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Zero1 Vs Zero Mobile Vs Circles Life Data Plans – Singapore’s New Telcos Reviewed (UPDATED)

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Clara Lim

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Remember those days when Singaporeans mobile users only had the option of choosing between Singtel, M1 and Starhub no matter how poor the customer service or how unreasonable the prices?

But then Circles.Life appeared on the scene, and the floodgates opened. Recently, new virtual telcos Zero1 and Mobile Zero announced they would be entering the market and releasing their own mobile data plans.

So for those who have sworn off the big telcos, which of the four mobile data plans in Singapore is the best? Let’s compare your options.

 

Circles.Life vs Zero 40 vs Zero X vs Zero1 Plan Comparison

[Updated 5 Mar 2018]

Circles.Life

Zero 40

Zero X

Zero1

$28/month

$40/month

$65/month (first 3,000 customers) or $75/month

$29.99/month

4GB data + 2GB if you port in + unlimited WhatsApp (except calls)

6GB data

Unlimited data

Unlimited (but only first 3GB at full 4G speed)

Data add-ons:

+ $20/month for 20GB

+ $3/day for unlimited daily data

Data add-ons:

+ $30/year for rewards membership (extra 3GB/month data)

+ $15/month for 3GB

+ $25/month for 6GB

100 min talktime

Unlimited talktime

Unlimited talktime

200 min outgoing calls

$0.05/outgoing SMS

$0.05/outgoing SMS

Unlimited SMS

200 free outgoing SMS

Other add-ons:

+ $2/month for unlimited incoming calls

+ $16/month for unlimited outgoing calls

Other add-ons:

+ $5 for unlimited SMS

Free caller ID

Free caller ID

Free caller ID

Free caller ID

Registration & SIM card fee: $38

Sign-up fee: $18

SIM card fee: $30 (waived for first 3,000 customers)

Sign-up fee: $18

SIM card fee: $30 (waived for first 3,000 customers)

Registration & SIM card fee: waived for now

 

Which data plan is the cheapest?

Circles.Life still has the cheapest no-contract data plan. For $28/month, you get 6GB data (assuming you port-in with an existing number), but not much talktime and no SMSes. Note that you’ll have to pay a registration fee of $38 though.

Zero1 used to have the best promotional rates, but now its fee has gone up to $29.99/month. Still affordable, plus there’s no registration fee at the moment. However, you only get 3GB of data at guaranteed 4G speed – any data beyond that is at “managed speeds”, whatever that means.

Winner: Circles.Life

 

6GB is not enough data for me. What are my options?

It depends on how much more you need. The best upgrade package is Circles.Life’s 20GB for $20 which gives you 26GB in total for $48/month.

Alternatively, if you don’t need THAT much data, you can save a few dollars a month with Zero Mobile’s Zero 40 plan ($40/month currently) and signing up as a rewards member ($30/year) to get an extra 3GB/month. That works out to $42.50/month for 9GB data.

Winner: Circles.Life

 

But I really, really want UNLIMITED data!

Then get Zero Mobile’s new Zero X plan at $65/month (for the first 3,000 sign-ups), which will give you unlimited data at 4G speed.

Zero1 offers “unlimited” data too at less than half the price ($29.99/month), but there’s no guarantee on your data speed after the first 3GB. So only sign up if you’re willing to risk it.

Alternatively, if you just need unlimited data every now and then – like when your router dies or you’re marooned somewhere with no Wifi – Circles.Life lets you buy a day’s worth of unlimited data for $3/day.

Winner: Zero X

 

What if I need to make phone calls too?

People who talk on the phone a lot, like property agents, insurance agents and needy boy/girlfriends, will know how lousy data calls like WhatsApp or FaceTime Audio can be. Luckily, there are a few options for unlimited talktime.

You can go for the Zero 40 plan at $40/month. Or add unlimited incoming ($2) and outgoing ($16) calls to your Circles.Life plan, bringing it up to $46/month.

Finally, Zero X also has unlimited talktime in addition to unlimited data and SMS. It’s pricier at $65/month though.

Winner: Zero 40

 

Conclusion: So many Zeros, which one is best?

Despite the fact that 3 out of 4 no-contract mobile plans have pretty much the same name (guys, can you please be more creative with the names?) they actually have different target audiences.

Circles.Life focuses on data, with talktime and SMSes more or less as afterthoughts, so it’s great for millennials with phone call phobia.

Zero Mobile’s (Zero 40 and Zero X) unique selling point is unlimited talktime, making them ideal for people working in sales who need to make lots of phone calls.

Zero1 has lots of talktime and SMS, like a conventional postpaid plan. Their “unlimited” data is quite a gamble. Call us cynics, but we expect anything beyond the first 3GB will be stupidly slow.

Of course, all this presupposes some level of stability with regards to mobile network, which of course is a huge factor. What will happen remains to be seen but don’t discount the quality of the network in exchange for a cheap phone plan!

[This post was updated 5 Mar 2018 with the latest plans available.]

Are you using one of Singapore’s new virtual telcos anytime soon? Tell us in the comments!

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.