Last updated on August 8th, 2021
Mobile SIM-only plans have helped to reduce the costs of our data usage.
2 of the telcos you might be considering include Circles Life and Singtel.
How are they different and which one should you choose?
The difference between Circles Life and Singtel
Circles Life offers more flexibility with their 5GB, 20GB and 100GB plans. They are also cheaper compared to Singtel’s 3GB, 20GB and 40GB plans. However, Singtel does provide more SMS and talktime compared to Circles Life.
Here is an in-depth comparison between both mobile plans:
Circles Life is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) which uses M1’s 4G network to provide you with your data coverage.
Circles Life also claims that you’ll be able to receive reception when you’re underground or in the MRT.
Meanwhile, you’ll get access to Singtel’s network with their SIM-only plans.
According to OpenSignal’s study, both M1 and Singtel have rather similar coverage experience. Singtel received a score of 10, while M1’s score was 9.9.
As such, it depends on which telco’s network that you prefer to be on.
Here are the different plans that both telcos can offer you:
Tier 1 plans (3-5GB)
Both Circles Life and Singtel have a low tier plan that gives you less than 10GB of mobile data.
Here are both plans being compared:
Circles Life’s 5GB plan seems to offer the greater value!
Singtel’s basic plan may not be worth it at that price.
Tier 2 plans (20GB)
Both telcos offer a 20GB plan. Here are the comparisons between both of their base plans (with no promotions):
The prices are only if you are porting over an existing number to the network. You will need to pay $28 a month for Circles Life if you are getting a new number.
By this comparison, Circles Life looks to be the much better plan. For $12 less a month, you are only losing out on:
- 475 SMSes
- 50 minutes of talktime
Unless you are a heavy SMS user, Circles Life’s 20GB plan seems to be more worth it!
Moreover, you are able to receive your number as an electronic SIM (eSIM) card for Circles Life.
Sign-up promotions for new customers
Both telcos also have sign-up promotions if you’re a new customer:
If you are interested in any of these promotions, you may want to take note of when they expire!
Tier 3 plans (40-100GB)
Both Circles Life and Singtel offer you plans with more data. However, the pricing is quite different for both plans:
|$38/month (Existing) or
For the first 12 months that you sign up with Singtel, you will receive these extra benefits:
- 30GB data
- 850 minutes
- 500 SMSes
Even with these add-ons, Circles Life seems to offer the better deal for data.
However if you call and SMS a lot, then Singtel’s plans may be better for you.
One added advantage of Circles Life’s plan is the rollover feature. All of your unused data will carry over to the next month, up to 300GB.
If you are a heavy data user, then this plan is something you can consider!
You are also able to order an eSIM for this plan as well.
Singtel has 2 plans (20GB and 40GB), which are pretty similar in price ($30 and $35/month).
Their 3GB plan does not seem to be worth considering at all!
Meanwhile, Circles Life has 3 different plans you can choose from:
- 100GB with Rollover
Depending on your usage, Circles Life provides more flexibility on the type of plan that you can purchase.
On top of the basic plans that you can purchase, you can purchase some add-ons to your plans, depending on your needs.
Here are some common add-ons that you can purchase from both telcos:
across 14 APAC
countries and USA)
|$10/month (Up to
across 15 countries)
outgoing) and $2/month
|+200 minutes ($5.35/month)
+800 minutes ($10.70/month)
|+1200 SMS ($5.35/month)
+2400 SMS ($10.70/month)
Circles Life has more add-ons compared to Singtel. Moreover, you are able to have unlimited calls at a much cheaper price than Singtel!
Depending on your needs, one of this plans may be better than the other.
Porting of phone number
If you want to sign up for a Circles Life plan, you can either:
- Port your number from an existing telco
- Get a new number (for an additional $10/month)
For Singtel, you can sign up for the SIM-only plan via 3 methods:
- Re-contract your existing line
- Get a new number
- Import number from another telco
If you are porting over your number, you’ll need to make sure that you do not terminate your number with your current telco.
If you do so, then either of these telcos will be unable to transfer your number over!
Your number will be automatically terminated with your previous telco once the porting is completed.
Circles Life is very flexible, and you can cancel your plan at any time. This is because Circles Life is different from the contract plans that you can have with the original telcos.
These plans are similar to the monthly subscriptions that you pay for, such as Disney+.
This means that if you are unhappy with either service, you are able to switch to another telco!
However, Singtel’s SIM-Only plans require you to sign up for a 12-month term.
The only exception is the 3GB no-contract plan.
When you sign up for either plan, you will be locked with Singtel for a year! As such, it is slightly less flexible compared to Circles Life, where you can cancel anytime.
Which telco should you choose between Circles Life and Singtel?
Choose Circles Life for greater flexibility
Circles Life offers a wider variety of plans based on your data usage:
Depending on the amount of data you consume, you can choose from the following plans:
|100GB with Rollover
In contrast, Singtel only offers 3GB, 20GB and 40GB plans. If you are a heavy data user, the 40GB plan may not be enough for you!
Circles Life also has more add-ons. Moreover, their talktime add-ons are much cheaper than Singtel’s.
Overall, Circles Life provides a very complete package to cater to your mobile needs.
Choose Singtel if you are a heavy SMS user
If you call and SMS very often, then Singtel may be a better option for you. However, their plans can be much more expensive compared to Circles Life.
As such, you’ll need to see if paying extra for talktime and SMSes is suitable for your needs.
Both telcos offer you a flexible way to pay for your mobile data plans.
Circles Life has more flexibility, while Singtel offers you more talktime and SMSes with their plans.
This is similar to GOMO as well.
Ultimately, the plan that you choose should really depend on your needs!
Are you passionate about personal finance and want to earn some flexible income?