Xfinity Mobile is a low-cost cell phone service from Comcast that runs on Verizon’s #1 network. Should you try it?
A few months after Xfinity Mobile quietly launched in 2017, I signed up for the cheap wireless plan and since then I’ve typically spent $12 a month before taxes and fees.
Over my first 12 months with them, I only paid $180.11 for cell phone service, including taxes and fees.
Want to lower your Verizon Wireless bill? You may want to switch to Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile
Before making the switch to Xfinity Mobile, I most recently was on a $60 a month unlimited plan with Sprint. I’ve also previously been a Verizon and Republic Wireless customer.
Read on for my comprehensive review of Xfinity Mobile and what you need to know before you sign up…
Xfinity Mobile customer review: Table of contents
- Eligibility requirements
- Plans and pricing
- How to pay $0 per month
- Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon data speeds
- Video streaming
- Call and text performance
- Phone selection and deals
- Customer service
- Pros and cons
- Final thought
Xfinity Mobile is a little bit different from other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) because you must be an Xfinity internet customer to sign up for the service.
My condo isn’t wired for AT&T, so I was already an Xfinity customer because it’s the only choice until 5G comes along.
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 Xfinity in your area? Spectrum has launched a similar wireless service that also runs on Verizon’s network.
Plans and pricing
Verizon’s unlimited data plans cost between $75 and $95 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 line access fees on up to five lines, access to 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots and includes 100 MB of shared data for free.
If you need more than 100 MB of data, which is pretty much everyone, pick one of two data plans:
- Unlimited: $45/month per line and no monthly data usage limits (reduced speeds after 20 GB)
- By the Gig: $12/GB and pay only for the shared data that you use
How to pay $0 per month (before taxes and fees)
I pay by the gigabyte and stayed below 1 GB 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 1 GB of data: I was traveling a lot during November 2017 and quickly went over 1 GB of data. Xfinity then charged me another $12 for a second GB of data. My bill for the month was $26.93.
Staying under 100 MB of data: Remember that 100 MB of shared data is included for free. 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.
Here’s what I really like about this service: Many other cell phone plans will offer 2 GB or 5 GB 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.
Yes, Xfinity Mobile gives you the freedom to switch back and forth between data options with no penalties!
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 over the past few days. 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.
Some of Verizon’s unlimited plans allow for HD-quality streaming, but that’s not what you get with Xfinity Mobile.
Videos will stream in standard-definition quality, according to its FAQ page. To stream in HD-quality (720p), Xfinity Mobile suggests that you connect to one of its Wi-Fi hotspots.
“Our network is designed to save you money. With the standard resolution set at 480p, streaming video is optimized to use less data.”
I’ve streamed plenty of video on my smartphone since joining Xfinity Mobile — things like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube — and I haven’t had any problems with the video quality.
And just to be clear, I connect to Wi-Fi almost all the time, so I’m able to watch videos in HD.
Call and text performance
Since I had a great experience with Verizon’s network in the past, I wasn’t really worried about Xfinity Mobile’s call and text performance where I live — and it has been close to perfect.
A great feature is that the service supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which lets me talk and use data at the same time.
One downside is that Xfinity Mobile doesn’t offer Wi-Fi calling to everyone. Wi-Fi calling allows you to talk and text over a Wi-Fi network if cellular service isn’t available — like in an area with weak coverage or while traveling internationally.
Comcast says Wi-Fi calling is available on most iPhones, but they’re still working on it for Android users.
NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE: I got a text from Xfinity Mobile on November 20 that said Wi-Fi calling is now available on my Samsung Galaxy S8.
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.
Unfortunately, only iPhone users can bring their own phone to the service as of December 2018. Stay tuned for Android.
Select Xfinity Mobile phones:
- Apple iPhone XR
- Apple iPhone XS
- Apple iPhone XS Max
- Samsung Galaxy Note9
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
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.
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.
The only 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.
By the way, I don’t pay for the $12 a month Xfinity Mobile Protection Plan. I get FREE cell phone insurance by paying my wireless bill with the Uber Visa Card from Barclays.
Credit cards from Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and First Citizens Bank also have this valuable perk.
Pros and cons
I’ve saved a lot of money during my first year with Xfinity Mobile! Although Visible and Total Wireless also offer cell phone plans that run on Verizon’s network, Xfinity Mobile is less expensive.
Sure, there are cheaper MVNOs with plans that start at $10 a month for 1 GB of data, but they don’t partner with Verizon.
My experience with Xfinity Mobile has exceeded my expectations — I have no major complaints.
|Great value for By the Gig and Unlimited plans||Must be an Xfinity internet customer|
|Verizon's top-rated wireless network||Limited Wi-Fi calling capabilities|
|Fast data speeds||No BYOD (Bring your own device) for Android|
|Flexibility to switch data options||Standard-definition video streaming|
|Phone customer service (Contact Xfinity Mobile at 888-936-4968)|
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 a few months ago, I called Comcast’s customer retention department and they worked with me on the price. I ended up getting an extension of my $60 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.
In addition to renegotiating a lower internet rate every year on my own, I’ve cut my internet bill a handful of times and saved $80 with the help of an online financial tool called Trim.
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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