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

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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 23 May 2018]

Plan Specs Add ons
Circles.Life Flexi Plan

$0/month

1GB data

30 min talktime (incoming + outgoing)

10 SMS

1GB data ($8/month)

2GB data ($12/month)

30 min talktime ($5/month)

Circles.Life Base Plan

$28/month + $38 sign-up fee

4GB data (+2GB if you port in)

100 min talktime (incoming + outgoing)

Unlimited WhatsApp

20GB data ($20/month)

Unlimited data ($3/day)

Unlimited incoming calls ($2/month)

Unlimited outgoing calls ($16/month)

Zero1

$29.95/month

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

200 min outgoing calls (incoming is free)

200 SMS

Caller number non-display ($10.70 one-time registration fee + $5.35/month)
Zero Mobile Zero XO

$39.95/month + $38 sign-up fee

6GB data

Unlimited talktime (incoming + outgoing)

3GB data ($15/month or sign up for Zero Plus Rewards with one-time $30 fee)

6GB data ($25/month)

Unlimited SMS ($5/month)

Zero Mobile Zero X

$69.95/month + $38 sign-up fee

Unlimited data

Unlimited talktime (incoming + outgoing)

Unlimited SMS

 

Which data plan is the cheapest?

With its new $0/month plan, Circles.Life wins hands down when it comes to price.

No, it’s not a typo. The plan is really free. But you only get 1GB of data and 30 min of talktime, which is peanuts really. But it might be sufficient for people with very low usage (like kids or the elderly).

It’s likely you’ll want to add on data, and the good news is that even with add-ons it isn’t too pricey. It’ll only cost $12 for a 3GB plan or $20 for a 4GB plan. Not too bad. The registration fee (usual $38) is waived for now so grab it while the promo lasts!

If you’re looking for something closer to a traditional plan, Circles.Life still wins out as its basic plan is the most affordable at $28/month for 6GB data and 100 min talktime. Note that you’ll have to pay a registration fee of $38 though.

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 XO plan ($39.95/month) and signing up as a rewards member ($30 one-time registration fee) to get an extra 3GB/month, so that’s 9GB a month.

Winner: Circles.Life

 

But I really, really want UNLIMITED data!

Then get Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan at $69.95/month, which will give you unlimited data at 4G speed.

Zero1 offers “unlimited” data too at less than half the price ($29.99/month), but you only get 3GB of data at guaranteed 4G speed – any data beyond that is at “managed speeds”, whatever that means. 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, ranked in order of cost.

Option 1: Sign up for the Zero XO plan at $39.95/month.

Option 2: Add unlimited incoming ($2) and outgoing ($16) calls to your Circles.Life Base Plan, bringing it up to $46/month.

Option 3: Finally, Zero X also has unlimited talktime in addition to unlimited data and SMS. It’s pricier at $69.95/month though.

Winner: Zero XO

 

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. Its new $0 plan is also terrific for children, the elderly, and antisocial hermits.

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.

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

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 23 May 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.