We slice and dice the plans, phones and fine print at each major U.S. carrier to come up with 23 reasons you might choose one carrier over another.
Verizon: Unlimited talk and text is $149.99. With unlimited data, that's $179.98.
AT&T: Unlimited talk and text is $69.99. AT&T doesn't have unlimited data for new smartphone customers. Its 2GB service per month is $25, for a total of $94.99.
Sprint: Unlimited everything, any time minutes, data, text and Nextel Direct Connect: $189.99. Without Direct Connect it's $99.99.
T-Mobile: Unlimited text, talk and 4G via the Even More plan: $99.99
AT&T was cheaper but has a data cap, which cost it.
- Reading The Fine Print: As of June 2011
- T-Mobile Update
- Unique Carrier Features You May Not Know About
- Best data plan (individual user): AT&T
- Best rollover plan: AT&T
- Most comprehensive 4G availability (so far) - Intro
- Most comprehensive 4G availability - Verizon
- Most generous minute usage plan – T-Mobile
- Best individual plan (power user) – T-Mobile
- Best family plan (economical) – T-Mobile
- Best family plan (power users) - Sprint
- Best small business plan - Verizon
- Best Web-only offers - Verizon
- Best offerings for the disabled - Sprint
- Best international calling plan – Too close to call
- Best connectivity overseas - Sprint
- Best phone selection-overall – AT&T
- Best network reputation - Verizon
- Best non-phone selection - Verizon
- Best hardware selection under $100 – AT&T
- Best hardware selection over $100 - Verizon
- Most exclusive handsets – AT&T & Verizon
- If you must have… an iPhone – AT&T
- If you must have… an Android - Verizon
- If you must have… a BlackBerry – AT&T
- If you must have… a Windows Phone – T-Mobile
- If you must have… a 4G phone - Sprint
- Most generous trade-in program – T-Mobile
- Most change-friendly (Who makes it easy to switch phones) - Sprint
- Best plans, no-contract – Part 1
- Best plans, no-contract – part 2 – Net10
- Cheapest early termination fee - Sprint