t-mobile vs verizon

T-Mobile has held its own as the third-largest US carrier for years, but now it has brought Sprint into the fold. Has the merger given the Un-carrier any advantages besides the boosted subscriber count? Its goal is to become America’s leading carrier, and we’re here to find out if that’s possible. Let’s pit T-Mobile vs Verizon and see which carrier is ready for your business.

See also: Verizon buyer’s guide | T-Mobile buyer’s guide

At first glance, Verizon and T-Mobile are as opposite as they come. We’ll go category by category and see how each carrier fares on prices, coverage, phone selections, and more. Ready to choose your next carrier? Use this guide as your starting point.

T-Mobile vs Verizon — Pricing

t-mobile vs verizon

The first difference between T-Mobile and Verizon is pricing. Verizon is one of the most expensive carriers around, while you can get T-Mobile’s nationwide access for less than ever before. Check out the table below for some quick prices:

 T-Mobile CostsVerizon Costs
Entry-level unlimited planEssentials
$60 for one line
$45 per line for two lines
$30 per line for three lines
$26 per line for four lines
Start Unlimited
$70 for one line
$60 per line for two lines
$45 per line for three lines
$35 per line for four lines
Mid-level unlimited planMagenta
$70 for one line
$60 per line for two lines
$40 per line for three lines
$35 per line for four lines
Play / Do More Unlimited
$80 for one line
$70 per line for two lines
$55 per line for three lines
$45 per line for four lines
High-end unlimited planMagenta Plus
$85 for one line
$70 per line for two lines
$47 per line for three lines
$43 per line for four lines
Get More Unlimited
$90 for one line
$80 per line for two lines
$65 per line for three lines
$55 per line for four lines

No matter which plan you pick, T-Mobile is the more affordable option. The more lines you add, the more you can save — upwards of $10 per line when you have four lines. While T-Mobile’s entry-level Essentials plan may skip a few of the streaming perks, you really can’t beat $26 per line for unlimited talk, text, and data with 5G access.

The pricing gap widens even further at the mid-tier plans, with T-Mobile adding Netflix or Quibi streaming to the mix. You won’t get as much 4G LTE hotspot access with just 3GB compared to Verizon’s 15GB, however. Essentially, if you want the best perks around, head to Verizon. If you’re looking to save some green, stick with T-Mobile.

Once you reach the most expensive plans — Get More Unlimited and Magenta Plus — T-Mobile makes up even more ground in terms of features. It offers 20GB of 4G LTE hotspot access while staying $8 more affordable per line.

If you’ve decided that both Verizon and T-Mobile are a bit too expensive, you might want to consider an MVNO on either network. Give these buyer’s guides a look while you’re here:

T-Mobile vs Verizon — Coverage

5g map t mobile

Credit: T-Mobile

When you have an impressive coverage map, it makes sense to show it off. At least, that’s the case with T-Mobile’s map, as seen above. The map is impressive, although T-Mobile claimed just 62% 4G LTE coverage nationwide prior to its merger with Sprint. Verizon boasted a healthy lead with 71% nationwide coverage. It may not sound like a massive difference, but it can have a real impact in rural settings.

See also: Where is 5G available in the US?

While the Un-carrier may lag behind Verizon in terms of true 4G LTE coverage, it’s leading the charge with its 5G rollout. Thanks to a low-band setup, T-Mobile is able to spread its high-speed network over greater distances. Verizon, on the other hand, relies on a short-distance mmWave setup that’s limited to select cities throughout the country. It doesn’t offer a nationwide map, but you can check out the local coverage options here. You’ll most likely achieve greater 4G LTE and 5G speeds on Big Red’s network. However, you may not see local 5G access for years.

T-Mobile vs Verizon — Perks and promos

Quibi streaming app on Android smartphone stock photo 2

While network coverage should be your primary concern, perks are just as important for the best all-around experience. Verizon is your best bet if you want streaming options. All of its unlimited plans include Apple Music and Disney Plus for at least six months. T-Mobile is no slouch though — its Magenta and Magenta Plus plans include a choice of Netflix or Quibi. Check out the table below for more streaming specifics:

PlanVideo PerksMusic Perks
T-Mobile EssentialsNoneNone
T-Mobile Magenta1 screen of Netflix Basic OR QuibiNone
T-Mobile Magenta Plus2 screens of Netflix Standard OR QuibiNone
Verizon Start Unlimited6 months of Disney Plus6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Play More UnlimitedDisney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Do More Unlimited6 months of Disney Plus6 months of Apple Music
Verizon Get More UnlimitedDisney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus includedApple Music included

As you can see, each of Verizon’s plans promises Disney Plus access, with the Play More and Get More options adding Hulu and ESPN Plus on top. Outside of the video streaming realm, you’ll get six months of Apple Music with the Start, Play More, and Do More plans while the Get More plan includes Apple Music on a permanent basis.

On the T-Mobile side, you’ll want to skip the Essentials plan if you’re interested in streaming perks. You’ll have to decide whether you want Netflix or Quibi on Magenta and Magenta Plus though, so choose wisely. The Magenta plan includes just one screen of access while Magenta Plus doubles the count to two screens. T-Mobile may lag behind in terms of streaming perks, but its T-Mobile Tuesdays program is a nice plus. The service offers freebies, discounts, and more as long as you have the app.

See also: What is Quibi and why should you care?

Both T-Mobile and Verizon love good promos, though you’ll have to grab a new device if you want the full menu of savings. If you’re switching carriers, it’s as easy as trading in your device. You might just get a free phone out of the deal! Over at T-Mobile, you can get an iPhone 11 or 11 Pro for free and up to $1,000 off the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Other solid options include half off of the LG Velvet or iPhone SE.

Over at Verizon, many of the deals rely on the buy one, get one model — meaning that you’ll want to switch your entire family for maximum savings. You can save $1,000 on a Galaxy Note 20 when you buy one, or grab an iPhone 11 for free when you purchase another on a new line. Make sure to check the terms of each deal carefully, but both carriers seem to offer excellent value if you’re in the market for a new device.

See also: The best Verizon deals | The best T-Mobile deals

T-Mobile vs Verizon — Phone selections

Google Pixel 4 vs iPhone 11 camera

When it comes to new devices, both carriers offer impressive selections as two of the largest providers in the United States. The majority of each list is the same, though the CDMA and GSM divide offers some unique choices. Verizon still relies on the CDMA setup, while T-Mobile has moved to the newer GSM framework. That means that you can bring a greater selection of phones, especially those from OnePlus, to the Un-carrier.

See also: Best Verizon phones | Best T-Mobile phones

While Verizon may not have the same OnePlus relationship, it does have a strong bond with Motorola. If you’re looking to grab any of the latest Moto phones like the Motorola Edge Plus, Big Red is the only way to go. You’ll also have to look to Verizon for devices like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G.

You can technically grab Motorola devices on T-Mobile, though they’re rebranded as the Un-carrier’s own Revvl line. One of the few differences outside of the Revvl line is that Verizon offers the brand-new Google Pixel 4a for just $10 per month.

Which carrier is right for you?

We may have to wait a while to feel the full effects of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, but you’ll probably want to choose your carrier before then. There’s no cut and dry answer in the T-Mobile vs Verizon debate, as there are many differences to consider. T-Mobile is easily the more affordable option, and it offers the largest 5G network you’ll find right now. Verizon, on the other hand, covers the most 4G LTE territory — which is most likely where you’ll spend the majority of your time anyway. You may also want to consider the CDMA and GSM divide when you make your choice.

The network that’s right for us may not be right for you, and maybe neither of these options are the perfect fit. If that’s the case, here are a few other carriers you may want to think about:

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