The best T-Mobile phones to buy in 2023 (Hand-picked guide)

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The best T-Mobile phones to buy
After acquiring Sprint, T-Mobile became a force to be reckoned with, gaining millions of subscribers and those all-important mid-band 5G frequencies. Team Magenta continues to be an important competitor to both Verizon and AT&T, especially when it comes to 5G deployment in the US.

But most users aren't 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.

Top 3 T-Mobile phone deals

Galaxy S24+ with T-Mobile and trade-in: save $600

Get the Galaxy S24+ with a subscription to T-Mobile via, and you can save up to $1,000 with a trade-in from participating carriers (this includes T-Mobile.) Alternatively, choose Samsung's trade-in option to save up to $600 on the S24+.
$399 99
$999 99
Buy at Samsung

Galaxy S23 is up to $535 off with T-Mobile and a trade-in

Alternatively, you can trade in a suitable phone and sign up to T-Mobile through to save up to $535 on the Galaxy S23. Extra savings are available via Samsung's Offer Programs.
$164 99
$699 99
Buy at Samsung

Save up to $1,050 on Z Flip 5 with T-Mobile at Samsung

Currently, you can get the Z Flip 5 with a subscription to T-Mobile through the official Samsung store at up to $1,050 off, including a $50 instant Samsung Credit with your selected carrier. As you might have guessed, the deal requires a trade-in.
$399 99
$999 99
Buy at Samsung

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But if you're coming from another carrier, then you also need to select a plan. We can help with that as well, just head over to our Best T-Mobile Plans article!

Best T-Mobile phones:

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.

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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 are what you should be looking at. If not, then Android phones offer a wider variety of brands and designs, so there's more to choose from.

Second, of course, is the budget. With monthly payments, all phones seem very 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 features you might need the most.

With that foundation in place, time to see which of these T-Mobile phones is the perfect match for you.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best phone of early 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Good

  • Battery life is great, big improvement from predecessor
  • New Snapdragon chip is the best one in years
  • Design is improved, feels more ergonomic
  • Screen is less curved and gets very dim (perfect for night time use)
  • Camera improvements are there, but not quite huge
  • Loudspeakers sound much better now
  • You get double the storage (256GB) at base model

The Bad

  • Base model still only has 8GB RAM
  • Charging speeds have not improved
  • Haptics are still not as good as rivals
  • Camera system hasn't improved as much as hoped for
  • Expensive if you buy at full price

The brand-new Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily among the best Android phones you could consider in early 2023. The latest Android powerhouse features Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which vastly improves the performance and overall camera capability of the top Galaxy flagship. With a super-versatile quad-camera setup, helmed by a 200MP main camera and boasting an excellent periscope lens, this one is the poster child for Android's hardware and software advancements. At least for the first half of 2023, this one will be the best phone to consider--and buy.

Although some may argue that the differences with the previous generation phone are rather small, these certainly do make a difference in everyday life. The chip performs much better and delivers an excellent battery life, both of which have been lacking on most previous Exynos-powered Galaxy flagships. In the meantime, the display is mostly the same, but now it comes with a super-low minimum brightness of just 0.8 nits, which makes this one extremely comfortable to use in low-light conditions, especially at night.

Our full Galaxy S23 Ultra review will probably paint a much better picture if you're trying to make a buying decision, but overall, this phone should be short-listed. Mind the high full price though, look for trade-in opportunities and other promotions that could shed hundreds off its original price tag.

Best compact Android phones

Samsung Galaxy S23+

Samsung Galaxy S23+

The Good

  • Superb performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Super-bright and vivid display
  • Improved camera image quality
  • Excellent selfie camera
  • Friendly and ergonomic design
  • Superb video stabilization

The Bad

  • Display isn't as accurate as previous Galaxy flagships
  • Lots of storage reserved by the system
  • Boring color options

Aside from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung also released the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 in early 2023. Aside from the much-improved performance thanks to the bespoke Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, we also got a redesign on both two new Galaxy phones that now follows the guidelines established by the Galaxy S22 Ultra and carried on with the Galaxy S23 Ultra: a lack of a camera island and slightly protruding lenses that help the two phones achieve a sleeker look.

With larger batteries and generally better battery endurance than previous Galaxy generations, the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 certainly improve on all key smartphone experience aspects. Aside from the better battery life, both eke out much better performance and slightly improved camera image quality, as well as boosting the user experience with a very decent One UI custom Android skin that's full of useful features and functionalities. 

Honestly, you can't really go wrong with either the Galaxy S23 Plus or the Galaxy S23 this year. Both represent Samsung and Android in the best way possible, giving us a taste of what's to come in the near future with the next crop of Galaxies.

On T-Mobile, you can actually get either phone for free with the new Go5G Plus plan when you open a new line, or free with trade in on the same Go5G Plus plan without opening a new line.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple's best iPhone

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The Good

  • Cool new titanium frame
  • Action Button opens up more possibilities
  • Speakers are great as always
  • A17 Pro chip is an absolute beast
  • USB Type C with USB 3 speeds!
  • Slightly improved, much welcomed camera image processing

The Bad

  • Color options are a bit limited
  • Action Button needs fleshing out — it only does one thing
  • Doesn't come with USB 3 cable in the box
  • 5x zoom camera doesn't feel like a huge benefit

Right now, the new iPhone 15 Pro Max has the most features, the most desirable design, and the best camera on any iPhone available in 2023. This is the first iPhone, with an Action Button that can be customized, a titanium body with curved edges to assist reduce the weight of the device, and a USB Type-C connector in favor of a Lightning port.

The primary new feature of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is its new tetraprism telephoto camera, which offers 5X optical zoom and improves the iPhone's long-zooming capabilities. Not at the same level With the main camera, three different camera FOVs are available.

The Apple A17 Pro chipset, the first 3nm processor on a mobile device, powers the iPhone 15 Pro Max and offers remarkable performance. It's especially capable in the graphics department, with a couple of AAA video games exclusively available for the device. 

In terms of storage, you can have the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. The latest iPhone can be yours in  Black Titanium, Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, and White Titanium. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Probably the best foldable phone you can buy

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Good

  • Improved hinge feels better
  • Fast and solid performance
  • Sharp, colorful screen with smooth refresh rate
  • Wide and detailed sound from the speakers
  • S Pen (separate purchase) is excellent

The Bad

  • Battery life is ok at best
  • External screen can be too narrow for comfortable typing
  • The crease is shallower, but still very much present

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the top foldable Samsung phone of 2023. In essence, it's an incremental improvement over the Galaxy Z Fold 4. With an enhanced hinge design, which eliminates the wedge gap (but still makes sure that a display crease is there to mar the experience. 

Technical specs include a 6.2-inch cover display that, despite its smaller size, is surprisingly useable, and a 7.6-inch inner display that folds inwards. The phone has 12GB of RAM, which should be plenty for even the most avid multitaskers, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, some 256GB of native storage, but with 512GB and 1TB storage options.

Camera-wise, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a pretty much similar camera setup as the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, which are both quite adept but not as spectacular as the Galaxy S23 Ultra

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The best stock Android phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The Good

  • Great deal at $900
  • Speedy performance, clean software
  • Powerful zoom camera
  • Guaranteed day 1 software updates

The Bad

  • Portrait Mode is bad
  • Tensor G2 is not as powerful as rivals
  • Slow-ish charging

The most recent Google flagship phone, the Pixel 7 Pro, was recently released to take on the mantle from the Pixel 6 Pro, and hopefully show us that Google can indeed come up with an issue-free device. The new phone has few but important key differences when compared with the previous generation. For one, it has a slightly refreshed design with a more flashy presentation, a longer telephoto lens that now maxes at 5X rather than 4X, a new chip, the Tensor G2, and a trove of software goodies that aim to make users' digital lives easier with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

Those are powered by the Tensor G2 chip, the second generation of Google's custom chip that was developed in concert with Samsung. Instead of trying to deliver outstanding performance, the Tensor is a more humble take on a modern phone chipset, with a focus on ML and AI. 

The camera, aside from delivering a longer telephoto zoom, now also has a Super Res Zoom of up to 30X, as well as a Macro Focus feature that lets you get close and personal with your subject. Of course, everything is running super smoothly on the 120Hz display with the stock Android interface.

Google Pixel 7a

The affordable Pixel experience

Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7a

The Good

  • Good value for money
  • Stock Android with tons of AI/ML-powered software features
  • Display finally has a 90Hz refresh rate
  • Compact and user-friendly size
  • Face Unlock on board
  • Wireless charging
  • Capable camera with lots of features

The Bad

  • More expensive than its predecessor
  • Some slight build quality issues
  • Only a single 128GB storage option
  • Uninspiring digital zoom
  • Charges slowly

The Google Pixel 7a is the most affordable new Pixel phone available in 2023, and it embodies everything that has made the Pixel lineup so exciting. Equipped with the flagship-grade Tensor G2 chipset, the Pixel 7a is also outfitted with a 6.1-inch 90Hz display, as well as a large battery that lasts long.

Overall, the phone is quire compact and easy to handle. Paired with its compact size and powerful internals, the Pixel 7a is among the best compact Android phones you can consider these days. 

Then comes the camera, which is every bit as capable as the one gracing the regular Google Pixel 7. Sure, you miss on some extra features, but the core photography experience, paired up with the signature excellent image quality of Pixel phones, is very much present on the Pixel 7a

Actually, that's what our Pixel 7a review concluded: Google's latest affordable $499 phone is recommended to anyone willing to dip their toes into stock Android. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The most complete Android flagship

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Good

  • S Pen in a flagship, great for creatives
  • Industry-leading screen quality
  • Faster charging than before
  • 10X zoom camera is improved significantly
  • Video recording gets smoother stabilization
  • 4 years of major software updates!

The Bad

  • Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
  • You get less RAM than last year
  • No microSD card slot, no headphone jack
  • Loudspeaker quality could be better
  • Jittery swiping, microstutter with gesture nav in One UI

It feels as if we've just mentioned the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in a positive light during the previous paragraph, and voila, we're here!

Indeed, this Android super-star seemingly has it all: a 4-camera system with a long-range 10X periscope zoom lens (which allows mind-boggling zoom levels of up to 100X), a built-in S Pen that's available right out of the bat, the latest and most powerful Android processor as well as an Exynos variant, the newest generation Samsung AMOLED display with super-smooth refresh rate, exceptional color rendition, and great maximum brightness... 

Everything it takes for a blockbuster flagship. Oh, and then add a few bonus features on top like record-breaking screen brightness, a more granular refresh rate that varies between 1 and 120Hz, and a few fancy new colors. Of course, all of that comes at a premium $1,200 price, but not much higher than last year's model, despite the many new features.

Indeed, if we have to recommend a very capable flagship phone with excellent value in 2023, it's, really, really hard to justify getting anything else than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with the important message that the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra is just around the bend with lots of saucy improvements coming. Still, it could be worth getting a Galaxy S22 Ultra, especially if you encounter it at a killer price this Black Friday

Apple iPhone 14 / 14 Plus

The core iPhone experience

Apple iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14

The Good

  • Improved low-light photos, color balance, and dynamic range
  • Faster graphics subsystem and connectivity options
  • Bright display
  • Good battery life
  • Much cheaper to repair

The Bad

  • Too wide of a specs and performance gap with the iPhone 14 Pro
  • Display calibration is lacking
  • The new penta-core GPU is a battery hog
  • Slow charging

Even though not much has changed in comparison with the iPhone 13 (we dare you to find more than five visual differences between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14), there are some new features this year. For example, for the first time, Apple comes up with a large but affordable iPhone, the iPhone 14 Plus, which is built upon the iPhone 14 with a larger screen and better battery life. 

Aside from that, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus can rely on the same Apple A15 chipset, the same old 12MP dual-camera system that's however now powered by the Photonic Engine algorithm for image processing, which uses a combination of software, hardware, and machine-learning know-how to make sure your photos always turn good, especially in low-light. Both phones still use the same ol' notched 60Hz OLED displays, which aren't as flashy as the 120Hz super-bright screens on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max but are still excellent nonetheless. 

While the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus truly lack a semblance of head-turning features, like an Always On display or a Dynamic Island punch-hole, they are no-frills phones that will get the job done and let you dive into the core iOS experience. 

T-Mobile prepaid phones

Unfortunately, T-Mobile doesn't have a particularly exciting selection of prepaid phones. Currently, when you hop on one of Team Magenta's prepaid plans, you can pick between the Galaxy A03 and the Moto G Pure, which aren't making our hearts skip a beat. Still, T-Mobile's prepaid plans are very competitive, on par with the plans that Verizon and AT&T have to offer. 

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Can I get a free phone from T-Mobile?

Just like Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile usually lets you get a free phone, sort of. While nothing is truly free, an eligible device and a new line with T-Mobile could get you a pretty serious discount on a certain phone, and even write off nearly 100% of the price tag. This could essentially get you a "free" phone, but you will have to pay for that one, one way or another. 

Are phones on T-Mobile sold unlocked?

Unless stated otherwise, you should presume that all phones sold on T-Mobile are locked. The criteria for unlocking a device stand as follows: you need to have had your postpaid phone active on the T-Mobile cellular network for at least 40 days, paid in full, or without any pending balance payments to T-Mobile. Of course, T-Mobile can request proof of purchase when requesting the device unlock. 

If your device is prepaid, then you need to have had it active on the T-Mobile network for at least 365 days. If you wish to unlock it sooner, you can do that 14 days after purchase at the earliest, with at least $100 in refills for each line on the account during that period. What's more, you can't unlock more than two phones per line every 12 months, so have that in mind as well. 

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