Truthfully, you want a good phone service that’s not only convenient but also reliable. In this article, we’re going to look at Mint Mobile vs AT&T to see which provider will be more worthwhile for you. That’s in terms of coverage, browsing speed, and plan perks.
In the previous test on Ultra Mobile vs Mint mobile, we said Mint’s a mobile virtual network operator or (MVNO) of T-Mobile. And since MVNOs usually borrow most of their perks from their Main carriers, this post will also give you a glimpse of what to expect from T-Mobile.
Mint Mobile vs AT&T: An Overview on the Phone Providers
|Type of Service||Prepaid||Prepaid & Postpaid|
|Free 5G||YES||YES (Varies)|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$15||$25|
|Download Speeds||Up to 560+Mbps||Up to 1.4+Gbps|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call||YES||YES|
|Video Streaming||YES [Up to HD]||YES [up to UHD]|
|Phone Unlock Period||After 365 days||After 60 days|
|Extra Perks||N/A||Free Stadia Pro, HBO Max™ Pass, AT&T ActiveArmorSM,100GB Cloud Storage, Signature Program discount, & Unlimited international texting|
|Type of Service||Online Only||Online and in-store|
Is Mint Mobile any good?
A quick answer, YES, Mint Mobile’s worth it. For one, the phone provider is an MVNO, which means it brings you the service at discounted pricing. In fact, it’s 50% cheaper than Cricket Wireless and Metro by T-Mobile, yet both are over a decade older. So, you can consider it if you’re looking for a way to cut down your monthly phone bill.
As a GSM network, Mint Mobile can work with most factory-unlocked and carrier-unlocked cell phones. It also has a BYOP program, which allows you to bring your favorite smartphone device to its service.
If preferred, you can also finance a brand-new smartphone from Mint Mobile through Affirm, one of the best shop now, and pay anytime programs here in the US.
Is AT&T Any Good?
Indeed, AT&T is also worth having, for sure. First of all, the provider is now one of the
four three major carriers. So, it brings you the service through its own network infrastructure, which means you’re less likely to experience deprioritization.
Secondly, AT&T has relatively more flexible phone service, including postpaid and prepaid, plus with limited and unlimited data. The unlimited package includes both with and without premium restrictions, thereby allowing you to browse or stream as much as you want.
Furthermore, AT&T is one of the providers that offer free cell phones to new and existing customers, including the latest iPhone and Galaxy. Then, you have the option to bring your own device or finance from as low as $5/ month.
Mint Mobile vs AT&T: Comparing the features and Perks of the Phone Providers
Here are the major similarities and differences between the two carriers.
While they’re using different carrier surfaces, both Mint Mobile and AT&T utilize GSM network technology. Also, the operators run on similar main band 12. So, you should be able to share most of the latest unlocked cell phones between the SIM cards of the two.
In the case of Mint Mobile, though, you also should be able to use your SIM card on a branded T-Mobile phone even before unlocking. That means you might not need to buy another device if you’re switching from the main carrier.
Overall, Verizon has the best coverage across all the States. When we now compare AT&T vs Mint Mobile, the former has the widest coverage, including the outskirts of Oregon, plus most parts of the Midwestern and Northwestern.
Of course, you’ll also get service in some of these parts while using Mint Mobile. But its carrier network, T-Mobile has limited towers, especially in Oregon countryside like Harney County.
Therefore, AT&T takes the points on the Coverage, which can come in handy if your lifestyle involves a lot of traveling.
Note: Mint Mobile usually offers a trial plan if you’d like to test the kind of service you’d be getting in your area. You just need a T-Mobile compatible or unlocked cell phone with at least bands 71, 12, or 4.
Free 5G Access & Speeds
When it comes to 5G, our two providers here offer mixed convenience. If it’s the access pass, Mint Mobile gives it free of charge in all the plans, including the lowest package going for $15/ month.
The access to the 5G network enables you to enjoy browsing at hyper-speeds of 560-780+Mbps when on the high-band (mmWave) spectrum. However, the low spectrum (600MHz) is the most available, in which case you can expect download speeds of between 100-200+Mbps on good days.
As for AT&T, you’ll also have access to the 5G service at no extra charge on you. However, the free access pass is only available to the customers on the Unlimited Plus prepaid plan and all three specialized unlimited plans.
Despite the limited access, though, AT&T offers you download speeds of up to 1.4-1.7Gbps on the 5G+ (mmWave) spectrum. As for the upload speeds, you can achieve between 35-115Mbps on a similar surface.
Sadly, however, a lot of people have access to the AT&T low-band 5G spectrum, which offers between 200-360Mbps download and 12-35Mbps upload speeds.
Therefore, AT&T is the best choice if you’d like to make most of the fifth-generation network. You just need to be within the coverage zone, as well as have a compatible 5G plan and device.
Phone Plans and Pricing
Similar to most carriers, the main difference between Mint Mobile vs AT&T is visible on the rate plans. As was mentioned earlier, Mint mobile is relatively cheaper, bringing you the service from as low as $15/ month per line.
Even so, Mint Mobile usually sells its service in multi-month frequencies, rather not individual months. The cost of the plan bundle reduces with the more months you choose, as shown in the chart below.
|Features||4GB Plan||10GB Plan||15GB Plan||Unlimited Plan|
|3-Month Subscription||$45 ($15/ mo.)||$60 ($20/ mo.)||$75 ($25/ mo.)||$75 ($30/ mo.)|
|6-Month Subscription||$120 ($20/ mo.)||$150 ($25/ mo.)||$210 ($35/ mo.)||$210 ($35/ mo.)|
|12-Month Subscription||$180 ($15/ mo.)||$240 ($20/ mo.)||$300 ($25/ mo.)||$360 ($30/ mo.)|
|Video Streaming||Up to HD||Up to HD||Up to HD||480p resolution (DVD quality)|
From the chart, it’s clear you’ll get to save more bucks with the yearly subscription. In the quarterly package, the shown rates are introductory prices, which is why it’s cheaper than the semi-annual plans.
After the first three months are over, you can continue with the same quarterly plan at $75 ($25/ month). Or else continue at the same price by switching to the yearly plan.
As for the data allotment, Mint Mobile has only a single unlimited plan, which, by the way, they introduced just recently. However, the plan doesn’t offer “Truly” unlimited allowance, rather up to 35GB of high-speed data. Then, drops to 128kbps for the rest of the month.
AT&T Has “Truly” Unlimited Plan
Indeed, AT&T has a “Truly” unlimited plan, but it also comes at a cost, literally. In the plan, AT&T Unlimited Elite, you’ll get uncapped high-speed data and also prioritization when the network is too busy. Some of the other perks you’ll get include:
|Features||5GB Plan||15GB Plan||Unlimited Plan||Unlimited Plus Plan||Unlimited Extra Plan||Unlimited Elite Plan|
|Regular Price||$30/ mo.||$24/ mo.||$65/ mo.||$75/ mo.||$75/ mo. (per line)||$85/ mo. (per line)|
|Autopay Price||N/A||N/A||$50/ month||$50/ month||N/A||N/A|
|Free 5G Access||NO||NO||NO||YES||YES||YES|
|Mobile Hotspot Data||N/A||N/A||N/A||10GB||15GB||40GB|
Similar to most things in life, you get to enjoy the best perks on AT&T when you pay more. As was said, the Unlimited Elite plan has the sweetest dessert of all, including high-speed data that not only has no caps. But also you get to browse and stream as much as you want without ever experiencing deprioritization.
Note, the AT&T prepaid plans do have an 8GB package that you can get at only $25/ month. However, the plan is only available on a yearly frequency, in which case you have to pay $300 upfront.
Moreover, the provider does have family discounts on the unlimited plans, whereby you can save up to $200, depending on the number of lines and plan you get.
Deprioritization and Throttling
In this case, AT&T is the main carrier and has its own network towers. So, you will always get prioritization when the network is busy. However, the provider provides that you can experience deprioritization during congestion after you exhaust your premium data on the unlimited plans.
As for the limited (data) plans, including 5GB, 8GB, and 15GB, you can also expect throttling after you exhaust your high-speed data allowance. That’s the carrier will reduce your browsing speeds from the maximum rate to 128kbps until the end of your billing cycle. So, you won’t get cut off (completely) as with a carrier like TracFone.
On the other hand, Mint mobile leases its network from T-Mobile. So, you’ll be amongst the first to experience deprioritization when the network is too busy in your location. The carrier also has throttling after you have used all your high-speed data allotment on both the limited and unlimited plans.
Therefore, AT&T will be a better choice if you’re a heavy data user or stream a lot while on the go.
Video Streaming Quality
Similarly, AT&T takes the points here as you can watch your favorite videos and movies in vibrant details at up to 4K Ultra-HD resolution. However, the feature’s only available for the users on the Unlimited Elite, which, actually, also comes with free access to the HBO Max streaming service.
Ass for the other unlimited plans, plus, 5GB, 15GB, and unlimited prepaid plans, standard definition streaming’s at 480p resolution. But most of the plans include a data optimization feature, Stream Saver, which you can turn off and enjoy higher definition videos on compatible devices. Just be aware that the action may end up subjecting you to early throttling after draining your high-speed and premium data.
On its end, Mint Mobile has defaulted the streaming of the unlimited plan at 480p quality. They also recommend using a similar setting for the limited plans, but you can also stream in your preferred video quality. Just remember higher video resolutions (HD and UHD) will use up more bandwidth to show your videos. Thus, you could end up finishing up your high-speed data on the same day.
Free Phone and Service Deals
Yet again, AT&T takes the points as they have free phone deals for both their new and existing customers. Hence, enabling you to join or upgrade to a decent device, including the latest iPhones and Galaxys, even when you don’t have cash at hand.
Even so, the AT&T free phone deals require that you have an eligible trade-in, with no cracked screen, spoilt battery, or any other malfunction. You’ll also need to be on any of the unlimited plans on the list.
As for Mint Mobile, you won’t find any free phone deal if that’s what you want. However, you can get up to twelve months of free Mint service when you purchase any of the featured phones and rate plans. Thus, saving you up to $360, which is almost equivalent to a brand-new iPhone SE (2020 Edition).
Both Mint mobile and AT&T are great phone providers. However, it all depends on what you’d want to get at the end of the day.
If your concern is on the pricing, Mint mobile is a much better option, especially if you choose the yearly subscription. You’ll not only save a few bucks but also receive 2GB more of the high-speed data.
Even so, AT&T is my favorite pick and also my first recommendation, especially if you’re a heavy data user. Of course, you might need to pay double on the unlimited plans, but you have a guarantee of better coverage and more service perks. That includes 300% faster browsing speeds, streaming in higher definition, and best of all you’ll have fewer to no chances of deprioritization.