In the latest news, Red Pocket has just announced the availability of the 5G service on its GSM networks. But then, is the carrier really worth it? How good is the coverage in Portland, Oregon? And most importantly which will be more worthwhile to have between Red Pocket vs Mint Mobile?
If you found yourself on the fence between these two phone services, this review covers everything you need to make a more informed decision. I’ll be discussing how Mint and Red Pocket stand out in terms of pricing, coverage, data speeds, deprioritization, phone deals, and more.
Red Pocket vs Mint: A Summary on the Cell Phone Providers
|Feature||Red Pocket||Mint Mobile|
|Carrier Network||AT&T/ T-Mobile/ Verizon||T-Mobile|
|5G Download Speeds||50-230+Mbps||50-700+Mbps|
|Lowest Phone Plan||$10||$15|
|Free Mexico/ Canada Call||YES (and to 80+ destinations)||YES|
|Video Streaming||YES [up to 720 HD]||YES [Up to 4K UHD]|
|Phone Unlock Period||Varies||After 12 Months|
|Extra Perks||6 months free service||3 Months Free Service|
|Type of Service||Online Only||Online Only|
Should I Join Red Pocket Service?
Are you looking for an affordable phone service that literally has coverage in the whole country? Red Pocket would be a great place to start your search. Different from most MVNOs, it has partnered with all the
four three major carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
So, you can join the carrier using the same network that works in your area, only at a lower budget. And when we say a low budget it’s from $10/ month on a basic phone plan.
Furthermore, Red Pocket is one of the few prepaid carriers you can enjoy both family and yearly subscription discounts. Thus, beating Ultra Mobile or Mint Mobile where you can only save decent bucks on multi-month subscriptions.
That said, though, the carrier is yet to integrate eSIM services in case you might be interested. Then, it doesn’t have a free streaming subscription like the ones US Mobile borrows from T-Mobile and Verizon.
Should I Join Mint Mobile Service?
If you’re looking for a decent MVNO on T-Mobile, Mint Mobile isn’t bad either. Of course, some people don’t like the way you must pay for your service in quarterly or yearly bundles. But considering the service’s only $15/ month and the coverage’s as good as the host network, it’s definitely worthwhile.
When trying to compare Mint Mobile vs AT&T, we also saw the MVNO achieving an average of 560Mbps download speed. And surprisingly, that’s also the average on its carrier network, T-Mobile.
If you enjoy streaming videos while on the go, Mint Mobile now supports streaming video in up to 4K Ultra-HD quality. However, doing that may use up to 5.5GB of data in only one hour, which could end up depleting your monthly allowance early.
Also, it’s worth noting Mint doesn’t give family discounts at the moment. And similar to Red Pocket, there are no free streaming subscriptions.
Red Pocket vs Mint: Comparing the Features & Perks of the Cell Phone Providers
1. Network Coverage
On the guide to switch from AT&T to Verizon, we conclude these two carriers have wider coverage than T-Mobile. So, Red Pocket will be a much better choice here since you’ll have a chance to choose the network in your area.
The same applies if you happen to travel a lot, whereby you can opt for the Red Pocket CDMA line (on Verizon). Then, the Red Pocket GSMT (on T-Mobile) or GSMA (on AT&T) line if you’re in areas without a sharp CDMA coverage.
When it comes to Mint service, you only have access to the T-Mobile line. That means you’ll be limited in the places you can use the service since T-Mobile is largely in the metropolises. For instance, I totally can’t advise on Mint Mobile or even T-Mobile itself in remote areas, especially those of Oregon and other Midwestern states.
Winner: Red Pocket has the option to choose lines on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile network
2. Phone Selection & Deals
Well, 2022 is the year all the major carriers- Verizon/ T-Mobile/ T-Mobile will be phasing out their 3G networks. In other words, pretty soon you won’t be able to make calls, text, or use data if not on a 4G LTE or 5G-capable phone.
Fortunately, there are a number of phone companies that give free phones when you switch to their network. But unfortunately, Red Pocket and Mint Mobile aren’t some of them.
Instead, the two providers offer their phone deals in the form of partial discounts, whereby you can save up to $250 on select Red Pocket phones. The company also has an ongoing limited-time offer, whereby you can get six months of free unlimited service if you purchase an iPhone on the GSMA network. Then, you can purchase the phones locked to the Red Pocket network or unlocked.
On the other hand, Mint Mobile is offering a partial discount and three months of free service when you buy select Android and iPhone devices. However, the discount on the devices is capped at $50, then the free wireless service is available on the 4GB plan and to only the new customers.
Winner: Red Pocket phone deals has $300-worth of free service for new & existing customers
3. Free 5G Access & Speeds
Basically, all the two MVNOs have access to the latest 5G bands. However, Red Pocket has introduced the service just recently, and only to the GSMA & GSMT customers. The 5G access on the CDMA bands is currently unavailable, but the company has promised they’re also working on it.
As for the data speeds, Red Pocket has always capped the LTE downloads at 75Mbps, which sometimes drops to 45Mbps. However, a speed test with the GSMA line on the 5G is currently peaking at an average of 230+Mbps. And while it’s six times slower than what we achieved on the last AT&T test, you can still stream, game, or download stuff faster than before.
As mentioned earlier, Mint Mobile can achieve an average download speed of 560Mbps on the 5G Ultra-Capacity spectrum. In some cases, some of the latest phones can peak at 700+Mbps. Thus, faster than the current Red Pocket by up to 200%.
Even so, a lot of people have access to the low-band 5G, which has data speeds ranging 100-300+Mbps. Or 25-80Mbps on the 4G LTE.
Winner: Mint Mobile has faster download speeds on the 5G bands.
4. Phone Plan & Pricing
The phone structure is now where you’ll notice a significant difference between Mint and Red Pocket. And not just with the pricing but also in data allotment.
If we start with Mint, the carrier has up to four rate plans to choose from. But unlike most providers, you can only buy your subscription in either quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly frequencies, as shown below.
|Features||4GB Plan 3.75||10GB Plan 2||15GB Plan 1.6||Unlimited Plan 0.8|
|3-Month Introductory Subscription||$45 ($15/ mo.)||$60 ($20/ mo.)||$75 ($25/ mo.)||$75 ($30/ mo.)|
|3-Month Regular Subscription||$75 ($25/ mo.)||$105 ($35/ mo.)||$135 ($45/ mo.)||$120 ($40/ 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.)|
|4G LTE & 5G||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Mobile Hotspot||YES||YES||YES||YES (capped at 5GB)|
|Video Streaming||4K Ultra-HD Quality||4K Ultra-HD Quality||4K Ultra-HD Quality||4K Ultra-HD Quality|
In the Mint Mobile phone plans, the 3-month introductory bundle is only available for new customers. Once that first installment is over, you can choose to continue with the regular 3-month deal or the yearly plan.
As for the allotments, all the plans include unlimited calling and texting across the country. Then, the browsing starts you with high-speed data of 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, or 35GB, then drops to 128kbps (2G) speeds.
Unfortunately, Mint Mobile doesn’t have “truly” unlimited data as with its carrier network, T-Mobile. So, you’ll need to be careful while doing your online stuff, especially video streaming.
Red Pocket Could be Better!
Yes, indeed, you might find Red Pocket phone plans a bit more flexible and reasonably priced. The official rate plans that you can shop directly from the provider website start from $10/ mo. And in that case, you can get unlimited talk + text and 1GB data if on a GSMT network or 500 talks + text and 500MB data for the GSMA/ CDMA lines.
The following table shows an overview of the other plans, including the pricing and features.
|Features||Basic Plan||3GB Plan||10GB Plan||25GB Plan||Unlimited Plan|
|Single Line Price||$10/ mo.||$20/ mo.||$30/ mo.||$40/ mo.||$50/ mo.|
|12-Month Subscription||N/A||$180 ($15/ mo.)||$270 ($22.50/ mo.)||$360 ($30/ mo.)||$450 ($37.50/ mo.)|
|2+ Lines Discount||N/A||N/A||$10/ mo. (per extra line)||N/A||N/A|
|4G LTE & 5G||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Talk Minutes||500 or Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Text Messages||500 or Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|High-Speed Data||500MB or 1GB||3GB||10GB||12GB or 25GB||50GB or 100GB|
|Video Streaming||HD Quality (720p)||HD Quality (720p)||HD Quality (720p)||HD Quality (720p)||HD Quality (720p)|
In the chart, you’ll notice the yearly pricing of the Red Pocket plans is higher than Mint plans by a few cents. However, it’s still a better choice since you have the option to get your plans on a monthly basis. Then, you can also get a family discount of $10/ month on every line you add to the 10GB plan.
Note: Owners of the Red Pocket CDMA (Verizon) network will be getting the supposedly 25GB plan (at $40) with 12GB of high-speed data. Then, the users of GSMA (on AT&T network) lines will be now getting 100GB of high-speed data instead of the 50GB on the CDMA/ GSMT subscription.
Another thing, you can also get the exclusive Red Pocket/ eBay pay-as-you-go plans from as low as $2.50 to $8.25/ month.
Winner: Red Pocket has more phone plans to consider, monthly packages, and annual/ family discounts
5. Deprioritization & Throttling
Unfortunately, you can expect deprioritization on both Red Pocket and Mint Mobile from time to time. Then, both carriers also do throttle your data after reaching the set limit of the various plans.
Even so, my points on throttling go to Red Pocket since it has more high-speed data, reaching up to 50GB on CDMA/ GSMT and 100GB on GSMA subscriptions.
Winner: Red Pocket phone plans have a higher high-speed data cap.
In general, both Red Pocket and Mint Mobile are great phone services if you’re looking for a way to cut down your phone bill. They do have some decent data allotment and you can even tether wirelessly/ with a cable to your laptop or other phones.
However, Red Pocket is my favorite pick and recommendation. It has everything you may need to enjoy a good phone service, including compatibility with all the major carriers, WiFi calling, and now free 5G access.
Even better, Red Pocket has a free international calling to over eighty different countries. Then, you can get some good deals on the latest iPhone and Android phones.