WhatsApp isn't the best app to call someone with a poor internet connection or to make free international calls to a landline. Discover 3 alternative apps that will keep you connected regardless of internet speed and won't drain your mobile data.
WhatsApp is hands-down the most popular messaging app in the world, with over 1.6 billion active users. In most cases, it’s a good enough tool for calling and texting friends and family.
However, if you’re using WhatsApp to stay in touch with your family in Mexico or another country, you’ll probably agree that the app has its downsides.
For example, WhatsApp is not the best choice if:
you want to call someone with a poor internet connection;
you want to call outside the app (e.g. a landline or a cell phone);
you have limited mobile data;
you want to avoid draining your phone’s battery.
To help you out, we’ve collected 3 free WhatsApp alternatives you can use to call Mexico (and other countries).
LINE is a free messaging and call app quickly growing in popularity. It has similar functionality to WhatsApp - e.g. you can text and video call for free with other app users. In addition to that, it also allows some free international calls to landlines or cell phones.
With LINE, you have a daily fixed amount of free minutes to use for calling landlines and cell phones. Depending on the country you’re calling, there’s a limit to the duration of your free calls. For example, you can call Mexico for free for up to 3 minutes per call.
Although this feature by itself won’t be sufficient to keep you in touch with loved ones in Mexico, it can be a life-saver. For example, if you need to communicate something quickly with a loved one in Mexico and you don’t have any call credit left on your regular mobile plan.
Pinngle is another less known gem in the world of messaging apps. It gives you the same functionality and flexibility as WhatsApp. Only, it’s significantly more accessible due to its low data usage and high call quality. And, of course, it offers the option to make free calls with no internet.
With Pinngle’s unique Callback feature, you can make calls with no internet. It works very simply - you send a callback request to one of your contacts via the app. Shortly after, you’ll receive an automated call. You just need to answer that call and you’ll be connected to your counterparty, regardless of how poor your connection is.
You can use Pinngle with a 2G internet connection without compromising on call quality.
The app uses little data and will have mercy on your mobile data plan.
If your family and friends in Mexico live in an area with poor internet connection, you might want to give IMO a try. Some users share that it drains their phone battery more quickly than other messaging apps. However, that will vary based on your phone, and it may not be an issue for everyone. At the same time, the app’s high quality call experience is almost fail-proof.
It offers high video and voice call quality even with poor internet connection on either side of the call.
It doesn’t take up too much space on your phone.
Messaging and call apps can be a cheap way to stay in touch with family abroad, because they don’t use up your call credit. However, to stay reliably connected you need to have access to Wi-Fi or make sure you always have mobile data available. If you run out of data unexpectedly, you can always top up online for any American or Mexican mobile carrier.
Messaging apps use different amounts of data, but with the indications below and the average time you spend calling per month, you can arrive at a good calculation of how much mobile data you need.
Data usage per 1 minute of voice call:
LINE data usage: 374 KB/minute of voice call;
WhatsApp data usage: 310 KB/minute of voice call (in regular data usage mode). 204 KB/minute of voice call (in low data usage mode);
Pinngle data usage: 60KB/minute of voice call.
Ready to stay connected and save money? Try out our app recommendations and make sure you top up your mobile data.