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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Best cellular 5G plans for iPhone in 2022






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All the big carriers offer unlimited 5G plans for the iPhone, but it is the additions that come with the speed that can make one better than the other. Here are the plans and bonuses that top carriers offer.

Though the plans are advertised as “unlimited”, it does not always mean that you are going to get the same speeds no matter how much you use cellular service. Companies cap how much “unlimited” data you can use before they start slowing down your speeds.

These slowdowns may come in the form of lower-quality video streaming or slower hotspot speeds when going over your set amount.

Carriers also have bundles intertwined into their plans to get more people to sign up with them. T-Mobile has Netflix, Verizon has Apple One, and AT&T includes an app that offers protection in many different areas.

Here are how AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and Mint Mobile offer their unlimited plans and the bundles they offer with them. Also, let’s see which carrier offers the best for your buck.

AT&T for the iPhone 14

AT&T offers three different plans that have to give unlimited 5G data – Unlimited Starter Plan, Unlimited Extra Plan, and Unlimited Premium Plan. Here are what they offer and how they differ from one another.

AT&T Data Amount Hotspot Data Amount Video Resolution Plan Pricing
Unlimited Starter Plan N/A 3 GB SD $35
Unlimited Extra Plan 50GB 15GB SD $40
Unlimited Premium Plan Unlimited 50 GB 4K UHD $50

Unlimited Starter Plan

This plan is their cheapest option and is $35 a month when you get four lines. It offers unlimited talk, text, and data, but data may temporarily slow down if the network gets too busy.

For international use, you can access unlimited talk, text, and data with Canada and Mexico over 2G. You also can get unlimited texting from the United States to over 200 countries.

AT&T also offers their mobile security app AT&T ActiveArmor, where – on this plan – offers free spam call blocking.

This plan is the mid-tier option that offers more than the base plan, but not as much as the top-tier plan. The Unlimited Extra Plan is $40 a month per line when you get four lines.

International perks are the same in this plan as they were with the Unlimited Start Plan. Streaming is also the same at only Standard Definition.

The AT&T ActiveArmor app can also now offer Public Wi-Fi protection and identity monitoring.

Unlimited Premium Plan

This is the highest-costing plan AT&T offers right now, and while it usually starts at $50 per line when getting four lines, it currently is markdown to $40.

You get unlimited talk, text, and data – which is a high speed and has no cap to it. This means that it will not be slowed down no matter how much data you use.

International and AT&T ActiveArmor perks are the same as the ones offered in the Unlimited Extra Plan.

Signature Program members also save $10 a month per line through their work or organization.

It should be considered that these prices are the ones offered after opting into AutoPay and paperless billing. There are also additional monthly fees for adding devices that aren’t phones – tablets are $20 per device, cameras are $20 per device, and smartwatches are $10 per device.

There can only be 10 devices per plan group.

Unlimited text is up to messages containing up to 1MB of data in them. After using all gigabytes for mobile hotspots, speeds will slow down to 125Kbps for the rest of the billing cycle.

Verizon for the iPhone 14

Verizon offers a more subscription-based offer than AT&T does when offering bundles with their plans, but the data ranges are quite similar. Here are the plans and bundles they deliver.

Verizon Data Amount Hotspot Data Amount Video Resolution Plan Pricing
5G Start N/A 5 GB SD $35
5G Do More 50GB 25GB 4K UHD $45
5G Play More Unlimited 25 GB 4K UHD $45
5G Get More Unlimited 50 GB 4K UHD $55
One Unlimited for iPhone Unlimited 25 GB 4K UHD $50

5G Start

This is Verizon’s cheapest 5G unlimited plan with it starting at $35 a month.

With this plan, you get unlimited 5G nationwide, but data might be slowed down when traffic gets too heavy.

You can try Disney+, discovery+, Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass, and Apple Music on Verizon for 6 months when signing up.

5G Do More

As the middle-tier 5G unlimited plan in Verizon’s lineup, 5G Do More starts at $45 per line and offers Unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband. This allows for faster speeds and higher-resolution video playback.

You also receive Verizon Home for $25 a month, 1 TravelPass per month – which allows you to perform unlimited talk, text, and data to more than 185 countries, and 600 GB of storage on Verizon Cloud – which allows you to backup photos, contacts, videos, messages, and documents.

You can upgrade Verizon Cloud’s storage to 2TB for an additional $9 a month, or unlimited storage for an additional $14 a month.

5G Play More

In the sense of connectivity specs, 5G Play More is the same as the 5G Do More plan.

The difference is, instead of connectivity perks, you get entertainment perks. You receive Hulu, Disney+, discovery+, ESPN+, Apple Arcade, and Google Play Pass with your plan.

5G Get More

As the top tier of Verizon’s 5G Unlimited plans, you get the best that the network offers.

At $55 per line per month, you get everything the lower tier options offer, plus unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband, unlimited premium network access, and 50 GB of premium hotspot data.

All the perks from the 5G Play More and 5G Do More plans are included in this plan, plus Apple Music.

You can try Discovery+ on Verizon for 6 months when signing up.

One Unlimited for iPhone

Buyers can get a special offer when purchasing an iPhone from Verizon.

This plan is $50 a month per line and gives unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband and unlimited premium network access. Premium Mobile HotSpot is 25 GB a month.

You also get Apple One in your plan, which offers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud+. It can be shared with up to five people when you have two or more phone lines.

If you go over the amount of data you have for HotSpots or data, speeds will be lowered to 3 Mbps when on 5G Ultra Wideband and 600 Kbps when on 5G Nationwide/4G LTE.

T-Mobile for the iPhone 14

T-Mobile advertises itself as being a company that does not hidden fees and supplies information upfront. Here are the plans they offer and how they differ from one another.

T-Mobile Data Amount Hotspot Data Amount Video Resolution Plan Pricing
Essentials 50 GB Unlimited 3G SD $60
Magenta 100GB 5 GB High Speed SD $70
Magenta Max Unlimited 40 GB High Speed 4K UHD $85

Essentials

Being the cheapest plan on T-Mobile for $60 per month, it offers the basic elements of the plan but also starts at 50 GB of premium data.

You also receive unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data and unlimited 5G and 4G LTE/50 GB premium data.

Video streaming quality is offered at 480p and a Paramount+ subscription is included on them for one year.

No annual service contract is required.

Magenta

Magenta is the middle-tier 5G unlimited plan, that offers 100 GB or premium data with taxes and fees included at $70 a month (originally $75). 5GB of the high-speed mobile hotspot is included as well.

This plan also offers a Netflix subscription, which can only be streamed in Standard Definition and only played on one device at a time. You also receive a year of Paramount+ and six months of Apple TV+ on them.

Magenta Max

As the top-tier plan on T-Mobile, this plan gives unlimited data on a 5G plan – which will not slow down no matter how much data you use – and the high-speed mobile hotspot upgrades to 40 GB. Magenta Max starts at $85 (originally $90).

The Netflix subscription included also gets an upgrade with you being able to watch it on two devices at a time in High Definition and Apple TV+. You also receive a year of Paramount+ on them.

All plans include unlimited 5G + 4G LTE data, nationwide 5G coverage, dedicated customer care, unlimited talk and text, exclusive perks with T-Mobile Tuesdays, and advanced scam-blocking protection. You also receive a year of Paramount+ on them.

The $5 discount comes when enrolling in AutoPay

Cricket Wireless for iPhone 14

Cricket Wireless’ plans are easy to understand and offer necessities to keep their prices low. Here is what is included in each plan.

Cricket Wireless Data Amount Hotspot Data Amount Video Resolution Plan Pricing
5 GB 5 GB N/A N/A $30
10 GB 10GB N/A N/A $40
Unlimited Unlimited 15 GB for $10 a month N/A $55
Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot Unlimited 15 GB N/A $60

Cricket International can be added to the 10 GB plan for an additional $5 or $15 a month. The basic Cricket International Plan – costing $5 a month – comes with unlimited calling to landlines in 35 countries from the United States, but a $40 a month rate plan is required to add it.

Cricket International Extra – which is $15 a month – offers the same perks as the base plan, but adds unlimited picture and video messaging to 35 countries and 1,000 minutes of mobile-to-mobile calling from the United States to 31 countries.

Mexico and Canada calling are included in the 10 GB plan and higher.

The Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot plan offers 150 GB of cloud storage and a subscript to Hulu (with ads included).

You can add additional features to your plan for an additional monthly cost per addition.

Mint Mobile for iPhone 14

Mint Mobile offers the same advertising way as Cricket Wireless but offers the service of either inserting a new SIM card into your phone or doing it via e-SIM (for supporting devices). Here are the plans and what they include.

Mint Mobile Data Amount Hotspot Data Amount Video Resolution Plan Pricing
4GB 4GB N/A N/A $15
10GB 10GB N/A N/A $20
15GB 15GB N/A N/A $25
Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB N/A $30

All plans offer unlimited talk and text, free calling to Mexico and Canada, a free 3-in-1 SIM card, 5G high-speed data (or 4G LTE if it is stronger at the moment), free mobile hotspots, and WiFi calling and text.

Plans are purchased through a six-month contract.

Which plan to get

Choosing a plan can be tricky, but now it comes down to what you may use the most. If you need the best of the best, then a more expensive plans may be for you, but if you do not need all the bells and whistles, then a lower-costing plan may be up your alley.

While 5G has become more expanded, its full capabilities have not been fully integrated yet, and being inside may see some speeds lower if not close to a 5G tower. It is good to look at the coverage map on carrier’s websites to see which one fares you the best.

Cost

Cost is the main aspect that comes down to when picking a plan. Verizon offers the most choice for plans compared to the other services (with five in total). Each offers a bundle on top of the previous tier plan.

Cost of each plan from the big carriers

Cost of each plan from the big carriers

AT&T comes in a close second with having three plans to choose from at a close cost to Verizon’s. The cheapest is $35 and the most expensive is $50 (same as Verizon).

T-Mobile offers the most expensive plans to the eye with their cheapest being $60 (Essentials) and the most expensive being $85 (Magenta Max).

Data offered

Premium data (in the form of GBs) offered by each carrier by their plans. Black areas mean the plan does not offer it.

The amount of data you can use in your plan before it starts to slow down is important as well. While the top-tier plans usually have unlimited data with speeds never slowing down – like from T-Mobile – the bottom-tier plans usually do not offer high-speed data.

Verizon is the top carrier to offer the most plans with unlimited high-speed data for the cost they off. T-Mobile comes in second.

Hotspot data

The amount of data (in the form of GBs) you can use for a Hotspot per month. Blank areas mean the plan does not offer it.

If it is connecting a computer, tablet, or another smartphone to your data, the speed and available data you have for a hotspot are important. Some carrier plans offer it, while others do not.

Most of the lower-tier plans offer no cellular hotspot capabilities to their plans – like Cricket Wireless and Mint Mobile – and others do, but for a small amount – like Verizon and AT&T.

Cricket Wireless allows you to add 15 GB of cellular hotspot data to your plan for an additional $10 a month. T-Mobile Essentials plan does not offer it at all.

AT&T and Verizon both offer the most at 50 GB of data for a hotspot on their most expensive plans.

Video Resolution

Verizon gets the lead with the most plans that offer the highest resolution for video streaming – with four out of five of their plans offering 4K UHD.

Cricket Wireless and Mint Mobile did not disclose the resolution of their video streaming, but it can be reasonable to think that the higher plans offer higher definition video streaming.

T-Mobile has the most expensive plan for Standard Definition video resolution with the Magenta plan costing $60.

All carriers now offer 5G connectivity in all of their unlimited plans, but it is the coverage and the perks that can sway people one way or another. As time goes on, and new phones continue to come out yearly, 5G may become more powerful and accessible to more people in more areas.

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