Top Cell Phone Companies of 2019

Get the best value deals on cell phone plans from these top rated cell phone carriers

Picking the best cell phone company should be simple. You go with the company that offers the best coverage, the most flexible plans, and the widest selection of top- and mid-tier phones, all at a great price. But the most expensive provider still charges more than twice as much as the least, for commensurately better service. Where should you draw the line between price and performance?

Most Companies currently offer a wide range of choices for consumers, from well-known brand names to less known but surprisingly well-established companies. With so much competition from cell phone companies in the last few years, prices of phone plans have definitely fallen, along with plans being offered without contracts. There are many options of plans available, suitable for the most casual to serious users.

The best cell phone service in the nation continues to come from Verizon Wireless. The brand’s extensive coverage, speed, and reliability are unmatched, but great speeds are backed by even better prices. Here are our top pick cell phone companies of 2019:

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless best company

Verizon is the largest cell phone carrier in the U.S., it has a great reputation and has coverage even in many remote areas where “No Service” is the prominent message from most carriers. However, Verizon does tend to be on the more expensive side. What you’re truly paying for is Verizon’s reliability.

Verizon has recently come out with a new unlimited cell phone plan, dubbed Verizon Unlimited. While continuing the trend of expensive plans, the Verizon Unlimited plan comes packed with perks and solid coverage the carrier is known for.

Verizon offers three tiers of unlimited plans. Here’s the breakdown.

Go Unlimited Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited 4G LTE data (your speeds will be throttled more often compared to Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited customers)
  • Video streaming at 480p
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (max speed of 600Kbps)
  • Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
  • 512MB of LTE per day in Mexico and Canada (Data usage cannot exceed 50% outside of the U.S.)
  • Six months of Apple Music included for free ($9.99/month value)

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $75
  • Line 2 = $65/per line — 2 Lines for $130/month
  • Line 3 = $50/per line — 3 Lines for $150/month
  • Line 4 = $40/per line — 4 Lines for $160/month

Beyond Unlimited Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • 22GB of Premium Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • Video streaming at 720p
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (first 15GB at LTE speeds)
  • Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
  • 512MB of LTE data per day in Mexico and Canada (Data usage cannot exceed 50% outside of the U.S.)
  • Six months of Apple Music included for free ($9.99/month value)

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $85
  • Line 2 = $80/per line — 2 Lines for $160/month
  • Line 3 = $60/per line — 3 Lines for $180/month
  • Line 4 = $50/per line — 4 Lines for $200/month

Above Unlimited Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • 75GB of Premium Unlimited 4G LTE data
  • Video streaming at 720p
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot (first 20GB at LTE speeds)
  • Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
  • 5 free TravelPasses per month that offer 512MB of LTE data per day (usable in 130 countries, usage cannot exceed 50% outside of the U.S.)
  • Six months of Apple Music included for free ($9.99/month value)
  • 500GB of Verizon Cloud

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $95
  • Line 2 = $90/per line — 2 Lines for $180/month
  • Line 3 = $70/per line — 3 Lines for $210/month
  • Line 4 = $60/per line — 4 Lines for $240/month

View Verizon Plans Details

Cell Phone Plans 4

AT&T

AT&T Wireless best company

AT&T is one of the second largest cell phone company in the United States. It provides single-line, business, single-line plans to fit every cell phone need.

AT&T carrier has the difference of being the most high-priced of the large four companies, blocking seasonal promotions and specials,

AT&T offers two types of unlimited data plans, one of which allows you to save on DIRECTV services. However, you will not be able to save on AT&T U-Verse TV residential service. Both unlimited plans include unlimited talk, data, and text, but there are differences between the two.

AT&T Unlimited &More Premium includes HBO programming, 15GB of mobile hotspot per line, high-definition video streaming at the fastest speed, unlimited text from the U.S. to over 120 countries, and roaming in, as well as unlimited talk and text to, Mexico and Canada. It should be noted that that roaming feature may be removed if voice, text, or data usage in Mexico and/or Canada is over 50 percent of the total voice, data, or text usage for two consecutive months.

With AT&T Unlimited &More, you receive a max speed at 3Mbps, standard-definition video streaming – no HD video streaming, sorry – unlimited text from the U.S. to over 120 countries, and roaming in, as well as unlimited talk and text, to Mexico and Canada.

Note that after 22GB of usage, AT&T might slow down data speeds.

Stream Saver is included in the Unlimited Plan. Stream Saver will identify the streaming video content and adjust the resolution and data speed accordingly.

AT&T offers two tiers of unlimited plans. Here’s the breakdown.

Unlimited &More Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Subject to data throttling after 22GB
  • Video streaming at 480p
  • Streaming speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps
  • Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
  • Free roaming in Mexico and Canada
  • Send unlimited texts to 120 countries
  • WatchTV included for free ($15/month value)

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $70
  • Line 2 = $63/per line — 2 Lines for $125/month
  • Line 3 = $49/per line — 3 Lines for $145/month
  • Line 4 = $40/per line — 4 Lines for $160/month

Unlimited &More Premium Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Subject to data throttling after 22GB
  • 15 GB mobile hotspot (tethering)
  • Video streaming at full 1080p when Stream Saver is turned off
  • Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
  • Free roaming in Mexico and Canada
  • Send unlimited texts to 120 countries
  • WatchTV included for free ($15/month value)
  • Your choice of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, VRV, Amazon Music, or Pandora Premium

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $80
  • Line 2 = $75/per line — 2 Lines for $150/month
  • Line 3 = $57/per line — 3 Lines for $170/month
  • Line 4 = $48/per line — 4 Lines for $190/month

View AT&T Plans Details

T-Mobile

T-Mobile best company

After an unsuccessful merger with AT&T in 2012, T-Mobile stays the lowest of the large four U.S. cell phone companies. It now runs an LTE coverage network and after 1st announcing an HSPA+ network that provides LTE-comparable rates of speed.

The most tempting plan would have to be T-Mobile ONE, which is the T-Mobile unlimited plan, which grants the entire family with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.

However, while the unlimited T-Mobile plan sounds enticing, there are a couple of important points to note. For one, on all plans, the top 3 percent of data users (those who use more than 30GB per month), will face reduced speeds until the next billing cycle during congestion. Furthermore, videos will typically stream at DVD quality on the smartphone, meaning 480p resolution.

And when it comes to tethering and mobile hotspot? We’re talking Max 3G download speeds. However, if you are interested in the ONE plan, you can always opt for AutoPay and save a few extra dollars per line per month.

And if you want HD video and better quality streaming (overall) with your T-Mobile unlimited plan, you have that option by purchasing T-Mobile ONE Plus, which includes unlimited HD Day Passes, meaning you can stream unlimited high-definition video. And if you want to add international perks to your plan, you can always upgrade to the T-Mobile ONE Plus International package.

T-Mobile offers two tiers of unlimited plans. Here’s the breakdown.

T-Mobile ONE Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Video streaming capped at 480p
  • Unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of LTE in Canada and Mexico
  • One hour of free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi and unlimited texting on enabled flights
  • Unlimited data and texting in over 210 locations
  • Netflix is included for free on accounts with at least two lines ($9.99/month value)

Pricing + Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $70
  • Line 2 = $60/per line — 2 Lines for $120/month
  • Line 3 = $43/per line — 3 Lines for $140/month
  • Line 4 = $40/per line — 4 Lines for $160/month

T-Mobile ONE Plus (add-on) Includes:

  • Includes 720p video streaming
  • 20GB of LTE hotspot and then unlimited 3G speeds
  • 2x data speed when traveling (supported in over 210 countries)
  • Unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on Gogo-enabled flights
  • Voicemail-to-text
  • Name ID

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $85
  • Line 2 = $70/per line — 2 Lines for $140/month
  • Line 3 = $53/per line — 3 Lines for $159/month
  • Line 4 = $50/per line — 4 Lines for $200/month

View T-Mobile Plans Details

Sprint

Sprint best company

Sprint (also known as Sprint Corporation) is the fourth largest network in the United States, serving some 60.2 million customers as of October 2016. Sprint happens to provide wireless service not only through itself but through various wireless sub-branches, such as Boost Mobile. The Sprint network is known to carry the latest and greatest phones from both the iPhone and Android lines.

Like most carriers, Sprint’s offers Unlimited plan features unlimited talk, text, and data, all for an affordable price. Additionally, you’ll have up to 10GB just for mobile hotspot access.

Unlimited data plans come at a discount when entering into a Sprint family plan. Even if you don’t think you need unlimited data, you may very well want it if you have data hungry teenagers.

Sprint offers three tiers of unlimited plans. Here’s the breakdown.

Unlimited Basic Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited data for streaming video up to 480p
  • Unlimited data for gaming up to 2Mbps
  • Unlimited data for streaming music up to 500Kbps
  • 500MB LTE mobile hotspot
  • Unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of LTE data when in Mexico and Canada
  • Global talk and text in nearly 200 countries
  • Hulu included for free ($7.99/month value)

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $60
  • Line 2 = $50/per line — 2 Lines for $100/month
  • Line 3 = $40/per line — 3 Lines for $120/month
  • Line 4 = $35/per line — 4 Lines for $140/month

Unlimited Plus Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited data for streaming video up to 1080p
  • Unlimited data for gaming up to 8Mbps
  • Unlimited data for streaming music up to 1.5Mbps
  • 15GB LTE mobile hotspot
  • Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB of LTE data when in Mexico and Canada
  • Global talk and text in nearly 200 countries
  • Hulu included for free ($7.99/month value)
  • Tidal Premium included for free ($9.99/month value)

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $70
  • Line 2 = $60/per line — 2 Lines for $120/month
  • Line 3 = $50/per line — 3 Lines for $150/month
  • Line 4 = $45/per line — 4 Lines for $180/month

Unlimited Premium Includes:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • Unlimited data for streaming video at full resolution
  • Unrestricted data speeds for gaming and music streaming
  • 50GB LTE mobile hotspot
  • Unlimited talk, text, and LTE data when in Mexico and Canada
  • Global talk and text in nearly 200 countries
  • Hulu included for free ($7.99/month value)
  • Tidal Premium included for free ($9.99/month value)
  • Amazon Prime included for free ($12.99/month value)
  • Lookout Premium Plus included for free ($9.99/month value)
  • Two $10 Uber credits each month included for free

Multi-Line Discount

  • Line 1 = $90
  • Line 2 = $80/per line — 2 Lines for $160/month
  • Line 3 = $70/per line — 3 Lines for $210/month
  • Line 4 = $60/per line — 4 Lines for $240/month

View Sprint Plans Details

Cell Phone Plans 15

Xfinity Mobile

Xfinity Mobile best company

Xfinity Mobile just launched this past August, and while it’s only available for subscribers of Comcast’s home internet service, it’s a pretty good deal for those that are. Xfinity Mobile comes with unlimited nationwide calling and texting, access to more than 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots, and 100MB of shared monthly data are included by default with your regular Internet plan.

Note: Available only to people with Comcast Infinity Internet subscribers.

  • $45/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (reduced speeds after 20GB)

View Xfinity Plans Details

Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile best company

Simple Mobile is a TracFone-owned MVNO operating under T-Mobile’s network, has recently made new changes to its prepaid plan options.

With the new changes in place, Simple Mobile is now offering an unlimited LTE data plan that costs only $50 per month and already comes with unlimited domestic talk and text. The other features included in the plan are unlimited international texting and calling and full roaming access while in Mexico at no extra cost.

these plans include unlimited international texting, unlimited international calling to landlines in 64 countries, and unlimited international calling to Mexico, Canada, China, India, and 16 other countries.

  • $50/month: Unlimited talk, unlimited text, and data. This plan includes unlimited talk and text to supported International countries.
  • $60/month: Unlimited talk, unlimited text, and data, plus 10GB of mobile hotspot data. This also includes unlimited talk and text to supported International countries.

View Simple Mobile Plans Details

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile best carrier

Boost Mobile markets itself as the phone company with no surprises. Phone plans include taxes and fees, and you won’t get overage charges, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying when you sign up.

If you’re OK sacrificing some of the extras such as international roaming or a specialized streaming service tacked on to your plan for free, Boost Mobile offers the best-unlimited plan, dollar-for-dollar. With unlimited talk, text, and data available for $50 a month, the plan includes 12GB of the mobile hotspot and streaming mobile-optimized HD video up to 480p. Customers can upgrade for an additional $10 per month to increase streaming quality to 1080p HD, and with Boost Dealz customers can watch a few monthly advertising videos per month to reduce the cost of their billing statement.

Note: Boost offers a $5 discount per month for autopay.

  • $50/month: Unlimited talk, text, and data with 12 Gigs Mobile Hotspot plus streaming Videos, Gaming & Music.
  • $60/month: Unlimited talk, text, and data with 30 Gigs Mobile Hotspot & HD Streams up to 1080p.
  • $80/month: Unlimited talk, text, and data with 50 Gigs Mobile Hotspot & HD Streams up to 1080p.

View Boost Mobile Plans Details

Cell Phone Plans 26

US Mobile

US Mobile best carrier

US Mobile is a no-contract cell phone carrier that offers customers calling plans that are flexible and enable them to decide the amount of talk, text, and data that they need every month. US Mobile plans are prepaid plans, which means they are paid for before the billing period before it begins.

US Mobile’s new unlimited data plans all come with unlimited talk, text, and data. Subscribers can still choose their own speeds. Besides offering unlimited high-speed data options, there are now plans with a limited amount of high-speed data and they too are available at different speeds. The new plans are priced as follows.

  • $40/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (Speed Limited To 1 Mbps)
  • $45/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (Speed Limited To 5 Mbps)
  • $55/month: unlimited talk, text, and data (No Speed caps)

View US Mobile Plans Details

Metro by T-Mobile

MetroPCS top cell phone companies 2019

Metro uses T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and LTE network, as it is owned entirely by the larger carrier. You have the option to purchase a phone through Metro or bring your own device that’s compatible with the T-Mobile network.

All plans come with unlimited talk, text, data, Wi-Fi calling, caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, and Data Maximizer, a feature that helps optimize your high-speed data usage when streaming videos.

The unlimited data plans also include a free Google One membership, which includes 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive, and the $60 plan even throws in an Amazon Prime membership. That’s a $12.99/month value.

  • $50/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus 5GB of Hotspot
  • $60/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus 15GB of Hotspot and amazon prime included

View MetroPCS Plans Details

Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless best carrier

Cricket Wireless is a well-known no-contract service provider that’s been around for a while. One of the biggest advantages of Cricket’s service is covered. Cricket uses AT&T’s network, so you’ll find more widespread national 4G LTE coverage than plans that use Sprint.

Cricket also has a larger-than-average number of plans to choose from, but its unlimited data plan isn’t as competitively priced as MetroPCS or Boost Mobile. But they do offer good group discounts that can save you up to $100 per month with five lines.

All plans include unlimited talk and text nationwide. Cricket also offers a $5 discount per month with auto-pay (prices below don’t reflect discount). Taxes and fees included in pricing.

  • $55/month: unlimited talk, text, and data plus Unlimited international texts with unlimited calls, texts Mexico and Canada.
  • $60/month: unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data plus Unlimited international texts with unlimited calls, texts Mexico and Canada.

View Cricket Wireless Plans Details

Picking a Cell Phone Carriers: What Else to Look For

The companies we outlined above suit many people, but they aren’t for everyone. If you’re trying to find cell phone plans that fit your lifestyle, there are a few things to watch out for along the way.

Coverage & Quality

As we’ve mentioned, the quality of a provider’s coverage is the most important factor you should consider as you compare the best cell phone plans. Verizon claims the top spot in terms of performance, ubiquity, and speed. AT&T is a close second, suffering just slightly in rural regions. T-Mobile’s download speeds are superb, but the carrier can feel useless once you leave metropolitan areas. Sprint’s network is slow and unimpressive but sufficient for most people’s needs.

With the exception of US Cellular, which operates a regional network in the Midwest, every other service provider is an MVNO of one of the Big Four carriers, piggybacking off of their networks. The better ones offer service on AT&T’s towers, but most operate on Sprint’s infrastructure.

There’s one last consideration to remember when picking a quality network: the communications standard that’s used. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, a cellular standard common in the U.S. but rarely used internationally. T-Mobile and AT&T, on the other hand, use the international GSM standard. Unless a device is very specifically made with both types of antennas, GSM phones don’t work on CDMA networks and vice versa. If you plan on buying an unlocked phone and carting it from carrier to carrier, keep this in mind.

Pricing & Fees

For a long time, the chief difference between the big carriers and the smaller prepaid carriers was contracts: You couldn’t buy a new phone from a carrier without committing yourself to two years of service with one company. Now that the Big Four have done away with contracts, cell service is easier to budget, since how much you pay for your connection is separate from how much you pay for your phone.

Of course, many carriers still let you pay for your phone over two years, lumping its price into your monthly bill. But the cost of service by itself is finally easier to understand. It still varies greatly, though; expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $65 per month for service, plus the cost of whichever device you choose to buy.

Plan Features

Beware lest you be drawn in by claims of “unlimited” data; the vast majority of companies that promise it throttle your speeds once you hit a predetermined data cap. Carriers we review here are exceptions to this rule: T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket Wireless, and Boost Mobile. Far more common is unlimited talk and text, a feature offered by each of the service providers we let into our lineup.

One feature available at only two companies is data rollover: the ability to roll any unused data from your monthly allocation over into the next month. At the moment, T-Mobile and AT&T are the only companies offering any sort of data rollover. T-Mobile’s take on it is far more forgiving than AT&T’s, but both are welcome additions the companies are granting at no extra charge.

Wrapping Up

Finding a decent cell phone carriers can seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Looking for cheap cell phone plans that still give you room to stretch? T-Mobile has you covered. On a tight budget but still, want great service? Check out Cricket Wireless. And of course, there’s always Verizon if you’re willing to pay top dollar for a top-quality experience.

There are dozens of cell phone companies to choose from, and with fierce competition, you’re spoiled for choice. We narrowed down our recommendations to widely available services that offer unlimited data plans, but there are a lot of great options that don’t fit these parameters, including Project Fi and Republic Wireless. A few others do fit within our parameters but didn’t make the cut, including CREDO Mobile, Page Plus Cellular, Wing Mobile, Ultra Mobile, and Lycamobile.


5 thoughts on “Top Cell Phone Companies of 2019”

  1. Most of the cell phone service providers offer low-cost cell phone plans. Through T-Mobile, Walmart offers a $30 plan that includes unlimited talk and text, and 500MB of high-speed data.

    A lot of “virtual carriers” exist that offer inexpensive prepaid plans and pay-as-you-go service. The big four carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) also offer branded prepaid plans. There’s also FreedomPop, which offers very basic cell phone service for free.

  2. If you use your phone for talk and text there are free phones for people who qualify that would cut your bill in half buy leaving just your wife’s bill to pay.

  3. I’ve heard a lot about Cricket and I honestly love it. It’s affordable and I don’t have a Cricket phone yet because I have to wait about a year with my stupid Verizon phone before I can get a Cricket phone.

  4. For the billions they’ve spent to upgrade their wireless networks, cell phone companies are now trumpeting quarter after quarter of strong gains in revenue from services other than phone calls _ from messaging and games to music and video clips, as well as wireless Internet access

  5. Cell phone company’s? Isn’t this a misnomer? These are not cell phone companies. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile are examples of cell phone companies. The guts above didn’t start business by making phones. In fact many of them provide wireless first.

Comments are closed.