Best T-Mobile phones to buy right now

Best T-Mobile phones to buy right now
What does the T in T-Mobile stand for – have you ever wondered? Terrific? Tantalizing? Or could it have something to do with Mr. T? Nope! The letter simply comes from the German word Telekom, as T-Mobile got its branding from Deutsche Telekom, the German telecommunications company it is owned by.

Yes, we know: there was nothing thrilling about that random bit of trivia. But the phones that T-Mobile has to offer – now those are worth being excited about! And there are many to choose from. So without further ado, let us go over the best T-Mobile phones right now.

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Best smartphones overall: Apple iPhone XS and XS Max


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


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

As long as you don't mind spending over a grand on a phone, the iPhone XS or the iPhone XS Max would be a great choice. And for a number of reasons: the bright and clear display, the highly capable cameras, the rich selection of quality apps, the loud stereo speakers, to name a few.

Picking one of the two models is entirely a matter of preference. The iPhone XS is more compact, while the XS Max offers better battery life and a much larger display.

Just keep in mind that to enjoy the iPhones' fast-charging capabilities, you'll need to purchase an additional cable and more powerful adapter. The 3.5mm audio dongle is also sold separately.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9


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


  • Expensive
  • Big and heavy

Or if you're more of an Android person and consider yourself a power user, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the ultimate Android phone you can get on T-Mobile right now. It doesn't just come with a gorgeous screen without a notch and a very capable camera. It also offers extras like Samsung's S Pen digital stylus for sketching and note-taking and support for DeX Mode which turns your phone into a portable workstation. 

Best value-for-money phones: LG G7


  • The wide-angle secondary camera is neat
  • Large and bright display
  • Loud speaker
  • Fast charging out of the box


  • AI camera features are mostly gimmicky
  • Battery life could be better

The LG G7 would be a great choice for buyers on a tighter budget. In fact, it is one of the very few phones that will put a fast Snapdragon 845 chip in your hands for only $500. And it comes with lots of premium niceties and conveniences, including wireless charging, audio jack, IP68 water resistance, and storage expansion.

Alas, the G7 has its downsides. One is that the cameras, while pretty good, aren't as good as those on the latest iPhones and Galaxy flagship phones. But the wide-angle camera at the back is really nice having, allowing you to capture more in the frame without having to step back. Just don't expect the G7's AI features to magically make your shots look any better.

  • LG G7 on T-Mobile (Price: $0.00 today + $20.84/month for 24 months; $500.00 full retail price)

OnePlus 6T


  • Large, colorful display
  • Superfast charging
  • Great battery life
  • Powerful and with lots of memory
  • Fast, clean, and responsive UI


  • Lacks extras like water resistance and wireless charging
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner looks futuristic but is less reliable than a traditional one
  • The secondary camera can't do optical zoom or wide-angle camera (while those on other phones can) 

The OnePlus 6T isn't the young company's first smartphone. However, it is the first to be officially sold through a US carrier. This phone stands out with the speed and smoothness of its operation, achieved not only by utilizing the fast Snapdragon 845 chip, but also by having it run a lightweight, clutter-free Android skin. Battery life and charging speeds are also impressive. 

But the OnePlus 6T has its shortcomings as well. For example, it is among the few high-end phones without an IP rating, so it isn't resistant to water or dust. The cameras may be very good, but can't match the latest iPhones or Pixel phones with their image quality. And the in-screen fingerprint scanner didn't prove reliable in our testing. 

iPhone XR


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


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

The iPhone XR is not exactly cheap, but it is the cheapest last-gen iPhone you can have today. It is designed to draw attention with its lovely color options, including blue, yellow, red, and coral. But don't let the jolly hues fool you. The iPhone XR has just as much processing power as the iPhone XS and XS Max. It also excels when it comes to battery life. 

Of course, Apple had to make compromises to bring the iPhone XR to its current price point. For starters, there's only one camera at the back, so there's no optical zoom for convenience, and Portrait shots are produced solely by software algorithms, as there's no secondary cam to gather depth information. Also, the screen is of the LCD variety instead of OLED and doesn't have as many pixels as those on the XS and XS Max. Still, the iPhone XR should be definitely on your radar if you want an iPhone that doesn't exceed the $1000 threshold. 

Best compact phone: iPhone 8


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


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

Because size matters. Sure, large smartphones are cool and all, but there are still people who prefer something a bit more manageable, something that they don't have to take out of their pocket so that they can tie their shoes. All in all, the iPhone 8 is one of the best compact phones around. 

Of course, being over a year old means that the iPhone 8 is far from the fanciest iPhone. Its design is clearly dated by now, the screen resolution could be higher, and the camera can't do any fancy tricks like Animoji, Portrait mode or Telephoto zoom. But on the other hand, the iPhone 8 runs the latest version of iOS and still has plenty of processing power to meet the needs of most users.

Best rugged phone: Samsung Galaxy S8 Active


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


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

For those who need something a bit tougher, there's the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active. On top of being highly water-resistant, it can also withstand drops, vibrations, humidity, and heat. At the same time, it matches the performance of the Galaxy S8 with its cameras, system chip, and memory – meaning that it's not a top-performing smartphone anymore, but still rates as relevant in 2018. The extra-large battery pack inside the S8 Active ensures longevity exceeding that of the average smartphone.



1. shield

Posts: 889; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

LG V30 for me!

2. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

"I'll take whatever's at the Top of the page. Oh! An iPhone X! Done!"

3. fyah_king unregistered

Of course, the x is #1 for PhoneArena. lol

6. kick413

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Right 4 pros and 4 cons = top of the page, while 5 pros and 2 cons (Galaxy S9) gets 2nd place...

4. mcoomes

Posts: 57; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Picked up the V30 on a BOGO about 3 weeks ago. I have only 1 complaint so far, and it's a nitpicky one at that. I wish it were faster to take a picture from the time I tap the button to capture the image.

11. shoman94

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

I'm hoping the Oreo update will address this.

12. Xtraflossy

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 13, 2018

Lucky you, I have contacted at least 4 stores in my area (Richmond, VA) and not one of them carries the V30, let alone 2 for a BOGO lol.

5. wrm2013

Posts: 237; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

No mention of battery life on any iphone. Weird.

7. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

in T-Mobile they only sell garbage

13. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Your comment shows you have no brains. If T-Mobile sells "garbage" what do other carriers sell? The phones are the same through all carriers, so what is your point?

8. acme64

Posts: 129; Member since: Jul 13, 2015

alternate headline: here's a list of Samsung and Apple phones for sale.

9. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Honestly, I'm getting tired of Googles antics (political, and other practices). I don't like apple. Slim pickings when you eliminate those two...... For the record, I'd go with the active series in this list

10. shoman94

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

There is one HUGE advantage to owning an LG V30 or a Samsung Galaxy S9(S9+) on TMobile's network that isn't being touted! BAND71!

14. mschmal

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

Am I alone? I despise the Samsung UI and iOS is equally horrible. Give me stock Android please. Unfortunately, super slow to update Moto takes the stock Android advantage away. What will Magenta offer someone like me?

16. hazard1

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

The OnePlus 6T

15. mel0524

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Guys, try the new oneplus 6T and you will love how fast andlo lags only complain is camera but over all for the price is amazing phone! Came from samsung phones for the price and UI is kinda boring now that is why I moved to op6T

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