PROS / GoPhone combines the flexibility of monthly, daily and pay-as-you-go plans with AT&T's superlative coverage.
CONS / When compared to other prepaid providers, its monthly plans are unabashedly pricey.
VERDICT / GoPhone is the sort of provider you think of when buying feature phones, but not smartphones. It has solid coverage and excellent device selection, but price and a lack of roaming support hold it back.
As no-contract cell phone plans have risen in popularity, the major carriers have started offering no-contract options to consumers. GoPhone is AT&T's prepaid cell phone brand. It offers a variety of monthly, daily and pay-as-you-go plans that are split into two categories: smartphone plans and feature phone plans. While the smartphone options run on AT&T's excellent 4G LTE network, they tend to be slightly more expensive than the competition and suffer from a lack of roaming service.
GoPhone's smartphone plans are all monthly and all include unlimited talk, text and data, much like regular carrier plans. You can get a 1GB high-speed data allotment for $45 or a 2.5GB allotment for $55; after that, your downloads are reduced to 2G speeds. In a nod to international callers, you can also buy a $55 plan with a 1GB data allotment and 1-cent-per-minute international calls – perfect if you have family overseas and want to chat without fearing the meter.
If you're only looking for a prepaid feature phone, GoPhone's plans are much more flexible. Along with monthly choices, you have the option to pay $2 a day for unlimited talk and text and a 1-cent-per-5KB data rate. You can even pay per use through the service, spending a mere 10 cents a minute, 20 cents a text and 1 cent per 5KB of data. Just take care to watch your data usage on either plan; 1 cent per 5KB might seem low, but it adds up to $2 megabytes. That's $2,000 a gigabyte. No feature phone will ever use that much data, but it puts usage rates into perspective.
GoPhone offers a number of prepaid smartphones, including top-tier options like the HT One (M8) and Galaxy S5, mid-tier devices such as the LG G2 and iPhone 5s, and of course, a number of budget phones. Windows Phones fans have a few options to choose from, and QWERTY keyboard fans even have the option of an AT&T-branded device for just $30.
All of the major features you'd expect from a modern prepaid provider are here, including long-distance calling, voicemail service, call waiting and three-way calls. Just be sure to stay within AT&T's coverage map to make use of those features, since GoPhone doesn't offer any sort of roaming outside its network. If you leave the coverage area – which, to be fair, is quite extensive – you won't be able to hitch a temporary ride on other networks.
GoPhone is a merely average no-contract provider. It doesn't have the best prepaid plans in terms of price. But it takes advantage of AT&T's solid network and offers flexibility if you're in the market for a daily or pay-as-you-go plan. We'd recommend looking a little higher on our lineup, but a GoPhone will do in a pinch, especially if you want to take advantage of its 1-cent-a-minute international plan.