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.
GoPhone combines the flexibility of monthly, daily and pay-as-you-go plans with AT&T's superlative coverage.
When compared to other prepaid providers, its monthly plans are unabashedly pricey.
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.