Today, there are more wireless carriers than ever from which to choose if you need cell phone service or wish to switch from your current carrier to another. If you prefer to use an MVNO carrier instead of getting service from one of the big four major carriers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, there are many from which to choose. MVNOs, or "mobile virtual network operators", piggyback on the network of a major carrier, which means you can still enjoy quality cell phone service.
What Can You Expect with Metro by T-Mobile?
One of the best MVNO carriers in the United States is Metro by T-Mobile. It runs on T-Mobile’s network, which provides users with excellent service and fast 4G LTE data speeds. In addition, continuing with T-Mobile’s nice perk of Music Freedom, which allows you to stream music using your data at no cost, is included for Metro by T-Mobile customers.
Metro by T-Mobile Plans
Unlike some of its competitors, Metro doesn't offer smartphone plans that are the pay as you go variety. However, there are a number of monthly plans that are highly affordable. The cheapest option is $30 per month and offers 2GB of high-speed data. If you choose to add someone else to your line, such as your significant other or child, this cheapest plan is $55 per month. The 2GB of data perk is double that of what Cricket offers on its cheapest plan. If you choose the $40 plan, you can get 6GB of 4G LTE data. If you don’t mind paying $50 per month, that plan gives you unlimited data. The most expensive plan, which comes in at $60, offers not only unlimited data but 8GB of hotspot data as well.
The unlimited plans allow you to listen to as much music as you like through a number of music streaming services. You can also enjoy streaming video at no additional charge through your smartphone courtesy of T-Mobile’s Binge On perk. However, if you use up more than 30GB of data, the carrier will slow your speeds from LTE to 2G.
The priciest plan, at $60 per month, is considered to be the best value for users who are heavy on data. It also allows users to use a mobile hotspot at 8GB, which allows for streaming video in full HD instead of 480p. You can compare Metro plans below, or check out the Metro by T-Mobile plan comparison page. Read on for the rest of the review.
Unlimited 4G LTE Data (may be slowed after 35GB of usage per month)
$60/mo+ $10 Upfront
Link not provided
Metro by T-Mobile Network Coverage
Because Metro runs on T-Mobile’s network, the coverage is generally best in large to medium cities. It is not as strong as Verizon’s network, which is more likely to provide good service even in small towns. At the same time, Metro beats out Verizon in average upload speeds for data and even slightly bests T-Mobile for average download speeds in some speed tests. On average, the download speeds you can expect from Metro are around 22 Mbps and it has the overall best cell phone service for a prepaid provider.
Metro, like T-Mobile, is a GSM network provider, which means it is more flexible and even works well on an international scale. This gives it the edge over prepaid networks like Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, which piggyback off of Sprint, a CDMA carrier.
Metro Plan Features
Just like T-Mobile, all of the plans offered by Metro provide users with unlimited talk and text. Although data speeds are throttled when you go over your monthly amount, the carrier has a feature that allows for data maximizing. This allows the user to stream video content at a lower resolution so that they can conserve their data. Most users will likely never even notice the difference in terms of quality when they take advantage of this feature.
There are also nice perks for users who opt for a family plan. Metro by T-Mobile reduces $5 to $10 off the monthly price for each smartphone with one of its family plans, depending on the amount of data needed. A family member can choose their own plan based on the $30 to $60 plans, which means that if only one person decides they need unlimited data, only that individual pays for it. Additionally, if you choose a family plan for four people to share 12GB of data each month, it can save $40 on your entire bill each month, an excellent value.
Smartphone Selection from Metro
At one time, Metro offered a very slim selection of smartphones, mostly cheaper options running Android. However, T-Mobile has improved not only the network after acquiring the prepaid carrier, but it has also upped the number of smartphones available for purchase. There are cheaper Android phones like the LG Stylo 3 Plus and Moto E, but if you prefer a flagship device, you can opt for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Metro also carries the iPhone in all the latest versions and colors, but there are no 256GB iPhone 7 models for sale. Generally, most of the smartphones Metro offers are cheap and range from $50 to $200 in price.
Unlike T-Mobile, however, Metro doesn't offer users prepayment plans for its smartphones. In other words, you are required to pay for your phone in full up front. At the same time, if you have a smartphone that is GSM and unlocked, you can simply buy a Metro SIM card for $10 and you are good to go with using the network on that device.
It’s important to note that you have to ensure that if you do choose to take your current phone to use on Metro, it must be compatible with the network. Certain iPhones may not work. The same can be said for any smartphone that comes from Sprint or one of its prepaid carriers. If you take an AT&T phone to Metro, it must be unlocked in order to use it.
Overall, Metro by T-Mobile offers quality service for good value. The network is reliable and offers fast data speeds at reasonable prices. The selection of phones is also good, but you have the option of bringing your own device as well depending on a few factors. Metro by T-Mobile is well worth looking into if you are planning on switching carriers.
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