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Having a smartphone is practically a mandatory aspect of today’s society, but getting one is far from simple. In the United States, multiple cellular providers are all vying to get the most customers, offering a wide range of plans with different features, add-ons, prices, and even convenient device upgrades.

Take T-Mobile, for example. A quick brush through their website reveals three separate phone plans: Essentials, Go5G Next, and Go5G Plus. All are viable options for three lines with similar features and different prices. Raise or lower the number of lines you want, and more plans (Essentials Saver, Essentials 4 Line Offer, Go5G) make themselves available. And that doesn’t even consider the carrier’s highest tier plans — Magenta and Magenta MAX — which offer all of the benefits of the plans beneath them, with Magenta MAX promising true unlimited data.

Essentials is essentially (pun intended) T-Mobile’s basic unlimited plan. On the other end, Magenta MAX is the most expensive. Which one you’re interested in is likely determined by what your budget can afford, but hey, maybe you’re considering upgrading to T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan. Whatever your situation, let’s break down the confusion surrounding T-Mobile’s basic and high-end plans so that you can understand the difference between Essentials and Magenta MAX.

What do you get with T-Mobile’s Essentials plan?

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If you’re considering switching to T-Mobile or just enrolling in one of their cellular plans, Essentials is the provider’s cheapest unlimited plan. It comes with unlimited talk and text, no annual service contract, and 50 GB of premium high-speed 5G and 4G LTE data. The premium data ensures you’ll have access to high speeds until you reach the threshold for that billing cycle, where afterward, T-Mobile will throttle and slow down your speeds a bit.

Essentials also has access to Wi-Fi calling and an unlimited 3G hotspot, with an option for faster speeds at an extra cost. It doesn’t include any extra entertainment options, capping video streaming quality on cellular data at 480p (DVD quality standard). However, Essentials does feature a surprising amount of T-Mobile’s international benefits, including unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico. Internationally, you’ll get low flat-rate calling ($0.25/minute) and unlimited texting to and from other countries.

And the best part is that T-Mobile’s Essentials plan is only $90/month (taxes and fees not included) for three lines with AutoPay enabled (which takes off $5 per line). If you don’t need the extra lines, there’s Essentials Saver, which gives you all the same benefits for one line for $50/month.

What do you get with T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan?

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The Magenta MAX plan is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Essentials, offering practically everything T-Mobile has, including the highest speeds, plenty of entertainment add-ons, and the best international features.

T-Mobile markets Magenta MAX as a true unlimited plan with no small print. This includes unlimited talk, text, and premium data, meaning you’ll have the fastest speeds, and nothing will slow them down. Like Essentials, Magenta MAX has no annual service contract and Wi-Fi calling, but unlike the cheaper plan, T-Mobile gives its high-tier customers 40GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data. It also comes with subscriptions to AppleTV+ and Netflix Standard with Ads, allowing users to stream videos in 4K UHD resolution.

As for the travel perks, Magenta MAX includes unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico with 5GB of high-speed data, with unlimited data at 256Kbps afterward (an overall improvement to Essentials’s 128Kbps speeds). Like Essentials, Magenta MAX has calling while abroad at $0.25/minute, T-Mobile TRAVEL perks, and unlimited international texting from home. Other benefits include T-Mobile’s Scam Shield Premium and Voicemail to Text.

T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan costs $170/month (taxes and fees included) for three lines with AutoPay enabled (which takes off $5 per line). The provider also offers various savings through Magenta MAX Military, First Responder, and 55+ plans. If you don’t need the extra lines, you can get Magenta MAX for $85/month for one line with AutoPay.

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The post What’s The Difference Between T-Mobile’s Essentials And Magenta MAX Plans? – SlashGear first appeared on

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