How to Choose the Best Phones Compatible With Mint Mobile

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Mint Mobile has been one of the most talked about prepaid phone carriers in recent months. It offers budget-friendly service from as low as $15 for the basic plan. And if you have either of the phones compatible with the Mint Mobile network, it’s even possible to test how this service is free of charge.

Of course, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is not as strict as some of its rivals on device compatibility. But this doesn’t mean you can use just any phone with the service. Then some devices will work, albeit you won’t have access to all features- say eSIM or the highest data speeds.

What’s the Best Phone Compatible With Mint Mobile in 2023?

In this guide, I’ve put together everything you need to choose a phone that can work with Mint Mobile flawlessly. It covers the four different types of phones that are compatible, plus seven crucial factors to consider if you want to make the most of your service.

But before we come to that, below are the six best phone brands compatible with Mint Mobile right now. Watch them keenly as I’ll refer to them later on in the article.

Best Overall: Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 13 Pro 5G-Capable 128GB Bionic  

6 Best Features:

  • It has a rugged, IP68-rated aluminum build
  •  Utilizes the fastest Apple A15 Bionic processor
  • Support both a built-in eSIM & physical SIM card
  • Compatible with up to 5G high-capacity (mmWave)
  • Support the latest WiFi 6 (802.11x) WLAN protocol
  • You can record videos in 4K quality & Slo-Mo mode

Best of Deals: Mint Mobile Locked Google Pixel 7 5G 128/ 8GB eSIM-enabled Android

6 Best Features:

  • It has a rugged design with IP68 dust/ water protection
  • Runs on a high-performance Google Tensor G2 processor
  • Compatible with up to 5G high-capacity (mmWave)
  • Includes both a built-in eSIM & physical SIM card slot
  • Supports the latest WiFi 6 (802.11x) WLAN protocol
  • It has a built-in NFC for contactless payments & content sharing

Best of Budget: Unlocked Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen 2020 Release) LTE A13 Bionic

6 Best Features:

  • It houses a fast A13 Bionic chip
  • Supports both digital eSIM & physical SIM
  • Has both extended-range & high-capacity LTE
  • Supports WiFi 6 (802.11x) WLAN protocol
  • You can record crisp videos in 4K & Slo-Mo mode
  • It has a rugged design, with IP67 dust/ water protection

Best of Under 200: AT&T Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-Midband 64GB Android

6 Best Features:

  • It has a brilliant, 6.5-inch 90Hz display
  • Compatible with up to 5G midrange frequencies
  • Supports up to WiFi 6 (802.11ac) WLAN protocol
  • Has a built-in NFC for digital payments & content sharing
  • Includes a built-in fingerprint reader for fast unlocking
  • You can expand the built-in storage with a MicroS card

Best of Seniors: T-Mobile Locked Alcatel (4044W) Go Flip KaiOS Button Phone

6 Best Features:

  • It runs on the Snapdragon 210 processor
  • Has a 2.8” internal vs 1.4” external display
  • You can expand storage with a MicroSD card
  • Support WiFi 4 (802.11n) WLAN protocol
  • Also supports both Bluetooth & USB connectivity
  • It has both extended-range & high-capacity LTE

Best of Design: Factory Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra w/ Upgraded Camera & Stylus

6 Best Features:

  • It has a 6.8-inch, 120Hz QHD+ display
  • Utilizes a super-fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip
  • Supports both the digital eSIM & physical SIM
  • Compatible with up to 5G high-capacity (mmWave)
  • Supports the latest WiFi 6 (802.11x) WLAN protocol
  • It comes with a Stylus pen to sketch & operate apps remotely

Crucial Tips to Consider when Looking for Phones Compatible with Mint Mobile

When looking for a phone to use with about any carrier, don’t be like many people who just shop blindly. Also, don’t let the flashy features trick you into buying something that will be nothing but problems on your network.

How to Choose the Best Phones Compatible With Mint Mobile

Anyway, below are crucial points to consider if you want to make the most of Mint Mobile service with the phone you bring:

  1. Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO), implying it doesn’t have a network infrastructure of its own. T-Mobile is the network Mint Mobile use for native coverage across the country. Thus, your phone must have frequency bands 2, 4*, 5, 12*, 66, & 71* to connect to LTE. Then bands n41, n71, n258, n260, & n261 for 5G access.
  2. Mint Mobile has fast data speeds on 5G if you like to game, stream, or share files with your device. In the Mint Mobile review the other day, I shared results of up to 630Mbps on the 5G high capacity. But again, you must have a device with high-capacity bands n258, n260, & n261 to record such a data speed. Otherwise, a phone with the 5G mid-range band n41 will take you around 300Mbps Max, whereas the 5G low-band n71 records around 80 – 200Mbps.
  3. Mint Mobile supports eSIM activation on both Apple and Android devices. It’s one of the few MVNOs that had the feature before phone manufacturers (like Apple) decided to forgo the physical SIM. So, the eSIM functionality here is stable, albeit the carrier hasn’t introduced smartwatch plans yet.
  4. Mint Mobile doesn’t have domestic roaming like its rival MVNOs Pure Talk vs Cricket Wireless. You’ll have to use an alternative method to call or text when outside native coverage.
  5. Mint Mobile offers free WiFi calling function, which you may find useful when outside the native coverage. However, you will need to have a phone that supports WiFi calling. And also you may need to contact Mint customer service beforehand to enable the feature).
  6. Mint Mobile gets deprioritized data from its Carrier Network, T-Mobile. What this means is that your data speed will drop (sometimes significantly) when the host network is heavily congested. Thus, you should try as much as possible to have a 5G phone as it has decent data speed even during deprioritization.
  7. Mint Mobile support personal hotspot on all plans if you’d like to share your data with other smart devices or computers. However, the internet speed of your tethered or hotspot-ed device will depend on your Mint Mobile phone data speed and WiFi capability.

Ps. * marks the primary frequency for LTE connection, and the phone you wish to use with Mint Mobile must have at least one (the more the better). Primary frequency bands usually offer extended-range coverage that sends signals far and penetrates through walls.

Latest News:

T-Mobile has just announced it will be acquiring Ka’ena Corporation, the parent company of Mint and Ultra Mobile (the original parent of Mint Mobile). The brands have already been running off the T-Mobile network per se. So, the changes we’re likely to witness revolve around either the plan structure or allowances and perks.

What Phones Are Compatible With Mint Mobile

Do you remember the six phones I introduced to you earlier? What did you notice between these selections? If you were keen enough, I listed down the four types of phones compatible with Mint Mobile service:

  • Mint Mobile phones: these are phones you can purchase on the Mint site upfront or through the buy now pay later program. The phones come locked to the Mint network, making them naturally compatible with the service.
  • Factory-unlocked phones: the phones in this category usually come from the manufacturer while fully unlocked and without any network restriction. They are also naturally compatible with Mint service, provided they have the necessary frequency bands.
  • Carrier Unlocked Phones: as the name, these are the phones that were previously locked to another carrier but are now fully unlocked. The phones (like the AT&T unlocked Galaxy A13) should work with Mint service if the necessary network settings are present. But if for any reason the previous carrier doesn’t unlock the device fully, you may not access all the functions supported.
  • T-Mobile phones: naturally, MVNOs can work on the phones of their carrier networks even before unlocking – the network infrastructure in use is the same, anyways. And this is why most of the phones locked to T-Mobile work on Mint Mobile without any problem.

A summary of Other Phones Compatible with Mint Mobile Service

 Network ConnectivityESIM SupportROM vs RAM
Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 13 Pro 5G-Capable 5G & 4G LTEYES128GB, 6GB
Mint Mobile Locked Google Pixel 7 5G 128/ 8GB eSIM-enabled5G & 4G LTEYES128GB, 8GB
Unlocked Apple iPhone SE 5G & 4G LTEYES64GB, 3GB
AT&T Unlocked Samsung Galaxy 5G & 4G LTENO64GB, 4GB
T-Mobile Locked Alcatel 4G LTENO4GB, 0.5GB
Factory Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G & 4G LTEYES256GB, 12GB
Mint Mobile Locked Apple iPhone SE5G & 4G LTEYES64GB, 4GB
T-Mobile Locked Motorola Moto Revvlry+ (G7 Plus) 4G LTENO64GB, 4GB
T-Mobile Unlocked LG G8 4G LTENO128GB, 6GB
Fully Unlocked Google 4G LTEYES64GB, 4GB
Fully Unlocked Samsung 4G LTENO256GB, 12GB

Commonly Asked Questions:

Can I use Mint Mobile with an unlocked phone?

 Whether it’s joining, upgrading, or replacing, you can use Mint Mobile with an unlocked phone. The factory-unlocked phones are usually naturally compatible with the service, provided they have the proper network frequencies. But for the carrier-unlocked phone, you must be careful as the previous carrier may fail to unlock all the functions, which ends up affecting your Mint Mobile service.

What prepaid phones work with mint?

The general rule of thumb is that a device from Major Carriers is compatible with most MVNOs under its network even before unlocking. For instance, some T-Mobile prepaid phones can work with Mint SIM, whereby you can call, text, and use data. However, this rule doesn’t work the other way around, i.e. use a phone locked to Mint on T-Mobile.

Can I buy a phone from Apple and use it on Mint Mobile?

Unlike the Major Carriers, most MVNOs usually sell their phones a little more expensive than when shopping directly from the manufacturer. But thanks to the BYOP program in our case here, you can buy a phone from Apple or other dealers and use it on Mint Mobile without any issue.

Can I put my Mint Mobile SIM card in another phone?

Yes, you can put a Mint Mobile SIM card in another phone and get a signal you can use to call, text, or use data services. However, the other phone you want to use must be either locked to the Mint network or fully unlocked. Then it should have the necessary network frequencies, such as 2/4/5/12/ 66/71 to get signal bars.

Get a 5G-Capable Phone for the Best Experience

Unfortunately, my limited time hasn’t allowed me to write down the key features of all the seventeen brands on my list of phones compatible with Mint Mobile service. (I’ll try to create time and update the listing). But the most important thing is that you now know the teeny-tiny things to focus on to make the most of your service.

For instance, make sure the phone you want to bring to Mint Mobile has at least frequency bands 4, 12, 71, or all for the best LTE coverage. The network bands 2, 5, and 66 are also important as it’s what bring you high-capacity data (the fastest data speeds) on LTE.

Even so, I’d recommend getting a 5G-capable phone if possible. As mentioned earlier, Mint Mobile 5G data speeds can peak up to 600+Mbps (vs 110Mbps on LTE). And for that, you’ll still have a great bandwidth to browse when T-Mobile deprioritizes its MVNOs.

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