Best Metro by T-Mobile phones Android Central 2021
Metro by T-Mobile is a prepaid brand owned by T-Mobile that uses the entire T-Mobile network, including LTE and 5G. This carrier has three great plans with plenty of data and also two unlimited plans. The Metro by T-Mobile network has great support for unlocked phones and even allows a 5G connection on every plan as long as the phone supports it. The Google Pixel 5a is the perfect partner for this carrier with excellent 5G support, a low price, and a battery that's big enough to keep you running all day. If you're looking for the best Metro by T-Mobile phones, we've got you covered with more reliable choices below.
- Best overall: Google Pixel 5a - 5G
- Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S21 - 5G Smartphone
- Best battery life: Moto G Power (2020)
- Best value with a stylus: Moto G Stylus 2021 - Smartphone
- Best value flagship: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE - 5G Smartphone
Best overall: Google Pixel 5a
The Google Pixel 5a, also known as the Google Pixel 5a with 5G, is everything a mid-range Android phone should be. It has great cameras powered by excellent software for flagship-like images and a large battery for all-day battery life. The display is also great with a 6.34-inch 2400x1080 AMOLED display with perfect blacks and rich colors. The Snapdragon 765G powering it easily keeps up with modern apps and feels good to use.
This Pixel includes 5G support for most 5G coverage in the U.S. though it does leave out support for mmWave. Still, for most people, the performance will be more than fast enough. This phone is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance so that you can take it just about anywhere. It also keeps the fingerprint reader on the back, meaning you can quickly unlock your phone even with a face covering.
- Fantastic camera
- Large 4,680mAh battery
- 6.34-inch 2400x1080 display
- Great Android updates
- No Wireless charging
- No mmWave 5G support
Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S21
The Galaxy S21 from Samsung is one of the best phones money can buy with a super-fast Snapdragon 888 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a solid 4,000mAh battery. This battery can last you all day, even if you take a lot of pictures. Speaking of pictures, this Galaxy has one of the best camera arrays to date with a 12MP primary camera, a 12MP wide-angle, and a 64MP telephoto camera with a 3x zoom.
The 6.2-inch 2400x1080 display is sharp with deep colors. This display also supports 120Hz for smooth motion. It's not the biggest display around, but it goes right up to the phone's edge, making the most of the available area.
Samsung has included full 5G support on this phone with both sub-6 and mmWave included. This phone even supports the upcoming C-band spectrum, so you'll get the best 5G speeds now and in the next couple of years on any U.S. carrier. Samsung is also quick to release updates with four years of security updates promised and three major Android updates.
- Large and vibrant 6.2-inch 2400x1080 display
- Powerful Snapdragon 888 CPU
- Great 5G support
- Fantastic camera performance
- No expandable storage
Best battery life: Moto G Power (2020)
The 2020 Moto G Power focused on delivering solid performance with a large display for up to three days on a single charge. The Moto G Power comes with a 5,000mAh battery and a solid Snapdragon 665 that work together to last as long as possible. This entry-level smartphone is a great choice for someone that doesn't need all of the power and speed of a modern flagship device.
Motorola packs in some of the nice software updates it has become known for, including gestures. The software is clean and looks like stock Android but won't get the same level of support as some Samsung or Pixel phones. Still, with Google's continued focus on security and enough horsepower to muscle through apps and web pages, the Moto G Power is still a very usable phone.
- Large 6.4-inch 2300x1800 display
- Huge 5,000mAh battery
- Clean Android build
- Limited updates planned
- Slow charging
- No water resistance
Best value with a stylus: Moto G Stylus
The Moto G Stylus expands on Motorola's experience building good and cheap devices with the added input precision of a stylus. Paired with this phone's large 6.8-inch display, this can be a great phone for taking quick notes or even simple drawings. The stylus can also make it easier for some people to accurately touch the screen, especially on sites and apps not optimized for modern touch input.
It's powered by the Snapdragon 678 CPU with 4GB of RAM. While this isn't the most powerful phone, it's great for the low price, and it can handle most apps just fine. The battery should last you a couple of days, thanks to its 4,000mAh capacity. It also has a 48MP primary camera, so you should be able to snap some good pictures with enough light.
- Large 6.8-inch display
- Included stylus for extra precision
- 4,000mAh battery for two-day battery life
- Stylus isn't pressure-sensitive
- Won't get many updates
Best value flagship: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
While quite a few cheap Samsung Galaxy phones are available, they don't feel as nice as the S20 FE. The Galaxy S20 FE feels like an expensive flagship phone while managing to keep the cost down by cutting all of the right corners. This phone is powered by a slower Snapdragon 865 compared to the S20 but still has enough performance for everything most people do on their phones with 6GB of RAM.
The S20 FE has a great 6.5-inch super AMOLED display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. The screen is also flat to the edges, a welcome change compared to the standard S20's curved edges. The S20 FE comes with 5G support for most carriers using sub-6 bands. This won't be perfect for future expansions with mmWave but will work great with the majority of T-Mobile's 5G network, including the faster Ultra Capacity band n41.
- Large 6.5-inch 2400x1080 display
- Flat display with 120Hz support
- Great cameras
- Sub-6 5G support
- Some performance slowdown
- A bit expensive
The great thing about Metro by T-Mobile's network is that it supports most unlocked phones, including many international models. So if you have an unlocked phone with GSM and LTE support from the last few years, it will probably work on Metro. In fact, most of the best Android phones will work with the entire network with just a SIM.
Overall, the Google Pixel 5a with 5G is the best fit for the carrier thanks to good support for 5G, including T-Mobile's band n71 and n41. Pixel phones are also first in line to get Android updates for the latest features and the most up-to-date security. Finally, the low price compared to the Pixel 5 makes it a great bargain, and with identical camera performance, you give up very little importance.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.
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