Does FreedomPop Really Offer A Free Cell Phone Plan?

Free Cell Phone Plan

If you are overwhelmed by your cell phone expenses, there are a few low cost plans available in the market today. However, most still cost $15 a month of more. Do you ever wish to find a free cell phone plan? FreedomPop could just be answer to what you are looking for. You may think that Free sounds too good to be true, but it’s something that many are tapping into every month.

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What is FreedomPop? Is it really free? In this article, we answer these and some of the other related questions that others have asked about about FreedomPop.

FreedomPop Logo

Free Cell Phone Plan

An Aug 2017 report published by the Los Angeles Times stated that half of the FreedomPop’s customers use the free package while the other half have upgraded their packages. That amounts to about a million customers sticking to their free cellphone plan and not getting entangled in Freedompop’s paid premium options.

One of the things that have motivated many to subscribe to FreedomPop is the availability of free cell phone and mobile hotspot plans. The company operates on a freemium business model to provide its services. This means that customers can sign up and use the services freely. However, you will have to pay some money if you want to upgrade to superior services.

Is The Plan Really Free?

You will need to pay a one-time activation fee of $39.99 (at the time of this writing, check current offer). The free offer package includes a free high grade smartphone phone as well.

You will then be enrolled in a premium plan for a free trial period. That main “catch” is that you will have to stay alert and downgrade from that premium plan that you are enrolled in, to Freedompop’s basic free plan. Their Free plan comes with 500 MB data, 200 minutes and 500 text messages (check current offer).

The downgrade needs to complete before your free 14-day trial period is over. The process to get a 100% free plan is open to all, and many have taken advantage of it.

In one sense, the plan is not totally free, if you consider that you have to pay an activation fee and do some work to downgrade. You will need to keep track of your trial period expiration date and then log in to your account to downgrade in time. You will need to pay attention to qualify for free.

Disable Auto Top-Up and Other Service Plans

By downgrading, you will avoid being billed for continuing to use FreedomPop.

However, you are still liable for an overage charges (Auto Top Up) and other service plan charges. If you use anything beyond what’s allocated in your free pacakge, you will be billed extra through their Auto-Top-Up feature. In addition, you may also be enrolled in different service plans, for example with Premium Plus that offers voicemail and data rollover etc.

To be free of all these, check out the steps outlined in this tutorial on FreedomPop’s Forum.

If you take the correct steps, then your plan becomes totally free. And it continues month after month. That represents huge savings considering that alternatives are $15 a month or more. It’s at the very least a fair deal.

In future, you can still upgrade to better plans if you are not contented with a basic package. Read our full FreedomPop Review >>

Need More Data?

The FreedomPop Automatic Top Up Plan feature comes in handy when you want to always have service available. The automatic top-up plan will be activated once the data usage drops to 100 MB. The feature ensures that you continue using the phone service even when you are likely to exceed your data limit. The company will charge you a $15 credit. It is possible to disable the auto top-up feature, but you will need to put down a $5 deposit.

About FreedomPop

FreedomPop is a Los Angeles-based company that provides mobile VoIP and mobile wireless services. It strives to cut a niche in the market by providing free mobile phone and wifi hotspot services.

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FreedomPop’s phone plans, whether free or paid, are almost always routed through internet telephony (ie. voice over internet protocal – VOIP). The only exception is when you subscribe to their Premium Voice plan that provides selective access to a cellular voice network. Other than that, calls are VoIP based and they connect through Sprint or AT&T’s data networks instead of their voice networks.

Customers are able to access free services are provided through the company’s basic plans. If you would want to use more services, you can subscribe to the premium plans which come at an extra cost.

FreedomPop is able to provide its services by collaborating with established telecommunication networks like Sprint and AT&T. Such collaborations facilitate seamless exchange of voice and data. Their services are mostly through Sprint, and more recently they have began offering AT&T GSM SIM cards.

Additional Paid FreedomPop Plans

If you want to enjoy more services, you can upgrade to FreedomPop’s paid plans. All the advanced plans give users unlimited talk and text communication. They only limit on the amount of data that you can use. For a premium 1GB package, you will get 1GB of data and pay $19.99. A premium 2GB package costs $24.99, where you get 2GB of data. A premium 3GB package costs $29.99 and gives you 3GB of data. The maximum plan is the premium 4GB package which costs $34.99.

FreedomPop Logo

Mobile Hotspot Packages

FreedomPop also offers free and paid wireless internet packages (see current free offer). You can connect any WiFi-enabled device whether it is at home or any other location that has a wireless good internet coverage. This is especially useful as a backup internet service when you are traveling or for those times the home internet is down.

The package comes with a free WiFi hotspot, charger, battery and a complete setup guide. With their basic plan, you will be getting 200 MB of free 4G LTE Data every month (see current free offer). Just keep in mind to downgrade and adjust your account accordingly before the trial period ends.

Free FreedomPop Family Plan (Line Access Fees May Apply)

FreedomPop offers customized plans that are suitable for families and households. The free family cell phone plan includes 1 GB of data that can be shared amongst your family account members. Their family plan offers include unlimited calls, texts, and 1 GB to 25 GB of data that can be shared by the whole family or household.

Since FreedomPop’s free family plan includes more data than just signing on as an individual (also for free), it makes sense that the company charges for accessing this higher level of data. Family plan members will have to pay $5 for each line added. Any additional monthly charges for being on their paid premium plans will apply on top of that $5 per line charge.

The family package allows each family to have up to 10 lines. To check out Freedom Pop’s free and paid family plans, visit FreedomPop’s Family Plans offer page.

Cellular Voice Network Access

FreedomPop’s Premium Voice Plan package is available in areas that experience a weak data connections. Freedompop calls are routed through the data network through VoIp technology. However, sometimes data signals can be weak. Instead of dropping the calls, the Premium voice package facilitates the transfer of voice data through a cellular voice network. This package costs $3.99 per month


FreedomPop offers 100% free plans, but you need to be alert and downgrade from all the paid or premium options that comes included when you first sign up (more info). The company certainly stands out in the crowd by offering free phone and wireless internet services.

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If you are curious about FreedomPop’s services and don’t mind doing a little legwork, you can subscribe to their initial trial and then downgrade to their 100% free plan. This allows you to take things one step at a time. If the free plan meets your expectations, then you will be saving a lot of money each month.

Need to learn more? Read our full FreedomPop Review >>

Visit Freedom Pop’s Official Offer on their website

Notice: We receive compensation for customer referrals (more details).

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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.

Senior Cell Phone Plans Guide

cell phone plans
Seniors have a lot of choices when it comes to finding a good cell phone plan. Regardless of the company and plan, it is vital that the mobile connection between a senior and his contacts are reliable. In this article, we go over this topic and various factors to consider when choosing a cell phone plan for the elderly user.

To ensure the best experience, it is a good idea to give yourself a little time to compare and then pick the best one. At the end of the guide, there are also specific cell phone companies (eg. Great Call) and plans listed.

Choosing a Cell Phone Plan for Seniors – What to Consider

Good Reception of Mobile Signal

Of all the different considerations in choosing a mobile plan, perhaps the most important is the quality of mobile signal provided by the company. Different companies have different mobile signal strengths in varying locations. You have to first find out if the service carrier has good reception in the area where the senior lives or goes around.

Service Reliability

Service reliability is of utmost importance in service plans, especially for seniors with medical conditions or those who are living alone. For ordinary individuals, having a bad signal and choppy calls can already be inconvenient. This problem is even more frustrating for seniors who could have hearing impairments.

What’s Included: Minutes, Text, Data

Another factor to consider is the list of service inclusions in the mobile plan. This list includes the number of text messages, minutes of voice calls, and mobile data that are can be ‘consumed’ per month. These entirely depend on the lifestyle of the senior.

Some seniors like to call and chat on their phone a lot, but many others hardly use their cell phone. If that describes you consider opting for a plan without too many frills to avoid paying for unused services. Some plan providers offer customizable cell phone plans based on their customer’s usage requirements. This usually makes it easier for the senior to save costs by lowering his or her desired text, call, and data limits.

Most plans these days have a fixed cost for unlimited talk and text, which means that you will be overpaying if your usage is very low. There many elderly customers who do not really need to have all the text and call minute allocations of even an average plan. Customizable plans from cell phone companies like Tracfone or Jitterbug make it possible for those who do not need unlimited type usage to pay less.

Some cellphone companies allow for family or friends to be added onto a plan with unlimited text and calling, and that shares a predetermined monthly high speed data allocation (Eg. 2 GB, 8 GB etc). For example, Verizon Wireless allows for new family members to be added onto a New Verizon plan (with limited data) for $20 for each new line of service. With Total Wireless, a $60/month plan can be split between 2 lines of service with unlimited talk, text and 15 GB total of high-speed data.


Cost is a mainstay in the list of considerations for choosing any plan. Note that the cheapest is not necessarily the best plan especially if the reason for the lower cost is the limited reach and scope of services. The plan cost should be reasonable given the services provided and the plan inclusions.

Also consider options for pre-paid or pay plans. They are usually cheaper than regular post-paid plans. They also present no surprises – you pay for service upfront and there are no overage charges. The cost of whatever service used is simply deducted from their pre-paid ‘load’ credits.

Take note, however, that top up cards should be bought and loaded in order for the senior to use cell phone services. If there’s an emergency and the cell phone is not loaded, the senior will not be able to contact his caregiver or loved ones immediately.

Take a close look at the plan contract. Be aware of lock-in provisions and other liabilities that the cell phone services company might pass on to you. Check the overage charges and fees as well so you know what you could be charged with.

If you want to search out the right cellphone before buying a plan, check out our Senior Cell Phones Guide here. Keep in mind that not all provider plans will work with cell phones that are not sold through them.

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The Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Great Call

great call logo
GreatCall is the service provider for Jitterbug phones. The company provides cell phone plans and solutions targeted especially for the elderly. Recognizing that there are seniors who do not have the need for unlimited talk time, messages, and higher than average mobile data plans, GreatCall offers smaller plans priced less. Great Call plans will only work with their Jitterbug cell phones. These are phones specially designed for seniors.

Their basic plan provides a senior with 200 minutes of phone calls for $14.99 (before taxes and fees). For a higher price, additional mobile data and text messaging can also be included in the plan. For an extra cost, the plan provides customers with access to their 5Star Urgent Response service for 24/7 access to emergency assistance. Caregivers and loved ones can also make use of this service to receive updates regarding the health status of the senior listed in the plan.

Their plans are not the cheapest. However, their customizable usage plan offerings along with access to their 5Star emergencies monitoring and GPS location sharing makes it an attractive option. Click here for the full Great Call Jitterbug review >

Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular also provides plans that are especially geared towards helping seniors and their loved ones. Their basic senior plan provides unlimited texts, 250 minutes of call time, and 250MB of mobile data. Additionally, if the allocation is too much for the senior, the same data and minutes can be shared with a designated person.

In case of they find the need to change their plan, Consumer Cellular provides the option for seniors to do so every month. Moreover, this plan is also connected to the American Association of Retired Persons or AARP. Seniors that are also AARP members are entitled to a 5% discount on Consumer Cellular plans.


Tracfone company logo

Tracfone offers great mobile phone service for seniors starting at $20 for 90 days of service. It has no contracts, bills, or overages. Texts, minutes, and mobile data are can be ‘loaded’ by buying cards. Different cards have different prices and inclusions so seniors can choose which service would fit them best.

Additionally, it also features unlimited carryover. This means that the unused texts, minutes of calls, and mobile data are carried over to the new top up. These unused data will not expire until they are used. Click here for the full TracFone review >

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless Logo

Verizon Wireless is the largest mobile operator in the US. Their network is highly rated in numerous industry surveys. With Verizon, customers are assured that they will be accessing the most reliable cellular connections over a large coverage area. Though there are numerous mobile operators today that rent network bandwidth from Verizon to power their own plans, it’s not quite the same experience as becoming a direct Verizon customer. The catch is that Verizon Wireless plans will cost more than some of the low cost prepaid providers out there. However, in recent years, they have added new plans that are competitively priced.

If you just need a single line, Verizon’s prepaid plans offer the best value. For $40 a month, there’s unlimited talk and text, and 3G of high-speed data. Another good option is their regular post-paid plan that costs $35 a month for an allocation of unlimited talk and text, and 2G of high-speed data. There is a cost of $20 per line of service, and you can add multiple lines of service to the same plan. For two people (two lines), it works out to a total of $75 per month, or $37.50 for each line of service. To learn more, visit Verizon Wireless.

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Total Wireless

Total Wireless logo
Total Wireless also has plans that may be suitable for senior mobile users. Their plans work off the Verizon network. For $25 a month, the plan offers unlimited talk and text. You can subscribe to a higher level plan that includes data, or else purchase data cards for $10 (5 GB with carryover) each time. Although they do not offer smaller customizable plans, their costs are very reasonable starting at $25 per month. Their plan contracts are month-to-month so you can change your plan and even your service bundle as necessary.

There are flexible plans from reliable cell phone services companies that seniors can take advantage of. It would be good to go through all your options with your senior family member in order to get the most reasonably priced and value-packed plan. Click here for the full Total Wireless review >

Once you have decided on a cell phone plan that suits your needs, you can get a phone through the same company. Alternatively, you can purchase an unlocked phone if the service provider has a bring your own phone option. To learn more about shopping for senior cell phones, check out guide here.

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Senior Cell Phones Guide: What to Consider & What Phones Are Best

senior cell phones
Seniors have specific needs when it comes to choosing the perfect cell phone for them. To help seniors maximize the use of their modern cell phones, the following are features to keep an eye out for when buying cell phones for the elderly. If are interested, we have listed examples of the Best Cell Phones for Seniors further in this review.

Easy to See (Larger Screen/Text)

As we age, our vision tends towards becoming sharp. For Flip phones, the display should have large sized fonts with good contrast. If there is a setting to adjust the font and icon size, it is even better. For smartphones, it is advisable to choose a phone that has preferably a five-inch or larger screen display and high resolution for sharpness (720 by 1280 px or better). This makes it easier for seniors to easily see what’s on the screen of their phone.

The text size and icon size on the phone should be already large or customizable to display larger sizes. Having this feature will help seniors read incoming texts as well as compose messages as needed. The same goes with icons. Having large icons will help them see and use the different apps and important functions of the cell phone. For Android and iPhone smartphone users, this is a feature available through their phone settings.

When it comes to screen colors, look for a phone with high contrast screen colors. High contrast colors will make it easier for the elderly to distinguish icons, texts, and images.

It is also important to choose a phone that has large buttons. In case of touch screen phones, the buttons should be customizable to allow a larger keypad display. Long presses should also be set to the minimum press time so it will not strain a senior’s fingers. On the other hand, in phones with mechanical keyboards, it is important that the keypad is soft and easy to press.

Clear Sound/ Voice Projection

Along with lowered vision, our hearing may no longer be as sharp as we age. Most seniors can benefit from cell phones that have a powerful speaker. Not only should it be able to play sounds loudly, it should also have durable speakers.

Easy adjustment of sound levels is also important. A sound rocker volume button on one side of the cell phone can make it easier for the senior to adjust the phone’s volume depending on the situation or sound environment.

It is also better if sound alert volumes are customizable depending on the importance of the activity associated with the sound. For example, a cell phone may allow for louder volume notifications for ring tones and text messages compared to application notification alerts.

It is also necessary for some seniors that their phones are hearing aid-compatible. Fortunately, most cell phones are hearing aid compatible.

It is also helpful if a senior’s cell phone has voice recognition. With just a touch of a button, he can easily start GPS navigation, send an important text, or go to a particular phone application. The senior can bypass looking for and tapping buttons.

Form Factor – Easy to Carry Around

A senior’s cell phone’s size and form is another factor to consider. It should be large enough that the senior customer likes it. It becomes easy to carry and use.

Some seniors prefer having a flip phone rather than a smartphone because it is easier to carry around. Others prefer a smartphone for their looks, social apps and what they can do. There is really no standard size or style for senior cell phones. It really depends on the senior end-user. You can check out some of the Best Cell Phones for Seniors here below.

Regardless of the type and size of phone, it would be helpful to get a durable cell phone in case it gets dropped a couple times. Once we are used to a phone, we want to stick with it as long as possible. This is true for a lot of seniors and many who are younger. It is also better if the phone has extra layers of protection like a case and tempered glass screen inserts.

Easy to Navigate

Phones should be easy to navigate around. This is why you should look for simplified features in a cell phone for seniors.

It should not be too complicated to navigate to important functions and applications in the phone. For example, composing a message should not take more than two to three steps. Anything more than that makes the task too complex for seniors.

Another undervalued senior cell phone feature is the ease of adding of and looking for contacts. Most seniors just simply add names and numbers of contacts so there should not be too many unnecessary steps like addition of secondary numbers or linking of email or social media profile. In finding contact names, an easy search feature is necessary. The cell phone should also allow for speed dialing or bookmarking of important contacts. This allows seniors to make phone calls or send text messages faster especially during medical emergencies.

The Best Cell Phones for Seniors

Jitterbug Flip

Jitterbug Flip Senior Cell Phone
One of the best cell phone choices for seniors is the GreatCall Jitterbug Flip. This cell phone features big mechanical buttons that are convenient for dialing. It also has a bright colored display that does not strain a senior’s eyes that much.

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One unique feature of this phone is the one-touch 5-star button. When pressed during an emergency, this button connects a senior automatically to a designated contact so help can be sent immediately. To learn more about the Jitterbug Flip, check out our full review here.

Jitterbug Smart

Jitterbug smart phone for seniors side view
Another good cell phone for seniors is the GreatCall Jitterbug Smart. Although it has a modern look, it is especially designed for seniors because it has minimalistic and simplified features. It comes with a 5.5-inch display screen so a senior can see texts easily. Additionally, icons are large and are organized in a single list so navigation is easier. Learn more in our Jitterbug Smart review.

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Check the full Jitterbug Phones and Plans Review >

Doro Easy 626

Doro Easy 626 Consumer Cellular cell phone
The Doro PhoneEasy626 is a popular clamshell style cell phone for elderly users. The black and raised buttons laid out over a white background improves color contrast. This configuration makes seeing buttons and dialing them easier. Additionally, like the Jitterbug Flip, it also features an emergency help button that alerts chosen contacts. It also has functional GPS support so when a call is made to emergency services, the exact location of the senior can easily be pinpointed.

Snapfon ezTWO

Snapfone EZ Two senior cell phone
Lastly, the Snapfon ezTWO is also a good option when it comes to cell phones for seniors. This phone has a speaking keyboard and a text-to-speech function. The SOS Alert button at the back of the phone can also be pressed to send emergency texts to loved ones and monitoring services.

Some of these phones like the Jitterbug are meant to work with cell phone plans provided by their companies. Another way to shop for a good senior cell phone is to just decide on a provider that has the best plans and then shop for a phone that works with those plans. If you like to shop for a good plan, we have a Senior Cell Phone Plans guide on this site.

Having seniors accustomed to modern technology may seem difficult at first. However, with the right features, they too can enjoy the benefits of having and using a modern cell phone. It keeps them connected to family and friends, and it can provide them with entertainment. Likewise, it can provide them with a valuable tool to use in case of emergencies.

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How To Choose a Good Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

net 10 review image
In the past, the only way you could get the newest phone and the best coverage was through a two-year contract with a major carrier. Today, that isn’t true anymore. Most carriers no longer require a contract. In addition, prepaid plans offer even better value, with more data for a low flat rate. These is so for most prepaid plans, whether offered by one of the big four (eg. Verizon Prepaid), or through dedicated prepaid companies like TracFone.

In the past five years, prepaid carriers that are upping their networks and offering some pretty innovative pricing plans. If you’re new to the entire prepaid cell phone scenario, then we are here to help you by telling you what to lookout for when shopping for a prepaid cell phone plan …

Available Plans from the Phone Company

When you’re first starting out, you should take a look at the price of the prepaid cell phone plan that is available with each carrier, as well as what they offer you. How many minutes do they offer each month? Are there any data limits? Figure out your price range, look for those plans within your price range and see what they get you – this is the best place to start and will help you pluck out a couple of plans.

During this time, you should also look at the pay scheme of the phone company. There are two different plans that you may run into. These plans include:

Pay as you go – this involves paying a dollar amount up front – the money is then docked for every minute/text you utilize. If you are looking can check out our comparison chart here.

Paying a monthly prepaid plan – this will involve a normal, monthly bill, but you won’t have that two-year contract. It is sometimes thought of as a monthly pay as you go plan, because they offer unlimited talk and text. There are no overage charges for talking and messaging and no contracts.

Yes there are other types of plans, depending on the phone company, like daily, but those two are the most common. If you’re looking for a phone just to use for infrequently calling, then a pay as you go plan like Tracfone would be best.

If you are a light user, you could even get by with a free plan like FreedomPop. There are paid options if you need more minutes or data. If you’re a heavy user, however, then a monthly plan with unlimited talk and text would be a better idea for you. Some plans even offer unlimited data.

Network and Speed

Most of the no-contract carriers are referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators. This means the offer services through arrangements with one or more of the four top carriers. For example, Boost and Virgin Mobile uses Sprint, which is the networks of their parent company, while Page Plus uses Verizon networks for EV-DO data and voice calling.

Most of the time, by visiting the website of the MVNO carriers, you’ll be able to find what network they use.

Phone Selection

Some brands offer a good selection of phones that are just right for your needs. If the brand does not offer the phone that you like to use, you may also be able to buy an unlocked phone and get a SIM card from the provider of your choice.

If you already have a phone you’d like to use, it is important to realize that not every carrier is going to allow you to bring your phone with you. If you really want to keep your current phone, you need to check with different carriers to figure out which ones will allow you to keep it. There are some plans that may not allow you to use smartphones, while others will.

For seniors, additional considerations like screen size and ease of navigation comes into play when deciding on the right phone to purchase. There is more

Data Restrictions

You also need to consider the data restrictions – each carrier will have different data restrictions. Some may offer “unlimited” data, but only after they push you back once you have used a certain amount of high-speed data. You may also find some carriers restricting access to online markets, including Google Play Store.

By taking the data restrictions, price, phone selection and network/speed into mind and doing your research properly, you should be able to find a good plan that fits your needs.

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

Unfortunately, this deal may have ended. 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 additional bonus minutes/data/texts!

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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 found it worthwhile.

A lot of eBay sellers 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 an awesome 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. With this 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.


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.

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.

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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 Mobile 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



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 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



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



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. StraightTalk is a prepaid plan, meaning that you prepay for the services ahead of time, and there are no overage charges. It also means more data for the same price compared to post-paid plans. For more tips on choosing a good prepaid plan, check out our post here.


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.

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. Smartphone-only plans do not triple in credit. These smartphone plans will work for both Android and iPhone users. To learn more about TracFone, check out our full review.



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 plans.

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 taxes and regulatory charges. 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 – Airtime Credit will not Triple      
$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 for comparison      
$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

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.
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 cost 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 examples above).

But Not If You Buy It Discounted…

There is a popular deal (while supplies last) that provides a steep discount on the $125 annual card – $125 75.99. This will reduce the cost of service back to under $7 per month. At $75.99 per year, it is less costly than the standard $99.99 annual plan. It also offers a higher level of airtime (1500 min, 1500 texts and 1500 MB).

Depending on the discounted deal you manage to purchase, the average cost per minute is reduced to a rock bottom 4 to 5 cents per minute. On a per unit basis, this is lower than going with a $99.99 annual card from the official Tracfone site, even if you get the full 1200 minutes assigned (after tripling) to your account. See comparison chart above.

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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.



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.

Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases. Learn More


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 Phones Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases. Learn More

Advertising Disclosure: This site will likely receive referral compensation for purchases made through the affiliate ads and links listed. Learn More
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.

Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases by linking to other websites. Learn More

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

To find a good phone plan that work with your low cost phone, check out our post on finding a good prepaid cell phone plan. Most companies now offer bring your own phone programs, so you can use their plans with a compatible unlocked phone.

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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 >>

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.


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.


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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