Over the past decade my wife and I have had mobile phone service with quite a few mobile providers.
Most of the companies that we’ve used have been MVNOs, mobile virtual network operators. They’re basically low cost mobile companies that operate on the networks of other larger mobile providers.
Most of the cell providers I’ve used were using the Sprint network, so our network coverage, call quality, etc were very similar to what we would have gotten with them. Being in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, we’ve got great Sprint reception.
Since there are so many MVNOs these days, which one you go with often comes down to the cost of the service, the customer service they offer, extras and other intangibles.
Today I want to look at a provider that we came across recently when researching low cost mobile providers, Gen Mobile.
They have a variety of great calling plans available. They start as low as $9/month for calling plans that offer unlimited calling and texts.
You heard that right, $9/month.
When the average American is spending over $83/month for their wireless service, a $9/month cost sounds like manna from heaven!
After talking with Gen Mobile they offered to send out a couple phones for us to test out the service for ourselves, and also for our son.
So today I want to take you through a quick unboxing of the child safe phone they sent out. Then we’ll look at what options they have on their service for calling plans, available phones, and more. So stay tuned for a full review of Gen Mobile.
Does Your Cell Service Cost Too Much?
I was reading a thread on Twitter recently where people were talking about a young entrepreneur who had shared his “frugal expenses” and talked about how he saves money. One of his expenses was for a $40/month cell phone bill.
Twitter users were mocking this man and calling his expenses unrealistically low. They were trying to figure out where someone could possibly find a mobile plan for that cheap.
There’s a reason why so many thought paying $40/month was super cheap – it’s because the average person spends way more than that.
The average American spends about $1,000 a year on his or her cell phone bill. – ABC News
The average person in the U.S. is spending over $83/month for their wireless service. That’s crazy to me.
If you’ve been paying attention, however, you know that you can find mobile phone service (and not just barebones service) for much less than even $40/month these days.
Gen Mobile is one of the new breed of providers who have calling plans that are much more affordable and flexible than the mobile phone plans of yesterday.
Gen Mobile History
Gen Mobile was launched in 2018 by a team with over 25 years in the 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.
Gen Mobile has only been around since the summer of 2018, but from what i hear so far, they’re providing great service and customer support – at a cost that many would think was impossible.
Gen Mobile – A Mobile Virtual Network Operator
Gen Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. That basically means they do not own and operate their own wireless network infrastructure. They rent space on an existing mobile network from a mobile network operator, in this case Sprint.
Since they don’t have to keep up the network and are only renting space on the network, they are able to get wholesale rates and pass some of the savings on to us.
I’ve been with other Sprint MVNOs in the past and we get great coverage in our area. If you’re wondering if you get good coverage with Gen Mobile in your area, click on the link below and then click on “coverage” link near the bottom to view a coverage map.
A Child’s First Phone (Or A Phone For Granddad)
Our son has been wanting to get a cell phone for a while, but we’re hesitant to get him something that would allow him to have too much unrestricted access to the Internet. There’s just too much scary stuff readily available out there these days. We want to be able to control his access, while still allowing him to get a hold of us if he needs to after school or a sports practice.
After talking with Gen Mobile they suggested that a classic candy bar phone like the LG 101 would be ideal for our son. The phone has no camera or data/WiFi connectivity which means it can only be used to talk and text. Perfect if you’re trying to avoid all the negative stuff out there.
Not only that – but the phone only costs $9 currently. It’s hard to beat that price. It’s also a phone that could work well for the older generations if they’re just looking for something simple, something that mainly makes phone calls and can keep them in touch.
Unboxing The New Phone From Gen Mobile
The folks at Gen Mobile were nice enough to send out the LG 101 candy bar phone 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:
Gen Mobile Available Phones
Gen Mobile has everything from iPhones and Android phones to flip phones for purchase on their store.
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
As you can see they have a pretty wide range of phones available, from high end smartphones, to lower end flip phones and candy bar phones.
Most phones are pre-owned, which helps to keep the cost down. You’ll be spending on average 30% less for these like-new phones, than if you bought them brand new. Something to think about. I can say the phones we got from them were like they were brand new.
Bring Your Own Phone To Gen Mobile
If you don’t want to purchase a phone from Gen Mobile, or you already have one, you can bring phones from Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile or other carriers that use the Sprint Network.
If your phone is from a provider other than those three, you’ll need to make sure that your phone is compatible, and purchase the right SIM card kit. To find out if your phone is compatible, go to the Gen Mobile site and click on the “Bring Your Phone” link for details.
Gen Mobile’s Affordable Wireless Calling Plans
So what is service with Gen Mobile going to cost? As little as $5/month for their texting only plan, and no more than $25/month. What a steal!
With every plan you’re going to get:
- 7 day money back guarantee: Not happy for any reason? Ask for a refund within 7 days of receiving your phone no questions asked.
- 4G LTE data: For plans with data you’ll get 4G LTE high speed data on the Sprint network.
- No annual contract: 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.
Available Calling Plans – 3 Month Plans (10-20% Savings)
If you have already tried out the service and know you’re going to stick with it for the long haul, you can sign up for one of their 3 month plans to save even more money. You can save anywhere from 10-20% off of your plan price! To me that’s a no-brainer.
Here’s the reduced cost if you go for a 3-month plan.
- $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.
In my view, the best thing to do is try out Gen Mobile for a month. If it works well for you (and it probably will), then switch to a 3 month plan long term and save!
Pros & Cons Of Gen Mobile
What are the pros and cons of cell service with Gen Mobile? Here are a few:
- 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?
After trying Gen Mobile for a short time, I can say that the service works well for me in my area. The Sprint Network reception is strong where we live, and the call quality has been good. I haven’t had any problems with the service while using it.
The only caveat I would add is if you’re a heavy user of mobile data. If you use a lot of data on your current plan, upwards of 3GB, Gen Mobile might not be for you. According to Strategy Analytics, however, for people who are on data capped plans the average amount of mobile data used is 1.6GB. If you’re among that group (and you probably are!) you should be more than fine using Gen Mobile.
Gen Mobile Is Reliable, Affordable And Has Good Customer Service
Gen Mobile has only been around since the summer of 2018, but they have definitely made an impression on me with their ultra-low cost service that doesn’t sacrifice good customer service or good call quality.
If you’re looking for a low cost entry level phone plan for one of your children, that will allow you to give them service without all the unneeded extras, Gen Mobile is a good option to check out.
If you need a phone for a parent or grandparent that lets them make calls or text, but without the high cost of traditional plans, Gen Mobile is ideal for that as well.
If you’re a more advanced user like me you can also bring your high end Android or iPhone device to the service, or purchase one of the many pre-owned options available on their site. As long as you don’t need 5-10GB of data you’re going to love Gen Mobile, and the low cost of their plans.
Since Gen Mobile’s service is on the Sprint Network, you probably won’t notice any difference from one of the higher cost alternatives. I know I didn’t.
Try the service out, with a 7 day money back guarantee you’ve got nothing to lose – except maybe a huge mobile phone bill.
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 - 2GB Data) If prepaid for 1 year. Prepay in 3,6, 12 month increments. Buy 3 Months, Get 3 Free)||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|