Walmart Family Mobile is a super affordable way to get your cell phone connected without losing a decent network. This prepaid mobile virtual network operator runs on the T-Mobile network meaning you get nationwide coverage at high 4G speeds and it's also 5G ready.
T-Mobile is one of the Big Four wireless networks in the U.S. alongside AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Of the four, T-Mobile has some of the fastest speeds and greatest coverage areas.
Of course being on a sub-network you will have to keep in mind that T-Mobile customers will get priority. This can mean slower speeds when in congested areas at busy times. But that's how you make the savings on costs.
There are plenty of phones available which are equally as affordable as the network plans but you're also free to bring your own and get the SIM alone.
So with all these savings and all that freedom is this the best prepaid cell phone plans (opens in new tab) provider for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know about Walmart Family Mobile.
Walmart Family Mobile review: Plans and phones
There are plenty of plan options available on Walmart Family Mobile and lots of phones to pick from. Payments on this prepaid service work in easy 30-day chunks where you can set up autopay to make it simple to always have credit.
Since everything is month-to-month, that means you can cancel at any time. WFM offers standard plans that feature unlimited talk and text plus limited or unlimited high-speed data.
The plans offer greater savings if you setup autopay. You can also make more savings by adding multiple lines – making this ideal if you want to get your whole family connected.
Plans start at $24.88 per month for unlimited talk, text and data. But there is a catch. Data is unlimited on speeds, so you get 4G LTE for the first 2GB then it's a frankly useless 2G connection for the rest. So in reality you're getting 2GB of data per month for that price.
Jump to $29.88 and you get 5GB of data, $39.88 gets you 20GB and the top end $49.88 plan gives you truly unlimited data. The highest priced two plans also offer you unlimited calling from the US to Mexico and Canada. The very top tier also gives you 10GB for use as a mobile hotspot.
Phones available from the provider include Apple, Samsung, LG, Alcatel and Motorola.
Walmart Family Mobile review: Network coverage and reliability
Since the Walmart Family Mobile carrier runs on T-Mobile's network infrastructure, you're in safe hands. That means a decent 94 percent of the US coverage with the largest 5G network. Although, at the time of writing WFM only offers 4G LTE on its plans.
That is good and bad. Bad as you don't have the tip top speeds of 5G. But good as you're not fighting to share bandwidth with T-Mobile customers, who will always get priority and potentially could limit your 5G speeds anyway.
There were previously coverage issues with rural areas but T-Mobile has invested in fixing that so it's not so much of a problem now. Although you can expect poorer coverage in the Pacific Northwest and the West Mountain regions.
You can use the T-Mobile coverage checker map, entering your zip code or zooming in, to find out how the coverage is in your area. This shows you both indoor and outdoor coverage as well as in-car driving cover.
While the network does offer mobile hotspot use on the top tier plan, it is limited to 10GB of data per month.
Should you buy Walmart Family Mobile?
If you want a cheaper-than-contract plan for your phone which offers 4G speeds and wide national coverage then a Walmart Family Mobile plan could be for you.
This allows you to bring your own phone and simply add in the SIM which is paid monthly, with savings to be made for using autopay. This is great for families that want to add lots of devices, making savings as you add more to a plan.
The downside is that you are limited on data unless you go for the top end plan. Also, the plan pricing isn't actually that cheap when compared with other options like Mint Mobile.
It's worth keeping in mind that with any prepaid MVNO you're going to lose priority to the main network customers, meaning you could see speed choking at busy times.