Public Mobile vs Chatr vs Lucky Mobile

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Quick Links: Network & Coverage | Phones | Plans | Similarities & Differences | Discussion

If you don’t want to read the details, skip straight to our Recommendation

 

Understanding the options available to you when choosing a new mobile carrier is definitely an important part of the decision-making process.

In this comparison, we place 3 entry-level or discount carriers side by side to help you decide which carrier will best suit your needs.

We’ll compare Lucky Mobile, Public Mobile and Chatr Mobile.

Overview

 

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Prepaid Yes Yes Yes
Credit Checks No No No
Contracts No No No
Sim Card Fee $10 $10 $10
Phone Support Yes No Yes, processing fees may apply
Parent Company Bell Telus Rogers

 

Coverage & Network

Since all 3 of these carriers run on large, well-built out networks, overall coverage is strong nationwide, comparable and in a high-level view, almost equal.

Coverage will differ individual by individual, based on exactly where you are, if you spend majority of your time on the ground floor of your home or the basement, or high up in an office building or condo.

We suggest you look at the coverage maps on the carrier websites to see exactly what the coverage is in the areas in which you spend most of your time: Lucky Mobile Coverage Map, Public Mobile Coverage Map, Chatr Mobile Coverage Map.

If you are bringing your own device, you’ll want to know the frequencies each of these carriers operates on and ensure the phone you’re bringing is able to operate on one of these frequencies along with being unlocked.

 

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
HSPA 850 MHz/1900 MHz 850 MHz/1900 MHz 850 MHz/1900 MHz
LTE 1700 MHz (AWS) 1700/2100 MHz (AWS)
LTE Advanced (LTE-a) 700 MHz 2600 MHz and 700 MHz

 

Phones

Since all 3 of these carriers are discount carriers, they do not carry the latest high-end smartphones.

Public Mobile actually carries no phones.

Lucky and Chatr offer entry-level devices from a variety of brands.

This doesn’t mean that high-end smartphones won’t work, most will (phone by phone basis based on above network frequencies) however the target market these carriers are appealing to aren’t looking to spend tons of money on a phone along with the fact that these carriers do not have contracts or ‘tabs’.

Below are the brands that these carriers currently carry.

Alternatively, you can purchase a used phone to use on any of these networks.

All iPhones for example will work, so even older models are fine to use.

If you are looking to purchase a used phone, check out our friends at Orchard, who sell used iPhones (and some Samsung models).

They’re based in Toronto, ship the same or next day and offer a 90 day money back guarantee!

You can also check out Kijiji and the other online marketplaces.

 

Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Alcatel
LG
Motorola
No Phones Alcatel
LG
Motorola
Nokia
ZTE

 

Plans

Below we’ll compare 5 different types of plans across all 3 carriers that will cover most types of users.

This should help you get a side by side view of the differences in price for the same or very similar offering from each carrier.

Please note the below plan prices may vary in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Cheapest Plans

All 3 have removed their super cheap $10 plans.

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Price $15 per month $15 per month $15 per month
Talk 100 Minutes Canada Wide 100 Minutes Canada Wide 100 Minutes Canada Wide & Unlimited Incoming Calls
Text Unlimited International Text Unlimited International Text & Picture Unlimited International Text
Data Data bonus of 250 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 250 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up
Features Voicemail & Call Display Voicemail & Call Display Call Display included however $0.40 per minute to retrieve Voicemail

 

Plans with lots of talk & text

These plans have tons of talk and text included however they don’t have a lot of data so it’s good for those that are in places where wifi is usually available.

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Price $25 per month $25 per month $25 per month
Talk Unlimited Canada Wide Unlimited Canada Wide Unlimited Canada Wide
Text Unlimited Canada Wide & International Unlimited Canada Wide & International >Unlimited Canada Wide & International
Data 500 MB at 3G 500 MB at 3G None
Features Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID
Note Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up

 

Plans with lots of Data

These plans feature the highest amount of data possible for those who like to browse while they are out or commuting and there is no access to wifi.

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Price $50 per month $50 per month $50 per month
Talk Unlimited Canada & US Unlimited Canada & US Unlimited Canada & US
Text Unlimited Canada & International Unlimited Canada & International Text & Picture Unlimited Canada & International
Data 8 GB at 3G speed 8 GB at 3G speed 8 GB at 3G speed
Features Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID
Note Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up

 

Best Overall Value Plans

Editor’s Picks: The plans that provide a combination of talk, text and data at a reasonable price.

 

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Price $40 per month $40 per month $40 per month
Talk Unlimited Canada Wide Unlimited Canada Wide Unlimited Canada Wide
Text Unlimited Canada & International Unlimited Canada & International Text & Picture Messaging Unlimited Canada & International
Data 4.5 GB at 3G speed 4.5 GB at 3G speed 4 GB at 3G speed
Features Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID
Note Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up

 

Similarities

Pricing is very competitive with one another almost exactly the same as per our review in April 2019 – In late 2018, Lucky Mobile and Chatr Mobile have gotten rid of their ‘Zone’ plans – After doing this, their plans align very closely to what Public Mobile was offering so all 3 carriers now have plan tiers that are almost identical.

Network coverage is good for all 3

No contracts

No credit checks

Bring your own phone

 

Differences

While we haven’t outlined them above, Public Mobile is the only one from the 3 that offers 4G LTE data service, so if the primary function of your phone is to use the Internet, especially for things like streaming video, you may want to look at their plans with 4G data – it’s obviously more expensive
Update: Public Mobile no longer offers 4G service on their talk and text plans.

Public Mobile does not offer phone support, so if you need to speak to someone to assist you, that’s not possible

Public Mobile does not sell any phones so you have no choice but to bring your own

Public Mobile does not have the ‘zones’ concept, while Lucky and Chatr do

 

Recommendation

There are definitely pros and cons to each carrier. Here is what you need to know.

Lucky Mobile

  • Overall, plans are priced reasonably, however the real win with Lucky are there International Talk Add-Ons. If you’re going to be calling back home quite a bit, Lucky seems to have the best long distance rates out of the carriers in this comparison.
  • They have in-zone plans but also Province/Canada plans, be sure to think this through before picking an in-zone plan.
  • For more details, you can check out our full Lucky Mobile Review

Public Mobile

  • Ability to build your own plan – Although we didn’t cover it in this comparison, Public Mobile lets you build your own plan and pick exactly what you want it. Details here.
  • They offer a 4G LTE data only plan, so if you want to have fast connectivity only with no talk and text, this plan may be useful.
  • They offer 4 ways to save, ways to actually bring your monthly phone bill down, so if you’re going to take advantage of them then this may be a deciding factor for you.
  • There’s no phone support – as long as your good with online support, Public will work for you.
  • For more details, you can check out our full Public Mobile Review

Chatr Mobile

  • Plans are priced reasonably, however Chatr is only available in certain zone cities, list here
  • If you’re a keen data user, you need to know that data is ONLY available in-zone The ‘zones’ no longer exist and you can now use your data province wide or nationwide depending on the plan
  • For more details, you can check out our full Chatr Mobile Review
nv-author-image

Mia Nancy

Techie by heart, journalist by trade.

23 thoughts on “Public Mobile vs Chatr vs Lucky Mobile”

  1. Public mobile was a good company until they stopped their Customer service support. In my opinion big mistake . I used to recommend this firm to all. Now no way . If someone has a phone issue you are on your own to find solutions online . They did it to cut costs . .But did theyey ask the clients if it ois something they would like ?

  2. I switched from Chatr to PM. PM speed is amazing and I’m loving it. I also got a 5GB worth of data when I switched and I’ve barely used 1GB out of it due to the fact that I’m connected to wifi at home n work. PM community has a lot of resolved issues that could be beneficial and you also get to learn about any ongoing promos. Chatr lacks consistency and tend to come back when people switch. I was on $50/8GB plan, later reduced the data cap to 6GB when competitors still maintain theirs at 8GB, that was when I switched. I’m on PM $25/1GB with auto pay.

  3. There is actually one big advantage feature on Chatr that Lucky and Public Mobile don’t have. In case you want to travel to the U.S. or ( abroad ), you can still use your phone with Chatr sim thru roaming while the other two don’t offer roaming service.

  4. Iam on lucky $25. plan.excellent !!! Signal in subway basement. coverage seamless lindsay ont. Peterborough. Datta works thre too!!! You get 500mb. Bonus top up 500mb on auto pay. Dial *lucky follow prompts and speak to live person.!!! Google lucky mobile.ca myapp. And register on your android or iphone.Sooo eeasy!!bell has been around since1971?or earlier.Switched this month from Fido could not be happier!!! Do the math.savings!! seevice!!! What else could one have!!! Wake up ontario!!! no rush bob ..

  5. Cost, coverage, and plans are all similar but Public Mobile is best since they offer $ credit discounts. For example, if you setup automatic payment them you get a $2 credit every month. If you refer someone new to Public Mobile, you’ll get a $1 credit every month plus a one-time $10 credit. If you stay with them for 1 year then you’ll get an additional $1 credit every month. We are 5 people in my family and I have converted all of them to get the maximum monthly credit for each person. We have been with them for over a year now and coverage is exceptional since it’s the Telus network.

      1. I earn $10-$15 off the cost of my plan every month. I have been with PM less than 1 year. So can have my plan for free if I choose.

  6. Hey hey! 2 adjustments to make.

    Lucky does not let you use your data past your allocation with the new Canada-wide plans, instead they will propose for you to purchase a Service Pass.

    Also Lucky Mobile now supports ESIM for ESIM supported phones mainly Apple iPhones for now.

    Great Review!

  7. I believe Chatr, and also Lucky, have no data overages. Instead, they just throttle your data to a slower speed when you hit your monthly allotment. However, Chatr throttles aggressively (64kbps ?) What about Lucky? What do they throttle to?

    1. In comparison, PM does not throttle…your data simply stops BUT you can purchase an add-on of 1GB for $30 where unused portion never expires (not cheap but at least an option).

  8. Thank you. Very helpful. Had Chatr, but problems (coverage and billing), so switched to Lucky, frustrated with attempts to contact by phone and on-line. Your info and suggestion by clerk (Walmart) has made me consider changing to Public.

    1. Hi Faway,

      Glad it helped. Did you end up switching? Keep in mind Public offers no phone support at all so it may be frustrating as well.

      Thanks,
      Mia

      1. Yes, PM online support documents response time as 2 hrs to 48 hours but it can often exceed that, especially during busy times (promos, system problems, etc). So you have to have patience.

    2. They way to talk to a Lucky mobile/Bell mobile representative is to dial 0 a bunch of times once the operator machine speaks after dialing +18338858259

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