You guys, it’s getting pretty exciting out there in cell phone world.

T-Mobile just announced its new Essentials plan, the carrier’s latest and lowest-priced service — going live Aug. 10.

Here’s what you need to know before making the switch:

 

Essentials is for people who just want talk, text and data — unlimited, with no overage fees.

Don’t expect fun little add-ons like free Netflix and unlimited mobile hotspot.

 

Pay as low as $25 for each line.

It’s $60 for one line. Add $30 for a second line and then $15 more per month for lines 3-6 (plus taxes and fees) — a better deal the more lines you get.

Compare that to their other low-cost option, the T-Mobile ONE plan, which is $40 a line per month (at 4 lines, taxes and fees included).

 

Set up Autopay to save $5 a month.

That $25 per line per month price comes when you set up Autopay for your bill. Otherwise, it’s $5 more. Skip the visit to the T-Mobile store (or having to remember to pay each month) — easiest $5 you’ll ever make.

We’ve got plenty of other ways to make sure your cell phone bill is the lowest it can possibly be.

 

Expect slower data speeds than other T-Mobile customers.

via IDB

T-Mobile says Essentials customers may notice slower speeds than its other customers, depending on when and where they use data. It gets even slower if you use more than 50GB per month.

Don’t worry, most of the time you can shrug off these data speed bumps by connecting your phone to WiFi.

 

Slower data means DVD-quality video (at best).

If you don’t care about watching HD video on your cell phone, T-Mobile’s “typical” 480p streaming — equivalent to DVD quality — won’t bug you at all. But remember, it goes down from there.

 

The T-Mobile ONE plan is better for frequent international travelers.

While the Essentials plan has unlimited talk, text and 2G data in Canada and Mexico — plus some optional add-ons for 4G LTE data — the T-Mobile ONE plan is better for the jet-setters among us.

That plan has global unlimited 2G data in more than 210 countries for $40 a line (with four lines). Essentials customers pay $5 a day for a 24-hour Global Pass for 4G LTE data and unlimited calling. That’ll add up quickly.

 

 

Essentials is less expensive than Cricket, but there are cheaper options out there.

For two lines, Essentials costs $45 a line per month — that’s still cheaper than the $55 Unlimited plans Cricket and Straight Talk offers.

For two lines with unlimited talk/text/data, it’s only $40 per line per month with Boost Mobile, MetroPCS and TextNow.

If you’re really feeling nuts and are just trying to find the lowest price possible, FreedomPOP offers metered talk/text/data plans for free.