Metro by T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review (formerly Metro PCS)

Serving up well-rounded options at competitive prices, Metro by T-Mobile is one of our top picks for prepaid cell phone plans.
Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5
Uses T-Mobile network
Affordable prices
Prepaid phone plan
No HD streaming

Are you looking for a prepaid cell phone plan that’s juuust right? Well, Goldilocks, we think Metro by T-Mobile might fit the bill.

With a low-data plan, a middle-of-the-pack data plan, and two unlimited options, there’s a plan for almost everyone. Those prices are pretty competitive too. But we’ll sure miss our HD video streaming.

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One thing to note
While you can purchase most Metro by T-Mobile phones online, you’ll need to visit an actual store to set up your plan. Metro by T-Mobile stores are pretty common around most of the US, so you shouldn’t have much trouble.

Metro by T-Mobile unlimited plans

Expect straight-up pricing that covers the essentials.

You’ve got two options for unlimited plans with Metro by T-Mobile. They’re both pretty cheap and have data caps of 35 GB a month. Here are all the details.

Do you know what’s refreshing? When companies actually have straight-up pricing. The prices you see with Metro by T-Mobile already include taxes and regulatory fees. Since Metro is a T-Mobile subsidiary, we’d expect nothing less. (T-Mobile is known for including taxes and fees in its advertised prices, which we think is awesomesauce).

The biggest downside is the weaker coverage.1, 2 If you opt for an unlimited plan, you’ll want a solid connection everywhere you go. Compared to the coverage juggernaut, Verizon, Metro by T-Mobile’s coverage isn’t the best. You’ll get decent coverage in cities, but the more rural you go the worse your connection will probably get.

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Data caps and speed throttling
If you download over 35 GB of data in a single month, you might experience a slower connection. Every hour of streaming consumes about a gig, so stream with caution.

So, let’s see how T-Mobile compares to the competition with unlimited data plans.

Even though the prices look similar, you’ll probably pay a little less with Metro than you would with another similarly priced company. Why, you ask? Fees and taxes are already baked into the price. Points for honesty, Metro by T-Mobile.

Another massive thing going for Metro—5G LTE Mobile Hotspot. Eat your heart out, Sprint with the 3G Mobile Hotspot (channeling Beyonce and “Becky with the good hair” in that last sentence). With such a strong Mobile Hotspot, you can use your laptop on the go and expect a strong connection.

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Looking for international coverage?
Got some family or friends outside the US? Check out the best international plans for wireless providers.

Metro by T-Mobile family plans

Everyone should do their absolute darndest to be on a family plan. Metro by T-Mobile goes from being cheap to even cheaper.

The main difference you’ll see with your different Metro family plan options revolves around how much Mobile Hotspot data you plan on using.

If you travel a lot for business or school and need to rely on a mobile hotspot in a pinch, you might want to consider one of the more expensive family plan options.

By the way, don’t be afraid of the steep up-front costs you see above. You can avoid the cost by transferring your old phone over or buying an older phone. But if you want the latest and greatest, expect steep up-front costs for the new phone.

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How many Mbps do I need?
Get a quick intro to Mbps and what speed you need in our Mbps guide.

Take a look at the family plan competition to see how Metro by T-Mobile stacks up.

We know you’re excited about the super cheap Metro by T-Mobile, but remember that it doesn’t have quite the same coverage or streaming quality as say, Verizon. But hey, if the price is what matters most, rest assured you’ll get a good deal with Metro.

Again, the upfront costs are based on purchasing brand new phones with your plan. You can avoid dropping all that money if you transfer your old phones. If you do get new phones for the fam, you can save some money buying through Metro as opposed to a Sprint plan.

Metro by T-Mobile Prepaid plans

This is the moment of the movie where the protagonist takes off their glasses, lets down their hair, and you realize they were beautiful all along. Hopefully, movies don’t actually do that anymore (*cough* Princess Diaries *cough*).

For Metro by T-Mobile, prepaid plans are its bread and butter. You’ll have a hard time finding a better prepaid plan that includes 5 GB LTE mobile hotspot, along with 4G LTE coverage for such an affordable price. Other services, like Sprint and AT&T can’t claim the same speeds for prepaid plans.

Don’t believe us? We’re hurt, but that’s fine. Take a look for yourself.

Remember, all your fees and taxes are included in the price you see below for Metro. That’s not the case with the competition.

Long story short, if you want a prepaid unlimited wireless plan, and you live in a good T-Mobile service area, Metro by T-Mobile is probably your best bet. It offers solid speeds and decent enough coverage for a price that’s as cheap or even cheaper than the competition.

Metro cell phones and devices

Want the latest Apple or Samsung phone? You’ll likely find it at Metro.

Most prepaid cell phone companies don’t offer a great selection of the latest and greatest phones. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised by the phones Metro had to offer.

Which top phones does Sprint have?*

iPhone

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus

Samsung

  • Galaxy S10/S10 Plus/S10e
  • Galaxy S9/S9+
  • Galaxy S8/S8+

*Not all phones listed here

Along with LG, Motorola, and other brands, Metro keeps it real with various Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones. Nice.

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Thinking of upgrading your Metro by T-Mobile phone?
You’ll need a SIM card to connect your phone to the Metro by T-Mobile network, but that doesn’t mean upgrading phones is as easy as swapping that SIM card to your new phone.

Instead, you’ll need to visit a store or give Metro by T-Mobile a call at 1 (888) 863-8768.

You won’t find any new Google phones here. However, Metro does allow for a bring your own phone (BYOP) option if you’re committed to the Google Pixel lifestyle. You’ll need to visit a store to make sure your Google phone is fully compatible and then purchase a Metro SIM card.

How good is Metro performance?

Metro hops on the T-Mobile network for great speeds and coverage, most of the time.

Metro uses T-Mobile’s network, so you can expect great coverage in urban areas. But third-party performance tests noted that T-Mobile has issues in rural areas, so if you live or work outside of town, or if you just love spending time closer to nature, you might have trouble getting those signal bars.1, 2

All in all, it really depends on the location. We lost service while exploring a canyon just minutes away from Salt Lake City, Utah, but we had no issues in Yellowstone National Park.

Check out the coverage map to get a better idea of coverage in your area.

metropcs coverage map

Coverage issues aside, T-Mobile’s network gets high scores when it comes to speed.3, 4, 5 But you should keep in mind that as a Metro customer, you might get slower speeds than actual T-Mobile customers.

The Metro site has a small disclaimer about this, saying, “During congestion, Metro customers may notice reduced speeds vs. T-Mobile customers.” (Spoiler alert: don’t be surprised if Avengers: Infinity War starts buffering right before you find out who dies. RIP.)

Metro customer service

Your patience might be tested—but sadly, that’s no surprise.

If you’re looking for world-class customer service, you won’t find it at Metro. Or at any cell phone company, for that matter.

The sad fact is that wireless providers are notorious for poor customer service, and Metro is no exception. Many customers have complained about lackluster service both in the store and over the phone.6

There are some four- and five-star reviews mixed in there, though. So maybe there’s hope for Metro customer service after all. Either way, it’s best to be prepared to spend some time (and patience) when you visit the store or give them a call.

Recap: Is Metro any good?

Out of all the prepaid wireless providers out there, we think Metro is one of the best choices. Here’s why.

Plans: You’ve got a choice between four solid plans. Each one offers a good amount of data for a competitive price, including two unlimited options. But be prepared to visit your nearest Metro store to purchase that plan (and maybe your phone).

Performance: Metro runs on T-Mobile’s network, so you can expect great speeds and good coverage—although rural areas may have signal issues. There are two caveats, though: You’ll be able to stream video only in SD, and your data speeds may be slower than if you were a T-Mobile customer.

Customer service: What can we say? Metro customer service isn’t the best. But sadly, that’s true for most wireless companies.

Overall: Metro is a competitive choice for prepaid phone plans in particular. It might not be the best option for unlimited plans due to less-than-great coverage, but you can get away with it in urban areas.

FAQs

Q: I’m behind on my payments. When will Metro disconnect my phone?

If you’re behind on paying your bill, there’s a good chance Metro will disconnect your phone the day after your payment is due.

You might be able to call Metro and request a grace period. But keep in mind that your bill will be due the same day of the month the next month—your late payment won’t push back your due date.

For example, if your bill was due on May 3 and you paid on May 10, your next bill will still be due on June 3.

Q: Who owns Metro?

Metro is owned by T-Mobile.

Q: Does Metro by T-Mobile use a GSM network?

Yes, Metro uses T-Mobile’s GSM network.

If you’re coming from T-Mobile or AT&T, which both run on GSM networks, your phone will likely be good to go as long as you unlock it and purchase a Metro SIM card.

If you’re switching from Sprint or Verizon, though, you may run into issues, since both of those carriers run on CDMA.

  • Mei Ling Nicole

    Metro PCS: The service is terrible and the customer service is even worse. Save yourself the headache and find another carrier.

  • Rick Smith

    Been with metro for about 2 years now. I paid $6.00 a month for insurance. Had a problem with my phone so i wanted to put a claim in for a replacement phone. The money was never transferred over to the insurance company. The rep offered me nothing, no refund which i deserve. The reps all have terrible english. They also seem very stupid. I will switch soon to another carrier but not cricket, they hire the exact same stupid reps.