in the cell phone market, and they have swelled their ranks with discontented customers from the other major providers. While T-Mobile’s fast LTE network and affordable prices make it a no-brainer for Americans living in urban areas, if you're living in rural spot you might be left with zero bars because coverage there still lags behind.

On the upside, the company also offers no-interest two-year payment plans, so you don’t have to fork over the full amount for the latest phone up front, and there's no data for watching videos and playing Pokemon Go. With so much to consider, here are the best phones currently available in T-Mobile’s impressive arsenal.

Best Android: Pixel 2

While there’s a lot of competition out there, the Pixel 2 might just reign supreme in the best camera department. With a 12-megapixel dual-pixel autofocus sensor on the back and an 8-megapixel sensor on the front, it handles low-light settings with aplomb. The addition of optical image stabilization and a Portrait Mode that puts Apple’s to shame push it over the top.

Apart from the camera, the Pixel 2 is a fabulous phone in its own respect. It might feel a bit plasticy to long-time iPhone users, but we can assure you it’s made of Gorilla Glass and aluminum like most other phones these days. It has solid speakers and provides an excellent Android experience, thanks to the inclusion of Google Assistant. You’ll be wowed all around, but especially when you go to snap a photo.

Apple’s latest iPhone X is hands-down one of the fastest phones on the market. With an Apple A11 Bionic processor and a gorgeous 2,436-by-1,125-pixel, 5.8-inch, 458ppi AMOLED display, it runs all your favorite apps at blazing fast speed. The phone itself is now essentially bezel-free.

Long-time iPhone owners might be confused by the lack of a Home button (and thus fingerprint scanner) at first, not to mention the missing headphone jack, but these are just small growing pains as we move into a smarter generation of phones. (Conveniently, the Home screen can be reached by simply swiping up.) Instead what you get are several upgraded cameras that together support FaceID, a feature that scans your face to unlock your phone. It even integrates with Apple Pay, so you can buy things with a mere glance.

Such a powerful phone uses, well, a lot of power, and unfortunately, the 2,716mAh battery still isn't what we hoped for, but it’ll get you through a day of moderate use. Like the iPhone 8, it supports wireless charging, as well as traditional charging via a Lightning cable. It’s a cutting-edge phone no doubt, so naturally, there will be some quirks to work out, but there’s no denying the iPhone X is just a preview of what’s to come from Apple in the coming years.

Runner Up, Best Apple: iPhone 8

There’s no denying that the iPhone X is one of, if not the, best phone out there. Still, it’s new and some techies might not be so keen on splurging on a piece of hardware that is in what many are calling a beta stage. For a tried and true smartphone, we recommend the iPhone 8. It looks strikingly like the iPhone 7, with the notable difference that the 8 has a gorgeous glass front and back.

On the inside, the iPhone 8 upgrades to a 12-megapixel sensor and an A11 Bionic processor on par with that of a laptop. Together they make for speedy smartphone that multitasks and switches between apps with ease. On top of that, it now supports wireless charging. There’s one camera on the back with an f/1.8 lens and optical image stabilization, and a 7-megapixel “selfie” camera on the front. As far as video goes, it supports slow-motion video in 1080p and even 4K at 60fps. It still struggles in low light, but alas, no one is perfect.

Best Samsung: Galaxy S9

The eye-catching Galaxy S9 adds new features such as AR emoji, so users can create a cartoon-like emoji that looks and sounds just like them and send it around as a GIF for friends and family for text messaging fun. As Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9 has the top-of-the-line hardware, including a Snapdragon 845 processor, a 5.8-inch, Quad HD+ Super AMOLED, 2960 x 1440-pixel display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that's expandable to 400GB with a microSD card. Samsung adds a 3.5mm headphone jack for use with any existing headphones, while Dolby Atmos speakers create an immersive audio experience during video watching. It has a water and dust-resistant of IP68. The S9 has a 3,000mAh battery for up to 22 hours of talk time, measures 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm and weighs just 63 grams.

Best LG: LG G7 ThinQ

The LG G7 ThinQ is a powerful flagship, offering an eight-core-based Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 2.8 GHz alongside a whopping 4GB of RAM for more intensive operations. There’s 64GB of solid-state storage on-board and the option for micro SD expansion. The battery is plenty big at 3,000 mAh, though it’s disappointing to see LG move away from its past flagships and not make the battery removable. The screen is, per usual, one of the most eye-catching features, and even though this iteration is not OLED like the other top phones, it’s still bright and sharp. It’s a 6.1-inch QHD+ FullVision display with a resolution of 3120 x 1440 (offering you a pixel density of 564 ppi). They have a dual-lens camera system on the back offering 16MP of resolution and a wide angle lens that’ll make your Instagrams pretty cinematic. And if selfies are more your jam, the front-facing 8MP camera will be more than sufficient. Finally, LG’s take on Android, from a software perspective, is really refreshing because they’ve taken a light touch on the skin, bringing you as close to the stock Android of the Pixel as possible. Overall, it’s a great flagship phone from a brand that has carved itself out a nice share at the top of the market.  

Best Budget: LG V20

Measuring 6.3 x 3.1 x .3 inches, the LG V20 is housed in a metal body made of the aluminum you’ll find in airplanes. That makes it MIL-STD-810G transit drop compliant, which means it can survive falls onto hard surfaces.

It has a 5.7-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel, plus perhaps its most stand-out feature: an always-on 2.1-inch, 160 x 1,040 secondary display. The secondary display is located in the top-right corner of the main display and provides quick access to time, notifications and any apps you choose to pin there. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, which allows for fast multitasking and gaming while running Android 7.0 Nougat. You’ll also get three cameras: a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, a secondary eight-megapixel rear-facing one that enables wide-angle shots and a five-megapixel front-facing one that also has a wide-angle mode.

Best for Productivity: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has trimmed the battery from 3,500mAh to 3,300mAh to leave more room in the phone's cavity, and reduce the chance of overheating. At the same time, Samsung has packed in a Snapdragon 835 processor and expandable storage options up to 2TB, making it one of the most powerful phones on the market.

The two biggest selling points of the 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 8 are its dual cameras and its stylus. With twin cameras on the back, it can take gorgeous portraits with depth effects that’ll make iPhone users jealous. And while not everyone loves a stylus, the S Pen has countless tricks up its sleeve that’ll make you more productive than ever before, letting you jot notes down on your lock screen and annotate photos, among other things. Despite the odd placement of its fingerprint scanner on the back, it’s a well-designed phone that will boost your efficiency.

Best Small Screen: iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is the perfect phone for everyone tired of the phablet fad. It harkens back to a bygone era (2011) when phones could fit in pockets and be operated easily one hand. Although Apple went all-in on the large screen for its flagship product, they have also cornered the market on the four-inch screen with the iPhone SE.

Design-wise, the SE looks similar to the 5S, with flat sides and a matte finish. The phone uses the same powerful A9 processor and 2 GB RAM that is housed in the iPhone 6s, which means you get the exact same powerful speed for hundreds of dollars less. You also get a bright and colorful 1136 x 640 resolution. The 12 megapixel camera is barely a downgrade from the premium, and it captures gorgeous 4K video. The 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD Camera is a pretty serious downgrade from other phones in the category, but it is adequate.

Best Camera: LG G6

In all honesty, the Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8 have pretty remarkable cameras. If you end up with one of those phones in hand, you’ll take impressive pictures. But if you’re on a tighter budget and don’t want to sacrifice a camera feature in your next phone, the LG G6 is a solid bet. It’s tall, slim and water-resistant (rated at IP68) and its 5.7-inch display takes up 80 percent of its face, meaning there’s very little wasted space. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 delivers fast performance and a 3,300mAh battery will provide long-lasting power, though unfortunately it isn’t removable like in previous versions.

On the back of the phone, the home button sits just below two cameras: a 13-megapixel shooter and a 120-degree wide-angle lens. You can easily switch between those two cameras as well as its five-megapixel front-facing camera that also has a wide-angle option. It comes with a great camera app called Square Camera that has some fun tools aimed specifically at Instagram power users.

Best New Release: OnePlus 6

For those looking for something outside the realm of Apple or Samsung, the OnePlus 6 is a worthy replacement. Featuring a Snapdragon 845 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and an Android 8.1 Oreo OS, the smartphone has swift processing speeds and no extraneous apps or images that will slow you down. The 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display allows for vibrant graphics, all the better when recording high-quality, slow-motion videos on the enhanced dual cameras — 16MP for the front-facing and 20MP for the rear. The OnePlus 6 tries to compete with its more expensive rivals by adding a notch but, perhaps luckily, has resisted eliminating the 3.5mm headphone port. 

While its lack of wireless charging leaves a little to be desired, the exclusion results in mid-range prices with the sleek, modern appearance of a more expensive iPhone. The glass and aluminum design feels sturdy, and new features include the ability to hide the bottom navigation bar or activate a battery saving setting specifically for games. 

Best Mid-Range Price: Asus ZenFone 5Z

The Asus ZenFone 5Z is a solid mid-range model with some interesting extra features that make it stand out. The 6.2-inch smartphone combines a Snapdragon 845 CPU with 6GB of RAM for snappy processing, along with minimized bevels and two five-magnet stereo speakers for immersive visuals and audio. But where the Asus ZenFone 5Z really differentiates itself is through its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI analyzes everything, from your charging habits (in order to maximize the 3300mAh battery’s life) to the ambient light and sound (to adjust color and ringer volume).

Along with an eye-catching design, the smartphone prioritizes recording memories: the dual-camera system features the flagship Sony IMX364 image sensor, which enables HDR shots at night and can capture videos in 4K UHD resolution. With both videos and photographs, the ZenFone 5Z has image stabilization systems to ensure the final result is sharp, steady, and crisp.


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