Mint SIM hands-on: Prepaid service with longer term discounts partners with Best Buy
There are a number of mobile virtual network operators offering competitive rate options for those tired of paying the big four in the US. With Mint SIM, you can save even more if you pay for a longer period.
There are a growing number of MVNOs and even a few who use the same wireless carrier network to power the service. Mint SIM, from Ultra Mobile, uses the T-Mobile network to provide its service. Earlier this month Mint SIM announced a BestBuy.com partnership that may help educate the masses about prepaid service options.
Most prepaid providers charge a competitive fee on a monthly basis. Mint SIM has plans for three, six, and twelve month options. Talk and text is unlimited for all plans with 4G LTE data provided in blocks of 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB. If you need more data than you prepay, additional data is available for $10 for 1GB or $20 for 3GB.
Plans range in price from $15/month for 2GB with a three month plan up to $30/month for 10GB of data on a six month plan. Mint SIM also comes with a seven day money back guarantee on any three month plan so you can try out a SIM where you live and work before committing to at least three months of service.
Mint SIM announced an exclusive distribution partnership deal with BestBuy.com. All nine Mint SIM plans are available for purchase at BestBuy.com. Additionally, customers purchasing any unlocked device will have a one-time offer to bundle their device with any Mint SIM plan and receive $20 off the plan.
A 30-day prepaid trial Mint SIM was sent to me for testing out with the period ending in a couple days. I have a few GSM unlocked phones so slipped the Mint SIM into a Galaxy S8 Plus, BlackBerry KEYone, and HTC U11. You can either provide your own phone or purchase one from Mint SIM. The unlocked phones it offers are rather expensive and there are plenty of great Android unlocked GSM options available so check out Amazon or Swappa for an unlocked phone.
The Mint SIM comes as part of a three-in-one card in mini, micro, and nano sizes. Punch out the size you need for your particular phone and then follow the online activation instructions to setup your account. Put the SIM card into your Android phone and then turn it on.
Many modern Android smartphones will automatically detect the service and data settings needed to use your Mint SIM. Inside the Mint SIM card package there is a small booklet with instructions for setting up your Android and iOS device, but I found them to be outdated. The online Android instructions provides more specifics and I confirmed they are the correct instuctions.
Measured data speeds matched what I experience with T-Mobile on my phones and I had the same voice and text experience with the Mint SIM that I have on T-Mobile. My current family plan on T-Mobile averages $45 per month with unlimited data. Most of the time my family members use less than 10GB so it is possible I could save money using a Mint SIM.
T-Mobile has an expanding network that continues to prove it is fast and reliable. If you are interested in saving money and don't want to be locked into any major carrier, then you may want to try Mint SIM.