Boost Mobile Phones
Boost Mobile is one of the best MVNO carriers that focuses on value for the dollar. Formerly part of the Sprint network, new customers are moving over to T-Mobile’s far more robust network. The plans are super affordable, which is why Boost is so attractive. We’ve got our roundup of the best Boost Mobile phones you can buy to use on Boost’s network including the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, our top choice.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
At the end of 2020, Samsung released its best value phone of the year. There were better Samsung phones and there were cheaper Samsung phones, but the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE combined the best features for the best price. It became a new flagship killer on its own. Samsung scaled back a little on this phone, but in completely forgivable places.
You’ve still got a gorgeous 6.5-inch, 120 Hz display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. You’ve got a three-camera setup with ultrawide, main, and telephoto sensors. That includes “Space Zoom” of up to 30x hybrid zoom.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was one of the best phones released last year. It got rave reviews from basically anyone who looked at it. You would be hard pressed to find something bad to say about it.
- Full HD+ Display with 120 Hz refresh rate
- Snapdragon 865 processor
- Expandable storage
- Amazing camera array
- No headphone jack
- Plastic body
Best Battery: Moto G Power
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
If you’re using Boost Mobile for your phone service, chances are you’re trying to save money. Boost does a good job of helping you save some cash on your monthly wireless bill, and that makes the Moto G Power a perfect fit as the best overall phone for the network.
Moto G phones have always been about giving you a quality experience at a reasonable price, and that’s exactly what the G Power does. In spite of a super low price tag, the Moto G Power manages to deliver a great Full HD+ display with slim bezels, reliable performance for most tasks, and a trio of cameras that are perfectly adequate for Twitter and Instagram. You even get a 3.5mm headphone jack, expandable storage, and a water-repellent coating.
All of that’s great, but what takes the Moto G Power up a notch is its battery life. With a 5,000 mAh capacity, you can get between two and three days of use on a single charge. We aren’t as psyched about the limited update support or the lack of NFC for Google Pay, but all-in-all, this is a fantastic device for using Boost service.
- Full HD+ display looks really good
- Snappy performance
- Three-day battery
- Good cameras for the price
- Clean software with fun features
- Only promised one software update
- Doesn’t have NFC
Best Runner Up: Samsung Galaxy A21
Samsung’s low-end lineup is anchored by the Samsung Galaxy A21. You’ll notice the inclusion of the word “galaxy” in the name. That’s important because Samsung promises four years of updates to all of its Galaxy-branded phones, including the A-series. For a phone leaning toward the low end of the Android spectrum, that’s not bad.
The phone has a Mediatek Helio P35 on the inside, along with 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage. Those aren’t the most impressive specifications, but if you’re looking for value for the dollar, that’ll do. You still get Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen at FHD+ resolution. It gets a little grainy at lower resolutions, but it’s very fair for the price.
Expandable storage is always a win, so pop in a microSD card, and you’re off to the races. The quad-camera setup on the back isn’t too shabby either, though it’s certainly not Samsung’s greatest. All the same, you’re getting a lot of value here for your dollar.
- Super AMOLED display
- Expandable memory
- Quad camera setup
- Only 32GB of storage
- Grainy playback at lower resolutions
Best Value: Moto G Fast
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
The Moto G Fast is an interesting phone. It has a lot in common with the Moto G Power mentioned above, but it makes a few spec cuts across the board to hit an even lower price point. It’s not as well-rounded as the G Power is, but if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, it’s worth bringing into the conversation.
So, what gets cut with the Moto G Fast compared to the Moto G Power? The display resolution is lowered to HD+, you have less RAM and storage, and the battery is decreased to 4,000 mAh. Those certainly are cuts to keep in mind, but for most folks, the Moto G Fast still manages to offer a user experience that’s enjoyable and fun to use. You still get the same great Motorola build quality, clean software, expandable storage, and the almighty headphone jack.
We’d urge you to splurge for the Moto G Power if you can afford it, but if the G Fast is more in-line with your budget, it’s a solid handset given just how cheap it is.
- Battery is great
- Good day-to-day performance
- Feels very sturdy
- Headphone jack
- Expandable storage
- Super competitive price
- Only HD+ display
- No NFC
- Only gets one update
Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy A11
Speaking of affordable phones, another we recommend putting on your shortlist is the Samsung Galaxy A11. The A11 is one of the cheapest phones in Samsung’s lineup, striving to offer a reliable Android handset without making folks spend more than necessary.
When dealing with a phone this cheap, it’s important to go into it with the right expectations. The Galaxy A11 has its faults with a limited processor, lower-resolution display, middling cameras, and more. However, in the context of how much the A11 costs, it’s understandable. Samsung didn’t design a phone like this to be the next big thing. Instead, its purpose is to be a functioning smartphone that can run apps, make calls, and send texts while being as cheap as possible.
Given all of that, you do get some nice features with the Galaxy A11. It has a large 4,000 mAh battery, charges via USB-C, has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a fingerprint sensor, and Samsung’s feature-rich One UI software.
- Modern design
- Fingerprint sensor
- Generous 4,000 mAh battery
- USB-C charging
- Headphone jack
- One UI software
- Weak processor
- Display is only HD
- Cameras are just OK
Best Stylus: LG Stylo 6
Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central
Not every phone with a stylus has a Samsung logo on it. Indeed the LG Stylo 6 not only has a stylus, and a place to keep it, but it’s also available on Boost mobile, and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as a Samsung phone with the same attributes. Meet the LG Stylo 6, which has a beautiful build and a massive 6.8-inch screen. The battery lasts for days and days. Right off the bat, it’s an attractive package.
Where the phone starts to show its price point is in the performance department. Apps that are held in memory work fairly well, if a bit slow. Apps that aren’t held in memory can take a long time to open – up to nine seconds. You definitely will not be doing any gaming on this phone. Nor will you be charging wirelessly or making NFC payments, since this phone lacks both of those coils.
The main reason to buy this phone is if you want a stylus that is stored inside the phone. The stylus performs quite well. It’s very useful for screen-off note-taking, and navigating hard-to-tap places on web pages or apps. There’s certainly an argument to be made for using a stylus on a smartphone, so we wouldn’t judge you at all for picking this phone up.
- Great Price
- Beautiful hardware
- Great battery life
- Built-in stylus
- No NFC
- No wireless charging
- Sluggish performance
Best Unlocked: Google Pixel 5
Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central
Boost Mobile is in a weird place. Coming off the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, Boost mobile moved over to Dish Network. While existing customers are still using the old Sprint network, new customers are using T-Mobile’s network with Boost as the MVNO. That means that many unlocked phones with network compatibility to T-Mobile can come over and ride the Boost wagon.
One such phone is the Google Pixel 5, but this entry is more to let you know that most unlocked phones can come over. Boost mobile even has a checker you can run so you can see if your phone will work or not. So while we’re here, let’s talk about the Google Pixel 5. This is Google’s best smartphone to date and it comes packed with everything you need for an amazing Android experience. It’s the first phone that will get new updates to Android, and it’s clean. There’s no skin nor bloatware. And the performance is super silky smooth, regardless of what you’re doing with it.
In the US, this phone costs more than abroad, because Google included mmWave hardware which costs a lot to include, and the phone is only available in two colors, so there’s not a lot of variety there. But, if you’re looking for the best experience Google can offer, look no further than the Google Pixel 5.
- Stock Android
- Great battery life
- Amazing camera setup
- 5G “tax” in the US
- Only available in two colors
At the end of the day, it’s hard to argue that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is the best phone you can buy from 2020. It has everything including a powerful processor, great battery life, an amazing camera, and a low price. Samsung cut all the right corners to bring this phone to market at the right price, and it hit the ball out of the ballpark.
If Samsung is not your cup of tea, but you still want to be on Boost, you can bring over your own unlocked phone and sign up. We recommend the Google Pixel 5 if you’re looking for a new unlocked phone. The Google Pixel 5 is Android the way Google wants it to be, and it’s just so smooth, you’ll think you’re using a phone that’s twice as powerful.
Plus, the camera setup you get with the Pixel 5 is top-notch. Google has left most of its competitors behind in terms of sheer software processing of images. What that means is, you can pull out your phone in almost any condition and the photo you take will be great. You can’t say that for most other phones out there. Google has the power to get it done. Boost has the power to make sure you don’t pay too much in the process.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central’s Senior Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to [email protected]!
Adam Doud has been writing and podcasting the mobile tech space for almost a decade. When he’s not writing for Android Central, he hosts the Benefit of the Doud podcast, spends way too much time on Twitter, and redesigns his office space over and over.
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