Uber is a smartphone app, so naturally as an Uber driver you’ll need to use a smartphone with a data plan to receive ride requests. The Uber app for drivers works with almost all modern smartphones, but there are some crucial phone requirements that you need to be aware of before you go out and buy a phone for Uber.
It’s also important to know what types of phones work well with Uber, what phone features and accessories you’ll need, how much data the Uber app uses, and how to download Uber onto your personal phone. I cover all of these topics in this article.
Want to drive for Uber? Sign up to drive for Uber with my referral link to be eligible for the best new-driver bonuses and promotions. I may receive a bonus from Uber if you sign up using my link.
Uber phone requirements
Android requirements to run the Uber driver app
- Any smart phone from 2013 or newer
- Android version 4.0 or newer
- For best results the phone should run Android 5.0 or newer
iPhone requirements to run the Uber driver app
- iOS 9 or newer
- Oldest iPhone you can use is iPhone 4S
- For best results: Use iPhone 5 or newer
To become an Uber driver, read my guide to Uber driver requirements.
What are the best phones to run Uber?
The newer the phone, the better Uber and navigation apps will function. If you don’t want to get the latest model, make sure the one you get was released in 2013 or later. Anything older won’t perform well and is more like to freeze or crash.
- iPhone 5 and up
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- Google Nexus
- LG G series
- Sony Xperia
Find the Cheapest Insurance Quotes in Your Area
How to run the Uber driver app on a tablet
Some Uber drivers choose to use a tablet to run the Uber app because they prefer a larger screen. Tablets can also create a better entertainment system for your car. There are two ways to run Uber on a tablet:
- Tablet with a data plan: You can buy a tablet that is 3G or 4G enabled and will be able to run the Uber app and receive calls/texts all by itself
- Tablet tethered to your phone via personal WiFi hotspot: Tether your WiFi-only tablet to your phone to run the Uber app from a tablet. Your tablet will display the Uber app and navigation, and your phone will receive calls and texts from passengers.
How to download the Uber driver app on your personal phone
The Uber driver app is available for download in the App store and in the Google Play store. Uber may also send download links to the app during the application process. You can also go to help.uber.com and find a help article about downloading the driver app in the “Signing Up” section.
Phone features to think about when you’re choosing a phone
- Screen size: The bigger, the better, especially when your phone is mounted to your dash or windshield.
- GPS reliability and accuracy: Some lower-cost phones are known to have GPS connectivity issues. Make sure to Google search “your phone’s model + GPS connectivity” to see if other users have GPS problems on the phone you’re thinking about getting.
- Battery life: Not as crucial of an issue because you’ll likely keep your phone plugged into a charger while you’re driving, but for everyday use outside of your car you want the best battery life you can get.
Phone accessories all drivers need to get good ratings
One of the most common reasons for low Uber driver ratings is when drivers don’t mount their phones. A few cheap accessories will help you keep your job.
- Phone mount: Holding your phone while driving is one of the number one reasons for low ratings from passengers, so always use a phone mount. I recommend the iOttie Easy Mount. It’s cheap and works well.
- Charging port and cables: Your phone needs to be plugged into a car charging port for the majority of your driving shifts. Get an Amazon Basics dual charger so you can charge your phone and another device at the same time.
- 3.5mm aux cable: If you want to play music from your phone or allow passengers to play music from their phones, you’ll need a 3.5mm auxiliary cable. I use the Belkin 6-foot cable
Phone problems you may experience while using Uber driver app, and how to solve them
- Can’t log into the Uber driver app: There is an issue with your account. You may have been deactivated or disabled. Read my article on why drivers get deactivated and how to get reactivated
- Overheating: It’s normal for the Uber app to make your phone hot to the touch, but if your phone feels extremely hot, you may be overtaxing your phone’s processor. Keep your phone out of direct sunlight if possible, don’t use bulky cases or fabric/leather cases, and only charge it when it needs to be charged. If the problem persists, you may need to get a newer phone.
- Freezing, crashing, slow operation: Prevent freezing and crashing by making sure to only run necessary apps like navigation and music. Restart your phone if you’re having this issue.
- Can’t see or hear notifications: Dig into your settings and make sure that all notifications are enabled for the Uber app, and if you use an external Bluetooth device, check to see if the notification sounds are playing through that device instead of out of the phone.
A good go-to thing to do when you’re having phone issues is to fully restart the phone.
You can lease a phone from Uber — but it’s expensive. No longer available
Note: Uber no longer offers phone rentals for drivers. You have to purchase your own phone.
How much data does the Uber app use?
You might be worried that running the Uber app while you drive will use a lot of data and cause overage charges, but in reality the Uber app and navigation apps don’t use too much data. Uber says that the app should use no more than 3 GB per month, and drivers report using around 1 – 3 GB per month.
5GB data plans cost around $50/month, which is cheaper than leasing an Uber phone, and when tax time comes, you can write off most of your phone expenses.