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Best T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans 2021

Olivia Lipski

T-Mobile storefrontSource: Android Central

Best T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans Android Central 2021

T-Mobile is home to the nation's largest and fastest 5G network, and each of its plans offers unique perks and features over its competitors. But if that's not enough to make you consider switching over, then T-Mobile's latest and greatest Magenta MAX plan just might. Though the standard features of any T-Mobile plan already sound pretty great, T-Mobile's Magenta MAX is the icing on the cake. By offering unlimited premium 4G LTE and 5G data, or in other words, data that can't be slowed down based on usage, Magenta MAX is made for the future 5G generation. Here are some of the other best T-Mobile plans worth considering.

Best Overall: Magenta MAX

T-Mobile didn't name Magenta MAX its "best plan ever" for no good reason. This newest addition to the T-Mobile lineup was created with the savvy 5G smartphone user in mind. Though it costs $85 per month for a single line, taxes and fees are already included, and the price drops significantly when you add a few lines thanks to T-Mobile's "third line on us." For three lines, you'll pay $47 per line ($140 total per month); for four you'll pay $43 per line ($170 total per month). Though this is by far the highest price of any T-Mobile plan, it's worth it if you have a 5G compatible phone and never want to be held back by data limits of any sort. It's also great for anyone who doesn't always have a reliable WiFi connection and frequently uses their hotspot data, or someone who likes to stream a lot of high-quality videos.

Magenta MAX offers customers unlimited premium 4G LTE and 5G data, which is data that can't (and won't) be slowed down based on your usage. It's kind of like a front-row ticket to a concert. This plan lets you take full advantage of T-Mobile's 5G capacity and speed, and unlike with other plans, it offers the industry's most generous smartphone mobile hotspot at 40GB of high-speed data (later reduced to unlimited data at 3G speeds). With Magenta MAX you'll also get standard T-Mobile features like unlimited talk and text, scam-blocking protection (and even a premium scam shield), T-Mobile Tuesdays discounts, and great benefits for frequent travelers, such as international texting to 210+ countries, unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada—including 5GB of 4G LTE data and once that's been consumed unlimited 2G—and unlimited texting and WiFi with Gogo in-flight. Magenta MAX even offers unlimited 2G data when traveling abroad with speeds up to 256kbps and no roaming charges.

As if there weren't enough benefits already, Magenta MAX also comes with Netflix on Us. If you have one line you can get Netflix Basic (one SD screen). But if you have more lines you'll get Netflix Standard (two HD screens). If you need more screens, you can add up to four HD screens for only $5 extra a month. But that's not it when it comes to video streaming. Magenta MAX also lets you stream with UHD (ultra-high-definition) up to 4K resolution, which is pretty impressive if your phone can support this resolution. Though the average person probably doesn't need quite so much data and cool features, T-Mobile's Magenta MAX is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn't want even the slightest constraint when it comes to using their smartphone.

Pros:

  • Unlimited premium data (with no speed caps)
  • 40GB high-speed mobile hotspot data
  • Taxes and fees included
  • Up to 4K UHD streaming
  • Travel benefits

Cons:

  • Expensive for a single line

Best Overall

T-Mobile Magenta Max

T-Mobile Magenta MAX

5G ready

This best plan ever offers everything and more when it comes to carrier plans. Though it's more expensive than other T-Mobile offerings, unlimited premium data guarantees that you (and your data) will never be slowed down again, and you'll even have a substantial 40GB of mobile hotspot data to use as well as 4K UHD streaming. Not bad, right?

Best Family: Magenta

T-Mobile Magenta Max PricesSource: T-Mobile

T-Mobile's Magenta plan is one of the best cheap phone plans you can get, making it a great option for a family plan. You'll get most of the same features as you would with the Magenta MAX plan, just cutting out a few perks that aren't critical for the majority of people. With this reasonably priced plan, the monthly cost for three lines comes out to $120 a month ($40 per line) or $140 a month ($35 per line) for four lines. Because taxes and fees are included in the Magenta plan, it's ultimately a pretty decent deal—though less affordable as a single line, which costs $70 per month.

With the Magenta plan you'll get a whopping 100GB of premium data, an amount that's much more than enough for your average smartphone user, as well as 5GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data (later unlimited at 3G speeds). And it wouldn't be a family plan if it didn't come with Netflix on Us. T-Mobile's Magenta plan comes with Netflix Basic, so one screen SD, as long as you have more than two lines. Unlike the Magenta MAX plan, streaming will be SD only (480p) but if HD is a must then you'll have to upgrade plans or buy an HD day pass.

When it comes to international benefits this plan's features are very similar to Magenta MAX, the only difference being that international data use is slower at 2G speeds (128Kbps). You probably won't notice the difference. Ultimately T-Mobile's Magenta plan is great for families, and you could definitely still be satisfied with less. But in this day and age of connectivity, T-Mobile's Magenta plan is perfect for anyone that's a heavy data user, needs some high-speed mobile hotspot data (think long road trips in the car), and occasionally goes on vacations abroad.

Pros:

  • 100GB premium data
  • Taxes and fees included
  • 5GB high-speed mobile hotspot data
  • Travel benefits

Cons:

  • SD streaming
  • Slower international data speeds (128kbps)
  • Netflix Basic not available for a single line

Best Family

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile Magenta

Family-friendly

T-Mobile's Magenta plan is reasonably priced when you add a few lines, and will suit most family's data needs. It's slightly less extravagant than Magenta MAX, but still comes with 100GB of premium data, 5GB of high-speed hotspot data, no surprising taxes or fees, and Netflix on Us. We promise you, your kids won't complain.

Best Value: Essentials

TmobileplansSource: Tmobile

T-Mobile's Essentials plan is one of the most affordable, especially when it comes to a single line. For $60 per month, you'll get all the core necessities you need out of a phone plan. For three lines the price jumps down to $30 per month ($90 total), or $26 per line ($105 total) for four lines. It's a great deal, and like the Magenta plan, also a good choice for families—especially those that don't need a lot of extra benefits and features. For most people, the Essentials plan's 50GB of premium data will be more than what's essential, and if you only use your mobile hotspot data every so often then unlimited data at 3G speeds will suffice for basic browsing, email, and social media. But if you're someone that's frequently working from your laptop with no (or spotty) WiFi, then faster mobile hotspot data could be useful.

One downside of the Essentials plan is that it doesn't include Netflix on Us. Also, unlike the other two core plans, taxes and fees aren't included in the monthly price, which will bring up your phone bill. Though the Essentials plan does offer SD video streaming like the Magenta plan, it doesn't have as many international benefits. You'll still be able to text internationally, use your phone unlimitedly in Mexico and Canada at up to 128kbps speeds, but unfortunately, this plan doesn't let you use your data anywhere else abroad and it doesn't have fun perks like Gogo in-flight texting and WiFi. T-Mobile's Essentials does what it says it will: give you the essentials.

Pros:

  • 50GB premium data
  • Affordable single line
  • International texting and Mexico & Canada usage
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot data

Cons:

  • Slower mobile hotspot speeds (3G)
  • SD streaming
  • Doesn't include Netflix on Us
  • Taxes and fees aren't included
  • Doesn't include international data

Best Value

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile Essentials

Back to basics

The Essentials plan gives you all your basic cellular needs, like unlimited talk, text, and data, 50GB of premium data, and unlimited mobile hotspot data at 3G speeds. It's missing some of the extra benefits of other plans (such as travel perks and Netflix on Us), but it's still a solid plan that covers the essentials.

Best MVNO: Metro by T-Mobile

MetroplansSource: Metro

Metro by T-Mobile is one of the best MVNO carriers you can get. Though it's not technically a T-Mobile plan, Metro is owned by T-Mobile and uses its 4G LTE and 5G network—meaning that you should definitely consider it if you're interested in joining the T-Mobile family. As a prepaid carrier, it offers four unique plans of its own for you to choose from. With Metro's top unlimited plan you'll get unlimited high-speed data, 15GB of mobile hotspot data, and perks like Amazon Prime and 100GB of Google One storage for $60 per month. However, three or four lines on this plan with Metro would cost you $120 per month, which is the same price as a three-line plan with T-Mobile's Magenta. You'll have to decide which features you prefer.

If you're someone who doesn't need all the data in the world, Metro's $40 per month 10GB plan is a great plan to consider and comes with unlimited music streaming that won't eat up your data. And Metro's $50 per month unlimited plan is great for someone who doesn't need more than 5GB of hotspot data but wants to save a few bucks and still get unlimited data. What you won't get with Metro, however, are any international benefits like calling, texting, or data. To use your phone in Mexico or Canada you'll have to pay an additional $5 per month, and an additional $10 per month for international calling and texting. You also won't get unlimited hotspot data with any plan you purchase with Metro.

Another important thing to note is that Metro by T-Mobile customers might notice lower speeds due to data prioritization when compared to direct T-Mobile customers. But keep in mind that if you're a new customer to T-Mobile, you can take advantage of Metro's single line new customer promo, which gives you unlimited data for only $40 per month. You won't get mobile hotspot data, Amazon Prime, or Google One with the promo, but it's an awesome incentive to sign up with Metro. And if you're someone who doesn't want much data and simply needs a cost-effective plan, Metro also offers a very basic 2GB plan for $30 per month—though there are better T-Mobile plans available for that.

Pros:

  • T-Mobile 4G LTE and 5G network
  • Variety of plans
  • Decent prices for a single line
  • Optional add-on services
  • Amazon Prime, Google One, and unlimited music streaming with certain plans

Cons:

  • Data and mobile hotspot data aren't unlimited with all plans
  • SD video streaming
  • Data isn't prioritized

Best MVNO

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

No strings attached

Though Metro by T-Mobile's won't give you premium data, this prepaid carrier uses T-Mobile's 4G LTE and 5G network and has something for everyone's data needs. Metro's affordable plans start at $30 per month and depending on which plan you pick, come with bonuses like Amazon Prime, Google One storage, or unlimited music streaming.

Best Budget: T-Mobile Connect

TmobileconnectSource: Tmobile

Starting at $15 per month, T-Mobile Connect is one of the cheapest prepaid plans you can get with T-Mobile. You can pick between 2GB or 5GB of data, but either way, you'll get unlimited talk, text, and mobile hotspot data at full speeds until you reach your data amount. Once you've reached your monthly data allotment, you do have the option of buying an add-on data pass. It's a great plan for someone who doesn't need too much data and just wants a simple plan without frills at a fantastic price.

One neat feature about T-Mobile Connect is that you'll get an annual data upgrade of 500MB for five years after you've started the plan (at no extra cost). Though you won't get the traditional benefits that come with other T-Mobile plans such as international service or unlimited music streaming, the reduced price is hard to pass up. However, taxes and fees aren't included so you can expect your monthly bill to be a bit higher than $15 or $25 depending on which data allotment you pick. But if you don't use lots of data in the first place and want something basic, you won't find a better price with T-Mobile.

Pros:

  • Cheap monthly price
  • Data increases by 500MB annually
  • T-Mobile's large network
  • Scam-blocking included

Cons:

  • Capped data (2GB or 5GB)
  • Taxes and fees aren't included
  • No traditional carrier benefits
  • No international service

Best Budget

Tmobileconnectlogo

T-Mobile Connect

Almost too affordable to be true

T-Mobile Connect is the most affordable plan T-Mobile has, costing only $15 or $25 per month. You'll get either 2GB or 5GB of data, and though you won't have international service or T-Mobile's traditional carrier benefits this is easily the best pick when your wallet strings are tight.

Best Prepaid: Simply Prepaid

TmobilesimplySource: Tmobile

T-Mobile offers three different Simply Prepaid plans for 30 days of service: Simply Prepaid, Simply Prepaid Unlimited, and Simply Prepaid Unlimited Plus. Like T-Mobile Connect each plan comes with unlimited talk and text, but you have the choice between 10GB of data or unlimited data. The plans start at $40 per month for one line with the 10GB plan and increase to $50 per month for unlimited and $60 per month for unlimited plus. Prices drop as you add more lines, so for three lines you'd pay a respective $100, $110, or $120 per month; for four lines a respective $130, $140, or $150 per month.

Simply Prepaid plans include scam-blocking protection as well as mobile hotspot data—though with the Simply Prepaid plan this data is part of the 10GB allotment whereas with the unlimited plan you'll get unlimited hotspot data at 3G speeds. Even better, the unlimited plus plan gives you access to 10GB of 4G LTE hotspot data (later unlimited at 3G speeds) which is more than T-Mobile's Magenta plan offers. Each Simply Prepaid plan also comes with music unlimited, meaning that music streaming won't count toward your data. There's even a data maximizer that will optimize streaming videos at 1.5Mbps speeds to allow high-speed data to last longer.

Like T-Mobile Connect, Simply Prepaid plans don't come with international service but unlike T-Mobile Connect you can purchase add-ons such as talk, text, and 5GB of 4G data in Mexico and Canada for an extra $5 per month, or international calling for an extra $15 per month. Because Simply Prepaid plans aren't strikingly cheaper than T-Mobile's three core plans, you're probably better off picking another plan unless you're set on going prepaid. Keep in mind that if you plan on using more than 50GB of data or have a lower-prioritized plan, you may experience slower data speeds during congestion.

Pros:

  • Mobile hotspot data
  • T-Mobile's large network
  • Scam-blocking included
  • International add-ons
  • Music unlimited and data maximizer included

Cons:

  • No traditional carrier benefits
  • No international service
  • Savings aren't significant

Best Prepaid

T-Mobile logo

Simply Prepaid

Sweet and simple

T-Mobile's three Simply Prepaid plans offer a choice between 10GB of data and unlimited data that includes unlimited talk and text as well as mobile hotspot data. Though these plans aren't as shiny as T-Mobile's core plans, they're worth considering if you're set on going prepaid, need data, and want the option of international add-ons.

Bottom line

Tmobile5gSource: Tmobile

Before signing up with T-Mobile, you should always check the network's coverage map and make sure you'll get great service in your area. If you're set on joining the un-carrier, then one of the best T-Mobile plans out there is Magenta MAX. Though this plan isn't for everyone, it'll certainly impress those who are constantly connected and devour data. Do you really need 100GB of high-speed premium data? Probably not, but it's nice to know that your speeds will never slow down and that you also have a very generous amount of 40GB mobile hotspot data.

With remote work the new norm for many of us, the Magenta MAX plan will let you spend the day on your laptop without worrying about a reliable WiFi connection. Magenta MAX is also a great plan if you travel since it comes with unlimited data, calling, texting abroad, and Gogo in-flight unlimited texting and WiFi. The plan comes with Netflix on Us, which gives you two HD screens if you sign up for more than two lines, and (last but not least) you'll get up to 4K UHD streaming. Magenta MAX is the plan made for the future of 5G and it's hard to resist though there are certainly cheaper plans to consider.

If you find that you don't use too much data regularly, then T-Mobile's Essentials plan will give you the best value and everything that you need. It's a great option for a single line or for families (as is the Magenta plan), and you'll still have premium data, access to 5G, and unlimited mobile hotspot data. But if you're on a budget and need something simple, T-Mobile Connect is the perfect plan with no fancy features to distract you. Offering 2GB or 5GB of data, this prepaid plan cuts to the chase for only $15 or $25 per month. But no matter which T-Mobile plan you pick, you're guaranteed to stay connected with the nation's leader in 5G coverage and speed.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author: Olivia Photo

Olivia Lipski is a freelance writer for Android Central and loves testing out the latest kitchen tech and discovering the best cell phone plans. When she's not busy running around NYC trying to find great food or coffee, she's in her kitchen trying to make it herself.

Best T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans 2021

Best Overall

T-Mobile Magenta Max

T-Mobile Magenta MAX

$85/mo. for one line at T-Mobile

Best Family

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile Magenta

$70/mo. for one line at T-Mobile

Best Value

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile Essentials

$60/mo. for one line at T-Mobile

Best MVNO

Metro by T-Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

From $30/mo. at Metro by T-Mobile

Best Budget

Tmobileconnectlogo

T-Mobile Connect

From $15/mo. at T-Mobile

Best Prepaid

T-Mobile logo

Simply Prepaid

From $40/mo. at T-Mobile