Larger network, more phones

Mint Mobile

Custom plans, more data

Tello

Mint Mobile uses the strength of the T-Mobile network to provide a reasonable amount of data with great coverage and speed. You can save more money by buying several months at once, but you must buy at least three months. Unfortunately, there is no option for users that need more than 12GB of data per month.

From $15/month at Mint Mobile

Pros

  • Larger T-Mobile network with 5G
  • Unlimited talk and text on all plans
  • Hotspot included
  • Works with most unlocked phones
  • Save in bulk

Cons

  • Must buy in bulk
  • Data maxes at 12GB

Tello has some of the best data prices anywhere with an unlimited (25GB) plan at a competitive $40, including hotspot and international calling options. If Sprint's LTE network provides solid coverage for you, Tello can be a great way to save on your phone service.

From $5/month at Tello

Pros

  • Low prices
  • Tons of data options
  • Wide range of phones
  • Hotspot included

Cons

  • Smaller Sprint network
  • Fewer compatible phones

Tello is less expensive than Mint Mobile if you don't need much data. That being said, Tello falls short with its network that can't match the coverage offered by Mint Mobile's T-Mobile based service. If Tello covers you, it can be a great choice and can save you a lot of money. Still, Mint Mobile makes the most sense for people that need their phones to work in more places, and Mint's multi-month savings obfuscate the price difference.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello Plenty of data with either

Mint Mobile keeps things simple with unlimited talk and text on all of its plans, and data comes in three 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. When it comes down to it, unless you're getting the bigger six or 12-month terms from Mint Mobile, Tello is going to be cheaper. In the end, the biggest question is whether the Sprint network provides the coverage you will need.

Thankfully, with Tello, there are no contracts, and with a one month term, you aren't stuck with a plan for long if it doesn't work out.

Mint Mobile Tello
Network T-Mobile Sprint
Minimum term 3 months 1 month
Maximum term 12 months 1 month
Hotspot Included Included
Minimum data 3GB None
Maximum data 12GB 25GB

If you need more than 12GB of data, Tello is the only option, and if you have coverage, you can build a plan that works for anyone. If you budget for six or twelve months of service, Mint Mobile is a better value in the three data tiers on offer.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello Get enough coverage

Tello website with coverage mapSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

For its own plans, Sprint uses partnerships with other carriers to fill in the gaps in its coverage to create a competitive LTE network. Even if you're used to the Sprint network, you should definitely check your coverage on Tello before signing up since Tello customers won't get service on these partner towers. Still, Tello covers most urban and suburban areas and should work for the majority of people.

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 Mint Mobile 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 $0.02 per minute, $0.06 per minute, and $0.06 per megabyte. In the other supported countries the rates are $0.05 per text, $0.25 per minute, and $0.20 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 vs. Tello Mint Mobile's plans

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 3GB, 8GB, and 12GB. 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.

Mint MobileSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

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.

3GB 8GB 12GB
3 months $15 per month ($45 total)
$25 per month renewal ($75 total)
$20 per month ($60 total)
$35 per month renewal ($105 total)
$25 per month ($75)
$45 per month renewal ($135 total)
6 months $20 per month ($120) $25 per month ($150) $35 per month ($210)
12 months $15 per month ($180) $20 per month ($240) $25 per month ($300)

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 won't get cut off, just slowed down.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello Tello's choices

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.

Tello plansSource: Tello

Tello plan samplesSource: Tello

You can set up a family plan to easily manage multiple 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.

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

Mint Mobile vs. Tello Which phones will work

Tello sticks to less expensive phones, with the most modern being the Samsung Galaxy S9. You can choose from a wide variety of budget-oriented Android and iPhones, as well as a couple of feature phones. If you want to use a newer phone on Tello, you will need to bring it from somewhere else.

Mint Mobile offers a pretty standard array of phones, but it sticks to smartphones. You can have newer Android phones such as the Google Pixel 4 or Samsung's Galaxy series, as well as iPhones. Thanks to T-Mobile's GSM network, you can bring pretty much any unlocked phone to Mint Mobile if nothing on Mint's page feels right.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello Are Tello's prices worth it?

Tello's prices are very competitive. Whether you want a lot of data or can get buy with just a little, you're not going to find a much better deal. Free calling to China is another great distinction, and Tello is one of the only carriers offering it. For most people, however, Mint Mobile hits a sweet spot with its balance of data and unlimited talk and text. The stronger T-Mobile network makes it an easy choice if you travel, and greater phone compatibility gives you more options to bring your own device.

Larger network, more phones

Mint Mobile

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.

Custom plans, more data

Tello

Tons of data on the Sprint network

Tello has a ton of options, including an unlimited plan with 25GB high-speed that lets users get the most out of their smartphones.

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