Smartphone prices nowadays are in a constantly upward trend. If that weren’t bad enough, some people also need to factor in their carrier’s monthly bill on top of their phone’s price, which can, more often than not, come at a hefty cost. This is often the reason why some people often go the MVNO way — it’s cheaper, and you can find some sweet deals on phones. The latter reason is why we’re bringing you today some of the best Cricket Wireless smartphones that are available right now.

There’s a lot of options to consider here, mostly cheaper devices, although there are also some phones on the more expensive side of the spectrum as well. We’re going to measure them all for you, right here. Some things we had in mind while putting together this list is a big focus on the best deals available on Cricket Wireless rather than the just the best phone overall, considering both the limited catalog that is currently available and the fact that one of the biggest factors on going for an MVNO instead of a bigger carrier is saving a buck.

Navigate this guide:

Best Overall: Apple iPhone SE

White iPhone SE

White iPhone SE

The iPhone SE tops our list of the best overall phone on Cricket Wireless purely from a price-to-performance scenario. The iPhone SE made headlines last year because it was pretty much an iPhone 8 body with iPhone 11 internals, something that caught the attention of a lot of people that were either looking for a smaller and more affordable option in Apple’s lineup or a “throwback” style phone with bezels and a 16:9 aspect ratio display. It was powered by the same A13 Bionic SoC that powered the more expensive options in Apple’s lineup, and also came with a slew of new features partly thanks to the newer internals.

If you’re in the market for one, you’ll be glad to know that what was an affordable phone, even when starting at its $400 MSRP, is even more affordable with Cricket Wireless. If you’re bringing your own phone number, you’ll be able to get your iPhone SE for just $99 for the 64GB model and $149 for the 128GB model, making it an offer that is very hard to resist.

    The iPhone SE is Apple’s most interesting phone in a while, presenting older-looking bezels but bringing an Apple A13 Bionic SoC on its guts.

Best High-End (iOS): Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Black iPhone 12 Pro MaxBlack iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max shows the best of Apple’s engineering to date. A 5nm A14 Bionic SoC powers everything behind the scenes, including the award-winning rear camera setup and world-class build quality and display. It’s also Apple’s biggest smartphone to date, coming in with a 6.7-inch display. It’s also one of the very few actual premium devices that you can grab right now from Cricket Wireless.

There are no offers for switching over to the iPhone 12 Pro Max — or most iPhones for that matter — on Cricket Wireless. You’ll have to fork out the full price, which starts at $1,099 for the 128GB model. You can however enjoy Cricket’s cheaper service.

    iPhone 12 Pro MaxiPhone 12 Pro Max
    The iPhone 12 Pro Max is currently the most premium phone out of Apple’s lineup, bringing an Apple A14 Bionic SoC, a triple rear camera with a LiDAR sensor, and up to 512 GB of storage.

Best High-End (Android): Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20 FE 5G in various colorsGalaxy S20 FE 5G in various colors

When it launched last year, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE presented a value proposition unlike anything we previously saw from Samsung in several years, coming with a “cheaper” flagship smartphone that undercut the pricing of the “main” Galaxy S20 smartphones by quite a bit, yet still providing many of the same core features and even internal specifications.

This phone enjoyed a decent degree of success when it came out. Right now, even with the Galaxy S21 devices now in the market, it’s still a pretty darn good deal, especially on Cricket Wireless, where you can grab one for just $449, down from its usual $699 price point.

    Samsung Galaxy S20 FESamsung Galaxy S20 FE
    The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is Samsung’s best value proposition in years with a Snapdragon 865 and a 120Hz display, and now that the price is lower than ever, it’s the best time to go and get one.

Best Mid-Range: Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G in pinkSamsung Galaxy A51 5G in pink

The Galaxy A51 5G might have been already superseded by the Galaxy A52 5G, but that doesn’t mean that the older device doesn’t still have some charm in it. Featuring an Exynos 980 SoC and up to 128GB of storage, the A51 is a decent, 5G-enabled mid-range device, even when putting it against 2021 midranges. It also comes with a 6.5-inch display, a 4,500 mAh battery, and a 48MP quad rear camera setup.

This is one of the best Cricket Wireless phones because it offers a decent price-to-performance ratio within Samsung’s A-series lineup, and because Samsung’s devices from last year are still quite usable even today.

    Samsung Galaxy A51 5GSamsung Galaxy A51 5G
    The Samsung Galaxy A51 5G may be a little bit dated by this point, but with an Exynos 980, up to 128GB of storage, and 5G connectivity, it’s no slouch either.

Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy A01

samsung galaxy a01samsung galaxy a01

The Galaxy A01, unlike all of the other options in this list, is not really a phone you should be looking up to if you care about specs, camera, or performance. But if you’re looking for the essentials and maybe installing a handful of apps, why not give it a go? It features a Snapdragon 439 SoC that provides decent performance in budget device terms, a 13MP dual rear camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, a 5.7-inch display, and 2GB of RAM with up to 32GB of storage.

The best part of all? When you bring your number to Cricket Wireless and activate a plan, you can grab the 16GB version of the phone for free! What is already one of the best phones on Cricket Wireless is made much better by this deal.

    Samsung Galaxy A01Samsung Galaxy A01
    The Samsung Galaxy A01 is Samsung’s bottom-of-the-barrel budget phone, and it’s powered by a Snapdragon 439, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, allowing you to take on basic tasks without a high price tag.

Best Android Go: Cricket Icon 2

Cricket Icon 2Cricket Icon 2

Looking into maybe getting an Android Go phone? Android Go is the lighter flavor of Android that includes slimmed-down Google apps for sub-$100 smartphones, and the Cricket Icon 2 is actually a decent Android Go phone. It’s powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 SoC that doesn’t particularly scream “fast”, but it’s also one of the most widely used options when it comes to budget devices.

The Cricket Icon 2, just like the Galaxy A01, is free on Cricket as long as you bring your own number and get a plan, making it one of the best Cricket Wireless phones available.

    Cricket Icon 2Cricket Icon 2
    The Cricket Icon 2 is a Cricket-branded smartphone with a MediaTek Helio A22 SoC and very low-end specs, and it’s running Android Go, the slimmed-down flavor of Android 10.

Honorable Mention: Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Galaxy A32Galaxy A32

The Galaxy A32 5G brings 5G to the lower tier of Samsung A-series phones, and you can actually expect to have a fairly good experience with this phone as well. We have a MediaTek Dimensity 720 for its guts, the same system-on-chip that powers phones like the Realme V5 5G, and also comes with up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a beefy 5,000 mAh battery. It also comes with Android 11 out-of-the-box based on One UI 3.0, and features a quad rear 48MP camera setup.

While it’s currently available on Cricket Wireless at a slightly higher price point than the Galaxy A51 5G, it still deserves a mention because it’s a purchase you definitely won’t regret, and one of the best Cricket Wireless phones on this list.

    Samsung Galaxy A32 5GSamsung Galaxy A32 5G
    The Galaxy A32 5G is part of Samsung’s 2021 midrange lineup, featuring a MediaTek Dimensity 720, 5G connectivity, up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and more.

Conclusion

Cricket Wireless’s catalog is fairly limited, and if you’re looking for high-end devices, there’s not much to look at other than some great iPhones. Apple’s entire current lineup is available on their website, but we have highlighted the iPhone SE and the iPhone 12 Pro Max because they’re both the cheapest and most expensive options respectively in their lineup, and there’s a good deal currently going on with the iPhone SE, which is the one I personally recommend.

As for the Android side, the best you can get is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, a phone from last year that actually managed to provide a decent bang-for-the-buck, even when it came out. Then, we have all of Samsung’s mid-range and budget phones.

What do you think about these phones? Are you planning on getting any?