Reach Mobile vs. T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans Review

T-Mobile wins for overall performance, but Reach is notable for its coverage and charity.
  • Best Performance
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    4 out of 5 overall
    Powerful unlimited plans with super-fast data
    Expensive
  • Best Coverage
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    4 out of 5 overall
    Charitable carrier with relatively affordable plans
    Slow speeds and low data caps

We’ve got a lot to cover in this Reach vs. T-Mobile review. But we like to start with the juicy stuff. Which carrier is better? The answer really depends on what you want in a cell phone plan.

T-Mobile boasts the fastest data speeds in the industry and offers tons of perks. But it’s pricey (unless you get a family plan). Meanwhile, Reach’s plans are generally cheaper and have an awesome charitable aspect. But its data speeds and data caps are much lower than T-Mobile’s.

So, in general, T-Mobile is the best choice for those that want high performance. And Reach is best for those who want to save money and give something back. We’ll go over all the nitty-gritty details below—from plans and pricing to coverage and perks.

How to choose a cell phone plan

We’ve written hundreds of these reviews, so we know a thing or two about what makes a good cell phone plan. Be sure to consider these features when looking for your next plan.

  • Data: Having enough high-speed data is essential for streaming, gaming, and working on your phone. Be sure you have the data you need (even unlimited plans have data caps, so read the fine print).
  • Price: You can avoid overpaying by comparing prices. Use tools like the WhistleOut widgets in this article to ensure you’re getting the best price available.
  • Coverage: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all competing to create the best network. Look at their maps to see which one has the best coverage in your area.
  • Features: Special features —like hotspot data, international benefits, and HD video streaming—don’t usually come standard. Make sure your plan has the pens you need.

Reach Mobile vs. T-Mobile plans and prices

Winner: T-Mobile’s plans offer more data and higher performance, but Reach’s charitable giving and cheaper prices may sway some

Looking at the chart above may convince you that Reach Mobile is obviously the better carrier. Its unlimited data plan is about half the price of T-Mobile’s! But the truth is much more complicated than that. We’ll get into everything you need to know here.

Reach Mobile’s plans

Reach has four plans to choose from: 3 GB, 8 GB, 12 GB, and unlimited data. Each plan comes with mobile hotspot data, HD video streaming, and unlimited talk and text.

This chart from WhistleOut shows the prices and features of each plan.

Reach Mobile plan prices

Reach’s prices are pretty darn cheap. An unlimited talk, text, and data plan for just $32 a month is hard to beat. But, as we warned above, these are just promotional prices. They will end after three months. After that the prices double. So that unlimited data plan will suddenly be $65 a month.

While that’s $65 a month for an unlimited data plan is totally within the normal range, it’s hardly a spectacular deal, especially when you consider Reach’s problems with data caps and deprioritization …

Data caps and deprioritization

Pretty much every carrier has data caps on their unlimited plans. Usually these caps are somewhere in the 30–50 GB range. But Reach Mobile’s data cap is just 20 GB. That’s among the lowest in the industry, and it will be a deal-breaker for many customers.

Once users hit that cap, their data speeds can be dramatically reduced. Basic tasks like streaming audio and conducting Zoom meetings can become difficult at that point.

But Reach’s data woes don’t end there. The company is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it doesn’t own its own cellular network. Instead, it rents bandwidth from Verizon, and that means Reach customers will always be at risk of data deprioritization.

Reach Mobile’s charitable contributions

One major selling point for Reach Mobile is the company’s charitable giving. The company dedicates a portion of its profits to help women in poor, rural communities across the world get connected with a basic cell phone and mobile plan.

Customers can use the Reach Mobile app to track their impact. You can see just how many people you’ve helped and how much talk, text, and data you’ve contributed through your account.

Reach Mobile Impact

Source: Reach Mobile

T-Mobile’s plans

T-Mobile is one of the Big Three carriers. That means you can expect premium service (at a premium price). The company has three flagship plans to consider, and they’re all unlimited data plans.

T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans

These three plans all come with unlimited talk, text, and data, plus some cool perks like 5G access, unlimited DVD-quality video streaming, and service in Mexico and Canada. Beyond that, there are some major differences between the plans. Here’s the breakdown.

  • Essentials: This plan comes with the risk of deprioritization, meaning that your data speeds can be slowed down at any time. It also has a 50 GB data cap. If you go beyond that you’ll see significant data slowdowns.
  • Magenta: This plan gives you 5 GB of high-speed 4G LTE hotspot data and has a super-high data cap of 100 GB per month (most users won’t go above that).
  • Magenta MAX: This one has it all. It comes with 40 GB of hotspot data, worldwide data coverage, 4K video streaming, a free Netflix subscription, and no data cap!

All of these plans will (obviously) put you on T-Mobile’s network. That means you’ll enjoy the fastest 4G speeds in the industry. We surveyed over 100,000 mobile customers to get the statistics in this chart.

An infographic ranking wireless networks by speed: #1 T-Mobile, #2 Verizon, #3 AT&T, Sprint unranked because it was acquired by T-Mobile in 2020

Yes, T-Mobile is pricey. But at least the prices you see are likely to remain relatively constant in the future! There are no weird promotional price changes to worry about.

T-Mobile discounts for seniors and first responders

If you’re 55 years old or older, or you’re a first responder, you can get an impressive discount on T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans. Just take a look at the plans in this chart.

Reach vs. T-Mobile plans: the bottom line

At the end of the day, T-Mobile has more to offer those who want an unlimited data plan. Their prices are a bit higher than Reach, but it’s worth it for the faster data speeds and higher data caps.

Those of you who want a limited-data plan with just a few GB of data will find a better deal with Reach. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that some of your money is going to help others!

Reach Mobile vs. T-Mobile family plans

Winner: T-Mobile’s family plans are among the best in the industry, but Reach fails to deliver

We’re just going to cut to the chase here. T-Mobile has some of the best family plans in the industry. Reach, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any family plan discounts. You can add lines to your account, but it will cost the same as getting several separate lines.

So, what’s the big deal with T-Mobile? Well, besides the little perks they throw in when you add extra lines (like free Netflix subscriptions), the company gives you incredible discounts. This chart shows how much each of T-Mobile’s unlimited plans cost with four lines.

T-Mobile unlimited data family plans with four lines

As you can see, a Magenta family plan with four lines costs just $140 a month, or just $35 a month per line. That’s half the cost of buying an individual plan! And it’s way cheaper than Reach’s unlimited data plan while offering way more.

Reach Mobile vs. T-Mobile coverage

Winner: Reach has better nationwide coverage than T-Mobile, even if you don’t get the network’s full power

Both Reach and T-Mobile offer great nationwide coverage. But Reach (which runs on Verizon’s network) has a slight edge, especially in rural areas. Verizon’s network is consistently outranking its competitors for 4G coverage.

But the best way to see which carrier has the best coverage in your area is to look at the maps.

Reach Mobile coverage map

T-Mobile coverage map

Reach may have better overall coverage, but, as we mentioned above, T-Mobile’s network is the fastest in the country. And, unlike with Reach Mobile, you can get the full power of T-Mobile’s network when you sign up for Magenta or Magenta MAX.

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What about 5G?
One important thing to note is that T-Mobile’s plans give you access to its 5G network, which is rapidly expanding. When you’re connected to 5G you can get insane data speeds (100+ Mbps). Sadly, Reach Mobile does not let you get on Verizon’s 5G network.

Reach Mobile vs. T-Mobile phones and devices

Winner: T-Mobile has better phone selection overall, but you can still get a good deal with Reach

The best time to get an awesome price on a new phone is when you’re signing up for a new plan. Both Reach and T-Mobile offer some great deals on new devices, but there are some differences in selection.

T-Mobile’s most popular deals are for flagship phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and the iPhone 12. Reach, meanwhile, is more focused on discount devices, like the iPhone SE (2020). Take a look at the specific promotional deals each company offers right now in these charts.

Reach Mobile phone deals

T-Mobile phone deals

Recap: Which carrier is right for you?

We can give you the information, but you have to decide which carrier is right for you. Here’s a quick recap to help you figure it out.

  • Plans: T-Mobile’s unlimited data plans are powerhouses that give you everything, from super-fast data to amazing perks. Reach’s plans are cheaper—and they’re charitable—but they can’t compete when it comes to overall performance.
  • Family plans: Reach Mobile doesn’t really offer anything in terms of family plans. T-Mobile, meanwhile, has some of the best deals on the market. You can save hundreds of dollars by bundling lines on a single account.
  • Coverage and performance: Reach Mobile wins in the coverage category. But T-Mobile’s coverage isn’t bad, and its network speeds are incredible. These data speeds plus T-Mobile rapidly expanding 5G network make it the better carrier for overall performance.

Methodology

We began our research for this review by looking at every plan offered by Reach Mobile and T-Mobile. We used WhistleOut’s comparison charts and the carriers’ websites to compare and contrast plans based on price, data, perks, and policies.

We then looked at customer reviews and our own data from over 100,000 mobile customers to compare the data speeds, coverage, and consistency of Reach and T-Mobile. This helped us evaluate the overall performance of each carrier.

Overall, we put over a dozen hours into researching and writing this in-depth review. If you want to know more about our process you can read our article about how we rate cell phone plans.

Frequently asked questions

Still have questions about T-Mobile or Reach? Let’s see if we answer it here. If not, drop us a line in the comments, and we’ll try to get you a better answer.

Q: Is T-Mobile 55+ a good deal?

Yes. T-Mobile’s 55+ deals give you at least $20 off the regular price of the Essentials and Magenta plans. It’s a very good deal on powerful unlimited data plans from a premier mobile carrier.

Q: Is Reach Mobile good?

It depends on what you’re looking for in a cell phone plan. Reach has some relatively cheap plans and operates on Verizon’s impressive network. Plus, the company gives a lot back with charitable programs. But if you’re looking for the cheapest plan around, Mint and Visible offer better deals. And if you want the most powerful plan, carriers like T-Mobile have more to offer.

Q: Which network does Reach Mobile use?

Reach is an MVNO that uses Verizon’s network. This is good news for Reach customers because Verizon has the best coverage in the nation.

Q: Does T-Mobile have its own towers?

Yes. T-Mobile operates its own mobile network with towers all across North America. It is also quickly expanding its 5G network infrastructure.