Long-time readers may be quite surprised to find the subject header of Xfinity Mobile Review to hit their email inbox or feed, given my extensive collection of diatribes against Xfinity (Comcast) in recent years.
I’m as surprised as you are.
- I’ve previously and extensively reviewed the cheapest data plans, cheapest prepaid plans, and cheapest mobile wifi hotspot plans on the market, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, at this moment, Xfinity Mobile might be the most compelling of them all – and can potentially save you some serious money!
- Despite my prior denunciations of its parent company, I am an actual Xfinity Mobile customer now – we have been testing Xfinity Mobile on one of our mobile devices for months now. And so far, so good!
- Xfinity is not holding me hostage. Nor did they compensate me to do this review in any way.
- No, I’m not crazy or drunk (most of the time).
Let’s jump right in to this Xfinity Mobile review.
What is XFinity Mobile?
Xfinity Mobile is the new mobile service from ISP/Cable TV conglomerate, Comcast Xfinity. It somewhat quietly launched to customers in May of 2017, and was live in all Xfinity markets in August, 2017.
In addition to nation-wide 4G LTE coverage, Xfinity Mobile also boasts 18 million+ wifi hotspots, and attractive and flexible low-cost plans.
Can I Get XFinity Mobile?
In order to become an Xfinity Mobile customer, you must first be a residential Xfinity Internet service customer. If you reside within Xfinity’s market map, you probably don’t have much of a choice on that to begin with (unfortunately), as Xfinity often has monopolistic coverage of cable/Internet lines in most of the markets it is in.
If you’re unsure about that, you can check if Xfinity is available in your area here. If it is, and you’re an Internet service customer, you can get Xfinity Mobile.
What Network Does Xfinity Mobile Run On?
Xfinity Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. As an MVNO, Xfinity Mobile doesn’t own its own wireless spectrum, it buys wholesale priced access from one of the 4 big wireless spectrum owners in the United States.
Xfinity Mobile runs on Verizon’s Network.
Making a call? You’re calling on Verizon’s network. Using mobile data? Verizon’s network. You’re basically getting all of the touted benefits of Verizon’s network at a fraction of the price.
Xfinity Mobile Coverage Map
Xfinity Mobile, by virtue of running on Verizon’s Network, has tapped in to the largest 4G LTE network in the US. Verizon touts that it covers 322 million people, 98% of the country’s population, and more square miles than any other network. Here is an interactive 4G LTE coverage map.
XFinity WiFi Hotspots
In addition to offering up Verizon’s Network for prices that are much cheaper than Verizon (more on that in a bit), Xfinity Mobile sets itself apart from the competition in that you can tap in to over 18 million wifi hotspots. Xfinity makes this possible through using modems it leases to customers as wifi hotspots. Devilishly clever.
This can allow you to keep your mobile data usage to a minimum, if you’re able to find a hotspot to connect to. Here is an Xfinity wifi hotspot map or you can use the Xfinity wifi hotspot app, which can be used offline.
Xfinity Mobile Plans & Price
Here’s where things get really interesting. Xfinity mobile plan costs are extremely low and flexible. Lower than any of the big 4 carriers, but lower than even most of the cheapest of bare-bones MVNO’s (who often have close to zero customer service).
For starters, everyone gets:
- Unlimited nationwide talk and text, for free (say whaaaat?)
- No line access fees on up to 5 lines
- Free access to the 18 million+ wifi hotspots
- 100 MB shared data for free, each month
“The “Taxes and Fees” section of your bill includes sales, excise, and other taxes and government surcharges that we are required by law to collect from customers on behalf of local, state, and the federal government.”
For me, that totals up to $2.06/month. Good luck finding a better deal than that.
Additionally, Xfinity Mobile offers international roaming coverage (for a price).
Beyond talk, text, & wifi – if needed (and I plan to only need it if on an extended trip), you have a choice between 2 data plan options:
- By the gig: $12/GB of shared data
- Unlimited: $45/line/month (after 20 GB of monthly data use, speeds are reduced to a maximum of 1.5Mbps download/750 Kbps upload.)
Both options are extremely competitive from a price standpoint. For comparison’s sake, you’d pay $35 for 1 GB and $120/month if you purchased directly from Verizon. And you can switch from “by the gig” to an “unlimited” plan within the same month or from “unlimited” to “by the gig” at the start of the next billing cycle. You can find lower price per GB data plans out there, but you typically have to pay for talk and text with those plans, which would wipe out the benefit.
The unlimited plan is also interesting in that you can use Xfinity Mobile data to create a wifi hotspot for other devices for when you can’t find an Xfinity hotspot to connect to. This could be great for frequent or full-time travelers, or those that don’t have access to broadband at home.
The Xfinity Mobile app shows you where your data usage is each month, in order to keep your data usage in check.
Does Xfinity Mobile Have Contracts?
No. There are no contracts with Xfinity Mobile. You can leave at any time, if you’re not happy, without penalty or early termination fee. However, you may have to pay off the remaining balance on your phone and plans (which is fair).
Xfinity Mobile Phones
Xfinity Mobile has a solid offering of mobile devices (mostly on the higher end). You can either buy the phone outright or spread out the cost of the phone over 24 months (at 0% APR).
They have been offering a rotating discount in the form of Prepaid Visa cards on a number of their devices. For example,
- $150 card on the $180 LG X-Charge (the device we bought)
- $200 card on any iPhone (including the reasonably priced iPhone SE)
- $250 card on the Galaxy S9
I would like to see more of a selection of lower-end priced Android phones.
Xfinity Mobile BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
There was no Xfinity Mobile option to bring your own device (BYOD) until recently, but now you can bring your own iPhone device (iPhone 5 and later). They state that they are working on Android, but there is currently not an Android BYOD option.
If you bring your own device, there are no added fees. And yes, you can still access the wifi hotspots.
The Elephant in the Room with Xfinity:
Any Xfinity Mobile review on my behalf would not be complete without addressing the elephant in the room: my long-time beef with Xfinity customer service and pricing. I’ve written many articles over the years on topics such as how to get rid of your Xfinity modem rental fee, how to replace an Xfinity modem with your own, how to negotiate with Xfinity, how to cut your Xfinity bill, and so on. Nobody has been a bigger critic of Xfinity – so I came in to this with a huge dose of skepticism.
I do see the broader company making serious efforts to improve its customer service and experience. For example:
- With Cable/Internet pricing, they have started offering existing customers extended contracts at prices previously only accessible to new customers (having to quibble over pricing and continual increases has long been a complaint of mine and others).
- Their customer service reps do seem much more accommodating in recent years, which is a reflection of company policy.
- Their revamped Xfinity stores are much closer to an Apple store than the DMV these days (I recently visited one and was shocked).
I looked long and hard for gotchas with Xfinity Mobile. I couldn’t find any. The pricing is fair, honest, and cheap. There is flexibility to switch plans. You can get 0% APR financing on phones if you can’t afford to buy outright (at the same total price). And you can BYOD without added fees.
Am I skeptical Xfinity Mobile will always be this fair and cheap? A little, yeah. If things take a turn for the worse, I’ll be the first to let you know.
Final Thoughts on Xfinity Mobile:
If you’re already an Xfinity Internet customer, Xfinity Mobile is a hell of a deal. A few minor quibbles are:
- lack of low priced Android phone options
- inability to bring your own Android phone (at this time)
- stock on popular phones seem to be hit or miss
On the flip side, I really appreciate:
- the nearly free (taxes aside) unlimited nationwide talk & text on Verizon’s network
- no line fees
- the option of 2 low-priced and flexible data plans, plus a little bit of free data each month
- the extensive wifi hotspot network to keep data costs low
- clear, fair, and transparent pricing, with no contracts
It’s almost like Xfinity wants its customers to be happy. Hmm… imagine that.