Making heads or tails of the carrier marketplace here in the States can be mind-boggling. While some carriers offer unlimited data plans, others do not. And of the ones who do offer unlimited plans, it often takes doing some research to find out exactly how "unlimited" that plan is.
T-Mobile is one of the few major carriers to still offer unlimited data plans. Even though you may experience some throttling (slowing down your data rates as your data usage goes up) if you are a heavy data user, it may be worth the slower data rates to not exceed your monthly allotment. Add to that the fact that the carriers have begun changing how we buy phones and plans and things get even more confusing.
Just recently T-Mobile changed a significant aspect of the company's Jump program allowing customers to upgrade their phones more frequently. But which is the Best T-Mobile Phone? Sure, T-Mobile makes it very easy to use your cell phone's data plan as a mobile hotspot, something that the TechRadar editors do quite a bit when posting stories on the road.
Whether you're a current T-Mobile subscriber looking for that next handset, or you're looking to switch to T-Mobile, here are the five best T-Mobile phones that are currently available in the United States.
The iPhone 5S is, predictably, the best iPhone ever from Apple - but what's intriguing is just how much we enjoyed using this evolutionary device.
There's always an apathy with any kind of "S" device from Apple, as it's historically just the same thing made a little bit better. It's true the advances on the iPhone 5S are few, but the ones that are there are very impressive indeed.
So to say this is the best iPhone yet is relatively pointless, as of course it was going to be. But the combination of iOS 7 to freshen things up with a powerful core and great camera mean that this phone should be considered on its own considerable merits.
It's safe to say nobody currently sporting the iPhone 5 will be upgrading to the iPhone 5C, and only a handful will make the leap to the iPhone 5S after just a year of ownership, so it's the iPhone 4S owners and below - in the Apple crowd at least - who'll be weighing up the C and S.
The screen is so stunning when watching Full HD content that it's hard not to instantly fall in love - and the processor, RAM and general speed of the phone is top notch. Add to that the unique controls placed on the back of the phone and LG is definitely pushing the envelope with the LG G2.
Sony Xperia Z1S
The big gorgeous display, excellent battery life and solid performance is what we loved about the Xperia Z1S. Of course, those things are pretty standard these days when it comes to high-end smartphones, but the Z1S also has style and a design that isn't just run-of-the-mill.
The Sony Xperia Z1S gives any other Android device a run for its money, and we like the fact that it's quite different from what Samsung, HTC and Motorola have to offer.
The bottom line is it's powerful, has a great screen, a decent camera, memory card support up to 64GB and it's waterproof. Unless you're extremely picky, it doesn't really get much better than that.
Nokia Lumia 925
The Nokia Lumia 925 is something of an oddity. For a phone that is presumably meant to be Nokia's latest flagship it's been approached rather conservatively. The Nokia Lumia 925 is a great looking phone. It's slimmer and lighter than the Nokia Lumia 920, the metal band running around the edge does wonders for it and it's the first phone the Finnish company has made in a long time that looks like it was designed for adults.
The camera is superb too, not only in terms of its raw performance but also in the sheer number of options, modes and effects you can play with.
The HTC One is the best phone the firm has made, without a doubt. It's got the wow-factor that made us fall in love with the HTC Desire, and manages to bring Sense back to a level that shows off the best of Android, rather than obfuscating it.
So whether it's the Ultrapixel camera that extends the range of photos you can take, or the moving photos on offer, or simply the improved speakers bolted on the front (as long as you don't play them on public transport) the HTC One takes the best the smartphone market has to offer and just makes it better.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is sleeker, the iPhone 5 is, well, Apple-ier, and the Nexus 4 is cheaper. But for the overall package of smartphone design and functionality, the HTC One stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a phone that we really, really like. The combination of powerful innards, the market's best screen and a clever design ethos all combine to make a really strong contender for the handset you should be buying when you wander into your local phone emporium.
But screw all the "which phone is better than the other" notion for now the Galaxy S4 is a stunning smartphone that won't let you down for a variety of tasks. There's no doubt Samsung will have to make a big step forward to keep users interested with the Galaxy S5, but for now we love the S4 and would be proud to have it in our pocket.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is alive and kicking and breathes yet more life into a mobile form factor many thought would be dead on arrival, ramping up the specs and the size to give us a new monolith of mobile.
It's size certainly won't appeal to everyone, but those looking for a super-powered smartphone with all the latest tech on board should definitely be checking out the Galaxy Note 3.
Google Nexus 5
Any faults you can find with the Nexus 5 - and there aren't many - can be easily quelled by the knowledge that the device starts at just $350 unlocked.
You'd be hard-pressed to find anything that even comes close to that price point with the specs that the Nexus 5 boasts.
It may not have the tremendous battery life of the LG G2, or the cameras you'd find in the iPhone 5S or Lumia 1020, or the build quality of the iPhone or HTC One, but you're not going to be sacrificing much with what you're paying for the device.