If you want cheap cell phone service on Verizon’s top-rated wireless network, Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless are two money-saving alternatives.

I spent more than a decade on a Verizon family plan until I started testing out low-cost cell phone plans, including Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless, which both run on Verizon’s network.

That means you can get the same great 4G LTE coverage that Verizon offers at a fraction of the price.

RELATED: How I lowered my cell phone bill to $12/month

Xfinity Mobile vs. Total Wireless review: Everything you need to know

Should you switch to Xfinity Mobile or Total Wireless? Based on my personal experience with both providers, I’ve compared the key features to lay out the pros and cons of these affordable options.

Read on for my comparison to help you decide whether Xfinity Mobile or Total Wireless may be right for you…


 

Xfinity Mobile vs. Total Wireless comparison: Table of contents

Plans and pricing

Winner: Xfinity Mobile 

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile offers an unlimited data plan option for $45/month, but Total Wireless doesn’t. In addition, Xfinity Mobile’s $12 per GB option is a hard price to beat for light data users.

Total Wireless’ plans start at $35 a month for 5 GB of data, plus unlimited talk and text. That’s also a very good value.

There are additional shared data plans offered by Total Wireless if you have between two and four lines of service, including up to four lines for $100 or $95 if you choose the auto-refill option.

Availability

Winner: Total Wireless

Total Wireless is available nationwide. You can pick up a SIM card kit and service plan in the prepaid section at retailers across the country like Best Buy, CVS and Walmart or online at TotalWireless.com.

Unfortunately, Xfinity Mobile isn’t available to everyone. You must be an Xfinity internet customer to sign up for the mobile deal. You should only consider it if you’re happy with your Comcast service.

Call, text and data performance

Winner: Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless 

Since Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless use Verizon’s towers, you can expect the same great coverage that you get with Verizon. I haven’t experienced dropped calls, missed texts or slow data with either provider.

According to the Speedtest by Ookla app, I routinely had downloads speeds of 25 Mbps or higher, which is fast enough for all of my online activities.

The last time I tested Xfinity Mobile, the download speed was a blazing fast 70 Mbps!

Bring your own phone

Winner: Total Wireless 

If you currently have service with Verizon, you’ll likely be able to bring your unlocked CDMA device to Total Wireless whether it’s an iPhone or Android. Xfinity Mobile only lets you bring a compatible iPhone.

Check phone compatibility for Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless.

Phones for sale

Winner: Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless 

Want to buy a phone instead? Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless will sell you a new one! They both offer devices like the Apple iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy Note9, but Total Wireless has a better selection of budget smartphones under $100.

You can either pay in full or select a device payment plan, but only Xfinity Mobile offers 0% APR for 24 months.

Mobile hotspot

Winner: Xfinity Mobile

If mobile hotspot is important to you, Total Wireless isn’t going to work out. The wireless provider doesn’t let you use mobile data to create an internet connection that can be used to get online with your laptop or tablet.

Xfinity Mobile does support tethering, but speeds may be limited for its Unlimited plan users.

I temporarily switched from the By the Gig plan to Unlimited just to try out this feature. I turned on the mobile hotspot and was able to watch YouTube videos on my computer with no buffering — that was a surprise.

Xfinity Mobile’s FAQ page says mobile hotspot speeds won’t exceed 600 Kbps for Unlimited plan customers, but there are no limits for By the Gig users.

“If you have the Unlimited data option, speeds on any connected device will not exceed 600 Kbps. At that speed, you’ll be able to perform common tasks such as email, instant messaging, and basic web browsing. However, you’ll likely experience buffering when streaming audio and/or video on your connected devices. If you prefer 4G LTE for your hotspot-powered devices, go for By the Gig — personal hotspot speeds are not limited with this data option.”

Wi-Fi calling

Winner: Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless 

Wi-Fi calling comes in handy when you have a Wi-Fi connection but the cellular signal is weak. Xfinity Mobile says the feature is offered on “most iPhones,” while Total Wireless says it’s available on capable devices.

After more than a year with Xfinity Mobile, support for Wi-Fi calling was added to my Samsung Galaxy S8 in November 2018.

Deals and discounts

Winner: Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless 

Before you sign up with Xfinity Mobile or Total Wireless, check their websites for deals. I got $200 off my phone when I switched to Xfinity Mobile and that promotion tends to come and go a few times per year.

Total Wireless offers more frequent phone deals, plus a 50% more data offer for those who bring their own number and sign up online.


Final thought 

Xfinity Mobile and Total Wireless are two great cell phone providers for people who are trying to save money, but you have to consider your needs to determine which is best for you. I hope this review has helped you sort out the pros and cons.

  • Want unlimited data? Xfinity Mobile is your best choice.
  • Don’t have Comcast? Total Wireless is the way to go.
  • Want to keep your Android? See if it works with Total Wireless.
  • Need personal hotspot? Consider Xfinity Mobile.

If you’re a light data user like me, I think Xfinity Mobile is a fantastic deal and slightly beats out Total Wireless. You can read my full Xfinity Mobile customer review and learn how I paid just $180 for 12 months of cell phone service on Verizon’s #1 network.

Xfinity Mobile vs. Total Wireless comparison

 Xfinity Mobile Total Wireless
Plans and pricing -- Unlimited: $45/month per line
-- By the Gig: $12
-- Unlimited talk and text included
-- Unlimited talk, text and 5 GB of data for $35/month; discount with auto-refill
-- 5 GB of add-on data for $10
-- Additional shared data plan options for 2-4 lines
Availability Must be an Xfinity internet customerNationwide at major retailers and online at TotalWireless.com
Call, text and data performance Excellent (12 months as a customer) Excellent (30 days as a customer)
Bring your own phone iPhones only Compatible or unlocked CDMA devices; iPhones and Androids
Phones for sale About 20 devices; mostly high-end iPhone and Android smartphonesAbout 30 devices; mix of high-end and budget smartphones (some less than $100)
Mobile hotspot Yes No
Wi-Fi calling Available on some devices Available on some devices
Deals and discounts Frequently offers $200 off new iPhone and Samsung devices Frequently offers phone deals and 50% more data for customers who sign up at TotalWireless.com

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