These days, wireless carriers are doing as much as they can to confuse customers, when it comes to its plans. At least that's what it seems like. Offering unlimited data, but there are five different unlimited plans. It can be pretty confusing, and if you're looking to jump ship to a new carrier, how do you know which is the best carrier has the best phone plans for your new Android smartphone?
Well we have done the homework, and here's a breakdown of the plans offered by the major carriers (plus a couple of prepaid carriers for a well-rounded list), to help you make that decision. And find the best phone plans that fit your needs.
Below, you will find a table with the best phone plans from each carrier, so if you're just looking for the best value, you'll find it there. You can also check out all of the plans from each carrier further down. We've broken them down by individual and family plan pricing. The plans are mostly the same for individuals and families, with the only difference being price.
When it comes down to it, all of these carriers have the best phone plans, but there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when deciding which plan is right for you. How much data you use; which carrier has the best coverage where you live, work and play; and then which carrier has the price you want to pay. Google Fi and Xfinity Mobile are the cheapest here, but they may not have the amount of data you need. All important things to keep in mind here.
Best Phone Plans 2021 – By Carrier
Best Phone Plans Compared
In the table below, we have listed the best phone plans from each carrier. We came to the conclusion that each of these plans were the best based on a few factors. Like the price, and features that are included. Which is why you'll see that Sprint has the most expensive plan (tied with Verizon at $80 per month), because it is the best value of the plans it offers.
We explain all of these plans more in-depth in each carrier's category. So you can make a well-informed decision on which carrier you want to sign up with. Of course, once you have signed up with a particular carrier, it is actually pretty easy to switch plans. And many of these carriers will also prorate your plan, if you decide to switch in the middle of a billing cycle. Though, Google Fi and Xfinity Mobile won't change that plan until your next billing cycle. But it's still very easy to switch to a different plan on the same carrier, which is always a good thing. As your circumstances might have changed, or you might want to save some cash. And where carriers are always changing their offerings, the best phone plans may change.
|Best Plan||Price||Where to Sign-Up|
|Verizon||Play More Unlimited||$70/month||Website|
- Plans start at $65 for individuals; $35 for families
- Check coverage in your area
- Check out AT&T's plans
AT&T is one of the larger carriers in the US, it's currently second behind Verizon. It has some pretty decent coverage in the majority of the US and is working to roll out 5G now, which you can check it's 5G coverage here – to see if your area has it yet.
For individuals, AT&T has three plans for unlimited data, which starts at $65 per month. Taxes and fees are not included in that price, and depending on where you live, that could put the total over $80 per month.
On the AT&T Unlimited Starter plan, which is $65 per month, you get unlimited talk, text and data in the US, Canada and Mexico. You also get standard streaming video – so no 4K video on this plan. As well as automatic fraud blocking and spam risk, finally there is unlimited texting from the US to 120+ countries. Now the AT&T Unlimited Extra is $75 per month, and it includes all of that plus 15GB of mobile hotspot per line, 5G Access and you won't be slowed until you hit 50GB of data. Then there is the AT&T Unlimited Elite package for $85. This one includes everything in the Unlimited Extra package, but it ups the data usage to 100GB, adds in HBO at no extra charge and it also includes the ability for Signature Program members to save $10/month per phone line.
These are the same plans it offers for families, but unlike Verizon, you can't mix and match. So everyone is on Unlimited Starter, or Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite. For two lines, the prices are $60, $65, and $75 per month/per line respectively. For three lines, the prices are $45, $50 and $60 per month, per line respectively. And finally for four lines, it drops to $35, $40, and $50 per month per line.
Keep in mind that these prices do not include your phone. So if you do opt to buy a phone from AT&T on its NEXT program – where you're paying monthly for it – that's going to add to your total here. And for a family of four, that could really boost your amount per month.
- Plans start at $20 for individuals; $17 for families
- Check coverage in your area
- Check out Google Fi's plans
Google Fi is a wireless carrier from Google that runs on three different networks – Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. It can automatically switch between the three when one has better coverage in a certain area. And it will also automatically switch to WiFi when available – using the Google VPN to keep your data safe.
Google Fi does have 5G, but it is only in places that T-Mobile has rolled out 5G. Considering T-Mobile claims it is a "nationwide" 5G network, it'll be available in most places throughout the US. You'll also need a 5G device like the new Galaxy S20 lineup from Samsung, to get 5G on Google Fi. Speaking of phones, not all of them work on Google Fi in the same way. Pixel devices are "made for Fi" meaning that they work the best. Some features will be missing if you bring a Galaxy S20 over to Fi. But talk, text and data will work the same – it won't auto-switch to different networks on its own though.
Essentially, there are only two plans available with Google Fi. There is the Flexible plan and Unlimited. Flexible is better for those that use less than 6GB of data per month. It is as low as $20 per month, which is for the text and talk. Data is then $10 per GB. So if you use 1GB, it's $30, and so on. If you use more than 6GB, then "Bill Protection" kicks in and you won't be charged more than $80 (+ taxes and fees). You can use this data in other countries too – up to 120 countries – and it's 4G LTE, and priced at the same $10 per GB.
The other plan is the Unlimited plan. For $70 per month, you're getting unlimited data – though Google notes that if you use 22GB in a single month, your speeds may slow down. You still get unlimited talk and text, as well as the ability to use talk, text and data in 120 countries. On top of that, you get 100GB in Google One, for free. If you are one that usually uses more than 6GB per month, then this is the better plan to get, as its $10 cheaper and you get 100GB of Google One storage too.
For families, Google Fi is pretty awesome too. You can add up to six lines, and the more lines you add, the cheaper the bill will be per line. Two lines drops to $18 for the Flexible plan and $60 for the Unlimited plan, per line. Three lines is $17 and $50, per line, respectively. And four lines is $45 and $17 per line, respectively.
Google Fi also allows you to easily see who on your plan is using the most data, this is pretty useful if you are on a family Flexible plan.
- Plans start at $60 for individuals; $26 for families
- Check coverage in your area
- Check out T-Mobile's plans
T-Mobile sometimes gets a bad wrap for having not-so-great coverage, but the thing is, it is has been working for years to improve its coverage and network and has done so pretty successfully. But it's still a good idea to check out its coverage in your area. It has also rolled out nationwide 5G, which you can check that coverage here.
Over at T-Mobile, there are basically three different plans to choose from. There are some add-ons you can add to your plan as well. But there are three basic plans.
There's T-Mobile Essentials for $60 per month or (starting at) $26 per line for families. Then there is Magenta, which is $70 per month or $35 per line for families, and Magenta Plus, which is $85 per month or $43 per line for families.
Essentials only gives you, well the essentials. It is the only plan that does not include taxes and fees in the price, so you will need to do the math here, as it might not be cheaper than Magenta at $70, which includes taxes and fees in that price. Essentials offers unlimited talk, text and data. There is mobile hotspot but it's caped at 3G speeds. You do still get T-Mobile Tuesdays freebies though.
With Magenta, taxes and fees are included in that price. You get unlimited talk and text, with up to 100GB of "Premium Data" basically after 100GB you may get throttled due to congestion. As well as 5GB of 5G mobile hotspot data (then its 3G), as well as T-mobile Tuesdays, unlimited texting and data in over 120 countries. In Canada and Mexico, you will get unlimited talk, text and data – with 5GB of that data being LTE. And finally, you get 1 hour of free in-flight WiFi and unlimited texting while flying.
In February 2021, T-Mobile unveiled a new Magenta MAX plan, which is exactly what it sounds like, the maxxed out plan. It offers unlimited premium data – meaning no slowdowns or throttling at all. Mobile hotspot is bumped up to 40GB of premium data. It also has unlimited 4K video streaming, instead of SD streaming, like on all of the other plans. Unlimited Gogo In-Flight Internet and 2X data speeds in over 200 countries. Netflix Basic is also included on single lines and Netflix Standard on all of the family plans. Which is pretty crazy. This will cost you $85/month for a single line, or $47/month per line on two or more lines.
There are also plans available for smartwatches and tablets at T-Mobile, starting at just $10 per month. So if you want to have 4G LTE (and soon 5G) on your tablet when you're traveling, T-Mobile has you covered. Which can be very convenient actually, especially if you want to watch a movie you haven't downloaded, on the train.
There are some good phone plans here from T-Mobile, some might say the best. But that all depends on what you need from your carrier.
- Plans start at $70 for individuals; $35 for families
- Check coverage in your area
- Check out Verizon's plans
Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in America, and it has the coverage to prove why it is. But, as is the case with any wireless carrier, you're going to want to check out its coverage in your area before you decide to choose it.
Verizon currently has five unlimited data plans available. Ranging from $70 to $90 per month for a single line. Though, what's nice here is that you are able to mix and match, so if you have a family of four with different needs, you can choose the plans that best fits each individuals needs.
The first one is Start Unlimited. This is $70 per month (though if you don't buy a new phone from Verizon when you switch, it's $80). This is the lowest-end unlimited plan. It offers 480p streaming and six months of Apple Music for free. While data is unlimited on this plan, you can be throttled at any time for network congestion.
Next up is Play More Unlimited at $80 per month. This offers up 25GB of "Premium Data", meaning you won't be throttled until you use that much data. You also get unlimited mobile hotspot, with 15GB of 4G LTE. Streaming is increased to 720p, and Apple Music is included – not just for six months, but for as long as you have this plan or higher, on Verizon.
Do More Unlimited is also priced at $80 per month. This plan makes some interesting changes from Play More Unlimited. It offers 50GB of Premium Data, unlimited mobile hotspot with 15GB of 4G LTE, but streaming is down to 480p. Apple Music is also only free for six months. And you get 500GB of Verizon Cloud Storage.
The most expensive plan is Get More Unlimited, for $90 per month. This offers 75GB of Premium Data, Unlimited Mobile Hotspot (30GB of 4G LTE), streaming is up to 720p quality, Apple Music Included and you get 500GB of Verizon Cloud Storage here.
It's worth noting that Play More and Get More Unlimited plans come with Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for free – as long as you stay with Verizon. Do More unlimited will get you six months of Apple Music, six months of Disney+ and half price on unlimited connected device plans.
Finally, Verizon has a plan for kids, called Just Kids. This plan can only be added an additional line to one that has one of the aforementioned unlimited plans. It offers 5GB of 4G LTE data, Safety Mode to Avoid Data Overages, 480p video streaming, Unlimited talk and text to 20 contacts and Verizon Smart Family Premium with Parental Controls.
There are some really good options here from Verizon, and which plans are best for you and your phone is going to depend on your usage. Particularly the Play More and Get More Unlimited plans, since you get the Disney+ bundle included for free.
- Plans start at $12 per month, plus taxes and fees
- Check coverage in your area
- Check out Xfinity Mobile's plans
For some, Xfinity Mobile might be the one with the best phone plans. As it offers some pretty simple options, that are also pretty inexpensive. The service has many similarities to Google Fi. In that it will automatically switch from WiFi to Mobile Data, even if it's not your own WiFi. Xfinity Mobile utilizes Comcast's own Xfinity WiFi hotspots, and where there are millions of customers using Comcast for Internet right now, there are a ton of hotspots available across the country. When Xfinity WiFi is not available, it goes back to Verizon's network. So you're going to get a really great network on Xfinity Mobile.
There are basically two plans with Xfinity Mobile. You can either Pay by the Gig or get Unlimited.
With Pay By The Gig, you are paying for $15 per month for the first Gig. 3GB is $30, 10GB is $60. So it's actually cheaper than Google Fi.
The other plan is Unlimited. For $45 per month, you get unlimited data. Xfinity Mobile does say that users may experience slower speeds once they hit 20GB of data in a single month. Which is a decent amount of data for just $45 per month.
Equipment, taxes and fees are not included in these prices. Both plans included unlimited talk and text. And the best feature of Xfinity Mobile is the fact that you are able to mix and match. You can have two lines sharing 10GB of data and then one unlimited line for $105 per month. You won't find another carrier that can get you three lines for $105 per month.
This is a great option if you don't need the latest and greatest smartphones, or the fastest network around. This is because not every phone works on Xfinity Mobile. Many do, but there are some that won't. So you may or may not be able to bring your own phone over to Xfinity Mobile and use it.