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Best Phones for Tracfone in 2022

Tracfone site
Tracfone site (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Tracfone is one of the first carriers that comes to mind when it comes to prepaid plans and support for the best Android phones. Tracfone's plans trend towards the lower end with data amounts up to 8GB but thanks to its choice of SIM cards on the three major networks, just about any phone is compatible so there's no limit to what you can bring. When it comes down to it, the best phone to use with Tracfone is the Galaxy S22 Plus from Samsung thanks to its excellent network support, long-term android update support, and fantastic hardware. Still, there are tons of options for every budget if you don't want to spend that much on a phone.

Best overall: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Galaxy S22 Plus Hero Image

Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The latest and greatest

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful display with a 120Hz refresh rate
+
Unmatched update commitment
+
One of the best camera systems on a phone
+
Solid battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No charging brick in the box
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Runs hot with heavy CPU/GPU usage

The Galaxy S22 Plus is the most expensive phone on this list and while it won't fit into everyone's budgets, it is one of the best Android phones you can buy and it works great on Tracfone's network. If you get it unlocked, you can also take it with you to any other carrier if you find a better wireless plan down the line or move to an area with different service requirements. Not only that, but with updates promised until 2027, you'll be able to use this phone for a long time to come.

With such an ambitious update schedule, it's a good thing that this phone is packed with some of the best specs you can find with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a healthy 4,500mAh battery. It supports modern wireless standards with 5G including sub-6 with C-band and mmWave alongside 6GHz Wi-Fi support if you decide to upgrade to one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers in the next few years.

This phone is also paired with a great camera system that should be able to keep up with just about any shot you want whether it's rich daylight photos or capturing plenty of detail at night. The main camera comes in at 50MP with a 12MP ultra-wide and 3x 10MP telephoto camera ready to make the most of a scene.

Best Value: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20 FE in-hand

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Up to date software and fast hardware

Reasons to buy

+
Large AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate
+
Powerful camera system
+
Great battery life
+
Android 12 update is available

Reasons to avoid

-
Only sub-6 5G

The Galaxy S20 FE isn't brand new but it's still strong in all the places that matter the most. Its 6.5-inch AMOLED display looks great with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display is also flat on all sides, unlike the standard S20 models which featured curved edges that were a bit harder to protect with a case. This phone can keep up with its rich display thanks to the Snapdragon 865 and 6GB of RAM and with Android 12 updates rolling out to this model starting in January 2022, you can use the newest Android software on day one.

On the back, a 12MP main camera takes solid photos for this price range with a 12MP ultra-wide and 8MP telephoto camera giving you options to make the most of your shot. You can also take plenty of photos without worrying about your phone dying thanks to a hefty 4,500mAh battery which can be charged reasonably rapidly with up to 25W input, though a 15W charger is in the box.

Best camera: Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 Material You Themed Icons Angle

Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Google Pixel 6

Android straight from Google

Reasons to buy

+
Fast performance with Google's Tensor CPU
+
Stunning camera performance
+
Large 4,614mAh battery
+
Three years of software support from Google

Reasons to avoid

-
Large camera bar
-
No mmWave 5G support

The Google Pixel 6 is one of the best examples of the Android operating system with its modern Material You user interface and up-to-date software straight from Google. Google has also committed to keeping it updated for three years so you can have the latest features from Google. The hardware is powered by Google's own Tensor CPU with 8GB of RAM which delivers great performance even with this phone's 6.4-inch OLED display and 90Hz refresh rate.

On the back, there are two cameras with a 50MP main shooter and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. These cameras work in tandem with Google's camera app that is able to process the image to create rich photos with plenty of detail in a variety of lighting conditions. This camera system can also take some of the best night photos of any phone. It's all powered by a large 4614maH battery for all-day battery life.

Best affordable 5G phone: Motorola One 5G Ace

Motorola One 5G Ace

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Motorola One 5G Ace

Solid hardware with 5G support

Reasons to buy

+
Fast Snapdragon 750G CPU
+
Great battery life (5,000mAh)
+
Sub-6 5G included

Reasons to avoid

-
Older software version
-
Camera isn't great

If you're the type of person that wants to be on the latest version of Android with the most up-to-date feature set, this isn't the phone for you. If however, you want a phone with the raw power needed to keep up with standard apps and support for sub-6 5G, this is a solid pick. While the Motorola One 5G Ace didn't live up to its launch-day price, at its current price, it's a good pick for staying connected with great network compatibility.

The One 5G Ace is powered by the efficient yet powerful Snapdragon 750G with 6GB of RAM and is paired with a 5,000mAh battery allowing it to easily last all day with heavy usage. The main 48MP camera will be able to take solid shots in well-lit areas but will get grainy as the light fades. It also has an 8MP ultra-wide camera so you can get more in frame in small spaces. Overall, this phone isn't breaking any records but at the right price, it's a good option for many people.

Best affordable 5G phone upgrade: Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Mid-range performance

Reasons to buy

+
Large 6.6-inch AMOLED display
+
Large 5,000mAh battery lasts all day
+
Fast Snapdragon 750G CPU
+
Sub-6 5G included

Reasons to avoid

-
Camera performance is disappointing
-
Earpiece can be quiet

Samsung's Galaxy A series has a phone for just about any budget but the Galaxy A42 5G finds a sweet spot with the right price. The Snapdragon 750G under the hood is paired with 4GB of RAM to keep this phone humming along with most apps. Its massive 5,000mAh battery will keep it running all day even when using 5G on any of Tracfone's three network choices. The 6.6-inch AMOLED display isn't the sharpest in the world but has great contrast and will be well-suited to video streaming.

The main camera on the back is 48MP and can take solid photos during the day but may be lacking when the light gets low. Still, there's an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro camera to give you options. It ships with Android 11 but is planned to be updated to Android 12 in May 2022 so you'll be up-to-date a bit longer than many other affordable options.

Best cheap phone: Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung Galaxy A

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A12

Get it cheap

Reasons to buy

+
Large 6.5-inch display
+
Enough power for most apps
+
Huge 5,000mAh battery
+
User-expandable storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak camera performance
-
No 5G support

Not every phone needs to be a top-of-the-line monster and sometimes you just need something cheap that's got reliable enough software to run modern apps and stay connected to the network. The Galaxy A12 from Samsung keeps things as cheap as possible while still being useful for day-to-day use. The 6.5-inch display is powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 chipset with 3GB of RAM. The camera is nothing special with an 18MP primary camera for well-lit shots.

Still, it comes with a massive 5,000mAh battery that should easily last a day or even two with moderate usage making it a great pick for someone that needs to stay connected on the road. There's no 5G on this chipset so you'll be limited to LTE but at this level of power, it shouldn't be much of an issue. It has 32GB of storage but you can add your own microSD card if you find you need more space.

Bottom line

The fact of the matter is that you can use just about any of the best Android phones or best budget Android phones with Tracfone and if you're already happy with your unlocked phone's performance, you might be able to bring it to the carrier with just a SIM card swap. Still, getting a phone with proper 5G band support will give you the best chance of good speeds in the years to come as the carriers accelerate investment in these networks.

Overall the Galaxy S22 Plus from Samsung just ticks all of the right boxes with incredible hardware that has the power to last for years to come with software updates ensuring you'll have up-to-date security and app support into the future. It also helps with resale value if you like to upgrade a bit more often than the five years Samsung has pledged to update this phone. Don't forget you also get one of the best camera systems in the game so you'll be able to capture the most important moments in your life with confidence the shot will turn out sharp and colorful.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

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.