Which iPhone 5 carrier should you choose?

Thinking about jumping to Apple's flagship device and wondering which iPhone 5 carrier to go with?

iPhone 5

Sporting a larger (longer) screen, those fancy new ear buds and a bevy of tweaks that previous iPhone users have been clamoring for, while it remains to be seen if the iPhone is the best smart phone ever, it's (for obvious reasons) the best iPhone around.

Of course there are plenty of other handsets on the market that do as much and sometimes even more than the iPhone 5. TechRadar is still in love with the Samsung Galaxy S3 which is available on every major U.S. carrier, the HTC One X is still a solid Android handset and the forthcoming Nokia Lumia 920 is definitely no slouch.

The fact remains though that if you're a current iPhone user you'll no doubt be ecstatic with the iPhone 5. With its larger screen, new design and faster processor you'll be hard pressed to find a reason not to upgrade. Also, if you're a current iPhone user you'll probably just upgrade and stay with your current service provider. But what if you're not an iPhone user and you're ready to take the plunge?

Be sure to read TechRadar's full iPhone 5 review

iPhone 5 (Verizon)

iPhone 5 Verizon iPhone 5 Verizon iPhone 5 Verizon iPhone 5 Verizon

Verizon also has a wide 4G LTE range so iPhone 5 users on Verizon will experience some of the fastest wireless speeds in the nation. Verizon also unlocks the iPhone 5, which is great if you have to travel abroad and need to throw an international SIM card in your handset. If there's a downside to the Verizon experience it's cost. Verizon users who want to keep their unlimited data plans will have to pay full price for the iPhone ($650-850).

iPhone 5 (AT&T)

iPhone 5 ATT

iPhone 4S in midtown Manhattan.

iPhone 5 (Sprint)

iPhone 5 Sprint

Where Sprint steals the show is in the unlimited data department. Boasting plans that are simple to understand and affordable, if unlimited data is your number one concern and you're not already grandfathered in with one of the other carriers then Sprint may be the best bet for you.

Of course, all that unlimited goodness comes at a technological cost. Of the three carriers offering the iPhone 5, Sprint has the smallest 4G service area. Simply put, an iPhone 5 on Sprint is basically an unlimited 3G phone. Having launched its LTE network a little more than two years ago in places like Baltimore, Atlanta, Kansas City and parts of Texas, for some reason major U.S. cities like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles are still without 4G service.

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