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Tello vs. Boost Mobile: How much data do you really need?

Tello website on a Galaxy S8
Tello website on a Galaxy S8 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Tello

Tello logo

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Tello sets itself apart by only offering custom plans tailored to the needs of each customer. With a choice of data up to 25GB and unlimited minutes and texting, just about anyone can get a great plan on Tello. Tello also lets you upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, so if you don't get it right the first time, you're not stuck.

Tello

Custom plans

LTE and 5G data on the T-Mobile network
Plans can be customized
Low starting price
Hotspot included with every plan
Only 25GB of high-speed data on the unlimited plan

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile

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Boost Mobile has an excellent reputation as a low-cost alternative with a ton of data. The two unlimited plans come with 35GB of high-speed data, mobile hotspot data, and lower prices for extra lines. Boost is the better choice for a family with unlimited data with three lines or more, thanks to discounts when you add more lines.

Boost Mobile

Great international

LTE and 5G data on the T-Mobile network
Great roaming plans for Mexico
Hotspot data with every plan
Multi-line savings
Only 35GB of high-speed data on the unlimited plan

Tello keeps things simple and flexible, allowing people to get an excellent value, especially if they don't use much data. Tello's unlimited plan with 25GB of data isn't the cheapest around, but it has some nice benefits, such as hotspot usage so you can share your connection with your other devices. Boost Mobile mobile's smallest data plan comes with 2GB of data for just $15 per month, which is a good deal but Boost's best value comes with its unlimited family plans. You can add lines to the smaller unlimited plan for $30 per month, making it a solid family plan option.

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Plenty of data options

It's possible to get a Tello plan with no data and just 100 minutes of talk time, and it's cheap at just $5 per month. Any Tello plan with minutes also comes with unlimited texting. Boost Mobile's smallest plan, by comparison, is 2GB with unlimited talk and text. In fact, all of Boost Mobile's plans come with unlimited domestic calls and texts. The biggest differences begin to show up with unlimited data. While Tello includes a healthy 25GB of high-speed data with its unlimited plan, Boost Mobile takes that number up to 35GB.

If you're a heavy user, the extra 10GB with Boost is a good option to have, but it is more expensive at $50 per month. Both Boost and Tello have a six-month discount with 25 percent off on Tello and $10 off per month with a new line.

TelloBoost Mobile
NetworkT-MobileT-Mobile
Maximum data25GB35GB
5GYesYes
Hotspot includedYesYes

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Identical coverage in the U.S.

Both Tello and Boost Mobile use T-Mobile for their current coverage. They also both used to use Sprint. With a new plan on the T-Mobile network, both carriers will have identical coverage, including LTE and 5G if you have a compatible phone. A 5G phone will help you get the most of either carrier with T-Mobile's 5G coverage, reaching 305 million people with upgraded 5G speeds available to more than 165 million.

Since both carriers are prepaid, you can easily switch if you find coverage to be suboptimal down the line. This is more likely with Boost Mobile since it's owned by Dish Wireless. Dish has reached a new deal with AT&T for future coverage and is hard at work building its own 5G network with testing beginning in mid-2021. It's still years away from affecting customers but worth considering if you're looking for a long-term solution.

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Tello's plans

To build your Tello plan, you just need two pieces of information— how much data you need and how many minutes you need. Texts are unlimited on any plan with talk minutes. To get a good idea of how much data you need, you can look at your past bills to see your usage. You can also start small and upgrade your plan as needed if you're not sure how much you'll need. Keep in mind that using Wi-Fi can save a lot of data.

Tello's offers data packages of 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, and unlimited. Unlimited comes with 25GB of high-speed usage. For talk time, you can choose between 100, 300, 500, and unlimited minutes. You can also choose no data or no minutes.

Tello Plan Choices 2021

Source: Tello (Image credit: Source: Tello)

Tello has also preconfigured a few plans for those looking for a good starting point.

Tello Preconfigured Plans June 30, 2021

Source: Tello (Image credit: Source: Tello)

Tello has international calling as well with support for 60 countries for any plan with minutes. Your minutes are used at the normal rate with international calls on Tello.

Tello currently offers new customers 25 percent off for the first six months. This makes Tello a great way to get a lot of data on the T-Mobile network with the flexibility to move to another carrier if it doesn't work out for you.

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Boost Mobile's plans

Boost's plans can seem a bit simpler with only five major options. The smallest plan, available to new customers only, comes with 2GB of data for $15 per month. There's also a $25 5GB plan for new customers. All Boost Mobile plans come with unlimited domestic talk and text. Moving up the 10GB plan has enough data for most people and comes in at just $35 per month.

Moving up to the unlimited plans, Boost includes 35GB of high-speed data with 12GB of mobile hotspot data on the smaller $50 plan and 30GB on the $60 plan. The unlimited plans are a bit expensive compared to Tello, but they also have multi-line discounts for families. On the smaller plan, additional lines are only $30 per month and $40 per month on the larger plan. With three or more lines, Boost becomes a better value than Tello.

Boost Mobile Plans

Source: Boost Mobile (Image credit: Source: Boost Mobile)

The $50 unlimited plan is available for $40 per month for your first six months as well. You can also get three lines for $30 per month after your first payment of $100.

Boost also has one of the best packages for people that need to travel to Mexico. The Todo Mexico add for $5 per month comes with unlimited calls to and from Mexico and 8GB of roaming data in Mexico. There are some other international add ons for international calling and a lot of add-on services. These add-on services range from internet security and device insurance to telemedicine.

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Get the right phone

Galaxy Z Fold 3 AC website

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Thanks to the T-Mobile network, just about any unlocked phone will work on either of these carriers. If you're ready for a new phone, you can grab one of the best Android phones unlocked and take it with you if you choose to change carriers.

You can also buy a phone directly from either carrier though, Tello stays focused on cheap phones, with its only new phones being mid-range devices. Boost has a good selection of Android and iOS devices, with some high-end devices included like Galaxy Z Flip 3 available. Keep in mind that these phones must be active on Boost Mobile for 12 months before becoming eligible to be unlocked.

Tello vs. Boost Mobile: Which should you pick?

Tello website on a Galaxy S8

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Boost Mobile has a lot of value for heavy users and, for families, it's firmly in the lead. Boost's unlimited plans come with enough data for even heavy users. Boost also has a serious advantage when it comes to add-ons, whether you're looking for security extras or services. Still, Boost is more expensive for light and average users without offering any other significant advantages for those users.

Tello has a plan for everyone and manages to keep the price low enough that even light users can save some money. Tello's small data plans are a fantastic value compared to postpaid carriers and nearly every other prepaid carrier. If you need a big data option, Tello has it, but its biggest strength is in its smaller data plans tailored precisely to your needs.

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.