Mint Mobile websiteSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

The wireless carrier space is a neverending battle between T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. However, underneath the four big dogs is a collection of smaller brands tapping into their networks to deliver excellent wireless coverage at a fraction of the price.

One such company is Mint Mobile (formally known as Mint SIM), and if you've been searching for a new way to buy phone service that can help you save a heap of money, it may be worth a look.

Here's everything you need to know!

Buy in bulk

Mint Mobile

A unique take on affordable wireless service

Buying things in bulk usually results in a lower price over the long-term, and Mint Mobile brings that mentality to the wireless space. You buy three, six, or 12 months of service upfront, resulting in a low effective monthly fee. Mint also gives you LTE data speeds, free hotspot access, and strong nationwide coverage.

Check out our full review

We'll get into all the fine details of Mint Mobile soon enough, but before we do that, we recommend reading our full review of the service if you haven't already.

The review analyzes Mint Mobile's data performance, network coverage, and a lot of fine details you can only really experience when testing a carrier or MVNO in the real world.

Check it out here! 👇

Mint Mobile review: A cheaper, better prepaid cellular plan

How much does Mint Mobile cost?

Mint Mobile website showing available plansSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

One of the biggest reasons to get your phone service from a smaller MVNO is because they usually cost less than the Big 4. With Mint Mobile, that's absolutely the case.

All Mint Mobile plans come with unlimited talk and text and are available with either 3GB, 8GB, or 12GB of 4G LTE data. However, rather than paying month-to-month for your plans, you can choose to pay upfront for three months, six months, or 12 months of service. This means your upfront cost is more expensive, but in the long run, your technical monthly cost will be quite low.

Here's how everything breaks down:

Three-month plans

  • 3GB of 4G LTE data per month — Promotional price of $45 total ($15/month)
  • 8GB of 4G LTE data per month — Promotional price of $60 total ($20/month)
  • 12GB of 4G LTE data per month — Promotional price of $75 total ($25/month)

A quick note here — the prices above are part of an introductory offer and only available for your first three months. After that, the 3GB plan costs $25/month, 8GB goes for $35/month, and 12GB will set you back $45/month.

Six-month plans

  • 3GB of 4G LTE data per month — $120 total ($20/month)
  • 8GB of 4G LTE data per month — $150 total ($25/month)
  • 12GB of 4G LTE data per month — $210 total ($35/month)

12-month plans

  • 3GB of 4G LTE data per month — $180 total ($15/month)
  • 8GB of 4G LTE data per month — $240 total ($20/month)
  • 12GB of 4G LTE data per month — $300 total ($25/month)

Unlike some carriers, Mint Mobile's pricing does not include taxes and fees. In addition to the above figures, you'll also need to account for a regulatory recovery fee, telecom tax, an MTS surcharge if you live in California, and a PSCS fee for New York residents.

Mint Mobile Buyer's Guide: What's the best Mint Mobile plan for you?

What's the coverage like?

Mint Mobile Coverage Map May 2020Source: Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network for its coverage, so if you have reliable T-Mobile service in your area, Mint Mobile will work great.

You can use Mint Mobile's interactive coverage map to see exactly how strong or weak its signal is in any part of the U.S., with the map even disclosing which LTE bands will reach your device based on whether you're outside, in a car, in your home, or in an indoor commercial building (such as an office).

The map also shows the difference between areas that have 4G LTE, 4G, 3G, 2G, or no coverage at all.

Check Mint Mobile's coverage in your area

Can you use your phone as a mobile hotspot?

A lot of MVNOs offer low monthly prices for their service but then nickel and dime you for features you come to expect from larger carriers — one of which being mobile hotspot.

Thankfully, Mint Mobile is a wonderful exception to that rule.

All Mint Mobile plans come with mobile hotspot for free, meaning you can turn your phone into a portable Wi-Fi router and connect other devices to it whenever you'd like.

How does Mint stack up against the competition?

Mint Mobile app on woodSource: Samuel Contreras / Android Central

There's no denying that Mint Mobile is one of the best deals in wireless, but it's far from existing in a bubble. Take a look around you, and you'll find a ton of competitors trying to one-up Mint in any way they can.

We think most people will be quite happy with Mint, but that said, we also encourage you to be aware of what else is out there to ensure you're getting the service that's the best fit for you.

Below, you'll find comparisons between Mint and its closest competition.

Which phones are available?

Surprisingly for a smaller MVNO, Mint Mobile has a pretty great selection of phones you can buy directly from it. You have the option of paying the full price of the phone outright or month-to-month with 0% financing from Affirm.

On the Android side of things, you can get the entire Galaxy S20 family, the Galaxy Z Flip, Google's Pixel 4/4 XL, and more. If you prefer iPhones, Mint sells the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, the new iPhone SE, and a couple of older models.

Can you bring your own phone?

Mint Mobile websiteSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Alternatively, if you already have a phone you want to use with Mint Mobile, you can do that, too.

Mint Mobile works with any GSM unlocked phone, and if you aren't sure what that means, you can use a compatibility checker on Mint Mobile's website to confirm your device will work by entering its IMEI number.

The SIM card itself is free, so you'll just need to purchase one of the above plans to get going with your service.

Best Phones to use with Mint Mobile

Buy in bulk

Mint Mobile

A unique take on affordable wireless service

Buying things in bulk usually results in a lower price over the long-term, and Mint Mobile brings that mentality to the wireless space. You buy three, six, or 12 months of service upfront, resulting in a low effective monthly fee. Mint also gives you LTE data speeds, free hotspot access, and strong nationwide coverage.

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