A prepaid phone is one of the best options if you want to lower your monthly phone bill. In this review, we’re going to compare Pure Talk vs Patriot Mobile to see which service will be more worthwhile to have.
Yes, of course, you’re probably hearing about the two today, but they have been around for about a decade now. And as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), they usually resell networks from the major carriers- namely T-Mobile and AT&T at discounted rates.
Pure Talk vs Patriot Mobile: A Quick Peek on the Prepaid Phone Providers
|Feature||Pure Talk||Patriot Mobile|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$20||$25|
|Unlimited data||YES (with cap)||YES (with cap)|
|Free Calls to Mexico/ Canada||NO||Free|
|Video Streaming||YES [1080p HD]||YES [1080p HD]|
|Device Financing Partner||Affirm||Klarna|
Is Pure Talk a Good Service?
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cell phone service, Pure Talk is, indeed, worth it. As an MVNO, it brings you the AT&T service at a fraction of the cost, starting from $20/ month or $16 if you have multiple lines.
Similar to prepaid carriers like Mint Mobile or Spectrum, Pure Talk usually operates as a pay-as-you-go phone. So, it doesn’t require a credit check to create an account, thereby allowing you to join with bad credit or no credit at all.
The best part, Pure Talk has a retail department that sells a variety of entry-level and high-end phones that are already unlocked. Thus, you can easily use the devices with other carriers without having to wait, as with most providers.
Is Patriot Mobile a Good Service?
Yes, Patriot Mobile is also a nice phone service, which you can join with no contract or credit check required. Of course, the rate plans aren’t exactly as low as Pure Talk, but it’s cheaper than T-Mobile postpaid.
More on that, the various Patriot Mobile plans come with either capped or unlimited high-speed data with HD streaming. But unlike with T-Mobile or Verizon, the supposedly “unlimited” plans have capped premium data, as we shall see shortly. Hence, perhaps, the reason the carrier is against continuous streaming or downloading files.
That said, though. Patriot Mobile usually operates under the virtue of “fighting for our shared values”. Hence, the reason you’ll find it amongst the groups condemning American companies forcing #COVID vaccines on their employees. And ironically, the MVNO has recently blasted T-Mobile, its carrier network, on its Facebook page on the “medical tyranny”.
Pure Talk vs Patriot Mobile: Comparing the Features & Perks of the Prepaid Phones
Now you know what to expect on both Pure Talk and Patriot Mobile service, let’s break down the two side by side to see how they differ.
Device Compatibility & Financing
Basically, Pure Talk and Patriot Mobile run on different networks, but they all use GSM technology. Surprisingly, their carrier networks, T-Mobile and AT&T, also happen to share the major band 12*. So, our two services here can also share most unlocked cell phones.
Moreover, both Patriot Mobile and Pure Talk do have cell phones that you can purchase outright or finance through the buy now pay later program. But the AT&T MVNO has a longer product catalog to browse through for either low-end or luxury brands.
Even better, the Pure Talk phones are relatively cheaper than those of Patriot Mobile. Then, you can get some good deals, with up to $250 off on the high-end iPhone and Samsung models. Oh, don’t forget the phones also come fully unlocked.
Winner: Pure Talk from more phone options and lower prices
In terms of availability, AT&T and T-Mobile, the carrier networks of Pure Talk and Patriot Mobile respectively, have nationwide coverage. However, this doesn’t exactly mean you can get a signal everywhere, rather in all the states.
When it comes to the specific areas, AT&T has been able to cover not only the metropolises but also small cities like Milwaukie. Of course, you may experience dead spots when driving through downtown, but it would be more reliable than T-Mobile. Why?
In the Ultra Mobile vs Mint Mobile review, we saw T-Mobile has mostly focused on the metros in the Midwestern region. And so is the availability of its MVNOs, including our Patriot Mobile.
Winner: Pure Talk from the extended coverage of AT&T signal
Free 5G Access
All the two GSM carriers now have access to the 5G network at no additional cost. Then, you can tap into the 5G spectrum of their carrier networks for faster downloading, seamless streaming, and lag-free gaming.
At the moment, both AT&T and T-Mobile are peaking at up to 1000+Mbps on the mmWave band. However, a lot of people have access to the 5G network on the low-band spectrum, which usually offers download speeds of between 100-300+Mbps.
So, you can achieve closer 5G speeds with both Pure Talk and Patriot Mobile. Then, on 4G LTE, you can get an average of 4-35Mbps.
Winner: Both since you can get free 5G access and at least 100Mbps 5G speeds
Phone Plans & Pricing
Similar to most carriers, the rate plans structure is where you’ll notice a significant difference between Patriot Mobile vs Pure Talk service. And like I said earlier, the latter is relatively cheaper, both on the single and multiple lines.
|Features||2GB Plan||4GB Plan||10GB Plan||20GB Plan||Unlimited Plan (A)||Unlimited Plan (B)|
|Regular Price||$20/ mo.||$25/ mo.||$35/ mo.||$45/ mo.||$55/ mo.||$65/ mo.|
|Family Discounts||$2- $4 (2+ lines)||$3 – $5 (2+ lines)||$4 – $7 (2+ lines)||$5 – $9 (2+ lines)||$6 – $11 (2+ lines)||$7 – $13 (2+ lines)|
|Free 5G Access||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|High-Speed Data||2GB (then 2G)||4GB (then 2G)||10GB (then 2G)||20GB (then 2G)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Priority Data||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||60GB (then 3G)||60GB (then 3G)|
|Hotspot Data Cap||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||15GB||25GB|
|New Phone Discount||N/A||N/A||N/A||$100 Off||$175 Off||$250 Off|
As of 2022, the Pure Talk phone plan structure now has up to seven different options to choose from (intentionally left out the 6GB plan). The $65 Unlimited plan is the latest addition to back the original $55 Unlimited.
However, both Pure Talk Unlimited plans aren’t exactly “unlimited” as they include priority data capped at 60GB. Once you hit this limit, your browsing speed will drop to 256kbps (about 3G), then 128kbps (around 2G).
Another thing, Pure Talk does offer family discounts on all the phone plans. And as an MVNO, that’s truly impressive as quite a number of them don’t have the feature.
Patriot Mobile has Family Discounts Too!
Indeed, you can also get a discount when you add multiple lines to your Patriot Mobile account. The discount is on all the rate plans, but the Unlimited Liberty plan has the best deal, as shown below.
|Features||Freedom of Speech||3GB Freedom||5GB Liberty||12GB Liberty||Unlimited Freedom||Unlimited Liberty|
|Regular Price||$25/ mo.||$35/ mo.||$45/ mo.||$55/ mo.||$55/ mo.||$75/ mo.|
|Family Discounts||$2- $4 (2+ lines)||$3 – $5 (2+ lines)||$4 – $7 (2+ lines)||$5 – $8 (2+ lines)||$5 – $8 (2+ lines)||$7 – $11 (2+ lines)|
|Free 5G Access||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|High-Speed Data||0.5GB||3GB (then 2G)||5GB (then 2G)||12GB (then 2G)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Priority Data||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||22GB (then 2G)||40GB (then 2G)|
|Hotspot Data Cap||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Free Calls to Canada/ Mexico||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
As you can see, Patriot Mobile phone plans also give discounts when you have multiple lines on your account. However, the cost on the plans is relatively more expensive than that you can get on Pure talk. Then, the data allotment is a couple of gigabytes less compared to the Pure Talk plans with a similar price tag.
It’s also worth noting Patriot Mobile doesn’t give phone discounts when you choose select plans like Pure Talk. However, it does allow you to make calls to Canada and Mexico at no additional cost, a feature Pure talk doesn’t have at the moment.
Winner: Pure Talk for lower prices, more high-speed data, and discounts on new phones.
Deprioritization & Throttling
Sadly, neither Pure Talk nor Patriot Mobile has its own cell towers. That means you can experience deprioritization when the host networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) are too busy. And similar to other MVNOs, you can expect up to a 60% drop in browsing speed.
So, you’ll be more safe on the 5G band since then your data speed may still be at 50-100+Mbps, which is enough to handle most tasks.
As for the throttling, both prepaid phones also don’t have “truly” unlimited data. The supposedly Unlimited plans have capped premium data. But, of course, Pure Talk has more allowance (60GB vs 40GB), thereby it takes the points on throttling.
Winner: Pure Talk for having a higher throttling cap.
Similar to most things in life, both Pure Talk and Patriot Mobile have their good and not-so-good sides. However, the good features outweigh the bad in both cases since you can get free access to 5G, unlimited voice minutes, a family plan discount, and up to full HD video streaming.
In my opinion, though, Pure Talk will be more worthwhile to have as the next carrier. It not only has better pricing, but also you’ll get more data, wider coverage, and more new phone selections to choose.
Speaking of phones, Pure Talk provides its financing option through Affirm, which allows you to pay over 12, 18, or 24 months. So, you can own a phone brand like iPhone 13 for as low as $34/ month. And since the carrier also offers a Trade-in program, it will even become easier to upgrade to better devices later on.