4 Best Cheap Phone Plans (2022): Alternatives to the Big Carriers
Like Mint Mobile, the unlimited plans are limited to 35 GB of high-speed data, after which you get reduced speeds. Like most unlimited plans, this one makes us wonder why it’s labeled “unlimited” at all.
The Boost Mobile plan we like costs $ 35 per month for 10 GB.
Phone compatibility: As always, universally unlocked phones will work, along with phones brought over from T-Mobile and AT&T. Make sure yours is compatible by checking here.
Cricket is, eh, fine. There’s nothing egregious about its offerings, but nothing about them really stands out, either. It’s owned by AT&T and has been eclipsed by newer offers that deliver more features than it manages. It still offers solid service, though, and some of the tiers make a good case for themselves.
The $ 35-a-month tier for 10 GB of 4G LTE data ($ 40 if you don’t use auto-pay) makes the most sense, although it’s light on features compared to the competition. But at least Cricket’s prices do include taxes.
You have to step up to $ 55 a month to make free calls to Mexico and Canada. You get no Wi-Fi hot spot unless you pay $ 60 a month for the top tier, which includes 15 GB of hot spot data. And even at that price, you’re limited to streaming video at 480p. As a sort of consolation prize, all tiers now offer 5G access, which was previously limited to the highest tier.
Cricket’s best plan costs $ 35 a line for 10 GB of data.
Phone compatibility: Any universally unlocked phone, along with ex-T-Mobile and ex-AT & T phones.
Services to Avoid
Straight Talk is a collaboration between Walmart and TracPhone. It uses the broadest variety of cellular networks of all the providers in this guide — Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It costs $ 35 a month for 10 GB of 4G LTE data, but after that 10 GB you’re knocked down to 2G, which is so slow it’s almost unusable. At least 5G network access is now available on all plans. Straight Talk is only available at Walmart. Here’s its phone compatibility checker.
Xfinity is another well-known name that we’d pass on. Two members of WIRED’s Gear team have had Xfinity Mobile, and they weren’t fans of it. It’s also just not a good deal compared to our other options. For $ 15 a month you get 1 GB of data, for $ 30 a month you get 3 GB of data, and for whoppin ‘$ 60 a month you get 10 GB of data. All plans offer 5G network access, and the Unlimited tier reduces your speed after you use 20 GB of data in a month. Get Mint for $ 15 to $ 25 instead.