The beauty of Metro by T-Mobile is that its plans are on average quite inexpensive compared to the competition, but you don't sacrifice much in spite of that. In fact, our LTE network testing has confirmed as much. Metro's performance is comparable to parent network T-Mobile's, making Metro the best performing prepaid carrier we tested. And the fact that you can get a lot of data for just $40 a month (with taxes and fees included) makes Metro our favorite discount carrier, too.
Many of the same phones offered by the likes of T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are available through the prepaid carrier. And some of those happen to be the best smartphones you can buy right now, like the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10. With the Galaxy S20 just around the corner, we expect Samsung's latest flagships to make it to Metro's stores as well.
Metro customers have the freedom to go with low-cost handsets or flagship devices, and you can even bring your own compatible phone so long as you don't mind paying out of pocket without carrier subsidies. Here are the best phones Metro offers right now.
1. iPhone 11 Pro Max
The best phone money can buy
Display Size (Pixels): 6.5-inch OLED (2688x1242) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB / No | Cameras (Back / Front): / Triple 12MP / 12 MP | Weight: 7.97 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 11:44
From the outside, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max don't look terribly different from last year's models, aside from their triple rear camera stack and new matte finish. But Apple's 5.8- and 6.5-inch flagships pack more power and better battery life than ever before, as well as computational photography features that enable these handsets to take the finest photos of any phones on the market today. The new Night Mode captures stunning images in the dark without over-brightening moonlit skies, while the new Deep Fusion mode pulls out exceptional detail in medium-light scenarios. Especially creative photographers will also love the new ultrawide lens, which makes it easy to zoom out in tight spots.
As of this writing, Metro will slash $100 off the price of both Pro models for new customers porting their numbers over from other carriers.
2. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Our favorite Android with stellar battery life
Display Size (Pixels): 6.4-inch AMOLED (3040x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 8GB, 12GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 512GB, 1TB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 16-MP (f/2.2), 12-MP (f/1.5, f/2.4), 12-MP (f/2.4) / 10-MP, 8-MP | Weight: 6.2 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 12:35
The best Android phone we've tested this year is also available from the carrier with the best cheap cell phone plans. The Galaxy S10 Plus delivers speeds that approach the blazing performance of the latest iPhones thanks to its Snapdragon 855 processor, and the triple rear cameras benefit from improvements Samsung has made to its photo software. The S10 Plus also boasts impressive features like an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor beneath its 6.4-inch display, as well as the ability to charge other devices with its Wireless PowerShare feature.
Because Metro doesn't let you buy phones in installments, buying the S10 Plus outright requires a pretty hefty chunk of change. At least Metro will knock $230 off the regular $999 price tag upon activation when you switch over from another carrier.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review.
3. iPhone 11
Great cameras for a great price
Display Size (Pixels): 6.1-inch LCD (1792x828) | CPU: A13 Bionic | RAM: Unknown | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / No | Cameras (Back / Front): Dual 12MP / 12MP | Weight: 6.84 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 11:20
Apple should be commended for building many of the iPhone 11 Pro's headline features into the 6.1-inch iPhone 11. This $699 model packs the same A13 Bionic chipset, two of the same cameras on the back (you lose out on the optically zooming telephoto, unfortunately) and the finest battery life of the bunch, partly due to its rather low-resolution (though still extremely bright) Liquid Retina LCD display. Buyers still get Face ID authentication for their troubles, as well as support for wireless charging and IP68 water resistance. It's really all the iPhone anyone needs at a great price, that's made even better by Metro's discount. The carrier is offering the iPhone 11 for $599 — that's $100 off — for new customers porting their number over from another network.
Read our full iPhone 11 review.
4. Samsung Galaxy S10e
The most compact flagship you can buy
Display Size (Pixels): 5.8-inch AMOLED (2160x1080) | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB, 8GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 16-MP (f/2.2), 12-MP dual-pixel (f/1.5, f/2.4) / 10-MP | Weight: 5.29 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 9:21
Don't worry about having to make too many tradeoffs if you opt for Samsung's lower-cost Galaxy S10e. Like its more expensive S10 siblings, this phone features the powerful Snapdragon 855 chipset and it support Wireless PowerShare for charging other Qi-compatible devices. You'll have to settle for just two rear cameras instead of the three on the back of Samsung's larger Galaxy models, and there's no flashy in-display fingerprint sensor. (The S10e's fingerprint reader is on the phone's power button.) Yet those are small sacrifices to make for a lower price tag, especially if you're a fan of more compact phones.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10e review.
5. iPhone 8
The best compact iPhone
Display Size (Pixels): 4.7-inch LCD (1334x750) | CPU: A11 Bionic | RAM: 2GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB / No | Cameras (Back / Front): 12MP / 7MP | Weight: 5.2 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 9:54
Sure, the iPhone 8 is two years old. But the thing about Apple's handsets is that they rarely come down in price, tend to run well for years, and are supported with new software for ages, long after competing Android phones are phased out. That means that the iPhone 8 and it's larger dual-camera brother, the iPhone 8 Plus, are still viable choices in 2019, provided you can find them for the right price. Fortunately, Metro is currently offering the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 for just $249 with activation. That's one hell of a deal, especially given that the device normally goes for $449. Those who need a larger display can snag the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus for $100 more.
Read our full iPhone 8 and 8 Plus review.
6. Moto G7 Power
Crazy battery life
Display Size (Pixels): 6.2-inch LCD (1512x720) | CPU: Snapdragon 632 | RAM: 3GB | Storage / Expandable: 32GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 12-MP / 8-MP | Weight: 6.9 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 15:35
The Moto G7 Power is the perfect handset for people who don't want to spend a whole lot on their next device, but absolutely need the best possible battery life. The G7 Power — which normally costs $249 unlocked, but goes for $209 from Metro and runs totally free if you're switching from another carrier — lasted for an astonishing 15-and-a-half hours in our battery test on T-Mobile's LTE network, where the phone was tasked with endlessly loading webpages from full to empty. T-Mobile, as you may know, runs the very towers that Metro's network operates on — which means customers of the prepaid carrier should see similar performance.
Aside from that massive 5,000-mAh battery, the G7 Power is driven by a respectable Snapdragon 632 chipset and incorporates a gigantic 6.2-inch LCD panel with relatively slim bezels all around (as well as a notch) to maximize display real estate. No, it doesn't have the greatest camera, but some would argue that's a small price to pay for the finest longevity on a charge we've ever seen from a smartphone.
Read our full Moto G7 Power review.
7. Moto E5 Play
Decent Android for the absolute least
Display Size (Pixels): 5.2-inch LCD (1280x720) | CPU: Snapdragon 425 | RAM: 2GB | Storage / Expandable: 16GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 8-MP / 5-MP | Weight: 5.29 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 8:51
If it's a budget phone you want, Metro offers many options from a variety of phone makers. However, Motorola's rise to the top, thanks to a pleasing software experience, decent enough performance and respectable design. The Moto E5 Play — totally free for new activations — is a solid example of how to do cheap handsets right. It won't blow you away with the quality of its photography or the speed with which it opens apps, but it gets the basics right, and that's pretty much all you can ask for from a phone in this price range.
Read our full Moto E5 Play review.