Best Cell Phone Plans – Cell Phone Plan Reviews – 2016

By | February 14, 2017

Keep your wits, and your calculator, on you when comparing plans

There is nothing
Simple more when it comes to finding the best cell phone plans. In the past,
Most postpaid cell phone plans offered – or insisted on – a contract that
It obliged the user for two years in exchange for a reduced price (subsidy) for
Your phone. Of the major operators, Sprint still offers that as an option with
A limited number of devices, but add an additional access fee to your device.
That it largely negates the savings in all

Instead, you can pay for your device in its entirety at the time of purchase, or
Opt to pay for your phone in the subscription plans that will increase the cost of
Your monthly bill. Sometimes this just means paying a few dollars more for
Month, but for newer and warmer phones, it can mean a
account. Although these quota plans are not contracts & quot; In the sense
That the term was used in the past, if you interrupt the service before the phone
You will be paid, you will be asked to make a one-time payment to cover any
Pending fees.

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    Early telephone update plans are available at some companies, but terms
    It can be complicated, so it is worth reading the fine print. All require that you
    Trade on your existing phone – and you can make these a not so great deal if
    The phone you are operating on is an older flagship & quot; model; Many can
    They retain a surprising amount of resale value even for one to two years
    They were new.

    All major wireless carriers now offer shared plans that include
    Unlimited voice and text and a set of data that all devices use
    your account. The price of some is based on the size of the data set, while
    Others – including T-Mobile and Sprint – once again offer unlimited data
    Plans. To do this, you will usually add a line access fee for each device, which
    They can include smart phones, basic phones, tablets, mobile hotspots and more. Some
    Carriers still market single line plans, but in reality they are shared
    Of smaller data and the access tariff to the line included in the
    Total cost.

    Postpaid vs.

    The phasing out of long-term contracts and subsidized
    It blurred some of the distinctions between traditional postpaid cell phone plans
    And prepaid, but there are still a number of differences that could make
    One or the other the best choice. Postpaid plans typically require a solid
    (Since you are paying for the service after it is delivered). If you
    Credit is unstable, or if you are just starting to build your credit history, you
    You may have to subscribe to a prepaid plan to get service. That’s not all bad
    News. Prepaid plans are sometimes cheaper than plans
    Service, and all travel in the same networks that carriers use for their postpaid service
    Offers While most users of the postpaid plan are being
    Shared data plans, individual lines are available in prepaid and
    A few bucks too. If all you want is talk and text in a monthly publication or
    Pay as you go, prepaid is also likely to be the most profitable

    However, postpaid plans have some powerful advantages as well. While some
    Operators will activate most of the phones, including the flagship phones, in prepaid, some
    Reserve the hottest new devices for your postpaid customers. Also, prepaid
    Phones use the same networks as postpaid, but operators sometimes
    Maximum data rates for prepaid users (although still at levels
    Almost all uses, including streaming). Some carriers book, limit or charge
    Extra for some functions, such as device anchoring (which allows you to
    Smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for connecting laptops, tablets, etc., to
    Internet) or voice calls over LTE (VoLTE) (also called HD voice, allowing
    For higher quality voice calls), to your prepaid customers as well.

    The bottom line is that the decision on whether a prepaid or postpaid plan
    It will depend almost exclusively on your circumstances and needs, and
    Both are good choices. This report focuses exclusively on the postpaid mobile phone
    Plans As mentioned above, please refer to our separate report on Prepaid Cell Phone Plans for Get more information on That option.

    All coverage is local

    In this report, we named the best cell phone plans based on many factors,
    Including coverage. However, keep in mind that even networks that perform
    The best national, state or even regional level will still have
    Coverage, while a network that might not work so well elsewhere,
    Be gangbusters in places where you use your phone more often. Coverage
    Maps provided by most carriers are optimistic, at best
    Theoretical coverage without regard to hills, buildings, trees and
    Similar, all of which can affect performance. T-Mobile breaks the package one
    Bit by supplementing your coverage maps with information on signal strength
    Extracted from the phones of its users.

    While we can offer guidance on cellular telephone networks
    Greater reach at the national level, the best way to find out what
    To do better where you live, work and play is to talk to your neighbors, to work
    Colleagues and friends to find out which carriers they use and how happy they are.
    They are with the service. Multiple sources of mapping coverage, such as that provided by Open Signal and Sensorly , it can also help you zero in which networks provide
    The best local coverage.

    Finding the Best
    Cell Phone Plan

    To create this report, we consider the key factors that separate plans
    And carriers, including pricing, performance and customer service. To learn
    How carriers stack up on those accounts, we look at important customer
    Satisfaction surveys. We also consult expert reviews, as well as comments from users,
    It can be especially useful to find out how users are happy
    long term. The results are our recommendations for the best cell phone plans,
    And the best values.

    Verizon Wireless is still the best,
    But the competition is close

    It comes to call quality, data rate and coverage, Verizon Wireless (Est. $ 35 per month and more) earn
    Awards in almost all the tests and surveys we saw. Is simply the best
    Performer in most of the regions he serves. However, when it comes to costs and
    Customer satisfaction, things are not so rosy, and some other carriers perform
    Equally well, if not better, in some places, especially in metropolitan regions
    Regions and along the main highways. However, for rural and suburban inhabitants,
    Who travel to different parts of the country, or those who want to be so safe
    As they may be (given the mosaic nature of the US cellular service) they will
    They have a phone that works wherever they are, Verizon gets approval.

    It offers a unique plan, called the Verizon Plan. For all phones, each line of
    The service is subject to a $ 20 access line. To do this, add a shared data group (all
    Devices in your account use the same data set) starting at 2 GB for $ 35 per
    Month, and up to 100 GB per month for $ 450.
    Plans of 12 GB and above (double the Big Plan by Verizon) users get a 2 GB
    Per month of bonus per line. Unlimited conversation and text are included in these plans. Not used
    Data are transferred to the following month but expire at the end of the month. Safety
    Mode allows you to stay connected after any plan and remaining data expires,
    But at very low speeds (128 kbps). Additional LTE data can be acquired
    At $ 15 per GB.

    In terms of
    Performance, Verizon shines. Sweep all six regions in the most recent J.D.
    Power and Associates survey the satisfaction of users with the quality of the network. That’s
    Reinforced by the tests of and RootMetrics, which reveals that Verizon
    It delivers superior performance in more regions than any of its competitors (though
    Some are closing the gap). In almost 500 markets (as of May 2016) Verizon
    It has been upgraded by its XLTE service, a new wireless band that
    Enables increased capacity and data speeds with compatible phones (most
    The new devices are compatible).

    Selection is excellent also. Almost all the flagship phones and a good number of
    Medium price and budget devices are offered. Verizon also has a handful of
    Carrier of exclusive devices, although none that the experts say would be convincing
    Enough for themselves to tilt the balance towards choosing Verizon as a service.
    International travelers should note that Verizon uses CDMA technology, one of
    Two wireless technologies in use in the United States CDMA is not used in most others
    Countries; In contrast, GSM, also used in the US, but by other companies
    (AT & T and T-Mobile), is the predominant global technology. To move
    Some Verizon devices are ready for the world with built-in GSM radios for use

    The Bad
    At Verizon’s it’s customer service and satisfaction do not qualify as highly.
    “Verizon Wireless receives the highest ratings for call coverage and
    Speed ​​and reliability of the data network, but respondents gave
    Rate Satisfaction Index (5.3), & quot; Ben Z. Gottesman reports on
    Explaining the low carrier classification in the 2016 Readers’ Choice award from
    poll. This is confirmed in surveys that measure user satisfaction with
    Customer service and experience of purchase made by J.D. Power and
    Associates; In those surveys, Verizon Wireless scored below average.

    For the whole country
    Coverage, AT & amp; T worth considering

    Enough the
    No, AT & T (Est. $ 30 per month or more) Has taken some over the years for quality
    Your service. However, recent tests say that those interested in a cell phone
    Plan that covers most of the country with a good performance should give
    Let the wearer a second look.

    When it comes
    At yield, AT & amp; T is still following Verizon, but the difference is not so great,
    And AT & amp; T is judged to be the fastest performer in the Southeast and Southcentral
    (Although in a three-way tie in the last region) in the last round of evidence
    By RootMetrics Names AT & amp; T the number two interpreters in a country
    , Finishing second to Verizon in five of the six categories it tests. This
    It is the sixth consecutive trial period in which AT & T has been maintained
    Strong number two interpreter, & quot; Reports from Dave Andersen.

    In terms of
    Customer satisfaction, surveys are a mixed bag. AT & amp; T is wrong in the
    The Readers’ Choice survey conducted by, finishing behind Verizon, but
    Shines in two surveys conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, finishing first
    In customer service and satisfaction with the shopping experience (between
    I like it
    Verizon, all plans are shared data plans and include unlimited text and conversation.
    The price starts at $ 30 for 1 GB of shared data and rises to $ 450 per 100 GB of
    Data per month. Regardless of whether your phone is a basic model or a
    Smartphone, access charges are $ 20 per line ($ 40 per line for those who are still in
    Two-year contracts, no longer offered to new customers). I like it
    Verizon, if it exceeds the data limit, speeds will be reduced to 128 kbps, or
    You can buy additional high speed data. Also like Verizon, unused data can be
    Rolled to be used the following month.

    Phones can
    It will be paid in full or financed in the AT & amp; T of the carrier. Terms
    They are set at 30 months or 24 months. For frequent conditioners, the plan
    It allows you to activate your device in advance, when the phone covers 80%
    (Approximately 24 months) under the 30-month plan, or 50 percent (approximately
    12 months) in the 24-month plan, called AT & T Next Every Year – and buy
    A new device in the next plan. For those with unstable credit, or those who try to develop
    Credit, a down payment of 30 percent may be required.

    AT & amp; T
    Selection of phones, like Verizon (and most postpaid carriers, for that matter),
    It’s the first rate. All star phones are available or compatible (AT & T does
    It is easy to bring your own compatible device to the service), like many budgets
    And mid-range devices. AT & amp; T also has some exclusive devices, but, like
    The case with Verizon, none that captivated critics to the point where it could be
    The deciding factor in your selection of suppliers. AT & amp; T uses a GSM system
    The network, the type that prevails in most of the world, an advantage for those who
    Travel internationally.

    T-Mobile is a
    Great value, and coverage is improving

    Driven by your
    CEO of John Legere, T-Mobile (Est. $ 50 per month And above) “non-transporter” philosophy
    It has been the driving force behind some of the most dramatic changes in
    Phone plans in recent years. He was the first carrier to end the contracts
    And subsidized phones, and to introduce other concepts, such as rollover data,
    They have been adopted by many of their competitors. When you introduce plans with
    Soft covers, eliminating excess data, offering roll data that is good for
    Up to a year and adding advantages such as the transmission of music and video, there are
    Little doubt that T-Mobile offers the best bang for the dollar among the big four
    Nationals. It also offers some of the best capabilities and top speeds
    In many of the areas it covers. The downside is that the carrier stays behind
    Your competition when it comes to getting there; While things are getting better,
    Outside metropolitan areas and away from major highways
    Sometimes it’s still a challenge.

    I know how to
    You can, if you live, work and play in areas where the T-Mobile network is robust,
    It can be a very good choice. In the tests of, T-Mobile is classified as
    The second fastest nationwide network, following Verizon. Their
    Competitive in most regions, especially on the east coast, where it ends in
    A three-way loop for the first place in the Southeast region, and wins the population
    Dense of the northeast. RootMetrics places T-Mobile behind AT & T
    In its tests of data and network speed, and notes that as in the past, “T-Mobile
    Usually performs much better in metropolitan areas compared to state or national
    Levels. & Quot;

    The results indicate that T-Mobile customers are by and large a happy group. T-Mobile is
    The second ranked in the most recent surveys of J.D. Power and Associates
    Satisfaction with mobile provider’s customer service and satisfaction
    Shopping experience. It also does relatively well at’s Readers’
    Election choice, finish stronger than the other & quot; Four large & quot; Carriers in
    The basis of greater satisfaction with rates and customer service. Poll
    Respondents also said they were also more likely to recommend T-Mobile than
    A friend who were clients of other big companies.

    T-Mobile Deals
    Two plans. Its new main offering is called T-Mobile One and is completely
    Uncapped, though with some caveats. The video, for example, is transmitted on DVD
    Resolution (480p). Tethering (the practice of turning the phone into a
    Spot for other devices) is allowed but limited to 3G speeds. But that is
    Largely; Data, conversation, text, music, etc., are unlimited, and such advantages as
    Unlimited data and chat in Mexico and Canada, one hour of free Gogo data
    Enabled flights, and more are part of the package.

    The price is
    Pretty simple. The first phone number on the account is $ 70 per month, the
    Second $ 50, third is $ 20, and fourth is free, which translates to $ 35
    By line for a family of four – a relatively large offer for a typical family.

    Expect to finally discontinue them, T-Mobile continues to offer its
    Plans of choice. These plans are limited, but you can continue to use data in 2G
    Speeds once the stop is reached, and there are no excessive loads. Price range
    $ 50 per month for 1GB of LTE data at $ 80 per month per 10GB for a single
    Line, with additional lines (up to four) available at a reduced cost. These
    Plans retain many of the benefits of T-Mobile, including unlimited music and video
    Streaming (again limited video to DVD resolution), rollover data (up to 20 GB
    For 12 months), free calls, text and data in Mexico and Canada, and more.

    It does not offer as many handsets as AT & T or Verizon, but most of the flagship
    Phones and many budget devices are available. T-Mobile also welcomes
    Compatible GSM phone purchased from third parties (such as or
    Transferred from other companies. You can pay for your phone in advance, or spread
    More than 24 payments. T-Mobile Jump! It is an early update program that allows you to
    Trade in your device after it is 50 percent paid and receive a new phone.
    It costs an additional $ 12 per month, but that sting is offset by the fact that
    It includes phone insurance and a subscription to security software that
    Collectively cost $ 12 per month if purchased separately.

    Borrowing a loan
    Sprint Page (covered below) T-Mobile also offers Jump! To the letter
    In-store only program that allows users to rent instead of buying a phone. The rent
    It lasts 18 months, after which you must return the phone or pay your
    Value if you want to keep it. You can also swap up to three
    Times per year at no cost.

    Sprint is

    Sprint (Est. $ 20 per month and more) does not look particularly well on large performance judgments
    And customer service, in fact, usually ends the last dead, but qualitative
    Tests by and RootMetrics reveal a cellular network that is clearly
    Increasing. “This year’s story is that Sprint is finally back,” he says.
    Sascha Segan from The improvement is largely the result of a
    LTE Plus that is geared towards faster downloads rather than uploading,
    He says, adding, “but the company argues that most smartphone users’
    Lifestyles are, too. & Quot; Segan concludes: “Factor on how cheap Sprint
    The service plans are now, and becomes a carrier worth considering again. & Quot;

    The carrier
    Provides a virtual smorgasbord of options when it comes to plans and phone
    Payments. When it comes to hardware, Sprint has a good selection of phones,
    Including emblematic models, mid-price devices and budget options, together with a
    A handful of exclusive carriers (although once again none
    Balance towards Sprint’s choice of a competing company). Sprint will leave you
    Financing, paying in full, or accepting a subsidized telephone with a two-year contact (but
    Compensations that with higher monthly payments for service). The carrier also
    They allow you to rent some phones (especially the iPhone). The standard financing terms are:
    During 24 months. If you finance the phone, it is yours to keep it at the
    But you have to return leased smartphones when the lease is in effect. IPhone
    Leases are 18 months, but you can upgrade your phone after 12 months.

    Sprint Plans
    It starts at $ 20 per month for 1GB of data, plus a $ 20 line access fee if
    Buy, lease or finance your phone. Once it hits its lid, the data continues into 2G
    Speeds, or you can add additional speed at a cost of $ 15 per GB. Sprint
    He has also introduced a Unlimited Freedom plan, similar to T-Mobile’s T-Mobile
    One. The conversation, the text and the data are completely uncovered, although there is, again,
    Warnings, such as video that is limited to DVD resolution. The first line of
    The service costs $ 60 per month, the second costs $ 40, and all subsequent lines (up to
    A 10) are $ 30 each, plus line access charges. Sprint continues to offer
    Promotion when it guarantees a service equivalent to half the cost of the
    For AT & amp; T, Verizon and T-Mobile switching (available for
    New customers only). Sprint OpenWorld adds free conversation, text and 1 GB of data
    When you travel through Canada, Mexico, and most Latin American countries, speak freely
    And text to Mexico and Canada of the United States, and free and discounted texts
    Calling other countries included. The service is free and can be applied to
    All plans, but have to be added separately.

    Among the regional operators,
    U.S. Cellular Worth Considering

    Most of
    Those who will sign up with a postpaid cell phone plan will select one of the
    Four large companies –AT & amp; T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile – but they are not
    The only options. In addition to the carriers mentioned above, there are a number
    Smaller and regional mobile phone companies that operate
    Small networks, complemented by roaming agreements that allow subscribers
    To use the networks of other operators when they are outside their area of ​​origin.

    Among these,
    The biggest and best viewed option is
    U.S. Cellular (Est. $ 50 and more
    per month). However, its limited scope (the
    It now covers parts of only 23 states) and better
    Performance among competitors appears to have reduced ex
    In large surveys, such as the one conducted by

    However, if
    You live within the E. Cellular House area, the service is worth considering.
    The selection of telephones, although smaller than that of the main operators,
    It includes a good number of the best considered devices of high range and budget. Rates
    They are competitive and customer service continues to have a good rate – although it is not
    Available 24/7 as is the norm with national companies.

    Plans follow
    The model established by other companies. You can finance your phone for 24 months with
    No service contract, or for a limited selection of older devices, will accept
    Subsidized telephone with a two-year contract. Options for individual lines of
    The service is limited, but well priced; $ 50 per month for 7 GB with unlimited number
    Talk and text. There are no access charges per line, but the device insurance (Est. $ 9
    By month and more). Shared data plans start at 2 GB for $ 30 per
    Month plus a charge for access to the line. The charges for access to the line are $ 20 per phone,
    Regardless of type.

    Cellular Consumer
    High scores with seniors and others

    An MVNO
    (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) is a mobile phone company that does not own its own
    Network, but provides service by purchasing bulk capacity from one of the
    Large national companies and resell it to their subscribers. Because MVNO
    They usually pay a much lower price than what is available for
    Subscribers can often undermine carriers’ prices and still make a profit.
    MVNO subscribers use the same networks as subscribers of major carriers
    Use, and receive the same coverage, although some limitations (such as
    Speeds) apply sometimes.

    Most prepaid
    Cell phone providers follow the MVNO model, and those that are covered
    Our report on prepaid cell phone plans . However, some postpaid service providers
    They are MVNOs too, and some are scoring highly on major surveys.

    One case in
    Punto is Consumer Cellular (Est. $ 10 per month and more). Ends near the top of the lists between
    Postpaid providers in a large national survey and is a winner of Readers’ Choice
    For the third consecutive year at Consumer Cellular continued
    They receive excellent customer satisfaction ratings in almost
    Aspect of wireless service with many brands of 9.0 or higher, & quot; Says Ben Z. Gottesman.
    Previously offering service through AT & amp; T, the company now has
    Added T-Mobile to the mix, helping to fill some performance gaps,
    Particularly in larger metropolitan areas.

    Rates are a
    High point, especially for those who want a plan to just talk about a postpaid
    provider. Chat plans start at $ 10 a month plus 25 cents a minute, and go up
    At $ 50 per month for unlimited chat. The data and the text are an optional complement and
    They start at $ 2.50 per month for 300 texts and 30 MB of data and run at $ 40 per
    Month for unlimited texts and 4 GB of data. Additional data are available
    $ 10 fee per GB, but that is plugged in 10 GB, and any use over 4 GB is
    Subject to reduced speeds. You can add up to two additional lines to an account
    At a cost of $ 10 each and all lines share minutes, text and data assignments. In
    In addition, calls between lines in an account are free. That kind of flexibility
    It is infrequent among postpaid cellular providers and allows users to tailor an individual
    Or small family pack with the right combination of conversation and data to know how they use
    Your service. The company commercializes extensively seniors, and AARP members get
    A 5 percent discount on service.

    The selection is not great: they offer the latest Apple devices, but the Android
    Line up is limited to budget models. For users interested in talking only phones,
    A couple of pull phones are also available. If the selections do not include a
    Phone you like or want, Consumer Cellular welcomes phones
    Elsewhere, including unlocked phones previously used with AT & T or T-Mobile,
    Or an unlocked GSM phone from a third party, like

    Opinion sources from experts and users

    With cellular phone service is based on a number of factors, including performance,
    Customer service and value. Because performance can vary both depending on
    Where we use your phone, we look at the sources that performed the tests in a wide
    Variety of locations throughout the country, including cities, suburbs, areas
    Along motorways. These include massive performance tests performed by RootMetrics and < U> . We also rely on large customer satisfaction surveys
    Conducted by J.D. Power and Associates ,

    > and others. While those also touch performance,
    They are more valuable in assessing other aspects of whether or not users are
        Satisfecho con su proveedor, incluyendo la medición de soporte al cliente, valor, calidad
        De la experiencia de ventas y más. En conjunto, proporcionan una imagen clara
        De los cuales los proveedores inalámbricos tienen más probabilidades de satisfacer, y cuáles todavía
    Tienen un poco de trabajo que hacer.