Tello Mobile Review (2020): Is This $10 Cell Phone Plan Legit?

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure

Tello Mobile Logo

Tello Mobile

Review Summary: Tello Mobile offers an incredible value for those who are in a good Sprint coverage area. Great plans can be had for $10/mo or less per line, no contracts, free tethering, and none of the hidden fees from the big carriers.  


  • Inexpensive plans
  • Bring your own phone
  • Free tethering
  • Easy to get started
  • No contracts
  • Family plans


  • Sprint service only
  • No roaming

This post is sponsored by Tello Mobile. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are 100% our own.

Can you get a REAL cell phone plan for $10/mo?

Tello Mobile thinks so. And they've created a super simple plan to help my fellow frugal-minded readers save some SERIOUS coin on your cell phone plan without taking away all the good stuff.

Example: Tello mobile offers a $10/mo cell phone plan that includes unlimited talk & text, and 1GB of data.

But they also offer so much more, including custom cell phone plans (as low as $5/mo) and inexpensive phones.

In this review you'll learn:

  • How Tello Mobile offers such cheap cell phone plans
  • How using Sprint's network give Tello Mobile great coverage
  • How to score a CHEAP phone from Tello Mobile
  • Who we think Tello Mobile is BEST for

What Is Tello Mobile?

Tello is a cell phone company that provides low-cost plans relying on the Sprint network.

They are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

"Jake, what does that mean?"

It just means they don't own the wireless network (like, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T), but they rent service from them, and give you CRAZY cheap plans to use their service.

So they strike a deal with the big carriers, pass the deals on to YOU, and give you super cheap cell phone service at a fraction of the cost.

What's the catch?

Nothing really. You pick the plan you want (typically with unlimited talk & text), pick your data plan, and start saving.

So is Tello Mobile worth it? 

Let’s find out!

How Does Tello Mobile Work?

You’re ready to save some cash on your cell phone bill. But it is really as simple as it seems? 

Let’s kick off our Tello Mobile review with a deep dive into how Tello Mobile works. 

To get started with Tello, you have to do three things:

  1. 1
    Check you coverage
  2. 2
    Order a plan
  3. 3
    Choose a phone
Tello Coverage Check
  • Get some of the cheapest phone plans around - plans start at $5/month
  • Enjoy ultimate flexibility - no contracts required
  • Change your mind - plans can be reconfigured at any time
  • Stay fee free - no activation or early termination fees
  • Truly keep in touch - Make calls to US, Canada, Mexico, China and Romania
  • Referral Program - refer friends for a $10 bonus!

Tello Mobile Plans

Are you looking to maximize savings on your cell phone bill but you’re not sure where to start? Take a close look at the specifics of your phone bill. Then, look at how your actual usage compares. Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between what people pay for and what they actually need. 

When it comes to plans, Tello really shines. Thanks to the different plan offerings, you can make sure that you pay for everything you need and skip what you don’t. 

Tello offers a variety of plans, including Tello family plans. These plans vary by data and minutes. All plans offer unlimited texting. 

Browse their current plan offerings below to see which plan will work for you. 




Free Text




Unlimited Minutes

Free Text



Unlimited DATA

Unlimited Minutes

Free Text


Plans above aren’t a perfect fit? No problem. Tello also offers you the option to build your own plan:
Tello Custom Plans

Whatever plan you choose, you can change at any time if it isn’t quite right. Ultimate flexibility for ultimate savings!

Tello Compatible Phones

If compatibility is a concern when it comes to switching phone plans, rest assured that isn’t an issue with Tello. Tello lets you bring your own device. 

Some of the current Tello compatible phones include:

  • iPhone
  • Samsung
  • Motorola
  • Nexus

Use the bring your own phone checker to make sure that you can use your specific phone model. You should also note that your phone must be CDMA and unlocked to work. 

If a new phone is in your future, you can also explore Tello phones. This collection of phones is handpicked by Tello for their network. Phones start at $99. Some are new, some are refurbished. All of the options are 100% Tello compatible. 

Tello Phones

Tello Coverage Map

When it comes to cutting costs on your cell phone bill, there’s a lot to consider. Some people worry that paying less means sacrificing service or coverage. It’s great to save money, but for the price of dropped calls and spotty coverage? No thanks!

To see if Tello is a good fit for you, let’s explore their current coverage maps and find out more about the network Tello uses. 

To start, click here or check out the maps below to get an idea of Tello’s current coverage for voice and data.

Tello Voice Coverage
Tello Data Coverage

Which Network Does Tello Use?

Tello is currently running on Sprint’s towers, giving users access to Sprint’s 4G LTE network. If Sprint coverage is strong in your area, you’re already in luck.

Additionally, the Tello coverage map could change for the better soon. With the recent merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, there is some speculation that over time the networks will combine. That would mean that Tello will also start running on T-Mobile’s network. 

Tello Mobile: My Personal Review

I tested out Tello Mobile while traveling through the Cape Cod area in Massachusetts. 

Here's my review:

Phone Setup

I popped the Tello SIM card into my unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9+, and booted up the phone. My phone recognized the new SIM card, I restarted it, and it grabbed a signal right away.

It had me set up my Voicemail right away, and there were no issues getting started.

Service Coverage

We were in an area with poor service all around (our AT&T and Verizon plans were not great either). But with Tello using Sprint's network, I was able to pull a decent 3G signal, and make phone calls and send text messages.

Text messages were sent and received without issue.

Once I got into town, we had a full 5 bars of 4GLTE and amazing data speeds.

Call Quality

I made a few test calls over the course of a few days in my poor service area, and had no quality issues. It sounded great, even with just 3 bars of service.

When we had better LTE coverage, the call quality was the same. No lag, no sound issues, and very similar call quality to our AT&T plan.  

Tello Data Speed

When I was in 3G coverage, the speed was slow (as expected), but I could load webpages and social media.

Once I hit 4GLTE coverage, I tested out the data speeds, and was blown away.

Tello Speed Test

Over 140 Mbps download speeds is the highest I've ever seen on a mobile network, so yeah, it's fast.


Tello gave me the same quality of service at my AT&T plan, no issues with calls, text messages or data. I did burn through the 1GB of data within a week, but we use a LOT of data (10GB+ per line) per month, so I would opt for the $39 unlimited plan if you are a heavy data user like me.

Overall, really dig their simplicity, and crazy cheap plan options. Check 'em out if you're in a great Sprint service area, could save a TON.

Tello Mobile FAQ

You already know the Tello basics. Now, it’s time to learn more about Tello phones with our Tello mobile FAQ. In this FAQ, we give you the quick and honest truth about everything Tello--from contacting customer service and keeping your number to tracking data usage. 

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Tello phones to help you see if making the switch is right for you. 

How do I contact Tello Customer Service?

Need to troubleshoot your Tello phone? You won’t be walking into any brick-and-mortar stores for help. Instead, to contact customer service, dial 611 from your phone or call 1-866-377-0294. You can also use the Tello Contact Us page.

You also have several options to make changes to your plan or cancel your account directly from your account dashboard. 

Are Tello phones unlocked?

Tello currently has a dozen different phones for sale as part of their Tello collection. These phones range from basic to innovative smartphones. 

Tello phones are Sprint-ready CDMA phones. Tello does not require predefined phone plans or phone & plan combos. 

Can you roam on Tello Mobile?

Tello does not currently offer roaming. That means that you cannot access roaming services or national roaming. This can be a problem if you are in parts of the country without Sprint towers. 

However, you do have the option to use WiFi calling to keep you connected when you’re on the go.

Can I keep my current phone number?

Are you dreading the idea of sharing new contact information with your contact list? It’s not a problem with Tello. 

If your phone is currently a Tello compatible phone, you can port your number during the bring your own phone set up process. That means you keep your number, no hassle needed. 

Does Tello offer WiFi calling?

While Tello doesn't currently offer WiFi calling, they do allow you to make a phone call on Wi-Fi using the Tello App.

This is for outbound calls only, and does use your Tello minutes

How do I track my data usage?

There’s nothing worse than losing track of your data usage in the middle of the month. Thankfully, Tello phones make it easy to track your data usage. 

You can do this two ways:

  1. 1
    Check out the Tello Mobile app, or
  2. 2
    Log in and visit the My Tello section of your account.

Tello Mobile: Is It Worth It?

There’s no question about it. Cell phones are an integral part of everyday life. Most of us choose to stay connected for work, for family, and for fun. Just because cell phones are so important to us doesn’t mean that cell phone bills have to take such a bite out of our monthly budgets.

For the cheapest phone plans possible, check out Tello Mobile. You’ll find significant savings and a great deal of flexibility too.  Use this Tello Mobile review as a start and then visit their site to learn more about what Tello can offer you.



Unlimited Minutes

Free Text


Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade has been a nationally-recognized personal finance expert for the past decade. He has written professionally for The Balance, The Spruce, LendingTree, Investing Answers, and other widely-followed sites. 
He’s also been a featured expert on CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, Go Banking Rates, and AOL Finance.

In 2018, Jacob quit his job and his family decided to sell everything (including their home) to take off on an adventure. They traveled the country in an RV for nearly 3 years, visiting over 38 states, 20+ national parks and eventually settling in the sunshine state!

1 thought on “Tello Mobile Review (2020): Is This $10 Cell Phone Plan Legit?”

  1. Hey!! Glad to finally see someone reviewing Tello as a viable option for phone plans. I have gone with their cheapest plan for over a year or two now (100 minutes of talking – I use only if necessary; I don’t care for talking on the phone anyway – and unlimited texting). With the fees and taxes and whatnot, it’s still under $7/month. I don’t bother with data because free Wi-Fi is available almost anyplace these days. Works really well for me, and I recommend it to others when I can. 🙂


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