The best phones you can buy on Cricket Wireless in 2023
People usually choose a smaller carrier, or MVNO like Cricket Wireless, to save money. The companies know their customers and that's why their phones largely consist of affordable and super-budget devices. That doesn't mean they don't have something to offer on the higher end, however.
Pairing a $1,000 phone with a budget plan like the ones Cricket tends to offer doesn't make much sense, so we're straying away from the best possible phones and suggesting something more reasonable instead.
Cricket Wireless is using AT&T's network and if you're considering it as an option for your next contract, then this article will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Without further ado, it's time for the best Cricket phones you can buy right now!
Best Cricket Wireless cell phones, a summarized list:
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
The most advanced iPhone
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is without a doubt the most complete new iPhone. With a 120Hz screen refresh rate, Always On display functionality, and a Dynamic Island punch hole, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's latest and greatest. It's also powered by the Apple A16 Bionic chipset, which was reserved for the true iPhone flagships this year.
The camera is another key improvement. Apple introduced a new 48MP camera system that will definitely stick for a few years and could score tons of potential updates down the line, with improved picture quality and new features likely planned for future iPhones.
And yet, it's current iteration on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is good enough, with tons of detail and exceptional sharpness in the dedicated 48MP RAW mode, but even the regular camera mode takes excellent pictures. There's also a 4K@30fps Cinematic Video mode, which takes superb videos with a bokeh background.
Admittedly, the iPhone 13 Pro Max could be a better value, but if you truly want the best, you should go with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which goes for $1100 for the 128GB version on Cricket Wireless.
Apple iPhone 13
Forget the iPhone 14, probably the best value modern iPhone
Although it's not the newest iPhone up for sale, the iPhone 13 is actually not much different from the newer iPhone 14. Heck, you can even make the case that there's little to no difference between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14. Both have essentially the same general hardware, and aside from a few notable differences like Crash Detection, there's little to no reason to go for the newer iPhone 14. Instead, you should definitely go with the older but still perfectly capable iPhone 13, or even downsize to the iPhone 13 mini, the last of its kind.
With the iPhone 13, you get to experience the core iPhone experience without much hassle. Sure, it's missing some essential nice-to-haves like a smooth ProMotion display, a telephoto lens, or a slightly more premium design, but chances are you might not even miss those, as the rest of the package is excellent. The iPhone 13 has a very capable chipset, excellent battery life, and all the camera you may need.
Apple iPhone 11
Insane value, the no-frills iPhone experience
Despite that's it a bit older, the iPhone 11 is still offering insane value for the price you could land it on Cricket Wireless. Yes, it comes with the older iPhone design and the somewhat aged LCD screen (Apple thankfully switched to OLED with the iPhone 12 onwards), but as an upside, the iPhone 11 comes with excellent performance and battery endurance. There's also the well-known dual-camera setup that's still being used in Apple's latest affordable iPhones, albeit with tons of software improvements to make it take better photos.
The iPhone 11 comes with the Apple A13 chipset, a powerhouse of its time that's still a perfectly adequate chipset to this day. Well, the newer iPhones have much better performance, all things considered, but you are mostly unlikely to notice that much of a significant difference in your regular day-to-day usage of this 2019 iPhone.
It's also the last iPhone to utilize the ergonomic non-chamfered design that was kickstarted by the iPhone 16 back in 2014, and while Apple's new iPhones are a better feast for the eyes, you simply can't beat the ergonomics of the slightly curved chassis that sadly died away with the iPhone 11.
Finally, there's the price. At the time of writing, the iPhone 11 goes for $399.99 on Cricket, which is a very, very good price for a no-frills iPhone that will definitely get the job done.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
Best Samsung phone on Cricket Wireless
Despite the delays, the Galaxy S21 FE has emerged as a fascinating phone whose presence has been tainted solely by its near competitors, particularly those from Samsung—the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus. The Galaxy S21 FE, which runs on the Snapdragon 888 processor and boasts a 3X optical telephoto camera, is a fantastic alternative for individuals who aren't interested in the Galaxy S22-series.
Still, admittedly, the Galaxy S21 FE could be becoming a little too long in the tooth already, but it's the latest and greatest Samsung phone to be sold on Cricket Wireless. You can score this Samsung phone for $299.99, an exceptional value.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
The mid-range Samsung experience
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is Samsung's latest upper mid-range phone that definitely gives off the newer Galaxy S23 flagship a run for its money. The phone has a 6.42" AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, a triple camera setup (50MP wide-angle + 12MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro), a 32MP selfie camera, 5000mAh battery with quick 25W wired charging, and 128GB of native storage with a microSD card on board. Powered by a 5nm Exynos 1380 chip with 6GB of RAM, the phone is an able-bodied performer.
On Cricket Wireless, the Galaxy A54 5G is currently available for $409.99. That's a good price for what you get, but you should probably wait for a discount as the Galaxy A54 is often available at lower prices. At the time of writing, however, Cricket had no good deals on the handset.
Are Cricket phones sold unlocked?
No, Cricket Wireless sells unlocked devices. To unlock a Cricket Wireless phone, you need to have had it active on the Cricket network for at least six months and to have never reported as lost or stolen or associated with a fraudulent account.
Does Cricket offer free phone upgrades?
No, all Cricket Wireless phone upgrades cost $25. Also, Cricket will only upgrade your device if you meet the following requirements: you must have an existing line with Cricket, a monthly plan on the carrier that costs at least $30 per month, the upgrade phone must be new and purchased from a Cricket store or online, and to not have upgraded in the past 180 days.