Skip to main content

The best 5G phone plans in 2022

There’s no doubt that 5G access has come a long way in the past couple of years or so, allowing for faster speeds across the board. All three of the major U.S. carriers now offer nationwide networks, and all include 5G support in their main plans and some of them have prepaid 5G phone plans.

Given the fact that all of the carriers offer 5G coverage in their plans, you might be wondering which offers the best 5G plans. From AT&T, to T-Mobile, to Verizon, all plans have their pros and cons. Here’s everything you need to know.

Related Videos

AT&T 5G Phone plans

AT&T offers three 5G cell phone plans — AT&T Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Elite. All three of the cell phone plans have unlimited data, but there are some caveats to that — such as how much hot spot data you’ll get, when you’ll get throttled to slower speeds, and so on. And, of course, each unlimited data plan comes in at a different price point. Here’s a quick rundown of those prices.

Unlimited Elite Unlimited Extra Unlimited Starter
1 Line $85 $75 $65
3 Lines $60 per line ($180) $50 per line ($150) $45 per line ($135)

For most users who simply want unlimited data without any extras or frills, the Unlimited Starter plan is the way to go. You’ll still get unlimited talk, text, and data on your 5G device, and while your video streaming is limited to standard definition (480p), that likely won’t be too much of an issue for most people. The one caveat is that this data plan doesn’t really have any so-called “premium data.” That’s to say, if there’s any mobile network congestion or similar issues, you’ll be among the first to get throttled download speeds.

The Unlimited Extra plan does have some of that premium data. With Unlimited Extra, if you’ve used 50GB or less for the month, you’ll retain top download speeds during times of congestion. Unlimited Extra also gets you 15GB of mobile hot spot data per line, per month.

Last but not least is Unlimited Elite, which doubles the premium data to 100GB, doubles the hot spot data to 30GB, and chucks in an HBO Max plan. That, of course, comes at a steeper price — it’s the most expensive high-speed data plan that AT&T offers.

All three plans offer access to AT&T’s 5G network, including its nationwide Sub-6 network, and the mmWave cells that it has in many big cities around the country. AT&T’s network is probably the weakest right now, given the fact that the wireless carrier has less spectrum allocated to its Sub-6 network compared to others. But, for most, it won’t really matter, and the company will continue to rapidly improve its network over the coming years.

While AT&T’s plans are solid for loyal AT&T customers, frankly, you can get more for less from T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s cheapest plan is $5 cheaper than AT&T’s, but it includes premium data, mobile hot spot usage, and you’ll get a stronger 5G network.

AT&T Plans


  • HBO Max included in Unlimited Elite plan
  • Extensive 4G network


  • Weakest 5G network for now
  • No hot spot data in Starter plan
  • Data throttling at any time in Unlimited Starter plan

T-Mobile 5G Phone plans

T-Mobile’s two cheaper plans are cheaper than AT&T’s with one line and with multiple lines — and they seem to offer more. The most expensive plan is the T-Mobile Magenta Max plan, which offers some features that no one else on the market currently does. First thing’s first, though — here’s a look at pricing on T-Mobile.

Essentials Magenta Magenta Max
1 Line $60 $70 $85
3 Lines $30 per line ($90) $40 per line ($120) $47 per line ($140)

T-Mobile Essentials is the cheapest, coming in at $60 for one line, or $30 per line for three. On this plan, you’ll get 50GB of premium data, plus unlimited hot spot usage on 3G speeds. Compare that to AT&T, which doesn’t let you use any hot spot data on its cheapest plan.

Next up is Magenta. On this plan, you’ll get 100GB of premium data, along with 5GB of hot spot data at high speeds, then unlimited at 3G speeds. Magenta also gets you a Basic subscription to Netflix, if you have two lines or more.

Magenta Max may be expensive, but it’s also great for those who really use their data. That’s because Magenta Max offers unlimited “premium data” — or in other words, it will never throttle you based on your data usage. You’ll also get 40GB of hot spot data, the ability to stream video at 4K, and a Netflix Basic subscription with one line, or a Netflix Standard subscription with two or more lines.

The T-Mobile 5G plan was the first to offer a nationwide 5G network, and as a result, the carrier offers one of the strongest 5G networks so far. Its mmWave coverage is a little limited, but T-Mobile’s 5G network will continue to grow and improve over the next few years, as will its competitors.

T-Mobile Plans


  • A robust 5G network, compared to the others
  • Cheapest plans are as good or better than rivals’
  • Netflix subscription


  • Not as much high-speed hot spot data
  • Overall network coverage lacking in rural areas

Verizon 5G Phone Plans

Last but not least is Verizon, which steps its plans up from three plans to four. Those plans are more expensive than AT&T and T-Mobile, and while you will get some extra perks, you’ll have to consider whether or not those perks are actually worth it for your needs. Before we go into details, however, here’s a look at Verizon’s pricing.

Start Unlimited Play More Unlimited Do More Unlimited Get More Unlimited
1 line $70 $80 $80 $90
3 lines $45 per line ($135) $55 per line ($165) $55 per line ($165) $65 per line ($195)

As you can see, Verizon’s 5G plans are the most expensive of the bunch — and for most people with a 5G smartphone, it won’t be worth the price. The cheapest plan is the Start Unlimited plan, which includes unlimited talk, text, and data, but doesn’t come with any premium data, nor does it allow access to a hot spot. You’ll also get six months of Disney+, Apple Music, and Discovery+, but after that 6 months, you’ll have to either cancel those subscriptions or start paying.

The next two plans cost the same, but prioritize different things. Both Play More and Do More get you unlimited hot spot data with 15GB of 5G connectivity or 4G LTE access on a hot spot. They also both offer 50GB of premium data. But Play More gets you a full subscription to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, and Apple Music for six months, and Discovery+ for 12 months. Do More swaps those subscriptions out for 50% off an Unlimited connected devices plan, and 600GB of Verizon cloud storage.

Last but not least is Get More Unlimited, which gives you all the perks of Do More and Play More, plus it increases the Apple Music subscription to a full one, and gives you 30GB of hot spot data instead of 15GB.

Verizon’s plans may end up being cheaper for those who already pay for services like Disney+ and Apple Music or who plan on doing so — but people who wouldn’t use those services should probably look elsewhere. Factoring in T-Mobile’s Netflix subscription and AT&T’s HBO Max subscription is also worth doing.

Verizon’s 5G service and coverage map are solid, plus it offers more mmWave cells than anyone else — though, considering how spotty and unreliable those cells are, that shouldn’t necessarily be a major consideration when shopping for a new plan, especially given we expect more carriers to offer more mmWave cells as the 5G rollout continues.

Verizon Plans


  • Lots of subscription offerings
  • More mmWave areas than anyone else
  • Largest overall network coverage, including rural areas


  • Expensive

Editors' Recommendations

Is the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G waterproof?
Samsung Galaxy A14 5G in four different colors.

Samsung’s Galaxy A14 5G — the latest entry in the company’s A-series lineup — is a really interesting budget phone for 2023. It’s a $200 Android 13 smartphone with an expansive screen, 5G support, a new design, and a pretty solid camera array for the price.

While there’s enough going for the Galaxy A14 to make it a contender for anybody looking for a modern wallet-friendly smartphone, it’s impossible to build one at this price without making a few compromises. Some of these are to be expected: the panel is a 720p LCD, and it’s capped at 64GB of storage. However, the lower price tag may also have you wondering a very important question: Is the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G waterproof?
The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is not waterproof

Read more
T-Mobile is leaving AT&T and Verizon in the 5G dust
The T-Mobile logo on a smartphone.

Ookla has just published its latest market report revealing where U.S. mobile carriers and smartphone manufacturers stand in terms of providing the best 5G and 4G/LTE services.

Not surprisingly, T-Mobile remained in the top spot during the fourth quarter of 2022, eclipsing its rivals when it comes to median download speeds. What may be more surprising is that T-Mobile has increased its lead, clocking in at 151.37Mbps overall and 216.56Mbps for 5G, breaking the 200Mbps barrier for median 5G speeds across all bands for the first time.

Read more
Does the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G have a headphone jack?
Samsung Galaxy A14 in hand.

Revealed at CES 2023, the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is a solid budget smartphone that brings a lot to the table for its $200 price tag. While a smartphone that costs so little compared to its flagship counterparts is bound to be missing some more premium features, there's still a lot to love about the A14. The follow-up to last year's A13, the Galaxy A14 5G is a great phone for anyone looking to experience Android 13 without breaking the bank. But here's an important question: Does the Galaxy A14 5G have a headphone jack?

Whenever a new device from Samsung launches, there are bound to be questions regarding the phone's specific hardware features. One point of interest for just about every smartphone is whether or not it has a headphone jack. As audio hardware has continuously moved in the wireless direction, more and more phones have been launching without them. But they aren't excluded from every release, so there's always a chance for a phone to still get a headphone jack.
The Galaxy A14 5G does have a headphone jack

Read more