Greater savings potential

Mint Mobile

Mint Mobile

Flexible plans

Tello

Tello logo

Mint Mobile offers plenty of data for most people with a set of four plans targeted squarely at smartphone users. Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's network with full 5G support and hotspot data included with every plan. Unlimited talk and text also come with every plan.

From $15/mo. at Mint Mobile

Pros

  • T-Mobile network with 5G
  • Unlimited talk and text on all plans
  • Hotspot included
  • Great multi-month savings

Cons

  • Must buy in bulk
  • Unlimited plan only has 35GB at full speed

Tello has a plan that works for just about anyone, whether they only want talk and text or need enough data for heavy smartphone usage. Tello has moved its network to T-Mobile, allowing for improved coverage and 5G support. Tello also included hotspot data with all of its plans.

From $5/mo. at Tello

Pros

  • T-Mobile network with 5G
  • Prices start low
  • Flexible plans can work for most people
  • Hotspot included

Cons

  • Phone support can be confusing
  • Unlimited plan only has 25GB at full speed

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 renew for six months or more. Mint Mobile's great phone compatibility also makes it extremely easy to try out if you own your phone.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello: Plenty of data either way

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. Mint's data plans will make more sense for most people, 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.

Mint Mobile Tello
Network T-Mobile T-Mobile
Sprint
Minimum term 3 months 1 month
Maximum term 12 months 1 month
Hotspot Included Included
Minimum data 4GB None
Maximum data Unlimited (35GB) Unlimited (25GB)

Mint Mobile vs. Tello: Get enough coverage

Tello website with coverage mapSource: 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. However, Tello still has less phone compatibility than 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, 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, and with 305 million people covered, it's a great way to try out 5G.

For international coverage, you can stay connected with Mint Mobile for a flat rate. Service costs $.02 per minute, $.06 per minute, and $.06 per megabyte in Mexico and Canada. 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 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 most 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. With Mint Mobile, you start with three months at the lowest rate, but you'll need to opt for 12 months to get the same price when it comes to renewal.

Mint Mobile UnlimintedSource: 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 save some money, you can reduce your usage by taking advantage of Wi-Fi more and downloading videos, music, or podcasts before you disconnect. If you didn't get enough data on Mint Mobile, you could upgrade to the next plan up at any time by paying the difference.

4GB 10GB 15GB Unlimited
3 months (introductory price) $15/mo. ($45) $20/mo. ($60) $25/mo. ($75) $30/mo. ($90)
3 months (renewal) $25/mo. ($75) $35/mo. ($105) $45/mo. ($135) $40/mo. ($120)
6 months (renewal) $20/mo. ($120) $25/mo. ($150) $35/mo. ($210) $35/mo. ($210)
12 months (renewal) $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.

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, reducing speed to 2G at 25GB.

Tello Plan Choices 2021Source: Tello

Tello Preconfigured Plans June 30, 2021Source: Tello

You can set up a family plan to easily manage up to four lines with one account, but no special discounts exist. You will be able to share your data with your family members if they run out, however. You can get your first six months 25 percent off, however, so if you've been thinking about switching to Tello, it's a good time to check it out.

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 used to rely on Sprint's network exclusively though it recently switched to the proper T-Mobile network, including 5G. Tello requires 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. 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 OnePlus Nord N200 5G and the Galaxy A20. Tello also has a couple of flip phones if you or someone in your family desires that level of simplicity.

Mint Mobile SIM Galaxy S20Source: 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 worked on Mint. Mint 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.

Mint Mobile vs. Tello: Which carrier is the best fit for you?

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.

Greater savings potential

Mint Mobile Logo

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.

Flexible plans

Tello logo

Tello

Tons of data on the Sprint network

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

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