Pros / MetroPCS offers T-Mobile’s great network and speeds at a discount.
Cons / You can’t stream video in HD.
Verdict / MetroPCS is a great value for unlimited plans, and the T-Mobile network is ideal in urban areas.
MetroPCS is a great budget cell phone carrier. It’s a prepaid subsidiary of T-Mobile, and it runs on that network, so you get great speeds at a discount. If you time it right, you can save even more money because MetroPCS runs promotions – as of our review, a four-line unlimited service plan is $100 a month.
T-Mobile’s network is one of the fastest, according to OpenSignal and Ookla’s SpeedScore. In tests performed by our sister site, Tom’s Guide, MetroPCS greatly benefits from its parent company’s fast network. Though MetroPCS users are subject to data deprioritization – meaning T-Mobile prioritizes its direct customers when the network is busy – Tom’s Guide testers never ran into this, and MetroPCS kept pace.
If you look at RootMetrics tests, T-Mobile is ranked last of the Big Four carriers. The discrepancies between this and other tests is because OpenSignal, Tom’s Guide and Ookla tests are mostly taken in urban areas, while RootMetrics covers more of the U.S. as a whole. T-Mobile performs better in cities, but it covers less of rural America than other networks.
MetroPCS offers four plans, which is a limited selection, but still sufficient. We particularly like its $40 plan with 5GB of 4G LTE, unlimited talk and text, a mobile hotspot (which uses your data allotment), additional line discounts and unlimited music streaming. Compared to Verizon’s 5GB plan, which costs $60 a month, MetroPCS’s offer is a steal. MetroPCS’s cheaper $30 per month plan gives you unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. It’s a decent basic plan.
The two unlimited plans are exactly the same, except the more expensive one lets you use 10GB for a mobile hotspot. This plan also gives you unlimited talk and text, music streaming and discounts on additional lines. You can use up to 35GB of high-speed 4G LTE data before your speeds slow down, which is more than other companies offer. The unlimited plan with a hotspot costs $60 per month for an individual and $150 for four lines, though MetroPCS often runs promotions that can bring these prices down.
MetroPCS is the best budget cell phone provider we tested. Its plans cost less than major carriers while still offering comparable network performance, reliability and speed. If you live within a T-Mobile covered area and want to save money on your cell phone bill, we highly recommend checking MetroPCS out.