T-Mobile Review 2021: Should You Switch?

Published on January 22, 2021
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In this t-mobile review i’ll explain the differences between t-mobile’s three plans compare them with the plans from verizon and at t talk about my experience using the t-mobile network show you the mobile app and online account dashboard and ultimately answer the question should you sign up for t-mobile in 2021 hi i’m stetson and i review cell phone plans i also designed and built bestphoneplans.net to help make it easy for you to find and compare affordable plans my goal is to help you find an affordable cell phone plan that meets your needs so you can reduce your monthly cell phone bill with that said timestamps are in the video description and let’s just jump right into it t-mobile offers three plans to choose from essentials magenta and magenta plus essentials is the cheapest option starting at sixty dollars per month it includes unlimited data but the data is deprioritized this means anytime the network is busy essential customers will have slower speeds than magenta and magenta plus customers how much slower and will you notice a difference i’ll answer that later in this video the essentials plan also includes unlimited hotspot data at 600 kilobits per second 480p video streaming and data roaming in canada and mexico at 128 kilobits per second unfortunately there is no international data roaming no go go in-flight wi-fi or texting no netflix for multi-line accounts and taxes and fees are extra magenta is t-mobile’s middle tier plan it includes 50 gigabytes of priority data three gigs of high-speed hotspot data before unlimited hotspot data at 600 kilobits per second and 480p video streaming you also now get the netflix basic plan included with multi-line accounts which supports standard definition streaming at up to one screen at a time you’re also getting five gigs of high-speed roaming data in mexico and canada international roaming at 128 kilobits per second and one hour of wi-fi and unlimited texting on gogo enabled flights and all this with taxes and fees included in the 70 price magenta plus is the most premium plan t-mobile offers it includes the same 50 gigs of priority data as t-mobile magenta but it increases the hotspot data to 20 gigabytes improves the streaming quality to 1080p bumps up the netflix plan to netflix standard which is two screens at up to hd quality doubles the international data speeds to 256 kilobits per second and gives you unlimited wi-fi and texting on gogo enabled flights and all this with taxes and fees included in the 85 dollar price in fact it turns out magenta plus is basically just the magenta plan but with the plus up add-on already applied this add-on includes the same features as magenta plus such as the extra high-speed hotspot data hd streaming and the increased international roaming speeds the benefit of going with magenta plus is that the plus up add-on is bundled with your service making it eligible for multi-line discounts for example four lines of magenta with the plus up add-on would total fifty dollars per line with magenta plus you’d pay just 43 dollars per line and save 336 dollars per year the other benefit to magenta plus is it includes the netflix standard plan which is otherwise a separate four dollar add-on for magenta customers for single line users i suggest you get the magenta plan and purchase the plus up add-on when you need it for multi-line plans it’s a bit more of a toss-up and it depends how much you get the benefits of going with the magenta plus plan keep in mind that all lines on a t-mobile account need to be on the same plan there’s no mixing and matching like there is with verizon and at t so the choice of going with magenta plus over magenta ends up being a 384 dollar per year difference for four lines and the final differences between the plans are the cost for adding a tablet line or a wearable line for essentials tablet lines are fifteen dollars per month whereas with magenta and magenta plus they start at twenty dollars per month and wearables are not available for essentials but they are available for magenta and magenta plus for ten dollars per line you’ll notice one of the major differences between t-mobile’s plans is how much priority data is included essentials is deprioritized while magenta and magenta plus each include 50 gigabytes of priority data what does this mean and how much of a difference does it make well having priority data just means that any time the network is busy your speeds will be slightly faster than everyone else’s and being de-prioritized just means that your speeds will be slightly slower than everyone else is how much of a difference does this make well to find out i did the ultimate t-mobile speed test comparison video you can watch the video to see the full breakdown but it’s a long video so here’s the summary of what you need to know from my testing i observed that t-mobile’s network had four tiers of network priority tier one is the 50 gigs of priority data included with magenta and magenta plus as well as with t-mobile prepaid plans this tier gets the fastest speeds when the network is busy tier 2 is de-prioritized data this includes t-mobile essentials metro by t-mobile and all t-mobile mvnos like mint mobile ultra mobile and us mobile my tests showed that tier 2 was about 70 slower than tier 1 when the network was busy or operating at about 30 speed tier 3 is all hotspot data which i did not test and tier 4 is for heavy data users you’re deprioritized down to tier 4 when you use over 50 gigabytes on t-mobile magenta plus magenta essentials and prepaid plans and when you use over 35 gigs on metro by t-mobile this tier has the slowest speeds when the network is busy my testing showed the speeds were slowed about 85 compared to tier 1 or operating at about 15 speed as a disclaimer t-mobile’s actual network priority levels and management may be different than what i’m presenting to you here i’m just sharing what i found based on my test results with that said how likely are you going to notice these different priority tiers honestly not very despite the humorous emojis and the pretty big difference between 50 megabits per second down and 14 megabits per second down on tier 1 versus tier 2 these speeds are only when the network is busy all priority levels get full speed data when the network is not busy and it turns out that’s most of the time you can see here when i ran the tests individually they all got about the same speed and performance regardless of what priority level they were on t-mobile’s network has enough capacity in most markets to handle the number of connected devices you’re not likely to be de-prioritized and even when you are you’re still likely to get speeds that are plenty fast enough for what you need mint mobile has been my personal provider and they’re actually de-prioritized on the t-mobile network i’ve been using them for the past two years now and i can honestly say i haven’t noticed a difference that said i have lived in more suburban markets including acton massachusetts ithaca new york and now in longmont colorado so your experience may differ if you live in a city that’s potentially more congested still i’m betting you won’t notice a difference and it’s at least worth trying one of the more affordable deprioritized plans before paying a premium to get access to priority data now let’s talk about how t-mobile’s plans compare with the options from verizon and at t and if you’re enjoying the video so far click the like button to let me know each carrier offers three levels of post paid plans to choose from let’s start with the first option the entry level plans prices range from 60 to 70 dollars per month including auto pay discounts and t-mobile happens to be the cheapest taking a look at the full breakdown here and you can see three main differences first t-mobile includes unlimited hotspot data at 600 kilobits per second verizon and at t don’t include any hotspot data with their entry level plans second at t includes roaming in canada and mexico with unlimited data at lte speeds when on partner networks verizon includes just half a gig of lte data per day before unlimited data at 128 kilobits per second and t-mobile speeds are always capped at 128 kilobits per second and third the perks verizon is the only carrier to offer perks here you get a six month free trial of apple music disney plus and discovery plus t-mobile is a great value here because it’s the cheapest plan and it’s the only plan to include hotspot data it’s also a great option for multi-line users with their four-line plan coming in at thirty dollars per line compared to thirty-five dollars per line on verizon or at t but the truth is i don’t recommend any of these entry-level options so let’s move on to the mid-tier plans these bump up in price but t-mobile’s plan remains the cheapest it’s just 70 dollars per month compared to 75 dollars from a t and 80 dollars from verizon again including the auto pay discounts the full breakdown here reveals there are six key differences first verizon and att’s plans include 15 gigs of high-speed hotspot data compared to just three gigs on t-mobile second verizon enables up to 720p video streaming compared to just 40p on t-mobile and at t third at t continues to offer the best option for roaming in mexico and canada with unlimited high-speed data fourth t-mobile adds in unlimited international data roaming with speeds up to 128 kilobits per second the speeds are slow but it’s much better than having to pay 10 dollars per day or 70 dollars per month for an international add-on from verizon or at t fifth t-mobile includes all taxes and fees it’s a small thing but it saves t-mobile customers around an extra seventy dollars per year that’s basically enough for a free month of cell service and finally sixth are the perks verizon includes disney plus hulu espn plus along with 6 months of apple music and 12 months of discovery plus t-mobile offers one standard definition screen of netflix but only with two or more lines still considering the 10 price difference between the plans and the extra taxes and fees verizon will charge you you could get t-mobile magenta and the 13 disney plus bundle separately and end up paying about the same if not less and at t doesn’t include any perks with their plan i’m disappointed t-mobile only includes three gigs of high-speed hotspot data here after the three gigs you do get unlimited hotspot data but it’s at 600 kilobits per second this is fast enough to stream 240p video stream music and use email twitter and reddit however content does load slower and i got constant buffering when doing some things like watching instagram stories if you do lighter tasks like writing in google docs or email then the 600 kbit per second hotspot speeds will be fine but i personally would prefer the 15 gigs of high speed data you get with the other plans however t-mobile’s plan is the most affordable here and with all taxes and fees included the single line user saves an estimated 120 to 180 dollars per year compared with the other plans the magenta plan gets even better for families too the price drops to just 35 dollars per line compared to 40 dollars from a t and 45 on verizon and after one year t-mobile saves you an estimated 500 to 700 despite the lower amount of high-speed hotspot data t-mobile magenta is clearly an excellent value proposition and it’s easily the plan i would recommend to most people from t-mobile’s post-paid offerings and now the top tier plans these are the best plans each carrier has to offer and they are also the most expensive t-mobile and at t’s plans are 85 dollars per month while verizon’s plan is 90 per month with all auto pay discounts applied the full breakdown of these plans reveals there are seven key differences first at t includes the most priority data increasing the allotment to 100 gigabytes compared to 50 gigs on t-mobile and verizon second verizon and a t include 30 gigs of high-speed hotspot data while t-mobile only includes 20 gigs third at t ups the ante and provides full 4k video streaming quality t-mobile streams video up to 1080p and verizon limits video to just 720p fourth at t continues to offer the best solution for international data roaming in canada and mexico with unlimited high-speed data fifth t-mobile continues to offer the best solution for international roaming with unlimited data now at 256 kilobits per second you also now get unlimited in-flight wi-fi and texting on gogo enabled flights sixth t-mobile continues to include taxes and fees which is awesome seventh are the perks verizon now includes disney plus hulu espn plus and apple music as well as a 12-month trial of the new discovery plus streaming service at t includes hbo max which pairs nicely with their 4k streaming and t-mobile offers netflix standard which includes two screens at hd quality but only with two or more lines single line users you’re out of luck and finally eighth the tablet and wearable pricing verizon offers a 50 discount with their top tier plan making the cost just 10 dollars per tablet line and 5 dollars per wearable t-mobile’s magenta plus plan is easily the best plan for use internationally but domestically they aren’t really the best at anything a t offers more priority data and better video streaming quality while verizon offers a better hotspot solution still t-mobile is a good middle ground plan and the included taxes and fees save single line users roughly sixty to eighty dollars per year t-mobile’s plan also continues to shine for multi-line users the price drops to just forty three dollars per line compared to fifty dollars and fifty five dollars on verizon and a t saving you an astonishing 500 to 750 per year that is easily enough to cover the cost of your favorite subscription services and heck even buy a new phone every year with the savings look the bottom line is this i think t-mobile is offering one of the best deals in wireless when it comes to their post-paid plans if you live in an area with good t-mobile coverage i think their plans easily trump the offerings from verizon or at t and deliver a great experience at a great value but that’s only if you get good t-mobile coverage in your area so how is t-mobile coverage and what is the experience like in terms of data speeds network performance and customer support well i’ve been using t-mobile for the past four months on their t-mobile magenta plus and essentials plans and i’ve actually been using the t-mobile network for eight of the past 10 years under different plans or carriers and i’ve seen it improve a lot i remember when my parents first signed me up for t-mobile way back in 2010 and the coverage wasn’t great it was better than sprints but not quite as good as atn t or verizon’s since then t-mobile has taken huge strides in improving their network coverage and performance they rolled out bands 12 and 71 which t-mobile calls their extended range lte bands these bands use low frequencies 700 and 600 megahertz respectively which allows them to travel farther distances and provide better reception indoors and these bands did wonders to improve t-mobile’s coverage footprint i distinctly remember upgrading to an iphone 6s in 2016 which had ban 12 support and suddenly getting coverage in way more places than i had before banned n41 is another band t-mobile has been rolling out recently they acquired it from the sprint t-mobile merger and they’ve been using it as one of their primary bands in their mid-band 5g network n41 is being used exclusively to boost download speeds right now and i fit over 300 megabits per second down while connected to it it’s been tremendous in terms of third-party reports tutela’s 2020 state of network experience report shows that t-mobile tied with verizon for providing excellent consistent quality was the winner in upload throughput and tied with atnt for latency and ucla’s 2019 speed test report had t-mobile coming in second for fastest download speeds and for time spent on 4g if you compare t-mobile’s coverage map to verizon and at t even on t-mobile’s own website their network still doesn’t blanket the whole united states quite like verizon and atnt do but t-mobile has been making tremendous improvements to their network and they do an excellent job covering the major markets is the t-mobile network the best no definitely not but has it made a lot of progress over the past few years yes absolutely if you haven’t tried the t-mobile network recently i suggest you reconsider they’ve made a lot of great progress and they have the spectrum holdings from sprint to build out a potentially awesome mid-band 5g network now another aspect to cell service is what features the plan support and considering t-mobile is a major network operator all of your favorite features are here this includes voice over lte wi-fi calling mobile hotspot visual voicemail esim 200 megabytes of domestic roaming data international calling and texting and even international data roaming t-mobile also includes 5g access with all of their plans for no extra charge including support for its low band mid band and millimeter wave 5g networks one thing to note is that while visual voicemail works natively on iphones on some android phones you’ll want to use the dedicated t-mobile voicemail app to enable a visual voicemail experience now let’s talk about t-mobile customer service and support i’ve been using t-mobile for the past four months and i think they provide some of the leading customer service in the industry but it’s also not perfect i’ve experienced t-mobile support both in-store and online and overall i’ve had great experiences the reps are friendly knowledgeable quick to respond and helpful when i was in store i migrated my sprint account to a t-mobile account i downgraded my plan from magenta to essentials for this video and i also signed up for t-mobile prepaid each time i went to the store the representatives were helpful and knowledgeable and i was in and out in just a few minutes i’ve also chatted with reps online including t-mobile’s website twitter and via imessage business chat on iphone and each time the reps were super friendly and quick to answer my questions in another example my friend messaged t-mobile support and asked if there was anything they could do to help reduce his bill while the rep wasn’t able to lower the monthly total she was able to offer a one-time credit of 50 which was pretty amazing the t-mobile subreddit is also filled with super nice representatives making sure their fellow t-mobile redditors are getting the best deals possible on their service t-mobile employees post deals a day or two in advance and help people determine if their accounts are eligible it’s awesome unfortunately not every t-mobile support experience will be great wait times will vary based on time of day and chat volume and some reps may be more knowledgeable than others based on their training and their experience at the company in one example i was chatting with a t-mobile rep over imessage business chat and asking what the cost was for a t-mobile tablet plan i was told there was a 10 10 gig option but this was actually for a hot spot add-on not for tablets i also asked what the pricing differences were between the 10 gig 20 gig and 30 gig magenta tablet plus plans and while the rep was super nice her response lacked a true answer to my question along with any punctuation whatsoever and to me it sounded like the pricing was the same and i just chose the plan i wanted it was only when i was chatting with t-mobile support on twitter that i was able to confirm the pricing for t-mobile’s tablet plans and learn that there actually was a price difference between the 10 20 and 30 gig options there are also a fair share of poor customer service and support stories online for all carriers and t-mobile is no different that said i still stand by my belief i think t-mobile is offering some of the leading customer service and support in the industry and my overall experience has been quite positive as a pro tip for you i suggest you reach out to t-mobile support on twitter t-mobile calls their twitter help team t-force and i feel they consistently provide the best experience either way internet high-five to all of you t-mobile support reps out there i feel you’re doing an outstanding job and i’ve greatly appreciated my time talking with all of you finally t-mobile offers the t-mobile application that you can use to manage your plan and account i’ll have a separate video where i do an in-depth walkthrough of the application which you can watch up here for now let’s do a brief overview the first tab is your home tab this gives you at a glance information such as your usage how many days are left in your billing cycle and any current t-mobile promotions and deals you can also see your included plan perks in my case i get t-mobile tuesdays and i can also see what else i get as a customer t-mobile is also promoting their t-vision service the second tab is your account tab this gives you a great overview of your active lines on your account and you can actually tap on each line to manage individual line add-ons such as additional high-speed hotspot data international features hd streaming passes and more going back to the account page and up top you can view your plan and usage details this is really cool because it gives you a breakdown of your data messages calls and mobile hotspot usage and if you check usage details this is where you can see a detailed breakdown of your average usage per month you can view it by category or even by line depending on how many users are on your account the third tab is the billing tab this is where you can make a payment manage your auto pay preferences see your last bill and you can also see a detailed itemized breakdown of what you’re being charged for service device payments and more you can see your bill total at the bottom a cool trend and you can view the pdf of your bill along with pdfs for historical bills the shop tab is the fourth tab here you can purchase new smartphones wearables tablets and other devices you can lease them or you can purchase them at full price up front and either upgrade an existing line or add them as a new line finally the more tab gives you additional preferences for managing your t-mobile account referring a friend with t-mobile’s referral program where you can actually earn up to 500 per year in prepaid mastercards and of course on the top of every page is a chat button where you can bring up a chat with a t-mobile support specialist who can help you answer questions upgrade your device and more so should you sign up for t-mobile in 2021 t-mobile’s plans are an excellent value especially when compared with verizon and at t and especially for families they offer a great selection of features at an affordable price and with their network improvements t-mobile is more competitive than ever before however there are other carriers that are using t-mobile for coverage that i feel provide an even better value mint mobile offers 35 gigs of data for as low as 30 dollars per month with their annual plan us mobile offers 30 gigs for 30 dollars per month with their monthly plan and metro’s premium unlimited plan comes out to just 30 dollars per line for four lines all taxes and fees included metro even offers 15 gigs of dedicated high-speed hotspot data compared to just three gigs on t-mobile magenta these plans are significantly more affordable than what t-mobile is offering and can save you upwards of 600 per year and considering cisco’s 2020 annual report shows that 82 percent of consumers that’s you guys use less than 20 gigs of data per month on average these plans will be great options for a lot of people so if you’re a single line user i don’t think t-mobile is worth it you can get a better value by going with t-mobile prepaid or with one of the t-mobile mvnos such as mint mobile us mobile ultra mobile or others if you’re a family then t-mobile may be worth it for some but for others i think it’s hard to ignore the value you get from metro by t-mobile or by picking up multiple lines of a cheap plan like mint mobile’s 20 8 gig plan in fact you can explore more cheap plans on the t-mobile network on my website bestphoneplans.net please click the like button if you found this video helpful it really does help support the channel and i greatly appreciate it better yet share this video with one friend who you think would be interested to learn more about t-mobile or who is perhaps a current verizon or at t customer that you think should switch to t-mobile for all you patreon supporters the behind the scenes of how this was made and the bloopers are now live so go check those out for anyone else you can support me on patreon at the link in the video description and that’s gonna be it i’m stetson thank you so much for watching clicking that like button and sharing this video and i’ll see you next time.
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