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Apple's flagship phone has a 4.7" HD Retina display with 3D Touch, 12MP camera with optical image stabilization and water resistance
Apple's largest phone has a 5.5" HD Retina display with 3D Touch, 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras and water resistance
Apple's latest phone is more powerful and features better motion tracking and a fingerprint scanner
Samsung's 2016 flagship with 5.1 Quad-HD display, 12MP camera with dual-pixel technology and water-resistant design
Steps for the best cell phone plan...
Relax. You're in the right place to find the perfect cell phone plan.
Small Carriers vs. Major Carriers
There are four major networks. You probably recognize their names: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
However, there are many more smaller carriers (MVNOs) which run on top of the four major networks and make the market competitive. MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator; these are smaller carriers you may or may not have heard of—Cricket, MetroPCS, Ting etc.—that buy network space from the major carriers.
Check out our list of the best cell phone plans for help.
A lot can go into picking the perfect phone—smartphone or dumb phone? Big screen or small screen? Android or iOS? The following are some considerations will help you narrow your search:
Once you've answered these questions—or even if you haven't—you're ready to go over to WhistleOut's phone finder to find the perfect device.
We can help you find the best phone for your needs with our Phone Finder.
If you're interested in the latest iPhone prices and plans, check our comprehensive guide to all iPhone Plans.
BYOP stands for Bring Your Own Phone and it simply means taking your current phone to a new carrier to get a new plan. Lots of MVNOs—and major carriers too—allow you to bring your own device along with you, sometimes just requiring a new sim card to activate.
GSM vs. CDMA
One thing that’s important to keep in mind, though, is that some phones are GSM while others are CDMA. What does this mean? In the U.S., GSM phones are configured for AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, while CDMA phones are configured for Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular’s networks.
Since MVNOs run on the major carriers’ networks, they’ll belong to either GSM or CDMA networks—sometimes both. If you’re bringing your phone with you, knowing whether it’s a GSM or CDMA device will help you pick a carrier that will work for you. We can help you with everything you need to know about keeping your phone and switching carriers.
Why choose a BYO Phone plan?
Whatever your lifestyle, there's a plan and a carrier to fit.
There are many different types of carriers and plans. Some carriers are focussed on coverage, others are focussed on innovation. Some are purely focussed on price and value. The best carrier is a personal choice. The key things that you should look for:
Every carrier in the US now offers No Contract Plans
In different areas, each carrier shines differently. The best unlimited carrier, might not be the best budget carrier. We've covered each of the key segments here.
Verizon boasts the best national coverage, based on independent tests, with 97.7% reliability; AT&T takes the second spot with 96.44% reliability, followed by T-Mobile at 95.4% and Sprint at 93.42% (check out the national chart below). City to city, however, it's a different story; the supposedly less reliable carriers actually win out in many markets.
Remember how MVNOs run on these major networks? You'll enjoy the same level of coverage as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile, depending on which
network the carrier leases network space from.
The best plan for you is a balance of features and coverage. Surprisingly, coverage is less of an issue for differentiation between carriers.
In almost all metro areas coverage is very good from major carriers. Hills, valleys and buildings all create variation in coverage patterns. Also, your phone will also impact your coverage - the latest phones will ALWAYS get the best coverage signal from a carrier.
Check our guide to the best carrier and best plans in America's Top 25 Cities..
Always up-to-date. WhistleOut is the only site to monitor all the price changes in the market. Our data is always accurate and up-to-date, so you can be confident that the latest and best cell phone plans are at your fingertips.
Flexible. We allow you to search for multiple lines, BYOP and non-BYOP plans, contract and no-contract, and more.
Customizable. Our powerful search filters and sorting allow you to tailor your results according to what's important to you, whether it's specific carriers, the prepaid expiry period, international calling features, and many more.
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