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T-Mobile’s new ‘Flex’ plans bring phone upgrades to prepaid subscribers

T-Mobile is bringing more of the perks of postpaid phone plans to its prepaid lineup. The company announced new plans for its prepaid business, Metro by T-Mobile, that come with a free phone for signups and ongoing access to the same trade-in deals that it offers new customers for some devices.

There are three plans in the new Metro Flex lineup: Flex Start ($50 per month); Flex Up ($60 per month); and Flex Plus ($70 per month). The company tacks on an extra $5 monthly for folks not using autopay. It’s also an extra $5 for the first month.

All three plans get unlimited 5G, talk, and text as well as T-Mobile’s Scam Shield robocall blocker and a bundled 100GB subscription to Google One, Google’s all-in-one subscription that includes storage for Gmail, Drive, and Photos. The Start plan comes with 8GB of mobile hotspot data, while the Flex and Plus plans each offer 25GB of hotspot data. At the top end, Flex Plus comes with bundled Amazon Prime membership.


The big perk of the plans is supposed to be the ability to upgrade your phone at a discount. T-Mobile says customers on these plans can trade in their phones every one, two, or three years — as long as they still work — to get discounts on phones “from top brands like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and REVVL.” (You know, well-known and popular phone brand Revvl?)

T-Mobile isn’t clear about exactly how these trade-ins work, though. The company just says that your trade-in options “expand” if you wait multiple years. Subscribers are supposed to get access to “the same” deals that new customers would.

In the press release shared with The Verge, T-Mobile says customers “may notice slower speeds when our network is busy” if they use more than 35GB per month. Video on these plans streams in standard definition. The company offers its Flex deals for up to four lines, and if customers who sign up want to switch plans within six months of starting one, it will cost $50 to do so.

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