UNREAL Mobile is a new MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) on the market offering some fairly unbeatable pricing packages.
But does it really live up to its name? I'll get to that in a moment, but first I want to talk about how I came to try out and review their service.
A little bit about UNREAL Mobile
UNREAL Mobile is an all-digital, premium mobile carrier that offers the lowest priced unlimited mobile plans starting at $10/mo that was launched a few month ago.
At first I was a little skeptical (as I'm not a fan of over-hyped names / marketing). But, us guys are big fans of the MVNO's out there (like, Tello, Ting, Tracfone and Twigby) – so we love to checkout any new ones that pop on to the scene.
The MVNO market is getting quite packed and the competition to have the best deals are heating up. I currently use Tello for my service and pay $11.34/mo for 300 min, 200 MB and unlimited texts.
While MVNO’s are not perfect (if you are out of range of WiFi, or the network they rent from – Sprint is UNREAL Mobile’s provider, your service will suffer. UNREAL Mobile is now also providing GSM service). But the cost-savings for thriftsters is just tough to beat. I’m also fortunate that I’m always around WiFi service, so I rarely use data (saving lots of $$).
what is UNREAL mobile and what do they offer?
They haven't been around very long. They've already been profiled by some other media outlets out there, like Clark Howard, USA Today and our friend Peter at BibleMoneyMatters.com. And, the reviews are mostly favorable for the service provided.
They offer the chance to buy a phone direct from them (mostly a collection of refurbished models), bring-your-own phone (if it is compatible with Sprint or Verizon), or buy a GSM SIM Card Kit and GSM Hotspot from them. Their latest GSM SIM Card offer is free with a one-time activation fee of $0.99 and GSM Netgear Unite Hotspot is free with a one-time activation fee of $9.99 for a limited time!
When visiting their website, they don’t allow you to just look up plans or other information – but “guide” you through a simplified check-out process beginning with asking users to enter their zip code and phone numbers, then address. Once complete, you’re guided to select a device or bring your own.
If selecting Mobile Phone, you’re guided to select your UNREAL Mobile device.
When a phone is selected, then options for plans come into view – beginning with their “unreal” $10 offering for their unlimited* mobile plan. The asterisk is there because you get unlimited text, talk and up to 2GB of data (but who needs more than that—am I right?).
And the coverage? It's been reported that Sprint may be on the low-end of the big four networks – but I use them with Tello and am generally pleased with the service. Here's a look at their coverage map:
My experience with UNREAL Mobile
I was fortunate to receive a refurbished iPhone 6 to try-out for this review. While the phone was on the low-end for storage, it performed well with the service and was able to text, talk and surf at will (even tried er out after entering the US in North Dakota from a recent trip to Canada).
Also, it was an easy start-up after unboxing – which is something I really appreciate.
As we've said here before when reviewing many of the cell phone providers (and especially MVNOs) – each individual's needs are so different. So, one has to weigh what they'll be needing and using their phone for and go from there. But, from my point-of-view, UNREAL Mobile's offering and UN-beatable pricing certainly lives up to its name.
Have you had any experience with UNREAL Mobile or other MVNOs?
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Comparison to other MVNOs
|MVNO||Network Used||Plan Price|
|Calls to Mexico & Canada Included in Plan||Customer Service||Plan Friendliness|
(Ability to uprade / downgrade at will)
|Boost||Sprint||$35 (Unlimited / 3GB data)||$5 extra||Fair||1 month notice||No|
|Consumer Cellular||AT&T, T-Mobile||$15 (250 min / no data) AARP members can get 15% discount.||International direct dial||Good||Anytime||-|
|Cricket||AT&T||$25 (Unlimited Talk / Text Plan)||Smart / Pro Plans only||Fair||2x per billing cycle||No|
|Gen Mobile||Sprint||$5 (Unlimited text)||Yes (over 101 countries)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|Republic Wireless||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (Unlimited talk / text), + $5/GB||No||Fair (Most CS logged to community)||2x per billing cycle||Yes|
|Straight Talk Wireless||AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon||$35 (Unlimited text/talk + 2GB)||Add-on||Good||Anytime||No|
|Tello||Sprint||$5 (100 min / Unlimited text)||Yes (texts and MMS only)||Good||Anytime||Yes|
|Ting||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (100 min / MB / text. Plans based on what you use). Offers $50 credit upon signup||Yes||Good||Okay||Yes|
|TracFone||Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular||$14.25 for auto-renew (200 min / 500 texts / 500mb)||No||Fair||Okay||No|
|Twigby||Sprint, Verizon||$9.00 (Text + 300min + WiFi only)||Yes (and China)||Good||Yes||Yes|
|UNREAL||Sprint||$10 (Unlimited text + talk + data - up to 1GB)||No||Fair||Yes||No|
|Visible||Verizon (Visible is not considered a traditional MVNO)||$40 (unlimited talk,text and data)||No||Good||Only one plan offered||Yes|