My cell phone bill got a lot cheaper after I made the switch to Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, a low-cost wireless provider that uses Verizon’s network.
A few months after Xfinity Mobile quietly launched in 2017, I signed up for the affordable wireless plan and typically spent $12 a month before taxes and fees — $15 all in.
Xfinity Mobile 2019 Review: Cheap cell phone plans on Verizon’s network
Over my first 12 months with them, I only paid $180.11 for cell phone service, including taxes and fees.
In this post, I’ll outline the top 10 things to know about Xfinity Mobile. My review is different from some of the other Xfinity Mobile reviews you may find online because I’m not just a writer — I subscribed to the service for two years.
Overall, my experience with Xfinity Mobile exceeded my expectations. I had no major complaints as a customer. During my first year with Xfinity Mobile, I saved $540 compared to my old unlimited plan with Sprint.
Read on to learn what you should know about Xfinity Mobile before you sign up…
Xfinity Mobile customer review: Table of contents
- Eligibility requirement
- Plans and pricing
- How I paid $0 per month
- Flexible data plans
- Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon data speeds
- Mobile hotspot
- Video streaming
- Call and text performance
- Phone selection and deals
- Customer service
1. Eligibility requirement
Xfinity Mobile is unlike other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) because you must be an Xfinity internet customer to sign up for the service.
If you’ve had a lot of issues with Comcast cable or internet in the past, I can understand why you may not want to consider this service. I was willing to take the risk.
No Comcast in your area? Unfortunately, you’re not eligible for the mobile offer.
If you’re a Spectrum internet customer, there’s a new cell phone service that is very similar to Xfinity Mobile and also uses Verizon’s network.
Otherwise, you may want to try Verizon MVNO Total Wireless, which is available nationwide.
2. Plans and pricing
Verizon’s postpaid unlimited data plans cost between $70 and $90 for a single line of service. Xfinity Mobile uses Verizon’s towers and charges about half the price!
Xfinity Mobile features unlimited nationwide talk and text, no activation or line access fees on up to five lines and access to 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots.
Here are the new data plan options for Xfinity Mobile, which went into effect in August 2019:
- Unlimited: $45/month per line and no monthly data usage limits (reduced speeds after 20GB)
- By the Gig: 1GB =$12/mo, 3GB = $30/month and 10GB = $60/month; pay $12 per GB if you exceed your chosen amount
The $45/month Unlimited plan is per line, but the By the Gig plan is available for single lines or the data can be shared across all of the lines on your account.
After the plans were tweaked in August 2019, new customers no longer receive 100MB of free data per month.
3. How I paid $0 per month (before taxes and fees)
I paid by the gigabyte and stayed below 1GB of data for 10 of my first 12 months with Xfinity Mobile. The secret? Connecting to those Wi-Fi hotspots as much as possible to limit 4G LTE data usage.
What happened the other two months? Let me explain because I think it illustrates the flexibility of the service…
Going over 1GB of data: I was traveling a lot during November 2017 and quickly went over 1GB of data. Xfinity then charged me another $12 for a second GB of data. My bill for the month was $26.93.
Staying under 100MB of data: Remember that 100MB of shared data is included for free if you signed up before August 2019. In February 2018, I turned off mobile data on my phone and relied exclusively on Wi-Fi. I only paid $3.07 for taxes and fees.
(Editor’s note: To be clear, the 100MB of free data is no longer available for customers who sign up after August 2019. The minimum that you can pay is now $12 per month before taxes and fees.)
4. Flexible data plans: Unlimited vs. By the Gig
Here’s what I really like about this service: Many other cell phone plans will offer 2GB or 5GB of data for a set price per month, use it or lose it. However, Xfinity Mobile only makes you pay for your data one gigabyte at a time.
To stay on budget, you can set up data notifications from the app to keep track of how much you’re using.
Of course, many people don’t want to worry about checking their data usage throughout the month. They may prefer the $45 a month unlimited plan.
My suggestion: Start with the By the Gig plan and see how it goes. You can always switch to the Unlimited plan during the middle of your billing cycle if you end up using too much data.
I’ve only done this once, but it’s great to have the freedom to switch between data options with no penalties.
5. Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon data speeds
One of the primary reasons that I left Sprint for Xfinity Mobile was for Verizon’s network, which RootMetrics consistently ranks as the best in the nation, followed by AT&T.
I’ve read stories about how Verizon may slow down data usage for its MVNOs, but that’s not my experience.
I downloaded the Speedtest by Ookla app and tested my Xfinity Mobile download speeds 10 times. Each time the download speed was between 40 Mbps and 70 Mbps — really fast!
In fact, that’s much higher than the speeds that Comcast says Xfinity Mobile customers should expect:
4G LTE network: typical download speeds of 5-12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2-5 Mbps
According to Verizon’s website, its 4G LTE wireless broadband is able to handle download speeds between 5 and 12 Mbps (Megabits per second) and upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps, with peak download speeds approaching 50 Mbps.
6. Mobile hotspot
Mobile hotspot is included with Xfinity Mobile at no additional charge. This allows you to get online by using your mobile data to create an internet connection.
For example, I tested this feature when I needed to use my computer while traveling in a place without Wi-Fi.
Xfinity Mobile’s website says you need to be on the By the Gig plan ($12 per GB) to get 4G LTE for hotspot-powered devices. Speeds are limited to 600 Kbps for those on the Unlimited plan.
- By the Gig plan: 4G LTE mobile hotspot speeds
- Unlimited plan: 600 Kbps mobile hotspot speeds
Translation: With the Unlimited option, you can still read email and browse the web, but there may be buffering when streaming video or music. There are no speed restrictions for the By the Gig plan.
I temporarily switched to the Unlimited plan to play around with this feature and provide a better review of my Xfinity Mobile service.
Despite what Xfinity Mobile warns on its website, I was able to stream video without buffering and watched an entire show on my laptop that was powered by the mobile hotspot.
Although there are no additional charges for the mobile hotspot feature, the data that you use will count toward your data charges for the month if you’re on the By the Gig plan.
Learn more about setting up your personal mobile hotspot on Xfinity Mobile’s website.
7. Video streaming
Some of Verizon’s unlimited plans allow for HD-quality streaming, but that’s not a guarantee with Xfinity Mobile.
As of August 2019, By the Gig defaults to HD resolution (720p for phones, 1080p for tablets) and Unlimited defaults to standard resolution (480p).
By the Gig users can turn on Data Saver to watch videos in standard definition, which requires less data.
Meanwhile, Unlimited plan users can add HD Pass to get 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets for $20 per month.
I streamed plenty of video on my smartphone while with Xfinity Mobile — things like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube — and I never had any problems with the video quality.
Even without the pass, you can stream video in HD over a Wi-Fi connection.
8. Call and text performance
I had a great experience with Verizon’s network in the past, so I wasn’t really worried about Xfinity Mobile’s call and text performance where I live.
Since Xfinity Mobile runs on Verizon’s network, the coverage map looks a lot like the one for Verizon’s postpaid service. The difference is that Xfinity Mobile also has millions of Wi-Fi hotspots.
Take a look at the coverage maps below:
A great feature is that Xfinity Mobile supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which let me talk and use data at the same time. Wi-Fi calling has also been expanded to all but a few devices.
9. Phone selection
The latest iPhones and Samsung devices make up most of the 16 or so phones that Xfinity Mobile sells online and in its stores, but there are a couple of options for under $200.
As of July 2019, Xfinity Mobile allows you to bring select Androids to its network. They include the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9. Unlocked iPhones are also compatible.
Samsung compatibility is significant because this is something Xfinity Mobile has been promising for a long time. Now, it’s finally here!
In addition to BYOD, you can purchase phones from Xfinity Mobile. Here’s a partial list of phones available for sale:
- Apple iPhone 11
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy Note10+
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10
- Samsung Galaxy S10
- Samsung Galaxy S10+
- Apple iPhone XR
- Apple iPhone XS
- Apple iPhone XS Max
- Samsung Galaxy Note9
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- LG G8 ThinQ
- LG Stylo 4 and 5
- Motorola Moto E6
When I signed up for Xfinity Mobile in September 2017, I bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 online and it arrived two days later. Xfinity Mobile was offering $200 off new phones at the time.
If you don’t want to pay in full as I did, qualified customers can spread device payments over 24 months at 0% APR.
Speaking of phone deals, Xfinity Mobile has shifted to offering prepaid cards instead of cash discounts. There’s typically some type of phone sale going on for high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Apple iPhone XR.
However, I’ve noticed that only one brand or the other (Samsung or Apple) is usually on sale at once. For example, there was a $250 prepaid card offer for the Samsung Galaxy S10 the last time I checked, but no iPhone discounts were available.
If there’s not a deal for the type of phone that you want, just wait a few weeks. The sales change frequently.
10. Customer service
I set up my Xfinity Mobile service without ever visiting a store and didn’t have any problems getting started.
There are a number of FAQ pages that you can find within the app to answer questions about setting up service, switching data plans, billing and more.
You can also contact customer service via text, Facebook Messenger and phone — with an estimated wait time given. Xfinity Mobile’s customer service number is (888) 936-4968.
The first time I needed to contact Xfinity Mobile customer service was when my Samsung Galaxy S8 suddenly malfunctioned. I went to an Xfinity Store and couldn’t get an immediate replacement, but I was mailed a new phone the next day.
Since my phone was less than a year old and still under warranty, no additional money came out of my pocket.
The second time I called Xfinity Mobile was to ask whether my Samsung Galaxy S8 was locked or unlocked. Apparently, it was locked. Xfinity Mobile unlocked the device without a problem.
I saved a lot of money during my two years with Xfinity Mobile! Although Visible and Total Wireless offer cell phone plans that run on Verizon’s network, Xfinity Mobile is less expensive.
With a cheaper cell phone plan, you may expect to make compromises — not with Xfinity Mobile.
|Great value for By the Gig and Unlimited plans||Must be an Xfinity internet customer|
|Verizon's top-rated wireless network||Can only bring select Androids to the service|
|Fast data speeds||Standard-definition video streaming|
|Flexibility to switch data options|
|Phone customer service|
My biggest fear about switching to Xfinity Mobile was that Comcast would take advantage of my loyalty and find a way to increase my internet bill — but that didn’t happen.
When my internet promo rate expired, I called Comcast’s customer retention department and they worked with me on the price. I ended up getting an extension of my $52 a month internet package for another year.
The representative also didn’t know that I was a wireless customer (it’s billed separately), which alleviated my concerns.
I’ve done my best to provide you with a detailed review of my experience with Xfinity Mobile and what you can expect. If you’re also a customer, add your review in the comments below!
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