The cheapest phone plans with the most data (2016)

Let's face it: phones plans aren't really phone plans so much as they are mobile Internet plans. Not many people care about how many texts or minutes they get anymore (it's almost always unlimited anyway), not when WhatsApp and Messenger and Skype and a slew of other apps exist with the same functionality and a better user experience. Long gone are the days of truly unlimited mobile data, though, and in their wake we're left ever-hunting for the best ratio between cost and high speed data.

Some of us are willing to pay more for ample coverage; some of us aren't as concerned about coverage as we are getting a lot of data. If you fall into the latter category, here are some plans to consider.

Note: Remember to check whether you'll get high-speed data coverage in your region, whether your phone is fully supported by the carrier if you're BYOD, and read the fine print to make sure there aren't any surprises you won't like such as throttling stipulations.

Boost Mobile's $60/month unlimited 4G LTE

If you're typically hanging out within Boost Mobile's coverage area, the prepaid carrier has a plan that's hard to turn down: $60/month ($55/m with auto pay) for unlimited 4G LTE data. The plan also lets users access their phone's WiFi hotspot feature. There are, though, a couple caveats: Boost Mobile's website warns, "For $60 Unlimited Plan, data depriortization applies during congestion ... For $60 Unlimited plan, data depriotization hotspot data capped at 8GBs."

metroPCS $60/month unlimited 4G LTE

Much like Boost Mobile, metroPCS offers an unlimited 4G LTE data plan for $60/month, which reduces to $55/month if it is part of a family plan. The plan also allows users to use their wireless hotspot for up to 8GB of high-speed data. The next step down is a $50/month plan with 5GB of 4G LTE.

Cricket's $60/month for 10GB of 4G LTE

Cricket has made a name for itself in the prepaid cell phone market, and as of this moment it offers four cell phone plans, all of them pretty great but none better than the $60/month plan ($55/month if you set up auto pay). It comes with 10GB of 4G LTE data, which is more than enough to comfortably get most users through the month sans tethering. If you do need unlimited data, though, Cricket offers it at $65/month; there's also a $35/month 2.5GB plan and a $45/month 5GB plan.

The only catch is that Cricket's 4G LTE speeds max out at 8Mbps, and 4G tops out at 4Mbps.

NET10's $60/month for 7GB of 4G LTE

NET10 has been around for years and operates under TracFone Wireless. While there was a time when NET10 was mostly limited to buying minute cards, it now offers various monthly plans, one of which is a $60/month plan offering 7GB of high-rate data at speeds "up to" 4G LTE.

Virgin Mobile's $50/month for 6GB of 4G LTE

Virgin Mobile's plan gets you less data than the ones above, but only slightly, and it has the lowest price point at $50/month. The plan comes with 6GB of 4G LTE data, and there are a couple options for adding more data: $5 for 1GB and $10 for 2GB. As well, Virgin Mobile's plan includes mobile hotspot.

T-Mobile's $65/month for 6GB of 4G LTE

T-Mobile's plan is a bit more pricey than the other ones on the list (though not by much), but it does come with some unique advantages of its own — namely BingeOn, which lets you stream video and audio from a bunch of different places like Netflix without having it cut into your data allotment. If 6GB isn't enough, the carrier also offers 10GB for $80/month and unlimited for $95/month.