If you thought you’d never see an unlimited carrier plan for less than $30 a month, then we’d like to introduce you to Hello Mobile.
Many people have not heard of Hello Mobile, because they are still less than one year old. But they are gathering new customers fast, and their prices are compelling.
Being that Hello Mobile is so new, there is limited information about how it compares to competitor no-contract carriers. Our Trickut team examined customer feedback as well as Hello Mobile’s website to bring you this exclusive Hello Mobile review.
Hello Mobile review: an overview
Technically a rebrand of Q Link Mobile (a “lifeline” carrier), Hello Mobile launched in April 2019, making it one of the youngest players in the carrier market.
Founders created Hello Mobile with affordability and international communication in mind. And that’s why members can make calls to over 60 countries included with all but one of Hello Mobile’s plans.
Impressive enough is Hello Mobile’s $25/month unlimited data plan – compared to Mint Mobile’s legendary $25/month annual 12 GB LTE plan. But as great a deal as Hello Mobile’s $25 offer is, there are a few critical trade-offs.
For example, Hello Mobile’s unlimited data is technically only 15 GB of high-speed data (HSD). After 15GB, Hello Mobile throttles your data to alarmingly low speeds. Additionally, users complain of heavy deprioritization (that is, congestion saving prime data speeds for Sprint and T-Mobile customers).
Despite this concern over data speeds, there is a lot to like about this new carrier, especially if you are looking for an incredible group rate or frequently make calls overseas.
Hello Mobile review: an overview
Customers in the US access either Sprint or T-Mobile towers for Hello Mobile service.
Upon sign-up, Hello Mobile detects service quality and assigns customers to whichever provider offers better coverage in their area. Unlike Red Pocket, Hello Mobile customers may not choose between Sprint or T-Mobile.
Hello Mobile Australia
Interestingly, there is also a Hello Mobile carrier in Australia with no real ties to the US carrier brand described in this review. Should you find yourself on a Hello Mobile website with a .au top-level domain, you’re in the wrong place (unless you live in Australia).
Hello Mobile pros & cons
- Free activation
- Super-low rates (for example, $25/month unlimited talk, text, and data plan)
- Incredible family plan bargains
- 2nd-month free promotion to new customers
- Taxes and fees included
- All but one plan includes unlimited calls to over 60 countries
- “High-speed data” may only mean non-LTE 4G or 3G data speeds
- Oppressive throttling
- Heavy deprioritization
How much does Hello Mobile cost?
Hello Mobile is one of the few carriers that do not charge any activation fees.
While Hello Mobile features three carrier options, there are a total of six plans. As noted above, customers can take advantage of the $25/month for unlimited talk, text, and HSD (high-speed data). Plan breakdowns are as follows:
- Unlimited talk, text, and HSD: $25/month
- 5 GB HSD, unlimited talk and text: $20/month
- 3 GB HSD, unlimited talk and text: $17.50/month
- 2 GB HSD, unlimited talk and text: $15/month
- 1 GB HSD, unlimited talk and text: $10/month
- 500 MB HSD, 500 minutes, and unlimited text: $5/month
Because plan pricing includes all taxes and fees, your final bill is as advertised.
Group plan pricing is one of the most significant Hello Mobile advantages over other carriers.
Here is another quick breakdown of plan price ranges based on the number of lines on your subscription (the top number represents the unlimited data plan), excluding the $5/month plan (which will not change when adding more lines):
- 1 line: $25-10 per month
- 2 lines: $20-8.75 per month per line
- 3 lines: $18.33-8.33 per month per line
- 4 lines: $17.50-8.13 per month per line
- 5 lines: $17-8 per month per line
Hello Mobile’s checkout process
Getting started with Hello Mobile is a 3-step process that you can complete online via the carrier’s website.
After selecting the plan you want, advance to the next page where you will check the compatibility of your current phone.
If you don’t want to bring your own phone, you can choose from Hello Mobile’s selection of mobile devices.
Hello Mobile coverage quality
Depending upon your area, Hello Mobile identifies whether Sprint or T-Mobile is more reliable in your area. If you’ve brought your own device that’s only compatible with one carrier, then Hello Mobile will connect you to the respective carrier network.
Call & text quality
To date, there are few complaints about call or text quality among Hello Mobile users. So long as Sprint/T-Mobile coverage is secure in your area, you should be in good shape.
Nowhere on Hello Mobile’s website do they advertise LTE data. While that’s not to say that Hello Mobile customers never experience LTE speeds, customers are noting that they are usually only able to access 4G or 3G data speeds.
As such, 4G and 3G do technically qualify as high-speed data (HSD), and Hello Mobile advertises their data as such. If HSD is adequate for you, then you will be perfectly content.
There is an ongoing concern about Hello Mobile’s data speeds during congestion on Sprint or T-Mobile networks. When data already falls short of consistent LTE speeds, Hello Mobile members are further annoyed by provider deprioritization familiar to all MVNO customers.
Hello Mobile throttling
The biggest negative of Hello Mobile is their throttled data speed. Once you’ve reached your HSD limit (the unlimited plan is technically only 15 GB of HSD), your data speeds decrease to a minuscule 264 kilobytes per second.
Hello Mobile indeed offers customers unlimited calls to over 60 countries. However, when you select the hyperlinked text “60+ counties,” you’ll notice that you can only call to landlines in these 60 countries.
Does that mean you can’t call any international cell numbers? No. You can cell numbers from some countries, but your list of available countries reduces by half.
Hello Mobile phone compatibility
If your phone is compatible with Sprint or T-Mobile, it is most likely eligible to switch to Hello Mobile. During checkout, you will need to confirm your phone’s eligibility using Hello Mobile’s BYOP page.
Disclaimer: Because Hello Mobile wants to encourage customers to follow the online purchase process, the only way to access the BYOP page is to add a plan to your cart and select “Check Compatibility” on Step 2.
When checking your phone’s compatibility, don’t bother creating an account or continuing with the checkout process until you are ready to switch to Hello Mobile.
Can I buy a new phone with Hello Mobile?
Yes, you can. If you prefer to buy a new device, Hello Mobile has a limited selection of Samsung, LG, Motorola, NUU, ZTE, and HP smartphones.
At this time, Hello Mobile does not offer any finance options for their smartphones. However, there are smartphone vendors – including phone manufacturers – that can help you finance a smartphone of your choice.
When financing your new phone, be sure to verify that phone’s compatibility directly with Hello Mobile.
Hello Mobile customer service
Like most reputable prepaid, no-contract carriers, Hello Mobile offers phone support, live chat, and online content to assist customers with questions or issues.
Hello Mobile’s customer support appears to be adequate. Based on customer complaints, it seems that allegations directed at customer service agents are more accurately attributable to HSD speeds and throttling – an issue over which agents have no control.
In a quick recap of this Hello Mobile Review, we are impressed with the low rates. We are further excited about unlimited international calls to select countries. Lastly, Hello Mobile group plans are jaw-droppingly affordable.
Where we would advise customers to look are little more closely are facts about HSD (versus LTE) and throttling practices. In the world of lifeline carriers, these data restrictions are typical. But for the average smartphone user, Hello Mobile’s advertised data could come across as lacking full transparency.