Sensible plans

Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless logo

Great compatibility

Straight Talk

Straight Talk Logo

Cricket Wireless is a prepaid carrier owned by AT&T that offers a solid range of plans. Plans are available in 2GB, 10GB, and unlimited data options. If you go for the top unlimited plan, you get access to 5G as well as a 15GB hotspot.

From $30/mo. at Cricket Wireless

Pros

  • 5G access available
  • Data-only plans with 5G
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Multi-line savings

Cons

  • Speed limited to 8Mbps on most plans
  • SD quality video streams on unlimited plans

Straight Talk makes it as easy as possible to get connected thanks to compatibility with all four of the major carrier networks. No matter what phone you have, chances are good that you'll be able to get it activated on Straight Talk.

From $30/mo. at Straight Talk

Pros

  • Great coverage options
  • Plenty of data for heavy users
  • Multi-month plans available
  • No data speed limits

Cons

  • Limited family plan options

Straight Talk's great phone compatibility makes it an easy choice for somebody that wants to get connected quickly and easily. While the plans favor a single line, it is possible to get a multiline unlimited plan for a good price. Cricket Wireless's plans make more sense for most people with enough data for smartphones on every plan and solid multi-line savings. Cricket's 8Mbps speed limit on most plans will be a big factor for some smartphone users.

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk Which network is best for you?

Cricket Wireless is owned by AT&T and is the go-to option for people that want to stay on the network without signing up for a long-term contract. While Cricket uses the same network as AT&T customers, it limits the connection speed of all but its most expensive plans. Still, at 8Mbps on LTE, it should be enough for most people. All Cricket plans come with unlimited calls and texts.

Straight Talk, like many MVNOs, lets you choose the network that makes the most sense for you whether you need better coverage of a network that works with your phone or want the flexibility to choose. It's worth noting that if you're signing up for an unlimited plan, AT&T SIM cards won't include hotspot data. If AT&T's network doesn't work for you, Straight Talk lets you use one that does.

Cricket Wireless Straight Talk Wireless
Network AT&T AT&T
Sprint
T-Mobile
Verizon
5G Only on Unlimited More plan With T-Mobile SIMs
Multi-line 5 2

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk Get the best coverage

AT&T has solid coverage nationwide, making it a reasonably safe choice for most people. Cricket relies completely on this network for its coverage, although for most customers, speed won't be a serious concern thanks to Cricket applying an 8Mbps speed limit to LTE data on all plans but the most expensive unlimited plan. Still, you should check out Cricket's coverage page before signing up. This map also includes 5G coverage if you're interested in the top unlimited plan.

Straight Talk Coverage ChoicesSource: Straight Talk

The network Straight Talk uses comes down to your phone. For most people, any of the major networks will provide solid coverage but if you're not sure, check out Straight Talk's coverage map. Keep in mind that if you use the AT&T network, you won't get access to the hotspot feature included with some Straight Talk plans.

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk Cricket's plans

Cricket's plans follow a similar formula to other prepaid carriers with unlimited talk, text, and 2G speed data on all plans. The cheapest plan comes in at $30 per month and has 2GB of 8Mbps LTE data. Moving up to $40 per month, you get $10GB of data. This plan is also available for $5 less if you use autopay.

Cricket has two unlimited plans that reduce your video streaming quality to 480p (1.5Mbps). On the cheaper $55 plan ($50 with autopay) this feels a bit too restrictive since the speed is already limited to 8Mbps on LTE. Usage in Mexico and Canada is included though it can't make up more than 50% of your monthly usage. Texting to 37 countries is also included.

The top plan at $60 per month removes the speed limit and adds in 15GB of hotspot data. This plan also comes with 5G access making it the only real choice for someone looking to get 5G speeds on their phone.

2GB 5GB Unlimited (Core) Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot (More)
Data 2GB 10GB Unlimited Unlimited
Hotspot None None None 15GB
International text None None 37 countries 37 countries
Max data speed 8Mbps LTE 8Mbps LTE 8Mbps No limit
Video streaming Full Full 1.5Mbps (480p) 1.5Mbps (480p)
5G access None None None Nationwide 5G

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk Straight Talk's plans

Straight Talk keeps things simple as you might imagine from its name. The Basic plan at $30 per month is a solid option for an emergency phone or for someone that just wants to make calls and texts. With 100MB of data, 1500 minutes, and unlimited texts.

All data plans come with unlimited talk, text, and 2G speed data. For $35 per month, you can get 5GB of high-speed data and $10 more gets you 25GB. This plan can be purchased in three-month, six-month, and 12-month increments at a discount. You can also get an international version for $60 that comes with unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to Mexico, China, Canada, and India.

An unlimited plan is available for $55 per month and comes with 10GB of hotspot data. On this plan, videos will likely stream at SD quality. A two-line version is available for $90 per month.

A Platinum Unlimited plan is available for $65 and takes the hotspot data up to 20GB. This also upgrades your video streams to 720p.

Data can be added to limited plans at a rate of $5 per 1GB.

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk Will your phone work?

SIM cards and traysSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

Pretty much any unlocked phone will work with Straight Talk thanks to its support for all four major networks. You can check on Straight Talk's website to be sure. Your phone must be unlocked so you may need to contact your carrier to be sure before you switch. For the most part, any phone that's been paid off is eligible.

Cricket will work with most unlocked GSM phones and you can quickly check your phone to know for sure. If you bought your phone from your previous carrier, you will need to make sure it's unlocked before switching over.

If you're ready for a new phone, you can either buy an unlocked phone from a site like Amazon or get one directly from the carrier. Cricket and Straight Talk both have a wide range of Android and iOS devices available and more expensive phones are available with financing from Cricket.

Cricket Wireless vs. Straight Talk *Which should you get?

Straight Talk has some solid options for customers and makes it as easy as possible to switch with a ton of network support. If you need to get connected right away, few options will be as hassle-free as Straight Talk. For most people, however, Cricket's plans make a lot more sense even with limited speeds. Multi-line savings make it a great choice for families especially if you get an unlimited plan. You just need to decide if the extra speed is worth it for Cricket's top-tier plan.

Sensible Plans

Cricket Logo

Cricket Wireless

Plans for the whole family

Cricket has a solid set of plans from 2GB to unlimited that work for most people with the option to save with multiple lines.

Great Compatibility

Straight Talk Logo

Straight Talk

Plenty of data on any network

Straight Talk offers customers a ton of data for a competitive price with great support for phones on all major networks.

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