Greater savings potential
Tello’s coverage has made up a lot of ground since embracing T-Mobile as a supplier but it still has a ways to go in phone compatibility falling short of Mint Mobile’s more open approach. Tello lets you build a completely custom plan so if you know exactly what you need, you can avoid overbuying data. Still, even with its fewer plans, Mint Mobile more often than not comes with more for less if you’re willing to buy six months or more at once. Mint Mobile’s great phone compatibility also makes it extremely easy to try out if you own your phone.
Mint Mobile keeps things simple with unlimited talk and text on all of its plans, and data comes in four sizes that should work for most people. Tello lets you customize a plan to fit your needs precisely, so you only need to pay for what you use. For most people, Mint’s data plans will make more sense but if you only need basic service, Tello is a great low-cost option. Tello is also one of the few carriers to offer a talk and text-only plan for those that want to stick to a basic phone.
|Minimum term||3 months||1 month|
|Maximum term||12 months||1 month|
|Maximum data||Unlimited (35GB)||Unlimited (25GB)|
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
Until recently, Tello was only based on Sprint’s network but like many other Sprint MVNOs, it has moved to the larger and more compatible T-Mobile network. This provides better support for unlocked phones as well as 5G support. Tello still has a bit less phone compatibility, however, even compared to Mint due to its full reliance on VoLTE. Still, many modern phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 series should work without issue even when purchased completely unlocked.
Mint Mobile uses the T-Mobile network, which has been growing quite a bit in the past few years and has coverage competitive with the other major networks. You should check your coverage on Mint Mobile to be sure but there’s likely has coverage where you live. Mint Mobile also supports 5G on T-Mobile’s network, making it a good way to try out 5G if you have a compatible phone.
For international coverage, you can stay connected with Mint Mobile for a flat rate. In Mexico and Canada, service costs $.02 per minute, $.06 per minute, and $.06 per megabyte. In the other supported countries, the rates are $.05 per text, $.25 per minute, and $.20 per megabyte.
Tello does not offer support for international roaming, but the Tello app could be used on Wi-Fi to make calls.
Mint Mobile has a much smaller number of plans on the menu than most other carriers and has focused those plans on the majority of smartphone users with 4GB, 10GB, and 15GB. There’s also an unlimited plan for heavier users with 35GB of high-speed data and 5GB of hotspot data. The major question with Mint Mobile is how much service you are able or willing to buy at once. Mint Mobile is most competitive when users buy six or 12 months of service.
Source: Android Central / Samuel Contreras
Mint Mobile has free calling to Mexico and Canada included with every plan. You can also call over 160 other countries at rates that vary by country.
If you check your current phone usage, you will probably fall into one of Mint Mobile’s plans. If you want to try to save some money, you can try to reduce your usage by taking advantage of Wi-Fi more and downloading videos, music, or podcasts before you disconnect. If you find that you didn’t get enough data on Mint Mobile, you can upgrade to the next plan up at any time by paying the difference.
|3 months (introductory price)||$15/mo. ($45)||$20/mo. ($60)||$25/mo. ($75)||$30/mo. ($90)|
|3 months||$25/mo. ($75)||$35/mo. ($105)||$45/mo. ($135)||$40/mo. ($120)|
|6 months||$20/mo. ($120)||$25/mo. ($150)||$35/mo. ($210)||$35/mo. ($210)|
|12 months||$15/mo. ($180)||$20/mo. ($240)||$25/mo. ($300)||$30/mo. ($360)|
You can add more high-speed data at a rate of $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB if you run out. Even if you don’t, your data doesn’t cut off completely, it just slows down.
With Tello, you can build your plan starting at just $5 per month with 100 minutes and unlimited texts. You can also stick to just data starting at 500MB at $5 up to $25 for 8GB. Data speeds are reduced to 2G if you go over. You can also go up to the unlimited plan for $39, with speed being reduced to 2G at 25GB.
You can set up a family plan to easily manage up to four lines with one account, but there won’t be any special discounts. You will be able to share your data with your family members if they run out, however. Tello also has a promotion that ends on March 15, 2021, that offers your first three months of service at a reduced rate.
You get hotspot functionality on every data plan, but it does use your data allotment, so you’ll need to keep an eye on usage. You also get free calling to Mexico, Canada, and China, which is a great addition for people that want to keep connected. You can also call other countries but the rates will vary by country.
Tello has traditionally been a Sprint-based carrier and will work with most unlocked phones designed for that network. More recently it has begun to use the T-Mobile network including 5G. Tello does require that these phones support VoLTE and while that’s most phones from the past couple of years, you should still check to make sure Tello supports it in the Bring Your Own Phone Compatibility Tool on its website to be sure. For example, an unlocked AT&T LG V60 IMEI tested reported no compatibility while an unlocked Galaxy S20+ reported full compatibility.
If you’re unsure and are ready for a new phone, you can buy one from Tello. Tello sticks more to affordable models with used and new devices like the Moto G Fast and the Galaxy A20. Tello also has a couple of flip phones if you or someone in your family desires that level of simplicity.
Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central
Mint Mobile works with nearly any unlocked phone, including most of the best Android phones that you want to bring to the network. The same test phones as before, the V60 and the S20+ both reported full support from Mint Mobile. Mint Mobile sells a wide range of Android devices and iPhones from cheaper models to high-end 5G phones. Mint Mobile’s great phone support helps make switching that much easier though if you’re looking to buy a flip phone, it’s not the best fit.
With Tello switching to the T-Mobile network, it’s a solid competitor in coverage and its wide range of plans also lets you find a good fit for just about anyone. Tello also offers good options for basic phones including selling a couple of flip phones. Still, Mint Mobile’s plans are a great fit for most smartphone users with great support for just about any unlocked device. If you’re looking to make a switch, Mint Mobile makes it as easy as possible with plenty of data and you can probably even use the phone you already own.
A great balance of features
Mint Mobile offers data choices that work for most people without giving up on features. Save more by buying a few months at once.
Tons of data on the Sprint network
Tello has a ton of options, including an unlimited plan with 25GB of high-speed that lets users get the most out of their smartphones.
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