Best Phones for TracFone Android Central 2021
Finding quality phone service without spending a heap of money each month is something that a lot of people are after. Numerous companies aim to bring great value to the wireless space, one of which is TracFone. TracFone offers affordable monthly rates with service powered by a combination of AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. You can buy devices directly through TracFone, but we recommend buying something that's unlocked and then bringing it over with a TracFone SIM card. Our top recommendation is the Pixel 3a, but there are a few other phones worth checking out, too. Let's dive in.
- Best Overall: Pixel 3a
- Best Alternative: Galaxy A50
- Best Battery: Moto G7 Power
- Best Premium Phone: OnePlus 7 Pro
- Best for Tight Budgets: Nokia 4.2
- Best Mid-Ranger: Moto G7
Best Overall: Pixel 3a
If you're looking into joining TracFone, chances are you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on a new phone. Thankfully, with phones like the Pixel 3a, you can get a flagship-like experience while spending a fraction of what other devices cost.
Without a doubt, the big draw to the Pixel 3a is its rear camera. The single 12.2-megapixel sensor might not sound or look all that impressive in a world where other budget phones come equipped with dual or triple rear cameras, but make no mistake — the Pixel 3a captures some of the best pictures of any phone out there. Google's AI-powered post-processing is a thing of magic and makes it virtually impossible to take a bad photo with the 3a. Images are detailed, colorful, and turn out looking great every single time. Even in low-light scenarios, the Pixel 3a's camera can hold its own without breaking a sweat.
Along with its impressive camera, the Pixel 3a benefits from a top-notch software experience. The phone's currently running Android 10, and looking ahead, will continue to be first-in-line for software updates and security patches through May 2022. This means you can buy the Pixel 3a today and rest assured that it'll continue to get the latest features and security fixes for years and years to come.
Rounding out the Pixel 3a, you're also getting a durable polycarbonate design, NFC for Google Pay, an excellent AMOLED display, and great performance for day-to-day tasks. Overall, it's the phone we think the majority of folks will be the happiest with.
- Unmatched camera
- Clean, up-to-date software
- AMOLED display
- Good performance
- Durable polycarbonate design
- No wireless charging
- A single camera in a multi-camera world
Best Alternative: Galaxy A50
We're confident in our selection of the Pixel 3a as the best overall phone for TracFone, but if it isn't catching your fancy for whatever reason, out second recommendation would have to be the Galaxy A50. Samsung recently brought the A50 to the U.S. following significant success in other parts of the world, and for the price, it brings a lot of value.
For starters, the Galaxy A50 impresses right off the bat with its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. Samsung phones have the best displays in the business, and the A50 is no different. Around back you'll find a triple camera setup consisting of a 25-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 5-megapixel depth sensor for striking portrait shots.
Other key specs for the A50 include a large 4,000 mAh battery that allows for excellent battery life, a reliable in-screen fingerprint sensor, and good performance thanks to Samsung's own Exynos 9610 processor. Software updates won't be as fast or consistent as they are on the Pixel 3a, but Samsung has been making strides to get better in these regards.
Last but certainly not least, the Galaxy A50 also comes with a free Galaxy Fit fitness tracker! Normally sold on its own, the Galaxy Fit tracks your steps, exercise, sleep, heart-rate, and more. As far as freebies go, it's pretty darn great.
- Gorgeous AMOLED display
- Exynos processor is speedy
- Three rear cameras
- Long-lasting battery
- Comes with a free Galaxy Fit
- Samsung's software is bloated
- Software updates aren't as fast or consistent compared to the Pixel 3a
Best Battery: Moto G7 Power
Few things are as irritating as having to charge your phone in the middle of the day because the battery can't keep up. If you're done with short endurance times on smartphones and want something that'll be able to last an outrageously long time on a single charge, the Moto G7 Power is the phone for you.
The Moto G7 Power's highlight feature is its 5,000 mAh battery. According to Motorola, that should allow for up to 2.5 days of regular use on just one charge. Your mileage will certainly vary depending on how much or little you use your phone throughout a given day, but at the least, this is a phone that allows you to never worry about battery life woes.
As much as we love the G7 Power's endurance, that's not the only thing it's bringing to the table. You're also getting a 6.2-inch HD+ display, a 12-megapixel rear camera that's fine for social media uploads, and a clean software package with Motorola's awesome additions (namely Moto Display and Moto Actions).
If there's one big downside to the G7 Power, it's Motorola's track record for software updates. Motorola's gotten notoriously bad over the years for being slow and inconsistent with the updates it rolls out, putting a damper on the G7 Power's future. That doesn't take away from it being a great phone today, but a few years down the road, that sentiment will likely shift.
- Outrageously long battery life
- Motorola's excellent software goodies
- Fast fingerprint sensor
- Octa-core processor
- Uncertain future for software updates
- 720p display
- Not the strongest camera
Best Premium Phone: OnePlus 7 Pro
Most of the phones on this list stay in such a good price range, but we wanted to throw at least one premium option on here for those of you looking to buy something extra nice. If that's the position you're in, we strongly urge you to check out the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is by far the most expensive phone on this list, but it's more than deserving of its increased price tag. It delivers a stunning 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, blazing-fast performance thanks to a Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, and three rear cameras that consist of a primary, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensors.
On the software side of things, the OnePlus 7 Pro is currently running an optimized version of Android 10 in the form of OnePlus's OxygenOS. It looks a lot like "stock" Android, but it offers a host of well-though-out customizations that make the experience that much better. In fact, a lot of us here at AC consider it to be the best take on Android currently available.
Round all of that out with fast software updates, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a pop-out selfie camera, and a large 4,000 mAh battery, and you end up with a killer package.
- Incredible display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Top-notch performance
- Triple rear cameras
- OxygenOS + Android 10
- In-screen fingerprint sensor is fast/reliable
- Most expensive phone on this list
- Doesn't have wireless charging
Best for Tight Budgets: Nokia 4.2
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Nokia 4.2. The Nokia 4.2 is the most affordable phone we're talking about today, and for shoppers that want to spend as little as possible while still getting a quality phone, it's a fantastic choice.
Considering how cheap the Nokia 4.2 is, its hardware is impressive. The polycarbonate and glass construction looks and feels like something you'd only find on a much more expensive phone, and we love to see such great hardware being offered at this price point. The 5.71-inch display is also good, offering an HD+ resolution and a narrow 19:9 aspect ratio with a small waterdrop notch at the top.
Inside, the Nokia 4.2 is packed with a Snapdragon 632 and 3GB of RAM. This is a combo that works well for basic apps/games, but it can feel a bit sluggish at times. You're also getting a 32GB of internal storage (expandable up to 400GB), an NFC chip that allows for contactless Google Pay transactions, dual rear cameras, and a dedicated Google Assistant button.
Last but certainly not least, the Nokia 4.2 benefits from Nokia's excellent track record for software updates. An Android 10 update has been confirmed for early Q1 2020, and looking even further ahead, the Nokia 4.2 will get two years of guaranteed OS upgrades and monthly security patches.
- Polycarbonate/glass design
- NFC for Google Pay
- Google Assistant button
- Clean software with guaranteed updates
- Ultra-low price
- Slow performance
- Charges via Micro-USB
Best Mid-Ranger: Moto G7
At the end of this list, we have the Moto G7. The regular Moto G7 is similar to the G7 Power mentioned above, but it has a more traditional battery and a few other spec differences that make it a more enjoyable phone overall.
For one thing, the 6.2-inch display has a smaller notch at the top and a sharper Full HD+ resolution. You also get two cameras on the back instead of one, including a 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel combo. The Moto G7 is equipped with 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 512GB), has a relatively snappy Snapdragon 632 processor, and a modest 3,000 mAh battery that should get you through a full day of normal use.
Just like the G7 Power, the G7 also has the excellent Moto Display for quickly seeing notifications without turning on the entire screen, as well as Moto Actions for doing things like chopping the phone to turn on the flashlight or twisting it for opening the camera.
Software updates are also a concern here just like they are with the G7 Power, but we'd expect to see an Android 10 update here before it arrives on the Power sibling.
- Glass design is really sleek
- Large, sharp display
- Dual rear cameras
- Storage is expandable up to 512GB
- Moto Display and Moto Actions are excellent
- Motorola's track record for software updates
- Performance is fine
All of the phones on this list are great choices for someone joining TracFone, but at the end of the day, the Pixel 3a shines as the best overall pick.
Camera performance on the 3a is reason enough to buy the phone, with the pictures it takes rivaling some phones that cost hundreds of dollars more. Even if you aren't a professional photographer and just take pictures occasionally, the Pixel 3a is worth looking into for this single reason.
The rest of the Pixel 3a's hardware is also great, with the AMOLED display being easy-on-the-eyes and performance being more than adequate for daily use and some light gaming. The polycarbonate construction may not be as premium as some of the glass/metal phones on this list, but it feels great in hand and will likely hold up better in the event of a drop. Plus, there's the whole software package we raved about above.
Yes, it may be a little more expensive compared to some of the other phones you can buy, but if you can afford it, the Pixel 3a is a phone that'll be able to serve you incredibly well for years and years to come.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor. He loves talking about all things tech, but smart wearables are what get him really excited (just ask the drawer of smartwatches in his office). He also likes coffee and goes to Starbucks far too often. Have a tip? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit him up on Twitter @JoeMaring1
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