Mint Mobile vs. Verizon Wireless Review 2021
Verizon Wireless is one of the Big
Four Three cellular providers in the country, and offers the best coverage in the country. Of course, premium service comes at a premium cost.
Meanwhile, Mint Mobile is a newer company that’s moving fast and breaking things with its simple, affordable plans. It’s a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses T-Mobile’s network to provide service.
Mint vs. Verizon plans and pricing
Verizon’s plans are powerful, but Mint can save you a lot of money
If we strip away all of the branding and advertising of mobile companies, we’re left with one essential thing: cell phone plans. These plans really speak for themselves. So let’s take a closer look at what Mint and Verizon offer, so you can find the one that’s best for you.
Most people are looking for the perfect mobile plan for me, myself, and I. So let’s review Mint and Verizon individual plans first.
Here’s a peek at what Mint has to offer.
Mint Mobile’s individual plans
Mint’s four plan offerings all include unlimited talk and text, plus some amount of data. You can use your allotted data as mobile hotspot data, but there aren’t really other perks.
Mint’s plans are basically a “what you see is what you get” sort of deal. But what you see is a really low price tag. In particular, Mint Mobile’s $30 Unlimited Plan is probably the best deal in wireless right now. Verizon’s prices … not so much. Here’s a gander.
Verizon’s individual plans
It’s a whopping $40 a month difference between Mint Mobile’s unlimited plan and Verizon’s basic unlimited plan. Listen, we all know Verizon’s awesome coverage is a big deal, but saving $40 a month on an unlimited plan makes a big difference too. But if you want more perks with your cell phone plan, it might be worth opting for the more pricey Verizon plans.
Verizon’s Do More Unlimited Plan, for instance, will get you a free subscription to Disney+ and Apple Music, plus a significantly higher data cap than Mint’s unlimited data plan–50 GB versus 35 GB (after you reach your data cap, your data gets slowed down).
Of course, that Do More Unlimited Plan is almost three times pricier than Mint’s unlimited plan. And it’s not just Mint. When you compare Verizon’s unlimited data plans to other leading plans on the market, they tend to be the priciest (but also the most robust).
Prepaid plans require you to pay your bill at the beginning of each month (or the beginning of your billing period, whenever that may be). The advantage of these plans is that they don’t require a credit check and tend to be cheaper.
All of Mint Mobile’s plans are prepaid, so we’re not going to review them again (see above for details on these plans). But the Verizon plans we reviewed above are all postpaid, which means that you can pay your bill at the end of the month.
However, Verizon does have a few prepaid plans on offer. Here’s a look at those.
Verizon prepaid plans
These plans are clearly cheaper than Verizon’s postpaid mobile plans. But they’re still pricier than Mint’s, without offering any obvious advantages. So, we’ll just come out and say it: if you’re looking for a prepaid plan, Mint is clearly a better deal than Verizon.
Why buy a single serving cell phone plan when you can save some money by going family size?
Family plans make it much easier to manage multiple lines for you, your spouse, and your kids. Plus, you can usually nab a big discount when you add your third, fourth, and even fifth line.
Unfortunately, Mint doesn’t have family plans. But Verizon does. Here’s a look at some of the most popular Verizon family plans on the market.
Verizon family plans
These plans may look pricey at first glance, but each one does include three lines. So, at $165 a month, this Do More Unlimited family plan is actually a full $75 cheaper than if you were to purchase the lines individually. In other words, it’s basically two-thirds the cost.
But, even with family plan discounts, Verizon’s prices are far above the cheapest unlimited data plans on the market.
Mint Mobile vs. T-Mobile data
Mint’s data is slightly faster … unless you’re being deprioritized
Cell phones used to be a lot like old landline telephones (minus the land part): you mostly used them to call people. But these days smartphones are closer to computers. You’re more likely to be browsing, posting, gaming, or working on your phone than talking on it. And all these fancy new activities require data.
But not all cellular data is created equally. There’s 3G data, 4G data, LTE data, and now there’s even 5G data. These Gs signify “generations” of data technology, the higher the number, the faster the data. Faster speeds mean better streaming, web surfing, and everything else.
So, what will your speeds be like with Mint and Verizon?
Verizon vs. T-Mobile network
As we mentioned above, Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network. So, when you’re asking which company has better data speeds, you need to compare Verizon and T-Mobile. Let’s take a look at what our research shows about data speeds.
- Average download speed: 32.73 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 12.9 Mbps
- Average download speed: 32.2 Mbps
- Average upload speed: 10.0 Mbps
To be honest, the difference between Verizon and T-Mobile isn’t huge, and most users likely won’t notice anything.
Deprioritization and throttling
Other major factors to consider when evaluating data performance are throttling and deprioritization. “What the heck does that mean?” you might ask. Here are some quick definitions:
- Throttling: All mobile plans–even unlimited data plans–have data caps. If you go beyond your cap, you’ll experience significant slowdowns (like going from 4G LTE to 3G speeds). These slowdowns will affect everything, including your mobile hotspot data.
- Deprioritization: Some mobile plans–usually cheaper, prepaid plans–come with a risk that their data speeds will be deprioritized, or slowed, when the network is busy. This happens during peak use hours or in really crowded, urban areas.
When it comes to throttling, Verizon’s unlimited plans will give you a higher data cap than Mint Mobile (50 GB versus 35 GB). So heavy data users may notice increased speeds and performance from Verizon.
When it comes to deprioritization, Mint Mobile customers will also be disadvantaged. Mint’s plans are all subject to deprioritization. Meanwhile, Verizon’s Do More, Play More, and Get More unlimited will not be deprioritized.
The risk of throttling and deprioritization is one of the main reasons that people might consider paying the extra bucks to go with Verizon over Mint Mobile.
Verizon vs. Mint coverage
Verizon’s coverage is the best in the nation, but Mint’s isn’t bad
Your awesome new mobile phone plan ain’t worth much if you’ve only got a half bar of service. So, let’s talk coverage.
Verizon’s coverage is known as the best in the nation. But T-Mobile’s (whose network Mint uses) is not bad at all, especially since the company absorbed Sprint. If you live in an urban area, either carrier should cover you just fine.
But for those who live in more rural places, the quality of your coverage may depend entirely on which network has a better presence in the area. Take a close look at these two maps to see if Verizon or T-Mobile is better where you live (or work, travel, etc.).
T-Mobile’s coverage map
Verizon’s coverage map
T-Mobile vs. Mint phones and devices
Ditch that old clunker and grab yourself a new device
Of course you can use your old, unlocked iPhone 6S–the one with the dying battery and the cracked screen–and just throw a Mint SIM card in there. But why not pick up a brand new device on the cheap when you sign up for a new plan?
Both Verizon and Mint will sell you one of the hottest new phones. Verizon’s deals are especially great when you sign up for an unlimited data plan. Take a look.
Verizon cell phones
Recap: Is Verizon better than Mint?
Now that we’ve gone through all the details, let’s do a quick overview of the highlights. Here’s the TL;DR version of Mint versus Verizon.
- Individual plans: Mint offers simple, affordable, and robust plans with anywhere from 3 GB of data to unlimited data. Verizon’s plans are much pricier, but they come with perks, like higher data caps, free subscriptions, and a stronger network.
- Family plans: You can save money on a Verizon plan when you add the whole family. Mint, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any family plan discounts. But Mint is so cheap that it might beat Verizon’s family plan prices anyways.
- Network performance: Mint runs on the T-Mobile network, which offers great data speeds and coverage. Verizon’s network has even better coverage and comparable data speeds. The main difference between these carriers for most people will be deprioritization, which could result in Mint customers having slower data speeds.
If you’re just not seeing what you’re looking for here, then don’t worry. There are plenty of other options. You might want to start by looking at the very best cell phone plans available.