About UNREAL Mobile

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: Aug 3, 2018

Using FreedomPop’s platform starting in June 2018, UNREAL Mobile is a service that promises to deliver unlimited talk, text, and data plans starting at just $10 per month, whether you’re using an existing phone or a new one.

The website advertises you’ll also gain access to encryption and privacy tools, ad-blockers, data speed controls, and nationwide network coverage and Wi-Fi calls. You can use your phone number across any device, as well as rollover unused high-speed data, share it with friends, and get plan bonuses for staying on as a customer.

If you’re used to paying $40+ per month for your smartphone contract, Unreal’s $10 per-month cost might seem, well, unreal. Are there any catches, though? And how does their performance compare to other low-cost data services?

We’ll take everything step by step in this brief article.

How Does Unreal Mobile’s Service & Work?

The FAQ on Unreal’s site does a great job explaining how everything functions, but here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

Using the native phone application on a device like a smartphone, or Unreal’s app downloaded to a device like a tablet, customers can make standard calls through a cellular network, or VOIP calls through a data network.

By default, their service is set up so that sending and receiving calls and text messages is handled via cellular, with Wi-Fi/VOIP as a secondary method. According to a company representative we spoke with:

We want our users to have the flexibility to make and receive calls from a US number when traveling internationally. They can do so with VoIP calling. The ability to switch this service on can be simply done by toggling Wi-Fi calling via the UNREAL Mobile app. Inside the app, you will also have access to manage your account, contacts, and enable/disable features such as Private Internet and Ad-Block.

With these fundamentals in mind, before downloading and utilizing the Unreal Mobile app, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to take.

Verifying if Coverage is Available

First, you'll need to find out if coverage is available in your area, which you can do by entering an address on the Coverage Map page on the Unreal website. Keep in mind the company emphasizes this only provides "high-level estimates of [their] wireless coverage. Coverage is not available everywhere and varies based on a number of factors.” No additional details are provided.

However, one thing that stood out to us is that according to their coverage map, Unreal Mobile’s 4G service is available almost exclusively available in the eastern half of the US. Their 3G service expands this area by a bit into the western region, but we could imagine this might present an issue if you live in, or travel to, this area of the country frequently.

Unreal Mobile Coverage MapIn this coverage map pulled directly from their website, we can see Unreal Mobile’s 4G coverage area in green, with 3G represented in yellow. Credit: STS Media, Inc.

Verifying if You Can Bring Your Own Phone

While ascertaining coverage only requires entering an address, doing the same if you plan on bringing your own phone is a bit more involved. You'll have to enter your zip code, email address, and phone number, as well as the MEID or IMEI number on your smartphone.

While the address bar indicated a secure connection during our research, we also noticed a disclosure underneath these fields that read, “I understand that UNREAL may send me telemarketing calls and text messages via automatic telephone dialing system. You are not obligated to agree in order to obtain a product or service.”

Related: How to Stop Spam and Telemarketing Calls

Finally, although you’ll have the flexibility of using your Unreal Mobile number on any phone or tablet that has a data connection, you’ll have to manually complete a carrier reset and transfer your number. The FAQ on their website provides instructions, although this could be intimidating for new users.

Unreal Mobile Call & Data Performance

Unreal’s website emphasizes there are no data caps with their service, and you won’t pay for any additional data used beyond your prepaid plan.

However, you will lose a significant amount of download and upload speed after surpassing your limit. While your standard limit will hover around 3G (0.4Mbps+) or 4G (5+Mbps) speeds, excess data consumption with Unreal Mobile will immediately drop you down to 2G (0.1Mbps) speeds.

We should reemphasize that if you’re not connected to the internet, making a VOIP call will count toward your total data usage (although the company points out that VOIP data usage is actually credited back to you and ultimately does not count towards your monthly data allotment).

The Unreal website also adds activities such as:

“… browsing the internet, checking email, downloading applications or accessing social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. Everything you do on your phone that uses the internet will come from your data plan allotment.

If you connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network, data usage from these activities will not come from your UNREAL Mobile plan. It will instead come from your Wi-Fi network and whatever plan your Wi-Fi router is on.”

Using the Unreal Mobile App

Based on the screenshots provided in Unreal Mobile’s listings in the App Store and on Google Play, it appears you’ll be able to:

  • See when your next payment is due
  • View your monthly ]plan and data amount used
  • Make calls via a keypad
  • Access self-help documents and tutorials
  • Activate tools like a virtual private network (VPN), ad-blocker, and data compression

Unreal Mobile AppThe VOIP technology used by Unreal Mobile’s Android and iOS apps allows customers to make calls from many different devices, even without a cellular connection. Customers also have access to unlimited data for as little as $10 per month. Credit: Google

How Much Does Unreal Mobile Cost & Where Can You Buy?

To sign up for Unreal Mobile, you’ll start by picking your phone on their website. These were the models available at the time of our research:

  • Alcatel Dawn: $49.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S6: $149.99
  • Apple iPhone 7: $299.99

From there, you’ll pick how much LTE data you want:

  • 1GB: $10/month
  • 2GB: $15/month
  • 5GB: $30/month

Then, you’ll continue to checkout and pay.

Unreal’s FAQ indicates you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time by logging directly into your account at my.unrealmobile.com. Their website emphasizes that “if you downgrade your plan, you may lose the extra data, so try to downgrade towards the end of your billing cycle. In addition, if you upgrade, you will incur a prorated charge and receive a prorated amount of data.”

All Unreal Mobile purchases come with a 30-day money back guarantee, which begins from the shipment date. To qualify, “all equipment must be in like-new condition (reasonable wear and tear expected) and include all accessories included in original equipment package.”

Pro tip: If you haven’t opened the package, the company recommends refusing it during delivery, which can help you save any return S&H charges.

If your product is defective, Unreal will exchange it within 90 days of shipment, which you can request by calling 855-486-7325 or by clicking the Submit a Ticket button on their website.

Currently, Unreal’s services and phones are only available directly through their website. However, according to a June 2018 USA Today article, “Best Buy, Target, Amazon and Walmart will sell [their] service online in the coming weeks.”

Unreal vs. Other Mobile VOIP Apps & Data Services

Commercially available VOIP services have been around since 1995, so almost two and a half decades have passed since their inception, which is more than enough time for this technology to grow by leaps and bounds. As a result, there are perhaps hundreds of VOIP services available.

Specifically referencing smartphone apps competing directly with Unreal Mobile, here were some of the most popular options at the time of our research, many of which also offered iOS and Android versions, free voice and video calls to dozens of countries around the world, messaging, and no contracts or hidden fees.

Here’s just a popular sampling of the vast potential competition:

VOIP Provider Plan Pricing Standout Features
Unreal Mobile $10 - $30/mo Provides 1GB - 5GB of data per month with no limits (will drop down to 2G speeds once plan exceeded), iOS and Android compatibility
Mint Mobile $15 - $30/mo Requires purchasing a standalone SIM card, offers prepaid plans for up to 12 months in duration
Ooma Calling app is free; Requires purchase of Telo hardware ($99.99 -$129.99) iOS and Android compatibility, can also connect to business phones and home security for an added cost
MobileVOIP App is free; call prices vary by destination Only offers speeds up to 3G
Rakuten Viber for Mobile $0.01 - $0.92 per minute, depending on the country Android only, also available on PC and Mac computers
WeTalk $1+ iOS only (iPhone and iPad), users can earn credits by checking in daily, you can record calls
Talkatone Free unlimited calling to US and Canadian numbers, int’l rates vary between $0.01 and $0.48 per minute Can make calls to anyone (doesn’t require both users to download the app), limited country availability, free inbound calls regardless of location
MagicJack (aka MagicApp) Unlimited free calls to the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands; also free calls worldwide when both users connected to app; Premium plan = $10/yr 3G/4G/LTE available away from Wi-Fi, includes added features like caller ID, voicemail, and call waiting/forwarding
Vonage $9.99 - $14.99/mo Can link with other residential and business services, can set up virtual numbers, add phone and fax lines to your account
Rebtel $10/mo for up to 56 countries; $0.199 to $0.65 outside these areas Connects international calls using local landlines for better connections (no data needed)

This is obviously saying nothing of completely free options (depending on where and who you’re calling) like Google Hangouts and Skype, as well as national brand name carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and MetroPCS, naming just a few. How can you choose which way to go?

Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind is that according to the USA Today article cited earlier, Unreal “buys the[ir] data from No. 4 wireless carrier Sprint and resells it.” Companies like these—known as mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs—often provide less expensive, more flexible plans than the companies they’re purchasing from.

The downside is that the data for these ‘lessee' customers are frequently capped meaningfully lower than if they were signed up directly through the parent company. "For example," writes Stephen Layton for NerdWallet, "Cricket Wireless LTE data speeds are capped at 8Mbps, whereas AT&T customers can enjoy LTE data speeds of more than 20Mbps, depending on the location."

Once you understand this core difference, it's mostly going to come down to which companies offer the lowest rates (and best audio and video quality) to the countries you're looking to contact. This is in addition to standard considerations for any other products or service, such as general online customer feedback.

Let’s conclude by finding out how all of this stacks up for Unreal Mobile.

Is Unreal Mobile a Better VOIP App & Data Service?

Los Angeles-based STS Media, Inc. (Unreal Mobile’s parent company) held a B rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on more than 420 customer reviews (nearly 70 percent of which were negative) and 1,190+ closed complaints, as of 6/20/18.

Granted, since Unreal Mobile is a brand new service, all of these revolved around the company’s FreedomPop service, although most seemed to reference service and support concerns. The company responded in each instance with a resolution.

Outside of customer reputation, we can see from our table in the previous section that Unreal Mobile is one of the only mobile VOIP providers who also offers data, which could be a big deal if this aspect is at the top of your list. However, from a price perspective, we can see that there are free competitors that might serve you better, depending on where you need to contact, and how you need to reach them (e.g., voice, text messaging, video, etc.).

Given everything we’ve discussed, though, Unreal Mobile seems to stand behind their services with a 30-day refund policy. As a result, you might not have much more to lose than a bit of your time for giving them a try.

Just keep in mind that if you don't have a traditional cable subscription and stream most of your media (movies, TV shows, etc.) through a smartphone, tablet, or another device, you can use anywhere between 1GB and 3GB per hour. So, if you tend to enjoy content like this away from a Wi-Fi connection, a VOIP data service like Unreal Mobile might not be at the top of your list.

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33 Consumer Reviews for UNREAL Mobile

Average Consumer Rating: 3.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 14 4 star: 8 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  8
Bottom Line: 67% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 33
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  • Lying, unlimited text my butt!

    • Texas,
    • Nov 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Text Message Fair Usage. Text messages are included in your Unlimited Monthly Plan subject to a usage limit of 5,000 text messages per month, per Unlimited Monthly Plan. Use of the Phone Service in excess of 5,000 text messages per month is excessive use and is a violation of UNREAL Mobile's FUP. Once the text messages included in your Monthly Plan have been used, your text usage will be suspended for the balance of the month.

    On the website, it says unlimited call and text.

    Unlimited meaning infinity, not 5000 limited, and if you exceed that, you're abusing the service! You liers, change the unlimited text on the plan page to 5000 max! Like their stupid info says, that took me forever to look up, to see why the heck they suspended my account that I pay for!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Total disappointment

    • Tallahassee, FL,
    • Nov 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I enrolled with UNREAL Mobile and could not make even a single phone call using their service. They sent me a phone with a defective WiFi and it wouldn't work until it updated itself, which it couldn't because of the defective WiFi.

    I called and they said they will send me a replacement, which they never did. After calling a few more times and waiting for weeks for the replacement phone to arrive, they said they don't have any replacement phones of the same type in stock. Then I asked to cancel my service and get a refund, which they did after a few more phone calls.

    The UNREAL Mobile people use many tricks to manipulate customers. Here are some that I encountered:

    - They hide the option to "Bring your own phone" so that you buy a phone from them. I would have brought my own phone if I knew it was an option.

    - They hide the customer service number so that you don't call them. It was very hard to find the customer service phone number, in a subpage of a subpage.

    - Their customer service background music is the same song in an infinite loop so that you get annoyed and hang up.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Not worth time, effort, and money

    • California,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is really a B.S. They provide you with a SIM card for $0.01. But that SIM doesn't work, and then they bill you for no service/activation. Stay away from this scam.

    I just spent 30 minutes with the customer service explaining that the SIME was never got activated or worked even after three different trials on three different unlocked phones.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    UNREAL rocks! Great.

    • Texas,
    • Nov 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    UNREAL is outstanding.

    When I ordered my SIM, I had a few problems which were *not* UNREAL's fault. I contacted Customer Service (many times - all my error) and they were just outstanding, just outstanding. Very helpful, courteous and informative.

    They even contacted me to ensure I set up my data connection correctly. World class customer experience!

    UNREAL rocks!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Still haven't gotten the phone I ordered

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Oct 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I ordered a phone from UNREAL Mobile on the 7th, it was supposed to arrive in 5-7 days. Today is the 17th, and it still hasn't shipped from their warehouse! I've tried (unsuccessfully) to call their customer (no) service. The line rings incessantly and is NEVER answered. I tried several days in a row to contact them. I finally just let it ring, I thought surely they would EVENTUALLY pick up. After 45 minutes(!), they hung up on ME! I did notice that they took my money the day I ordered it, but have yet to give me the phone or service. I plan to call my bank and have the charge reversed for fraud.

    DO NOT use this company! If you have a problem, you will have no actual human being to contact, ever!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Perfect for students mostly staying in Wi-Fi area.

    I had two lines for my son and me with Sprint.

    I found out that UNREAL Mobile seemed to offer the lowest rate. I canceled one line for my son with Sprint and opened two lines for my son and daughter with UNREAL Mobile. Even though I opened one more line, I was still able to save more than $120 per year.

    Moreover, UNREAL now supports GSM phones.

    My daughter was able to choose her favorite phone, which was not available on CDMA carriers.

    Limited data in the plan is no problem at all to me since my children mostly stay in Wi-Fi available area (school or home).

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Affordable, reliable service

    • California,
    • Sep 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I use Unreal Mobile on a second phone that I keep for emergency reasons and a backup phone. I liked the pricing of the service and the unlimited talk and text through cell service as opposed to VOIP over other services. One GB of LTE data and then unlimited 2G service for each month with LTE rollover is really wonderful.

    I use the service through their Sprint service as opposed to their GSM service on an Essential Phone PH-1.

    Compared to another service that I was considering, it will save me approximately $50 a year. The affordability of Unreal Mobile made it possible for me to have a backup service for cell coverage for my travels while also letting me have flexibility with a second phone.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Excellent service

    • Modesto, CA,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The plan is just what I need. Excellent service. I needed a low-cost mobile plan and Unreal offers the cheapest. I was able to active my own phone and the set up was super easy. I got the lowest plan ($10) per month, and it works as intended. I am saving over $200 a year.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Outstanding!

    • Greenfield, WI,
    • Sep 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a surprisingly great service. At first, I thought this was going to crummy but what a surprise. The phone worked just like any other phone service I’ve had before. I give this an Outstanding Thumbs Up. But the best part is the price. You can’t beat the plan price. What savings!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    My phone is finally affordable!

    • Florida,
    • Sep 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been on Unreal Mobile for almost two months. I brought my LG V20 that was on Sprint. It felt risky, could $10, $15 a month really be good cell service? And it turns out it can!

    I notice no difference from our Sprint service, which was $146 MORE per month! We switch, one at a time as a family, so on a whole, we will be saving over $1700 a year, and will be doing the most boring thing... paying off more of our mortgage each month! The $146 extra will save us four years on our mortgage. I am on the 2GB a month plan for $15, though if you're at work and home with Wi-Fi all day the 1GB for $10 is plenty.

    I have some tips for signing up. If you're worried about making such a commitment, try this. We brought all our own phones over from Sprint, so we took an older phone that had some issues but still worked and put it on our Sprint account, that way the phone we wanted to use on Unreal was freed up and our Sprint account was safe, and my phone number was safe.

    Then I set up the phone I wanted to use on Unreal. I had an issue when I first signed up, my phone wouldn't make calls, it would text, and data was fine, but no calls. I talked to Unreal's customer service, and they were great, resolved my issue in less than a day. And because I had an old phone on Sprint, I was never without my phone and my number. Once the phone was fully functional on Unreal, we could try it out! It only took us a few days to know we liked Unreal, once we knew, we transferred our number from Sprint. That part was very easy. Even if you had to go a whole month to see if you like Unreal, at $10 it's worth it!

    One thing, Unreal is VoIP, what that means for you is that your calls and texts use data! I know it sounds scary, but it isn't. The 1GB, 2GB is how much 4G, high-speed data you get, once all your high speed is used up, you get unlimited 2G, lower speed data. The 2G still pulls up web pages and definitely makes calls. Texts use very very very little data. As far as calls, 1GB of data does roughly 1500 minutes, AND Unreal mobile's app makes Wi-Fi calling very easy, and that uses no data.

    I hope you consider trying Unreal, we've been very happy, and it has been quite liberating to drop that expensive cell service!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Best MVNO hands down!

    • Sep 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unreal Mobile is the best Mobile Virtual Network Operator by far! After being an AT&T customer for over 15 years and going to Sprint for the "free year" plan last year, my time was up, so I decided to save and go with an MVNO. I did my research and since my iPhone 6 was purchased directly from Apple and I still had my Sprint SIM card, I was able to easily activate it by myself using Unreal's self-activation process. Since I have realized I no longer use the gigs of data I was used to in prior years, mostly because of great W-Fi almost everywhere I go, I signed up for the basic $10 1GB plan.

    So far so good, I have not been able to notice ANY difference in coverage or quality in my area, which makes sense since I was happy with Sprint already for the past year in my area paying only tax.

    Two hiccups that take away one star from my review are as follow. Initially, my iPhone would not use the phones native dialer to dial out, and I had to use the Unreal Mobile app, but after contacting customer service this was resolved in less than 24 hours. The second issue, which really got me worried, was my number, which I had for years, took almost four days to get ported in. Initially, I got the message saying the port was successful within 24 hours but it still took another 3-4 days to actually be active on my Unreal account. This obviously was a little scary since I have had my number for so long, but the main agent "Miguel" who helped me assured me along the way that my number was safe and would not be released to anyone else and that the tech team was working hard to finalize the porting process. Just make sure you DO NOT cancel your previous wireless account until you verify the port is successful or you can lose your number.

    I will definitely stay with Unreal because of the fact that you can actually use a cell signal to call and text versus having to rely on having a data connection at all times like FreedomPop. I looked into FreedomPop as well, which is the parent company of Unreal, and Unreal has them beat in all aspects. They even now offer an AT&T SIM for those of you where Sprint might not have the best coverage. I plan on saving at least $700 this year on my wireless service with Unreal, which will put me right at being able to buy my next new iPhone.

    Run, not walk, and sign up for Unreal as soon as you can because we all know deals like this don't last forever!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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