Xfinity Mobile isn’t the only internet provider jumping into the mobile service game — Spectrum Mobile is hot on its heels. Spectrum Mobile has a few hurdles before you can sign up, but it presents some solid value. Is Spectrum’s value enough to rival Verizon, its host operator? We’ll break down both carriers and help you decide who wins the battle of Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon.
See also: Verizon buyer’s guide | The best Spectrum Mobile plans
While the coverage should be comparable, we’re going to dig into pricing, promotions, and more before we declare a winner. MVNOs have come a long way in the last few years, but competing with Verizon is a monumental feat. Ready to find out how Spectrum stacks up? Let’s get started.
Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Pricing
Verizon is an expensive carrier, so Spectrum should get the edge in this category, right? Well, one of the hurdles we mentioned before is that you must be a Spectrum Internet customer to sign up. That means an added cost of at least $50 per month. Check out the table below for a plan comparison before we dig deeper:
|Spectrum Mobile By the Gig||$14 per GB|
|Spectrum Mobile Unlimited||$45 per line|
|Verizon Start Unlimited||$70 for one line
$60 per line for two lines
$45 per line for three lines
$35 per line for four lines
|Verizon Play/Do More Unlimited||$80 for one line
$70 per line for two lines
$55 per line for three lines
$45 per line for four lines
|Verizon Get More Unlimited||$90 for one line
$80 per line for two lines
$65 per line for three lines
$55 per line for four lines
We won’t factor in the price of an internet plan each time, but you should probably know what you’re working with. Here are the plans you can choose if you’re switching to Spectrum:
- Spectrum Internet – $49.99 per month, 200Mbps
- Internet Ultra – $69.99 per month, 400Mbps
- Internet Gig – $109.99 per month, 940Mbps
The internet plans may tank your overall costs, but at least Spectrum’s mobile plans try to keep the cost manageable. It offers just two plans — By the Gig coverage for $14 per GB of data or unlimited service for $45 per line. If you opt for By the Gig coverage, you’ll get talk and text included at no extra charge. You’ll only pay by the full gigabyte, so if you use 2.3GB then you may as well use the other 0.7GB while you’re at it. Spectrum Mobile also offers a mix and match option so you can have some lines on unlimited and some lines on By the Gig service.
On Verizon, you’ll know what you pay ahead of time. There’s no extra plan to add, and some of Verizon’s plans are more affordable than Spectrum once you pass three lines. Start Unlimited, Play More, and Do More drop to $35 and $45 respectively, and they offer perks that Spectrum just can’t match. Verizon’s Get More Unlimited plan is still the most expensive option around, but it’s one of the most complete plans in the United States.
Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Coverage
Spectrum Mobile and Verizon offer similar services thanks to their shared 4G LTE network, but they’re not identical. Rather, Spectrum employs a network of nearly 500,000 data hotspots on top of its mobile service to help you stay on wi-fi instead of 4G LTE. It should help to keep your data usage in check, and in turn, save you a bit of money on your By the Gig plan.
You can also check your local coverage on the map above or by clicking here. The 5G coverage is limited to a select few cities, so you’ll have to zoom in as far as you can.
Verizon has a new nationwide map for its service, and you already know that it’s fast. Big Red covers nearly 70% of the United States with its 4G LTE network and you should have no connection problems in populated areas.
You’ll find that Verizon’s mmWave 5G setup is quite limited, but the new launch of Nationwide 5G should make things much easier for most users. It’s not as fast as mmWave, but it beats LTE in most cases. Check out the nationwide coverage right here.
See also: Where is 5G available in the US?
Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Perks and promotions
Good prices and great coverage are just part of the battle — the perfect plan needs a few perks sprinkled on top. Saving money is important too, so let’s see how Spectrum Mobile compares. Check out the table below for Verizon’s streaming options:
|Verizon Start Unlimited||6 months of Disney Plus and Apple Music|
|Verizon Do More Unlimited||6 months of Disney Plus and Apple Music|
|Verizon Play More Unlimited||Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus included
6 months of Apple Music
|Verizon Get More Unlimited||Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Apple Music included|
Verizon is pretty much number one when it comes to streaming options. You don’t just get a video service or a music service, you get one of each. All of Big Red’s unlimited plans offer some mix of Disney Plus and Apple Music, even if some plans only add six months of service. The Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited plans come with Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus for good, and Get More is the only plan with permanent Apple Music too.
See also: 10 best Music streaming apps for Android
Over on Spectrum Mobile, you won’t find any streaming perks on the menu. This is common among MVNOs though, low-cost often requires some level of sacrifices. You might be able to call the mix and match option a perk, but that’s as good as it gets. Spectrum doesn’t make up any ground with phone discounts either, so you can plan to pay full price for your next new device.
Verizon gets to swing its weight around once again when it comes to promotions. You can save on most of its devices, and possibly get one free when you switch from another carrier. Flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 are available as “buy one, get one” deals, or you can save with the Google Pixel 4a for free when you switch to Big Red.
Spectrum Mobile vs Verizon — Phone selections
Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority
As a leading carrier in the United States, Verizon has an extensive list of high-end devices. From Apple to LG and Samsung, Verizon pretty much supports any CDMA phone you can name. You can always keep your own phone if you want, you’ll just have to make sure that it plays well with Verizon’s network. Of course, you’ll have to look for Verizon’s UW tag if you want to tap into the mmWave 5G network, though the Nationwide 5G launch has opened up your options a bit.
See also: The best Verizon phones | The best Android phones
Over on Spectrum Mobile, you’ll be happy to know that the MNVO offers just as many flagships as Verizon. You can grab the iPhone 11 family, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Note 20 families, and even a few budget-friendly LG phones. If you’re set on Samsung’s ecosystem, Spectrum also carries most of the Galaxy A line at pocket-friendly prices. You can bring your own device as well, and Spectrum will toss in a free SIM card when you do.
Which carrier is right for you?
Finally, the question on everyone’s minds — who should you choose for your next mobile carrier? The answer isn’t quite so simple, and it partially depends on your internet provider. If you’re a Spectrum subscriber, then it makes sense to join Spectrum Mobile since it’s a requirement. Unfortunately, you’ll pay quite a bit extra if you have to switch to Spectrum on top of your mobile bill because internet plans start at around $50. High-end gigabit speeds can easily double that cost, so the low-cost options aren’t really what they seem.
If you can afford the expensive plans and you want a rich mix of perks, then Verizon makes more sense. It offers a better variety of phones and unlimited plans, and you won’t be de-prioritized when you use mountains of data.
Maybe you’ve gone through all of these prices, plans, and perks, and decided that neither Verizon nor Spectrum Mobile is right for you. Here are a few other carriers that might help you to continue your research: