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Best cell phone models

Best Unlimited Data Plans  December 15, 2018 – 10:02 pm
Best Cell Phone Models to Get
  • Plan name: Sprint Unlimited Freedom.
  • Monthly price: $60.
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited minutes, texts and high-speed data, plus 5GB mobile hot spot allowance.
  • Why we like it: It’s cheaper than AT&T and T-Mobile’s unlimited plans, and unlike AT&T’s plan, doesn’t require you to bundle your cable and wireless services.

Things to know:

  • You can have up to 10 lines on your plan. The first additional line costs $40 per month. Each line after that is $30 per month.
  • Sprint charges a $30 activation fee for each new line.
  • Mobile hot-spot usage at 4G speeds is capped at 5GB per month. After that, you’ll switch from high-speed data to 2G lower speeds for hot-spot usage.

Other Plans at this price point:

6GB for $60.
4GB for $70.
6GB for $65.

Best prepaid unlimited data plans

MetroPCS also offers a great unlimited deal, but on T-Mobile’s network. Plus, customers with a prepaid cell phone plan avoid a credit check and any long-term ties to the carrier.

  • Plan name: Boost Mobile Unlimited Unhook’d.
  • Monthly price: $50.
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited minutes, texts and high-speed data, plus 8GB mobile hot spot allowance.
  • Why we like it: An unlimited plan with none of the commitments.
  • Plan name: MetroPCS Unlimited.
  • Why we like it: One of the cheapest unlimited plans available, and it has a generous amount of hot spot data.
  • Boost: Video streaming on the $50 Unlimited Unhook’d plan is capped at a resolution of 480p, which is standard definition. If you want to stream in HD, you’ll need to go with Boost’s original Unlimited plan, which is $60 per month. The company assesses a $3 “convenience fee” on payments made in store or by phone with a customer service agent. And you’ll pay full price to purchase a new phone, but if you have a phone through Sprint, you might be able to activate it with Boost.
  • MetroPCS: You can save $5 per line each month — up to a maximum of five lines — if you make your plan a family plan. But you’ll pay a service fee of $2 to $3.50 for each payment made over the phone, in a store or at a Western Union location. You’ll also pay retail price for a new phone. Smartphone prices range from $29 to nearly $650. But if you have a compatible phone, you might be able to activate it with the carrier. Keep in mind that T-Mobile owns MetroPCS and, when there are demands on the network, it gives priority to T-Mobile branded customers. That means MetroPCS customers in busy areas might have slower data speeds.


Unlimited for $70.
Unlimited for $60.
Unlimited for $75.

Best unlimited data plan for mobile hot-spot users

Sometimes you just need Wi-Fi. The T-Mobile One plan offers unlimited data and unlimited hot-spot capabilities, albeit at 3G speeds, which far exceeds the 5GB allowed on Sprint’s unlimited plan.

  • Plan name: T-Mobile One.
  • Monthly price: $75.
  • Plan at a glance: Unlimited minutes, texts and high-speed data, plus 3G data speeds when using your phone as a mobile hot spot.
  • Why we like it: It’s a little pricier than other plans, but you get unlimited data for mobile Wi-Fi usage.
  • T-Mobile charges a $20 “SIM Starter Kit” fee for new activations.
  • If you want HD video, or if you want 4G speeds on your mobile hot spot, you’ll have to spring for the T-Mobile One Plus plan, which costs an extra $25 per month per line.
  • You can take off $5 from your monthly cost if you sign up for autopay.

How OTHERS compare:

Unlimited for $100. A DirecTV or U-Verse subscription is required.
16GB for $110.

Restrictions on unlimited data plans

Even though these are “unlimited” data plans, they aren’t exactly limitless. All of them cap high-speed data usage at around 23GB per month. If you hit that threshold, your connection might be “deprioritized, ” that is, slowed considerably. Even if you buy an unlimited plan, you should still connect to Wi-Fi when you can to conserve your data.


We evaluated unlimited data plans offered by the following carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS. To determine the best plans, we looked at the monthly plan price before taxes and fees, mobile hot spot allowance and high-speed data caps.


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