The Best AT&T Phones for 2023

Now that you’ve chosen AT&T as your carrier, it’s time to buy a phone. AT&T sells carrier-locked versions of Apple, Google, Motorola, and Samsung handsets, so there’s no shortage of choice, no matter if you prefer Android or iOS.

Many people get their phones with the help of a monthly plan (typically over 36 months with AT&T), so even premium models are viable choices for many subscribers. It’s not difficult to get the latest and greatest devices either if you pay a few extra dollars per month for a fast-upgrade plan such as AT&T Next Up.

Unlocked phones are an option too, of course, though their high upfront cost might not be feasible for all. Just make sure to check that AT&T officially supports (link opens a PDF) the unlocked phone you want before you buy it. That linked list isn’t fully up-to-date, but any new Apple, Google, and Samsung phones are reasonably safe bets for compatibility.

You should also pay attention to which forms of 5G your device supports (we explain AT&T’s naming scheme a bit later). What parts of the network you can use depends on your phone’s modem and what AT&T allows on its end.

With all that in mind, below are the best smartphones we’ve tested for AT&T, along with additional details you should consider during your search. For more details on the best devices on any network, see our list of the best 5G phones right now.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Best for Photographers and Video Creators

Bottom Line:

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best iPhone overall, with excellent performance, stellar battery life, sharp cameras, and a number of useful features you don’t get with the standard models.


  • High-quality hardware
  • Always-on display includes widgets
  • Top-notch cameras
  • Stellar wireless performance


  • Pricey
  • Dated design and Lightning connector

Google Pixel 7a

Best Midrange Phone

Bottom Line:

When it comes to affordable Android phones, Google’s Pixel 7a outshines the competition in terms of camera performance, software, and value.


  • Solid performance
  • Above-average cameras
  • Unique design
  • Wireless charging


  • Wi-Fi disconnection issue in testing

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best for Artists and Power Users

Bottom Line:

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is large and pricey, but an exceptional mix of features, performance, and quality makes it the best high-end Android phone you can buy.


  • Large, bright display
  • Speedy performance
  • Excellent cameras
  • S Pen integration
  • Solid battery life
  • Durable hardware
  • Strong software update commitment


  • Expensive
  • Big, heavy build

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best Folding Phone

Bottom Line:

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a foldable phone done right, with a sleeker, lighter build than previous models, loads of power, and genuinely useful continuity between its two screens.


  • Incredibly versatile
  • Excellent productivity software
  • Beautiful screens
  • Slimmer, lighter design than previous generation


  • Pricey
  • Odd speaker placement

Motorola Moto Edge+ (2023)

Best Android Flagship for Most People

Bottom Line:

Motorola’s 2023 Moto Edge+ combines excellent performance and leading battery life in an attractive design, making it your best bet for high-end Android performance under $1,000.


  • Stellar battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Attractive curved screen
  • Rapid charging


  • Display is only 1080p
  • Finicky fingerprint reader

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Best Affordable Phone

Bottom Line:

The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G packs a lot to like for a sub-$200 phone, including a large screen, efficient performance, solid connectivity options, and a superior software upgrade path.


  • Large, sharp display with 90Hz refresh rate
  • Good performance for the price
  • Excellent software update policy


  • Not protected against dust or water
  • Screen is hard to see in sunlight

Sunbeam F1

Best Simple Voice Phone

Bottom Line:

The Sunbeam F1 helps digital disconnectors target exactly the level of communication they want.


  • Thoughtful design
  • Solid construction
  • Loud earpiece
  • Three levels of feature restrictions


  • Lacks band 71 for T-Mobile
  • Long-term support not guaranteed

Learn More

Sunbeam F1 Review

Apple iPhone 14

Best iPhone for Most People

Bottom Line:

While the iPhone 14 doesn’t offer all of the innovative new features available to the Pro line, Apple has made plenty of small tweaks under the hood to boost its performance and keep it competitive.


  • Solid performance
  • Capable cameras
  • Helpful emergency features


  • Not that different from the iPhone 13
  • Dated design and Lightning connector

Motorola Moto G Power 5G (2023)

Best Value for Battery Life

Bottom Line:

The Motorola Moto G Power 5G is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor thanks to an improved screen, a faster processor, and the addition of 5G, but it costs $100 more.


  • Good battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Affordable
  • Adequate main camera


  • Weak secondary cameras
  • No NFC
  • Lacks IP rating

Buying Guide: The Best AT&T Phones for 2023

Is AT&T’s 5G Network Good?

AT&T ranked third out of three in our Best Mobile Networks tests overall, but it still offers excellent LTE performance nationwide. Although the carrier once confusingly sold its 4G network as 5G Evolution (or 5G E), it has since dropped that name from ads. You might still see the 5G E icon show up in your phone’s status bar, though.

AT&T has been slower in its 5G expansion than Verizon and T-Mobile. It currently runs a “nationwide 5G” network that sometimes is no faster than its 4G network. AT&T uses a mix of low-band, mid-band, and mmWave/high-band frequencies for its 5G networks. Low-band frequencies are capable of reaching far-away devices, but the trade-off is lower speeds. If your device connects to AT&T’s low-band frequencies for 5G, it will display “5G” on the screen, and you could see speeds below 100Mbps.

Mid-band frequencies range from 2 to 10GHz and this is where you find C-band. In the US, C-Band refers to frequencies between 3.7 and 3.98GHz. These allow for good range and better-than-LTE speeds, so it’s important that your 5G phone supports them. Signals can reach about half a mile away from their towers and connection speeds can exceed 1Gbps.

Meanwhile, mmWave/high-band frequencies are very short-range and can offer speeds of over 3Gbps. However, physical objects can block or reflect these frequencies, thus interfering with connections and speeds more so than with low-band or mid-band frequencies. AT&T labels its mid-band and mmWave network as “5G+.”

What Should You Look For in an AT&T Phone?

If you want your phone to be a long-term investment, the most important spec to consider is support for C-band. Devices in the Galaxy S22 family, Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3, and the iPhone 14 lineup were the first to take advantage of AT&T’s C-band, with modern models continuing to support that band. If you look into a phone at AT&T’s site, you can open up the Features & Specs section and then go to the Wireless Technology portion. Look for either the words “C-Band” and/or n77 to see if the device supports the C-Band. If you are weighing several different options for your AT&T phone, make sure you check for any deals that may get you a better device for a lower cost.

Recommended by Our Editors

The Best Flip Phone for AT&T

If you’re interested in a flip or voice phone, you should buy one that supports voice over AT&T’s 4G or 5G network, as the carrier finally turned off its 3G service in 2022. We like the Sunbeam F1 for its excellent voice quality and compact size, and the Nokia 2780 Flip for similar reasons.

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If you need more help buying a cell phone, check out our story on the best cheap phones. While you’re at it, take a look at our lists of the best phones for T-Mobile and Verizon.

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