Simple Mobile Vs TracFone: eSIM Activation, Price, Deals

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As some of us may know, TracFone and all its network brands are now under the Verizon umbrella. If you have been keeping an eye on these brands as I have, there have been several changes after the new acquisition. And in this guide, I’ll take you through a brief Simple Mobile vs TracFone comparison to see which will be more worthwhile to get.

While Simple Mobile is a product of TracFone Wireless, they both are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). But unlike most MVNOs, you’ll not just get domestic service. The sister brands also offer international features, such as free calling to 60+ destinations.

Read the complete review below as I break down features like pricing, phone deals, eSIM support, and others.

Verdict: 5 Reasons Simple Mobile is the Best Phone:

  • Simple Mobile has free international roaming
  • Simple Mobile has Truly Unlimited phone plans
  • Simple Mobile has unlimited 2G data on basic plans
  • Simple Mobile has great family discounts on all plans
  • Simple Mobile has free Cloud storage on the Unlimited plan

Simple Mobile vs TracFone: A Summary of the New Verizon MVNOs

FeatureSimple MobileTracFone Wireless
Type of ServicePrepaidPrepaid
Carrier NetworkVerizon (Previously T-Mobile)Verizon (Previously Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile)
eSIM supportN/AYES
5G Download Speeds200+Mbps400+Mbps
LTE Download Speeds55+Mbps50+Mbps
Lowest Phone Plan$25/ month$6/ month (Paid in bulk)
Unlimited MinutesYES 
Unlimited DataYESYES (with Cap)
Family DiscountYESYES
Free calls to Mexico/ CanadaYES (+100 other destinations)YES (+100 other destinations)
Mobile HotspotYES  YES
WiFi CallingYESYES
Recommended for:Best to have when traveling outside the USBest to have it for calling outside the US
Extra PerksFree Cloud storage

In a nutshell, both Simple Mobile and TracFone are great cell phone services. Yes, not all people were happy with Verizon’s acquisition of TracFone Wireless, Inc. in 2021. However, many are okay as they’ve noticed not much difference in the current service.

In the TracFone vs Straight Talk review, we saw the former has cheap service plans from $19.99 for a three-month subscription. Then the one-month subscription starts at only $15 or $10 when you enable the auto-fill model.

As for the improvements, the TracFone phone used to peak around 15-50Mbps on LTE data speed. But a friend using the subcarrier shared a screenshot of a recent speed test on 5G showing around 200Mbps. I’ve seen some users share on community forums about achieving up to 400Mbps.

For Simple Mobile, the data speeds seem to have a cap on both LTE and 5G. But I’d think this has to do with the fact the provider has Truly Unlimited plans. Then the mobile data is on a high-priority standard that brings you faster browsing speeds than the subscribers on the lower QCI priority.

Furthermore, Simple Mobile has some of the best international features. It includes not only free calling outside the US. You’ll also have free roaming in over a dozen countries, something you’ll hardly find with small carriers.

Simple Mobile vs TracFone: Comparing Features & Perks of the Phone Services

Instant eSIM Activation

All TracFone brands are so easy to join. The company has hundreds of stores through its exclusive dealers, plus national and local authorized retailers. You’ll just need to visit the nearest store in your location, then purchase the service and SIM kit.

Alternatively, you can visit the online store of your preferred carrier, in this case, TracFone or Simple Mobile. And once you’ve placed the desired order (on Service or phone), the provider will deliver it to your address within 1-3 shipping days.

If you’d like to activate your service instantly without waiting for the physical SIM kit, TracFone has eSIM activation. However, the feature is only available to Apple users with iPhone 12 and later. (TracFone doesn’t support eSIM activation on Samsung, Google Pixel, or Android phones in general for now).

Unfortunately, Simple Mobile doesn’t support eSIM activation until now- neither with iPhones nor Android phones. You’ll have to wait for the SIM kit to arrive or visit the physical stores that sell the service for instant activation.

 Network Coverage is Great

Before Verizon’s acquisition, TracFone would have won the battle for the best coverage. It used to have a network deal on the three Major Carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Now, Verizon wants all the subscribers using either brand of TracFone through AT&T or T-Mobile to switch to its network. The existing customers are still able to use service on these other networks, albeit the carriers have been enforcing for the switch to Verizon-compatible SIMs.

Simple Mobile has also been affected here as it used to be an MVNO of T-Mobile. But I keep telling myself the switch to Verizon-compatible SIMs is not a bad thing since Verizon still leads on LTE coverage. You’ll always have a working phone when driving through remote areas like Paulina, Prineville, and the mountains (like Blue Ridge).

Tip: Verizon was behind on 5G coverage as they had initially focused on the mmWave Ultra-wideband, which seems to take long to deploy. However, the company has been trying to catch up on C-band deployment, which is now accessible in many areas.

Free Network Roaming

Like any other carrier, Verizon doesn’t have coverage in all places, and this also affects its MVNOs. If on Simple Mobile, though, you’ll have free roaming feature when outside the native coverage. I’m yet to identify the roaming partners of the brand. But I do know it can now access Verizon’s LTEiRA (LTE in rural areas) networks such as Bluegrass Cellular, Pioneer Cellular, Strata Networks, Chariton Valley Communication Corporation, Appalachian Wireless, etc.

As mentioned earlier, Simple Mobile also offers free international roaming, accessible in 16 Latin countries, such as Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. This certainly has bested Tracfone.

As of right now, TracFone is still yet to start working anywhere outside the US. It only supports domestic roaming, which includes the 21 LTEiRA partners of Verizon for all subscribers.

Free Cell Phone deals

TracFone takes the point here as you can get a free phone (Orbic Magic 5G) when you purchase the yearly service plan. It also has partial discounts on various iPhones and Android phones, whereby you can save up to $70 with a qualifying plan.

Simple Mobile also has partial-discount phone deals when you purchase a qualifying service. But, unfortunately, it currently doesn’t have freebies. (The free Moto G Pure phone deal Simple Mobile had with the “Truly Unlimited” plans is no longer available).

Data Speeds are…Good

If you’re looking for a great online experience, TracFone may have the fastest data speeds at the moment. As I’ve said, some people have claimed to achieve up to 400Mbps on 5G, albeit a friend of mine only achieved 200Mbps. Others have expressed to have achieved a little over 100Mbps, which is so similar to Simple Mobile.

As a matter of fact, Simple Mobile data speed on 5G is still around 200Mbps, which I think is the maximum cap. But this shouldn’t surprise me, considering the MVNO used to cap LTE at 20Mbps in the past. It’s only recently you can now achieve up to 50+Mbps on cool days.

Phone/ Service Plans & Pricing

When we compare Tracfone vs Simple Mobile on pricing, the former also takes the lead. The service’s a perfect choice for those who don’t use phone a lot, which is what most love about it.

TracFone has pay-as-go plans for up to a yearly, three-month, and two-month refill cycle. But the regular single-month subscriptions have relatively better allowances.

Chart 2.0 TracFone phone plan Structure

 500MB Plan2GB Plan3GB Plan4GB8GB Plan
Regular Pricing$15/ mo.$20  $25$30  $40  
Pricing (with AutoPay)$14.25  $15.00$20.00  $25.00  $35/ mo.  
Talk MinutesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Text MessagesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
High-Speed Data0.5GB2GB3GB4GB8GB
Video streaming480p Quality480p Quality480p Quality 480p Quality 480p Quality
International CallingYESYES  YES  YES  YES  

Chart 3.0 Simple Mobile phone plans Structure

 3GB Plan 5GB Plan15GB PlanTruly Unlimited1Truly Unlimited2
1 Line Pricing$25/ mo.$30/ mo.  $40/ mo.$50/ mo.  $60/ mo.  
2 Line Pricing$45/ mo.$55/ mo.  $65/ mo.$75/ mo.  $85/ mo.  
3 Line Pricing$65/ mo.$80/ mo.  $90/ mo.$100/ mo.  $110/ mo.  
4 Line Pricing$85/ mo.$105/ mo.  $115/ mo.$125/ mo.  $135/ mo.  
5 Line Pricing$105/ mo.$130/ mo.  $140/ mo.$150/ mo.  $160/ mo.  
Talk MinutesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Text MessagesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
High-Speed Data3GB5GB15GBUnlimitedUnlimited
2G Unlimited DataYES  YESYESN/AN/A
Mobile Hotspot3GB  5GB15GB5GB15GB
Video streaming(HD Quality)(HD Quality)(HD Quality) (480p Quality) (480p Quality)
International CallingYESYES  YES  YES  YES  
International RoamingYES  YES  YES  YES  YES  
Extra PerkN/AN/AN/AN/A50GB Cloud Storage

The TracFone cell phone plans are seemingly not the best value when you consider things like data allotment. However, they’re a perfect choice for those with people outside the US, as you can call up to 100 destinations free of charge.

If you’d like to save more bucks, TracFone has a total of 21 phone plans to choose from for your needs. The pay-as-you-go rates are more affordable as you get to choose plan tiers such as:

  • 400 Minutes (text, text, & Web) 365-day plan for $99.99
  • 24GB Data (plus unlimited talk & text) 365-day plan for $199.00
  • 60 Minutes (text, text, & Web) 90-day plan for $19.99 ($17.99 with auto-refill)
  • 120 Minutes (text, text, & Web) 90-day plan for $29.99 ($26.99 with auto-refill)
  • 750 Minutes (plus 1000 texts & 1GB Data) 60-day plan for $35.00 ($33.25 with auto-refill)
  • 500 Minutes (plus 1000 texts & 500MB Data) 60-day plan for $25.00 ($23.75 with auto-refill)

On its end, the Simple Mobile phone plan structure only has 30-day smartphone subscriptions. The 3GB plan is the cheapest at a regular price of $25 ($23.75 with Auto-Refill). Then the Truly Unlimited (+15GB Hotspot) is the priciest at $60 ($57.00 with Auto-Refill).

While they may still seem pricier than competitors like Red Pocket or Mint, Simple Mobile phone plans have the best value. Besides free international calling to 100+ destinations outside the US, you can also roam in sixteen Latin-American countries at no extra cost.

Another thing, Simple Mobile has a family/ multi-line discount. And as you can see in my chat, you’ll be able to save $5 up to $140/ month, depending on the plan and number of lines.

Important Note:

The price on TracFone or Simple Mobile plans from the charts is as it appears on the carriers’ website. It doesn’t include taxes, fees, and surcharges, which will appear on the checkout page at an amount based on various factors.
For instance, in California, the additional Taxes and fees with TracFone amount to around $2 to $6.40, depending on the phone plan. Then with Simple Mobile, the additional tax fees are $2 to $10+, depending on the plan and number of lines.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Simple Mobile and TracFone are good no-contract phone services if your area has great Verizon coverage. They’re also great if you travel across the country a lot, in particular to remote/ rural areas. Then the free international calling is an added advantage if you have relatives or friends outside the country.

Nonetheless, Simple Mobile will be a better deal if you also happen to travel outside the country. In addition to free international calling, you can also roam in over a dozen countries at no cost.

Even better, Simple Mobile has Truly Unlimited plans (two of them), whereby you should browse or stream as much as desired. You’ll be able to reach over 2+TB without getting throttled (data speed reduced based on usage). But I’ve seen some people claim to see a data cap of 600GB on their Simple Mobile app, which I suspect is for heavy data users.

Furthermore, the Simple Mobile Unlimited plans used to be the high QCI priority of the T-Mobile network until 40GB of data. It’s not clear if this will be the case through Verizon, albeit I’m hoping it will be.