iPhone 5 Carriers Comparison: Verizon, AT&T Or Sprint?

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With the iPhone 5 having been released on the major carriers within the US, those wanting the handset now have to choose between the top three carriers. So which of them provides the best deal for anyone wanting the new Apple device?

Best iPhone 5 carrier: Verizon, AT&T or Sprint?

When considering which of the carriers to take the iPhone 5 with one of the first considerations will be the cost of the device. The 16GB version of the iPhone 5 is available with a two year contract for $199. However if you want it unlocked, then you will pay a high price for the privilege. Along with the cost you have to think about the plans and what they would come with, should you choose to go for the latter.

Another consideration is the speed of the network. The iPhone 5 has support for 4G LTE and according to AT&T they have the fastest network. Recent speed tests prove this. On the downside their coverage is not as good compared to that of Verizon. Sprint is behind with LTE and so if LTE speeds are your main concern, then you may want to go with one of the other two. However Sprint does offer plans that come with unlimited data. When considering speeds you may wish to check the coverage maps for LTE and 3G with the carriers.

The quality of calls should be considered and this can be checked on the website of the carrier. However you also have to take into account that there can be drops in speed and also glitches. AT&T are particularly well known for dropping calls, however they have improved things since the days of them having exclusive rights to the iPhone. In our tests, Sprint had the best call quality on the iPhone 5 as it exhibited the least level of hisses and pops.

Data plan allocations, along with the pricing need some thought. 4G encourages users to use data and use it fast and so you could zip through your data plan very quickly. AT&T, along with Verizon have shared plans, while Sprint, along with Cricket and Virgin, offer plans that have unlimited data. However you have to weigh up the fact that you won’t have a large bill coming in against slower network speeds.

You might also want to look into how much you would have to pay out should you find that you want to end your contract with the carrier for an iPhone 5. This could be around $350 and it depends on the length of contract left and the carrier. Of course you can always sell your phone and then use the money towards paying off the contract.

If fast LTE is a priority in your books then you may want to get the iPhone 5 with either AT&T or Verizon. However if you prefer unlimited data and slower network speeds then Sprint would be the best choice. If you don’t want a contract and you have the cash to spare then you could get an unlocked iPhone 5 and take it to T-Mobile, who is offering unlimited data and plans that are cheaper than those with Sprint. The iPhone 5 with Verizon is unlocked and it has support for GSM networks, so if you want a device that is travel friendly, this may be the best option.

Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, iPhone and Android games keep Berke busy at work all day. Honestly though we’re not sure why we’re paying him as it should be the other way around.