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How to choose Smartphones and Plans for Families

By Lisa / September 12, 2020
choosing family smartphones and plans

How to choose Smartphones and Plans for Families

Getting the right smartphones for your family can be a challenge. Wading through the vast ocean of different service providers and plans is no easy feat. A plan that works great for you might not work for your son, daughter, or the rest of your family. So, let's take a look at a great option for family plans, and check out a few different smartphone options for you and your kids.

A small child using a smartphone

Choosing smartphone and cellular plans carefully can result in huge savings!


One of the best plans available for a family is the T-Mobile ONE plan. It comes with the typical unlimited talk, text, and data, but also includes a free Netflix subscription and unlimited video streaming. The plan is only $40 per line for a family of four or $47 per line for a family of three. Better yet, to show their appreciation of our veterans and service members, you and your family get a steep discount, rounding out at $25 per line for a family of four, or $30 per line for a family of three. All this on what OpenSignal recently deemed the fastest network.

Phones on a Budget

If you're shopping on a budget, the iPhone Xr is a good, reliable choice. It sports a 4K camera, just like its newer counterparts, along with your other basic smartphone capabilities, all at a fraction of the cost. For an even less expensive option, the Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime will also get the job done. It's definitely not a top of the line smartphone, but as a first smartphone, or just for someone who isn't going to be pushing it to its limits, it will do what you need it to do.

Phones for You

The Samsung Galaxy S8 with a plan from T-Mobile remains a popular choice. Compared to the iPhone equivalent (the iPhone 8) the Samsung is about $100 cheaper, sports a larger screen, and comes equipped with a headphone jack. However, the Galaxy S8 is known to be a little bit fragile, and if the rest of your family chooses Apple devices, you can all share iTunes content with each other if you choose the iPhone 8.

If you're interested in the absolute latest devices, you could go all in for the Samsung Galaxy S10+ or the iPhone 11 Pro. The Galaxy S is quite a bit cheaper, though the general consensus seems to be that the iPhone 11 Pro outperforms the Galaxy S10+ in everyday scenarios. However, the Galaxy S10+ comes with special features that the iPhone 11 doesn't, such as the ability launch two apps side by side so you that you can multitask.

That being said, if you're willing to open up the wallet or purse just a little bit more, the upgraded version of the iPhone Pro 11 has much more memory, coming up from 64 gbs on both the normal iPhone Pro 11 and Samsung Galaxy S10+ to a whopping 512GBs.

Phones for Your Kids

It's probably a safe assumption that you don't want to hand an $800 smartphone to your child. But, that doesn't mean that there aren't some great phone options for them, too. The iPhone SE is a go-to phone for kids and teens, coming with built-in parental controls, real-time location tracking, and a smaller build made for smaller hands. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime is another solid choice. It is about $100 cheaper than the Apple equivalent, has easy setup for parental controls, and sports a larger screen, which might be appreciated by an older child.


After choosing a phone and plan, it is worthwhile to consider the roaming implications if you travel on vacation or for work. Make sure you READ the fine print. Usually roaming plans can be quite expensive depending on how often you travel, what countries you roam to, and how much data you use. If your regular plan fits your family's needs, and you don't need the constant roaming, it might be a better option to get a mobile internet hotspot just for your travels instead of relying on your mobile roaming plan from your cellular provider.

Hopefully, this has split the sea of brands and options available and left you with some solid choices for you and your family. The T-Mobile ONE plan really is a great choice for covering your whole household, and the phones and deals available are a bargain. Whether you're shopping on a budget, or you're getting the best of the best, there's something here for everybody.

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