Top Cell Phone Plans 17
Verizon Shared Data 5 GB: Verizon’s Shared Data 5 GB plan starts at $65 and gives you 5 GB of high-speed data and unlimited data at slower speeds. You can add 1 GB of high-speed data for $15 per month. A Verizon plan gives you access to the largest network in the U.S. and reliable 4G coverage. Although 5G provides the fastest connection, note that 5G service coverage is not yet widespread.
T-Mobile Magenta: The T-Mobile Magenta plan offers coverage for up to eight lines and includes 100 GB of high-speed data along with 5 GB to use as a mobile hotspot. The plan starts at $70 a month (with taxes and fees included) and has plenty of optional add-on features like extra hotspot data, international data, and streaming services.
Metro by T-Mobile Unlimited Prepaid (5 GB Hotspot): This plan starts at $50 and gives you unlimited high-speed data, 5 GB of hotspot data, and a Google One membership (which gives you 100 GB of storage for images, videos, and files within Google Workspace). The plan ranks No. 8 in our list of the Best Cell Phone Plans of 2021 and No. 5 in our Best Prepaid Cell Phone Plans of 2021 ratings.
studies show people are using their cell phones for everything from family life, to work, to entertainment. A report from market research firm App Annie found that mobile use, in general, skyrocketed in 2020. According to Lexi Sydow, App Annie’s senior market insights manager, "COVID-19 propelled mobile usage forward – achieving growth that would have otherwise taken two to three years.”
All cell phone plans in our ratings offer unlimited data. As generous as that may seem, there is a catch: data speeds often slow down after a certain point. You may get unlimited data, but only a certain amount may be high-speed data. The average amount of high-speed data offered by the plans in our rating is 32 GB. When you use the allotted amount of high-speed data, your data speeds begin to slow, which is also known as throttling.
The more high-speed data you have access to for the cost of your plan, the further your money will go. Your data plan connects you to the internet when Wi-Fi isn't available. Checking email, browsing the web, streaming videos, and playing online games all use different amounts of data. If you consider plans with lower data allotments, you may want to find out how much it will cost to add more data during the month. For example, Tello Economy's $10 a month plan comes with the least amount of high-speed data among the plans in our rating at just 1 GB. As a result, this plan isn't the best choice if you enjoy watching lots of shows or videos every month. However, some plans (like T-Mobile’s Essentials plan) include unlimited standard-definition streaming that doesn’t take from your high-speed data, or simply come with more high-speed data that can accommodate your needs.