T-Mobile in April added a pair of new premium 5G plans that provided more data and roaming perks. Now the carrier has a third offering at the top of its list that brings back a beloved feature from phone plans of yore: getting a new device every year.
Go5G Next, as the new plan is called, has essentially the same perks as the higher-priced of the two plans introduced in April, Go5G Plus, which itself had the best parts of the Magenta plans but with additional hotspot data and more data for roaming in Mexico and Canada. Go5G Plus' big draw was to let subscribers trade in and upgrade to a new phone every two years. Go5G Next shaves that down to just one year.
The caveat is that you'll need to pay off half of your phone's value before getting to trade it in for a new device. That shouldn't be a problem for most subscribers. With a 24-month installment plan, half is paid off after a year anyway. If subscribers opt to pay more per month and reach that milestone earlier, they can trade in for a new device as early as six months after getting their last one, according to T-Mobile's press release.
Go5G Next's other perk carried over from Go5G Plus is guaranteed access to the same promotions the carrier offers new subscribers. If T-Mobile dangles an attractive deal on the upcoming iPhone 15 to lure customers away from other carriers, Go5G Next and Go5G Plus subscribers can use that promotion, too.
You'll pay extra for the privilege of upgrading your phone every year: Go5G Next costs $100 a month for a single line (when signed up for auto pay), which is $10 above Go5G Plus' $90 monthly rate.
T-Mobile won't users "mix and match" unlimited plans for an account, the carrier confirmed to CNET. For example, if you have four lines and only one wants to upgrade every year, they all must be on Go5G Next. Unlike its rivals, T-Mobile has generally required all users on an account to be on the same plan instead of allowing for flexibility.
T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
It's also a little more difficult to directly compare T-Mobile's plans to its competitors. For a single line's $100 monthly subscription (including taxes and fees), Go5G Next includes Apple TV Plus and Netflix subscriptions among other perks. Verizon's comparable updated 5G Unlimited Plus plan starts at $65 for a single line (plus taxes and fees) including 30GB of hotspot data and lets you pick streaming options like the Disney bundle (Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus) or Apple One (including Apple TV Plus) for $10 per option. AT&T Unlimited Premium is priced at $85 a month for a single line (plus taxes and fees) and doesn't include a streaming service, but has 50GB of hotspot data.
But for people eager to upgrade their phone annually, paying a bit more every month for Go5G Next might be worth it. By comparison, Verizon's and AT&T's phone installment plans offer new devices every three years.
Last month, there were also small price hikes for older Verizon and AT&T plans.
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