$49 Discount on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

With the expiration of my Tracfone service coming up in two weeks, I needed to shop for a new smartphone-only annual plan that normally sells for $125. This card includes 1500 minutes/ 1500 texts / 1.5 GB data plus 1 year of service. I found a deal on eBay and ended up paying $75.99 (instead of $125) for the same, plus an extra 300 minutes/ 300 texts / 0.3 GB data bonus to boot. That’s a discount of $49 or 39% and I got more than what I expected!

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What I Needed

I wanted to get a Tracfone annual plan because the service period lasted the longest – one full year. If, for that year, I still needed more minutes for calling, I would add on another pay as you go card with more minutes. However, by buying an annual plan card, it gave me peace of mind to know that my service and phone number will not expire for at least a year. It also saves me time in having to shop for cards a few times during the year and key in the long pin codes to activate them.

Why eBay

I proceeded to eBay to look. Why eBay? I’ve always found prices to be competitive (you can compare amongst sellers) and the process easy. There have also been times when the cost was a few dollars more than card’s face value, but for the convenience and sometimes lack of sales tax, I’m OK with it. A lot of them do the part of adding on the minutes/text/data credits for you, which appealed to me. All I needed was to purchase and leave the eBay seller my phone number. And then presto, the minutes will be added to my phone. No need to scratch and activate a physical card.

There are numerous other options for purchasing Tracfone cards, such as going through their website or app or going to a grocery store. All roads lead to Rome. Choose what works best for you. Anyway, my story continues …

Found a Great Discount

This time round, I stumbled upon awesome an eBay deal for a Tracfone annual card. The seller was advertising a price of $75.99 for the $125 annual card. They also had another listing for $71.99 for the $99 annual card. You get 1200 minutes/ 1200 texts / 1.2 GB data for that card if your phone has Triple Minutes for Life. The $75.99 price for a $125 annual plan made the most sense to me, as it offered more minutes/text/data that I forsee myself needing for the year ahead.

On a per minute/ per text or per MB basis, this is the lowest I’ve paid ever for my Tracfone minute. A total or 1800 minutes (after 300 minutes bonus) for $75.99 worked out to 4.2 cents per minute/ text/ MB. This is better than any smartphone-only plan or triple minutes for life deal.

Skepticism

However, I was skeptical. What if the seller is a scam? Then I looked at the feedback for their account. They have been an eBay seller for 4 years, and they have a 99.9% positive rating. I found tons of recent positive feedback on purchases of the same Tracfone annual card I was eyeing! I concluded that the risk was low. And if they somehow were not able to deliver, I felt that I will still be able to ask eBay for a refund.

So I proceeded to make a quick eBay purchase.

It Worked!

I purchased this on a late Saturday evening. It took 2 days before the order was fulfilled on Monday. On top of the 1500 minutes, there was an extra 300 minutes added. Total 1800 minutes/ 1800 text/ 1.8 GB data added. Bingo!

Based on this experience, I would buy from the seller again if I needed a refill. I would recommend this to my friends to help them save some money. The main downside is that the seller says it takes up to 3 days to fulfill an order. If you need your refill urgently, there are other sellers who will probably do this quicker. If I needed to get some quick minutes, I would just buy a cheaper card at the store as a stop-gap measure, but I would probably get this offer to buffer up my balance. I’m going to need those minutes sooner or later.

I doubt this offer will stay open much longer. I don’t think they any seller is going to have an unlimited supply of cheap minutes. I’m just glad the seller delivered this round.

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Purchase Tips

If you do purchase, make sure to add your phone number to your order so the seller can credit you the minutes, text and data. In my case, I had forgotten to add my phone number during the purchase. I then sent them a message with my Tracfone number right after.

Also, I did not receive any SMS when the minutes were added. I only found out later by messaging the seller and then checking my Tracfone smartphone app. So give it a day or two, and then check your balance through the Tracfone app or however you normally do it.

Hope this helps. If this also worked for you or if you have any comments, let us know below.

Check out phones and plans on the official Tracfone website.

 

Best Cell Phone Plans for International Students Studying in the US

International students on college campusHaving a reliable cell phone plan is a great convenience for international students currently staying in the United States. Cell phone plans have decreased in costs since the early 2010s as a result of increased competition and an increase of telecommunications bandwidth.

Today, international students in the US have a lot of options to pick from, and for less than they would have if they were here 5 years ago. With so many options, picking the right plan can get confusing. Company pricing tends to vary due to cell phone and monthly plan options. To help you make an informed decision, here are some of the best plans available for international students like yourself.

Simple Mobile

Simple Mobile is a prepaid no contract provider that offers cell phone plans ranging from $25 to $60 a month. International students can save even further by opting to automatically recharge their account each month. The $25 a month plan includes unlimited calling, texting and 1 GB of high speed data. Once the high speed data is used up, the speed goes into 2G. For higher data caps, they have plans going all the up to truly unlimited for $60. With the proliferation of campus wifi, students can adjust their plan costs to reflect their data needs.

What’s stands out about Simple Prepaid is that their plans include international texting and international calling to a number of countries like Mexico, Canada, China and India. For other countries, customers can access low rates by adding a global calling card.

  • $25 a month for unlimited talk, text and 1 GB of high-speed data
  • Other plan options to suit a variety of budgets and high-speed data needs
  • International texting and calling included in plan (for calling 60 countries)
  • Truly Unlimited high-speed data plan option
  • Reliable service using the T-Mobile network (they have a virtual network agreement)
  • No US credit score needed
  • No contract, stop service or upgrade/downgrade plan anytime
  • Works with unlocked GSM phones

 

FreedomPop

If you are looking for great value, it’s hard to beat FreedomPop. They have a free phone plan that gives 200 talk minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MB of high-speed data each month. In an age where more and more communications are routed through internet apps and wifi is widely available, their free plan is sufficient for a lot of students. However, they have numerous upgrade options as well. Plans go as high as 4 GB per month, and 1.5 cents per MB for paid plan users.

One advantage of FreedomPop for international students is their Global Free 100 plan. This is a free add-on option that gives users 100 free minutes a month to call over 50 countries. There are upgrade plans that allow for more minutes.

If you travel to your home country, your phone can still work through wifi calling as long as you have access to good wifi reception. This gives you an easy way to stay in touch with your friends in the US.

  • Free plan 200 talk minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MB of data
  • Freedom to upgrade to higher level plans
  • Free global plan that allows calls to 50 overseas destinations
  • Wifi calling app – when you are in your home country, make and receive calls and texts just like in the US
  • Good service powered by VoIP and Sprint’s 4G LTE data network (they have a virtual network agreement)
  • No contract
  • Bring your own unlocked phone – GSM SIM card option for unlocked phones (Free 200 MB instead of 500 MB with FreedomPop phone)

 

Tracfone

TracFone offers quality mobile phone services which are highly reliable at an affordable price along with the much-needed flexibility. For students on a budget or those who do not need to use their phones much, this is a welcome option. A smartphone plan costs starts a $15 a month.

TracFone is the largest prepaid mobile service provider in the US with almost 26 million subscribers under its belt. They also operate the Total Wireless service listed above. For newcomers to TracFone, you might be a bit skeptical since its low cost of $15 a month for service appears almost too good to be true. In fact, it is not, as TracFone plans have limits on the calls, text and data usage. It’s economical for customers who do not need unlimited call and text plans.

Many international students on a budget find it worthwhile because they can save more each month. As their communications needs are easily met through campus wifi and communications apps that work through their phone, they can cut down on traditional calling, texting and the use of mobile data.

  • From $15 a month for limited talk, text, data (see price comparison chart)
  • Reliable service using the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks (they have a virtual network agreement)
  • No credit check, very easy to get started (Prepaid Service)
  • No contract, stop service anytime
  • International calls to many countries worldwide at US rates (ie. in many cases, it costs the same to call US or the student’s home country)
  • Bring your own GSM/CDMA phone – use the same phone here and in your home country

 

Total Wireless

Total Wireless provides a 35-dollar monthly mobile phone plan package with unlimited call and text, plus 5GB of high-speed data. It’s perfect for international students with moderate data needs and don’t need a pricier cell phone plan. With this low-cost option offered by Total Wireless, students can enjoy a stable connection and keep in touch with their family and friends.

If you need more data, you can buy additional data card for $10 each. These carryover without a fixed deadline, until such a time when you decide to no longer continue with their services. There are also different phone payment plan packages to help customers spread out their payments within the year.

  • $35 a month for unlimited talk, text and 5 GB of high-speed data
  • Option to add 3 GB of high-speed data @ $10 (will carryover until you stop service)
  • Reliable service using the Verizon network (they have a virtual network agreement)
  • No credit check, very easy to get started (Prepaid Service)
  • No contract, stop service anytime
  • Global calling card for $10, call internationally for low cost
  • Bring your own CDMA phone – use the same phone here and in your home country

 

Verizon

In the US, Verizon is the leading network which many cell phone owners use. When it comes to quality performance, it provides the best wireless network in all six regions according to research firm JD Power. Some of the advantages include: mobile hotspot and video streaming without additional fees. A Verizon plan typically includes unlimited talk and text, unlimited or limited data, video streaming, mobile hotspot tethering, Mexico and Canada service (premium plans).

Students can either choose the U unlimited plan or other more inexpensive options such as S for 2GB, M for 4GB, and L for 8GB cell phone plan. They also have prepaid plans that cost $40 a month, with unlimited talk, text and 3 GB of high speed data. Depending on the features that you need, you will have to pay a monthly fee of from $35 to $80 per line – plus taxes and other fees.

  • Plans range from $35 to $80 a month. All include unlimited talk and text.
  • Verizon is considered by many to be the best network.
  • No credit check if you go prepaid.
  • All Verizon Plans are no contract plans. However, if you are making monthly payments on the phone you buy through them, that is a separate two-year contract plan that needs to be paid off over time.
  • International calls at low rates with international calling plan.
  • Bring your own CDMA phone – use the same phone here and in your home country

 

StraightTalk

Another great option is StraightTalk since it offers a variety of plans, but without the need for contracts. The available plans include $35 with 2GB data and unlimited call and text nationwide, $45 with 8GB data and unlimited call and text nationwide, $55 with 12GB data and unlimited call and text nationwide, $60 with 8GB data and unlimited call and text worldwide, $30 with 100MB data and unlimited texts, $10 with international calling cards, and the extended plan with 8GB data and unlimited call and text nationwide.

You can use this plan with your own phone, under their bring your own phone program.

 

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless offers cellphone plans that are fairly affordable for a student on a budget. The plans costs between $15 and $90 every month. The package would include unlimited call, text, and mobile data. A pretty basic, but this is all a student really needs to always stay connected. The phone units for each plan starts at $179, however this is only available for Android phones. No contracts are needed when choosing a Republic Wireless cell phone plan.

T-Mobile Prepaid

With Simply Prepaid by T-Mobile Prepaid, students can enjoy up to 10 GB of LTE within a limited period for only $50 per month. For 4 GB of LTE, you will pay $45 per month. Another option is the $55 monthly fee with 6 GB of LTE. Offers include unlimited call and text, fastest network, phone options, and choice to keep your phone number. Stateside international calls cost $15 per month while the unlimited call to Mexico and Canada costs $5 per month.

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TracFone Ends Triple Minutes For Life, New Smartphone Plans Offer Improved Value

If you are a TracFone user, chances are you have heard about their Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature. Basically, you buy a TracFone smartphone featuring this, and you can get triple credit. In other words, you buy a TracFone with 60 minutes, you will get 180 minutes of talk time, 180 text messages and 180 MB of data. This has been an incredible deal for anyone who wants a phone at an inexpensive cost.

How I Saved $49 on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

Fortunately TracFone’s newer smartphone-only plans will continue on that value-providing proposition. You can check our Triple Minutes vs. Smartphone-Only Plan comparison chart here. These smartphone plans will work for both Android and iPhone users. To learn more about TracFone, check out our full review.

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The Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature plan has been phased out since 4/1/2017 for all new phone packages introduced afterwards, in favor of moving customers to their smartphone-only plan. If you currently have a TracFone smartphone with the TMFL feature, you can continue to get triple minute credits when new airtime cards are added to that same phone.

In general, their new prepaid smartphone-only plans offer a really good deal for customers. The main disadvantage is that the minimum monthly spend is now a $2 – $3 more a month. It’s probably unavoidable, with the rising costs of everything else. The smartphone-only plan’s minimum spend now works out to $10.42 a month before sales tax. It’s a great alternative to typical $40 a month unlimited plans if you aren’t using the phone as much.

What’s great is that these smartphone-only plans offer a lower cost on average when you break it down by per minute, text and MB of data. They also more accurately reflect the usage habits of smartphone users – allocating more airtime for texting and data vs. talking. Below is a comparison of the pros and cons.

Comparison Chart of Tracfone Smartphone-Only Plans vs Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) Plans

Cost Service Days Cost Per Month Minutes Text MB Talk Time (Cents Per min) Text (Cents Per Text) Data (Cents Per MB)
TracFone Smartphone-Only Cards            
$15 30 15 200 500 500 7.5 3.0 7.5
$25 60 12.5 500 1000 500 5.0 2.5 5.0
$45 90 15 750 1000 1500 6.0 4.5 3.0
$125 365 10.42 1500 1500 1500 8.3 8.3 8.3
Old TracFone Airtime Cards – All Minutes/Text/ Data credit Tripled            
$20 90 6.67 180 180 180 11.1 11.1 11.1
$40 90 13.33 600 600 600 6.7 6.7 6.7
$100 365 8.33 1200 1200 1200 8.3 8.3 8.3

Minutes/Text/MB listed are the total airtime provided with each plan purchase, eg. $15 plan provides a total of 200 minutes, 500 texts and 200 MB of data.
$125 Annual Plan offers the lowest average monthly cost ($10.42) and longest active period (365 days). For low volume users who want the least hassle, this plan makes the most sense.
Unused talk/text/data credit carryover as long as phone service remains active.
Need more data? $10 for 1 GB – add as you need. Unused data credits carryover.
How to get started? If you are currently a Tracfone smartphone user, you can get started on these plans by purchasing and activating their smartphone-only plan cards. If you are not yet a Tracfone customer, you can get started by purchasing and activating a TracFone smartphone through their website here. Alternatively, you can buy a compatible unlocked phone from Amazon or eBay and insert a TracFone SIM card into the phone (see Tracfone bring your own phone post).

Tracfone smartphone only plans Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases. Learn More

Related Blog Post: How I Saved $49 on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

TracFone Per-Minute/Text/MB Spend Has Lowered

New $45 card for 90 days service with 750 min, 1000 texts and 1500 MB
New cost per minute: 6 cents/ minute, 4.5 cents/text, 3 cents/MB
New monthly cost $15 per month.
vs.
Old $40 card for 90 days service with 600 min, 600 texts and 600 MB (usage credits tripled)
Old cost per minute: 6.7 cents/ minute, 6.7 cents/text 6.7 cents/MB
Old monthly cost $13.33 per month

TracFone Per-Month Minimum Spend Has Increased

New $125 for an annual card with 1500 min, 1500 texts and 1500 MB vs.
Old $100 for an annual card with 1200 min, 1200 texts and 1200 MB (usage credits tripled)
Monthly cost increases from $8.33 per month to $10.42 per month.

Average talk time per minute remains the same for annual plan. For all other plans, per minute/text/MB cost has decreased using new smartphone only plan (see example above).

TracFone’s Smartphone-Only Plan More Accurately Reflects Current Talk, Text and Data Usage Habits

TracFone’s smartphone-only plans come with varying amounts of talk, text and data usage, unlike its traditional cards that standardizes the volume in each bucket. For example, it’s $15/month plan provides for 200 minutes of talk time, but 500 text messages. More and more users find themselves using text more often than making or receiving calls. Do you talk more or text more?

The traditional TracFone airtime cards were introduced in an era before texting and data use over a cell phone. Then prices lowered, and to address that, the Double Minutes For Life came about. Prices lowered further, and with the rise of smartphones, the Triple Minutes For Life. All these are based on a multiple of the underlying talk time (eg. 60 minutes gave rise to 60 texts and 60 MB etc). The new smartphone monthly plan allocates varying talk, text and data instead.

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Just Need a Regular Non-Smartphone? Double Minutes Still Applies

Many people have no need for a smartphone or for the many different applications available. All they are interested in doing is making a telephone call. They have little to no interest in text messages, data plans, games and the like. Rare for certain, but there are some people like this still in the world.

If you don’t need a smartphone, you can still get on a similar deal with the double minutes.

What does this mean for the TracFone user who is interested in the triple minutes plan? You may still be in luck because of independent sellers who have stores on eBay and Amazon may have cards with triple minutes available for users of the TracFone.

The phase out of the Triple Minutes for Life (TMFL) feature system is a forgone conclusion. However, new or current users have much to look forward to with TracFone’s new Smartphone-only plans.

If you are not yet a Tracfone customer and want to get started, check out our TracFone Review for guidance or get started on TracFone’s Official Website.

Tracfone PhonesDeal Alert: Use Promo Code TF30OFF for 30% OFF Phone + Plan Purchases! Ends Nov 30.

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Limitation: We make every effort to share the most accurate information on this site but we cannot provide any warranties on this content. Things change with time as well. Please always do your own verification to make sure.
 
 

How to Choose a Good Prepaid Android Smartphone for a Low Price

Today, there are lots of different prepaid Android smartphones to choose from at inexpensive prices. Unlike iOS or iPhones that easily cost $600 or more, there is a much wider range of Androids to pick from. You can get an entry level phone for as little as $50 and lots of quality mid-range options in the $100 to $250 range.

Concurrently, there are lots of prepaid smartphone plan options as well. When you pair a quality Android phone that doesn’t break the bank with an inexpensive prepaid phone plan, you have a winning combination. Yes, you can enjoy a quality smartphone with low monthly costs.

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Why a smartphone? Besides the availability of easing texting, use of a wide variety of apps like WhatsApp, Skype and sharing of photos, it lets people stay on top of Facebook updates and email. It also gives them the opportunity to binge on Netflix, play games, listen to music, snap photos and read news updates. Not all Android smartphones were created equal – many good, some bad. If you are looking for a good and prepaid Android smartphone that is inexpensive , here are some important factors to consider.

1. Don’t Pay More Than You Should

Your goal is to save money and get something that suits you. Most premium Android phones will start out around $500 and can easily cost $800 and up. There are some pretty really inexpensive smartphones that cost under $200, and sometimes a lot less. For the average user, these sub-$200 phones have plenty of processor power and memory to offer a good experience. The key is to shop around. Check out a few different listings or websites before you decide.

Consider the BLU R1 HD android phone that is based on Android 6. Users enjoy a fast 1.3GHz processor and 2GB RAM. It comes with 16GB of internal memory and additional storage expansion options. This is sufficient for adding in lots of apps on the phone.

Tracfone, the largest prepaid provider in the US, offers a good selection of starter and mid-range Android phones. TracFone smartphones are not unlocked and will run only on TracFone’s network. The advantage to the consumer is that TracFone smartphones offer tremendous value for a low cost, and they work perfectly with their $15/month smartphone plan. Another benefit is that TracFone has special relationships with quality brands like Samsung, ZTE, LG and other top tier brands. As such, they are often able to offer these branded phones at excellent prices.

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2. The Right Screen Size

Some like them small, others like them large – if you have tiny hands, you may not have a problem with a screen than is smaller than 5.5 inches. However, if you plan on using the Smartphone to watch videos and play games, then you should go for a prepaid smartphone that has a bigger screen.

An option to consider is the Motorola G (4th Generation), with a 5.5 inch screen.

3. The Phone’s Display, Brightness and Color Quality

Today, they have screens on phones that are 4K, which is nice, but for a phone, it’s overkill. When searching for a phone, focus on how bright the display is and how colorful the panel is. The newer smartphones offer high dynamic range, which displays even more colors.

4. Camera Megapixels

Along with battery life, another important smartphone feature is the camera. Instead of putting all of your focus towards the camera megapixels, focus on specs such as aperture (the lower the numbers, the better) and special features like dual lenses.

5. Battery Capacity

While looking for a smartphone, don’t forget about something with a good battery life. Otherwise, you will have a phone that you end up not using much of, for fear that it will run out of power. As a general guideline, you should avoid a phone model that has a battery capacity that is less than 3,000 mAh.

6. Storage

Storage, on your phone, is definitely important, especially if you plan on taking pictures. You should go for something that offers at least 32GB of storage. Those that offer 16GB are a bit of a rip-off and should be avoided. If you plan on downloading a low of gamers or shooting 4K video, then you may want to go for 64GB or more.

A good feature to look for would be a microSD card slow as this will allow you to expand storage, but it can only be found on certain Android phones.

Now that you know how to find a good prepaid smartphone, it’s time to get started! The Internet is the best place to look, because there are so many different deals …

Tracfone review
 

Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked Review

Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked

The Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked is truly a well-acclaimed candidate for our search of the best smart phones of today. Modern smartphones have shaped the way we live our lives– from basic communication and capturing photos to being our modern-day personal assistants. With the dozens of features and thousands of apps available at our disposal, all we have to do now is choose the right smartphone that will suit our needs and satisfy our tastes.

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The Motorola G4 (moto g4) 16 GB Unlocked phone presents features designed to make your everyday life easier and more exciting. Let us begin with the hardware:

The 5.5” Full-HD display presents clear and vivid images that will surely captivate from the first moment; pair that with the high quality 16M colors making every single pixel as vibrant as possible.

Need a plan? Check out TracFone smartphone plans starting at $15/month. This phone works with TracFone. For more information on unlocked phones, check out our unlocked phones guide.

For every traveler, the Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked is surely a great hit with its clear 16MP camera. Its video recording capacity is also extraordinary—enabling you to record at HD resolution. Moreover, for selfie addicts, the 5MP front camera will make sure you never miss capturing those special moments in every group event.

This smartphone comes with a hefty 3000 mAH battery, enough to last days on standby. What’s even better is that you can get 6 hours of power for every 15 minutes of charging.

The fingerprint reader is also a neat feature. Now, your phone answers to you and only you. You can find the fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the phone.

Made with the finest materials, this Moto G4 unlocked smartphone sports a waterproof structure designed to let the phone be fully usable even during the rainy days.

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint—you name it—because this carrier-friendly smart phone has been unlocked to suit every communications network in the U.S perfectly. This means that buying the Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked will not be a matter of carrier compatibility.

Lastly, for Amazon Prime customers, this smart phone offers seamless access to Amazon Prime Exclusive benefits where registered members get to watch unlimited movies, TV shows and music all in their smart phone. There is an extra fee to subscribe to Prime.

With the external features out of the bag, it is high time to introduce the internal specification of this amazing smart phone.

With a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor coupled with the recent Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, expect applications to run smoothly without any lags or glitches. You can surf, play, watch movies and send emails and messages to your friends and colleagues with the high speed 4G LTE; this phone can surely manage.

A powerful 2GB RAM runs alongside these amazing features, this means the phone can run multiple applications at the same time without slowing down too much. However, it is still best if you close the apps that you aren’t using to ensure that the phone can run as fast as possible.

Even better: imagine carrying every essential file on your smart phone because this phone has a built-in 16GB internal storage upgradeable to a huge 128GB through a microSD card; you can store all your documents, music, movies and more in your own personal smart phone. You no longer have to worry about running out of storage space ever again.

Everything you need to know about this Moto g4 smart phone is right before your eyes. Surely, the Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked has remarkable features worthy of your hard-earned money. It was made by one of the longest in the industry and will surely stand the test of time. Give the Motorola G (4th Generation) 16 GB Unlocked a try—so you can see the splendid work for yourself.

Check out the BLU R1 16G – it’s another great option, and less costly.

Check out more reviews and pricing of the Motorola Moto G4 at Amazon.com >>

Buying an Unlocked iPhone 7 or iPhone 6 – What Are The Considerations?

Apple iPhone 7 SilverCurrently, there are five Apple iPhone models available in the market: the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S plus and iPhone SE. These models vary greatly in terms of capacity, processors, screen size, phone size and other features.

The advantage of having an unlocked iPhone is that you can choose a cellular service plan you like without being tied to a contract. Here are some additional advantages of choosing an unlocked phone. When choosing an iPhone, there are a number of models available. If you are planning to buy an iPhone, chances are, you might be confused on which model to purchase. Below are some of the things you have to consider in choosing the iPhone that will perfectly fit your needs.

Storage Capacity

Usually, iPhones come with 32 GB up to 128 GB of internal storage. iPhone 5 has a 16 GB option as well. However, the latest iPhone models (iPhone 7S and 7S plus), offers up to 256 GB of internal storage. Apple increased its storage capacity in order to support 3D touch, which is only available for the iPhone 6S and 6S plus as well.

Color and Phone Size

The latest S models and the iPhone SE come in four colors: gold, rose gold color, space gray and silver. These include the iPhone 6 and 6S. iPhone 7 and 7s has six color options: gold, rose gold color, silver, black, jet black and red!

In terms of phone size, the iPhone SE measures around 4 inches. Its size is similar to the size of an iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 S and iPhone 7 are slightly bigger at 4.7 inches. Lastly, the iPhone 6 S Plus and 7 Plus measures 5.5 inches. If you prefer phablet sized phones, you could consider the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 7 Plus.

Resolution

The resolution of iPhone SE is 1136 x 640 pixels at 326 “pixel per inch” (ppi), while the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 has 1334 x 750 pixels at 326 ppi. The iPhone 6S plus and 7 plus on the other hand, has a higher resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401 ppi. All these models have retina display that gives you comparably better screen resolution than the other brands.

Touch ID

iPhone first launched their touch ID feature on the iPhone 5s. Similar to the iPhone 5S, the iPhone SE has “first-generation Touch ID sensor” touch ID technology. The iPhone 6S and 6S plus on the other hand, has an upgraded version of their home button. Both the 6S and 6S plus currently has “second-generation fingerprint sensor”.

Speed and Battery Life

All the iPhone models starting from the iPhone 5 have up to date A8 or A9 chips. This means you can play games and multitask all day long without slowing down your phone. Both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have the more more advanced A10 chip with M10 moition processor.

The battery life of the iPhone 6S and 7 can last for approximately 10 days in standby mode. The iPhone 6 Plus and 7 Plus can remain in standby mode for up to 16 days. In terms of wi-fi usage, it is typically up to 12 hours or more, depending on the model. The iPhone 7 Plus will last up to 13 hours on 3G or LTE, while the iPhone 6S will last up to 10 hours on 3G or LTE.

Earphone Connector

Starting from iPhone 7, Apple has eliminated the standard 3.5 mm headset earplug socket. To use earphones, you must either use Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector, or use a Lightning Connector with a 3.5 mm.

Camera

iPhone 6S, 6S plus and SE all have 12 megapixel camera with a sensitive f/2.2 aperture. In addition to this, these three models all have live photo feature in their cameras. The iPhone 6 and 6S plus both have optical image stabilization.

The iPhone 6S, 6S plus and SE all supports 4k video recording, while the iPhone 6S and 6S plus can record videos up to 1080p. Both the iPhone 6S and SE supports slo-mo video recording with 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps.The iPhone 6 and 6 plus can also record videos at 120 fps or 240 fps. All the mentioned models supports true tone flash for capturing photos in low light and dark areas.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have updated even higher performing 12 megapixel cameras with f/1.8 or f/2.8 apertures. In particular, the iPhone 7 Plus has both a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens. This makes it easy to take outstanding photos on the go or while on trips. An iPhone 7 takes away the need to bring along an extra digital camera when traveling.

Phone Plan and Carrier

Once you have determined the iPhone model that you want, the next step is to decide which company and plan to use. Since it is an unlocked phone, you are free to choose a no contract plan or a prepaid plan. If you are an average to heavy user, there are numerous plans with unlimited usage or high limits offered by all the top companies. If you are a light to average smartphone user, you may want to look into pay as you go plans. TracFone is probably the most cost-effective option out there.

With unlocked iPhones, one thing to careful about is that some of them will only work on GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile, and not Verizon and Sprint. If you are looking at a prepaid provider that is renting from one of the big 4 networks, you can check with them first which networks they are affiliated with. While TracFone uses both GSM and CDMA networks, their Bring Your Own Phone program seem to only work with unlocked GSM phones. Some people have noted problems starting an unlocked CDMA phone on Tracfone. Their site has a tool to verify the compatibility of a phone with their service.

iPhones are great but they are also expensive. Android smartphones offer greater selections, and their price ranges from $100 to $600 for really high end ones. If you like an affordable mid-range phone, the Motorola Moto G4 is an excellent choice. Check out our Motorola Moto G4 review here.

If you like the idea of having an unlocked phone, but are unsure if it is for you, check out this article on how to choose an unlocked smartphone.

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BLU R1 HD 16 GB Android Phone Review

The BLU R1 HD android phone is one of the best units you can get for an android budget phone. You get 1.3GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, up to 64 GB expandable storage, 5”HD display, 8-megapixel camera, Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow and a Dual SIM card slot.

Design And Size

One of the most common problems customers face when buying budget phones is the compromise of the phone’s quality for the sake of lowering its price. Some brands use cheaper materials that just doesn’t look good.

Even if it looks convincingly classy from afar, you can feel the difference once you hold the phone in your hand. The typical budget phone looks low quality. The good news is that BLU R1 HD defies this standard. It sports a curved front glass, a black plastic for its back cover and a real metal trim on its side which makes it feel more expensive than it really is.

When it comes to the phone’s size, you just can’t please everybody. You may hear others say that a phone is either too small, or too bulky for their liking. In this category, BLU R1 did a great job by keeping its size in the middle ground. It measures around 5.63 x 2.78 x 0.33 inches and weighs only 5.01 ounces. It is comfortable to use this phone with just one hand.

Display, Software And Processor

The screen resolution of this phone is decent. It passes the standard of a mid-range smartphone: it’s not bad, but it’s not that great either.

On the contrary, BLU R1 HD’s software performance is above average. The phone runs on the latest Android operating system 6.0 Marshmallow. It is powered by a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. These features allow the phone to run smoothly with minimal freezes. The only time it slows down is when too many apps are running simultaneously.

The battery life in this model is beyond satisfactory as well. It lasts as long as 5 – 6 hours under maximum brightness setting and LTE video streaming. The phone could easily last the whole day.

Camera

BLU R1 HD’s camera performed below average. Though it has an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera, the pictures taken from the phone are usually pixelated and noisy. Even among the phones within its price range, the R1 fails to impress. It can also be used for video recording at 1080 resolution. However, its video output is also of poor quality. There were speculations that the poor camera quality is one of main reasons why BLU R1 HD could sell this phone at a low price point.

Dual SIM & Unlocked

This is an unlocked phone, which means that it is not tied to any particular provider. Users are not tied to any one service provider. They can choose the provider that has the best type of plans and cost for their needs. For example, you could choose a low cost TracFone plan that costs $15 a month.

The Dual Sim feature makes it convenient for users to bring their phones along and use while on trips. Some US carriers do not offer foreign roaming services, and they can be very expensive even when made available. By adding a prepaid SIM card when at your new destination, you can access phone services at local rates that are often more economical than roaming rates. Dual Sim is a good option to have available, whether you end up needing the feature or not.

The Perks Of A Prime Exclusive Member

The BLU R1 HD provides access to pre-installed apps from Amazon. If you are a Prime member, it gives you access to great content such as Prime TV shows, Prime Music, Prime Movies and Prime Photo Storage. Of course, this is just an added side benefit and many users do not subscribe to Prime. Prime customers may also get a discount for this phone through a special Prime exclusive program (learn more).

Most people compare the BLU R1 to the Motorola G 4th generation before they purchase.

The Company Behind The Phone

BLU, which means “Bold Like Us”, primarily aims to cater affordable yet quality phones. Their company is one of the first phone companies that were Latin-owned. Founded by Samuel Ohev-Zion, the company’s target market includes US Citizens, Western Europeans, Chinese and people from other countries seeking affordable smartphones.

Their main products include Android phones and Windows phones. As of today, the company already sold an estimate of 30 million phones around the globe, specifically, in 40 countries. In the Central American Region, BLU have already released 50% of their phones that are still available for sale. In other regions like Tobago or Trinidad, BLU products became the leading mobile device manufacturer since its launch last 2011.

Discounted Unlocked Phones For Amazon Prime Members

smartphone apps

Amazon.com is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of Internet-based selling; it has brought shopping in the convenience of your own home by just sitting in front of your computer and checking the items on their website.

Amazon has recently launched a great deal for its valued customers, the Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones program focusing on unlocked phones. Terms and conditions of the program are subject to change, so please check the latest details at Amazon.com.

Why Unlocked Phones?

Owning a phone is now a necessity and buying it online is a breeze. But Amazon has made it even better by selling unlocked phones at lower prices. An example of a popular unlocked phone is the BLU R1 android phone, you can read it’s review here.

Locked phones work only with the network that it is locked to. For example, if you purchase a Straight Talk iPhone 6, and it will only work with Straight Talk. Locked phones are cheaper than unlocked ones for the same model. Buying a locked phone carries the hassle of bringing the unit to a cell phone repair shop or to a center carrier service network to have it unlocked (of course, you are charged for the service).

Unlocked phones, on the other hand, are more pricey because you can insert any SIM card of a chosen carrier and it will get to work already. If you had a change of mind, you can always switch your carrier by putting out the old carrier’s SIM card and inserting a new one. So if you purchase an unlocked iPhone 6, you can purchase a SIM card or activation kit from Straight Talk or any other carrier of your choice to use the phone with.

Although unlocked phones are more costly, consumers who are Amazon Prime customers will now enjoy unlocked phone offers at discounted prices, as compared to non-Prime customers.

Amazon Exclusive Phones

Amazon has surprised their Prime members with great deals for unlocked phones. A discount is given to Prime members for unlocked phone offers. Prime members of Amazon are those who have subscribed to be a Prime member by paying an annual membership fee. Some of the perks of being a Prime member include access to music, playlists, stations, video streaming, e-books, and eligibility to discounts exclusive to Prime members such as this newest program, the Prime Unlocked Phones.

For Amazon Prime members, the purchase price of unlocked phone has been slashed down to very attractive levels. You can find offers here.

However, the deal comes with a catch: The unlocked phones come with Lockscreen offers and ads. These ads pop up every time your phone is on lock screen mode, which can be quite draining for the battery and annoying for the user. There are also certain ads that, when tapped, automatically redirect to the site so you might have a harder time navigation on your phone.

Still, the screaming discounts for Android phones in this Amazon deal are probably enough to make one forget — or at least tolerate — the inconvenience of these Lockscreen ads. What do you think?

Note: The details of this program can change with time. Please check the latest details at Amazon.com. The Amazon ads listed on this page can be for phones both in and out of the discounted phone program.

TracFone Smartphones Selection Gets Attractive

Tracfone has been improving on the selection of cell phones that it offers to customers in the past two years. They started with basic Android smartphones, but have really notched it up with more advanced and attractive phones with good mainstream appeal.

The Samsung Galaxy 5″ phone demonstrated in this QVC video is one example. These phone packages come and go, so to see what Tracfone deals are offered currently, check their official website.

See full TracFone Review

Bring Your Own Phone

If none of their phones appeal to you, you can even buy an unlocked cell phone online and bring it into the TracFone network. TracFone has what is called a Bring Your Own Phone program. You bring your phone, and you use it with a low cost TracFone plan. You can also bring your existing phone in from other networks.

TracFone has contracts with major companies like AT&T and Verizon to rent their network space.

See full TracFone Review

Why TracFone?

TracFone’s plans are very economical for those of us who do not use the phone a lot (eg. less than 2 to 3 hours total a month), and don’t need a lot of data (eg. under 1 GB) a month. Most other companies assume you will be using your phone a lot, and you end up paying $30 to $50 or more a month.

With TracFone, my cell phone bill is about $15 a month for an Android phone. TracFone has new smartphone-only plans that offers an even bigger bang for the buck. You can find out more in this TracFone smarpthone only plans article.

iPhones Accepted

If you are an iOS fan and like to lower your monthly bill, TracFone could be something worth checking out. A lot of iPhone users (yes, the latest models) have already migrated over to TracFone.

To summarize, TracFone’s selection of Android phones are becoming more and mores sophisticated. Even if none of their phones appeal to you, you can Bring Your Own Phone to take advantage of their unbeatable plan prices. If you like more tips on how to a good prepaid smartphone at a low cost, check out our guide here.

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If you are not interested in TracFone’s phone selection but like their low cost plans, you can also consider getting a good unlocked phone to pair up with a TracFone plan (see Tracfone BYOP program info).

TracFone Smartphone Only Plans From $15

Updated 11/7/2017TracFone’s new smartphone only plans set them apart from the competition in terms of pricing and value. These prepaid cell phone plans present additional plan options to consumers. Those are still available! However, depending on your usage needs, these new TracFone plans could be even more cost-effective. We will do a comparison of these various plans choice here in this article, so you can pick the best one for your needs.

Tracfone smartphone only plans Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases. Learn More

Note: All TracFone plans are meant for users who do not use their phones for talking much, or if you are on the phone a lot, use it mainly with wifi. You can see the plan allowance below. If you need to use your cell phone a lot (over an hour of voice each week), you may want to compare this with Simple Mobile and StraightTalk plans.

Unlimited plan users can also check out the $35 unlimited talk and text plan with 5 GB of data (at the time of this writing) by Total Wireless. Total Wireless is a subsidiary of TracFone.

TracFone’s Smartphone Plans Compared

Cost Service Days Cost Per Month Min Text MB Talk Time (Cents Per min) Text (Cents Per Text) Data (Cents Per MB)
$15 30 $15.00 200 500 200 7.5 3.0 7.5
$20 30 $20.00 300 500 1000 6.7 4.0 2.0
$25 60 $12.50 500 1000 500 5.0 2.5 5.0
$35 60 $17.50 750 1000 1000 4.7 3.5 3.5
$45 90 $15.00 750 1000 1500 6.0 4.5 3.0
$50 90 $16.67 750 1500 2000 6.7 3.3 2.5
$125 365 $10.42 1500 1500 1500 8.3 8.3 8.3

Minutes/Text/MB listed are the total airtime provided with each plan purchase, eg. $15 plan provides a total of 200 minutes, 500 texts and 200 MB of data.
Unused talk/text/data credit carryover as long as phone service remains active.
Need more data? $10 for 1 MB – add as you need. Unused data credits carryover.

 
Related: How I Saved $49 on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

$125 Every 365 days (~$10.42/Month)
Recommended for lowest average monthly cost and longest service period (less hassle).

  • 1500 Minutes
  • 1500 Texts
  • 1500 MB

Notes: This is a great one-year value plan. If you don’t need that many cell phone minutes, and can get by with wifi for a majority of your communications needs, this is a powerful option. It works out to be about $10 a month. You get some decent talk time, plus text messaging and data for that. Most cell phone companies charge $30/ month and above for a smartphone plan.

On a per unit usage (eg. per minute) basis, this may not be the cheapest, but the annual plan will stay active longer.

The Annual Plan is works best for people using the bare minimum. If you expect to be using more than the bare minimum, the $25 or $35 plan would be more cost-effective (better cost per minute/GB). Your total cost will also be higher to reflect the higher number of minutes and data GB.

If you are interested, check out this blog post: How I Saved $49 on a Tracfone Annual Smartphone Plan Card ($125 Reg)

$15 Every 30 days

  • 200 Minutes
  • 500 Texts
  • 500 MB

Notes: Another good basic smartphone plan. If you don’t use voice much, and rely a lot of wifi, this may be all you need. A $15/month iPhone cell phone bill is unheard of. But why pay more?

$25 Every 60 days (~$12.50/Month)

  • 500 Minutes
  • 1000 Texts
  • 500 MB

Notes: This plan offers even greater value than the $15/30 days one above. By paying for 2 months instead of 1 month each time, you get extra minutes, text and data usage credits. Considering that each month goes by so quickly, the benefit of paying another $10 upfront is well worth it.

 

$35 Every 60 days (~$17.50/Month)

  • 750 Minutes
  • 1000 Texts
  • 1 GB

Notes:For anyone who need more talk time and data, this plan offers tremendous value.

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Other factors to take note of:

Additional 5% Off

Some plans come with an additional 5% discount with auto-refill.

Unused Credits Carryover

All usage credits carryover. If you don’t finish using them pass the expiration date, they carry over to the next active period if you continue to buy airtime for your phone.

Triple Minutes for Life Does NOT Apply

The Triple Minutes for Life benefit will not apply. The airtime credits have been adjusted to provide equal or better value than standard TracFone airtime cards after tripling. These plans are for smartphone users only. Since April 2017, the Triple minutes for Life benefit is no longer offered with new smartphones. The new $15 a month smartphone offers better value. See comparison here.

If you need more minutes/text/data, you can supplement the plan by buying additional plan cards (eg. buy another $15 plan card). You can shop for these at eBay:

Type Of Phones You Can Use TracFone Low Cost Plans With

TracFone plans work with all TracFone smartphones (iPhones and Androids) or you can bring your own phone. TracFone offers shoppers the choice of both Android phones and Apple iPhones. In order to activate a phone, you need to apply a service plan to it (eg. add a $15 card).

TracFone also has a Bring Your Own Phone program that allows users to bring their existing cell phones (either unlocked or previously used on other carrier networks) over to the TracFone network.

TracFone’s Bring Your Own Phone program also accepts unlocked cell phones.

How Does This Compare With Tracfone’s Existing Plans

Most people think of TracFone’s standard airtime cards as offering great value. Originally developed for non-smartphone users, TracFone has been able to offer attractive value to smartphone users by adding Data and Triple Minutes for Life to these cards. However, the Triple Minutes for Life benefit has been phased out and superseded by these Smartphone-Only plans since Apr 2017.

The good news is that TracFone’s new smarpthone plans offer better value. For example, getting a 450 minute card ($79.99), even if that triples to 1350 minutes, you end up paying 5.9 cents per minute or GB of data. In comparison, with the new Smartphone-only $25 plan card, you get 500 minutes, and the per minute price is 5 cents. See comparison chart in this post.

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One exception for buying their regular airtime card is when you rarely use your phone. For that, TracFone’s most basic 60 minutes card could still be the cheapest spend. The card costs $20 card and provide for 90 days of service. This translates into 60 minutes, 60 text messages and 60 MB for a 90 day period. This works out to less than $7 a month (or more accurately, 30 days). With a smartphone only plan, the minimum spend is $15 a month (30 days), but you get a lot more credits to use.

Whichever plan you pick, if you won’t be using the cell phone much, or are using it mainly with wifi, TracFone’s plans cannot be beat. With most prepaid phone companies, the most economical plans for iPhone or Android phone users call for a minimum spend of at least $30 month.

To learn more about Tracfone, check out our full Tracfone Review >

Get Started with TracfoneTracfone Deal: Use Promo Code TF30OFF for 30% Off Phone + Plan Purchases. Free Overnight Shipping. Till 11/30/17. Get Started >
 

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Limitation: We make every effort to share the most accurate information on this site but we cannot provide any warranties on this content. Things change with time as well. Please always do your own verification to make sure.

Read the full TracFone Wireless Review>>