AT&T and Cricket are both very similar companies (they both ride the same network) and very different at the same time. You can think of Cricket as a discount version of AT&T with the main difference being the deprioritized, slower data network you’ll be on with Cricket. You could also potentially save a lot of money if slower data speeds are something that doesn’t matter as much to you (perhaps folks who don’t use their phone as much for streaming video).
Plans & Pricing WINNER: Cricket Wireless
Coverage & Reliability WINNER: Same Network
Data & Other Features WINNER: AT&T
OVERALL WINNER: AT&T, (Though Cricket WILL save you a bundle)
Cricket vs. AT&T: Plans & Pricing
Cricket has some great plan options for family and cheap unlimited. You can pay as low as $25 per line and bundle in some cheap or free phones with whatever their current deal is. We’re giving Cricket the easy win here because, if pricing and cheap bundles for family are your number one issue when comparing mobile wireless providers– you’ve got to go with Cricket on AT&T’s network.
AT&T has a ton of great plans too. But, for comparison their plans start at $40 per line or so and you’ll probably end up with one of the plans offering free HBO or a hotspot if those are important to you and those plans start at about $50 per line right now.
*Prices, plans, and availability change often – check each service provider’s website for the most current information.
Cricket vs. AT&T: Coverage
Okay, this is an simple one to understand when comparing AT&T to Cricket: they both run on the same network. Their coverage is essentially the same here in the US so we’re calling this a tie. Check out the coverage maps below for the specifics:
ATT Coverage Map (click Map to Interact)
Cricket Coverage Map (click Map to Interact)
Cricket vs. AT&T: Data & Other Features
Here is where AT&T really gets to flex a bit over their smaller, younger cousin, Cricket Wireless. While you get the same coverage on Cricket, you do lose some of the “trimmings” you’ll get from the plans on a carrier like Verizon or AT&T. Some of those trimmings include currently: Free HBO, a 5G Hotspot, Extra Bandwidth Allowance, and HD Video. Yes, those things will cost you possibly DOUBLE on AT&T ($25 vs $50 per line) but… that’s a nice list of business features this reviewer personally couldn’t do without.
AT&T also benefits from a robust network of physical locations around the country (though Cricket is growing!) We’ve also heard Cricket’s customer support leaves something to be desired, at least compared to AT&T’s which has generally been lauded for excellent customer service in recent years.
Cricket vs. AT&T: Which is Better for You?
We’re going to go ahead and openly recommend AT&T for most people who aren’t looking for a steep discount as their #1 issue. AT&T has the features your teenagers are going to beg you for anyway, just give in now and save yourself some time. Seriously, though Cricket is a solid upstart with some screaming deals. We’ve seen free phones with $25 lines on Cricket’s deal page in the past and yeah, maybe your teenager has to stream in *gasp* STANDARD DEF for a few months while you save some cash. Totally understandable. Get Cricket.