Spectrum Mobile is one of the companies you can have phone service from as low as $14 per month. It’s also one of the few MVNOs with free nationwide WiFi Hotspots and prioritized data speeds of up to 2000Mbps. But before you can benefit from these perks, you need either of the phones compatible with Spectrum Mobile on software and network.
On the AT&T vs Spectrum phone pricing and data speeds review, we concluded that our MVNO has network deals with Verizon. And that would mean the device you’re hoping to bring should have at least one or two of the Verizon primary bands.
In this guide, I’ve covered everything you should know about phones compatible with Spectrum Mobile, including the said LTE and 5G bands. But before we come to that, let us start with one of the commonly asked questions:
What Phones Work Best with Spectrum Mobile 5G?
Spectrum Mobile, like any other MVNO, now has free 5G access from their host networks. But unlike Visible and Total Wireless, the Charter brand usually gets prioritized data from its carrier network, Verizon.
In fact, the phones that can tap into the 5G Ultra-Wideband spectrum get hyper-fast data speeds at no cost. So, as the user, you get to download, stream, or game without touching your monthly data allotment.
Well, some of the phones that work best with Spectrum Mobile 5G Ultra-Wideband include:
- Best Overall: Unlocked Apple iPhone 12 5G/ LTE Green
- Best of Replacement: Factory Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
- Best of Deals: Unlocked Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021) 5G-Enabled
- Best of Upgrade: Spectrum Mobile-Branded Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
#7 Things to Consider Before Bringing a Phone to Spectrum Mobile
Here are some crucial facts you should know about Spectrum Mobile before you bring a device:
- Spectrum Mobile as an MVNO
Spectrum Mobile’s a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) of Verizon. Thus, your SIM card should work with most of the phones compatible with Visible and Xfinity Mobile.
As I’ve mentioned the other day, subcarriers and their host networks usually run on the same frequency bands. And since Verizon is the host network here, your Spectrum phone will use LTE Bands 2, 4, 5, 13, and 66.
Band 13 is the primary extended-range frequency (best coverage and penetration into walls), whereas Band 66 is the wide-capacity frequency (fastest LTE speeds).
On the 5G network, your Spectrum Mobile phone will rely on the Bands N2, N5, and N66 for the low-band speeds. Then, the Ultra-Wideband signals require at least Band N77 (c-band), N260, or N261.
- Still No eSIM support
Sadly, YES, Spectrum Mobile hasn’t introduced the eSIM support yet. And that means you can only activate even the eSIM-supported devices with a physical SIM card.
- Supports Apple Wearables
As strange as it might sound, Spectrum Mobile, indeed, has an add-on smartwatch plan for iPhone users. And as of this moment, you can get three months of free smartwatch access with unlimited voice talk, text, and LTE data.
So, you might want to have an iPhone to get the most of your Spectrum Mobile service.
- Supports WiFi Calling
Spectrum Mobile does support WiFi calling and texting when outside the network coverage areas. Of course, the carrier enables the feature by request (enquire before you can access it). But it still means you’ll need a device that supports WiFi calling to make use of it.
- Gets Prioritized Data
As mentioned earlier, Spectrum Mobile has a network deal with Verizon to be getting prioritized data. You should have decent mobile data speeds even when the cell towers are busy in your location.
However, Spectrum Mobile seems to have this deal only on unlimited plans. The By-the-Gig rate plan gets deprioritized when the traffic’s high. So, you might want to have a 5G-capable phone in that case as the data speeds will still be usable.
- Have Free Unlimited WiFi Hotspots
While looking at Spectrum vs Frontier internet, we concluded you can get out-of-home WiFi with your wireless devices. The wireless devices in this case include even your smartphone and tablets, whereby you can get data speeds of 20-50Mbps on good days.
As you might know, though, the data performance on WiFi connection does vary with the devices connected.
For instance, a device with WiFi 6 (802.11ax) will be faster than 802.11ac (WiFi 5), which is better than the 802.11n standard.
So, someone with an iPhone (13/12/11) Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S20-Series and later can achieve the highest Spectrum WiFi Hotspot speeds.
- Sells Carrier-Locked Phones
Different from the likes of Google Fi and Pure Talk, Spectrum Mobile usually sells devices locked to its network. The MVNO is also not among the carriers you can unlock your phone if you still owe money on it.
You’ll have to wait the standard lock period of 60 days or up to 24 months (for financed devices) before you can switch your phone to another carrier.
Also, this would mean we have about four different types of phones compatible with Spectrum Mobile service, including:
- Spectrum-locked phones: these are the locked phones purchased from Spectrum Mobile or its partners
- Factory-unlocked phones: these are the devices that come from the factory while fully unlocked. You can purchase directly from the manufacturer or retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, et cetera.
- Carrier-unlocked phones: as the name, these devices were previously locked to another carrier but are now fully unlocked.
- Verizon-branded phones: usually, you can put a SIM card of an MVNO to a phone from its carrier network. So, your Spectrum Mobile line can work on many Verizon iPhone and android devices even without unlocking.
What Cell Phones Are Compatible with Spectrum Mobile 5G UW?
As was just mentioned, we’ve got four different TYPES of PHONES that you can use with Spectrum Mobile.
The following chart now highlights some of the phone brands that you can easily activate on LTE or 5G network.
|Phones Compatible with Spectrum Mobile||Type of Phone||Supported Networks||ROM vs RAM|
|Apple iPhone 12 5G/ LTE Green||Fully Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Samsung Galaxy A13 5G-Capable||Factory Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max A15 Bionic||Spectrum Mobile-Branded||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 6GB|
|Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021) 5G-Enabled||Fully Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||256GB, 6GB|
|Apple iPhone SE (2ND Gen) 64GB Memory LTE||Fully Unlocked||4G LTE||64GB, 3GB|
|Samsung Galaxy S22 8K-Capture Android||Factory Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 8GB|
|Apple iPhone 12 Mini 64GB Red||Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Motorola Edge+ 128GB Android||Spectrum Mobile-Branded||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 8GB|
|LG G8 ThinQ 128GB QHD Android||Verizon-Branded||4G LTE||128GB, 6GB|
|Google Pixel 5 with 5G-enabled Connectivity||Unlocked||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 8GB|
|Apple iPhone 11 64GB Memory Purple||Fully Unlocked||4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Stylus||Factory Unlocked||4G LTE||256GB, 12GB|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Android||Verizon-Branded||5G & 4G LTE||128GB, 8GB|
|Apple iPad 10.2” LTE Cellular||Spectrum Mobile-Branded||4G LTE||256GB, 3GB|
If you remember my earlier statement, your Spectrum 5G Ultra-Wideband data usage usually doesn’t count towards your monthly allowance. So, a 5G UW-capable phone will be more worthwhile to have than the LTE versions. And my eight favorite options include:
The iPhone 12 is my overall favorite of the phones compatible with Spectrum Mobile from its nice balance of pricing and performance. Not only does it have the 5G mmWave Bands N260 and N261, but also the latest features like:
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) standard
- IP68 dust/ water protection
- Qi/ MagSafe wireless charging
- Built-in NFC & Face ID sensors
- Video recording in Slo-Mo & 4K quality
- A high-performance A14 Bionic processor
Although released earlier this year, the Galaxy A13 5G is currently one of the bestsellers in the Samsung phone catalogs. At less than $250, it’s a nice pick when looking for a quick replacement or a decent 5G-capable device on a budget.
Other features I’ve liked most on the Samsung smartphone include:
- WiFi 5 (802.11ac) support
- Up to 1TB MicroSD support
- Quick fingerprint unlock mode
- The N77 (C-Band) mmWave support
- Built-in NFC for contactless payments
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is one of the premium phones to check out if you’d like to upgrade to a better mobile experience. It runs on the A15 Bionic, which is currently the fastest processor. Then has amazing features like:
- 5G N260 & N261 bands
- Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) support
- Built-in NFC & Face ID sensors
- Dual SIM via Nano-SIM & eSIM
- Camera system with 6x optical zoom
The Moto G Stylus here’s yet another phone compatible with Spectrum Mobile 5G service. And as of this moment, various retailers have the device on offer, with up to $100 off.
But again, is the Android phone worth it? Let’s look at some of its best features:
- A 6.8-inch FHD+ display
- Up to WiFi 5 (802.11ac) support
- Decent Snapdragon 480 processor
- Max. video capture in 1080p@60fps
- 256GB built-in memory & 1TB MicroSD support
The recently-released Galaxy S22 is another high-end smartphone you can consider while looking to upgrade. But in this case, I’m more impressed by its camera system that has optical zoom, plus video recording in 8K@24fps and Super Slow-Mo in 720p@960fps.
Other amazing features on the Samsung Galaxy phone include:
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) support
- Built-in NFC & Bluetooth v5.2
- Dual SIM with a Nano-SIM & eSIM
- Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor
- Samsung DeX for desktop mirroring
- Fast Qi/ PMA & Reverse wireless charging
Google Pixel devices also work very well with Spectrum Mobile. And the Pixel 4a 5G is a great option if you’d like to take advantage of the mmWave super-fast data speeds.
The Google smartphone also has WiFi 5 (802.11ac) technology and other latest features like:
- A built-in eSIM & Nano-SIM
- Fast Snapdragon 765G processor
- IP68 dust/ water protection
- Integrate NFC & fingerprint sensor
- Video recording in Slow-Mo & 4K quality
The Samsung Galaxy S20-series is another bestseller in the 5G-enabled phone catalog. If keen enough, you’ll have noticed this is a Verizon-branded model, thereby comes ready with the 5G Ultra-wideband bands N260 and 261.
Other features of the phone worth mentioning include:
- 6.2-inch 120Hz display
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax) support
- Built-in NFC & Samsung DeX
- Super-fat Snapdragon 865 processor
- Qi/ PMA & Reverse wireless charging
- Video capture in 8K and super Slow-Mo
Can I switch my Spectrum SIM card to another phone?
Yes, of course, you can switch your Spectrum SIM card to another compatible phone. But similar to Verizon, you’ll need to visit Spectrum Mobile BYOD to authenticate the new device with your SIM card.
Is Spectrum a GSM or CDMA?
Naturally, Spectrum Mobile will be a CDMA network due to its carrier network, Verizon. But GSM and CDMA protocols apply to 2G/ 3G connectivity, which is no more in the wake of 4G LTE and 5G technology.
Will AT&T phones work on spectrum Mobile?
YES, many AT&T phones do work on Spectrum Mobile after unlocking. But you must make sure the device version supports the Spectrum primary bands, such as LTE Band 13/ 66 and N77/ N260/ N261 for 5G.
Does Spectrum mobile accept unlocked phones?
Like most carriers, Spectrum Mobile do accept unlocked phones onto their BYOD (bring your own device) program. But the carrier-unlocked or factory-unlocked device must have the primary frequency bands to pick the signal.
Pay Attention to the Phone “Model” Number
Well, these are the crucial details you should pay attention to when looking for phones compatible with Spectrum Mobile service.
Of course, the list of the specific phone models is larger than the fourteen I’ve listed above. But the purpose of the whole article was to help you on the right track, especially for the network and WiFi requirements.
Please, keep in mind manufacturers usually design their various phone models with varying network technologies. So, always make sure the model number of the device you’d want to purchase has the LTE/ 5G bands for your intended carrier.
Ps. Phones purchased from a provider (like Spectrum Mobile) always have network configuration of their carrier network (in this case Verizon).