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If you're on the fence about switching to a new phone carrier, free trials can help you get a feel for things before you slap the wallet down and sign any papers. T-Mobile was one of the first establishments to offer this test drive experience, but others like Verizon are now doing the same.
Also: Are free phone deals really free or too good to be true?
Verizon announced today that it will be offering free 30-day trials of its 5G and 4G LTE networks to new customers, with the one condition being that you must be using an unlocked smartphone that supports eSIM.
By signing up for its Free Trial program, non-Verizon customers can enroll in a monthly, unlimited data plan (up to 100GB), be able to call, text, and browse the web with their existing device and phone number, and access the cellular network's 5G speeds (if your phone and local area supports it). There are no added costs, fees, credit card requirements, and contractual agreements involved in the trial program, so this is as "risk-free" as trial programs get.
First, you'll need to download the My Verizon app to test your phone's compatibility. You can find it in the app store or by scanning the QR code on Verizon's FAQ page.
Open the app and tap the "Start Free Trial" button on the top. As a reminder, the test drive program is only available for non-Verizon customers, and you can participate in it once a year.
Also: eSIM vs. SIM: What's the difference?
Once the app checks your phone's eligibility and approves it, tap "Get started" and enter your personal contact information. Lastly, you'll need to give the app a few minutes for Verizon to distribute its service to you, along with a separate eSIM phone number to use throughout the duration of the trial.
Once the app setup is complete and you're ready to use the eSIM network, go into your phone's SIM card settings -- usually found in the Connections tab -- and toggle it on. The eSIM profile will be labeled as "VZW".
Note that while the service is delivered via eSIM, you can still use the existing mobile plan and number that's linked to your physical SIM card. This makes it easier for you to gauge the difference in data speed and performance, if any.
By signing up for the 30-day testing period, which starts on the day you set up the My Verizon app, you're only committing to that time period and nothing more. That means that at the end of the Free Trial Program, your phone will lose access to Verizon's 5G and 4G LTE service, but everything else will be the same as normal.
To qualify, you'll have to be a new customer with an unlocked phone that supports eSIM. Fortunately, while the iPhone 14 popularized eSIM, it's not the only device that supports the digital service. Compatible devices include iPhones starting from the iPhone XR, Google Pixels starting from the Pixel 4, and Samsung Galaxy S and Z phones starting from the S21.
Yes. In fact, Verizon is encouraging users to test the phone calling experience, signal strength, and data speeds of both their existing number and the new, temporary eSIM number during the trial to get a feel of what's better.