Should you switch to a major carrier or an MVNO? In this review, we’re going to compare Spectrum Mobile vs T-Mobile to see which will be more worthwhile to have.
As you may (already) know, T-Mobile is the major network provider in this case. And this means most of its customers get prioritized data that won’t experience a significant drop in browsing speed when the network’s too busy.
But then, in the Verizon vs Spectrum Mobile, we saw both carriers also offer prioritized data. And, surprisingly, the MVNO’s even faster in 5G data speeds than the T-Mobile, as we shall see shortly.
Spectrum Mobile vs T Mobile: A Summary on the Cell Phone Providers
|5G Data Speeds||Up to 2000+Mbps||Up to 1100+Mbps|
|4G Data Speeds||Up to 110+Mbp||Up to 300+Mbps|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$14||$15|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call||YES||YES|
|Video Streaming||YES [up to HD]||YES [up to UHD]|
|Phone Unlock Period||After 60 Days||After 40-365 Days|
|Extra Perks||Free unlimited Spectrum WiFi Hotspots||Free Netflix, Free Apple TV, Free|
Music Unlimited T-Mobile Tuesdays Offers
Should I Get Spectrum Mobile?
If you have Spectrum Internet, you can get the mobile phone service without any issues. The carrier offers the basic rate plan from $14/ month. Thus, can be a great option if you’d like to cut down your current monthly telephone bill.
As an MVNO, Spectrum Mobile has partnered with Verizon to operate on its wireless network infrastructure. But different from the likes of Visible or Total Wireless, the Charter brand usually gets high-priority data. Hence, the reason its data speeds will peak at up to 2+Gbps on the 5G spectrum.
Other pros & cons of the Spectrum Mobile phone service include:
- It has a free unlimited WiFi hotspot
- Includes streaming at up 1080p HD
- Can roam domestically & overseas
- Has add-on plans for wearable devices
- Can save big bucks with multiple lines
- You get unlimited international texting
- It has extensive urban & rural coverage
- It requires Spectrum internet
- Currently has no eSIM support
- Lacks “truly” unlimited data
- It has a high risk of overage fees
Should I Get T-Mobile?
As a major carrier, T-Mobile usually operates on its own cell towers. So, you’ll not only get prioritized browsing speeds but also enjoy “truly” unlimited data speed (with no caps) on some of the rate plans.
The carrier also includes unlimited video streaming on the postpaid and select prepaid packages. Then, you can also get a free unlimited subscription to music and Netflix streaming or a one-year trial on Paramount+ and Apple TV+.
Other pros & cons of T-Mobile phone service are:
- It supports eSIM
- Includes multi-line discounts
- Features amazing phone deals
- Offers unlimited mobile hotspot
- Has free unlimited international texting
- Includes domestic & international roaming
- It also has free international roaming data
- It’s pretty pricey on postpaid plans
- Has spotty coverage in most rural areas
Spectrum Mobile vs T Mobile: Comparing the Main Features & Perks of the Cell Phone Providers
T-Mobile is the clear winner in this case as it’s available to all the customers. You can also join with either a physical SIM card or a digital eSIM. Then, the prepaid service’s available without a credit check required.
On its end, Spectrum Mobile is only available to the customers of the Spectrum cable internet. In the event you cancel the internet or TV service, your monthly bill will attract a $20 surcharge fee.
Moreover, Spectrum Mobile doesn’t have eSIM support at the moment. Then requires qualified credit when applying for multiple lines.
Winner: T-Mobile as it’s available to everyone, has eSIM support, & no credit check on prepaid
When you compare the Spectrum Mobile vs T-Mobile coverage map, the GSM carrier might seem more solid in most parts. However, when comparing both T-Mobile and Verizon services, we concluded the former’s predominantly in the metropolises.
Meanwhile, Verizon, the carrier network of Spectrum Mobile, has invested in most parts across the country. That includes even rural places in Oregon, Madison, Toledo, and others. So, you might find it more reliable if you travel a lot or reside in such areas.
Winner: Spectrum Mobile as it runs on Verizon’s expansive network.
Phone Deals & Discounts
Would you like to join your new service with a decent device? Well, T-Mobile is one of the phone companies that give free phones when you switch to their network. And the best part, it only requires adding a line on a new or existing account. So, you necessarily don’t need to have a trade-in device, unless it’s the latest high-end iPhone or Samsung Galaxy series.
Sadly, Spectrum Mobile isn’t on the list of MVNOs that give free phones when you switch prepaid services. However, you can get a partial discount on select phones when you switch and provide an eligible trade-in device.
Winner: T-Mobile as you can get free phone deals even when without eligible trade-ins.
Free 5G Access & Speeds
Despite their different structuring, both carriers have rather impressive 5G benefits. Not only do you get to tap to the ultra-fast bands for free, but also the speeds peaks at over 1000Mbps (1+Gbps) on good days.
Surprisingly, though, a speed test on Spectrum Mobile 5GUW (high-band)peaked at 1325Mbps. Some people have even claimed to record over 2000Mbps, which, in both cases, is relatively faster than T-Mobile 5GUC (high-band) with approximately 1120Mbps.
In a similar test on the LTE network, though, T-Mobile (308Mbps) was relatively faster than Spectrum Mobile (154Mbps).
Winner: Spectrum Mobile as it’s faster than T-Mobile on the high-band 5G network.
Technically, both Spectrum Mobile and T-Mobile should have been the winner in this part. They don’t have just free texting to any country, but also domestic and international roaming services, and at very competitive rates.
Nonetheless, T-Mobile has slightly bettered Spectrum on the international roaming rates as the postpaid plans include free text and 2G data in 210+ destinations. These destinations include even Mexico and Canada, where Magenta customers also get 5GB of high-speed data.
Winner: T-Mobile as it has free unlimited international roaming texting and data
Phone Plans & Pricing
Similar to any other comparison review we’ve done in the past, the main difference between T-Mobile vs Spectrum Mobile is on the rate plan structure. Verizon’s MVNO is seemingly cheaper on the cost, but the GSM carrier has more data for both prepaid and postpaid customers. See below.
Chart 2.1 Spectrum Mobile Phone plan Structure
|Features||By the Gig Plan||3GB Plan (By the Gig)||Unlimited Plan||Unlimited Plus Plan|
|Single Line Price||$14/ mo.||$42/ mo.||$45/ mo.||$55/ mo.|
|2+ Lines Price||$14/ mo.||$42/ mo. (all lines)||$29.99/ mo. (per line)||$39.99/ mo. (per line)|
|Video Streaming||480p (DVD Quality)||480p (DVD Quality)||480p (DVD Quality)||Up to 1080p (HD Quality)|
Chart 2.2 T-Mobile Phone plan Structure
|Features||10GB (Prepaid)||Unlimited (Prepaid)||Unlimited+ (Prepaid)||Essentials (postpaid)||Magenta (postpaid)||Magenta MAX|
|Regular Price||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.||$60/ mo.||$60/ mo.||$70/ mo.||$85/ mo.|
|Plan Discounts||$5 – $8 (2+ lines)||$10 – $16 (2+ lines)||$15 – $24 (2+ lines)||$15 – $36 (2+ lines)||$10 – $38 (2+ lines)||$15 – $45 (2+ lines)|
|Free 5G Access||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Premium Hotspot Data||10GB||Unlimited (3G speeds)||10GB (then 3G)||Unlimited (3G speeds)||5GB (then 3G)||40GB (then 3G)|
|Video Stream Quality||Up to HD||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 480p||Up to 4K UHD|
|Canada/ Mexico Data||N/A||N/A||N/A||2G Data Speeds||5GB LTE (then 2G)||5GB LTE (then 2G)|
As was just said, the Spectrum Mobile phone plans are seemingly cheaper, especially for the basic By-the-Gig plan. The service starts from $14/ month for a bundle of unlimited talk + texting and 1GB of high-speed data. Then, the single lines for the two unlimited plans are $45 and $55/ month respectively.
In addition to that, Spectrum has a multi-line discount for unlimited plans, whereby you can save up to $15/ line per month. The By-the-Gig plan also does allow you to add more lines, but they all share the available data.
The T-Mobile phone plans also include multi-line discounts for both the postpaid and Simply Prepaid plans. However, the plans are still relatively more expensive than those of the Spectrum service.
The only more friendly plan is the T-Mobile Connect subcategory, whereby you can pay $15 for the 2.5GB plan or 5.5GB at $25/ month. But unlike the Simply Prepaid or Postpaid packages, here the high-speed data has a hard stop (no unlimited 2G).
Winner: Spectrum Mobile is relatively more affordable than T-Mobile
Deprioritization & Throttling
As already mentioned, both T-Mobile and Spectrum Mobile usually provide prioritized data. So, you’ll still have a usable phone when the carrier network is too busy either on the LTE or 5G bands.
As for throttling (drop in data speed based on usage), T-Mobile takes the points. The provider has postpaid and prepaid unlimited plans with “unlimited” high-speed data with no cap. However, all the plans, except the Magenta Max have capped premium data, in which case you can expect deprioritization (slower browsing speed during congestion).
On its end, Spectrum Mobile has all the phone plans with capped high-speed data before dropping to the unlimited 2G speed. And once throttled, your browsing will be limited, especially during congestion to a point you can’t even read an email.
Winner: T-Mobile as it has “truly” unlimited prepaid and postpaid plans without throttling
At this point, we can all agree it’s not exactly easy to decide between Spectrum Mobile vs T-Mobile. When one stands out from one point, the other comes up with a sweeter offer on the next feature.
Regardless, Spectrum Mobile takes the points if your goal is to save on the monthly phone bill, especially with the By-the-Gig plan. Only be careful of data usage as going over your monthly allowance by even 0.000001 (1KB) will result in overage charges (of $14/ GB).
On the other hand, T-Mobile will be the answer if you’re a heavy data user with a consumption of over 40GB per month. The carrier’s actually my favorite in this case as you also get unlimited video streaming, plus free international roaming data and texting.