Last week I published a post about Gen Mobile, a new low cost mobile provider.
In the article I talked about why I believe it’s one of the better low cost options available right now for people looking to save some money on their wireless service.
They have calling plans that start as low as $9/month that offer unlimited calling and texts, and texting only plans for as little as $5/month!
The average American has a wireless bill of over $80/month, so paying that little for a mobile plan feels like a steal.
Gen Mobile sent us 2 phones to try out, a child friendly candy bar phone that I looked at in the previous post, and a premium Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone.
Today we’ll take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 that they sent us, do an unboxing video, and then do a review of what options Gen Mobile has on their service for calling plans, available phones, and more.
How Much Do You Pay For Cell Service?
I did an informal poll on Twitter the other day to see what people were paying for their cell service. I got answers from $15/month all the way up to $320/month for a family of 4. Obviously there are some outliers in there, but what does the average person in the U.S. actually pay?
The average American spends about $1,000 a year on his or her cell phone bill. – ABC News
My question is this; Why would people pay that much for cell service if they could get almost exactly the same service for no more than $25/month – like you can with Gen Mobile?
A New Low-Cost Breed Of Provider – Gen Mobile
Gen Mobile opened their doors in 2018, launched by a team with many years of experience in wireless services.
Gen Mobile is U.S. prepaid wireless service provider offering fast and reliable coverage powered by the Sprint® Nationwide Network. We are dedicated to keeping wireless service affordable without compromising network, speed, or quality.
Our plans are designed to fit all budgets and cost no more than $25 per month. And all our monthly plans of $15 or more include unlimited calling to 100 countries so that our customers can stay connected to family and friends around the world.
Gen Mobile was founded by a team with 25 years of combined experience in the wireless industry. We leveraged our expertise to take advantage of the latest technological advances and bring amazingly low prices to our customers.
While Gen Mobile has only been around for just over a year, they’ve made a bold move into the space with plans that are low cost, and service that is top notch.
Gen Mobile Is An MVNO. What Is An MVNO?
Gen Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. MVNOs operate on a wireless network infrastructure that they don’t own, renting space on an existing mobile network. In this case Gen Mobile is on the Sprint network.
Since they are able to get wholesale rates, and don’t have all the overhead of the larger networks, they are able pass some of the savings on to us.
I’ve been happy with other Sprint MVNOs that I’ve used in the past, and thus far we’ve had a similar positive experience with Gen Mobile.
If you’re wondering if you get good coverage with Gen Mobile in your area, click on the link below. On the page that comes up click on “coverage” link near the bottom to view a coverage map.
Premium Phones At A Discount
I’ve been wanting to get a new phone for a little while now, and since I work on my phone a lot for this site I wanted something that has good performance.
I wanted a phone with a decent amount of memory, a good camera (as I take a decent amount of photos for this site with my phone), and something that isn’t bogged down with bloatware.
The Gen Mobile site offers some pretty decent prices on some premium phones. For example, they have the 128GB iPhone 7 which goes for $549 brand new on the Apple site. Buy it through Gen Mobile pre-owned and it currently costs only $319! That’s over 40% off the price!
Since I’m more of an Android aficionado, I was looking for a high end Android phone. They have the Samsung Galaxy S9 available on their site for $429, which has a list price of $599.99. That’s almost 30% off list. I’ll take it!
Unboxing The New Samsung Galaxy S9
The folks at Gen Mobile were nice enough to send out the Samsung Galaxy S9 for me to try out on their service for a month.
Here’s a quick unboxing video of the phone:
Here are some pictures I took as I was unboxing the phone I received from Gen Mobile:
The phone that I received was in mint condition. The Galaxy S9 has a glossy finish and feels high end in design. When you turn it on it runs fast, and handles all the apps without issue. It’s probably one of the nicest phones I’ve ever used.
Gen Mobile: What Phones Do They Have?
Gen Mobile has everything from flip phones, to premium smartphones like the Galaxy S9 that we received.
As of this review, here are some of the phones they have on their site.
- iPhone 7, 6, 6s, 6s Plus, SE
- Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, S8+, S7 Edge, S7, S6
- LG X Power
- LG Stylo 3
- LG G3
- LG 101
- HTC One SV
- Samsung M390 Montage
- Alcatel Cinch
- Alcatel Go Flip
- Samsung Entro
- Kyocera Dura XTP
The phones you’re buying from Gen Mobile are for the most part pre-owned. That means you’ll pay on average 30% less for these phones than if you were buying them brand new.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 that we received was pre-owned, but it seemed like it was brand new. It had no scratches, dings or imperfections. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the generic Gen Mobile box and packaging, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from a brand new phone.
The only small issue I had was that since the phone had been sitting in a warehouse somewhere I did have to do a couple of system updates to the phone when I received it. Not a huge deal and I’ve seen worse with other providers and their phones (One phone I received needed 15+ updates).
Don’t Like Their Phone Options? Bring Your Own Phone!
If the phone options available on the Gen Mobile shop aren’t exactly what you want, don’t despair. You can bring your own Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile or other Sprint Network service phone over to Gen Mobile.
The key is to make sure your phone is compatible before you sign up.
Just go to the Gen Mobile site, click on the “Bring Your Phone” link on their homepage. From there they’ll have details for you on what phones are eligible to be used on the service.
Calling Plans As Low As $9/Month
Gen Mobile has calling plans for anywhere from $5/month up to $25/month.
With every Gen Mobile plan you’re going to get:
- 7 day money back guarantee: Get a refund within 7 days of receiving your phone, for any reason.
- 4G LTE data: You’ll get 4G LTE high speed data on the Sprint network.
- No long term contracts: All plans are renewable at the same monthly or 3 month rate, no gimmicks.
- Nationwide coverage: Gen Mobile will have nationwide coverage on the Sprint network.
- Unlimited global texting: All Gen Mobile plans have unlimited global texting.
- Easy to use app: The Gen Mobile Care app is available to help you manage your account on the go. Track usage, make payments, change plans and more.
- 15 day text freebie: If you forget to pay your bill before it’s due, Gen Mobile will give you 15 days SMS texting for free before your service is shut off.
Available Calling Plans – 1 Month Plans
As of this review here are the one-month calling plans available with Gen Mobile.
- $5/month Unlimited Text Plan: Unlimited USA and international texting, no calling minutes or data.
- $10/month Unlimited Talk & Text Plan: Unlimited talk and text, with no data plan.
- $10/month 300 Min + 1GB Plan: 300 minutes talk time, unlimited text and 1 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $15/month International 1GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 1 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $20/month International 2GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 2 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $25/month International 3GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 3 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
Discounted 3 Month Plans (10-20% Savings)
You can save anywhere from 10-20% off of your plan price if you go with a 3 month plan instead of a 1 month plan.
Personally, after testing the service out to confirm it’s going to work for you, I’d quickly switch over to the 3 month plan. After all, you’ll save quite a bit!
Here’s the 3-month plan costs.
- $9/month Unlimited Talk & Text Plan: Unlimited talk and text, with no data plan.
- $9/month 300 Min + 1GB Plan: 300 minutes talk time, unlimited text and 1 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $13/month International 1GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 1 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $17/month International 2GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 2 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
- $20/month International 3GB Plan: Unlimited USA talk and text, Unlimited minutes to 100+ countries and 3 GB of 4G LTE data. Mobile hotspot capable.
Personally I’ll probably be switching to the $9/month 300 minute/ 1GB plan after my trial runs out. Why not save a few bucks?
Pros & Cons Of Gen Mobile
What are the pros and cons of cell service with Gen Mobile? Here are the ones I mentioned in my previous review, which stand for the S9 as well:
- Very affordable: Depending on your needs your service will be anywhere from $5-$25/month. That’s so affordable!
- Calling plans to fit your needs: Their calling plans all have texts for free, and then you choose the talk and data that fit your needs. Don’t pay for what you don’t need!
- Good selection of phones on their site: Gen Mobile offers a wide variety of phones, at affordable prices.
- Easy porting of your existing number: You can port your current cell number and keep it while you’re with Gen Mobile.
- Great customer service: Their customer service has been good in my brief time using the service. I chatted with support about one small issue I had, and they walked me through a solution very quickly. Very happy with their reps.
- Unlimited calling to 100+ countries: If you need to make international calls, several plans have unlimited international calls to over 100 countries.
- Free tethering: You can use your phone as a hotspot (don’t forget to enable this in the settings), you just have to pay for the data. Not all providers have this.
- Hard cut-off on data plans: When you use up your data, there is no unlimited 2G data like some other providers offer. Instead you can buy an additional 500MB of data for $5.
- Heavy data users may not have enough data: If you’re a heavy user of data – more than 3GB of data per month – you may not have enough data. While you can buy more data, it can add up quick if you’re doing a ton of streaming or something. I rarely use more than 1GB of data personally, so for me it’s not an issue.
Can I Recommend Gen Mobile?
I’ve been using Gen Mobile for a few weeks now, both with a simple candy bar phone that is ideal for kids, and with the new Samsung Galaxy S9 that I just unboxed.
With both phones the service has been great, the network coverage has been expansive (I live in the Minneapolis/St.Paul metro area), and the few times I’ve had to reach out to customer service for a problem, they’ve been extremely helpful.
I had another phone that was sent out that wouldn’t hold a 4G data connection. It tuned out to be a bug with that particular phone. Their team promptly sent me out a replacement phone that fixed the problem for me.
The only people who I can’t necessarily recommend Gen Mobile to are those who are extremely high users of data. Since their highest tier plan has 3GB of data, it may not be ideal if you’re streaming 5-10 GB of data every month. I don’t think most users are using that much data, however, due to the proliferation of WiFi signals just about everywhere we go these days.
Affordable Wireless Service For Premium Phones
Gen Mobile came onto my radar a few months ago when I was researching low cost mobile providers and MVNOs.
After talking with their team and testing out their service for a few weeks I can say that they have a good thing going here. If you’re looking for a premium phone, with premium service, without a premium price, Gen Mobile should be near the top of your list.
Get More Details About Gen Mobile
Are you using Gen Mobile? How has the service worked for you? How much are you saving?
|Moble Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)||Mobile Network||Minimum Plan Price||Free Tethering||Review|
|Gen Mobile||Sprint||$5 (Unlimited Text - No Talk, No Data) $10 (300 Min Talk & Unlimited Text - 1GB Data) Discounts if prepaid for 3 months.||Yes||Review|
|Tello||Sprint||$5 (100 Min Talk & Unlimited Text - No Data)||Yes||Review|
|Twigby||Sprint, Verizon Wireless||$9 (300 Min Talk & Unlimited Text - No Data)||Yes||Review|
|Ting||Sprint, T-Mobile||$9 (100 Min Talk & No Text - No Data)||Yes||Review|
|Red Pocket Mobile||Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint||$10 (500 Min Talk & 500 Text - 500 MB Data)||Yes|
|Republic Wireless||Sprint, T-Mobile||$15 (Unlimited Talk & Text - No Data)||Yes||Review|
|Mint Mobile||T-Mobile||$15 (Unlimited Talk & Text - 3GB Data) If prepaid for 1 year. Prepay in 3,6, 12 month increments. Buy 3 Months, Get 3 Free)||Yes||Review|
|Unreal Mobile||AT&T||$15 (Unlimited Talk & Text - 3GB Data). Prepay in 3,6, 12 month increments.||Yes||Review|
|TracFone||Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint, U.S. Cellular||$15 (200 Min Talk & 500 Text - 500 MB Data) If put on auto-renew save 5%.||No|
|Google FI||T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular||$20 (Unlimited Talk & Text - No Data)||Yes|
|Total Wireless||Verizon Wireless||$23.70 (Unlimited Talk & Text - No Data) $25 without auto-pay.||Yes|
|Cricket Wireless||AT&T||$25 (Unlimited Talk & Text - No Data)||No|
|Boost||Sprint||$35 (Unlimited Talk & Text - 3GB Data)||No|
|Straight Talk Wireless||AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon||$35 (Unlimited Talk & Text - 2GB Data)||No|
|Visible||Verizon||$40 (Unlimited Talk & Text - Unlimited Data)||Yes||Review|
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