Best 5G Plan Android Central 2019

5G technology is moving fast and both Sprint and Verizon Wireless offer it to consumers now. Sprint offers an HTC hub and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G while Verizon offers the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Sprint and Verizon are the only major carriers to offer 5G support on phones so far on higher tier unlimited plans. Both 5G networks are still small but Sprint's Unlimited Premium is the best with offering more 4G data and extra services at a lower price.

Best Overall: Sprint Unlimited Premium

Sprint chose to build its 5G network on its 2.5 Ghz spectrum. This is significantly lower than Verizon's network, but it results in larger coverage areas similar to 4G LTE and good consistency inside. While speeds are slower than 5G deployed on higher bands, the extra coverage makes up for it in most use cases.

Sprint only offers one plan for 5G phones called the Unlimited Premium plan. This plan was built around the 4G LTE network so the smaller hotspot size and deprioritization numbers are lower than Verizon's plans. Still, 100GB of hotspot data is quite a lot and deprioritization at 75GB won't affect the vast majority of users. Since Sprint hasn't made a new plan for 5G, the cost isn't likely to change much in the future.

Sprint's Unlimited Premium plan grants access to an impressive number of extras including Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Tidal. With this plan you should be able to stream a ton of media without slowing down or running out of data.

Pros:

  • Full HD video streaming
  • 100GB hotspot
  • includes Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Tidal
  • More consistent 5G coverage

Cons:

  • Deprioritization at 75GB
  • Slower 5G bands

Best Overall

Sprint Unlimited Premium

A bigger footprint with more streaming extras

Sprint's 5G plan is a great value and the Unlimited Premium plan gives you the speed and consistency of 5G at a competitive price.

Best speed: Verizon Beyond Unlimited

Verizon has an impressive 5G network so far. Though the current coverage area is smaller than the 5G networks from AT&T and Sprint, Verizon's 5G speeds will outclass Sprint's current offering — that is until you go inside. While the connection is very fast when it's in range, the higher frequency bands give it worse coverage and building penetration.

Verizon's 5G plans feel tailored for 5G with sensible upgrades, like the boosted maximum quality of streaming video. It also offers Unlimited 5G data and hotspot. That's because at first, 5G capability on Verizon was part of a $10 upgrade package. The upgrade is included with current phones but only for a limited time.

Even with Apple Music included, the cost of this plan makes this really only fitting for someone that needs the absolute best speed available in a phone.

Pros:

  • 4K video streaming
  • Apple Music
  • Fast wideband 5G
  • Unlimited 5G hotspot

Cons:

  • 4G Deprioritization at 22GB
  • Price is limited time
  • Worse building penetration than Sprint

Best speed

Verizon Beyond Unlimited

Fastest wireless on a phone

Get unlimited access to one of the fastest 5G networks available with Verizon's Beyond Unlimited Plan. Support for 4k streaming and Apple Music included.

Bottom line

At this point, the 5G network offered by Verizon is very different from Sprint's network in size and speed. Sprint's network will offer a larger footprint in a shorter amount of time since it will have similar coverage to its 4G technology. While Verizon can offer higher speeds, for most users, the speeds on Sprint's 5G will be more than enough. The Sprint Unlimited Premium plan offers a sensible package at a good price and includes enough extras to make it a great value.

Where are the others?

AT&T has been building out it's 5G network since late 2018 and has impressive coverage with its mmWave 5G. This network, however, is currently only accessible to business customers through a hotspot. T-Mobile meanwhile is waiting until later in the year to unveil its 5G roadmap. Interestingly enough, Google Fi will be getting 5G from Sprint, but there aren't any official plans on when that'll happen yet.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking at Windows Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.

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