Mint Mobile is all about getting great service for a fraction of the price of the big carriers, and for many, that philosophy extends to the phone they choose to use. Thankfully there are tons of great Android phones that embody the same idea: getting a great experience with the latest specs and features, and not paying an arm and a leg for it. The best example of this is the OnePlus 7T, which offers a flagship-like experience for hundreds of dollars less than the competition. It’s a great phone to pair with solid-but-inexpensive Mint Mobile service.
Best Value: OnePlus 7T
The OnePlus 7T continues the company’s history of releasing affordable, high-end phones. This one has all of the good aspects of the more expensive 7 Pro, but skips the curved-glass, bezel-less display for something more traditional, and drops the size a tad in the process. The hardware is just as nice, but still not (officially) ater resistant.
Typical superlative OnePlus software is the same as its other phones. The display running at a 90Hz refresh rate (just like the 7 Pro) just adds to the smoothness of OxygenOS. There’s a versatile camera system that is consistent, albeit not challenging the best out there. Luckily, you’re getting excellent specs and performance across the board, with enough power to run this phone for years.
- Premium materials and design
- Excellent battery life
- OxygenOS 10 is excellent
- Consistent and versatile cameras
- Exceptional value in specs and hardware
- Lacks official IP rating
- No wireless charging
- Loses telephoto OIS from OnePlus 7 Pro
$600 at OnePlus
An incredible value you can’t find elsewhere.
The 7T has the same great specs as the high-end competition, in a well-made package with a super-smooth 90Hz display and strong battery life.
Upgrade Pick: Samsung Galaxy S10+
Think of just about anything you want from a smartphone, and the GS10+ will have you covered. It matches or beats the competition in hardware, with every little spec and feature you could ask for, and ties it up in beautiful metal and glass with the best screen you’ll see.
One of the biggest parts of the spec story is the battery, which at 4,100mAh can handle even the toughest days without a midday top-up. In the camera department, Samsung is still a step behind Google in overall photo quality; but the ultra-wide camera adds a fun option to complement its already solid pair of cameras.
If including all of those features, specs and capabilities has any downside, it’s a lack of cohesiveness. The number of things the Galaxy S10+ can do can be overwhelming if you’re used to a simpler phone, but the software is manageable; it just takes a little more time if you’re particular about how things work. Once you get through all the steps of making it your own, you get a wonderful phone to use every day.
- Best-in-class display
- Great battery life
- Consistently good cameras
- Software features galore
- Headphone jack and SD card slot
- Software can be cumbersome
- In-display fingerprint sensor is slow
- Software updates can be inconsistent
Samsung Galaxy S10+
$950 at Amazon
A fantastic phone for anyone’s needs, but you pay extra for it.
The S10+ offers a mountain of features and great cameras, wrapped in beautiful hardware and the best screen you can get today.
Best Budget Flagship: OnePlus 7 Pro
If you like everything the OnePlus 7T has to offer, but have a little more money to spend, you should look at the OnePlus 7 Pro. It builds on the foundation of previous OnePlus phones in offering exceptional value, but now it’s stepping things up with excellent hardware and nice-to-have features that make it a true competitor at the high end regardless of price. The hardware quality and design are right up there with the best, as is its 6.67-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
Though it’s more expensive, the 7 Pro does a good job of making up the difference. Its design is a bit more unique, and its 90Hz display is larger, higher resolution, and edge-to-edge with no notch or cutout thanks to a pop-up selfie camera. The rear telephoto camera is improved over the 7T, and the battery is a little larger.
Yes, it’s missing a few things, like wireless charging and a headphone jack, and despite the company’s claims of water resistance, it has no official IP rating. The cameras are also one weak point that reminds you where you saved a couple of hundred dollars from the competition. But all of its strong points pick up the slack — the OnePlus 7 Pro is worth comparing to any phone on this list, and it’s priced properly.
- Excellent 90Hz display
- Incredible value for money
- Consistently speedy software
- Regular software updates
- High-end specs
- Camera quality a step down from flagships
- No headphone jack
- No wireless charging
- No water resistance rating
Best Budget Flagship
OnePlus 7 Pro
$670 at OnePlus
A flagship experience for hundreds less.
The improvements over the 7T are marginal, but may be worth it to you. This is a proper flagship with great hardware, display and performance.
Great Camera for Less: Google Pixel 3a
The Pixel 3a has an almost perfect copy of the much more expensive Pixel 3’s camera, and that’s great for everyone. The rear camera is super-capable in any lighting and is particularly great in low light thanks to the Night Sight mode. Flip over to the front camera, and you get crisp selfies, auto focus and surprisingly good portrait mode.
The rest of the phone rounds out well, too. You get Google’s clean and always up-to-date software, along with good-enough specs and better battery life than the Pixel 3. The screen and hardware reveal the phone’s price point, but that’s a small bit of give in an otherwise exceptional phone for the money.
- Flagship-level photo quality, front and back
- Best-in-class low-light photos
- Simple Google software
- Guaranteed software updates
- Plasticky build
- Average battery life
Great Camera for Less
Google Pixel 3a
- $400 at Amazon
One of the best cameras available at any price.
The Pixel 3a doesn’t just have a great camera for a budget device; it’s great by any measure. And the rest of the phone delivers solid value.
Midrange Done Right: Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung is best known for its high-end phones, but the Galaxy A50 shows it can make a great mid-range phone too. Its 6.4-inch display is both bigger and nicer than you’d expect for something that competes in the mid-range, as is the beautiful hardware. The spec sheet is strong, with a 4,000mAh battery that gives you great longevity. Plus, you get a flagship-style triple camera that holds its own against everything but the Pixel 3a.
You’ll have to face some bloatware in the software, but the A50 is a great overall phone that shows you don’t have to spend a ton to get a proper high-end Samsung experience.
- Flagship-style triple camera
- Top-tier display
- Strong battery life
- Great specs for the money
- Considerable bloatware in the software
- Portrait mode shots are weak
- No MST Samsung Pay support
Midrange Done Right
Samsung Galaxy A50
$350 at Amazon
Great Samsung quality for a fraction of the price.
The A50 brings more Samsung quality than you’d expect, with great specs. The triple camera is good in most conditions and has a fun wide-angle lens.
For Tighter Budgets: Moto G7
Nobody is going to mistake the Moto G7 for a high-end phone, but at the same time, it does a great job of getting everything done for a fraction of the price. The Snapdragon 632, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage offer plenty of performance, and the software is typical great Motorola fare that’s simple and useful.
The phone has a modern design that won’t look out of place in 2019, and the screen is nice and large at 6.2 inches with a respectable 1080p resolution. Battery life is fine from the 3,200mAh capacity, and you get some nice-to-have features like a capacitive fingerprint sensor and dual cameras for portrait mode.
- Big display
- Capable specs for the money
- Simple and intuitive software
- No NFC
- Software update future uncertain
- Just average battery life
For Tighter Budgets
$240 at Amazon
Getting all of the basics done in a solid package
The G7 is the best phone in its price range. You still get great build quality, a solid screen and full spec sheet with simple software.
The best phone to use on Mint Mobile is the OnePlus 7T. The people who go to Mint to get a great deal on phone service will appreciate what a wonderful value the 7T provides, giving you a flagship-like experience in many respects for hundreds of dollars less. It has really good hardware, a smooth 90Hz display, and a packed spec sheet. Its cameras aren’t the highest quality, but they’re consistent and versatile, and it has excellent battery life.
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 the OnePlus 7T or something else that meets your needs.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.
Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.