The 9 Best T-Mobile Phones

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

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
Best Overall (Apple):
Apple iPhone 12 Pro at Apple
"The iPhone 12 Pro offers unbeatable camera performance, an attractive design, and a huge screen."
Best Overall (Android):
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra at Best Buy
"The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a gorgeous display, excellent cameras, and fast 5G speeds."
"The Pixel 4a 5G hits a sweet spot in price and performance, while still offering 5G connectivity"
"Uses the same powerful A9 processor and 2 GB RAM that is housed in the iPhone 6S."
"For a big and powerful phone that takes advantage of dual screen capabilities, the V60 ThinQ has a lot going for it."
"The stylish OnePlus 8 Pro manages to fit a lot of power into a sleek package without feeling too big."
"The Galaxy S20 FE is a 5G phone that offers incredible value for most consumers."
"The improved Z Fold2 adopts a similar design to the older Fold with some design tweaks, improved specs, and speedy 5G connectivity."
Best Mid-Range:
OnePlus 8 at Amazon
"For $200 less, the OnePlus 8 retains most of the capabilities of the 8 Pro, while still offering 5G."

The best T-Mobile phones cover a wide variety of brands and can hit a slew of different price points to fit the needs of any budget. T-Mobile has phones from every major manufacturer both online and at its brick-and-mortar stores. Devices include Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, OnePlus, and more. These include top-tier flagship phones with gorgeous high refresh panels, Quad HD screens, multiple cameras, and powerful processors. There are also more affordable mid-range and budget options, some of which support 5G connectivity.

For a more general overview of of your phone options, take a look at our roundup of the best smartphones to cover all your bases across many price ranges. T-Mobile has a fairly open network, so just about any unlocked phone should work on it.

Best Overall (Apple): Apple iPhone 12 Pro

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Family
What We Like
  • Alluring new design

  • Huge, dazzling screen

  • Excellent, versatile cameras

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Impressive 5G speeds

  • Class-leading power

What We Don't Like
  • Only 60Hz screen

  • No power brick

  • No external storage

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro is one of the best iPhones you can get with unbeatable specs, camera, and battery life. The phone has a vibrant 6.7-inch OLED panel with great color reproduction, contrast, and black levels. The resolution is 2778x1284, working out to a crisp 458ppi. It also hits an incredibly bright 800 nits for outdoor visibility. Under the hood, the phone has the powerful A14 Bionic processor that excels at benchmark tests, 3D gaming, and multitasking. You won't have to worry about any slowdowns or lag with this device. 5G connectivity is also supported, with our reviewer recording 3.3Gbps downlink, one of the best speeds we've ever measured.

The iPhone 12 features a triple camera setup with a 12MP telephoto zoom sensor, a depth-mapping LiDAR sensor, and a 12MP primary sensor. The phone is great at snapping quick, well-focused shots. It also does great for low-light and nighttime portrait shots with background bokeh effects. Battery life is particularly impressive with a 3,687mAh cell that can last all day, and it also supports fast charging and wireless charging.

"With 63 percent better single-core and 28 percent better multi-core performance than even the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, a more expensive, top-of-the-line Android phone, Apple’s mobile speed advantage is more pronounced than ever."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Overall (Android): Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
What We Like
  • Huge, amazing screen

  • Dazzling cameras

  • Speedy performance

  • Zippy 5G speeds

  • Long-lasting battery

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • No microSD slot

  • Charge slower than S20 Ultra

  • No charger included

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung's latest and greatest flagship phone. It has a crisp 6.8-inch Quad HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200x1440. That works out to a crisp 515ppi. The panel has rich, saturated colors and a high-refresh 120Hz display, allowing for smoother menu animations, transitions, and web browsing. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor and comes with 12GB RAM in the base model, but also ha a 16GB RAM model with 512GB storage. The S21 Ultra is fast and responsive, able to multitask easily, does well in benchmark tests, and can handle 3D games with ease. 5G connectivity is supported, and our reviewer measured a top downlink speed of 2.22Gbps on the device, an incredibly high result that beats out the nationwide average.

Camera and video quality is another strong point. The phone has a versatile camera array with a 1080MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 10MP telephoto for 3x optical zoom, and another telephoto for 10x optical zoom. Combined, the phone snaps incredible details and offers great zoom without loss of clarity. Battery life is excellent with a 5,000mAh capacity that can last all day without a problem. Fast charging and wireless charging are also supported.

“There are a lot of great smartphone screens out there today, but this one is the best of the best."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best 5G: Google Pixel 4a 5G

Pixel 4a 5G
What We Like
  • Stellar cameras

  • Smooth Android OS

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Great, big screen

  • 5G support

What We Don't Like
  • Generic looking design

  • No water resistance

  • Lacks mmWave 5G

The Pixel 4a 5G is a more affordable version of the Pixel 5. Despite some compromises, it offers a great price to performance ratio and is one of the most affordable phones you can buy with 5G connectivity. The phone has a sizable 6.2-inch OLED screen. It's 1080p and has a crisp 413ppi, making it better than the Pixel 3a, though it's missing the faster 90Hz refresh rate of the Pixel 5. That said, it's still a good screen with crisp, accurate colors. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 765G processor. It's not a flagship chipset, but combined with Google clean and optimized Android software performance is consistently smooth. The phone handles benchmark testing, multitasking, and gaming well. Unlike other phones in this price range, the Pixel 4a 5G also has the advantage of offering 5G connectivity.

Camera quality is a place the phone punches above its weight. It has a dual-camera system that's the same as the one on the Pixel 5. Ith ahs a 12MP main sensor that's a reliable snapper and a 16Mp ultrawide for scenic shots. It does particularly well at low-light and night shooting due to the optimization of Google's post-processing. It's also capable of recording 4K video at 60fps. The 3,885Mah battery also is plenty to last all day, though you don't get wireless charging.

"There’s a lot to love about the Pixel 4a 5G, which nails most of the fundamentals while delivering 5G connectivity at a reasonable price."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Budget: Apple iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone SE
What We Like
  • Affordable price

  • Compact size

  • Solid overall performance

  • Good camera

What We Don't Like
  • Specs starting to show their age

  • Older design language

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 LG: LG V60 ThinQ 5G

LG - V60 ThinQ 5G Enabled
What We Like
  • Versatile dual screen design

  • Stong performance

  • Good camera quality

  • Long-lasting battery

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky due to dual screens

  • Some features seem superfluous

LG hasn't been as prominent a name in the phone market as it used to be, but that's not because of lack of innovation. The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is a two-screen phone that comes packed with unique high-end features you won't find on any other device. The V60 takes the design of the LG G8X except makes it even bigger and a bit more rugged-looking. What that leaves you with is a phone with a 6.8-inch OLED display that's edge-to-edge and bounded by metal along the sides. The panel is 1080p rather than the 1440p you'll see on higher-end Samsung phones.

The second screen isn't built directly into the phone, rather you need to snap on the Dual Screen case which adds a second thin OLED screen that closes over the main screen. This adds more room to run apps side-by-side, show additional content, and use for watching videos or taking notes. You can even map controls from a game onto the bottom screen and play games on the top. Other features are solid.

You get a Snapdragon 865p processor, an X55 5G modem, and 8GB of RAM allowing for solid multitasking and gaming. There's also a 5,000mAh battery which provided 15 hours of mixed-use during testing. Camera quality is great, with a 64MP main sensor, 13MP ultra-wide camera, and a Time of Flight camera for 3D photos.

What We Like
  • Attractive design

  • High refresh screen

  • Strong camera quality

  • Good-looking macro photos

  • Long-lasting battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Storage can't be expanded

  • Color filter camera doesn't impress

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a stylish 5G phone that hits a nice combination of providing a big screen without feeling too big. OnePlus has become increasingly well-known for its high-quality phones that can match Samsungs and iPhones. The One Plus 8 Pro has an attractive brushed glass back and is available in several eye-catching colors. It has a sharp edge-to-edge 3168x1440 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, putting it on par with the S20 and other Samsung phones. Our reviewer tested network performance and found it to be solid, though spotty coverage may be an issue for some carriers.

Under the hood, you have a Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, but there are no expandable memory options. It largely matches the S20 in performance and does great at gaming. Camera quality is solid, with a 48MP main camera, a 48MP ultra-wide camera for 120-degree shots, and an 8MP camera for 3X optical zoom and 30X hybrid zoom.

Best Value: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

S20 FE apps
What We Like
  • Good price to performance ratio

  • Attractive modern design

  • Solid specs

  • Good camera performance

What We Don't Like
  • Screen resolution could be higher

Samsung appears on this list quite frequently and for good reason. Of the major manufacturers, they have one of the largest numbers of 5G phones on the market. The Galaxy S20 FE is their latest one, taking aim at the mid-range segment of the 5G phone market. In many regards, this is a Galaxy S20 with some compromises to bring you a lower price.

It boasts a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display that's edge-to-edge, making it similar in appearance to the S20, it's actually a tiny bit bigger. However, screen resolution isn't as high at 2400x1080 and the pixel density is 407ppi, which is still very crisp, but not on the same level as the 563ppi the S20 packs in. There are also some missing features like HDR10+ for improved color saturation and dynamic range, but the screen is a high refresh 120Hz panel so you still get smooth usage.

Under the hood, you have a Snapdragon 865 processor which is nearly top-tier and just shy of the Snapdragon 865+ most of the highest-end phones have. Aside from that, you're looking at 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, or 8GB RAM and 256GB storage options, giving you plenty of power for multitasking and games. Camera performance is also looking promising, with a 12MP main camera, 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. It can record in both 4K and 1080p. Last, but not least, you get all the features you'd expect like an in-display fingerprint, fast charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, and a sizable 4,500mAh battery.

"With the same nearly-top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor found in the other Galaxy S20 models, you’ll have no shortage of power on hand in the S20 FE 5G."Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Folding: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
What We Like
  • Unique folding design

  • High resolution screen with high refresh rate

  • Powerful specs

  • Strong camera capabilities

What We Don't Like
  • Screen can be fragile

  • Very pricey

The Galaxy Z Fold2 is one of the best folding phones on the market. It takes the best part of Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Z Flip, to create the ultimate 5G folding phone. The Fold2 has a Samsung's famous foldable dynamic AMOLED screen that snaps open at a hinge. The panel gives you a total screen size of 7.6 inches (2208x1768) when fully unfolded, essentially giving you a tablet in the form-factor of a smartphone. We've yet to put the phone to the test, but because the screen is "ultra-thin glass", it'll likely pick up scratches and still suffer from a crease over long term use, but it's hard to know for sure without testing.

The screen doesn't have compromises in other regards, though. It supports HDR10+ for great multimedia content, has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, and when folded close, there's a cover display that's 6.23-inches, letting you see notifications, time, date, and use various apps.

When it comes to hardware, the Z Fold2 matches other top-tier Samsung phones like the Note20 Ultra and S20 Ultra. You get a Snapdragon 865+ processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB and 512GB storage options, and all the other features you'd expect like dual-band Wi-Fi, USB-C charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, and fast charging.

Camera performance looks solid on paper, with three 12MP sensors consisting of a wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide sensors, dual 10Mp front sensors, and the ability to record in 4K. Like other top flagships in Samsung's lineup, there's a 5G modem for fast uplink and downlink.

Best Mid-Range: OnePlus 8

What We Like
  • Good mid-range price

  • Solid specs

  • Big battery

What We Don't Like
  • 1080p screen rather than Quad HD

  • Processor could be stronger

The OnePlus 8 is the pared-down, less costly version of the OnePlus 8 Pro. The differences come through more in hardware than design because, on their face, the two devices look quite similar. With the OnePlus 8, you get a slightly smaller and lower resolution screen, consisting of a 6.5-inch AMOLED display and a resolution of 2500x1080, compared to the 3168x1440 panel on the Pro. The refresh rate is also lower with a 90Hz screen rather than the faster and smoother 120Hz display on the Pro.

But in other regards, the two phones are similar in terms of hardware and capabilities. The OnePlus 8 has a Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB and 12GB of RAM options, and a sizable 4,300mAh battery. When it comes to the camera though, it's missing one of the four rear sensors. It has a 48MP main sensor, 2MP macro sensor, and 16MP ultra-wide, which is lower resolution than the one on the Pro, and it also omits the telephoto lens and color filter. Finally, IP68 waterproofing isn't present.

However, if you can live with these omissions, the OnePlus 8 costs $200 less than the OnePlus 8 Pro, giving you a fairly powerful 5G phone at a mid-range price that's just missing some frills.

Final Verdict

If you're an Apple user, the iPhone 12 Pro is one of the best T-Mobile phones you can get. It has a gorgeous OLED screen, a great camera array, and a long-lasting battery. The new design is also attractive and stylish. For Android users, we're partial to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It's the latest and greatest flagship with a powerful processor, loads of RAM, and a gorgeous high-refresh Quad HD screen. It also boasts a versatile camera setup and an all-day battery.

About Our Trusted Experts

Andrew Hayward has been covering consumer electronics and the tech industry since 2006. He's covered a variety of smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, video games, and more. He's previously been published in TechRadar, Stuff, Polygon, and Macworld.

Ajay Kumar is a Tech Editor at Lifewire with nearly a decade of experience in the industry. He's reviewed hundreds of phones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices. He's previously been published in PCMag and Newsweek.

What to Look for in a T-Mobile Phone

Platform - Your device’s platform is going to dictate your entire experience with it. Two significant choices are Apple’ iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. The best advice is to pick the platform you are most familiar and comfortable with utilizing; they both offer pros and cons, which you can learn a bit more about by visiting the manufacturer's website.

Camera - Looking to snap photographs of the kids or perhaps of your next bar-hopping adventure? One of our devices’ most used pieces of hardware is the camera, so be sure to select one that can capture the images you want. In general, the majority of Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphone cameras should make people quite happy.

Budget - Despite what marketing says, you don’t need to drop $1,000 on a phone to have something that is great. Options from companies such as LG, OnePlus, ASUS, and Nokia can come in at low prices with features to impress.

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