AT&T's prepaid offering Aio Wireless is a nice way to access the carrier's network without having to make an expensive two-year commitment. Now the carrier has announced the availability of two additional Android phones. The Moto G is available for $149.99 (though it doesn't yet appear on the site). It is joined by the ZTE Sonata 4G, which goes for $79.99. The latter, while less impressive, is an Aio exclusive in the US.


Neither of these handsets is one to buy if you want to own the latest and greatest, but if you desire a perfectly capable handset at an affordable price, you can't do much better than the Moto G. The Sonata 4G, running Android 4.1 on an underwhelming 800x480 display, is less of a deal, but it should still get the job done at nearly half the price. When combined with Aio's recently reduced plan prices, owning a smartphone just got cheaper all around.

  • Basic Plan: $35 after Auto Pay credit ($40 without Auto Pay), unlimited voice/text/data, including 500MB of high speed data (same price as before but double the data);
  • Smart Plan: $45 after Auto Pay credit, ($50 without Auto Pay), unlimited voice/text/data, including 2.5 GB of high speed data ($5 less/month plus an extra half GB of data); and
  • Pro Plan: $55 after Auto Pay credit ($60 without Auto Pay), unlimited voice/text/data, including 5 GB of high speed data ($10 less/month with 5 GB of data).

All three plans are available for smartphones and include taxes and fees, so the price you see is the price you pay.

ZTE Sonata 4G on Aio Wireless

Source: Press Release

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Scott

    Does anybody have first hand experience with the data connections/reliability with straight talk and AIO?

    • Timothy Vreeland

      I hear LTE speeds are throttled at all times to 8mbps and 3g is at 4mbps

      • Ryuuie

        Yes, this is true. But, in all honesty, there's no speed change from AIO and GoPhone or even actual postpaid AT&T. I've actually physically done the tests myself. However, ST/Net10 to AIO/GoPhone is a HUGE step up. ST's data is, quite honestly, shit. It has a lot of dropouts, it's slow, and it's unreliable.

        • Scott

          That's what I've been experiencing. I was wondering if it was just me, the phone, Straight Talk or just ATT. I constantly have my signal on my Moto X turn orange with full signal, during that time I can't do speed tests or browse the web... data just stops. Give it 20-30 seconds and everything starts working again.

          • Ryuuie

            That's what I had too. I had full signal, data dropped randomly all the time. Their CS is a NIGHTMARE to talk to in any format. They just constantly blamed me.

            MMS never worked either (granted, I don't use MMS anymore so I don't now how it works on AIO...lol). I got sick of calling them for that.

      • Sunset Rider

        Straight Talk's speeds aren't throttled. I regularly hit 7 Mbps on 3g and 15 Mbps on LTE with Straight Talk.

    • Ryuuie

      I do. I've used Straight Talk for 1 year and AIO for 5 months. What would you like to know?

      • Scott

        Did you experience what I've described below with straight talk? Having no data all of a sudden and then start working again?

        • Ryuuie

          I've experienced data drops, call drops, data throttling for no reason, REALLY poor MMS (as in sometimes it would send, most times it would not).

          The only thing that worked consistently was texting.

          • Scott

            Sorry I didn't see that I was replying to a person I had already replied to. You had already answered my question.

      • YNWA

        What type of ping times to you get regularly on AIO? Are you on LTE or HSPA?

        • Ryuuie

          I'm on the Nexus 4 so I'm using HSPA, as for ping times, I'd have to check as I haven't used Speedtest or the FCC's app in a while.

    • Josh Legoza

      Straight Talk on AT&Ts network: reliability had some shaky times in the past for my girlfriend, but has been rock solid for the last 6+ months. I've only had a reliability problem a couple times, but none at all in that same time frame. Connection isn't always the fastest, but its not bad. I was gonna give you some speed test results, but they keep coming up 0.01 mbps, so I'm guessing they do something to mess with those. I wouldn't be surprised if @Timothy Vreeland:disqus is right about throttling based on the feel test. That all said, I came from Sprint, and ST is definitely faster and more reliable than Sprint. No joke.

      • Ryuuie

        I came from Sprint to ST too...ANYTHING is better than Sprint. :P Sprint and any MVNO that uses it will be pretty much bottom of the barrel.

    • ProductFRED

      AIO gets higher priority than Straight Talk customers on the network (lower ping, etc) because AIO is directly owned by AT&T, but LTE is throttled to 8 Mbps and HSPA+ is throttled to 4 Mbps. When I say throttled, I mean regularly, not when you go over your data limit.

      • Scott

        I'm wondering if AIO would work better for me. I frequent get orange signal indicators and data will come to a halt... even with full signal. I've been trying to figure out what's going on.

  • KlausWillSeeYouNow

    This is such a T-Mo wannabe MVNO. Yawn.

    • Ryuuie

      Except it actually has coverage. ;)

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        :-) Haha.! I knew somebody would take that bait. ;-)

        I am an ex-Deathstar customer, and I actually get *better* service with T-Mobile. AT&T's service is certainly not bad, but neither is T-Mo's.

        • Ryuuie

          I knew it was bait. :( I was hungry. ;)

          I've honestly been on both AT&T and T-Mobile and I gotta say AT&T works for me better than they did.

          • Zak Taccardi

            It all depends where you are. I get great service from T-Mobile in Northern VA, and couldn't be more happier with my cell phone provider.

        • Sunset Rider

          T-Mobile isn't even available in half my state.

          AT&T, however, has three towers in my town.

          • KlausWillSeeYouNow

            Well, it may just be your general area-state. I travel pretty frequently and have yet to be let down by T-Mobile.

            T-Mobile covers 96% of Americans. For the vast majority of people, coverage is a non-issue.

          • Sunset Rider

            Where did you pull that 96% number from? Because it's a complete farce.

            Just take a quick look at T-Mobile's coverage on the map and you'll quickly see all the states it does not cover:


            Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, parts of California, New Mexico, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, all of central and northern Wisconsin (where I live and travel frequently), the upper part of the lower peninsula of Michigan, etc.

          • KlausWillSeeYouNow

            The 96% was published and advertised by T-Mobile. It includes some (but not all) roaming agreements, and majority-owned partnerships (like iWireless, in Wisconsin).

            And what are you talking about?! T-Mobile has native coverage in every state you just mentioned, save for ND and MT. THAT is the farce here.

          • Sunset Rider

            Using T-Mobile's sources to back up T-Mobile? Surely there's no bias there.

            Did you even look at the same map I did? Maybe your idea of "coverage" is different than mine. When I say that a state has "coverage", I mean that you can go from one end of the state to the other without having to worry about having no signal. In all of the states I mentioned, T-Mobile has virtually NO COVERAGE in over half of the states. In many states that I did not mention, there are HUGE POCKETS OF NO COVERAGE or "service partner coverage" (another term for no coverage) all over the place.

            Just take a good look at T-Mobile's coverage, then compare it to AT&T or Verizon.

            Any time you are traveling outside of the little bubble of T-Mobile coverage, you won't have coverage. And it will happen frequently.

          • KlausWillSeeYouNow

            Ugh! Sometimes I hate Disqus. I just typed a response and pressed post, but it didn't. :-( Give me a little bit...

          • KlausWillSeeYouNow

            I don't know where you've been for the past ten years, but you should know that self-reporting coverage estimates is an industry standard. AT&T claims to cover 97% of Americans, and Verizon claims to cover 99% - and nobody accuses them of being unqualified to report their footprint. So it really doesn't make sense for you to call out T-Mobile. Every carrier does this.

            Secondly, you hold the patently false notion that a State needs to be blanketed in color for there to be consistent network performance. This is SO WRONG. In many States, particularly Western ones, there are many uninhabited areas so far from civilization that a dead zone is inevitable. In the populated, and even rural areas, T-Mobile offers a superior network experience that offers great coverage where most Americans live, work, and play - 96% of them, to be exact. Nevada is a great example - there are populated areas, and then there are hundreds of square miles of absolutely undeveloped land. Nobody in their right mind goes border chasing and then complains if there's no service in the middle of a forest. If you want LTE in the Dust Bowl and like paying ridiculous monthly rates with capped data, I suggest you go to Verizon.

            Thirdly, it's impossible that you have a GSM carrier. You MUST have Verizon, since your ignorance about roaming is absolutely blinding. "Roaming" does indeed provide consistent service, and your belief that it doesn't is completely unfounded. The few times I've roamed (and in different areas, mind you), I've had absolutely no problems using data, SMS, or calling. Period. It is a reliable, great resource-sharing system that virtually guarantees the best local performance due to the fact that a local carrier's infrastructure is being utilized.

            Lastly, I travel all the time, all across America, and I have not been let down by T-Mobile yet. As an ex-AT&T customer, I can vouch that T-Mobile's network experience is indeed superior to AT&T's. I highly doubt you have any viable experience with T-Mobile's network, as if you did you would know that it isn't a "little bubble" at all.

            202 million + POPs covered with nationwide LTE, the only 4G HSPA+42 network, and the best voice quality. I've tried 'em all, and T-Mobile suits me, and millions of others, best.

  • Mystery Man

    Why doesn't republic wireless offer the Moto G? Since its so close to the Moto X you think they could pull it off...

  • Harry

    I just switched to AIO from t-mobile. T-mobile cost me about $60 for 2.5GB of data, taxes and fees included (i got an employee discount) but their service is pathetic. In-home coverage is terrible. Worse, they had bad equipment that they knew about but refused to fix (my corporate line is t-mobile too and even their intervention did not really help and there was someone from the Office of President that presided over my case and still... ). A friend of mine switched to t-mobile and had the same sob story. My wife got no coverage inside her office building either. These were a reasonably well populated area in the suburbs where T-mobile's opinion of it coverage is "GREEN!". With AIO, i have only had it for a few days now and haven't had a reason to complain especially with $15 less/mo. 8Mbps is more than enough for most applications. Let's not forget that's the speed we had (or most people still) at home :)

    • YNWA

      Exactly. I get less than 8Mbps in the evenings on my "25Mbps" Comcast internet connection. 8Mbps is more than enough on a cell phone.

  • YNWA

    Is the Moto G locked to AIO since it is subsidized, or is it unlocked/capable of being unlocked?

    • Sunset Rider

      This I'm wondering too.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      From what I understand all AIO phones are locked to AIO. Dont work on ATT either

    • landmarkcm

      Aio version very easily unlockable. When I got it I was curious so I put in Tmobile sim & it right away it asked for unlock code. So I went online think I paid 13.99 got the code & it's unlocked! If I decide to use it on another GSM.

  • Ann Lazebna