Mobile phones are at the center of our universe for the majority of us. The standard feature set of these palm-sized wonders is incredible. It includes your phone, messaging device, web browser, camera, music player, GPS, and other features. The phone you choose will have a significant impact on your life. That’s why we’re here to assist you in making the best decision possible.
Dial Up the Perfect Phone
With 4G LTE networks offering data faster than many home internet connections and 5G spreading across the country, we’re a smartphone-dominated country. Even though there are only three big wireless carriers left, virtual carriers like Google Fi, US Mobile, and Visible keep the competition going and keep costs low. However, some of our options have become more limited: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android dominate the smartphone OS market, and it’s difficult to get a good simple voice phone these days.
Almost every smartphone released on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, as well as many of their sub-brands like as Boost, Cricket, Metro, and Visible, is reviewed by PCMag.
Which Cell Phone Carrier Should You Choose?
Despite recent technology and mobile software advancements, your cellular service provider is still the most crucial selection you’ll make. Unless you have reliable wireless coverage, no matter what equipment you buy will be useless. Maybe you have free phone calls with friends and family on the same carrier, and you don’t want that to change with your future phone. Perhaps you’ve had your eye on a specific item, such as an unlocked smartphone for international travel. Of course, you’ll want to go with a provider that charges fairly and gives the finest coverage in your area. All of them are compelling reasons to prioritize the carrier selection.
Last year, T-Mobile received our Fastest Mobile Networks title because it has the only meaningful 5G network in the United States in 2021. T-Mobile has expanded its “ultra capacity” mid-band 5G network to 185 million Americans in the last year, and the network’s performance outperforms AT&T and Verizon where it’s available. To use the new network, you’ll need a 5G phone, which is currently only available in big metro regions.
In our tests, AT&T outperformed the other two carriers in rural coverage, with the greatest results in locations outside of cities and off the interstates. When you can find it, Verizon’s millimeter-wave 5G is fantastic, though it’s still not generally available. In the next months, both AT&T and Verizon may see significant network improvements in core cities, when they begin to turn on new C-band channels for their 5G networks on January 19. In May, we’ll conduct our 2022 network testing to find out.
Do You Need a 5G Phone?
In 2019, 5G was introduced, and most new devices now support it in some way. However, while 5G has the potential to transform everything in the future, it will not happen overnight. A 5G phone is a smart idea if you’re on T-Mobile and live in a city, as a rule of thumb. If not, you’ll be able to make do with 4G until 2024.
As previously stated, T-Mobile outperformed the competition in our Fastest Mobile Networks tests for 2021, owing primarily to mid-band 5G in metropolitan areas. If you live in one of those regions and are a T-Mobile customer (or considering becoming one), acquire a 5G phone to take advantage of the new network.
AT&T’s nationwide “5G” network is often slower than its 4G coverage, which is very fast. The company has also said it won’t roll out C-band as quickly as Verizon will. So you don’t need a newer phone to get the best out of AT&T right now.
Verizon Wireless is known for its excellent network performance. Its millimeter-wave 5G coverage is still limited to small areas and is only slowly expanding. While the carrier irons out the faults in its “nationwide” 5G network, it is just marginally faster than LTE.
However, Verizon is turning on C-band in 46 large cities this month, which should significantly improve 5G speed in those areas. If you’re in the market for a new phone anyhow, consider a 5G phone with C-band, which will let you to use the new technology as soon as it’s available in your area. More 5G phone recommendations can be found on our list of the top 5G phones.