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Red Pocket Mobile Review
A discount carrier that lets you choose your network
Red Pocket Mobile is kind like the dollar theatre. You won’t get the fanciest seats (fastest data) or the newest movies (best perks), but you’ll still get the main feature you came for (a decent mobile phone plan).
Red Pocket is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that it offers discount plans using major networks’ cell towers. It’s a great option for young kids who need to coordinate rides and adults who don’t need a ton of data.
Before we jump into this whole review, check out Red Pocket’s most popular plan, which costs just $10 a month ($5 for the first month with a WhistleOut promo).
If this awesome deal for talk, text, and data is all you need to see, then go ahead and sign up for Red Pocket now. If you want to know all of the nitty-gritty details, then read the rest of this review.
Red Pocket Mobile plans
- Simple and affordable plans
- Great coverage options
- Free international calling
- Confusing plan options
- Expensive unlimited plan
What we like
Red Pocket Mobile is a carrier for those who’d rather buy the cheaper, store-brand cereal than the expensive brand-name stuff that has the same ingredients (Cocoa Nuggets and Honey Nut O’s, anyone?). It may not be the most prestigious company around, but it gets the job done.
Simple and affordable plans
Red Pocket’s most popular plan is just $10 a month (and just $5 for your first month when you sign up through WhistleOut).
This dirt-cheap (or at least cappuccino-cheap) plan has no activation fee and gets you 500 minutes, 500 texts, and 500 MB of 4G LTE data. That might not sound like much, but it’s plenty for many young kids or older adults who aren’t on their phones 24/7.
Red Pocket has tons of other plans. You can see the most popular ones in the chart at the top of this section. As a rule, the plans are affordable and come with talk, text, and mobile data. But, the higher-data plans from Red Pocket tend to be less of a great deal than the cheaper plans.
Great coverage options
Red Pocket Mobile doesn’t just piggyback on a single network, like most MVNOs. Instead, it uses all four major networks: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. This is awesome for those who know what network works best where they live and travel.
You can learn more about how these networks compare when it comes to data speeds and coverage, check out our network review.
Free international calling
If you’re looking for a cheap way to stay in touch with your tia in Argentina or your babushka in Russia? Lucky for you, Red Pocket will give you free international calling to those countries and about 70 others.
What we don’t like
When you buy a discount product, you know there will probably be a few drawbacks. The question is, are these drawbacks you can live with? Let’s review the less-than-great parts of Red Pocket Mobile.
Different plans for CDMA and GSM phones
If you don’t know the difference between GSM and CDMA phones, then you’re not alone. Basically, both CDMA and GSM are outdated technologies that matter less and less now that phones are running on 4G LTE networks.
This is why it’s pretty frustrating that Red Pocket divides its plans by GSM and CDMA. Many people don’t know what kind of phone they have, and don’t want to take the time to figure it out.
Expensive unlimited plan
For many cell phone users, it’s unlimited data or bust. For those folks, Red Pocket Mobile is not the best option. Red Pocket’s unlimited data plan is $60 a month (it says $30 a month in the chart below, but that’s just for the first month).
You could get basically the same unlimited data plan from another MVNO, like Visible Wireless, for $20 less a month.
How do Red Pocket Mobile’s unlimited plans compare?
Red Pocket Mobile offers up some great deals for those who don’t need a ton of mobile data or perks. But it’s not the only company. There are plenty of discount MVNOs out there, like Unreal Mobile and the carriers in the table below.
Red Pocket Mobile family plans
- Decently priced unlimited data plan
- Mix and match networks
- Data throttled after 8 GB
What we like
Red Pocket Mobile has super cheap individual plans, but it isn’t just a one-trick pony. The carrier also offers a great unlimited data family plan.
Decently priced unlimited data plan
The price reflected in the chart at the top of this section suggests that an unlimited family plan with four lines costs just $30 a month. That would be a ridiculously good deal, but it’s not really true. You’ll get that plan for $30 a month for the first month only with a discount from WhistleOut.
The real price of this four line family plan would be twice that much: $60. That’s still a pretty amazing deal. It’s just $15 a month per line, for unlimited talk, text, and mobile data.
Mix and match networks
While it’s somewhat frustrating to choose between GSM and CDMA networks, the fact that Red Pocket allows you to use whatever network you want is great. And it’s even better when you’re on a family plan, because you can mix and match networks.
Yep, you can be on Verizon’s network, while your spouse who’s on your same family plan can be on AT&T’s network because the data speeds are faster. Meanwhile, your kids can be on T-Mobile’s network, if it has better coverage at their school.
What we don’t like
There’s really just one major problem with this affordable family plan, and it has to do with your mobile data.
Data throttled after 8 GB
When you sign up for an unlimited data plan, you probably want unlimited fast data, not unlimited slow data. Red Pocket Mobile’s family plan will give you a bit of both. You’ll get 8 GB of very fast, 4G LTE data. After that, your data will be throttled at slower speeds.
Sure, 8 GB of data will be enough for many average users (to learn more about how much data you actually need, read our article on mobile data). But 8 GB is not unlimited. And once your plan kicks down to 3G and even 2G speeds you’ll probably notice issues with online gaming and streaming.
How do Red Pocket’s family plans compare?
Red Pocket’s family plan is one of the cheapest ways to get unlimited data for your whole family. But it’s not necessarily one of the best for you and your loved ones. Here’s a look at some other discount family plans with unlimited data.
Red Pocket Mobile coverage
As we mentioned above, Red Mobile lets you choose which network you want to use. If you’re having a hard time deciding, check out these coverage maps to see what network has the best coverage in your area.
Your phone might limit your network choices
If you’re planning to bring your own phone to Red Pocket, you might be forced to use a certain set of networks, depending on the technology in your device. GSM phones will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile, while CDMA phones will only work on Verizon and Sprint.
You can learn more about GSM and CDMA phones in our review.
Red Pocket cell phones and devices
You can always sign up for Red Mobile Mobile online, get your new SIM card in the mail, and pop it into your existing phone. But what if your existing phone is an iPhone 5 with a broken screen and a One Direction sticker on the back? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular devices that you buy directly from Red Pocket when you sign up.
Red Pocket’s customer service
Small MVNOs like Red Pocket generally don’t have the budget for a huge customer service department. This, and the fact that there are fewer customers leaving reviews, makes it hard to evaluate the company’s customer service record.
Still, there are some online reviews on reputable sites that suggest Red Pocket’s customer service is a mixed bag.1
Many reviewers praise the ease of ordering a SIM card from Red Pocket online. Others love the simple and cheap plans. But negative reviews suggest that it’s hard to get an operator from Red Pocket on the phone, and when you do, they might not be too helpful.
Recap: is Red Pocket Mobile good?
We have no idea what the name Red Pocket means. But we do have a pretty good idea of what the company offers. Here’s the recap.
- Plans: Tons of super-affordable plans with talk, text, and cellular data. Just watch out for the confusing GSM/CDMA distinction between plans, and the expensive unlimited data plan.
- Family plans: Red Pocket offers one affordable family plan that gives you unlimited talk, text, and data. The biggest problem is that your data will be slowed down after using 8 GB.
- Overall performance: Red Pocket lets you choose your network (as long as you have the correct phone for the network), which is pretty awesome. However, its customer service leaves something to be desired.
If you’re ready to save some cash on your phone bill then you can sign up for Red Pocket Mobile now.
Ready to save money on your other services, too?
If you’re looking for a discount MVNO phone plan, then you’re probably into getting a lot of service for less money. Are we right? Well, here’s a look at some other ways you might be able to get what you want while saving some cash. Every. Single. Month.
Affordable streaming services
If you’re still paying a ton of money for cable TV, then maybe it’s time to ditch it and get streaming and live TV services by other means. Here’s a look at some of the best deals on streaming services like Hulu and Disney+.
Great internet plans
You’ll want some high-speed internet to support your new streaming services. Here’s a look at the best internet plans. You might be surprised by how cheap they are.