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Best Tello Mobile cell phone plans 2022

Tello website on a Galaxy S20+
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Tello is a unique carrier in that it doesn't have a traditional set of plans. Instead, the best Tello plans can be customized for each person. This includes choosing how many texts and minutes they want, plus data. Tello operates on the T-Mobile network with access to 5G, including the faster mid-band connection. 

While you don't need to commit to it, Tello has created some packages to get you started. The Data plan with unlimited talk, text, and data will be a great fit for many smartphone users thanks to its recently-lowered price.

Find a good starting point for your Tello plan

Tello Mobile unlimited plan in phone web browser

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Tello Data

Just keep streaming

Reasons to buy

+
Service on T-Mobile's massive 5G network
+
Upgrade your plan at any time
+
International calling to 60+ countries
+
Tethering included

Reasons to avoid

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Unlimited is actually 25GB
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No multi-line discounts

Tello's most expensive plan is perhaps its best value with unlimited calls, texts, and data for just $29 per month. If you're a heavy data user, this is the perfect plan for your phone. 

One thing to keep in mind about Tello's unlimited data is that it's only high-speed until you've used 25GB in a billing period. After that, your speeds plummet to 2G speeds until the billing cycle renews. Unlike other Tello plans, there's no more room to upgrade; so if you're using more than 25GB in a month, Tello may not be the carrier for you.

While 25GB should be enough for most people, it's worth keeping in mind that some other T-Mobile-based prepaid carriers, like Mint Mobile, offer 35GB on their unlimited plans. Still, you can use all of your data in a hotspot if you please and with a little care, there's a good chance you can keep your data under 25GB. When you choose Tello's unlimited data option, you get unlimited minutes for free.

Tello Mobile 5GB smart plan in phone web browser

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Tello Smart 5GB

Get a smart start

Reasons to buy

+
Service on T-Mobile's massive 5G network
+
Upgrade your plan at any time
+
International calling to 60+ countries
+
Tethering included

Reasons to avoid

-
No multi-line discounts

On Tello, you can create your own plan by choosing how many minutes you think you'll need, and how much data you think you'll need. You can get an idea of how much data you typically use by looking at your current bill, or checking the data usage settings on your Android phone. 

For many smartphone users, Tello's pre-configured Smart Plan is a great starting point, especially if you use your phone on Wi-Fi a lot. With unlimited minutes and 5GB of high-speed data, this plan is can be a great way to save.

Many people simply don't need unlimited data, especially when you remember that using your phone while connected to Wi-Fi doesn't impact your mobile data at all. If you're working from home or your office has Wi-Fi for you to use, you may not need nearly as much data as you imagine. Still, Tello lets you upgrade your plan at any time, so it's a good idea to start small and upgrade as needed.

Tello uses T-Mobile's network including 5G, which means that just about any unlocked phone will work with the service, including the best Android phones you can buy. This plan compares favorably to other 5GB plans as well. Mint Mobile, for example, only beats Tello's price if you're willing to pay for an entire year of service.

Tello Mobile 1GB plan in phone web browser

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Tello Economy 1GB

Light usages with unlimited calls and texts

Reasons to buy

+
Service on T-Mobile's massive 5G network
+
Upgrade your plan at any time
+
International calling to 60+ countries
+
Tethering included

Reasons to avoid

-
The 1GB cap will be too low for most people
-
No multi-line discounts

Whether you're looking for a cheap plan for a backup phone, or just want to try to strip out unnecessary spending, the Economy Plan gets you connected with unlimited calling, texting, and 1GB of data for just $10 per month. This is plenty of data for email, picture mail, and even some occasional social media, though you may quickly find out that a few hours stuck in a waiting room or on a train with busted Wi-Fi can wipe out your data in a flash. Luckily, Tello doesn't charge you for overages.

If you do use all of your data, you'll get 2G speeds for the remainder of your billing period. These speeds will be frustratingly slow for anything beyond receiving messages and emails, so it may be worth it to upgrade your data mid-cycle if you find you're running out of data early.

Tello Mobile 5GB teen plan in phone web browser

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Tello For Teens 5GB

Plenty of data for messaging

Reasons to buy

+
Service on T-Mobile's massive 5G network
+
Upgrade your plan at any time
+
International calling to 60+ countries
+
Tethering included

Reasons to avoid

-
Teens can blow through 5GB in a couple of day

For many teens, a phone call is the absolute last way they want to be contacted, so why pay for unlimited minutes? This plan is configured with 300 minutes of talk time, which should be plenty for most teens. Tello comes with unlimited texts, so there's no limit to the most important form of communication.

The 5GB data limit may not seem like that much, but with many schools offering Wi-Fi and home Wi-Fi, most people can get by with 5GB if they're not blowing it on streaming video and social media while on LTE or 5G. Still, like other Tello plans, this can be upgraded as needed, with the next step up to 10GB only costing $5 more.

Tello Mobile 1GB grandparents plan in phone web browser

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras)

Tello For Grandparents 1GB

Everything you need with nothing wasted

Reasons to buy

+
Service on T-Mobile's massive 5G network
+
Upgrade your plan at any time
+
International calling to 60+ countries
+
Tethering included

Reasons to avoid

-
No multi-line discounts

The cheapest plans on bigger carriers can be way more than a senior needs. Tello keeps things in perspective with just 1GB of data to keep the phone working away from home, and 500 minutes to stay connected to the people that matter the most. 

Seniors can offset their usage by staying connected to Wi-Fi if they want to video chat with friends or family, and most messaging apps let you choose which video files to download, so there's no surprise data usage.

This plan comes in at just $9 per month, and is a great starting point for someone getting their first smartphone, or who just wants to ditch an unreliable and expensive home phone option. The savings in long-distance charges alone can make the move to Tello more than worth it in just a couple of months.

Don't waste money on data or minutes you don't need

The best Tello plan for you will be the customization you settle on after using the service for a couple of months. Once you get a handle on your actual monthly usages, you'll be able to trim the fat and keep your bill as low as possible. 

If you're looking to reduce your usage, you can also start small and upgrade as needed. Tello allows customers to use their minutes like normal to call more than 60 different countries, so even if you have family in Mexico, Canada, China, India, or many others, you can stay connected.

As we saw in our Tello review, the T-Mobile network also makes phone compatibility a breeze. If you're looking to save money on your phone, you can choose one of the best cheap Android phones the next time you upgrade and it will more than likely work great on Tello.

Overall, Tello's Data plan comes out as one of the best values in prepaid phone plans thanks to its large amount of data at 25GB, and recently lowered price. While a carrier like Visible may offer unlimited data for less, you have to jump through a couple of hoops to get the best price. Still, lighter users can save even more if it turns out they use 10GB or less.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.