Home Mobile Public Mobile vs Chatr vs Lucky Mobile

Public Mobile vs Chatr vs Lucky Mobile

written by Mia Nancy Last Updated: May 5, 2019

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.

 

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 recently added super cheap $10 plans.

  Lucky Mobile Public Mobile Chatr Mobile
Price $10 per month $10 per month $15 per month
Talk 50 Minutes Canada Wide 50 Minutes Canada Wide 100 Minutes Canada Wide & Unlimited Incoming Calls
Text 50 Canada Wide & International Text 50 Canada Wide & International Text Unlimited International Text
Data None and not eligible for add-ons None 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 Province Wide Unlimited Canada Wide
Text Unlimited Canada Wide & International Unlimited Canada Wide & International >Unlimited Canada Wide & International
Data 500 MB at 3G speed None None
Features Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID Voicemail & Caller ID
Note Data bonus of 500 MB with auto top-up None None

 

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 Messaging 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
  • 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 4G LTE data service, so for heavy data users, this is the only carrier out of these 3 to offer 4G LTE data service.
  • 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

 

 

Was this comparison helpful? Which carrier did you choose? Let us know in the comments below!

 

*Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with Lucky Mobile, Public Mobile or Chatr Mobile, this is an independent review of their services and offerings.

   

Related

14 comments

David March 19, 2019 - 5:18 pm

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.

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Mia Nancy March 19, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Nice, glad to hear! How much have you saved off of your plan?

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SM April 25, 2019 - 1:32 am

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.

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Mia Nancy May 22, 2019 - 8:25 pm

Great to hear!

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john March 14, 2019 - 1:09 pm

very useful chose chatr…setup was easy…we will see what happens…thank you all

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Mia Nancy March 19, 2019 - 5:31 pm

Glad you’re happy!

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Samuel Gabbay March 4, 2019 - 12:03 pm

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!

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Shawn Gant March 30, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Hi Samuel,

Thanks for your comments and kind words. We’ve updated the details!

Thanks!
Shawn

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Craig February 11, 2019 - 2:34 pm

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?

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Shawn Gant February 12, 2019 - 6:02 pm

Hi Craig,

Yes you’re right, Chatr and Lucky also throttle.
Chatr is 64 kbps as you’ve mentioned.
Lucky is 128 kbps (Here is the official link stating this – https://www.luckymobile.ca/support/plans-add-ons/zone-province-canada-plans)

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SM April 25, 2019 - 1:36 am

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).

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faway January 9, 2019 - 6:22 pm

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.

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Mia Nancy March 30, 2019 - 2:46 pm

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

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SM April 25, 2019 - 1:38 am

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.

Reply

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