Red Pocket Mobile Review: Pre-Paid Wireless for iPhone & Android

Red Pocket Mobile is a pre-paid wireless company that offers affordable connectivity to the iPhone and Android smartphones with no contracts for $40 to $55 a month.

This means users can bring the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, Android smartphones like the LG Nexus 4, and AT&T Windows Phone 8 smartphones to Red Pocket using a $10 Red Pocket SIM card.

AT&T compatible smartphones connect through Red Pocket Mobile to a large network with 3G and 4G speeds, depending on the device, offering coverage and speed on par with the same phone on AT&T.

Red Pocket Mobile iPhone

Red Pocket Mobile on iPhone.

Over the past two months GottaBeMobile tested the red Pocket Mobile pre-paid service with an AT&T iPhone 4, using the bring your own smartphone plan.

The iPhone 4 used is not unlocked and Red Pocket now sells Micro SIM cards so there’s no need to cut a SIM down. Red Pocket Mobile works with locked AT&T phones or unlocked GSM phones with 850 mhz, but not with T-Mobile phones.

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Here’s how red Pocket Mobile fared, check our Straight Talk Review to compare the plans and service. For help picking a phone, check out the Best Pre-paid Smartphones of 2012.

Coverage & Service

Red Pocket mobile offers a wide area of coverage, following AT&T’s footprint in the U.S. This means if AT&T is a good carrier choice for coverage, Red Pocket Mobile is as well.

The map below shows Red Pocket Mobile’s coverage, and users can zoom in on areas of interest on the Red Pocket Mobile Website.

Red Pocket Mobile Coverage

Red Pocket Mobile coverage map.

While using Red Pocket Mobile, coverage was good with no dropped calls during tests in various cities in Ohio. Call quality was also good, with clear sounding audio on both ends of calls. Users can bring their own number, or get a new number.

Red Pocket Mobile offers 4G – HSPA+ speeds on AT&T where available, but the iPhone 4 used to test Red Pocket Mobile is not capable of 4G.

Setting up the iPhone is easy enough, and does not require a jailbreak or an unlock. Red Pocket installs a profile to change settings automatically. Texting works fine, but picture messaging will not work without a jailbreak. Users can send iMessages with photos though.

Data & Speed

Thanks to the roaming on AT&T’s large 4G HSPA+ network, Red Pocket Mobile users can expect download speeds around 4Mbps down, while in 4G coverage. This is not the faster LTE coverage found in the iPhone 5 and other phones, but it is faster than 3G, and more widely accessible than AT&T’s LTE network.

Red Pocket Mobile Speed Test

Red Pocket Mobile 3G speed test.

The iPhone 4 used to test Red Pocket Mobile is not compatible with 4G networks, but it did deliver fast 3G connectivity as shown in the photo above. A newer iPhone 4S and various Android phones can connect at faster speeds.

Red Pocket Mobile offers 1GB of data for $54.99 a month, with unlimited talk, text and MMS. This is more than Straight Talk charges for “unlimited” data, but Straight Talk tells users not to stream audio and clamps down on users that use over 200MB in a day or 2GB in a month.

There is no way to add a personal hotspot to a Red Pocket Mobile plan without using a third-party app or jailbreaking the iPhone. These methods may be out of line with Red Pocket Mobile’s terms of use.

Price

Red pocket mobile priceRed Pocket Mobile offers a variety of plans, but smartphone users will want to look at the $49.99 and $54.99 plans that offer 500MB and 1GB of data.

These plans offer a good value to users that can keep data usage in check by connecting to WiFi whenever possible. The data limits are tight, but compared to plans on other carriers the price remains a good deal.

  • AT&T – 450 Minutes 300MB of data for $59.99
  • Verizon – Unlimited Minutes 1GB of data for $90 (300MB for $80)
  • Sprint – 450 Minutes Unlimited data for $80

All of these plans include subsidized phones, instead of a bring your own phone approach, so that is another factor to consider. But, for users that already have a phone, it’s a good deal.

Red Pocket Mobile is $10 more per month than Straight Talk. Straight Talk’s unlimited plan is not really unlimited, so it’s not a major advantage. Red Pocket Mobile includes 200 international rollover minutes, which could be a plus for some users.

Recommendation

Red Pocket Mobile delivers a good value in pre-paid wireless and the ability to bring an iPhone or AT&T or unlocked Android phone offers a lot of choice to smartphone owners looking for a lower monthly bill.

The service is $10 more a month than Straight Talk, but it offers clear limits on use, something that Straight Talk refuses to do, while advertising an unlimited plan. Some users complain that Straight Talk shut off their number due to excessive use.

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Users looking for a cheaper monthly cell phone bill, who are able to control data usage, should check out Red Pocket Mobile.

Comments

  1. Thomas says

    Red pocket have the worst customer service ,don’t waste your time .Just a monthly top up call takes to long& they get it wrong so it ends up costing you more ,never red pocket .save your money don’t go with red pocket.

      • Sandy Downe Syndrome American says

        shut up sandy, americans like yourself are pathetic. uneducated filthy garbage. lowest piece of filth on this planet.

        • June says

          You’ve gotta be understanding and tolerant of ignorant people. Sandy might not be American… or American who’s never left the country… thinking Americans are the only people who speak English.

  2. leo says

    have you tried to talk to some one in “customer service”? good luck. They barely speak english, which normally would not be a problem, except that you are TALKING to them on the phone. Please explain to me who thinks its a good Idea to place your customer service in a country that does not speak the language of the people who are calling? and every other word is followed with a fake ” I’m sorry”

  3. Anne says

    Don’t get this “service”!

    I don’t even know where to start. First of all, I cannot count how many times I have been unable to make a call because “We are sorry, all circuits are busy now”! If you want reliable prepaid service, get T-Mobile or AT&T, but not this one. Have an important call to make? Who cares that you paid $54, you still won’t have service.

    Also, their customer representatives on the service hotline or chat are all incompetent. It took me four days to apply an international calling refill, because the refill hotline was down and the four different customer representatives were unable to apply the refill to my account. More generally speaking, why is it such a pain to add international minutes?!

    The (up to) 200 free international minutes are a joke – I randomly have minutes, and then I don’t, no matter when I buy a refill or whether I even make calls. There is no accounting for which phone call costs how many minutes or dollars, or anything like it.

    And their website is a mess. I need to switch providers ASAP, but, for those of you who are still considering choosing Red Pocket – don’t!!!

  4. Bo says

    I have Red Pocket and have had no problems what’s so ever. I have called their customer service on a few occasion’s and have had no problems. The only problem with their customer service is the background noise when you speak to them. I called them on one occasion and i could hear their Dog barking in background. I asked them to lock the dog in a separate room so i could hear them better, they did and there was no problem. Sorry, but here in New York, Red pocket works with no problem.

  5. Sirona says

    Have had Red Pocket on one phone for about a year and now plan to port my AT&T number over soon as my contract’s up. Red Pocket’s been great so far. The one time I needed customer service the wait for chat was short and the person very helpful. Go Red Pocket!

  6. MIKE says

    i am new customer to red pocket ..it’s really suck service ..bad coverage and bad customer service ..i live in down town CHICAGO at the top floor of building and i still have ONE bar of signal ..Don’t waste your money and your time with any AT&T plans …No any AT&T ..they all sucks ..

  7. Quinton says

    I couldnt even get to customer service. First when I called it said “this service is temporarliy unavailable.” When I finally got through, it put me on hold then hung up on me. I was calling because my data shut off on my after only a few hours and I hardly even used it. DO NOT GET RED POCKET!!

  8. wu says

    Customer service is a joke. Been using RP for 6 months now with no issues until a few days ago. They do have a couple of of knowledgeable service reps but most of them are not when it comes to troubleshooting.Service is as expected with ATT a few drop calls. Thought it was a nice deal but if you have issues its not worth the savings unless you like aggravation, Not very service oriented

  9. Sharon says

    I’ve had Red Pocket for about 3 months on a blackberry and just started a second phone (nexus 4). I’ve had no problems with customer service. Their English is fine. Bought my sim card from Amazon. I’m saving $45/ month after leaving AT&T contract plan. The switch took less than 1 minute to transfer my ATT phone #. I live in the suburbs of NYC and phone works 98% of the time, which is about the same as contract ATT.

  10. Panch says

    I am new in USA,16 days back 25th Nov 2013 I paid online for a Red Pocket Prepaid Mobile SIM on their web site,still they don’t bother to send me one and tell stories when I call customer care,they said it takes 5-7 working days (for a SIM 5-7 days is a joke) to deliver but then it is now 16 days in total (working and holidays).As I am new in USA so don’t know much where to report this,Can anyone help me what to do in this type of Customer Care ? Anyone listening ?

  11. panch says

    Yes I used credit card,but yes they called me back and sent me one with express mail.So hope it was a genuine miss but they took action.So don’t cancel your transaction.

  12. CM says

    I’ve had Red Pocket now for 6-7 months and haven’t had any problems at all.
    Customer service has been fine both times I had to talk with them. I think the money I save and continue to save has been well worth it! I’m in Tennessee and have just as good service with Red Pocket as with At&t and much better than Straight talk. I got my sim card from ebay for $1. Can’t beat that to bring my own phone!

  13. J. SPARBER says

    red pocket seems to be ideal if you are a backwoods moron. The guy claiming to be from New York must be insane or a liar. “i called customer service and the dog was barking so i asked them to put it in another room and they did so its good” What kind of sh*t head are you??! When you call Apple, Target, or Ikea for that matter, do you ever hear a dog barking in the background that needs to be put in another room? No, because real companies don’t have dogs barking on the customer service floor! Thats a clear sign something is wrong with this company.

  14. Esteeb says

    Red Pocket stinks worse than a new baby’s 3 day old diaper!! Total bafoons that couldn’t provide even the most elementary customer service, even if you could reach them (which you probably can’t).
    Run fast, run hard, run away!!!

  15. Victor says

    I have Red Pocket, mainly because only AT&T works at the campus where I work and AT&T is ridiculously expensive for what they offer.
    I usually go for the 59.99 monthly plan, unlimited calls and text, 3GB data and 400 international minutes. The only real problem is the international calls don’t always go through, they’re using some kind of VOIP system to forward the outgoing calls and sometimes it doesn’t work.
    Think about it this way, you’re diling to a Skype server and the Skype server is the one diling to the international number.
    That doesn’t really bother me much but it is the main issue with the service.
    For everything else you’re using the AT&T network.
    I know this because everyone at work uses AT&T including myself till i switched.
    Can’t make calls? AT&T can’t either.
    Lag in getting texts? AT&T is laggy.
    Slow internet? AT&T is the one that’s slow.

    Bottom line is, they don’t actually own any infrastructure, it’s just piggybacking on AT&T for a lower price. Check how AT&T is in your area, if they suck this will suck too.

    I’ve never used their phone support, so i cannot comment on that, but their online chat support from their website was pretty good and helpful when i migrated my number.

  16. Rahul says

    Red pocket has discontinued free india calling from 39$ plan. If you have set your account for auto recharge then you will not get any refund. Its time to move on better service

  17. Ed says

    Brevity and lack of clarity on the Redpocket Website, and through their Distributors hides many shortcomings of the Redpocket Service plan. First, their prices aren’t really competitive with carriers in many major markets (Boost, T-Mobile, Metro-PCS, Virgin, Straightalk all offer more for less on their unlimited plans). Second, rather than simply slow down data speeds to discourage overuse or abuse, Redpocket shuts down your date, all of it, even GPS, as soon as you hit the limit! No gmail, no GPS, and no SMS over the Internet, all dead, unless you pony up an additional $19.95 per GB. This renders their service useless if you sell to business or corporate types. The Data likewise is very unreliable even when you aren’t shut down. It times out and disconnects on even the simplest tasks like downloading games and apps from the playstore. Forget about streaming or watching TV as well, as these functions often won’t work very well, often requiring an on-line session with Redpocket Tech Support who will eventually, seemingly under duress, ‘reset your data’ (their words not mine), and allow the plan to work as advertised for another day or two. Eventually, you will have to contact them again, and go through an inquisition to justify their ‘resetting your data’ again for the same problems. Phoning Redpocket Tech Support is ‘hit or miss’ often encountering the ‘language barrier’ that makes it just easier to get on someone else’s computer or phone to access the Redpocket Website and deal with the problem texturally. Redpocket Service does not support video telephony, so many of the new new smartphones that offer this feature are wasted on Redpocket. Likewise mms messaging is very problematic over Redpocket, often taking days to deliver messages, if ever. Those who share a lot of pictures or video over their cellphone would be better served by choosing another provider. On the upside though, Redpocket seems very reliable and affordable on feature phones that do not utilize data. And as a dealer their activation system seems as usefull as other providers, although the reporting features on the dealer website leave much to be desired. In a nutshell, Redpocket seems like a ‘last resort’ option for consumers who just need a phone, and are within walking distance of a convenience store that might sell their SIM cards. The Redpocket unlimited plans are totally unsuitable for business or corporate type cus

  18. mds says

    red pocket is most frustating service.. very bad customer service snd network.. dont buy Red Poxket in ur lifetime

  19. Jane says

    Red pocket is the worst service ever. It takes forever to get to customer service and when you finally do they either hang up even if you are polite or you can’t understand them. Plus half the time they have no clue how to really help you. worst ever in history.

  20. Ind says

    AVOID THIS COMPANY !!!!!!! False advertising, “bait & switch,” non-existent “fine-print”, “disappearing minutes”, and it takes 20 mins. to get someone useless on the phone ! These people are geniuses at deceit. They should all be indicted for fraud !

  21. rockdecibels says

    I’m frankly unhappy with the customer service. I purchased a Black Friday order which was paid et cashed but I have no PIN to refill my account.
    I have sent 4 mails on that score and have had nos answers so far.
    This is ridiculous and disrespectful.

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