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Is T-Mobile Go5G really better than Magenta, or just more expensive?

Is Go5G worth the upgrade? Probably not, but it depends on your needs.
By
November 10, 2023
T-mobile in the background, its official logo
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

When I first learned about the new Go5G plans from T-Mobile I was a little confused by just how little the new plans seemed to offer. One of the things we previously loved about T-Mobile was the simplicity of its plans. It was easy to pick the right plan as the differences between Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Max were fairly noticeable. That all changed with the introduction of Go5G.

Although Essentials is the most basic tier, it’s less clear if Go5G sits above Magenta or not. The answer really depends on what you’re looking for. Let’s take a closer look in this quick Go5G vs Magenta comparison.

Be aware T-Mobile has since launched an additional Go5G tier, dubbed Go5G Next. It’s a boon for frequent upgraders, but we cover Go5G Next vs Magenta in greater detail in another comparison.

T-Mobile Go5G vs Magenta

EssentialsMagentaMagenta MaxGo5GGo5G PlusGo5G Next
Cost
Essentials
Prices per line:

$50 for one line
$40 for two lines
$30 for three lines
$25 for four lines

Magenta
Prices per line:

$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$47 for three lines
$40 for four lines
Magenta Max
Prices per line:

$85 for one line
$70 for two lines
$57 for three lines
$50 for four lines
Go5G
Prices per line:

$75 for one line
$65 for two lines
$43 for three lines
$39 for four lines
Go5G Plus
Prices per line:

$90 for one line
$75 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$46 for four lines
Go5G Next
Prices per line:

$100 for one line
$85 for two lines
$60 for three lines
$56.25 for four lines
Unlimited Talk & Text
Essentials
Yes
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
Go5G
Yes
Go5G Plus
Yes
Go5G Next
Yes
Unlimited 4G Data
Essentials
Yes, but might slow down during congestion after 50GB per month
Magenta
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with 100GB of Premium Data
Magenta Max
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with Unlimited Premium Data
Go5G
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with 100GB of Premium Data
Go5G Plus
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with 100GB of Premium Data
Go5G Next
Unlimited 5G & 4G LTE with Unlimited Premium Data
5G data included
Essentials
Yes
Magenta
Yes
Magenta Max
Yes
Go5G
Yes
Go5G Plus
Yes
Go5G Next
Yes
Mobile Hotspot
Essentials
Unlimited 3G
Magenta
5GB of 4G LTE, then unlimited 3G
Magenta Max
40GB of 4G, then unlimited 3G
Go5G
15GB of high-speed hotspot data, then unlimited 3G
Go5G Plus
50GB of hotspot data
Go5G Next
50GB hotspot data
Netflix perk?
Essentials
No
Magenta
Netflix Basic, one SD screen for two or more accounts
Magenta Max
Netflix Basic, one SD screen for one accounts.
Netflix Standard, two HD screens for two or more acccounts
Go5G
Netflix Basic, one SD screen
Go5G Plus
Netflix Basic, one SD screen
Go5G Next
Netflix Basic, one screen for one account, or Netflix Standard for those with 2+ lines
Apple TV perk?
Essentials
No
Magenta
Apple TV+ free for 6 months
Magenta Max
Included
Go5G
Apple TV+ free for 6 months
Go5G Plus
Included
Go5G Next
Included
Unlimited video streaming
Essentials
SD streaming
Magenta
SD streaming
Magenta Max
Up to 4K UHD streaming
Go5G
SD Streaming
Go5G Plus
Up to 4K UHD streaming
Go5G Next
Up to 4K UHD streaming

Looking at the table, you’ll notice Magenta and Go5G have much in common. They both have unlimited talk, text, and 100GB of premium data. Extras like Netflix Basic and a 6-month Apple TV+ trial remain the same. Really the only thing noticeably different is the amount of hotspot data you get. Instead of just 15GB of hotspot data, Go5G gives you 40GB. If you’re visiting Canada or Mexico, you’ll also see your allotment jump from 5GB to 10GB.

The same story applies when comparing Go5G Plus vs Magneta Max. You’ll get all the same perks and services, but you’ll get a whopping 50GB of hotspot data versus 40GB on Max. Those visiting Canada and Mexico will also see a jump from 5GB of data to 15GB.

As for Go5G Plus? It actually adds all the same perks as Go5G Plus but with the added benefit of upgrading a phone up to once a year, as long as you’ve paid for at least half of it by then.

Are there any other differences between the two? Actually, there is a little bit.

New in Two: is it more than just a marketing gimmick?

T Mobile logo on sign
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Marketing materials would have you believe that one advantage to Go5G is that you only have to spread device payments over two years if you decide to go with user financing in what it is calling the New in Two offer. That’s better than the three-year installment plans now offered by AT&T and Verizon. The thing is, Magenta already offers this, and so does the Essentials plan! Even T-Mobile Prepaid plans offer two-year financing with approved credit.

At first blush, this seems mostly like a marketing gimmick aimed at new customers considering switching from another carrier. And it mostly is. That said, their press release also says this:

“New and existing customers get the same great deals now … and always in the future — so you never have to worry about missing out. It’s the fair treatment you can always count on from the Un-carrier.”

You might think, “I can already trade in my phone in two years and get a good deal with a trade-in since I have the Forever Upgrade.” The thing is, unless you’re grandfathered in, T-Mobile actually has stopped offering this feature with its plans. That means after two years, you can still finance a new phone, but you might not be guaranteed a promotional rate on your next upgrade. At least from the wording here, those with Go5G Plus won’t have to worry about promotional rates that only apply to new customers or for those adding a new line.

Of course, you could always upgrade to Go5G Plus later when you run into that issue. As for three-year contracts? At least for now, it seems T-Mobile won’t be introducing such a change. Could they ever? Typically T-mobile likes to set itself apart from the competition by doing the opposite, so we hope not. But you never know, especially as the carrier seems to be slowly moving away from its Uncarrier reputation a bit.

So who wins the Go5G vs Magenta battle? At least for now, we’d recommend sticking to Magenta or Magenta Max unless you really care about the extra hotspot data. It’s just not worth the extra cost for very little tangible differences. Still, we’d also keep our ear to the ground as changes could be not too far off in the future.

Do you think T-Mobile will axe two year installment plans on its lesser plans?

1043 votes