Are you looking for the best affordable wireless data provider? If so, we recommend considering PureTalk USA. It’s one of the cheapest wireless networks that provide 5G connectivity and decent coverage. What is it like to use? In this PureTalk review, we share our honest thoughts about the service and how it fares as a wireless carrier — no holds barred.
Related: Best Unlimited Data Plans
Inside This Article
- What Is PureTalk?
- PureTalk Review: Data Plans
- Does PureTalk Offer Family Plans?
- Network Speed and Coverage
- How Is PureTalk’s Customer Service
- PureTalk Compared to Other Carriers
- What We Like About PureTalk
- What We Don’t Like About PureTalk
- PureTalk Review [Verdict]
Before we get into the PureTalk review, we first need to know what it is exactly. After all, the brand is essentially unknown in the United States compared to carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Firstly, what you must understand is that PureTalk is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Therefore, it doesn’t have a proprietary network of data towers. Instead, it borrows the network from one of the more prominent mobile carriers in the US.
As a result, PureTalk allows you to access the same 5G nationwide coverage as the carrier it borrows from. However, what distinguishes it is that PureTalk’s data plans cost half of what big-name brands offer.
In addition, PureTalk offers phone plans that don’t lock you in by contract. As a result, you can use and drop the carrier freely without being required to commit monthly. Best of all, PureTalk’s plans are dirt cheap that can easily pass as the best phone plans for kids, costing as little as $16 to $25.
PureTalk is a subsidiary of Telrite Holdings, which also owns H2O Wireless, Life Wireless, and H2O Bolt.
PureTalk wireless reviews would be incomplete if we didn’t discuss the mobile carrier’s plans at length. As such, we need to go over its various offerings. Here’s an overview of PureTalk’s data plans:
PureTalk offers seven different plans. The lowest tier, offering you 2GB worth of data, starts at only $20. It’s the most affordable offering listed. However, there is a caveat: you must subscribe to 2 lines or more to get access. If you’re signing up for only one line, the cheapest you can get is $25 for the 4GB tier.
From there, PureTalk data plans increase their prices in $5 to $10 increments. Higher tiers begin to add discounts and freebies. For example, the 20GB tier provides a $100 discount on PureTalk’s phones. If you are looking for hotspot plans, the two Unlimited plans offer higher phone discounts and additional data provisions for hotspots.
Now, we understand that non-unlimited tiers imply that you can only use a limited amount of data each month. However, in reality, all of the carrier’s plans are technically unlimited. That’s because they don’t charge data overages if you go over the limit. Instead, you’ll still be able to use data but at significantly lower speeds — about 128 Kbps, to be exact.
PureTalk reviews and others like it will always center themselves around savings. After all, the biggest perk of using an MVNO as a mobile carrier is how much you can save. If you were after additional perks instead, then looking at offerings from Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T might be better.
Going back to savings, the question that remains is this: how can you save even more on your subscription? After all, a single line starts at $25 — that’s already cheap compared to other mobile plans. How much more can you then save if you subscribe to a family plan?
Strictly speaking, PureTalk doesn’t label any of its plans as a “family plan.” Instead, the more lines you add to your cart, the more you can save on each deal. Generally speaking, two lines will immediately give you a 10% discount. This percentage then increases in 5% increments with every line you add. Hence, three or four-line plans will yield a 15% and 20% discount, respectively.
For example, getting a 4GB plan for four lines will cost $80 monthly. As a result, each line holder will only need to pay $20 when they’d normally pay $25. The savings are even larger the higher the tier you get.
For instance, the Unlimited Data tier with a 15GB hotspot normally costs $55. That amount goes down to $44 per line if you get four lines in one package. Similarly, the higher-end Unlimited Data tier with a 25GB hotspot costs significantly less. You’ll only need to pay $52 per line when it would normally cost $65.
You may also check our list if you are looking for the best family cell phone plans.
This PureTalk review won’t be complete without talking about networks and coverage. After all, what’s the point of getting a plan with a mobile carrier that doesn’t cover your area? Moreover, you’ll certainly want to use something that covers most of the country if you plan on traveling often.
PureTalk is one of AT&T’s MVNOs and relies on AT&T’s network. This means you’ll get solid coverage all across the United States. AT&T is the second-largest major network in the country, after all. It reliably covers 68% of the US with 4G data.
However, this does have its constraints because of PureTalk’s MVNO status. While it boasts great coverage, deprioritization and network throttling can be an issue during peak hours. AT&T will naturally prioritize its customers over those of a partner MVNO.
If you find yourself in a less crowded space, PureTalk should offer reliably fast data coverage. That’s especially true considering AT&T boasts the fastest download speeds in the mobile carrier industry. On average, customers can reliably download using AT&T’s data at 27.5 Mbps.
PureTalk does provide its users with contact details. You can easily call them at (877) 820 7873.
If you’re using a PureTalk phone, you can also simply dial 611 to contact their customer service personnel. You may also submit a report on their customer support page. However, you just need to pay attention to their operating hours.
PureTalk’s customer service support is available on weekdays from 8 AM to 11 PM EST. On Saturdays, that time frame shortens from 10 AM to 9 PM. Moreover, Sundays offer even shorter hours as you can only contact them from 12 PM to 9 PM.
There is a fair share of people who have negative things to say about PureTalk’s customer service support quality. In many PureTalk reviews, some user complains that its customer service is hard to reach if not totally unresponsive.
PureTalk’s mobile plans are a lot cheaper than those of the major mobile network providers that offer the same data allotment. For instance, Verizon 5G Do More and PureTalk USA’s $65/mo. plan both offer unlimited data and a 25GB hotspot. However, you can save at least $15 when you get PureTalk.
That said, there are a lot of features that the other carriers offer that PureTalk doesn’t. If you don’t mind missing out on those extra perks, like cloud storage and free streaming services, then PureTalk is a worthy plan.
One of the biggest reasons why you might want to consider PureTalk is because of the PureTalk network. Also, it relies on the AT&T network to provide a signal. On paper, you should have ample coverage regardless of where you are in the USA.
In addition, PureTalk’s MVNO status grants it better affordability compared to major network providers. It offers nearly dirt-cheap prices, especially if you avail of their family plans and get more than one line.
Best of all, as most PureTalk reviews point out, the service doesn’t charge anything for data overages. Hence, even if you purchase a lower-tier, non-unlimited plan, you’ll still be able to access the internet. You’ll just experience slower speeds while using your data.
Lastly, while PureTalk reviews always talk about how it doesn’t include added benefits, PureTalk is still flexible in this area. That’s because you can easily purchase add-ons for international calling through the carrier. Moreover, it supports other basic features including personal hotspots, Wi-Fi calling, domestic roaming, and eSIMs.
A reliable PureTalk review should talk about both its strengths and weaknesses; and truth be told, there are drawbacks to using PureTalk. Deprioritization is top of the list.
Although that’s to be expected because all MVNOs only rely on other companies’ wireless networks, you can’t help but get pissed off when your connection slows down. This problem will be especially prominent when the network is congested. Hence, expect to get fewer signals when you’re in a busier area like a mall or public transportation.
In addition, as many PureTalk reviews point out, the mobile carrier doesn’t offer any bonuses. Thus, you shouldn’t expect to get a free subscription – or even a free trial – to entertainment services. You’ll have to look at other mobile carriers’ unlimited plans for that. Alternatively, you can also look into subscribing to Disney+, Hulu, or Apple Arcade separately.
Lastly, several PureTalk reviews also refer to its lack of international roaming as a big drawback. This is especially problematic for folks who want to be able to access the internet as they travel globally. Furthermore, it doesn’t support international texting at this time.
A PureTalk review should always provide a balanced view of the service. If you are wondering if it’s a rip-off, then you should know that it’s the opposite. PureTalk USA offers a wide variety of plans at cheap prices to meet your data needs, making the service incredibly flexible for those who want multiple options.
In addition, its unlimited data plans are cheaper than that of the biggest brands in the industry. Hence, even if you need unlimited data, you’ll be able to get the feature at a lower price. It also has decent coverage because it shares AT&T’s network.
However, the biggest drawback you’ll have to contend with is deprioritization. That’s because AT&T prioritizes its users over users under its partner MVNOs. Moreover, while PureTalk boasts of its prices, the cheaper price is arguably its only advantage. That’s because it doesn’t offer any remarkable extras or bonuses. If you find an MVNO that offers even cheaper plans with better benefits, then you might want to consider them.
What towers does PureTalk use?
PureTalks borrows the cell towers of AT&T. This means that it provides excellent national coverage and even high-band 5G venues in the USA. However, customers may also experience downtime during peak hours due to network deprioritization.
What phones are compatible with PureTalk?
AT&T, the network PureTalk uses, runs on GSM technology. Hence, GSM phones will work with PureTalk sim cards. If you have a CDMA phone, you may need to get a new one since it won’t work well with GSM networks.