T-Mobile vs Verizon: Which carrier is the best for you?

Considering switching carriers as you think about upgrading to iPhone 14? With market competition strong, the major US carriers are offering compelling incentives for new customers. Below we’ll specifically focus on T-Mobile vs Verizon including how they compare with speed, how to find real-world coverage maps, how to test both carriers for free instantly with an iPhone eSIM, and more.

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Which carrier is best for you?

Coverage

T-Mobile vs Verizon coverage

TL;DR

T-Mobile and Verizon’s coverage maps will look solid on their websites, so here are some tips to figure out how coverage will really be:

  • Check coverage with the independent, third-party Opensignal app
    • Opensignal gets real-world data from millions of devices and billions of measurements
  • Get a quick coverage comparison with Signalchecker
  • Do a free eSIM trial to test out the coverage (available with T-Mobile and Visible/Verizon)
  • Talk with friends, family, or people at work who use the carrier you’re considering

While Verizon has led as far as having the most customers (and still is) along with the broadest coverage over the last decade, T-Mobile has gained a lot of ground with its Sprint acquisition and quick 5G deployment. That has meant Verizon playing catch-up with T-Mobile on 5G coverage as they work on rolling out more mid-band spectrum.

However, Verizon did launch 5G UWB coverage in 1,700 US cities earlier this year and just recently won first place for quality performance in a J.D. Power study.

Speed

T-Mobile vs Verizon speed

TL;DR

  • Verizon has the fastest top speeds if and where you have 5G UWB coverage
  • T-Mobile has the fastest average 5G speeds with more mid-band coverage

Like coverage, a carrier’s speed will depend on a mix of factors like your location, device, signal strength, network congestion, and more.

If you live in a metro area vs a small town, speeds can be very different. Verizon leads with the fastest 1,000+ Mbps speeds if you have 5G UWB coverage, but T-Mobile currently has greater availability with its more moderately fast mid-band 5G.

Here’s a look at how the three major carriers compare for average US speeds in studies from Ookla and Opensignal as of summer 2022:

T-Mobile vs Verizon speed comparison

Opensignal’s results show average 5G download speeds in the US as of Q2 2022.

T-Mobile vs Verizon speed test

Free and instant eSIM trials

eSIM trials

While it’s been a hassle to try out a new carrier in the past, eSIM support on iPhone and other smartphones has opened a new possibility.

T-Mobile and Visible (Verizon) are taking advantage of the tech so customers can instantly test out their networks for free right alongside their existing carrier.

With eSIM trials, you can see the signal of your current carrier and the one you’re testing simultaneously. And you can decide to keep using your existing carrier and number for phone calls while using the trial for cellular data.

T-Mobile vs Verizon: Price

This summer Verizon launched a more affordable unlimited plan, but it’s still not quite as cheap as T-Mobile.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has added handy new perks like free worldwide data, in-flight data, and more.


While we’ve seen a small price increase from Verizon this year, strong competition has kept pricing mostly close between the two.

However, as T-Mobile touts, it does usually offer around 20% lower prices for its unlimited plans compared to Verizon. T-Mobile also includes taxes and fees in its advertised prices.

Keep in mind these prices can change based on how many lines you need.

Plan/price T-Mobile Verizon
Basic unlimited $26.25/per phone with autopay and 4 lines $30/per phone with autopay and 4 lines –
$10-25 total account discount for military/vet/1st responder
Upgraded unlimited $35/per phone with autopay and 4 lines
$25/per phone for military/vet/1st responder with 4 lines
$35-45/per phone with autopay and 4 lines – $10-25 total account discount for military/vet/1st responder
Premium unlimited $42.50/per phone with autopay and 4 lines
$35/per phone for military/vet/1st responder with 4 lines
$55/per phone with autopay and 4 lines – $10-25 total account discount for military/vet/1st responder

Incentives and deals

Both carriers offer (at the time of writing) up to $800 for a trade-in when buying a new device. But T-Mobile is the most aggressive with up to $650 for early termination fees or covering a current device balance.

Both also include a streaming video service for free with some of the unlimited plans. And Verizon offers more than just the Disney+ bundle. Depending on the unlimited plan you can get additional perks like Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and more.

Meanwhile, the Uncarrier does “T-Mobile Tuesdays” to give out regular perks and savings to customers.

Both Verizon and T-Mobile give up to 50% of 5G home internet for their cellular customers.

Best affordable alternatives to major carriers

If slashing the cost of your phone bill is a priority, check out our full guide on the best affordable iPhone plans.

We go over which of the major networks each provider uses, key features, and more with plans starting from just $10 a line.

T-Mobile vs Verizon conclusion

It’s tough to pick one winner that’s best for everyone when it comes to T-Mobile vs Verizon. But here are some pros for each that might help you think about your priorities:

T-Mobile pros:

  • Fastest average speeds (Opensignal and Ookla studies)
  • Affordable pricing
  • Enticing incentives to switch
  • Much improved coverage over the last few years
  • Unlimited plans from $26.25/line – taxes and fees included

Verizon pros:

  • Top in quality performance (recent J.D Power study)
  • Great overall coverage
  • Fastest speeds when 5G UWB is available
  • New unlimited plan from $30/line

Hopefully, now you have a clear picture of how the major carriers compare, how to check real-world network coverage, and start a hassle-free eSIM trial (T-Mobile or Verizon through Visible). Thanks for reading our guide on T-Mobile vs Verizon!

If you’re curious about how AT&T compares to T-Mobile and Verizon, we have a guide that includes it too:

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