Last Updated: October 2nd, 2013

Update: Brightspot is official.

Already confused by the myriad of prepaid carriers out there? Well, Target thinks there should be one more. After @evleaks outed the name and pricing last night, more details have emerged. Target's prepaid service will run on the T-Mobile network and is launching October 6th online and in Target stores.


Pricing starts at $35 per month for unlimited talk and text, but no mobile data. For $50 you get "unlimited" data, including 1GB of 4G. Keeping in mind T-Mobile's loose definition of 4G, this does include both HSPA+ and LTE. Go over that 1GB allotment, though, and it's down to 2G speeds. For $65 per month you can bump the data up to 4GB of 4G with the same speed hit if you go over.

Compared to T-Mobile's regular plans, the Brightspot rates are a moderate savings. T-Mobile proper is $50 for 500MB of 4G and $60 for 2.5GB. Brightspot is a slightly better deal if you figure in the $25 Target gift card you get every six months with the service and 5% savings if you pay with Target's in-house Red Card.


Brightspot will be offering a few devices for sale directly including the Galaxy S3, LG Optimus F3, and LG Optimus F6. Pricing isn't available for the phones yet, but expect at least a few hundred bucks. You can also bring your own unlocked GSM phone... like an as-yet unannounced Nexus device, for example.

[@evleaks, Droid-Life]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • JohnnyRockets

    Darn, I saw $35 for unlimited talk/text and was about to switch from T-Mobile's $30 plan for unlimited text/data and 100 minutes.

    Then I saw 0 data for $35.

    Why would anyone use this over the $30 plan?

    • Cherokee4Life

      because its not sold from a T-Mobile store. Aimed for a different market I guess.

    • Kid.Drunkadelic

      easy if you dont have a smartphone and talk all day makes it pretty easy.

      Think I will show my girl this shes getting ready to leave straight talk, constantly havnig to change apns to get service, its really strange

    • sdcoiner76

      Because there are a huge amount of people out there that still use hundreds of minutes of talk time a month. 100 minutes wouldn't last some people 2 days. These are also the same people that do not know anything about calling over data.

      • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams


    • http://twitter.com/phonecount StalkyTheFish

      Featurephone users.

    • darkNiGHTS

      Because some people would rather talk and use wifi everywhere? 100 minutes isn't all that useful.

    • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

      There are tons and tons of people who don't use data, even if they are paying for it. They turn on wifi, which I don't really get it. But hey, that's their choice. Unlimited talk and text is great to me, for $35 it's a nice deal.

    • Broke

      Wow, is there such a thing like that? Where can I find this awesome plan?

  • moelsen8

    Wonder if you can use the $35 plan with a smartphone or if they won't allow it like most or all of the others--yes, no mobile data--some days it'd be nice to be off the grid when away from WiFi at home.

  • compupolis

    Wonder if you have to have the Target Red card to get the $25 gift card every six months? Also wonder if you can use a tablet with this, or does it have to be a phone?

    • TS

      It doesn't seem like Red Card is required for the gift card, but I guess we'll know for sure on Sunday.

  • Ray Sunghwa Woo

    If you have family members more than 2, it may be better to go with Tmobile's payment system.

    See these prepaid carriers cost $50 per line without a phone if you buy a $400 phone, your monthly (in theory) fee is like $17 so you're paying $67 almost $70 a line.

    Tmobile has almost same price and the payment plan for phones so just a thought.

    I have one unlimited and 2 500mb data with unlimited call/text plan and I pay around $170 a month including the payments for phones and I have a G2. And the plan price will be dropped to $110 after I'm done paying for the phones which is like $37 a month per line.

    • dude

      There is a better solution, MetroPCS (T-Mobile) $40 and $5 for an extra line + tax, pair it a Nexus which is $250 or less for used or possibly $300 for the Nexus 5.

      • dude

        Nevermind, I read their plan wrong, you only save $5 for an extra line, you still have to pay a lot. Oh well, I guess T-Mobile got all their base covered, You're probably right.

  • Sam Hollis

    Obligatory xkcd

  • NemaCystX

    Terrible packaging for marketing ... but I guess the product itself makes up for that in a way...

  • dude

    I would rather go for the GoSmart which is also owned by T-Mobile for $30/month unlimiteed talk and text, which is $5 cheaper. You won't get a giftcard, but at least you saved real money that can be spend anywhere not just Target.

    • TS

      Isn't GoSmart only 3G speeds?

  • Lookatthemonkeys

    Why would you pay $65 per month for 4G of data when T-mobile has unlimited for $70?

    • TS

      A lot of people fall in that 1GB-4GB usage range, and they would receive a $25 gift card every 6 months, so that's roughly another $4. Plus if they are already a Red Card member, that's another 5% (so $3.25). All in all, you could say it's $58 vs $70 for some people.

  • mizo

    I think I'll stick with my lumia 925 on their new plan (whatever its called)and just use Google Voice over WiFi on my old iPhone 4S for business. #INeedData #NoThrottlingForMe

  • Nick_Lopez_Loya

    Tmobile best bang for the buck baby

  • DarrenR

    Walmart Family Mobile has a better deal. For $39.88 you get T&T&W unlimited, and their web throttle cutoff is 2.5gb (although I heard from someone in the know that its actually 5gb) and if you do more then one line you save $5, at $34.88. Then you can do just T&T for $29.88 for the first line, and $24.88 for any line after that. You can mix and match how ever you want. Although it is a $25 activation BYOP if you want, and theres roughly $6 worth of tax per line per month, since its post-paid no contract.

    • James

      Is brightspot a post-paid no contract with no taxes ?

      • DarrenR

        It appears its pre-paid no contract and it probably has sales tax and possibly a 911 fee depending on your state. Because the WFM is post-paid no contract it has some state and fed tax.

  • James

    Is Brightspot like postpaid no contract plan from walmart where in i get bill statement every month and pay some taxes like 911 fees etc

  • Eric Vaughan

    Or T-Mobile offers 5Gb of data for $30 a month with 100 minutes of talk. Adding $10-$20 a month on top of that for more minutes still makes it a better deal than this.

  • calends

    Straight Talk is still a better deal. This chart is wrong. It's not "truly unlimited data" for $50, it's throttled after 1 gb of data. Straight Talk is $45 for unlimited and throttled at 2.5 gb. Why would anyone choose this service?

  • Enlightened2000

    Wow! Great article, but a lot of consumers only have it half right.
    Here's the other half! What if your favorite mobile service provider
    gave you FREE unlimited 4G service and also paid you? That's right, I
    mean gave you a check! Now that would be something that all of us can
    hoot about. Well your favorite mobile service provider does just that,
    BUT through a MVNO company. Check it out friends go on YouTube and
    search: 1. What is Solavei 2. Solavei San Diego News 3. Solavei
    Tulsa News then goto: solavei.com/rbtelecom and let me show you how it's done.

  • Sunnyday

    If buy a LG Optimus F6 in full price from Target, can I use it as a prepaid phone with T-Mobile?

  • Don

    Bought the galaxy slll last night. I was told by the guy at Target that coverage in Mi was the best there is. Went home and guess what NO service. Went back to Boost today. Went to return phone and was told that i wont be getting 100 dollars of it back. Terrible customer service,I have been on the phone with them most of the day trying to find out why they are keeping my money when i was mis informed about the service. They are crooks. Dont ever buy anything from target. If its broke or dosent work dont expect to get your money back. At least all of it anyway...

  • sweets314

    Piece of junk and so is target.

  • Denise

    This service is terrible. There are many dropped phone calls, inability to autopay online and impossible to actually talk to a live person. I wasted an hour call and dialing every single option for Brightspot and there was no option to talk to a live person. Terrible, terrible customer service. We are not renewing service!

  • Cheryl P

    I bought my phone at Target's Brightspot about six weeks ago. Two weeks after setting up my first prepaid payment through my bank, my minutes ran out just as I was trying to get a tow for my car. I bought a card for less than my plan figuring I could use it until I my automatic payment kicked in. Well it didn't so I called and upgraded. Come to find out there is something wrong with my phone and there wasn't another one at the warehouse to exchange. Now I am seething and wanted a refund for the money I put on the phone the day before. Brightspot customer service manager Chris rudely told me no. I think Brightspot should make amends and refund what I can't and won't use now. I guess you get what you pay for (NOT). I never was able to get my data to work. My recommendation is to go with the big names. As long as they stand behind their products.