T-Mobile Buyer's Guide: Everything you need to know

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T-Mobile logo (Image credit: Android Central)

T-Mobile is the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S. with over 70 million subscribers. It provides nationwide voice and data coverage using GSM and LTE technology, primarily on bands 2, 4, 12, 66, and 71.

T-Mobile offers unlimited talk, text, and data plans for individuals and families and carries all of the latest phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, as well as the LG V30. Since T-Mobile only offers one kind of postpaid plan, things are a bit pricey, but T-Mobile's got solid coverage and decent extras that make it worth it for you to switch.

Here's what T-Mobile has to offer.

Postpaid unlimited plans

T-Mobile has just one postpaid plan: T-Mobile ONE. The carrier does not offer plans with tiered amounts of data, nor does it offer a true "family" plan; instead, every plan features unlimited talk, text, and data, free Netflix (for accounts with two lines or more), and the only difference in price depends on how many lines you have on your account.

Note: T-Mobile claims that you have unlimited 4G LTE data, but a small percentage of users, once they hit 50GB per month, will be throttled to slower speeds, and even then it's only likely to happen during times of congestion.

For a single line, it's $70 per month; two lines is $120 per month ($60/line); three lines is $140 per month ($47.50/line); and four lines is $160 per month ($40/line).

This includes tax on all lines, but doesn't include monthly payments on devices.

Everything you need to know about T-Mobile's unlimited plan

Prepaid plans

Keeping things ever-simple, T-Mobile offers only a few prepaid plans: $45/month for 4GB of 4G LTE, unlimited talk and text, and unlimited 2G data, as well as $55/month for up to 6GB of 4G LTE. Each plan also gets Music Unlimited, which lets you stream as much music as you want without eating into your 4G LTE allotment.

There's also a version of the T-Mobile ONE plan for prepaid for $75, which gives unlimited data along with all the benefits above. Unfortunately, with that plan, tethering is limited to 3G speeds and videos are capped at 480p with no option to disable the Data Saver.

T-Mobile also has a T-Mobile ONE family prepaid plan, which offers a single line for $75, two lines for $110, three lines for $155, and four lines for $180. Each additional line is then $25 per person. The stipulation with this particular program is that though there is no credit check, account holders must put down a deposit upon signing up that will be repaid when the account is closed.

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Bring your own device to T-Mobile

T-Mobile makes it incredibly easy to bring your own phone over, since just about any unlocked phone will work with the network. Before making the switch, you should just double-check it will work on T-Mobile's network.

Best phones

If you don't have a phone to bring over to T-Mobile, you can purchase the latest and greatest devices straight through the carrier.

Here are the best phones T-Mobile has to offer:

Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ & Note 8

Samsung's newest flagships are the among the best Android phones on the market, with their slick design, featuring minimal bezel, curved screens, a new aspect ratio, and industry-leading displays. These phones have huge displays, but they don't feel huge, thanks to the fact that they're thinner than other big phones. All three devices have amazing cameras, and the Note 8, with its large 6.3-inch display, has an improved S Pen for jotting notes or drawing.

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LG V30

The LG V30 builds on what made the G6 so good, with a focus on an amazing camera experience and industry-leading sound quality from the Quad DAC and powerful amplifier.

The glass back is slick and beautiful, and it also allows for wireless charging, a first for the V series. Add to that a 3300mAh for sensational battery life, water resistance, and a whole lot more, and the V30 is a device to covet!

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Best deals on T-Mobile

Right now, T-Mobile has the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on sale for only $20 per month with $0 down. The total price of the phone is only $480, down from $600.

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The LG G6 is on sale for $500, down from $650. You put $20 down and then pay only $20/month. Plus, you receive a free LG G Pad X, LG's stylish tablet.

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How to cancel T-Mobile

The easiest way to cancel T-Mobile, like any carrier, is to simply switch carriers and have your number ported over. Then you're not having to deal with customer service reps who try to sweet-talk you into staying.

Just remember that you'll have to pay out anything you owe on devices you bought from T-Mobile. If you don't want to just switch carriers, then try this:

  • Call T-Mobile customer service at 1-877-746-0909 or dial 611 on your T-Mobile phone.
  • Head into a T-mobile store near you and chat with a rep.

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How to unlock a T-Mobile phone

To unlock your T-Mobile phone, you'll first have to make sure it meets eligibility requirements. Your account will have to be in good standing; the phone can't be reported as lost or stolen, and you can't have requested more than two unlocks per line of service in the past year.

After that, you can use T-Mobile's Device Unlock app to unlock your phone. Keep in mind that fees may apply.

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Finding an alternative carrier that uses T-Mobile's network

If you like T-Mobile's coverage but aren't thrilled about it's lack of plan options or prices, then you may want to consider a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) or "alternative carrier". These carriers lease coverage from the big carriers and then sell it to you for less. You'll still get 4G LTE coverage, as well as calling and texting coverage, but you'll probably find that you'll pay a lot less.

There are roughly 26 MVNOs that piggyback on T-Mobile's network, so you have a wide range of options and should shop around to find out which one will cover you and fit your needs the best.

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Updated October 2017: This article was updated with the most recent information on T-Mobile's ONE plans.

Mick Symons
Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.