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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26 Consumer Reviews for Unreal Mobile

Average Consumer Rating: 3.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 12 4 star: 7 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  4
Bottom Line: 73% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 26
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • New to service

    • Newark, NJ,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    At first I had issues with Unreal Mobile, but the support team helped me and now service been great so far. The price is very affordable I couldn’t be happier. I would recommend this service to anyone.

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

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  • Great value if you're willing to look past the kinks

    • Utah,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My experience with Unreal Mobile has been positive. Their service is incredibly affordable. I'm saving $15 a month at very least. I'm on the 1 GB of data plan which is more than enough for Google Maps, email, web browsing, etc. It will burn fast if you're using social media or YouTube on data all the time, but I always have Wi-Fi close enough if I want to do those things.

    I have had a few problems. For a while, I was having problems with missing occasional texts from friends. I've since got a new account, SIM card, and phone and it's not really a problem so far. It's only happened once since then and I haven't heard of any other customers with the same problem. Customer service is very helpful and willing to work with you to get your problems solved. They are not always able to solve it immediately for technical reasons, but they do all they can, even if there's no precedent or defined procedure for your problem.

    Overall, it's not been the smoothest carrier experience ever, but good enough for what it is and unbeatable for $10.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Many flaws

    • Michigan,
    • Sep 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Switching was a breeze, or so I thought. At first I couldn’t make calls, I’d get a busy signal no matter what number I dialed. Then callers were getting a message saying my number was disconnected. That was fixed within a day. Then I couldn’t send MMS. They sent me instructions on how to fix that. Ok great!

    That hit a snag when I needed my MSL which was no where to be found. It was supposed to be in my account under devices but instead it was blank. The rep told me to try 000000 which didn’t work. Then I was emailed instructions that required me to have my device rooted. No way!

    So after another day of none working MMS and no email response, I decided to just switch carriers and port my number. Again, I see that this info should be listed in my account, but yet again, it’s blank. I call to get the info and am on hold twice over 40 minutes each time before I just gave up and hung up.

    I was finally able to get the info through Facebook messenger. The port request was put in over four hours ago and the new provider is still waiting on a response. They are also trying to get someone on the phone with no luck. Also, yes, it gives you the option to get a call back instead of being on hold. I opted for that at the end of both calls and I still have not gotten a call back. You absolutely get what you pay for.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Miguel S., Reputation Manager

      This is certainly not the experience we want our customers to have, Jennifer. We apologize for any trouble you had along the way and hope your porting issue has since been resolved. If you are still in need of assistance, please follow-up with our team at community@unrealmobile.com so we can take a look.

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  • Unreal Mobile is great

    • St. Cloud, FL,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found Unreal Mobile on the Clark Howard show, and I checked into it and gave it a try. I have done the other ones like Republic Wireless and Cricket and have found that Unreal Mobile is the best. Unlike the others, I was able to bring my iPhone over, which sealed the deal. For what I do this service is the best. I am saving $25 a month with Unreal Mobile.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    My disappointment is all too real

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Sep 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Shortly after signing on with Unreal, I started having difficulty making and receiving many calls. This was most frustrating since it occurred during a family emergency. I could not receive texts, nor was I able to send texts. My text messages were often "not delivered." Contact files could not be shared, either.

    When I raised these issues with Unreal, they recommended that my phone get checked over by Apple for any issues. I had Apple run diagnostic tests, both remotely and in the Apple store. After these tests, Apple determined that my phone is working fine and the issues I was having were most likely a carrier issue. When I reported this to Unreal, they sent me a new SIM card to fix the problem. When the new SIM card was installed, I was assigned to a new number, causing me to lose the number I have had for more than 15 years. And since I use my phone for business, this has created a serious inconvenience for me. Unreal claims to be trying to get my old number back, but it has been more than a week, and I have no confidence they will be able to retrieve it.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Miguel S., Reputation Manager

      We are truly sorry for the untimeliness of the issue you experienced. Please send us a message at community@unrealmobile.com with these details, if this remains unresolved, so our team can check on the status of your request.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Very pleased with Unreal Mobile

    • Ohio,
    • Aug 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I heard about Unreal on Clark Howard's radio show. I had been paying about $40 per month and selected the $10 plan with Unreal. I am mostly at home so use home Wi-Fi to cut down on my LTE usage. I will be saving about $360 per year by using Unreal. There were some problems with porting over my old number but once they fixed that everything works fantastic. I'm very pleased with Unreal and would recommend the service highly.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Nice service!

    • Eugene, OR,
    • Aug 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I switched over to Unreal from FreedomPop, and I will have to say, it has turned out to be better than I even expected, the price is perfect for what I need, and the cell phone service works perfectly so far.

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

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