Tello Wireless review December 2018 plus deals on plans & phones | finder.com

Tello cell phone plans | December 2018 review with deals

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Build your own wireless plan with no contracts or long-term agreements.

Tello Wireless offers fully customizable plans starting at just $5 per month. Plans come with a firm no-fees policy, unlimited calling and texting, 4G LTE data (with free tethering) and no contract. Many wireless services now offer no contracts and no fees, but Tello’s “build-a-plan” feature is a new addition to the list of those you can mix and match when choosing a wireless provider.

  • Build your own plan to meet your exact needs
  • Use your phone as a hotspot - tethering is free

Pros

  • No contract. This provider stands by not requiring a contract ever.
  • Low data rates. Users get data prices as low as $0.02 per MB.
  • Nationwide 4G LTE. Coverage is provided on the Nationwide Sprint® Network, so you shouldn’t have to worry whether it’ll be there when you need it.

Cons

  • Excessive data throttle. While most plans with “unlimited” data throttle down the speed once you’ve reached a limit, Tello throttles it down to a disappointing 64kbps. Take this into account when signing up.
  • Auto-renewal. Many users (including this one) consider auto-renew a downside. One of the benefits of no-contract service is to pay only when you want to pay.
  • No minutes, text or data rollover. Every time your service plan automatically renews, you’ll lose any minutes, text messages or data for your full “monthly” allotment.

What is Tello Wireless?

With Tello, pay as you go comes with the option to custom design your own plan. This smaller player in wireless offers calls, texts and 4G LTE data — including calls to Canada and Mexico — in custom packages you choose for yourself.

Don’t have a lot of people to speak to? You might want a plan with no call minutes. Prefer communicating through social media? Pick up a data-only plan. Despise social media and talking to people but don’t mind texting? You get the picture.

Plus, you have to appreciate Tello’s transparency: Its pay-as-you-go rates are posted right on its homepage.

What services does Tello Wireless offer?

Tello Wireless offers custom-designed pay-as-you-go wireless plans. That means that you pick and choose the elements to build your own plan. Or you can let Tello do the work by picking one of its ready-made deals.

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Build Your Own Plans

You combine call, text and data components to find a plan that works with your budget.

Minutes

  • No minutes — $0
  • 100 minutes — $5
  • 200 minutes — $7
  • 300 minutes — $9
  • 500 minutes — $10
  • Unlimited minutes — $11
  • All Tello voice plans include unlimited texts.

Text

  • No text — $0
  • Unlimited texts — from $5
  • All Tello voice plans include unlimited texts.

Data

  • No data — $0
  • 200MB — $7
  • 500MB — $8
  • 1GB — $9
  • 2GB — $14
  • 3GB — $19
  • 4GB — $24
  • 10GB — $34

Ready-Made Deals

  • Economy — $10 a month. 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data.
  • Value — $14 a month. Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data.
  • Smart — $24 a month. Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB data.
  • Data — $39 a month. Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10GB data.

All plans come with unlimited data usage with the speed throttled down to 64kbps once the plan’s data amount is exceeded. All plans renew automatically every 30 days unless the plan is cancelled.

NEW:

Calls to China are also included in all voice plans, in addition to calls to Canada and Mexico.

Are there any other features I should know about?

Tello Wireless offers a few features that are worth knowing about, but nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Use your smartphone as a hotspot. Tello Wireless smartphones can be used as a hotspot with free tethering. That means that the plan’s data balance can be shared free of charge with other devices and/or people if you’re feeling like sharing.
  • International calls included. Not ALL International calls are included, but calls to Mexico and Canada are included, and they do technically count.
  • Auto-Renewal. All plans with Tello Wireless renew automatically every 30 days. This is listed as an advantage, but sadly, it may be seen as a disadvantage for many considering this type of no contract, no fee service.

What to watch out for

With Tello Wireless it can be easy to become distracted by “custom” wireless plans, but you do have other factors to consider.

  • Limited speeds. Watch out for your plan’s data limit, with speeds that throttle down to 64kbps once you hit it.
  • Potentially high international calling rates. Calls to Cuba are drastically more expensive than calls to other countries. With such widely varying international rates, monitor your use to avoid expending your balance mid-month.

How do I sign up for Tello Wireless?

Visit Tello Wireless online and sign up with your credit card or PayPal. To register for a Ready-Made Deal, you’ll need to also create an online account or log in through Facebook.

Compare other cell phone plan providers

Rates last updated December 16th, 2018
Details Features
T-Mobile
T-Mobile
  • Plans: Single Lines and Shared Plans
  • From: $45/month
  • Min. contract: None
  • T-Mobile One Prepaid plan gives you
    Unlimited Talk, Text and 4G LTE data for $75/month
  • If you switch to T-Mobile, they'll pay off your early termination fees
  • Some prepaid plans include unlimited music streaming
    Go to site More info
    FreedomPop
    FreedomPop
    • Plans: Individual, Family, Business
    • From: $0/month
    • Min. contract: None
    • The Basic 500 Plan gives you
      200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB data for $0/month
    • Offers a Free talk, text & data plan
    • Data can rollover month to month
    • Call other FreedomPop users for free
    Go to site More info
    UNREAL Mobile
    UNREAL Mobile
    • Plans: Individual
    • From: $10/month
    • Min. contract: None
    • Unlimited Plan gives you
      Unlimited talk, text and data with 1GB of 4G LTE data starting at $10/month
    • 30-day money back guarantee
    • Rollover unused data
    • VPN and ad-blocker
    Go to site
    SIMPLE Mobile
    SIMPLE Mobile
    • Plans: Individual
    • From: $25/month
    • Min. contract: None
    • The Truly Unlimited plan gives you
      Unlimited talk, text and data for $50/month
    • No contracts
    • No credit check
    • Unlimited international calling
    Go to site More info
    Total Wireless
    Total Wireless
    • Plans: Single Lines and Shared Family Plans
    • From: $25/month
    • Min. contract: None
    • A Single Line plan gives you
      Unlimited Talk, Text and 5 GB of data for $35/month
    • A cheaper option for data using Verizon's network
    • Transparent costs and no contracts
      Go to site More info
      U.S. Cellular Wireless
      U.S. Cellular Wireless
      • Plans: Individual, Family, Business, International, Messaging-Only
      • From: $35/month
      • Min. contract: None if you choose a Prepaid Plan
      • The Unlimited Total Plan gives you
        Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $70/month
      • Among the highest ranked networks in the US
      • Messaging-only plans available
        Go to site More info
        Straight Talk Wireless
        Straight Talk Wireless
        • Plans: Individual, Family, Business & International
        • From: $30/month
        • Min. contract: None - Pay as you go
        • The Unlimited 5G Plan gives you
          Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for just $45/month
        • No contract option for nationwide coverage.
        • Unlimited international plan for $60 a month.
        • Bring your own phone.
          Go to site More info
          Tello
          Tello
          • Plans: Single Lines
          • From: As low as $5 a month
          • Min. contract: No contracts - it's prepaid
          • The Value plan gives you
            Unlimited talk, text and 1GB data for $14/month
          • Build your own plan to meet your exact needs
          • Use your phone as a hotspot - tethering is free
          Go to site More info
          NET10 Wireless
          NET10 Wireless
          • Plans: Data, Pay-As-You-Go, Home, Business, International
          • From: $20/month
          • Min. contract: None if you choose a Pay-As-You-Go
          • The Mega Data User Plan gives you
            Unlimited nationwide talk and text plus 10GB high-speed data for $60/mo
          • Nationwide coverage with flexible prepaid plans for talk, text & data.
          • Unlimited international talk for $65 a month.
          • No credit checks, no activation fees.
            Go to site More info
            Mint Mobile Plans
            Mint Mobile Plans
            • Plans: Individual
            • From: $15/month
            • Min contract: None
            • A 12 month, 2GB plan gives you
              Unlimited nationwide talk and text with 4G LTE data for $15/month
              • Bring your own phone and keep your number
              • Free international calls to Mexico and Canada
              • 7-day money back guarantee
                Go to site

                Bottom line

                Tello Wireless stands out from other options because of its “build-a-plan” option and low rates for data. Its use of the Nationwide Sprint® Network doesn’t hurt either. All in all, it’s a solid option for those considering more budget-friendly third parties.

                Common questions about Tello Wireless

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