For the first time ever, T-Mobile is America’s Fastest Mobile Network. Our 2021 drive tests took us to 30 cities and traveled 10,000 miles, and we found that T-Mobile’s mid-band 5G network is the only 5G that makes a difference right now. If you haven’t gotten on the T-Mobile 5G train, it is definitely time to jump on board.
The carrier’s new mid-band 5G network now covers more than 165 million people, according to T-Mobile, and it’s targeting 200 million by the end of the year. You’ll need a new 5G phone to take advantage of the network, though, and that’s where this list comes in. If you’re shopping on your own, make sure that your phone supports LTE frequency bands 12 and 71, and 5G band n41, for the best T-Mobile coverage.
The Best 5G Phones for T-Mobile
T-Mobile uses the whole menu of 5G frequencies—low, middle, and high—but mid-band is where the sweet spot is. T-Mobile’s low-band 5G network has great coverage but not much effect on performance; its high-band network hasn’t expanded much beyond its seven initial cities. On the other hand, mid-band is available in most major and midsize cities, and it has considerably better performance than 4G. In early 2021 T-Mobile also introduced Magenta Max, the first nationwide unlimited data plan with no deprioritization for heavy users.
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Focusing on mid-band right now is key. All 5G phones currently sold by T-Mobile have mid-band, so you can just choose a phone you like and not worry too much. To that end, we’re only featuring 5G-capable smartphones in this T-Mobile roundup now. There are enough of them, and it’s worth investing at this point.
For more, see our list of the best 5G phones.
The Best Voice Phones for T-Mobile
The new Sonim XP3plus on T-Mobile is a rugged, reliable, and high-quality flip phone that we highly recommend. But it’s expensive; if you’re looking to spend under $100, the unlocked, dual-SIM Nokia 6300 4G is a good deal.