Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile Review 2020

Two companies on the same network—which is better?
  • Best Prices
    Amazing prices
    Worse network performance
  • Best Performance
    Best network
    Pricey

Sure, if we were all billionaires we’d buy the best cell phone plan on the market, no matter how much it cost. But we’re not all billionaires (not even close), so that means that we need to balance the quality of the products we buy with their price tag.

In this case, we’re going to evaluate T-Mobile and a competitor, Mint Mobile.

T-Mobile is a household name that offers a variety of powerful plans. But these plans can get pricey. Meanwhile, Mint Mobile is a newer carrier that actually runs on T-Mobile network, but offers more affordable plans. For example, here’s a comparison of Mint and T-Mobile’s cheapest unlimited data plans.

Mint vs. T-Mobile unlimited data plan comparison

Mint is clearly much cheaper, but you also lose out on some nice perks. So, which carrier is right for you? We’ve got all of the information you need to figure that out in this Mint versus T-Mobile review.

Mint vs. T-Mobile plans and pricing

Mint’s prices are way cheaper, but T-Mobile has the perks

It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that Mint’s prices are significantly lower than T-Mobile’s prices. But price is not the same thing as value. The higher cost of T-Mobile’s plans may be worth it for those who want perks and premium features.

Let’s take a closer look.

Individual plans

If you’re looking for a plan for you, and only you, then you’ve got tons of options from these two carriers. Let’s start with Mint Mobile.

Mint Mobile’s individual plans

All of these plans come with unlimited minutes and messages—so go ahead and text your heart out. And each plan comes with the same, limited features. You’ll get access to a mobile hotspot (up to your data cap) but no additional subscriptions or perks.

The real difference between these four Mint Mobile plans is the 4G LTE data allotment, which ranges from 3 GB to unlimited (Mint’s unlimited data plan has a 35 GB data cap. After you reach that, your speeds will be slowed).

Now here’s a preview of T-Mobile’s main individual plans.

T-Mobile’s individual plans

T-Mobile offers more variety than Mint. There’s a talk and text only plan with no data. There are several limited-data options. And there are also three different unlimited data plans that offer different perks and data caps.

The Essentials plan comes with a 50 GB cap (after which speeds will be slowed) and few perks. The Magenta plan also has a 50 GB cap, but it comes with international texting, higher quality video streaming, and a free Netflix subscription.

If you want the best of the best, T-Mobile’s Magenta plus gives you unlimited top-quality video streaming, 20 GB of mobile hotspot data, free Netflix, and plenty of other special features. Of course, it also costs a pretty penny at $85 a month.

That price tag means that T-Mobile’s Magenta Plus plan is almost three times the cost of Mint’s unlimited data plan. That’s a lot of extra dough to pay for increased performance and a few perks. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to you (we’ll talk more about the difference between Mint Mobile and T-Mobile’s performance below).

Prepaid plans

Mint Mobile only offers prepaid plans. That means you’ll have to pay your bill before you receive service each month. It also means you don’t have to worry about a credit check when you sign up.

The T-Mobile plans we previewed above are all postpaid, which means that you can pay your bill at the end of the month (and that T-Mobile will probably require a credit check before you sign up). But the company does offer a few prepaid plans, too. Here’s a look.

T-Mobile prepaid plans

As you can see, these plans are cheaper than T-Mobile’s postpaid plans. But they are still $20—$30 pricier than Mint Mobile’s plans, and don’t come with the cool perks that postpaid plans do. In short, if you’re trying to decide between Mint and T-Mobile prepaid, go with Mint.

Family plans

When you go to the grocery store you don’t just buy food for yourself, you buy food for your whole family. Why not do the same when you’re shopping for a cell phone plan? Family plans can make paying your bill easier, and they can save you a few bucks.

Unfortunately, Mint Mobile doesn’t actually offer any deals or discounts on multi-line plans. But T-Mobile does. Here’s what the company has for families who want to bundle.

T-Mobile family plans

As you can see, you’ll save a ton of money when you bundle with T-Mobile. For example, a single line on the Essentials unlimited plan costs $60 a month. But three lines on the same plan costs just $90. That means you’re paying half as much per line.

When you count the savings offered by family plans, T-Mobile and Mint’s prices start to look pretty similar. So if you’ve got a family, you’ll definitely want to consider signing up for T-Mobile together.

Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile data

T-Mobile’s pricier plans give you optimal network performance

Cellular data: you use it for everything, from sending silly GIFs to your friends to playing PUBG Mobile during your lunch break. Having unlimited data might be even more important than having unlimited talk and text. But, not all data is created equal.

Things like data speed (especially 5G speed, which is quickly taking over for 4G LTE), throttling, and deprioritization will all affect your experience as a cell phone customer. So, let’s take a closer look at T-Mobile and Mint Mobile’s data performance.

The T-Mobile network

According to Reviews.org’s own research, T-Mobile’s network offers the fastest upload and download speeds. That’s great news for both Mint and T-Mobile customers.

  • T-Mobile
    • Average download speed: 32.73 Mbps
    • Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps

But just because T-Mobile and Mint are on the same network, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the same exact service, which brings us to our next section …

Deprioritization and throttling

Slow data speeds are the last thing you want when you’re Facetiming with your parents or gaming with your friends. In order to avoid slowdowns, you’ll need to avoid throttling and deprioritization. If you don’t know what those are, you’re not alone.

  • Throttling: Every cell phone plan—even unlimited data plans—has a data cap. Once you go above that data cap, your data will be throttled. That means you’ll experience significant slowdowns (like going from 4G LTE to 3G speeds), including with your mobile hotspot data.
  • Deprioritization: Certain cell phone plans—usually cheaper ones—can be deprioritized when the network is busy. This means their data speeds will be reduced in favor of other customers on the network.

Mint Mobile’s unlimited data plan has a 35 GB cap before throttling, while all of T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans come with a 50 GB cap. That’s an extra 15 GB of high-speed data for all you streamers, gamers, influencers, and web surfers.

When it comes to deprioritization: Mint Mobile customers are always subject to data deprioritization. Those on T-Mobile’s lowest-tier unlimited data plan (Essentials) can also experience deprioritization, but those on higher-tiered plans will not.

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Looking for other ways to get on T-Mobile’s network?
It’s not just Mint Mobile and T-Mobile that use the network. Read our review of all the carriers that use T-Mobile’s network to learn more.

T-Mobile vs. Mint coverage

These two companies are identical twins when it comes to coverage

As we’ve stated before, Mint actually uses the T-Mobile network. That means the two companies offer virtually the same coverage. That’s good news for customers of both companies because T-Mobile’s coverage is pretty great (especially since the company absorbed Sprint).

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Looking for the best coverage in the nation?
T-Mobile is good, but it’s not the best coverage in the country. For that, you’ll need to check out Verizon Wireless.

But before you sign up for Mint or T-Mobile you should check out this map. What’s coverage like in your specific area?

T-Mobile’s coverage map

T-Mobile vs. Mint phones and devices

T-Mobile and Mint can hook you up with a new iPhone 11 or Galaxy device

If you’ve got an unlocked iPhone X (or other device), then you can use your new Mint Mobile or T-Mobile plan on that device. But you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to snag some great deals on new devices.

Both Mint and T-Mobile will sell you a brand new phone when you sign up. Here’s a gander at some of the most popular devices sold by each company.

T-Mobile cell phones

Mint Mobile cell phones

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Looking for the best deals on new devices?
If you want the best price on the coolest new devices then be sure to look at our cell phone deals roundup, which we update every single week.

Recap: Is Mint or T-Mobile better for you?

Which is it going to be for you, the big name cell phone company or the new carrier that’s shaking up the industry? Let’s do a quick recap to help you decide.

  • Individual plans: Mint offers four basic plans, from 3 GB of data to unlimited. T-Mobile has a wider variety, from a talk and text only plan to three different unlimited data options. Mint’s prices are much cheaper, but T-Mobile throws in some enticing perks for those who have more to spend.
  • Family plans: T-Mobile will hook you up with a hefty discount when you bundle multiple lines into a single family plan. In fact, when you’ve got three or more lines with T-Mobile prices can become similar—or even cheaper—than Mint’s.
  • Network performance: Mint and T-Mobile are on the same network, meaning their coverage range is identical. But when it comes to data speeds and performance, Mint customers may have a worse experience than those who pay for T-Mobile’s high-end plans.

The long story short is this: Mint’s prices are basically unbeatable if you just want a simple, individual cell phone plan. But if you want a family plan, or some fancy perks, T-Mobile is the way to go.

If neither of these companies seem right to you, be sure to read up on the very best cell phone plans in the industry. You might find what you’re looking for in one of those.