cheap us cellular phones

There are far fewer choices as compared to other carriers when you are a US Cellular user . Therefore, picking the right smartphone can be a daunting task. You’ll find a list of the best cheap US cellular phones below, which should help you narrow down your options. We also give you some info on how you can bring your own device to the network and save big! Let’s dive in to the top cheap us cellular phones for sale and cheap us cellular phones without contract options.

u s cellular plans

cheap us cellular phones

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy S20 Blue back best AT&T phones

As usual, Samsung kickstarted the year with its hottest device lineup: the Galaxy S20 family. This includes the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. Along with different sizes and price points, there are some other key differences between the three. But all of them are worth taking a closer look at before you make a final decision.

There are some common features these US Cellular phones share as well. All three are powered by the same processor, come with Android 10 on board with Samsung’s One UI skin, and feature dust and water resistance. Their dynamic 2x AMOLED screens are among the best in the industry, and all three devices have the same resolution.

The few difference are in the battery, cameras, and obviously the size. But despite their few variations, the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra are all impressive devices with high-end specs and a great design.


Samsung Galaxy S20 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 48, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

2. Samsung Galaxy S10 series

Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus - one of the Best US Cellular phones

Last year’s high-end US Cellular phones are still worthy devices, especially considering the major discount you get for getting an older-generation product. The Samsung Galaxy S10 series is a great choice for many.

The Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10 Plus share much of the same hardware and features. All of them have the Snapdragon 855 processor, a USB-C port for charging, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. They also support wireless charging and come with Android 9.0 Pie.

The biggest differences for each of the Galaxy S10 phones center around screen size, cameras, and battery sizes. The Galaxy S10e has a 5.8-inch flat display with Full HD+ resolution and a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone. The Galaxy S10 has a 6.1-inch curved display with Quad HD+ resolution, while the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch curved Quad HD+ display. Both of those phones have an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

All three phones have one 10MP front camera that can record 4K video, and the Galaxy S10 Plus throws in a second front-facing 8MP depth sensor. The Galaxy S10e has two rear cameras: an ultra-wide 16MP sensor and a wide-angle 12MP camera. Both the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have those same cameras, and in addition, they also have a third telephoto 12MP sensor.


Samsung Galaxy S10e specs:

  • Display: 5.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Samsung Galaxy S10 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,400mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB and 1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 10 and 8MP
  • Battery: 4,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus by US Cellular

The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are phenomenal US Cellular phones. They come with high-end specs including the Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, an S-Pen stylus, and a triple-camera setup at the very least (the Note 10 Plus gets a ToF camera too).

As for other major differences between the two phones, the Note 10 Plus has a larger, sharper screen (6.8-inch QHD+ versus the Note 10’s 6.3-inch FHD+ panel), a bigger battery (4,300mAh versus 3,500mAh), and an optional 512GB variant.

There are a couple of disappointing omissions here, though. The Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t have a microSD card slot, while both devices lack a headphone jack. If these two features are deal-breakers for you, one of the Galaxy S10 phones should be more up your alley.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10 specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 16, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 16, 12, and 12MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

4. Google Pixel 4 series

Google Pixel 4 vs Pixel 4 XL in orange and white

The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL are among the best US Cellular phones in terms of camera performance. They may not have a super wide-angle lens, but Google believes the 2x zoom lens is more useful. This makes the Pixel 4 a little less versatile than phones that offer standard, wide, and zoom lenses, but you still get superb image quality.

The Google Pixel 4 offers more than quality glass and a great sensor. The new Google device’s most powerful weapon is software. Computational photography and AI are the way of the future, and Google is proving it with the results we see in their mobile photography. It’s things like Night Mode, astrophotography, HDR, and Google’s smart editing capabilities that make the difference.

But the phones aren’t just about the cameras. They also come with high-end specs including the Snapdragon 855 chipset, 3D facial recognition, and 90Hz displays. Unfortunately, they don’t have a headphone jack or a fingerprint scanner on board.


Google Pixel 4 specs:

  • Display: 5.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8.1MP
  • Battery: 2,915mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Google Pixel 4 XL specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8.1MP
  • Battery: 3,430mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Google Pixel 3a series

Pixel 3a screen standing on table

Ever since the Nexus 5X days, Google has pretty much exclusively focused on top-tier smartphones. The original Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3 were all very pricey at launch, leaving those of us wanting a cheaper Google-made phone out to dry.

Finally, Google is back to its more affordable roots with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, which are still some of the best US Cellular phones. The Google Pixel 3a has many of the same internals as the Pixel 3, but at a much lower price. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 SoC, 4GB of RAM, squeezy sides to access Google Assistant, and a nice OLED display. Oh, and a headphone jack!

The most important aspect brought over from the Pixel 3 is the camera — the Pixel 3a and 3a XL have the exact same rear camera sensor as the Pixel 3 line. That means you’re getting one of the best smartphone cameras on the market.


Google Pixel 3a specs:

  • Display: 5.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Google Pixel 3a XL specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Camera: 12.2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

6. LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ

The LG G8 ThinQ is a great US Cellular phone for music lovers. It sports a headphone jack, stereo speakers, and a Hi-Fi Quad DAC for an improved audio experience with the right headphones. It’s also IP68-rated for protection against water and dust, supports expandable storage, and has a decent dual-camera setup.

You’ll find an innovative front-facing time-of-flight (ToF) sensor on this device. It can map out the veins in your palm, which can then be used to unlock the device. It also lets you take a screenshot or open an app of choice with hand gestures, all without touching the screen. But as noted in our review, these features don’t work quite as well as we’d like.

The G8 is powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset and comes with 128GB of storage. The phone also sports a notch and packs a 3,500mAh battery.


LG G8 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 8MP and ToF sensor
  • Battery: 3,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

7. Apple iPhone 11 series

iphone 11 rear

The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max may not look as impressive on paper, but we know Apple is appreciated for more than mere specs. iOS is clean, highly optimized, and so simple even kids can use it with no problem. And because it is so optimized, the seemingly lesser specs are enough to make the iPhone 11 one of the best US Cellular phones you can get.

Apple’s build quality is also hard to compete with. There is a certain finesse to these handsets, likely thanks to the great designs mixed with clean software. Apple’s devices are made for the masses, which is why they can be recommended to most casual consumers. Some people don’t want the flexibility, customization, and complex features other US Cellular phones have to offer. They may just want a phone that “works,” and these do.


Apple iPhone 11 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, 1,729 X 828
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,110mAh
  • Software: iOS 13.3

Apple iPhone 11 Pro specs:

  • Display: 5.8-inch, 2,436 X 1,125
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,046mAh
  • Software: iOS 13.3

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 2,688 x 1,242
  • SoC: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,969mAh
  • Software: iOS 13.3

8. Your current phone

Pixel 4 XL camera shootout hero image

Although this list of the best US Cellular phones only includes devices you can actually buy from the carrier, you aren’t stuck with these. US Cellular has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program with a pretty hefty list of compatible smartphones.

With that in mind, if you are looking to switch to US Cellular and already own an unlocked version of a compatible device, you don’t have to buy a new phone. If you take advantage of the BYOD program, you can even earn some hefty discounts and bill credits.

To check if your device is compatible, click the button below and enter your device’s IMEI number, which you can locate by dialing “*#06#” using your phone’s built-in dialer app.

What kind of smartphone do you need?

Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first. A smartphone is basically a computer you carry around in your pocket that allows you to perform various tasks. This can be anything from ensuring that you’re able to remain connected with the outside world through to sitting in a darkened room playing Clash Royale. But how do you actually use your smartphone every day?

Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first.

The point is that in order for you to send WhatsApp messages and publish a few posts on social networks you shouldn’t really need to spend more than about $200. For a gamer who is not prepared to give up a fluid and smooth gaming experience, they had better be on the lookout for smartphones priced at around $400. Whereas those who want the best of the best in terms of design and performance will need to be prepared to spend from about $500 and up.

AndroidPIT Best High End Smartphones Hero 4
Having so many options makes the choice complicated. / © NextPit

Let’s see what are the 10 most important factors to consider before choosing your next smartphone.

1. Mobile carriers and affordable plans

Do you want a new smartphone? Well, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice. Before you whip out your credit card to purchase something online, you should search for the best cell phone plans offered by the various mobile providers. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile each have something interesting to offer customers, and will often provide complete packages including data, calls and SMS. Who knows, maybe it’s the right time you to consider changing your current provider…you can even keep your current phone number.

Here are some offers from the big four networks in the US:

AndroidPIT vodafone 2755
Choosing a provider can be complex, but there’s something for everyone. / © NextPit

2. Operating system

If you’re reading this article, you’ve already decided to focus on buying an Android-based device, but there are several versions, and versions of versions, of this Google software. Before buying a new smartphone, so you should brush up on your history of Android – or at the very least examine the differences between the last two versions, Android 9 Pie and Android 10.

Besides these being great treats to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth, these names correspond to different versions of the Android operating system and each offers unique features and functions. The latest Android version available is Android 10, but unfortunately not all devices have the honor of showing it off. I advise you not to buy a smartphone with outdated versions of Nougat or Marshmellow and instead look for a smartphone with Android Pie at least (and if you are guaranteed an upgrade to the newest and latest Android version, that’s even better).

AndroidPIT android 10 06
Google dropped the sweets theme for the latest version of Android. / © NextPit

3. Design and functionality

In selecting a new smartphone, personal taste is a major decision point, both in terms of software and outward appearance. Some people may prefer more rounded lines and a sinuous design, whereas others like a sturdier look, characterized by straight lines and sharp metal edges. We must admit that with each passing month and the succession of launch events we see within the industry, smartphones are increasingly starting to resemble one another and the choice available is strongly influenced by marketing campaigns and trends.

But, design is based on functionality. A metal unibody is stylish and trendy, but in some cases prevents you from using some features such as a microSD card or a headphone jack. Before buying, check the quality of the device to ensure you’ll be able to use it in the way which is most comfortable and convenient for you (provided these elements are important to you).

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs LG G4 camera 2203
Glass or leather? Curved lines or right angles? The dilemmas are endless. / © NextPit

4. Size and type of display

For those who like to receive news updates or simply get lost in the HD graphics of the latest Android games, you should really consider a smartphone that is equipped with a display of at least 5.7 inches. For those that use the smartphone mainly for WhatsApp or to read Facebook posts, a smaller screen will be more than sufficient.

As for the display technology, there are two main types in Android: LCD and AMOLED. The main difference between the two lies in the projection of light. In theory, LCD screens tend to be brighter and display content better when in direct sunlight, while the AMOLED display offers sharper contrast and more saturated colors. In practice, however, with the passage of time and the arrival of new technologies, the difference between the two is becoming less noticeable. That said, Full-HD, FullHD+, or QHD resolution for images are almost always impeccable.

androidpit oneplus 7 pro vs galaxy s10 plus hero 2
The AMOLED displays tend to be move vivid. / © NextPit

5. Processor and RAM

The processor is the hub of a device on which depends the overall performance. Sometimes, processor capability is what limits software updates. Qualcomm and Mediatek are a safe bet.

Meanwhile, Huawei with its Kirin processor is proving itself able to offer good performance to users. It should also be noted that for any processor to be its best, the amount of available RAM is crucial. Yes, the processor is important, but we need to look to the smartphone and its technical specifications as a whole.

qualcomm snapdragon 865 live
The latest Snapdragon 865. / © Qualcomm

6. Internal storage

When you’re scoping out your next Android, check the RAM and internal storage, but not just what it says on the sticker. Take a look at how much space the preinstalled apps take up. Although you can use a MicroSD card to expand your smartphone’s storage capacity, do not forget that a larger internal memory is recommended over using an external card.

At the same time, before you opt for a model with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, think about how much you’ll actually use. Are you using your smartphone as an external hard drive for your computer by saving movies, music, files and heavy apps? If the answer is no, you’re probably OK with 64GB. Not to mention that you can take advantage of cloud services to save some space and still always have your files at hand, provided you have an internet connection. As a general rule, considering smartphones on the market, it is advisable to opt for at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.

Darth Vader micro SD ANDROIDPIT
Expandable memory or the cloud? / © Mediatek

7. Battery life

Battery life is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new smartphone. Do not be fooled: a higher number of mAh does not amount to more and more battery life, or to a longer battery life cycle. The factors that come into play are different and it’s worth knowing them.

For example, you should consider that screens with a higher resolution consume more energy, while the latest processors optimize battery life. Then there’s display refresh rates and quick charging technology to think about. Rather than just looking at tech specs, it’s best to check out reviews and benchmark results to know how all these factors perform when combines in a single device. At the moment, 4,000 mAh seems to be the standard.

ANDROIDPIT battery 1
Don’t forget about the battery. / © Mediatek

8. Camera quality and creativity

Smartphone manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to camera quality and features lately, and that’s a great thing for users. The number of megapixels, hybrid autofocus, optical stabilization, manual modes, special effects, and special selfie features: smartphones are becoming more and more like a digital camera.

Once again, I recommend you not to dwell too much on the numbers showing on the technical sheet. The MP does not tell the whole story and it is important to get an idea of the type of integrated sensor, lens quality, and pixel size. You’ll find all the details specified in our reviews, but once you’re in the store it will cost you nothing to start the camera app and check the brightness of the shots and software features for yourself.

AndroidPIT camera test comparison 2
Megapixels aren’t everything. / © NextPit

9. Software and integrated functions

Do you need a phone that can do absolutely everything? Are you one of those people who needs a built-in fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, UV sensor, Swiss Army knife, and a batmobile? You have a wide range of choices here, from the latest top of the line to a mid-range smartphone you will find all the latest hardware innovations.

But don’t limit yourself to choose a smartphone based on the hardware features. Activate the display and explore the software in-depth to find out what hidden features are there and if it provides options that work for you. Often share the device with your children? Ensure you have a guest mode or parental control. Do you like reading ebooks directly on Android? Select an interface that allows you to adjust the hue of the display and that implements some anti-strain eye protection. In short, do not stop at appearances and thoroughly investigate the system. 

quick toggles 01
Navigate between the features of each device. / © NextPit

10. Price compared to performance

Last on our list, but probably the first factor to consider if you have a limited budget, it is definitely the price. What do you want to spend on your next smartphone? Is it worth it to use all your salary or is it perhaps appropriate to limit yourself and choose something cheaper but equally powerful and in step with the times? The choice is yours, but be aware that for any price range there are some devices better than others.

Leave a Comment