Best AT&T phones to buy right now (2018)

Best AT&T phones to buy right now (2018)
Did you know that after receiving his patent for the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell tried selling it for $100,000? In what is regarded as one of the biggest mistakes in business history, the company he offered it to turned down the proposal, dismissing the invention as a toy without any real use. Mr Bell eventually established his own company – American Telephone & Telegraph – which later became AT&T Corporation.

Today, AT&T provides over 130 million people in the US with wireless service, and its cellular network covers more than 99% of the US population. It also has over 30 phones for you to pick from, which could make choosing the best AT&T phone for you rather difficult. That's why we thought we'd put together this guide through the carrier's smartphone catalog. Let's explore the best phones AT&T has to offer!

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Best smartphones overall: Apple iPhone XS and XS Max


Pros

  • Premium, modern design
  • Takes excellent photos and video
  • Beautiful display
  • Has the fastest chip in a phone right now
  • Great speakers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Big and heavy (iPhone XS Max)
  • No fast charger in the box
  • No audio jack and no 3.5mm adapter in the box


Owning an iPhone XS or XS Max is kind of like holding the future in your hands. They adopt the modern, all-screen design from the iPhone X and add a smarter dual camera at the back, as well as a faster, more efficient chip under the hood. Throw that gorgeous OLED display and loud stereo speakers into the mix and you get a highly capable pocket-sized entertainment device.

There's just one small problem: the iPhone XS and XS Max cost a small fortune to own, starting at one grand – and you don't even get a fast charger in the box. Thankfully, AT&T's installment plans make the price a lot more bearable.



Samsung Galaxy Note 9



Pros

  • Beautiful display
  • Great speakers
  • Versatile dual cameras at the back
  • Fast charger in the box
  • Nice extras like S Pen and DeX support

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Big and heavy

Samsung's most advanced smartphone yet, the Galaxy Note 9, stands out with a large, beautiful screen (without a notch) and a very capable dual camera at the back. However, what makes it truly special is the set of extras its maker throws in, including the S Pen for sketching and taking notes and DeX support which turns the phone into a portable productivity machine. All in all, the Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best and most powerful Android phones you can get right now... as long as you don't mind its high price.



Best value-for-money phones: Samsung Galaxy S9


Pros

  • Relatively compact
  • Great-looking display
  • Very good image quality
  • Fast charger in the box

Cons

  • No fancy dual camera
  • Battery life could be better


The Samsung Galaxy S9 isn't as hot as it was when it launched, but it is still an option worth considering – especially if the iPhone XS or the Galaxy Note 9 are beyond your budget. It looks great, it takes pretty photos, and it can even be considered compact given the size of the average 2018 smartphone. Just bear in mind that the S9 doesn't have the same great battery life and the 2x zoom telephoto camera that the Galaxy S9+ and the Note 9 offer. 



iPhone XR


Pros

  • Many colors to pick from
  • Excellent battery life
  • Capable cameras
  • Great speakers
  • Fast and responsive

Cons

  • Screen resolution could be higher
  • Bundled charger is slow
  • No audio jack and no 3.5mm adapter in the box


If you want a last-generation iPhone without breaking the $1000 barrier, the iPhone XR could be a wise choice. It comes with some of the latest and greatest iPhone features, including the trendy all-screen design and the same Smart HDR feature you'd find on the iPhone XS. On top of that, the XR has excellent battery life. 

But of course, Apple had to cut a few corners to bring the price of the XR down. That's why you get an LCD display with it instead of OLED and just a single camera at the back that can't do 2x optical zoom – features reserved for the pricier iPhone XS and XS Max. The XR, on the other hand, comes in a much broader palette of colors. 



Best compact phone: iPhone 8



Pros

  • Smaller than most other phones
  • Bright and good-looking screen
  • Good speakers

Cons

  • Screen resolution could be better
  • No fancy camera features like Telephoto lens, Animoji or Portrait mode
  • No fast charger in the box


The iPhone 8 is far from the most advanced iPhone yet. It doesn't have a dual camera, it doesn't have Face ID, it can't take portrait photos, and it can't create your Animoji or Memoji. However, it is one of the most compact phones still on sale, and even in 2018, there are still people who want a phone that fits in any pocket. And at a full price of $600, it isn't overly expensive either. If a truly compact phone is what you need and you don't insist on it having the latest specs, the iPhone 8 should be on your shortlist.



Best rugged phone: Samsung Galaxy S8 Active



Pros

  • Built tough
  • Great battery life
  • Good display quality
  • Takes great photos

Cons

  • Not particularly pretty
  • Bulkier than similar phones
  • Expensive for a phone that's almost 2 years old

Today's high-end phones are very powerful, but also very fragile. That's why phones like the Galaxy S8 Active exist, made for folks who value practicality over looks. This tough handset is built to withstand water ingress and serious drops, yet packs the same fast processor that made last year's Galaxy S8 tick. It also adopts its capable camera and beautiful display, while throwing in an extra-large battery pack to sweeten the deal. We only with that AT&T didn't charge so much for a phone that's nearly 2 years old now.

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6 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7416; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

iPhone 8 is so overpriced for such a low spec device. The lowest resolution and smallest display for $700. Only one camera. No wonder why Apple is coming out with a larger display for this iPhone 8 replacement. Only a die hard sucker would buy an iPhone 8 these days.

2. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I have had ATT for years but, I will never buy my phones at ATT. Worst prices out there on any phone. We always buy at Best Buy.

3. Elvis358

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2018

I'm laughing about Lg V30 cons. Like really? Who actually wrote that? It's silly!!!

4. Anchor

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 16, 2017

I think thr best phone to have now would be the Huawei p20 pro. Samsung did not rouse my interest at all this year. This would also be a good time for LG to make a move. Agood move

5. someguy2261

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 12, 2016

Best phones to buy from ATT is none, stay away from them go Tmobile much better deals.

6. boriqua2000

Posts: 258; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

You forgot the ASUS ROG phone

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