The Best AT&T Phones for 2020

Your Next Upgrade

Now that you’ve chosen AT&T as your carrier, it’s time to pick a phone. Choices are broader than ever, as AT&T has largely gotten rid of phone subsidies. Most people still buy their phones from their carrier, with the help of monthly payment plans or fast-upgrade plans like AT&T Next. But there’s no overall cost penalty to buying an unlocked phone anymore, and AT&T supports more unlocked devices than any other US carrier. That puts a lot of choices at your fingertips, so we’re here to help narrow them down.

Last year, for the first time in five years, AT&T won our Fastest Mobile Network award. We drove through 30 major US metro areas and found that overall, AT&T was the fastest choice. The carrier has been aggressively upgrading its LTE network, a process it calls 5G Evolution or “5GE,” although it isn’t 5G.

You need a phone produced in 2019 or later to take advantage of a lot of this new speed and capacity, though. Ideally, the phone should support 4×4 MIMO antennas and 256 QAM encoding. Of the smartphones above, all but the Pixel 3a, the iPhone SE, and the Moto G Power have these features. Our feature on why you need a faster phone explains what a difference 4×4 MIMO makes.

See How We Test Phones

AT&T’s strength has always been its globally compatible GSM network. That has let the carrier nab many exclusive phones over the years, from the first iPhone to various Windows phones. You can pretty much always assume that the latest hot, buzzy device will be available on AT&T, though more and more, you may not be buying it from AT&T.

Remember, our list of the best unlocked phones all work on AT&T.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is great for creative types.The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is great for creative types

The Best 5G Phone for AT&T

Right now, the Samsung Galaxy S20+ is the best 5G phone for AT&T’s growing network, but there’s a reason to wait until next year if you aren’t near a high-band “5G+” area.

AT&T uses two forms of 5G right now. If your phone says “5GE,” it’s actually on 4G. Low-band “5G” uses a tiny slice of set-aside, former 4G airwaves for 5G, and doesn’t make an appreciable difference in performance. AT&T’s high-speed “5G+” is available in small parts of 35 cities and has dramatic speeds up to 1Gbps, but it can be hard to find.

The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy Note 20 can handle both of these forms of 5G. Next year, though, AT&T will start to turn over more of its 4G airwaves to 5G, and to best handle that transition, phones will need the upcoming Qualcomm X60 modem chipset. Phones with the X60 won’t come out until early 2021.

So for now, if you want to experience AT&T 5G, go for the S20+ (or the Note 20, which we haven’t reviewed yet), but don’t fear you’re missing out on too much if you don’t get one. For more, see our list of the best 5G phones right now.

The Best Flip Phone for AT&T

If you’re interested in a flip or voice phone, you should be buying one that supports voice over AT&T’s 4G network, as the carrier is no longer investing in improving 3G service. There are two good choices now: the Sonim XP3 and the Alcatel Go Flip 3. The Sonim is rugged and has a long warranty, which helps make up for its relatively high price. The less expensive Alcatel has limited smartphone features, such as WhatsApp and Twitter access, in a flip phone form factor.

If you need more help buying a cell phone, check out our story on the best cheap phones. While you’re at it, take a look at our lists for the best phones on T-Mobile and Verizon. And head over to our Readers’ Choice awards for 2020’s top mobile carriers.

Where To Buy

  • Apple iPhone SE (2020)

    Pros: Affordable
    Fast performance
    Small, one-hand-friendly form factor

    Cons: No camera night mode

    Bottom Line: The 2020 Apple iPhone SE is a petite powerhouse with no-compromise performance for hundreds of dollars less than other recent iPhones.

    Read Review

  • Samsung Galaxy S10e

    Pros: Amazing screen color and clarity.
    Industry-leading processor and modem.
    Wide-angle camera.
    Headphone jack.
    Just the right size for most hands.

    Cons: Low-light camera performance not as good as the Google Pixel 3.
    Fingerprint sensor could be more accurate.

    Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy S10e has the best overall price, performance, and size for a flagship smartphone today.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20+

    Pros: Best 5G of any phone available today. Fast. Solid camera. Attractive design.

    Cons: Expensive. In-display fingerprint sensor can be a bit picky. No headphone jack.

    Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy S20+ is pricey, but it’s the first phone that’s a solid investment in the 5G future.

  • Alcatel Go Flip 3

    Pros: Offers some smartphone features in a traditional flip form factor. Good reception and HD calling. You can dictate words rather than triple-tapping to type.

    Cons: Poor cameras. No parental controls. No ringtones by caller.

    Bottom Line: The Alcatel Go Flip 3 is the feature phone we’ve been waiting for, with just enough smart features to make it convenient to use.

    Read Review

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro

    Pros: Three cameras for great flexibility.
    New Night mode for low-light photos.
    Excellent LTE options, including dual SIM.
    Long battery life.

    Cons: Expensive.
    Next year’s iPhone will probably bring much bigger changes.

    Bottom Line: The pricey iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max bring more cameras, longer battery life, and better LTE capabilities to Apple’s flagship phone line.

    Read Review

  • Moto G Power

    Pros: Solid performance for the price
    Excellent battery life
    Good audio and call quality
    All networks bands for global usage

    Cons: Mediocre camera performance
    Dubious durability

    Bottom Line: Solid performance, multi-day battery life, and a gorgeous 6.4-inch display make the $249 Moto G Power the best budget-friendly phone you can buy right now.

    Read Review

  • Nokia 5C Endi

    Pros: Good performance for the price
    Excellent battery life
    Attractive design

    Cons: Mediocre camera performance
    Some software quirks

    Bottom Line: The Nokia C5 Endi offers Cricket customers solid performance and all-day battery life at an affordable price.

    Read Review

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

    Pros: Useful S Pen stylus. Top-notch performance. Long battery life.

    Cons: Expensive. Huge. No headphone jack. Confusing 5G situation.

    Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is a big, powerful phone that’s good for artists and note-takers.

    Read Review

  • Sonim XP3

    Pros: Ultra-rugged build.
    Excellent call quality.
    Three-year warranty.

    Cons: Weak vibration feature.
    Lackluster camera.

    Bottom Line: The Sonim XP3 is a terrific rugged flip phone for anyone who doesn’t want a smartphone.

  • LG Velvet 5G

    Pros: Relatively affordable 5G
    Beautiful design
    Excellent audio quality with 3.5mm headphone jack
    Gorgeous screen

    Cons: Disappointing low-light camera performance
    Top network speeds slower than some competing phones

    Bottom Line: The LG Velvet is an elegant midrange 5G phone that doesn’t really stand out.

    Read Review

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I'm Malkit singh rataul.

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