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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40 Consumer Reviews for UNREAL Mobile

Average Consumer Rating: 3.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 14 4 star: 8 3 star: 1 2 star: 4 1 star:  13
Bottom Line: 58% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 40
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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Scam and borderline consumer fraud

    • Huntington Beach, CA,
    • Dec 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I want to preface this review by stating that I work in the IT field providing technical support for many years now and am well versed in setting up and using new software/technology on computers and mobile devices.

    This is one of the least user/consumer friendly apps and service I've attempted to use and highly do not recommend you attempt to do so either.

    My experience:

    I installed the UNREAL Mobile app on my phone and created an account on their website. Attempted to activate my UNREAL service by porting over my old number from Verizon and experienced issues with some of the information that I provided. I was not able to locate any technical support avenues on their website or app, and ended up losing my number of over 10 years that I also needed to access some accounts I use for working.

    After doing a Google search for UNREAL's support, I came across their entirely separate support website. Created another account and contacted support about the issue to see if there was anything they could do to help me retain my number.

    After waiting a few days for a response, "Jose D." finally replies with a copy paste with part of the FAQ page. Long story short here, we go back and forth for literally three weeks with him providing nothing but scripted or copy pasted answers to my questions one time a day. I asked for a supervisor multiple times throughout the ticket and was denied and instructed "the only way to speak to a supervisor is to call in to our support," I attempted to start multiple new support tickets, even one with the title "Anyone but Jose D. Please reply!" and he is still the only person to ever send me a response. He is truly one of the most useless and incompetent human beings I've ever had to interact with.

    I still have not punched out the SIM card from UNREAL, so I had to install a WiFi-only calling app to call into their support line hoping to speak to someone with a higher IQ than they have fingers. This is where I get to talk to "Kervin L.," equally incompetent and useless, and also a liar.

    Our first conversation I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor since "Jose D." insisted the only way to reach a supervisor was via phone. Kervin responds with that "It's late in the day, so all of the supervisors had gone home already. If you really want to talk to one you can call in tomorrow they will be here." Then proceeds to ask me why I'm calling, so I explain the situation I've been trying to resolve with Jose D. for the last three weeks and then told him that for some reason while I was dealing with my support ticket with Jose, UNREAL had activated my service and automatically assigned me a number, which didn't even have the same area code as my previous number. So he says "he's going to talk to his support team about what he can do to get my number changed and the service refunded." At this point, I've just requested a full refund of the $60 I spent on the service and I don't want to deal with it anymore.

    The next day I call in early and get Kervin again (surprise surprise?) and ask to speak with a supervisor again. He informs me that "there are no supervisors on shift, and I've spoken with my support team and there's nothing we can do for you as far as a refund, but we can offer you an additional three months of service at 1 or 2gb of data per month." So despite almost 1/3 of the total service time gone, losing my longtime phone number, and literally never having a single answer when I asked "what I did to actually activate this service besides creating login info and attempting to port over my old phone number?" they can't, or at the very least are unwilling, to offer a refund. (Consumer fraud? Since when do you have to pay to contact customer service for a service you're not even utilizing? The unreal SIM card is still attached to the plastic it came in.)

    After asking Kervin why he thought it was okay to treat a paying customer that way and flat out lie to them about when or if a supervisor would be available to speak to he just started to talk louder to try and overpower my voice on the phone. He then said "he would email me the address for the 'corporate office' if I wanted to make a complaint or request a refund." After three days I still had not received the email from Kervin, so I call in again. You may not be surprised, but it's Kervin again, I ask him where the email is, and he insists he sent it over already. After finally convincing him I did not receive it, he sends it over.

    Now I'm left spending more time and money trying to use the speed of the post office to recover what should be a 5-minute refund.

    If you're thinking about using this service please just take my advice and stay away from this flaming pile of worthless shit as you possibly can. I've opened up a support ticket with BestBuy to get this service removed from their shelves.

    The borderline consumer fraud scam comes from the fact that I never fully activated this service despite my attempts for almost a month.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    UNREAL bad!

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Dec 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was told that I will be able to use my new flip phone.

    I got a SIM card from them for $11, then they told me my phone is NOT compatible. After that, I tried to cancel my account with them but they could not find my account.

    But UNREAL charged me $33. For WHAT?

    The customer rep will not listen to you, talking with you at the same time, like a robot.

    I lost $44. Ha...

    Good luck.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    It is "unreal" how bad this company is.

    • Declo, ID,
    • Dec 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    STAY AWAY! I ordered a refurbished phone from UNREAL. It didn't work. I tried to exchange, had no working phone or service for two months. I was still charged for service. After two months of trying to resolve the issue, I finally gave up and tried to cancel service and request a refund. That took another week and three hours waiting on the phone. Response time was over five days for each call or help ticket request. Terrible, terrible, terrible. There are other low-cost cell services. Avoid this one at all cost!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    OK service, they just won't port out

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Dec 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    50 hours and they won't release my number to another provider. I liked their CDMA service, but we switched to GSM phones. Their GSM service is weak because of their required app for calls and texts. But CDMA is good and very inexpensive.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Get the "Bring Your own Phone" CDMA option instead of the "3-in-1 GSM sim kit" option.

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Dec 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not get the "3-in-1 GSM sim kit" option. It is a strict VOIP data only service through AT&T. It has lots of issues and quality of service is very bad. You have to call and text through the UNREAL app, which sucks. VPN does not work.

    Get the "Bring Your Own Phone" CDMA option and the only issue I had with that was with MMS, minor issue. VPN and Rollover work great.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Same shabby service as FreedomPop, total lies!

    • New York, NY,
    • Dec 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I hate FreedomPop because it is unreliable VOIP service. Now UNREAL Mobile claims it uses carrier's cellular for the voice. That's why I would like to give it a try. IT IS STILL VOIP. In order to use the service, I have to download the app, the call quality is horrible, the phone doesn't ring when people call me. The calls always end unexpectedly in the middle of the conversation. There are problems with the text message, not able to receive non-English text messages. The data meter is inflated, I am a lighter user of the mobile data because most of the time I use WiFi in office and at home. So typically use less than 1 GB per month with my previous carrier. After I switch to UNREAL Mobile, the data usage approaches 1 GB just in the matter of few days, even though my usage pattern is not changed.

    Now I decides to cancel the service and port the number out. It seems UNREAL Mobile sets blockage to make it harder to do so. It had been a few days and I still have no luck. UNREAL Mobile's customer service only opens Monday to Friday, not available in the evening or weekend.

    UNREAL Mobile is a scam; it is not real service, stay away from UNREAL!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam, impossible to get out

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Nov 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The service goes through an application and it's terrible, a lot of noise, the calls end unexpectedly, etc. I decided to change right-away, and it is impossible to get the damn account number and PIN code to port out.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    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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  • 2 out 2 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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  • 2 out 3 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 3 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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