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US Mobile review: The best wireless service you're not using

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(Image: © Joe Maring / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: US Mobile is a flexible and powerful wireless provider that offers highly customizable plans, fast data speeds, and affordable pricing. The phone lineup is disappointing, but that's OK since you can bring your own device, too.

For

  • Blazing fast data speeds
  • Reliable coverage
  • Plans are very customizable
  • Free perks like Disney+ and Spotify Premium
  • Bring your own device

Against

  • The phone selection is a joke
  • No discount for family plans

Although the United States may only consist of four main wireless service providers, there are a plethora of smaller MVNOs out there that piggyback off of The Big 4's service and use it to offer cellular plans that are more affordable and contract-free. Some of the most popular include the likes of Mint Mobile, Ting, and Cricket Wireless, but today I'll be talking about one you likely haven't heard of: US Mobile.

US Mobile is a relatively new MVNO, but after testing it out for a few weeks, I'm inclined to say it just might be one of the best.

Plans

US Mobile website

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

Unlike the big carriers that are focused on only offering different tiers of unlimited plans, US Mobile offers a variety of plans that you can pretty much customize to your heart's content.

If you don't need an unlimited option, US Mobile's Custom Plan allows you to specify how much talk, text, and data you want. You can mix and match these all day long to find something that's just right for your needs. Only need text and data with no talk minutes? US Mobile has you covered. Just want data? You can do that, too.

US Mobile Custom plan

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

Having this level of customization is great, but we think the real value lies with US Mobile's Unlimited Plan.

It starts at $40/month for unlimited talk, text, and Fast data speeds (5Mbps) with 5GB of international roaming. From there, you can spend another $5/month for hotspot access or $10/month for hotspot + Ludicrous data (150Mbps) with 10GB of international roaming.

Source: US Mobile

US Mobile new Unlimited plan

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

Adding further value to the Unlimited Plan are US Mobile's "perks." As you add multiple lines of Unlimited service, you can choose from a wide variety of free entertainment subscriptions.

Customers get to select a free perk with two, three, and four lines, with each tier giving you access to a new bundle of subscriptions. If you have two Unlimited plans, you can choose to get Slacker Plus LiveXLive, Pandora Plus, or Apple TV Plus at no extra cost to you.

If you have three lines of service, you then get access to the Disney Plus bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus, Netflix Standard, an Audible membership, Spotify Premium Family, or Apple Music Family. Then, if you have four or more lines, you get either PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold.

US Mobile perks

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

You get one subscription from each tier, so if you have four lines on your account, you get three free subscriptions. In other words, you could get Pandora Plus, the Disney+ bundle, and PlayStation Plus without having to spend a dime.

This is a big draw to US Mobile, and giving customers the ability to choose which perks they want offers a level of customization we don't see from most other carriers that throw in free services like this.

Coverage

The coverage section on US Mobile's website

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

US Mobile relies on two of the nation's big carriers for its service. These carriers aren't actually disclosed anywhere on US Mobile's website, but we're more than certain that it's T-Mobile and Verizon.

When you sign up for US Mobile, the Starter Kit you're sent includes two separate SIM cards — one for its GSM LTE Network (T-Mobile) and the Super LTE Network (Verizon). Since T-Mobile and Verizon each have their own SIM, this means you can't just hop back and forth between the two the way you can with something like Google Fi.

US Mobile SIM card comparison chart

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

The GSM LTE Network works with any GSM phone, meaning you can bring over devices from OnePlus, Nokia, Motorola, etc. On the flip side, the Super LTE Network is limited to Verizon-compatible devices. US Mobile promotes its Super LTE Network as being the better of the two with better coverage and faster LTE speeds, but all this essentially comes down to is how well or how poorly T-Mobile and Verizon have you covered in your area.

I've been using the GSM LTE Network SIM card in my OnePlus 6, and since T-Mobile has solid coverage in my area here in Michigan, there haven't been any issues whatsoever. I consistently get 4-5 bars of service and some of the fastest data speeds I've seen on any MVNO.

Something else worth keeping in mind is that you can activate both SIM cards that are included with the starter kit. Each one will have a different phone number upon doing so and therefore both will need a separate monthly fee, meaning you can't just swap back and forth between the two for the price of one plan. However, if you and someone else you know are thinking about joining and at least one of you has a Verizon-compatible phone, this means you just need to order one starter kit instead of two.

Data speed

US Mobile speed test results

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

Speaking of data speed, let's talk about that, shall we?

Going back to those three data speeds mentioned above, here's what they translate to:

  • Fast — 5Mbps download speeds
  • Ludicrous — 150Mbps download speeds

I tested the Ludicrous speeds on a Custom Plan, and the lowest download speed I saw was 31.9Mbps late at night on a Sunday, with my fastest test hitting an impressive 98.8Mbps a little after 8:00 AM on a Tuesday. After running eleven speed tests at various times on multiple days, the mean download speed was about 68Mbps with the mean upload coming in at 13Mbps.

Those are some of the fastest speeds I've seen on any MVNO, and for folks that are frequently without a steady Wi-Fi connection, that's a huge benefit.

Phone selection

US Mobile phone selection

Source: US Mobile (Image credit: Source: US Mobile)

If there's one big weak point to US Mobile, it's the company's selection of phones that you can buy. Similar to other MVNOs, US Mobile has a small pool of Android and iOS devices that you can purchase directly through it. Unfortunately, the selection is extremely limited with the only flagship Android handsets being the HTC One M10, Galaxy S6 Edge+, and LG G4.

Furthermore, the fact that US Mobile is still charging $569 for a Galaxy S6 Edge+ — a phone that came out in 2015 — is downright criminal.

Thankfully, you're not limited to these phones at all. You can bring over any phone you'd like, with US Mobile even offering to unlock AT&T phones for you for just $15 (a fee that's refunded back to you if you stay with US Mobile for at least 6 months).

US Mobile Should you join?

US Mobile starter kit

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

So should you sign up for US Mobile? Absolutely.

I've really enjoyed my time using the service and came away with my experience rather impressed. The coverage is reliable, data speeds are incredibly fast, and the flexibility with all of the various plan options makes it easy on just about any wallet. Plus, the free perks add a lot of value for people with multiple lines.

It would be nice to see US Mobile revamp its phone offering in the near future, but then again, the point is kind of moot when you can bring over virtually any device you'd like on your own terms.

4.5 out of 5

If you like what you're seeing, give US Mobile a shot. The SIM Starter Kit is only $3.99, and if you're currently on a main U.S. carrier or another MVNO, there's a good chance you'll find something here that better suits your needs.

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

19 Comments
  • Hm, I'm curious about this. I'll look into it.
  • I have been using US Mobile for my 11yo son's phone for the past 2 months, and have had nothing but a great experience with them. Having the option of the custom plans is one of the best features as you do not have to pay for minutes. texts, or data that you don't need or will never use. Currently only paying under $17/m for his plan. Seriously considering switching all of our lines and leaving Verizon. (Downside is that you will not recieve software updates, would have to manually download and install)
  • That's awesome. I like the idea a lot. From what I see, I can pay the same price of what I'm paying now (for around the same speeds) but be on a better network, even though I'll lose international calling and wifi calling.
  • Typo: search for "seeds"
  • When you say hotspot is $10, is that unlimited hotspot without optimization, throttling or whatever? Reason I ask is because I am on verizon postpaid unlimited and pay $30/line now but I only get 15gb of high speed and then it slows down a lot after that. Also is there any limitation on video? My plan only offers 720p on phones. Finally, is there any data optimization after hitting a certain gb? The highest a current Verizon plan will go is 75gb before optimization.
  • My guess is that they will throttle you to 480p on streaming video...seems to be the default with mobile providers. Also, I'm disappointed that the mid-grade tier only gives speeds of up to 5 MBps. If that were the bottom rung, it would be understandable.
  • No domestic roaming, no chance.
  • Misspell on "Fastest Speeds. On the fastest neworks." on the Coverage page.
  • I pay $50 month for Tmobile unlimited everything with 10gb of Hotspot and got 200+ mbps several times last week in Vero Beach, FL.
  • I get better pricing at Cricket
  • The devil is in the details as they say. The plan looked too good to be true and was about to order a sim card to test the service. If you look at their data plans for unlimited they have an asterisk next to them but I couldn't find the fine print on the web page. After some digging I uncovered that after 22GB they throttle you down to 2G until the next billing cycle not just data prioritization like other carriers do. So for Tmobile if I go over 50gb my speeds could temporarily slow down if I am in a congested area but would go back up. Also looks likes they may throttle when you are streaming down to a 1.5mbps. https://www.reddit.com/r/USCellular/comments/6o136k/us_cellular_finally_...
  • US Cellular isn't US Mobile.. Lol
  • According to one of their agents, if you purchase unlimited with the ludicrous speed, you get HD streaming, 50gb of high speed data before throttling and you can use all 50gb of that data on hotspot use, too. For international data they give you 10gb of 4Glte speed. Seems almost too good to be true. It's got me interested, though.
  • The international roaming section of their site is a bit confusing. Do I step off the plane at my destination, turn on my phone and go about my day like I do with Google Fi, or is it an extra $5 or $15 per 30 days as is also mentioned on their site?
  • HTC One M10 for $700?!? lol
  • After looking at the plans and their costs I'd argue that Visible is a better choice. Especially if you don't travel internationally. With their party pay system you can pay $25 a month for unlimited everything (text, data, tethering) at the same speeds as US Mobile without the throttling.
  • Don't use visible at any cost....spent 2 weeks trying to port my number/activate service this summer and it was literally the worst customer experience I've had....I told them to take a flying leap, and cancelled after 13 days.
  • If we are not using them...how are they the best? 🤔🤪
  • US Mobile doesn't even deserve the one star that I gave them. I have had US Mobile service since August 2019. They sent me a SIM card and it was for the Verizon Network. I activated a brand new unlocked Moto G7 with SIM card and I had no issues. At the time of activation, I had Wi-Fi and worked from home so I never used cellular data and just had 1GBb of data. Wi-Fi kept having service outages so I cancelled the service and upgraded cellular plan to unlimited. I am a ride share driver now. I use my cellular data for GPS sometimes 16 hours a day. Service is connected to Verizon's network and it works okay if the network is not congested. But Buyer beware, that if the Verizon network is congested, evenings, weekends, and holidays, then you might as well forget using it. Actual Verizon Wireless customers have priority over US Mobile customers. If you reach 50GB of data used even subscribing to unlimited data, US Mobile will slow you down to where you can not use the internet.
    I couldn't connect and kept disconnecting so I contacted customer service through chat which also kept disconnecting. They would reset setting on their end, restart my phone, and it would work for a bit, then back to not connecting and disconnecting. This started before Thanksgiving and is still acting up.
    Went through the same troubleshooting steps with at least 8 different reps. One rep reset something and disconnected my phone completely, could not chat or call. Finally dialed 611 and was able to tell rep what happened. Explained that I am a Lyft driver with no service on a busy Friday night in San Antonio and iI can not work without service. Wi-Fi calling wouldn't work when connected to public Wi-Fi network. I used FaceBook messager to call Customer Service. The customer service rep showed no empathy in any way about my phone being disconnected. She actually acted like I was bothering her by calling. The chat agents have the same attitude. I am looking for a new carrier. I need a dependable, reliable network with customer service reps that can actually solve problems and that care about their customers. And by the way, to switch your account you will need account number and pin. They will not give it to you through chat or phone. You have to wait for them, whenever they feel like it to email it to you.
    I have a brand new unlocked device. After 4 months of service, I highly recommend that you do not purchase anything from them. Worst customer service experience that I have ever had from a company. Reps have no idea what they are doing and just don't give a damn about their customers.