T-Mobile Essentials vs T-Mobile ONE: which is the best plan?

T-Mobile Essentials vs T-Mobile ONE: which is the best plan?
T-Mobile has just launched the new T-Mobile Essentials plan that is unlimited and is cheaper than the familiar T-Mobile ONE plan, so which one should you choose and what are the hidden pitfalls?

We have looked at the ins and outs of T-Mobile's wireless service plans and while it now has multiple "unlimited" plans, there are actually different limitations for each of those plans that are worth considering.

So what are the limitations and what are the prices? Take a look at the table right below:

*T-Mobile One Plus International option will be removed as of tomorrow.
**Unlike T-Mobile ONE which had all taxes and fees included, T-Mobile Essentials requires users to separately pay those taxes and fees on top of the monthly plan payment.
As you can see, we have the T-Mobile Essentials along with three different variations of the T-Mobile ONE plan.

The biggest reason to pay more (with the One plan extensions) is to get higher quality streaming, more data for use your phone as a mobile hotspot, as well as for extras and bonuses like unlimited in-flight data and international calling.

First, though the basic Essentials and One plan both come with one important limitation: they can only stream video at a quite unsightly 480p quality. Bummer! And that's in the era of Quad HD and 4K screens! But of course, T-Mobile keeps this as its main incentive for users to upgrade to a more costly One extension. So if you want a high-quality, 720p HD (1080p streaming is not even an option, unfortunately), you'd need to go to the One Plus plan starting at $80 for the first line.

Comparing the new Essentials to the older basic One plan, the slightly cheaper Essentials plan makes the following concessions:

  • first customers to suffer from throttled speeds in congested times and areas
  • very slow mobile tethering (only 600Kbps speeds)
  • no Netflix included
  • no unlimited music streaming
  • taxes and fees are not included in the monthly payment

So... take one more careful look at the table and see whether you can deal with those compromises to save a few bucks.

Are you using T-Mobile? And are you happy with the service and the prices? Let us know in the comments right below!



1. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2284; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

TMO is a rip off. They are great at marketing and that’s about it. What they like to is partner with other companies to provide spiffs, such as free streaming through Netflix, etc, but still degrade the quality of the stream. Verizon is way more transparent than TMO when it comes to terms and conditions, network utilization, network coverage. John Legere is best marketer in the world when it comes to hidden costs and up charges...

8. srgonu

Posts: 568; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

For the same plan and with same number of lines I have with t-moble, Verizon asked $140 more + service charges + taxes. So, guess who rips you off. By the way, never had issues with t-mobile signal in my area and with free international and texting and roaming (which Verizon could not match even with that ridiculous pricing), you will know what freedom is. Try it or know it before commenting.

2. libra89

Posts: 2335; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

For one line, the difference in price isn't worth it.

3. Rager722 unregistered

TMobile one is better

4. JocularJ

Posts: 222; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

I have a slightly older plan. I'm paying a flat $120 a month for two lines all taxes and fees included with unlimited talk, text, data, and 10gb of lte hotspot and insurance.

5. el33t626

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

I got grandfathered in the TMO ONE All In Promo $100.00 with AutoPay for 2 lines. If I got the new one that includes Netflix, I'd actually end up paying double the regular price of netflix on its own.

6. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2284; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Xfinity Mobile is better for $90/mo for two lines no autopay for two lines and also better coverage...

7. Acdc1a

Posts: 477; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

Well unless of course you travel, don't mind paying taxes and fees, or dealing with low data caps...

9. el33t626

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

XFINITY service is not available at my address, so I guess you need there internet if you want their Mobile ?

11. vcharl

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 03, 2017

I pay $110 for 5 lines with TMO, it's a great price for the TMO One plan. I was with Sprint before switching, I was paying $210 for 4 lines. Sprint has better coverage, I don't get a signal in my building and wifi calling doesn't work if you don't have a signal, but for $110 plus netflix, TMO Tuesday's i'm hoping signal gets better soon in my area. (Wish TMO had roaming like Sprint)

12. tyger11

Posts: 297; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

With those restrictions, you might as well go with MetroPCS or Cricket. This is basically just another MVNO.

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