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Simple Mobile vs. Tello Mobile: Which should you sign up for?

Tello Mobile and Simple Mobile logos on Android phones
Tello Mobile and Simple Mobile logos on Android phones (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile logo

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Simple Mobile does just what its name implies — keeps your wireless service nice and simple. There are five plans to choose from, with two of them being unlimited ones. Hotspot access is included, you can make free international calls to 69 countries, and there's unlimited international texting. Simple is powered by T-Mobile's network, giving you great coverage (almost) anywhere you go.

Simple Mobile

Best value

Offers unlimited plans
Free international calling to 69 countries
Powered by T-Mobile's network
Hotspot access is included
Discounts for family plans
Plans aren't customizable

Tello Mobile

Tello logo

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If your main goal is to get a quality wireless plan while spending as little money per month as possible, Tello is the way to go. We love how customizable the plans are, meaning you won't overpay for service you don't need. Free hotspot and international calling to select markets is also a nice touch, but we do wish there was an option for an unlimited plan of some kind.

Tello Mobile

Lower prices

Plans can be fine-tuned for your needs
Very low prices
Free calling to Canada, Mexico, and China
Hotspot doesn't cost extra
Bring your own Sprint phone
Coverage isn't as extensive
No unlimited plan

Tello and Simple both have a lot of good stuff to offer, with Tello finding its strength in low monthly prices and super customizable plans. On the flip side, Simple stands out thanks to its great unlimited plans and better coverage with T-Mobile's network. Each one offers a great user experience, so feel free to sign up for whichever fits your needs the best.

Plans

Source: Simple Mobile (Image credit: Source: Simple Mobile)

One of the most important parts of any carrier is the quality of its plans. In these regards, Tello and Simple are both really strong.

Starting first with Simple Mobile, there are a total of five plans at your disposal. All of them come with unlimited talk, text, and international text, with the main differences being the amount of 4G LTE data you get.

  • 3GB of LTE with hotspot access — $25/month
  • 2GB of LTE with hotspot access — $30/month
  • 15GB of LTE with hotspot access — $40/month
  • Unlimited data with 5GB hotspot access — $50/month
  • Unlimited data with 15GB hotspot access — $60/month

No matter which plan you sign up for, you'll also get free international calling to 69 countries, an international calling credit of $10 or more for other destinations, and international roaming in 16 Latin America countries.

Simple Mobile offers add-ons for additional data should you need it, including 2GB for $5, 5GB for $10, and 10GB for $20.

Source: Tello Mobile (Image credit: Source: Tello Mobile)

Now, let's talk about how Tello handles plans.

Rather than offering a set of pre-made plans that are set in stone, Tello has a Build Your Own Plan tool that allows you to fine-tune your service exactly how you want it.

Tello gives away unlimited texting for free, leaving it up to you to decide how much data you need and how many minutes you'll be using each month.

We love this aspect of Tello, as it helps keep people from overspending for service they don't need. Here are just a few examples of plans you can create with Tello:

  • 2GB with unlimited minutes and texting — $14/month
  • 4GB with 300 minutes and unlimited texting — $17/month
  • 6GB with 500 minutes and unlimited texting — $23/month
  • 12GB with 100 minutes and unlimited texting — $36/month
CategorySimple MobileTello Mobile
Unlimited plan✔️
Plans can be customized✔️
Hotspot access✔️✔️
International calling/texting✔️✔️
International roaming✔️
Bring your own phone✔️✔️

Tello tends to be cheaper per month, especially if you're someone that doesn't use their phone that much. No matter how you customize it, your Tello plan comes with free hotspot access, free calling to Canada, Mexico, and China, and affordable rates when making calls to other countries.

Coverage

Source: Simple MobileSimple coverage map (Image credit: Source: Simple Mobile)

Just as important as the plans offered by a carrier is its coverage. You might find an incredible monthly price, but that doesn't really matter if you can't reliably use your phone where you live.

Simple Mobile is powered by T-Mobile's LTE network, giving you excellent coverage throughout the vast majority of the United States. It's not on quite the same level as something like Verizon, but T-Mobile has expanded and grown a lot over the years to the point where it's reliable just about everywhere.

Source: TelloTello coverage map (Image credit: Source: Tello)

On the flip side, Tello Mobile uses Sprint's network. Sprint has received a lot of flak over the years for having sub-par coverage, and while it's not as great as what T-Mobile offers, it can work really well depending on where you live. Sprint/Tello is notably lacking in the western part of the country, but if you're in the east/midwest, you shouldn't have any issues.

Simple/T-Mobile technically has better coverage, but this all depends on where in the country you live.

Phones

Next, let's talk phones. Both Simple and Tello make it easy to bring your own phone to use with the service, something we always love to see.

You can get a Bring Your Own Phone SIM Kit from Simple for just $0.99, and it'll enable you to use any unlocked GSM or T-Mobile-compatible phone on the network. In other words, virtually any phone should work with Simple.

You can also bring your own phone to Tello, with it supporting any unlocked CDMA or Sprint-compatible phone. That does limit your phone options a bit, but you'll still be able to bring over popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3a, etc.

Simple and Tello also sell phones directly if you don't already have one, but the selections aren't anything to write home about. Simple does allow you to buy its phones on an installment plan, with options to make payments over 15 or 24 months.

Which should you sign up for?

Alright. Now that all of that's out of the way, it's time to answer the burning question — which one of these carriers should you sign up for? To be perfectly honest, you can't go wrong with either one.

We think that Simple Mobile is the better overall choice, mainly due to its offering of unlimited plans, great pricing, discounts for having multiple lines, and larger collection of countries for free international calling. On top of all that, T-Mobile's network is more reliable and covers more people than Sprint's.

That said, if you live in a market with good Sprint coverage (which there are a lot of), Tello is definitely worth checking out. The Build Your Own Plan tool is incredibly powerful, and especially for folks that aren't constantly on their phone, it can be a serious money-saver.

No matter if you sign up for Simple or Tello, you'll be getting great wireless service at even better prices, meaning you'll come out on top either way.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.