T-Mobile Phone Freedom adds new plans, gets really confusing (Updated)

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The latest Uncarrier move is known as T-Mobile Phone Freedom.
T-Mobile will add two Go5G plans to its roster that are nearly identical to the current Magenta plans.
Phone Freedom also includes a few other changes, including better perks for those who switch from AT&T.

Update, April 20, 2023 (02:30 PM ET): In the original article below, we erroneously said that T-Mobile’s new plans — Go5G, Go5G Plus, and Essentials Savings — would replace existing plans Magenta, Magenta Max, and Essentials, respectively. However, this is not true. T-Mobile is offering these new plans alongside the older plans. That means customers can choose between Magenta and Go5G, Magenta Max and Go5G Plus, and Essentials and Essentials Savings, despite how similar the plans all are.

For example, Essentials Savings is exactly the same as Essentials, but $10 cheaper. Go5G Plus has a few more notable upgrades over Magenta Max but for the same price. So why would anyone sign up for Magenta Max?

We are waiting for more information from T-Mobile to help us understand these new plans better and also understand why they exist next to the now-older plans.

Original article, April 20, 2023 (12:50 PM ET): Today, T-Mobile celebrated the tenth anniversary of its very first “Uncarrier” move. Not one to disappoint fans, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier announced a bevy of new plans and promotions.

All of these changes come under the new banner known as T-Mobile Phone Freedom. As the name suggests, its intention is to put the power over phone ownership back into the hands of the consumer. During its video announcement, the company made direct attacks against Verizon and AT&T for sneakily locking customers into three-year payment plans, raising prices, and making it difficult for customers to unlock their phones.

Here’s what the T-Mobile Phone Freedom policy includes. All these new changes go into effect on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Introducing Go5G and Go5G Plus

Go5G and Go5G Plus are new plans that exist alongside the older Magenta and Magenta Max. The plans are pretty much the same, even coming in at the same prices. These are the only differences:

More hotspot: Magenta Max subscribers get 40GB of high-speed hotspot data, but Go5G Plus ups the ante, so consumers get 50GB. Magenta subscribers get 5GB of hotspot, but Go5G triples that to 15GB.
More North American data: Go5G Plus subscribers get 15GB of high-speed data each month when traveling to Mexico and Canada. That’s a 3x increase over Magenta Max’s 5GB. Likewise, Go5G subscribers get twice as much Canada/Mexico data as Magenta subscribers at 10GB.
New in Two: This one is exclusive to Go5G Plus customers. The New in Two program ensures they’ll get the same device deals as new customers every two years. This ensures that, every two years, subscribers can take advantage of the best phone deals T-Mobile offers at that time. Go5G customers do not get this perk.

Outside of these changes, Go5G/Go5G Plus and Magenta/Magenta Max are identical. Those perks are baked into the plan and will not change.

Another limited-time promotion is that customers can get a free phone (up to $830 retail) with an eligible trade-in. They can also trade in phones from up to six years ago. The whole family can take advantage of this with up to four trade-ins on any one account.

T-Mobile Phone Freedom: The Easy Unlock

Another new T-Mobile policy is aimed directly at AT&T users. AT&T locks its phones and will not unlock them until customers have a) completely paid it off and b) requested an unlock, which usually requires a phone call. You can skip this by simply bringing your locked AT&T phone to T-Mobile. The company will accept this as a trade-in which will then apply to a new T-Mobile phone.

This new policy stacks on top of the pre-existing payoff program. This means T-Mobile will pay off whatever balance is left on your AT&T phone’s financing (up to $650 via a prepaid Mastercard). In other words, if you have AT&T service and a locked AT&T phone that still has up to $650 left to pay off, T-Mobile will pay off that phone and allow you to trade it in for credit toward a new phone.

You must sign up for one of the Go5G plans for this perk.

Limited offer: Go Back Guarantee

T-Mobile knows that switching carriers is a hassle. People who are nervous about making the switch now can rest easy. The Go Back Guarantee sees T-Mobile paying customers who try out a Go5G plan and decide it’s not for them. The company will give you $50 back for each voice line to help cover the cost of your bill if you decide to exit within 30 days.

Please note that you must contact T-Mobile directly before porting your number to another carrier, or you will not get your Go Back Guarantee. This is also a limited-time offer.

Limited offer: Essentials Savings

T-Mobile’s Essentials plan is its entry-level service. It offers just the basics. However, for a limited time, Essentials Savings will exist and cost $10 less. This price gets locked in, so you’ll pay $10 less for your line as long as your account is active. Note that Essentials, for some reason, will exist alongside Essentials Savings.