Money expert Clark Howard signed up for Unreal Mobile’s service shortly after it launched in mid-2018. He said it was “flawless” after two weeks of testing on the Sprint CDMA network.
A few months after Clark’s trial, Unreal added AT&T as a second network partner and began selling GSM SIM cards.
Unreal Mobile review: $10/month ‘unlimited’ cell phone plan
Unreal Mobile’s partnership with AT&T allows customers to buy a SIM card and bring any unlocked GSM-compatible Android or iOS smartphone to the low-cost wireless provider.
To add more context to Clark’s initial review, I ordered a SIM card to test Unreal’s service on AT&T’s network.
Unreal Mobile review highlights: AT&T’s network
- Call quality: No dropped calls and clear reception
- Text performance: All texts delivered and received
- Data speeds: Around 10 Mbps download speed
Although Clark’s Unreal Mobile test was on the Sprint network and mine was using AT&T, we had similar experiences. I had no issues with call quality and text performance over my two-week trial period.
Downloads speeds weren’t blazing fast, but I was still able to stream video and surf the web without frustration.
For $10 a month, Unreal Mobile’s cell phone plan is a great value. But there are a few things the company could be more transparent about during the sign-up process. Here’s what you need to know…
1. Unreal Mobile’s plans are not truly unlimited
Unreal Mobile has “Unlimited Mobile Only $10/Month” front and center on its website. What that really means is that you get unlimited talk, text and 1GB of high-speed data for $10 a month.
After you’ve used 1GB of LTE data during a billing cycle, you’re reduced to unlimited data at 2G speeds — much slower.
Unreal Mobile has several high-speed data plans that are more expensive than the $10/month plan. It website says the 3GB LTE data plan for $20/month is the most popular.
To see this list of plans online, Unreal will ask you to enter your email, mailing address and phone number.
2. AT&T SIM requires an app for VoIP
There are a few words in the fine print that some people wish Unreal Mobile would be more clear about. The complaints I’ve read are related to the carrier’s use of VoIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol.
FreedomPop says it means data is used for calling and texting instead of the cellular network.
With Unreal Mobile, customers like me who have an AT&T SIM must download the Unreal Mobile app to make calls and send text messages — you don’t use your phone’s dialer.
This information is listed in the fine print online and more clearly laid out in the setup guide that you receive after paying.
3. Beware of extra fees at checkout
You need to really pay attention during the checkout process. When I added the $10/month plan to my cart, I ended up with a total of $34.97. You can see proof in the screenshot below.
Extra charges for Speed Boost and additional data were automatically added to my order, so I had to uncheck them.
Getting cell phone service on AT&T’s network for $10 a month is possible with Unreal Mobile, but you have to weigh the pros and cons that I’ve outlined in this review.
This service is probably best for cell phone users on a budget who don’t use a lot of data and want to keep AT&T’s network.
If you like AT&T’s network but think that you need a truly unlimited data plan, Cricket is one of the options you may want to consider. Read more in our guide to the best cell phone plans and deals!
More Clark.com stories you may like:
- Cricket Wireless review: Is the budget carrier worth switching to?
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- 3 cheap cell phone plans that run on AT&T’s network
- 5 things to know before you buy a cell phone at Costco