Mint Mobile and Google Fi are popular prepaid carriers, as they offer good deals on phone plans compared to other carriers. Each carrier has its positives and negatives, but which offers better phone plans? Let’s compare them and see which is better.
In this article, we plan to discuss the details of both carriers and what they offer. We’ll also cover:
Mint Mobile and Google Fi are both on the T-Mobile network.
Mint Mobile and Google Fi are both mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. This means that they purchase service access wholesale from one of the three major networks that own infrastructure across the country – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – giving customers service at a much cheaper price. Mint Mobile and Google Fi are both MVNOs of T-Mobile.
Often, the quality of coverage comes down to your area. One carrier’s coverage may be better in New York, while another’s coverage may be better in California. It’s important to compare between providers on a coverage map of your specific city. Ookla’s coverage map allows you to see where cellular towers are located and which company owns them. This coverage map provides information about coverage from 2G to 5G for several providers.
However, T-Mobile’s 5G coverage and access is hailed as the best coverage overall.
Mint Mobile offers specific data buckets with each plan, while Google offers unlimited plans and a pay-as-you-go option.
Both carriers give you unlimited talk and texting options with any plan you choose. Google Fi offers 3 plans, and Mint Mobile gives you 4 to choose from. Mint Mobile deprioritizes data, meaning you’ll have slower connection speeds in high traffic areas like concerts venues and shopping centers. Google Fi offers premium data that then slows down for the rest of the month once you reach the specific data cap.
Mint Mobile offers 4 plans, each with multiple options for lengths of service.
Mint Mobile offers plans ranging from 5GB to Unlimited (40GB) data, giving customers more options to meet their needs. Mint Mobile only offers 3, 6, or 12 month plans to sign up for. However, your data is reset every month. Their current New Customer Offer allows you to purchase a 3 month plan at the best deal. Mint Mobile also offers a deal where you can get 6 months of free service if you purchase a phone and a 6 month plan. Mint Mobile allows up to 5 lines on one account, each with their own customizable plan data to draw from.
As a T-Mobile MVNO, Mint Mobile is on tier 7 of 9 Quality of Service Class Identifiers (QCIs).
This indicates the priority level of the carrier on T-Mobile’s network compared to T-Mobile specific plans. This means they’re at a higher priority compared to MVNOs on Verizon or AT&T’s networks. As such, you may experience higher speeds while being deprioritized than other MVNOs.
Mint Mobile keeps your phone locked for the first year after purchase. After, you must request to have your phone unlocked. Taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price.
5GB of full speed data is included before you get unlimited data at slow speeds.
This plan gives you 5GB of data and mobile hotspot access. The plan is again deprioritized, then slows down to 2G speeds after the 5GB allotment. With 2G speeds, users can expect to send text messages and emails or scroll the internet, but streaming video or playing games will be difficult. Hotspot data comes from the 5GB and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $15 per month and $45 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 5GB for $3 per GB.
You get 15GB of full speed data, then unlimited slow data.
This plan gets you 15GB of full speed data and mobile hotspot data. This plan is also deprioritized and slowed down to 2G speeds after 15GB. Your hotspot data comes from the 15GB allotment and stops after 15GB. The plan costs $20 per month and $80 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 15GB at $1.33 per GB.
This plan also gives you unlimited slow data after 20GB.
As it says in the name, you get 20GB of full speed data. This plan is deprioritized, however, and it slows down to 2G speeds after you reach the 20GB cap. The plan also includes mobile hotspot capabilities. Data comes from the 20GB allotment and stops after hitting that amount. The plan costs $25 per month and $75 for the first 3 months. To get the same deal afterwards, you need to purchase 12 months of service. At this rate, you get 20GB at $1.25 per GB.
Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan gives you 40GB before slowing down speeds.
With Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan, you get 40GB of data. Your data is deprioritized, and it slows down to 3G speeds (512 kbps) after 40GB. At 3G, you can still send texts, send emails, and scroll through social media without too many issues. Streaming video might be a bit slower. While this may be a negative for those who use large amounts of data, most users use about 20GB of data per month or less, according to Ericsson Mobility. This plan also gives you 10GB of mobile hotspot data, allowing your phone to become a WiFi connection for other devices. Data stops after 10GB.
The plan costs $30 per month, or $90 for the first 3 months. After that, the price is $40 per month. To get the same $30 per month deal, you need to buy 12 months worth of service. At this rate, you get 50GB at $0.60 per GB.
Several plans offer unlimited data with premium data at a cap.
Google Fi offers 2 unlimited plans and one plan with pay-per-use data. Each of its unlimited plans offer a limited amount of premium data. Each plan allows up to 6 lines and renews monthly. Google Fi is on QCI tier 6 of 9.
If you purchase your phone from Google Fi, your device will already be unlocked. The plans they offer renew monthly, and taxes and fees are not included with the advertised price.
This plan allows you to pay for the exact amount of data you use each month.
Google Fi’s Flexible plan is unlike a lot of other plans on the market, as it allows you to pay a set amount per month for talk and text features. Users then pay for only the amount of data they use. After 15GB of data, your speed is slowed to 256 kbps, or 3G speeds. You can still send texts, emails, and use social media with little issues. Streaming video will be much more difficult.
The plan also includes the ability to buy mobile hotspot data, and all plan data can be used as hotspot data.
The plan costs $20 per month, plus $10 for each GB you use. For example, you’d pay about $70 per month if you used 5GB.
This plan gives you 35GB of premium data before slowing down.
The Simply Unlimited plan gives you 35GB of premium data. Premium data means your data will not be deprioritized in times of high traffic and congestion. After 35GB, data slows down to 3G speeds. 5GB of hotspot data is also included in the plan, then stops after that allotment.
The plan costs $50 per month. At this rate, you get 35GB at $1.42 per GB.
This plan is 50GB of premium data.
Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan has 50GB of premium data. Connection is then slowed down to 3G speeds. You can use all 50GB of plan data as mobile hotspot data, but hotspot data stops after the 50GB.
The plan costs $65 per month. At this rate, you get 50GB at $1.30 per GB.
Mint Mobile offers 6 months of free service when you buy a new phone and a 6 month plan, while Google Fi offers a built-in VPN with all plans.
If you’re looking for a plan with more included features, such as international connection or domestic roaming data, it’s best to compare carriers with what they offer. Mint Mobile and Google Fi both offer their own specific perks. Google Fi offers a built-in VPN with all of their plans, for example, and Mint Mobile offers 6 months of free service if you buy both a new phone and a 6 month plan.
Mint Mobile does not include this feature. All Google Fi plans include domestic roaming data.
Mint Mobile offers talk and text in Mexico and Canada included and roaming data at $0.06 per MB. Google Fi offers talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada included with both its unlimited plans. However, only text is included in their Flexible plan. Talk and data are pay-per-use.
Mint Mobile gives you international text included, while international talk and data are pay-per-use. International talk is $0.25 per minute, while international data is $0.20 per MB. Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan includes international talk, text, and data. The Simply Unlimited plan does not include international connection, and the Flexible plan includes international texting, but talk and data are pay-per-use.
Mint Mobile’s Unlimited plan streams at 480p Standard Definition, while their limited data plans stream at 4k Ultra High Definition. Google Fi offers 4k Ultra High Definition streaming for their Flexible plan and 480p Standard Definition streaming for their unlimited data plans.
Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers a free subscription to Youtube Premium. Mint Mobile does not offer this feature.
Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan offers 100GB of Google One. Mint Mobile does not offer this feature.
If you buy a phone from either carrier, they will allow you to pay for your device in installments over time.
Both carriers offer WiFi calling, which allows you to send and receive phone calls over a WiFi connection rather than cellular reception.
Mint Mobile does not offer this feature. All Google Fi plans offer spam protection included.
Mint Mobile and Google Fi both offer a 7 day free trial.
Mint Mobile and Google Fi do not have physical stores, leaving all of their customer service to online support.
Mint Mobile and Google Fi are both digital-only carriers, meaning they only offer customer support online and over the phone. Mint Mobile offers chat support 24/7 and support over the phone at (800)-683-7392 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST every day of the week. Google Fi offers 24/7 customer support over chat and over the phone at 1-844-TALK-2-FI.
Mint Mobile offers better deals on limited data plan options, while Google Fi offers more perks.
Overall, Mint Mobile offers better deals for the data allotments you get with one of their plans.
If you’re looking for a limited data option, Mint Mobile is the better choice. However, if you do not want to risk deprioritzation, Google Fi is the better choice to pick from. You won’t face any data slow downs as long as you don’t reach the premium data cap. Google Fi also has several perks, such as Youtube Premium and 100GB of Google One storage, that may make you consider signing up for one of their plans. Still, Mint Mobile has the better deal for the price per GB overall.
We’d recommend checking your data usage before committing to a plan.
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