In my first month using Mint Mobile’s 3GB $15 per month plan I used up all my high speed data. For the next 13 days I’d need to either live with reduced speed data or add more high speed data.
Recently, I’m always telling people don’t pay for data you don’t need and that I only need a vey modest amount of data. So what happened? It turns out I used up over 2GB of my 3GB of data downloading and streaming podcasts to my iPhone. This was completely avoidable. I could have easily downloaded these podcasts over Wi-Fi before leaving my home or office. I think I got used to have 6GB of data when I was using Verizon Wireless Prepaid.
I’m still going to stay on the 3GB plan. I’ll just manage my data a little better. It’s not really an effort and I’d rather continue paying $15 per month.
I created a couple of videos about this, watch them below.
I wanted to share some more details with you.
I currenly have two options. The first is I an continue to live with the reduced speed data for the remainder of the month or I can by more high speed data. Mint Mobile charges $10 for an additional 1GB of data or $20 for an additional $3GB of data. You can buy the add-on data directly through the Mint Mobile app.
First, reduced speed data is really slow. Your data will be acceptable for doing some some things that don’t require to much data, but some stuff just don’t work well.
What worked with reduced speed data
With reduced speed data, I can still send and receive email messages. If your email messages, contain images or attachments, you’ll spend time waiting for them to display on your phone. You will also be able to send and receive SMS text messages. MMS messages for pictures and group text messages still work. Pictures load slower. For iPhone users, Messages with iMessage still works. Text messages still send and receive pretty quickly, pictures are download slowly. iMessage relies on your Internet connection, so that’s either Wi-Fi or your cellular data connection.
I was still able to browse the web and search Google but browsing was slow. How fast or slow a the web sites you visit are depends on the specific site. web sites with lots of images are very slow.
So far, I have still be able to use Waze, my maps and navigation app. I haven’t visited anywhere new, but I did get traffic condition and reports while driving to some usual stores and local errands.
What Didn’t Work
I was not able to listen to streaming music or watch streaming video. I tried to use the YouTube app and while the app open it took some time for any videos to appear in the app. I tried to watch a video and it didn’t play. The preroll add eventually played but it was an unusable experience. I also tried to play a podcast from Spotify. It didn’t play at all. I’m not surprised.
One interesting experience
I went to the CVS pharmacy to pick up some stuff. I have a loyalty card in the CVS app. Turns out CVS released a new update to the app, and I needed to download the update to use the app. The one on my phone would no longer function. I was unable to update the app with reduced speed data. CVS doesn’t have free Wi-Fi for customers, so I was unable to use my loyalty card. I don’t carry the card, and I didn’t feel like asking them to look it up by phone number. I was planning to use some reward dollars so I just decided to skip an extra purchase.
Measuring the slow data?
While most people won’t do this. I wanted to measure the reduced data speeds to see how slow they were. See the results in the image below.
These results are really slow. I have seen download close to 70Mbps using Mint. These results are a small fraction of 1Mpbs. I measured these results using the Internet Speed Master app from the iPhone App Store.
I normally use the Speed Test app by Ookla but I initially had surprising results. I measured the data speeds with this app, they were still really fast. It turns out that either Mint Mobile, or more likely T-Mobile(the network they use) does not limit the data speeds for this app when you are on reduced speeds. The result, I was still measuring high speed internet, but not getting that when actually using my data. I wish they wouldn’t do this.
I’m still completely satisfied with Mint Mobile and recommend it. It make sense for me to use a plan for people with modest to moderate cellular data needs. I pay for unlimited high speed Verizon Fios service at home (100Mbps) as that is where both my family and I use the most data.
To see some demonstrations of the things discussed on this video, watch the videos below.