Mint Mobile is all about offering great service for a fraction of the price compared to other big carriers. For many, that philosophy also extends to the phone, they choose to use. Thankfully, tons of great Android phones embody the same idea: getting a great experience with the latest specs and features while not paying top dollar for it. The best example of this is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which offers a flagship-like experience for less than the direct competition. It’s a great phone to pair with the solid-but-inexpensive Mint Mobile service. Here are our top picks for the best phones to use with Mint Mobile.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Galaxy S20 FE is a device that caught us off guard in the best way possible. Samsung set out to create a flagship-like device, sell it at an amazing price, and the result is one of the very best Android phones you can buy today. That idea of getting more for your money lines up perfectly with Mint Mobile, making the S20 FE a perfect fit for the wireless provider.
As with any Samsung phone, one of the big draws to the S20 FE is its display. You’re treated to a 6.5-inch AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution, and as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a 120Hz refresh rate for an experience that’s as smooth as can be. Further contributing to that smoothness is the Snapdragon 865 processor, which delivers incredible flagship performance for anything you throw at the phone.
We’re also happy to report that battery life and camera quality are also quite strong on the Galaxy S20 FE. The 4,500 mAh battery is more than big enough to get you through a full day of intensive use, even when rocking a 5G connection and running the screen at 120Hz. Photo quality is a step down compared to what you’ll find with devices like the Pixel 5 and Galaxy S21 Ultra, but with three capable sensors and Samsung’s vivid image processing, most users will be served really well by what’s on offer.
Then there are all of the smaller details that help round out the entire Galaxy S20 FE experience: expandable storage, an IP68 dust/water resistance rating, NFC and MST for Samsung Pay, three years of guaranteed software updates, and a ton of fun colors to choose from. At well under a thousand dollars — or less with frequent sales — the S20 FE is a phenomenal overall package.
- AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Incredible performance
- Reliable battery life
- Great triple-camera system
- Three years of guaranteed updates
- 6GB of RAM may not be enough for some users
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Amazing specs at an incredible price
What’s not to like about the Galaxy S20 FE? It’s ultra-powerful, looks great, and delivers stupendous value.
Best Upgrade: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
It’s safe to say that the high asking price of the Galaxy S21 Ultra makes it a tough sell for a lot of shoppers, but if you’re in the market for one of the very best Android handsets money can buy, it should be at the top of your shortlist. Here’s a quick look at why it’s so damn good.
Right off the bat, the S21 Ultra makes a much more striking impression than its S20 FE cousin. The matte glass back offers a more premium in-hand feel, the camera housing flows seamlessly into the frame of the phone, and the new Phantom Black colorway allows the S21 Ultra to be one of the stealthiest devices we’ve ever seen. Speaking of the camera housing, the experience it provides is one of the most robust around. You can capture insane detail thanks to the 108MP primary sensor, the two telephoto cameras allow for amazing zoom shots, and Samsung provides endless shooting modes for you to mess around with. The company also scaled back on its face-smoothing compared to previous devices, allowing for more natural-looking images.
Flip the S21 Ultra over, and you’re treated to the best smartphone display currently available. Offered here is a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel that supports a Quad HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate at the same time. In real-world use, this means you can simultaneously enjoy ultra-crisp detail and buttery smooth animations without having to make any sacrifices.
Then there are the rest of the specs. The Snapdragon 888 allows for incredible performance and robust 5G connectivity, the new in-screen fingerprint sensor is more reliable than ever before, and the 5,000 mAh battery ensures you can get through a day of heavy use without a hitch.
- Quad HD+ display with 120Hz
- Industry-leading camera system
- Snapdragon 888 is a performance beast
- Fast and reliable fingerprint sensor
- Gorgeous new design
- No expandable storage
- Samsung Pay is missing MST
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
An ultra experience in every way
From its display, camera package, battery life, and more, everything about the Galaxy S21 Ultra is as good as it gets.
Best Value: Google Pixel 4a
The Pixel 5 (mentioned below) is an easy phone to recommend if you want the best possible camera experience, but with that said, the more affordable Pixel 4a is a remarkably similar phone for a lot less cash. It lacks the ultra-wide camera found on the 5, but you get the same 12.2MP primary sensor and all of Google’s image processing magic. In other words, pictures taken on the Pixel 4a look virtually indistinguishable from those taken on the Pixel 5. Processing times are a bit longer and there are some subtle differences here and there, but overall, you won’t find a better camera experience anywhere in this price range.
Looking at the rest of the Pixel 4a, there are plenty of other areas in which it continues to impress. Its compact size is a breath of fresh air and easy to use with one hand, the Full HD OLED display looks great, performance is fast, and you get reliable battery life that easily makes it through a full day of use. You also get the same excellent software package you’d get on a more expensive Pixel, which is backed by three years of major updates and monthly security patches.
When you combine all of that with the Pixel 4a’s minuscule price tag, it becomes a hard phone to ignore. The design might be boring and not everyone will appreciate the smaller footprint, but assuming those two things don’t bother you, the value you’re getting here is insane.
- Exact same camera as the flagship Pixel 5
- Compact size is perfect for one-handed use
- OLED display looks great
- Fast and reliable fingerprint sensor
- Clean, up-to-date software
- Might be too small for some
- Boring design
- No ultra-wide lens
Google Pixel 4a
Don’t ignore the budget Pixel
Whether you’re here for the camera, size, or software, the Pixel 4a delivers way more than its price tag suggests.
Best Battery: Moto G Power (2020)
The Moto G Power (2020) isn’t the newest Motorola phone on the block anymore, but even when compared to the company’s more recent releases, it still stands out as one of the best values. The big draw to the Moto G Power (2020) is its battery life, offering up to three days of use on a single charge. Pair it with great software, fun cameras, and solid specs for the money, and the Moto G Power (2020) packs quite a punch.
That said, you have to make some compromises to hit a price this low — specifically, a lack of NFC and the promise of just one software update to get you from Android 10 to Android 11. Those will be non-issues for some shoppers, but for others, they could be deal-breakers.
If you aren’t too concerned about those things, though, the G Power is a pretty fantastic device for the money. It’ll run your apps, keep you connected with loved ones, and do all of that for days on end without needing to be charged up.
- Ultra-wide and macro cameras are fun
- Two or three days of battery life
- Clean, feature-rich software
- Can’t beat that price
- No NFC in 2021 is just ridiculous
- Slow charging speeds
- Motorola’s poor update policy
Moto G Power (2020)
Keeps going and going and going
The Moto G Power (2020) carries on a long history of superb affordable Motorola phones with solid specs and cameras.
Best Camera: Google Pixel 5
Google has always gotten a lot right with its Pixel phones, but with most releases, there’s some major drawback that prevents them from being easy recommendations. With the Pixel 5, Google created the best damn Pixel we’ve ever seen.
As you’d expect from a Pixel, the big draw to the Google Pixel 5 is its camera system. It’s not as impressive on paper compared to something like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but in daily use, it manages to kick out some of the best-looking pictures currently possible with a smartphone. The 12.2MP primary + 16MP ultra-wide camera package churns out great detail, true-to-life colors, and can handle any lighting condition with ease. We also love how simple the Google Camera app is, making it possible for anyone to capture amazing-looking images regardless of your photography experience.
Outside of the camera offering, the rest of the Pixel 5 holds up just as well. The 90Hz AMOLED display looks wonderful, you get fast performance, and 5G support thanks to the Snapdragon 765G chipset. The battery life has vastly improved as well compared to the disappointing endurance of the Pixel 4 series. We also really dig the Pixel 5’s design, which is a compact aluminum unibody with a soft-touch paint job. Combine that with the Sorta Sage color, and it ends up being one of the most user-friendly phones we’ve used in a while.
- Super-smooth 90Hz display
- Top-notch camera quality
- Simple, useful, and fast software
- Nice-looking and feeling hardware
- Competitive price
- No Wi-Fi 6 support
- Weak stereo speakers
Google Pixel 5
The best camera you can get in a smartphone today
With two capable sensors, incredible ease-of-use, and amazing image processing, the Pixel 5’s camera experience shines bright.
Best Dirt Cheap: Nokia 5.3
2020 was one heck of a year, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, 2021 isn’t going to be that much easier. If you’re struggling with a tight budget but still need to get a new phone for yourself, consider picking up the Nokia 5.3. It’s not the most technically-impressive device on the market, but if you just need a reliable smartphone for getting you through the day, the Nokia 5.3 fits the bill quite well.
Going into a phone like this, certain expectations need to be set. The display has a max resolution of just HD+, the cameras aren’t anything to write home about, and you may find yourself waiting an extra second here and there for apps to open. However, considering the price you’re paying, a lot of those things are easy to overlook.
And even at that ultra-low price, there are some things the Nokia 5.3 is legitimately great at. The 4,000 mAh battery allows for up to two days of use per charge, you get an NFC chip for Google Pay support, and you get 64GB of storage that can be easily expanded with a microSD card.
- Good performance for the price
- Up to two-day battery life
- 64GB of expandable storage
- Clean software
- Has NFC
- Display is only HD+
- Weak cameras
Best Dirt Cheap
A great option for tight budgets
The Nokia 5.3 isn’t the most amazing phone we’ve ever seen, but at this price, it delivers pretty incredible value.
Best Affordable 5G: OnePlus Nord N10 5G
The future of 5G is still being realized as we speak, but if you’re in the market for a new phone, there’s no harm in making sure it supports those 5G speeds so you’re future-proofed for the years ahead. If you’d like to do that without spending heaps of money, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is a really compelling option.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 at the heart of the Nord N10 is what enables that 5G connectivity, and with 5G offered for free with all plans on Mint Mobile, you can look forward to improved coverage across the board. Not only that, but when paired with 6GB of RAM, the Snapdragon 690 also allows for really good performance.
Another highlight of the Nord N10 5G is its display, featuring a large 6.49-inch Full HD+ canvas with a 90Hz refresh rate. That 90Hz setting helps the phone feel even snappier in day-to-day use, giving it a notable edge over something like the Moto G Power (2020) or Pixel 4a. Rounding out the experience is a large 4,300 mAh battery, 30W charge speeds, and 128GB of storage right out of the box.
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Snapdragon 690 with 6GB RAM
- Fast 30W charge speeds
- 128GB built-in storage
- Supports sub-6 5G speeds
- Generic design
- OK cameras
Best Affordable 5G
OnePlus Nord N10 5G
5G speeds for less
Ready to take advantage of 5G without going broke? The OnePlus Nord N10 5G is worth a look.
Best Gaming Features: Nubia RedMagic 5G
Gaming phones have made a surprising comeback over the last few years, and right now, one of the better options in this space is the Nubia RedMagic 5G. Gaming phones aren’t for everyone, but if that’s the niche you’re interested in, the RedMagic 5G delivers the goods.
The Nubia RedMagic 5G has a 6.65-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor, plenty of RAM and storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 55W fast wired charging. The design is also something, featuring a unique back that comes in a few different colors.
In regards to the gaming features Nubia has included, there’s a lot to talk about. The RedMagic 5G has a liquid cooling system in addition to a fan, ensuring the phone stays as cool as possible even during intense firefights. There are also capacitive triggers on the top for more precise controls, an RGB light on the back, „4D shock vibration feedback,“ and a proprietary port on the bottom for optional accessories.
- Uniquely designed for gaming
- 144Hz refresh rate is one of the smoothest out there
- Shoulder buttons add extra controls
- Liquid cooling system
- Huge battery with fast charging
- Phone design might be too niche
Best Gaming Features
Nubia RedMagic 5G
A phone that goes all-in on gaming, and executes well
Excellent performance and lots of gaming-specific features like side ports and heatsinks make this a gamer’s dream.
If you’re using Mint Mobile, you’re likely focused on getting great service for less money — and you want a phone that follows the same philosophy. That phone is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which brings a holistic flagship smartphone experience for less money than the competition. You get a top-tier processor, an amazing display, great cameras, and more at an unbeatable price.
Mint Mobile lets you bring any unlocked phone to its network, so your options are wide open. You can go through this list and find any phone that appeals to you — and your budget — and bring it to Mint without any issue. Whether that’s our top pick or something else that meets your needs.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central’s Senior Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip for the site? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to email@example.com!
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