Finding a cheap phone is easy, but finding the very best cheap phone isn’t quite as easy. The best can have many meanings in regards to smartphones – best value, best camera, best battery, or the best all-around.
If you’re looking for the best cheap smartphone for T-Mobile there is a good chance you’re looking for the best all-around, and Swappa is here to help. In this post, we’ll help you pick a phone you’ll love, and that you’ll be able to use for years into the future – all while saving you money.
Best cheap T-Mobile smartphones
Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple released the 2nd generation iPhone SE in April 2020. This release is coming up on the two-year mark, which may initially turn some people away. But what this really means is that you will be able to get a quality phone that Apple will keep updating for years to come. Not to mention, you can find a gently used iPhone SE (2020) for under $200.
Key benefits of the iPhone SE (2020) include a smaller form factor, 4.7” Retina display, a Home button with Touch ID, up to 128GB of internal storage, an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, and a single 12MP wide camera with Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and next-generation Smart HDR for photos. This model is also powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic (the same processor chip found in the iPhone 11).
Apple iPhone 11
If you’re looking for a cheap iPhone, it is hard to go wrong with the iPhone SE (2020), but we also understand that not everyone wants a smaller phone, and not everyone wants Touch ID. That being the case, the next iPhone to consider in your search for a cheap smartphone is the iPhone 11. Prices for a gently used iPhone 11 are starting at around $300 (as of April 2022).
The iPhone 11 was released in September 2019, so similar to the iPhone SE – you can expect to receive iOS software updates for a long time to come. One perk of the iPhone 11 is the variety of color options, six in total. Otherwise, the iPhone 11 feature set includes a 6.1” Liquid Retina HD display, Face ID, up to 128GB of storage, an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, and a dual 12MP rear camera setup with support for Night mode, Deep Fusion, and 4K video recording.
Best cheap 5G T-Mobile smartphones
Apple iPhone 12
Getting a quality iPhone for $300 or under is great. In fact, it is cheap. But, if you’re able to step up the budget, you may want to consider an iPhone 12, which adds a key feature – 5G. Prices for a gently used iPhone 12 currently start at a little over $400, which is a good bump in price, but the combination of 5G support and years worth of iOS updates make it a safer long(er)-term investment.
Apple introduced the iPhone 12 in October 2020, and some of the key features include a 6.1” Super Retina XDR display with HDR, Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, up to 256GB of storage, MagSafe charging, and a dual 12MP wide and ultra-wide camera array on the back. The iPhone 12 camera supports features such as Night mode and Deep Fusion, and it can also record HDR video with Dolby Vision at up to 4K at 30 frames per second.
Samsung Galaxy S20
The iPhone tends to dominate the best-selling list here on Swappa, but we know there are plenty of you looking for Android, something from Samsung. With prices for a gently used Galaxy S20 hovering around the $360 price point – the S20 is a smartphone that should easily last for several years into the future.
Samsung first releases the Galaxy S20 in February 2020, and it has support for 5G networks. The Galaxy S20 5G feature set includes a 6.2” Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x Infinity-O display, a 10MP selfie camera on the front, and a triple camera array on the back with a 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide, and 64MP telephoto camera. The Galaxy S20 5G also has up to 30x Space Zoom along with Scene Optimizer, Shot suggestions, and Flaw Detection. Other features include a 4,000 mAh battery, wireless charging, Wireless PowerShare, 12GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for expansion.
Google Pixel 5
Next up for consideration is the Google Pixel 5, which was first released in September 2020. Prices for a gently used Pixel 5 begin at around $250, and the feature set, which includes 5G support makes it a model to consider if you are looking for a cheap Android smartphone.
Highlights of the Google Pixel 5 include a 6.0” FHD+ display with Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz refresh rate), a 4,080 mAh battery with fast charging, fast wireless charging, and Battery Share which allows you to wirelessly charge other devices. Other perks include 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 12.2MP dual-pixel and 16MP ultra-wide camera on the back.
Google Pixel 5a or Pixel 4a
Rounding out this cheap smartphone roundup is a combo pick with the Pixel 5a 5G (released in August 2021) and the Pixel 4a 5G (released in September 2020). These phones were released nearly a year apart, but they share many of the same features. Prices for a gently used Pixel 5a 5G begin at around $350, and prices for the Pixel 4a 4G begin at a little over $200.
Looking at price alone, the Pixel 4a 5G appears to be the clear winner. But keep in mind that Google updates Android for a fixed amount of time. The Pixel 5a 5G will get Android version updates until August 2024, and the Pixel 4a 5G will get updates until November 2023. Granted, the Pixel 5a 5G is priced a fair bit higher than the Pixel 4a 5G, but the longer updates mean the phone will be the better (longer-term) investment before going outdated in terms of software.
Common features of these two Google smartphones include 128GB of internal storage, 6GB of RAM, Google’s Titan M security module, Pixel Imprint, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a dual-camera array on the back with a 12.2MP dual-pixel and 16MP ultra-wide lens.
Features that make the Pixel 5a 5G stand above the Pixel 4a 5G include a slightly larger display, a bigger battery, an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, and a premium metal unibody design. The display on the Pixel 5a 5G is 6.3” as compared to the 6.2” display on the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5a 5G battery is 4680 mAh with fast charging and Extreme Battery Saver. In comparison, the Pixel 4a 5G has a 3,885 mAh battery with fast charging.
In addition to being the best place to get a great deal on a gently used smartphone, Swappa is also a great place to sell your current smartphone. So, now that you’ve found the T-Mobile smartphone that is best for you, go ahead and list the phone you’ve been using for sale on Swappa.