Verizon Phone Plans Review for 2019 -- are they still #1?

If you’re considering getting a new phone plan and Verizon Wireless came to mind, that’s not a bad choice. They’ve got great coverage nationwide and fast, reliable performance. But pricing can get tricky, and Verizon isn’t a cheap carrier. That said, if you care about superb performance and chart-topping coverage, well, Verizon’s phone plans are priced accordingly for being the #1 carrier in the U.S.

Overall Rating

View plans

Pros

Cons

To help you make your choice in either direction, we dug through Verizon’s phone plans to see if they’re really “that good.” Below I’m going to go over the Unlimited Plans, Prepaid plans, and finally talk about these work in a family pricing format. Without further ado, let’s dig into what we found.

Unlimited plans

Plan Features Price (1 line) View Plans
Go Unlimited
  • Unlimited data, talk, and text
  • SD video (480p)
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot data at 600kbps
  • Unlimited talk/text, 512MB/day in Mexico and Canada
  • Can be slowed at any time
  • $75/mo. + phone price upfront
  • View plans
    Beyond Unlimited
  • Unlimited data, talk, and text
  • Unlimited HD video (720p)
  • 15GB/line mobile hotspot data
  • Unlimited talk/text, 512MB/day in Mexico and Canada
  • Slowed down after 22GB/month
  • $85/mo. + phone price upfront
  • View plans
    Above Unlimited
  • Unlimited data, talk, and text
  • Unlimited HD video (720p)
  • 20GB/line mobile hotspot data
  • Unlimited talk/text, 512MB/day in Mexico and Canada
  • Slowed down after 75GB/month
  • $95/mo. + phone price upfront
  • View plans

    Verizon Go Unlimited

    Verizon’s base plan is the Go Unlimited plan. You get 4G LTE data, but your speeds are subject to deprioritization at Verizon’s discretion– i.e., you can be slowed down at any time, even the beginning of the month.

    Video is also standard definition (480p), and while you get a mobile hotspot, it’s agonizingly slow at 600kbps. Thankfully, these improve to 4G speeds in later plans.

    Verizon Beyond Unlimited

    Verizon’s middle-tier offering is a bit more robust. Although $85/mo. is a bit steep with a lot of other less expensive options out there, Beyond Unlimited has some excellent features plus the #1 network in America.

    Your 4G LTE isn’t restricted until after you pass 22GB each month, which isn’t bad, although not as good as T-Mobile’s 50GB cap. You also get a 15GB hotspot allowance, and HD streaming instead of SD. Again, the $85/mo. pricetag is steep, and you only get it with the $5 discount you gain for setting up auto-pay.

    Verizon Above Unlimited

    Finally, Verizon’s highest plan gives you a 75GB/month data threshold, 20GB of hotspot data, 5 TravelPasses per month, and 500GB of storage in Verizon’s cloud. It’s a beefed-up unlimited plan, with the features to match. Whatever your phone usage needs, Above Unlimited can handle it.

    This plan’s downside? You guessed it: the price. $95/month doesn’t include taxes and fees– which, as a side note, can be said of all of Verizon’s plans (We have a fees section below). The TravelPass, too, is helpful for international travelers, but you can get much better international data coverage with other carriers like AT&T.

    Even so, if you’re a data super-user, the Verizon Above Unlimited Plan is a powerhouse. It’s likely you’ll never encounter any data restrictions with that huge 75GB data cap.

    Are Verizon Unlimited Plans Worth It?

    If you’re an individual looking for an unlimited plan with Verizon, yes, we think so— but mainly the Beyond Unlimited Plan. That $85/month (plus fees!) is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s backed by the best coverage in the nation, solid hotspot allowance, and HD streaming.

    Verizon Prepaid plans

    Plan Features Family+autopay discounts View Plans
    $30/mo. Prepaid smartphone
  • 500 MB full speed data
  • Unlimited national talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot
  • N/A
  • View plans
    $35/mo. Prepaid smartphone
  • 3GB full speed data
  • Unlimited national talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot
  • Family: Save $10/line
  • Autopay: save $5/line
  • View plans
    $45/mo. Prepaid smartphone
  • 8GB* full speed data
  • Unlimited national talk and text
  • Mobile hotspot
  • Family: Save $15/line
  • Autopay: save $5/line
  • View plans
    $65/mo. Prepaid smartphone
  • Unlimited full speed data
  • Unlimited national talk and text
  • Family: Save $20/line
  • Autopay: save $5/line
  • View plans

    View current deals and details here.

    *Current deal offers an extra 7GB free of charge, for a total of 15GB/month.

    If you want a prepaid plan, you’ll be better off going with Metro by T-Mobile.

    If unlimited isn’t your cup of tea, Verizon also offers a number of monthly prepaid plans. All include unlimited talk and text across the U.S. and more than 200 international destinations. Each includes carryover and mobile hotspot coverage, with the exception of the unlimited prepaid.

    Another note, as well: if you’re not bringing over your phone, you’ll need to pay an extra upfront cost for that, too. And just like with the Go Unlimited plan, you’ll experience data throttling from time to time due to data deprioritization.

    That said, if you want a prepaid plan, you’d probably be better off going with Metro by T-Mobile. For $50/month, you get unlimited 4G LTE coverage on a solid network.

    Verizon Family plans

    Plan (Family) Data Price (4 lines) View Plans
    Go Unlimited Family plan Unlimited $160/mo. + upfront cost View plans
    Beyond Unlimited Family plan Unlimited $200/mo. + upfront cost View plans
    Above Unlimited Family plan Unlimited $240/mo. + upfront cost View plans
    Prepaid family plan (Mixed, 3GB ex.) 3GB $120/mo. + upfront cost View plans
    Prepaid family plan (unlimited) Unlimited $240/mo. + upfront cost View plans

    As usual, Verizon’s price tag hurts when compared to competitors, but this time the features offered aren’t any more robust.

    There’s not much new to see here: same great coverage and solid features — but still pricey. That said, you do get some O.K. deals. For example, the beyond unlimited is $85/mo. for 1 line; at 2 lines, you pay $80 per month per line, which isn’t much of a discount; but at 3 lines it drops to $60/line; finally hitting $50/line when you do 4 or more lines.

    The mix-and-match family plan

    With their family plans, Verizon allows for mixing and matching to build your own plan. Not every member has to have the same plan. This makes overall prices harder to calculate, so let’s let an image do the talking:

    You can also mix-and-match prepaid family plans, saving $10-$20 off regular pricing, starting with your 2nd line:

    • $10 — First 3 GB plan
    • $15 — First 15GB plan
    • $20 — unlimited plan

    How Verizon family plans compare

    As usual, Verizon’s price tag hurts it when compared to competitors, but this time the features offered aren’t any more robust. T-Mobile’s family plans will get you the same as Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited family plan for $40 cheaper. Sprint and T-Mobile Essentials fall into a similar category.

    So once again it comes down to how much having the best coverage means to you. If you want the best, then Verizon’s plans are the ones to go with. If that’s not at the top of your list, or you live in the city where you get great coverage from many carriers, then go with a different carrier.

    Verizon Phone Plans’ Performance

    Verizon takes the cake when it comes to coverage and performance. The 2019 OpenSignal report gave them top marks in 3 out of 5 categories. Verizon took the win in 4G availability, Video Experience, and Upload Speed Experience. It was a tie with T-Mobile in Download Speed Experience, and runner-up AT&T took the Latency Experience category.

    Verizon is fast, and the numbers back this up. That’s why they cost more than their competition: excellent performance and coverage costs good money. This is especially true if you travel to or live in rural areas, like the midwest, that are often dark zones for other carriers.

    Verizon’s Phones & Devices

    Brand Apple Samsung Google
    Verizon smartphones
  • iPhone
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8 plus
  • iPhone 8 plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 V 3rd Gen
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 V 2nd Gen
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Not a comprehensive list. See here for additional smartphone offerings.

    Verizon offers a wide selection of smartphones, such as the latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy devices, and Google Pixels. Verizon is currently the only carrier allowed to sell Google Pixels outside of the tech giant itself, which makes it a unique offering in comparison to AT&T and T-Mobile.

    But a big downside to Verizon’s phones: the cost. Ever since Verizon pulled their 2-year contract to implement their current plans, they changed the costs associated with devices. So instead of paying a flat $200 for every new phone, you now have to pay retail, or, bring your own. That means that for iPhones and other flagships, you’re looking at $1000+. Thankfully, Verizon offers monthly installment plans.

    But alongside smartphones, Verizon also offers older devices, like flip phones, non-flagship phones, and more affordable brands like LG, Motorola, and Kyocera.

    Additional Fees

    Unless you’re on the grandfathered “new Verizon plan,” you won’t face any overage charges. Your data will slow down after your allotted threshold. But, Verizon does charge you a one-time activation fee per device. Verizon also has a “line access fee”, which makes you pay $20/line/month for access to data.

    If you want to return or exchange your device, you can do so within 14 days, but you’ll have to pay a $50 “restocking” fee. If, however, you return your device after the return period, you’ll have to pay an “Early Termination Fee” of $175 or $350, depending on the device.

    Customer service

    As with most cellphone carriers, Verizon’s customer service is rated poorly. But, the Big Red seems to be improving. You can contact them in several ways, but Twitter (@vzwsupport) and Facebook (@verizon) seem to be the best.

    Verizon phone plans: Are they any good?

    If you like fast speeds and good coverage, Verizon is perfect.

    In terms of unlimited plans, Verizon’s bottom-tier Go Unlimited looks like a poor option with its anytime-goes speed throttling. Beyond Unlimited is probably a better bet. If you don’t want unlimited, prepaid may be the way to go, especially if you want a family plan. Family plans add up quickly, despite the $10-$20 discount per line.

    When talking performance and coverage– Verizon simply can’t be beat. And while their customer service is merely okay, none of their competitors are exactly beating them in this category, either. They’re also easy to reach online, which is good so long as you actually use social media.

    Overall, if you like fast speeds and good coverage– especially for rural areas– Verizon is perfect. And if you need 4 or more lines, the price-to-benefit ratio of Verizon’s family plans might come out stronger than competitors.

    FAQs

    Can I bring my own phone and number?

    Verizon provides a BYOD program with an online compatibility checker to see if you qualify for a free SIM card. You can also keep your phone number, too, for free. There’s a free online checker to see if it qualifies for that, too.

    I travel outside the U.S.-- can I use my Verizon phone internationally?

    The short answer: yes. The longer answer: if you have a TravelPass. Mexico and Canada are included in all of Verizon’s phone plans, with unlimited talk and text and 512MB of data per 24-hour period.

    Outside of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, you’ll need to get a TravelPass. TravelPasses cost $5-$10 per day, depending on the country, and are available in 130+ countries.

    Luke Pensworth Written by: Luke Pensworth

    Luke is the managing editor and site manager of Dailywireless. As a wireless enthusiast/consumer, he reviews a lot of services based on his own experience. Disgruntled as he may be, he tries to keep his articles as honest as possible.

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