Today I thought I’d take a look at SIMPLE Mobile. I’ve known about SIMPLE Mobile for a while, but I think they recently improved their plans and lowered their prices.Right now, I’m not going to do a full review. I’m just going to check out simplemobile.com at see what they have to offer.
Looking at simplemobile.com, the first offer I saw was for their $50 Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data plan. This seems like a pretty good price for an unlimited plan. It also clearly states that streaming video is usually DVD quality, which I’ll get to later.
Next it also clearly states, that they use the T-Mobile 4G LTE network. There a lot of opinions about T-Mobile’s network. Some love it, others not so much, other people seem to forget they even exist. The T-Mobile network has come a long way in the last five years. I used to use it back in 2012 and it wasn’t so good. Coverage wasn’t good in Metro Boston, and it didn’t support the right radio frequencies for the iPhone. Fast forward to 2017 and the network is actually pretty good. Most recently I use the t-mobile network as part of my Google Fi service and I found the coverage to be excellent and speeds to be really fast. It was fast that the Verizon network for me in my area and it definitely seemed less congested than the AT&T network during peak hours. If your area has good coverage the T-Mobile network can be a hidden gem.
Looking down simplemobile.com, I see they have a list of seven reasons why you should try SIMPLE Mobile.
- More Speed, More Data, For Less
- No contracts, no credit checks, no hidden fees
- 30-Day Plans Starting At $25
- Unlimited International† Calling to select destinations (up to 15 unique numbers)
- On T-Mobile’s blazing fast nationwide network
- Great smartphones from the hottest brands with low monthly pricing available
- If you already have a compatible phone you love, keep it – purchase a SIMPLE MOBILE sim card and make the switch today!
For me, I think items 1, 3, and 4, really stand out. They promised more speed and faster data for less money, so it’s hard to argue with that. I like plans starting at $25. Finally, international calling included in the base plan price is a really nice feature for people who need it.
Items 2, 5, 6, and 7 are pretty standard for prepaid plans. No contracts and credit checks is standard for prepaid. You can decide for yourself if using the T-Mobile network is a benefit for you and that is going to depend on how well it works where you use your phone. Most carrier sell phones, and most prepaid companies now offer monthly payment plans which I suppose makes a new phone affordable for many people, but I prefer owning my phone outright. Finally, they support Bring Your Own Phone or Device (BYOP/BYOD), which I consider standard for prepaid wireless service.
Looking farther down, I see that you can buy SIMPLE Mobile phones, SIMs, and refills both online and in a number of retail locations including Best Buy, Walgreen’s, and others too. They also have a Find a Retailer / Dealer button present to help you find a store near you. Personally, I have seen SIMPLE mobile in Best Buy, KMart, and I think Target too. They also have $1 BYOP SIM kits at these locations too, which I really like.
Finally, if you look at the fine print at the bottom of the page you’ll see (c) 2017 Tracfone Wireless dba SIMPLE Mobile. DBA is an abbreviation for Doing Business As, so SIMPLE Mobile is yet another brand owned by Tracfone Wireless, with this brand offering service exclusively on the T-Mobile network.
Plans and Features
After looking at the front page, I decided to check out the plans and features. SIMPLE Mobile offers four different plans priced at $25, $40, $50, and $60 per month (30 days).
All four plans include unlmited talk and text as well as international calling and text.
The $25 plan includes 1GB of 4G LTE data, the $40 plan includes 4GB of 4G LTE data. After you use up your high speed data on these two plans, you’ll still have data but the speeds will be reduced to 2G data speeds which will be so slow it’s really only useful for sending a quick email or message. The $50 and $60 plan both include unlimited 4G LTE data. The difference between the tow plans is that with the $60 plan you can use mobile hotspot to connect your laptop, tablet, or other wireless device to your phone and use up to 8GB of 4G LTE data. I like the that they offer this feature and that the don’t make you pay for it if you aren’t going to use it.
If your on the $25 or $40 plan, there isn’t an option to buy more high speed data if you need it.
One issue you need to be aware of is that streaming video will playback at DVD or SD quality. This means that SIMPLE Mobile will reduce the quality of HD video (1080p) to SD video(480p) before streaming it to your phone. Carriers often say they do this because SD video is better optimized for a smartphone and it will help you save your high speed data. If however you have a high end smartphone that can display HD quality video and an unlimited data plan, they really are saving data for themselves, not you. This may be a big issue for some people, others don’t care. Watching video online I think is one of the biggest uses of data and one of the reasons people would need unlimited data.
All four plans offer a discount for automatic payment, where they charge your credit card automatically each month. SIMPLE Mobile calls their automatic payment plan Auto ReUp. The $25 plan has a $1.25 discount. The $40 and $50 plans have a $2.50 discount. The $60 plan has a $3.00 discount. With Auto ReUp, the plan prices are $23.75, $38.50, $48.50, and $57 respectively.
One feature I wanted to point out is that these plans include international calling and texting. You can call both landlines and mobile phones in Mexico, Canada, China, and India. You can call up to 15 unique international numbers per billing cycle. You can also make phone calls from inside Mexico, but not Canada. Based on the description, you are able to directly dial international calls from the US. You can also dial the US and Mexico directly while in Mexico. If you want to make international calls from Mexico you’ll need to dial and access number or use the SIMPLE Mobile Direct App.
The fact that you can direct dial many international calls is nice. Many services require you to always first dial an access number, then the phone number, similar to those prepaid long distance phone cards that used to be popular. Most services also have an app you your phone that will prepaid the access number. I think the 15 number restriction is reasonable to prevent abuse.
One thing I did not find on simplemobile.com is a description of any limitations for using unlimited data. I assume t-mobile will apply at least the same limitations they do for T-Mobile branded service. On all T-Mobile plans, if congested, top 3% of data users (>30GB/mo.) may notice reduced speeds due to prioritization.. Please not though I am only speculating, as I couldn’t find details on the site.
In conclusion, I’d say I like the $25 plan with one 1GB of high speed data. I think this is a sweet spot for many people. The $50 unlimited plan also seems to be very competitive, if you are a heavy data user and don’t mind the reduced quality DVD streaming video.
What do you think? Leave a reply below and share.