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4G/5G data
mins
texts
/mo
Same coverage - massive savings!YOU SAVE:
T-Mobile
Magenta - $70/mo
$840/yr
AT&T
Unlimited Extra - $75/mo
$900/yr
Verizon
Play More Unlimited - $80/mo
$960/yr
$0$20$40$60$80
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
Benefits

    TextNow Review in 2022

    Is TextNow phone service good?

    TextNow cell phone plans review

    By Rob Webber - Last updated on
    2.5

    Pros

    • Both GSM and CDMA network options

    • Free Wi-Fi-only plan option

    • Automatically uses Wi-Fi first to save data usage

    • Unlimited 2G data on all plans

    • Unlimited data plan option

    • Taxes & fees included in plan pricing

    Cons

    • Hotspot use only available on CDMA network

    • Call quality can suffer on non-TextNow phones

    TextNow is a San Francisco based MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). That means they rent their network from the big guys. They're serious disruptors in the telecoms world offering unlimited talk and text for free.

    You could save $600 per year, per line by switching to a low-cost alternative like TextNow.

    Let's dive in to find out if this is the carrier for you.

    Phone plans from $15/moDeal of the Month: Mint Mobile

    TextNow plans & pricing

    PlanDataNetworkPrice
    TextNow Unlimited Talk & Text0GBSprint$10
    TextNow 2GB2GBSprint$20

    TextNow plans include free unlimited calls and messages to anyone in the US or Canada. It all works through their TextNow app. Once you've purchased a SIM, you get basic phone function for free.

    There's a couple of super-cheap prepaid plans to choose from with set-data options, plus add on features like voicemail and conference calling.

    To get an ad-free service or more high-speed data, you'll need to upgrade your account. This means paying a low-cost monthly fee. You can manage all this in their app.

    Savings comparison

    TextNow benefits

    • Same quality coverage: powered by Sprint's national network, TextNow provides you with quality coverage you can rely on.
    • Lower prices: typically an alternative carrier costs between $10-$45 a month. With TextNow most features are completely free. Compare that with a traditional cell phone plan? You're paying more like $80 a month.
    • Simple switching process: you'll be up and running with your new plan within a few days. You can even keep your phone number.
    • Customize your plan: adjust your plan as often as you like in the TextNow app
    • No commitment: there's no contract so you can switch at any time to find a better deal if your needs change.
    • Buy online: choose your plan quickly and easily online.

    TextNow coverage

    Where VoIP is unavailable, this alternative carrier is powered by Sprint's network. Take a look at our TextNow coverage map to see how it'll work for you.

    What networks does TextNow use?

    TextNow uses Sprint's 4G LTE network and VoIP technology where WiFi signal is available. Sprint and T-Mobile are in the process of merging but for the time being, it's business as usual for TextNow customers.

    Network coverage ratings

    NETWORKROOTMETRICSOPENSIGNALOOKLA
    Verizon network959.874%
    AT&T network939.580%
    T-Mobile network878879%

    Sources: RootMetrics, OpenSignal, and Ookla.

    TextNow data speeds

    Prepaid data plans from TextNow come with 2GB of data, which slows to unlimited 2G speeds when you run out. You can add more high-speed data by going to their app.

    TextNow data plans

    TextNowunlimited talk & text plan

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    0GB

    4G/5G data

    $10/mo

    Powered by: Sprint

    TextNow features

    Mobile hotspot

    Their prepaid data plan comes with the mobile hotspot feature, so you can share your data with more devices.

    Unlimited talk and text

    Either on WiFi or through the Sprint network you can send and receive messages, or make calls for free. These features aren't restricted, you can use emojis or send videos and photos. You do however have to put up with a few adverts when you use your phone, but you can easily upgrade your TextNow account to get an ad-free service.

    Voicemail

    With TextNow's free service you can receive voicemail messages. They'll appear in the app as a voice recording within your messaging history.

    TextNow Family plans

    Plan1 line2 lines3 lines4 lines
    TextNow Unlimited Talk & Text$10$20$10/line$30$10/line$40$10/line
    TextNow 2GB$20$40$20/line$60$20/line$80$20/line

    TextNow phone deals

    There's a very limited selection of older cell phones to choose from with TextNow. You can also can bring your own, use our IMEI checker to see which carriers your current cell is compatible with.

    Compare iPhone prices

    PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
    Apple iPhone 11 Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$17/mo for 24 mths$399
    Apple iPhone SE VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
    Apple iPhone 12 mini Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$20/mo for 24 mths$479
    Apple iPhone 12 VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
    Apple iPhone 13 mini VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$25/mo for 24 mths$599
    Apple iPhone 13 VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$29/mo for 24 mths$699
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$31/mo for 36 mths$1,099
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$33/mo for 24 mths$799
    Apple iPhone 14 Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$884
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Red PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max VisibleVerizon 5G/4G LTE$41/mo for 24 mths$980
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Mint MobileT-Mobile 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
    Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) Unreal MobileAT&T 5G/4G LTE-$379

    TextNow customer service

    The comparison table below shows TextNow user ratings are higher than all of the major carriers.

    CARRIERTRUSTPILOT USER RATING
    TextNow2.6
    T-Mobile1.5
    Verizon1.3
    AT&T1.2

    There's a heap of brilliant customer support resources on their website and in app, including video tutorials, to help you resolve any hitches or hurdles. So there are routes to resolve issues yourself.

    If you're someone who wants to speak to a real human when you run into a problem, TextNow might not be the first choice. There's no a designated customer support number or chat function at this time.

    How do TextNow plans compare

    CarrierDataNetworkPrice
    Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10
    Mint Mobile 4GB plan4GBT-Mobile$15** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    US Mobile 12GB plan12GBVerizon & T-Mobile$20* Free 10 Day Trial
    Mint Mobile 15GB plan15GBT-Mobile$25** Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    Visible unlimited data planUnltdVerizon$30

    Switching to TextNow

    Bringing your own phone? Make sure your phone is an inactive Sprint device on either an Android or iOS operating system. Then, follow these simple steps:

    1. Download the TextNow app to your cell phone and buy a SIM activation kit.
    2. Make sure you're all paid up on your last plan and keep your account open till your number has ported over. You can manage this within the TextNow app.
    3. Enjoy the same phone service, either for free or at a fraction of the cost.

    TextNow FAQs

    What is TextNow?

    TextNow is a low-cost carrier operating on the Sprint network. It started as a call and text service using VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol. So you could make calls or texts over Wi-Fi. But it eventually started piggybacking off the Sprint network to offer you low-cost plans without needing Wi-Fi.

    Does TextNow have an app?

    Yes. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play.

    Can you use TextNow on the computer?

    Yes, you can use TextNow on your computer, tablet or smartphone device by downloading the app from your computer's app store.

    Is TextNow free?

    TextNow gives you free nationwide calls and texts on its app, using VoIP. But it also offers low-cost paid plans that operate on the Sprint network.

    Recap

    TextNow is a brilliant choice for those looking to get free unlimited talk and text on the Sprint network.

    You'll need to pay for an ad-free service and fork out for more data but the prices are significantly lower than those on offer from Sprint.

    Not convinced this is the carrier for you? Take a look at some more low-cost carriers on Sprint and start saving up to $600 per year, per line.

    Rob Webber
    Rob Webber

    Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

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