Best phones for Ultra Mobile Android Central 2021
The best phones for Ultra Mobile will have great support for the T-Mobile network and, of course, great performance using Android. Ultra Mobile fully supports 5G and to get the most out of it, you'll need a phone that supports bands n71 and n41. All of these phones will also work out of the box with Ultra Mobile, and with the Ultra Mobile SIM, you should be good to go with very little effort. The Google Pixel 4a 5G has everything you need to make the most of your Ultra Mobile plan with great support for T-Mobile's 5G network, great software, and plenty of battery life to make the most of it.
- Best overall: Google Pixel 4a 5G
- Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S21
- Best camera: Google Pixel 5
- Best battery life: Moto G Power (2020)
- Great 5G performance: OnePlus Nord N10 5G
- Best cheap 5G Galaxy: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Best overall: Google Pixel 4a 5G
The Google Pixel 4a is still one of our favorite Android phones thanks to its compact size, great software updates, and great camera performance. The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a bit bigger with a 6.2-inch display, a larger 3,885mAh battery, and even a second camera on the back. Google makes the most of the Snapdragon 765G chipset and this phone manages to feel very fast and smooth using the 2340x1080 OLED panel. With 413 pixels per inch and inky blacks, this phone feels more expensive than it is.
The Pixel 4a 5G is available in black or white and with a screen that runs to the edge of the phone and a hole-punch camera. From a distance, this phone looks very modern and when you use it, it feels modern too. The only thing not-so modern about it is that it's missing any marked water resistance.
Most importantly the Pixel 4a 5G supports the most important T-Mobile 5G bands so when you put your Ultra Mobile SIM in, you know you're getting the fastest T-Mobile data speeds that are only getting faster. Since it's Google, you don't need to worry about waiting for carriers to approve updates either.
This may be expensive compared to other phones on this list, but if you want 5G, you're going to have to pay a bit of a premium.
- Great performance with smooth navigation
- Phenomenal camera performances
- Large OLED display
- Frequent updates from Google
- No water resistance
Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S21
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is a very powerful phone that's really only outdone by its bigger S21 family members. There's a large 4,000mAh battery with enough power to keep the Snapdragon 888 running all day. The 6.2-inch 2400x1080 AMOLED screen looks great with deep blacks and contrast. Best of all, it runs at a buttery smooth 120Hz. You get three cameras with one for standard shots, an ultra-wide shooter, and a massive 64MP telephoto camera.
The S21 comes with 5G support on every major network in the U.S. including mmWave, so you know you're getting the best possible connection wherever you are on the T-Mobile network. The Galaxy S21 will be able to make the most of the Ultra Mobile wireless network whether you're connecting with LTE or 5G.
The S21 comes in four different colors including violet, gray, white, or pink. The two-tone colors won't be for everyone but paired with a lovely case it can look great. If you're looking for a higher-end S21 you can always check out the incredible, though expensive, Galaxy S21 Ultra.
- Great support for the T-Mobile network
- Incredible AMOLED display with 120Hz support
- Powerful hardware
- Frequent security updates directly from Samsung
- Battery life could be better
- Plastic housing feels cheap
Best camera: Google Pixel 5
There are a lot of reasons for people to love the Google Pixel 5 whether you're looking for a pure hardware experience or just want to be sure you have the most up-to-date phone possible. The Pixel 5 is also the best way to see new Android features first. A 2340x1080 OLED display running at 90Hz delivers a smooth and vibrant Android OS with no junk installed. A 4,080mAh battery keeps the modest Snapdragon 765G running all day, and it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The U.S. model supports both sub-6 5G and mmWave, meaning you'll be able to use the full T-Mobile network. The Pixel 5 comes with Google's incredible camera software that can deliver some extremely sharp and accurate photos. The Pixel 5 also has a great night mode that rivals much more expensive phones and has some of the most accurate highlight colors compared to any other night mode out there.
The Pixel 5 comes in black or a light green color Google oddly calls Sorta Sage. Despite the silly name, the green color looks great in person and helps accentuate the simple design. This is a great phone for nerdier folks that want to be in control of their software but don't want to give up modern flagship features.
- Incredible camera performance
- Supports the full T-Mobile 5G network
- Great battery life
- Frequent software updates from Google
- Limited configuration options
- Expensive for the hardware
Best battery life: Moto G Power (2020)
Motorola has been killing it with great inexpensive Android phones and the Moto G Power is one of its best yet. The huge 5,000mAh battery paired with the low-power Snapdragon 665 will be able to keep you connected all day and into the next one with ease, and that's with normal usage. The 6.4-inch 2300x1080 display is sharp but the LCD panel can't match the contrast on an OLED panel. Still, it's a logical tradeoff especially considering the low price.
You'll be using LTE with the G power since there is no 5G support but realistically, LTE can deliver plenty of speed for just about any standard usage. If you keep Wi-Fi switched on, you may never notice the lack of speed.
The Moto G Power is slower than something like the Pixel 4a 5G but it's also cheaper and shouldn't have too much trouble keeping up with normal browsing and social media usage. If you're patient, you can even do some gaming if you're willing to drop the settings a bit.
- Great battery life
- Solid cameras
- Works with all carriers
- Updates will be infrequent compared to Google or Samsung
- Slow charging speed
- LCD panel only
- No 5G support
Great 5G performance: OnePlus Nord N10 5G
OnePlus has consistently delivered great Android phones for years and has since moved into making cheaper phones with the OnePlus Nord series. Looking at it, you would never guess the Nord N10 5G was one of the cheapest phones on this list. You get 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage and a quick Snapdragon 690 CPU. The main camera is 64MP and sits alongside ultra-wide and macro cameras.
The OnePlus Nord N10 5G has full support for T-Mobile's sub-6 5G network. This includes the fast Ultra Capacity 5G network on band n41. You'll also get great support for LTE if you're out of 5G coverage.
OnePlus describes the color of the Nord N10 5G as Midnight Ice and it looks great. It looks great from the front as well with a 6.49-inch 2400x1080 display stretching to all edges. The display is only LCD, which makes sense at this price point but it does run at a smooth 90Hz. OnePlus has included a large 4,300mAh battery that can be quickly topped up with its charger capable of up to 6A at 5V.
- Large 90Hz display
- Solid battery at 4,300mAh
- 64MP main camera
- Beautiful design
- Very affordable
- Display is LCD
Best cheap 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Galaxy A series has become known for cutting all the right corners to deliver a great phone for a low price. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G might be the perfect refinement of the Galaxy A series, with a beautiful design, great display, and enough power for most usage. The A52 also manages an IP67 water resistance rating. A 4,500mAh battery can drive the Snapdragon 750G all day which is more impressive when you remember this phone has a 6.5-inch 2400x1080 AMOLED display at 120Hz.
The Galaxy A52 5G comes with sub-6 5G support and works with the T-Mobile network. There is a version without 5G support but to make the most of the Ultra Mobile network, you'll want the model that supports bands n41 and n71 at least.
The Snapdragon 750G in this phone isn't breaking any benchmark records but for most usage, it's more than enough. Just don't be surprised if you get a bit of lag from time to time. The main camera is a 64MP monster with smaller ultra-wide and macro cameras as well. On the primary sensor, you should be able to get some great shots.
- Great 120Hz AMOLED display
- Large battery lasts the whole day
- Great high-end design
- Occasional lag
- Screen is dim outdoors
Ultra Mobile keeps its network simple by working with T-Mobile to deliver LTE and 5G connectivity. This means that just about any unlocked phone will work to some degree, which includes the best Android phones. Not only that, but Ultra Mobile's data-focused plans let it stand toe-to-toe with the best cell phone plans you can get, and for many people, the international features make it an easy choice. Ultra Mobile also sells all of these phones directly if you want to get everything from one place with financing options.
The Pixel 4a 5G stands above the rest thanks to its relatively low price and great support for carriers. With the most important 5G bands in tow, this phone will be a great fit for one of Ultra Mobile's large data plans. You could save a bit of money by going with the cheaper Pixel 4a but with most of T-Mobile's energy dedicated to building the 5G network, you should make sure your new phone supports it if at all possible. The Pixel 4a 5G delivers on all fronts with great 5G support, solid performance, and one of the best cameras in the industry.
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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