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 LTE network and now 5G.
A few months after Xfinity Mobile quietly launched in 2017, I signed up for the affordable wireless plan and typically spent $15 a month.
Xfinity Mobile 2020 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 review everything you need to know about Xfinity Mobile if you’re thinking about making the switch.
I’ll start by answering some of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve received since I first published my Xfinity Mobile review and a related YouTube video.
XFINITY MOBILE FAST FACTS
- What is Xfinity Mobile?: A low-cost cell phone service available to Comcast internet customers.
- What network does Xfinity Mobile use?: Verizon’s 5G and 4G LTE network, plus access to millions of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots. 5G coverage is available in select cities.
- How much does Xfinity Mobile cost?: Shared data plans start at $15/month and $45/month for unlimited.
- Does Xfinity Mobile have the new iPhone 12?: Xfinity Mobile is selling the 5G-compatible Apple iPhone 12. As of October 2020, it was offering $250 off the purchase of a new iPhone. Details here.
- Does Xfinity Mobile allow Android phones?: BYOD has expanded to include Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel devices.
- How good is Xfinity Mobile?: No major complaints as an Xfinity Mobile customer — read on for the pros and cons!
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.
Read on to learn what you should know about Xfinity Mobile before you sign up…
Table of Contents
- Eligibility Requirement
- Plans and Pricing
- 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. Consider a service like Visible instead.
If you sign up for Xfinity Mobile and later cancel Xfinity internet because you move or for any other reason, you can continue to use Xfinity Mobile. However, there will be a $20/month per line fee added to your bill. Learn more here.
To be clear, that fee is not charged if you maintain Xfinity internet service. It’s only assessed if you later discontinue that service and want to keep Xfinity Mobile.
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, but you won’t get special perks like the year of free Disney+ that Verizon is offering.
Xfinity Mobile features unlimited nationwide talk and text, no activation or line access fees on up to five lines and access to more than 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots.
Here are the new 5G data plan options for Xfinity Mobile, which went into effect in May 2020:
- Unlimited: $45/month per line and no monthly data usage limits (reduced speeds after 20GB)
- By the Gig: 1GB =$15/mo, 3GB = $30/month and 10GB = $60/month; pay $15 per GB if you exceed your chosen amount; no rollover data
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. Taxes and fees are extra with all plans.
Unfortunately, Xfinity Mobile has eliminated the 100MB of free data that it offered per month for new customers. The change went into effect in August 2019.
3. Flexible Data Plans: Unlimited vs. By the Gig
Here’s what I really like about Xfinity Mobile’s 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 gives you the option to pay for your data one gigabyte at a time.
For example, you can choose the 1GB plan and pay $15 per month. If you need a second GB of data, just pay another $15.
But if you need more data and the $30 for 3GB or $60 for 10GB plan becomes a better value, just switch. You can make changes to your plan during the middle of your billing cycle.
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 if you end up using too much data. There are no penalties to switch back and forth between plans.
4. Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon Data Speeds
Xfinity Mobile added 5G coverage in May 2020, so that’s a plus if it’s available where you live. 5G only works in select cities for the time being.
One of the reasons why 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 wasn’t 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.
5. 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 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 emails 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 the mobile hotspot 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.
6. Video Streaming
Some of Verizon’s postpaid 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. That’s what I would suggest.
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.
Tip: To save money and still watch video in HD, you can always connect to Wi-Fi at home, work and whenever possible. Remember, the data you use over Wi-Fi doesn’t count against your plan’s data allowance.
7. 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.
8. Phone Selection
The latest iPhones and Samsung devices make up most of the 20 or so phones that Xfinity Mobile sells online and in its stores, but there are a couple of options for under $200.
Xfinity Mobile now allows you to bring select Androids to its network. They include Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel devices. Unlocked iPhones are also compatible.
Samsung compatibility is significant because this is something Xfinity Mobile had been promising for a long time. Now, it’s finally here!
In addition to BYOD, you can purchase phones, tablets and smartwatches from Xfinity Mobile. Here’s a partial list of phones available for sale as of October 2020, including some 5G-capable devices:
- Apple iPhone 12
- Apple iPhone SE
- Apple iPhone 11
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy S20+5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
- Google Pixel 4
- LG Stylo 5
- Moto G7 Power
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, there’s typically some type of phone sale going on for high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Apple iPhone 12.
However, I’ve noticed that only one brand or the other (Samsung or Apple) is usually on sale at once. For example, there was $250 off the purchase of an iPhone 12 the last time I checked, but no Samsung 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.
9. 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 because it was paid off.
I saved a lot of money during my two years with Xfinity Mobile! Although Visible and Total Wireless offer cell phones service plans that run on Verizon’s network, Xfinity Mobile may be less expensive for light data users.
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 and 5G access||Added fee if you ever cancel internet service|
|Fast data speeds||Not all Androids compatible for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)|
|Flexibility to switch data options||$20/month HD Pass for unlimited plan|
|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.
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!
Free Cell Phone Protection
You don’t have to pay for cell phone insurance from Xfinity Mobile or any other provider. Instead, save up to $15/month by using a credit card that offers mobile phone protection as a free benefit. I’ve researched the best credit cards with free cell phone protection.
More Michael Saves Stories You May Like:
- Visible Customer Review: Pros and Cons of the $40 Unlimited Plan
- Xfinity Mobile vs. Visible: Which Cell Phone Service Is Best?
- Visible vs. Verizon Price Comparison: How Much Can You Save?
- Mint Mobile Review: 7 Things to Know Before You Sign Up