Finding the most suitable cell phone carrier can be a little challenging. One particular reason is that you cannot ask your friend or another person to recommend a wireless carrier that will work in your area. This is because cell phone carriers are heavily area-dependent.
This means that while your buddy gets a perfect signal across town on his Verizon or AT&T phone, the same service may get you the worst signal on your side of the city. Additionally, the coverage map we can find on any carrier’s website is not as accurate as you would expect. Both carriers have been accused and investigated by the FCC for over-representing their real coverage on their coverage map.
Due to these reasons, the best way of finding out the best carrier for you is by individually trying them out yourself. Thanks to the new eSIM technology which has gained massive adaptation in recent years, trying out a cell phone carrier couldn’t be simpler.
In order to test a carrier, we NO longer have to drive to a carrier’s retail store; wait in line to buy a device; or drive back to the store before the 30 days to return the device. That hassle is a thing of the past thanks to eSIM.
eSIM – T-Mobile, and Verizon try out programs
Before taking advantage of T-Mobile or Verizon’s tryout programs, it’s important to know the requirements. In order to join any of these programs, you’ll need to have an unlocked eSIM-capable device.
What is an eSIM and how does it work?
In case you have not been keeping up with the latest developments in mobile technology, eSIM is the technology that replaces those physical SIM cards we are all familiar with. That SIM card is now embedded (embedded SIM) directly into newer phones and is reprogrammable for any carrier through a push of software.
Because of this, we no longer have to change the physical SIM card when we change carriers. Also, this allows us to have multiple carriers in one device at the same time. And most important of all, with eSIM we can quickly try out a carrier or multiple carriers by just downloading an app and signing up for a trial with the carrier.
Popular phones with eSIM
Unfortunately, since eSIM is a new technology it has been mostly released on flagship devices such as the iPhone and the Galaxy S line.
Popular iPhones with eSIM:
- iPhone 11 (including 11 Pro and Pro Max)
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
- All iPhone 12 models
- All iPhone 14 models
That list just shows the most sold iPhones that have the eSIM capability. But in fact, all iPhones released after the iPhone XR support eSIM, except for some units sold outside of the US.
Popular Android phones with eSIM support:
- Samsung Galaxy S22
- Google Pixel 7
- Huawei P40
- Oppo Find X5
Verizon Test Drive: Try Verizon for 30 days
If you want to start by testing America’s number one network, then you’ll need to join Verizon’s Test Drive program through their app. To join Verizon Test Drive, download the My Verizon app on your smartphone.
Once you open the app, click the “Start free trial” option.
What you’ll get with Verizon Test Drive:
- 30 days try out with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband (Verizon’s fastest 5G)
- Unlimited talk and text
- 100GB of premium data (no throttling or deprioritization)
- 480p streaming on 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide; 4K streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband
- No credit check, no fees, or network commitment at the end of the trial
T-Mobile free try-out with Network Pass
A decade ago if you would’ve told anyone that T-Mobile was going be America’s second-largest carrier or anything else other than bankrupt, they would’ve burst out laughing at you. Surprisingly, that’s exactly what happened. T-Mobile became America’s 2nd largest carrier after it acquired Sprint PCS, overtaking AT&T’s 92.9 million customers.
Even before that acquisition, T-Mobile had been making significant improvements to its network while being the most customer-friendly carrier. The wireless company forced AT&T and Verizon to be more customer friendly and disrupted their monopoly with their Un-carrier marketing campaign which started in 2013. This is where the T-Mobile Network Pass program was born, which consisted of T-Mobile providing new users an iPhone 5S for a week at no extra charge to test their network.
What you’ll get with T-Mobile Network Pass:
- 3 months try out
- 50GB of premium data, deprioritization after that
- Access to T-Mobile 5G network
- No credit card or credit check needed
You can join T-Mobile Network Pass by downloading the T-Mobile app and tapping “Try T-Mobile” once opening the app.
T-Mobile Network Pass vs Verizon Test Drive
So after all, which of the top two America’s largest carriers offer the most incentives to try out their network? Let’s see…
As you can see although T-Mobile offers more time for you to test their network, two more months than Verizon. This however does not instantaneously make it a better option. Verizon offers more incentives for you to test out its network. For example, with Verizon, you’ll get 50GB more premium data and the ability to stream video content in 4K resolution.
But at the end of the day, you should stick with the carrier that offers you more coverage. It’d be useless to have more premium data but bad coverage!