T-Mobile vs. Verizon Review

Big Red vs. Big T—who will win? We think Verizon is best overall, but if you’re a data hog or traveling abroad, T-Mobile edges into the lead.

Best overall
  • Great coverage and speed
  • Priciest of the two
Read full review
Best for travel
  • High data cap (50 GB)
  • Iffy coverage in rural areas
Read full review

T-Mobile vs. Verizon Review

Product Recommended Rating
Verizon Best overall 4.5 / 5
T-Mobile logo magenta on white – Original File Best for travel 4 / 5

It’s the proverbial wireless carrier cage match: T-Mobile vs. Verizon. Right now, we think Verizon provides the best coverage, data speeds, and phones—but if you’re price conscious, need a lot of data (say, 50 GB per month), or travel abroad often, T-Mobile may be a better pick.

Curious to see which is better for you, T-Mobile or Verizon? Check out our comparison of prices, coverage, speeds, and devices below.

T-Mobile ONE vs. Verizon Go Unlimited price comparison

Lines*T-Mobile ONE price**Verizon Go Unlimited price**
1$75$80
2$125$135
3$145$155
4$165$165
5$185$205
View PlansView Plans

* Verizon offers up to 10 lines on its unlimited plans, while T-Mobile offers up to 12 lines on its unlimited plans.
** Both T-Mobile and Verizon offer an additional $5 off your monthly bill if you enroll in autopay.

T-Mobile vs. Verizon prices

Verizon has the biggest bang for your buck, but T-Mobile is the cheaper of the two.

In general, the T-Mobile ONE and ONE Plus unlimited plans are cheaper than Verizon. But if you need four lines, you’ll pay the same price for either T-Mobile or Verizon. So we recommend choosing the carrier with the best coverage and speed in your area (or focusing on another factor that’s important to you).

To break it down, here’s how pricing plays out between the two.

T-Mobile vs. Verizon plan comparison

T-Mobile ONE vs. Verizon Go Unlimited price comparison

Lines*T-Mobile ONE price**Verizon Go Unlimited price**
1$75$80
2$125$135
3$145$155
4$165$165
5$185$205
View PlansView Plans

* Verizon offers up to 10 lines on its unlimited plans, while T-Mobile offers up to 12 lines on its unlimited plans.
** Both T-Mobile and Verizon offer an additional $5 off your monthly bill if you enroll in autopay.

And here’s a quick peek at how prices compare for Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and T-Mobile ONE Plus.

Heads up, Beyond Unlimited lets you cruise through 22 GB of data per month with no speed throttling, while ONE Plus tops you off with 50 GB of data per month with no throttling. That’s pro for anyone who likes to stream movies on the bus ride home from work or whose kiddo plays mobile games every day. You can find more features for all of these plans in our full T-Mobile and Verizon reviews.

T-Mobile ONE Plus vs. Verizon Beyond Unlimited price comparison

Lines*T-Mobile ONE Plus price**Verizon Beyond Unlimited price**
1$85$90
2$145$165
3$175$185
4$205$205
5$235$255
View PlansView Plans

* Verizon offers up to 10 lines on its unlimited plans, while T-Mobile offers up to 12 lines on its unlimited plans.
** Both T-Mobile and Verizon offer an additional $5 off your monthly bill if you enroll in autopay.

T-Mobile won’t catch you with an activation fee either. Verizon, on the other hand, requires you to pay a one-time activation fee of $30.

But here’s the catch: Verizon has top ratings for coverage and data speed from a number of studies, while T-Mobile is often left playing catch-up.

To sum it up, for just a few bucks more each month, you’ll get more reliable coverage and faster speeds from Verizon.

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Prefer prepaid?

Prefer prepaid?

Check out our thoughts on T-Mobile and Verizon prepaid plans in our Best of Prepaid Plans review.

Verizon vs. T-Mobile performance

Verizon has the coverage and speed to rule them all—but T-Mobile is improving.

Is T-Mobile coverage as good as Verizon? Not quite.

Verizon earned high scores from two coverage studies, and we agree.1, 2 We tested its signal strength all the way out in the Utah desert, and while other carriers were dead in the water, the one Verizon phone in our group still had a signal.

Source: T-Mobile

We should note that T-Mobile is working hard to fill those coverage gaps—to the tune of $8 million, no less. In August 2017 the company’s new 600 MHz spectrum went online, and as a result, its coverage is now more widespread compared to early 2017.3

OK, you’ve got the coverage deets, but is T-Mobile speed as good as Verizon? Well, if cellphone providers were Looney Tunes characters, Verizon would be the roadrunner, T-Mobile the coyote.

Studies agree, ranking Verizon at the tippity-top on average, while T-Mobile ranks well in one study but not so well in another.4, 5

Info box icon Info box icon

The race to 5G

The race to 5G

Verizon currently has big 5G plans for Los Angeles and Sacramento, but that’s not to say T-Mobile doesn’t have 5G dreams in the making too.6 It’s working on merging with Sprint, a move that’s been shot down before but might just become reality yet.

As 5G rolls out across the country, we’re curious to see who takes (or keeps) the lead.

Verizon vs. T-Mobile phones

Which one has the hookup? Both carry Samsungs and iPhones, but only Verizon has Google.

Which top phones do T-Mobile and Verizon have?

MakeT-MobileVerizon
iPhoneiPhone X, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, iPhone SEiPhone X, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, iPhone SE
SamsungGalaxy S9 / S9+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note8Galaxy S9 / S9+, Galaxy S8 / S8+, Galaxy 7, Galaxy Note8
GoogleAvailable only through the Bring Your Own Device programPixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel XL
View phonesView phones

For the most part, Verizon and T-Mobile offer the same phones, including the newest models.

But Google Pixel fans should know only Verizon sells them—the only way to get one with T-Mobile is to bring your own device.

Verizon vs. T-Mobile perks

Get concert tickets and even data with Verizon Up rewards, or score a Netflix subscription with T-Mobile.

Verizon and T-Mobile sure know how to sweeten the deal. Both offer some interesting perks that might just excite you.

Verizon Up rewards program

  • Earn a credit for every $300 you spend on your monthly bill—that includes device costs and your phone plan. And you’ll get a bonus credit after your first month.
  • 1 credit = 1 reward
  • Use your credit within 60 days to score a reward, like streaming subscriptions, movie tickets, discounts on phone upgrades, and more.
    If you’re quick, you can also nab Super Tickets to concerts and sporting events.
  • Sign up for Verizon Up in the My Verizon app.

T-Mobile perks

  • If you add two or more qualifying lines to your T-Mobile ONE plan, it will throw in a Netflix subscription.
  • T-Mobile Tuesdays is its version of a rewards program, though you don’t need to earn credits. Just being a T-Mobile customer is enough. Prizes range from a trip to the World Series to Vudu movie vouchers.
  • If you’re on the T-Mobile ONE plan, that long flight to visit your in-laws just got better. (We can’t say the same for your actual visit, though. Hang in there, buddy.) In-flight texting and one hour of data on Gogo®-enabled flights is included.
  • If you upgrade to T-Mobile ONE Plus, that silver lining gets even brighter. Along with your T-Mobile ONE in-flight perks, you also get unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on that Gogo®-enabled flight. Stream away, my friend.

Recap—Is T-Mobile as good as Verizon?

Verizon has our vote for being better than T-Mobile for performance. You just can’t beat that highly rated coverage and speed.

But T-Mobile is hot on Verizon’s heels, and if price is a selling point for you, it’s the cheaper of the two. Here are our recommendations for who should pick which carrier.

Which should you pick, Verizon or T-Mobile?

  • Gadget gurus: Pick Verizon, especially if you’re all about Google phones (which T-Mobile doesn’t carry).
  • International travelers: T-Mobile’s perks, like in-flight texting and Wi-Fi (depending on if you’re on the ONE or ONE Plus plan), make that eight-hour flight bearable. Oh, and it has comprehensive international plans too.
  • Anyone living in a rural area: Go with Verizon: there’s a reason it’s known for consistent nationwide coverage.
  • Data devourers: The T-Mobile ONE plan gives you 50 GB of unthrottled data each month, compared to 22 GB with Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited plan.
  • Anyone who’s impatient: Verizon’s unlimited plan speeds keep you from waiting forever for your email or flight updates to load.
  • Low-price lovers: T-Mobile, unless you need four lines. At four lines on any of the unlimited plans, your price is the same—and in that case, we’d recommend Verizon since you get more bang for your buck on performance basics like coverage and speed.