The Best Phones Compatible with Consumer Cellular

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What do you look for when purchasing a new phone? Well, many people usually focus on things like storage, RAM, processor, and if it’s 4G or 5G. But in cases like for the Phones compatible with Consumer Cellular, it’s imperative to pay attention to the network technology as well.

Yes, indeed, 4G & 5G is also part of the whole “network technology” ecosystem. But what I’m trying to refer to here are the network frequencies that make up that connectivity (4G & 5G).

In the case of Consumer Cellular, this part is a little bit special from having multiple underlying networks. And I’d recommend having a phone compatible with both host networks in case you need to switch the lines.

Which Phones Work Best On Consumer Cellular?

As a GSM carrier, Consumer Cellular will work with a lot of devices. Most of the phones compatible with Visible, Xfinity, and other Verizon MVNOs can work too since LTE & 5G no longer have the GSM/ CDMA divide roadblock.

Nonetheless, the phone in question must have the right AT&T and or T-Mobile frequency bands to have a connection.

Some of the best devices you can benefit from the two types of network technologies are:

Crucial Facts before you Bring a Phone to Consumer Cellular

Here are four crucial things you should know about Consumer Cellular before you bring your favorite phone to the service:

  1. Consumer Cellular as an MVNO

Yes, indeed, Consumer Cellular is a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. But your phone can only operate on one network, thereby will require two separate lines to benefit from both.

If you’re on Consumer Cellular with AT&T, your phone should have LTE Bands 2, 4, 5, 12*, 17*, 29, 30, & 66. Then, frequency Bands N5, N77, and N260 for 5G low-band, medium, and high-band spectrum respectively.

As for the Consumer Cellular with T-Mobile, the necessary bands are similar to the carriers compatible with MetroPCS service. And that would be Bands 2, 4*, 5, 12*, 66, and 71* for LTE coverage. Then, 5G coverage on the extended range (low-band) at Band N71 and Ultra-Capacity on Bands N41, N258, N258, N260, and N261.

Ps. Marked in bold * are the primary LTE frequency bands with wide network coverage and high penetration into buildings. So, your phone should have at least one of them.

  • Still No eSIM Support

Sadly, yes, Consumer Cellular still hasn’t announced support for eSIM activations. And that means you can’t have instant activation like with US Mobile or Mint.

You’ll have to wait for your physical Consumer Cellular SIM card kit to arrive- usually takes 1-2 work days.

  • Gets Deprioritized Data

On the Pure Talk vs Consumer Cellular pricing & data allowances, both carriers get deprioritized during congestion. So, you might want to have a phone with 5G to ensure you get usable data all the time.

  • WiFi Calling Available

Consumer Cellular does offer WiFi calling even when outside the network coverage map. Thus could be handy to own a phone that supports the feature.

What Phones are Compatible with Consumer Cellular 2022?

Technically, Consumer Cellular does have a retail section where you can purchase or finance your desired phone. But all the available devices come with a network lock that they lift after at least 180 days.

Phones Compatible with Consumer Cellular

Simply, this would bring the total types of phones compatible with Consumer Cellular to four:

  • Consumer Cellular-branded phones: these are the phones purchased directly from the carrier or participating partners (Target).
  • Factory-Unlocked phones: these are the phones that come fully unlocked from third-party retailers or MVNOs like Google Fi and Pure Talk. You can comfortably use them with your Consumer Cellular SIM card if the right network bands are available.
  • Carrier-unlocked phones: these are the phones that were previously locked to another carrier compatible with Consumer Cellular but are now full-unlocked.
  • T-Mobile AT&T- branded phones: Like other MVNOs, your Consumer Cellular SIM card should work with a T-Mobile or AT&T phone even before unlocking. But make sure you insert the SIM to the corresponding carrier phone.

A Summary of the Best Phones Compatible with Consumer Cellular

As I’ve mentioned earlier, your phone requires the right network bands to work on Consumer Cellular. And here are a few examples you can comfortably activate on the extended range LTE or 5G networks:

Phones Compatible with Visible WirelessType of PhoneSupported NetworksROM vs RAM
Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-EnabledFactory Unlocked5G & 4G LTE64GB, 4GB
Apple iPhone 12 A14 BionicFully Unlocked5G & 4G LTE64GB, 4GB
Alcatel Go Flip LTE BlackConsumer Cellular-Branded4G LTE4GB, 0.5GB
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Edition) 64GBUnlocked4G LTE64GB, 3GB
Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB AndroidUnlocked4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Motorola One 5G Ace (2021 Edition) AndroidUnlocked5G & 4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Google Pixel 2XL LTE AndroidUnlocked4G LTE64GB, 4GB
LG G8 ThinQ QHD 128GB StorageGSM Unlocked4G LTE128GB, 6GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 10-Series Factory-Unlocked4G LTE256GB, 8GB
GRANDPAD 4G LTE Tablet Consumer Cellular-Branded4G LTE128GB, 4GB
Alcatel Go Flip 2 FlipPhone for ElderlyGSM Unlocked4G LTE4GB, 0.5GB
Motorola Moto G Fast (2020 Release) Unlocked4G LTE32GB, 3GB
Apple iPhone 11 64GB/ 4GB Memory Fully Unlocked4G LTE64GB, 4GB

1. Factory Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-Enabled

The Samsung Galaxy A13-Series is, indeed, my favorite of all the phones compatible with Consumer Cellular. Besides having friendly pricing, it supports frequency bands N41, N71, N77, 12, 66, & 71. So, you can effectively activate with Consumer Cellular on either T-Mobile or AT&T.

Some other decent features of the Android smartphone include:

  • A 6.5-inch HD+ display
  • Up to 1TB MicroSD support
  • 50MP Triple camera system
  • Supports 3.5mm jack & Bluetooth
  • Built-in NFC & fingerprint sensor

2. Fully Unlocked Apple iPhone 12 A14 Bionic

The iPhone 12 here’s one of the best phones to consider when looking for a premium but reasonably-priced upgrade phone. It has a nice balance of technologies, including a high-performance A14 Bionic processor and a high-capacity 5G modem compatible with all the major carriers. Thus, you can successfully activate with a Consumer Cellular SIM card on either AT&T or T-Mobile.

A few other fascinating technologies on the iPhone smartphone include:

  • Built-in NFC & Face ID
  • Nano-SIM & eSIM support
  • A sturdy, IP68-rated construction
  • Video capture in Slo-Mo & 4K quality
  • MagSafe & Qi Magnetic wireless charging

3. Consumer Cellular Alcatel Go Flip LTE Black

As you might know, Consumer Cellular is largely promoted to the seniors. And for that, this Alcatel Go Flip could be a great handset for those elderly relatives unable to use touchscreen phones.

A few of the features included in the basic phone to help the seniors include:

  • A bright 2.8-inch display
  • Large buttons and bold numbers
  • M4/ T4 hearing aid compatibility
  • Captions & readout mode function
  • TTY (teletypewriter) mode function
  • Screen text customization (enlarging)

4. Unlocked Apple iPhone SE (2nd Edition) 64GB

The iPhone SE (2020) is an improvement of the Original that came out in early 2016. It’s a nice pick when looking for decent but budget-friendly Apple phone. And considering it has the A13 Bionic chip on the iPhone 11-Series, the performance is more than decent.

Other amazing features of the iPhone include:

  • A compact, IP67-rated design
  • eSIM & Nano-SIM support
  • Qi wireless charging mode
  • Built-in NFC & fingerprint sensor
  • Video recording in Slo-Mo & 4K

5. Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S10e 128GB Android

Although an oldie, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is one of the best budget phones compatible with Consumer Cellular. It has the Snapdragon 855 processor that’s even way faster than many of the latest 5G phones. Then, you also get to enjoy:

  • 128GB to 256GB of storage
  • IP68 dust/ water protection
  • Qi & Reverse wireless charging
  • Built-in NFC & fingerprint unlock
  • Video capture in Slo-Mo & 4K mode

6. Unlocked Motorola One 5G Ace (2021 Edition) Android

The Motorola One 5G Ace is one of the bestselling entry-level 5G phones in the market today. It sure doesn’t have the most sophisticated technology like some of its rivals at a similar price point. But you can access features like:

  • A 6.7-inch FHD+ display
  • Up to 1TB MicroSD support
  • Video capture up to 4K@30fps
  • Fast Snapdragon 750G processor
  • Built-in NFC & fingerprint sensor

7. Unlocked Google Pixel 2XL LTE Android

The Google Pixel 2XL is another excellent piece when looking for a phone compatible with Consumer Cellular at under $200. It actually has advanced features we should expect on at least a $400-value smartphone, such as:

  • A 6-inch QHD display
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • Built-in NFC for payments
  • IP67 dust/ water protection
  • Built-in eSIM & Nano-SIM
  • Video capture in Slo-Mo & 4K

8. Factory-Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 10-Series  

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10-Series is a perfect example if you’d want to do more with your phone while on Consumer Cellular. Yes, of course, it doesn’t have the 5G modem for the hyperfast download speeds. But it does support Bands 4, 12, 17, 30, and 71 for extended-range and high-capacity LTE performance.

Other remarkable features worth mentioning include:

  • A 6.3-inch FHD+ display
  • Built-in stylus pen function
  • A solid, IP68-rated construction
  • Built-in NFC & fingerprint sensor
  • Video capture in Slow-Mo & 4K quality
  • Samsung Dex for real-time PC mirroring

9. Consumer Cellular GRANDPAD 4G LTE Tablet

Last on the list is the Grandpad tablet for seniors that Consumer Cellular currently has on its limited-time deals. The smart-touch device isn’t the most famous, for sure. But it does have some decent features, such as:

  • An 8-inch FHD display
  • A built-in stylus function
  • 32GB of built-in storage
  • 4G LTE & WiFi connectivity
  • Fast Snapdragon 625 processor

Commonly Asked Questions:

Will any unlocked phone work with Consumer Cellular?

No, not any unlocked phone will work with Consumer Cellular. The device must also support the various T-Mobile or AT&T network bands, including Band 4, 12, 17, 66, 71, N5, N41, N77, and N71.

Can I use a Verizon phone with Consumer Cellular?

Yes, of course, you can use a Verizon phone with a Consumer Cellular line. But the device must be fully unlocked, plus have at least one of the primary LTE bands for T-Mobile and AT&T networks.

How do I change phones on Consumer Cellular?

Similar to many GSM carriers, it’s very easy to change phones on consumer Cellular. You only need to install the SIM card, power on the device, and complete the initial setup process. The devices should be able to get signal bars immediately.

Can I take the SIM card out of my phone and put it in another?

Yes, you can take your SIM card from the Consumer Cellular phone and put it into another phone. But for the line to pick up signal bars, the new phone must have the right AT&T and T-Mobile network bands.

Not All Versions Work the Same

Thanks to GSM technology, there are so many phones compatible with Consumer Cellular service today. You only have to make sure the device in question has the proper software and network bands.

Fortunately, AT&T and T-Mobile, the carrier networks of Consumer Cellular, tend to share various network bands, including primary Band 12 and N260. Thus, you can easily swap between devices with your T-Mobile and AT&T-supported SIM cards.

Nonetheless, remember even phones from the same brand and series don’t always have the same network technology- frequency bands. The notion is especially true with the US-versions vs international-version phones.

So, before you order a phone, always confirm what version of the phone you’re buying and also the available network bands.