Sprint's Virgin Mobile pre-paid brand is announcing a new plan option today called Virgin Mobile Custom. Can you guess what the hook is from the name? Yes, it's a cell phone plan that you can customize. The plans come with a basic level of service, then you choose what extras to add. The catch is that you'll only be able to get these plans at Walmart stores.
Pre-paid smartphone users were in an uproar a few months ago when Straight Talk stopped selling AT&T SIM cards to new customers. At the time, all we were able to ascertain was that the cards were sold out online, but a few retailers like Walmart still had some in stock. Well, they're back – in a limited sort of way.
When you go through the sign up process, the website will only show you T-Mobile or AT&T cards for a given ZIP code. Straight Talk seems to prefer T-Mobile in many areas where both are available, though. For example, in my ZIP code AT&T and T-Mobile both have good coverage, but I only see T-Mobile SIMs after inputting the ZIP. Read More
Samsung's newest flagship phone has infiltrated just about every US carrier already, but we can add one more to that list today. Cricket Wireless has started taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 with an expected shipping date of June 7th.
Cricket Wireless is a pre-paid carrier that operates partially on the networks run by Sprint, MetroPCS, and others (as an MVNO). Cricket does have its own CDMA towers on 1700 and 1900MHz in many areas. New Cricket lines can't be activated in all markets, and the Galaxy S4 isn't even available in some others. You'll just have to plug in your ZIP code on Cricket's site to see if you're eligible. Read More
Little T-Mobile already has a reputation for being the carrier for budget-conscious consumers, but it's taking things even further with the new GoSmart service. The plans are cheap, and there are no annual contracts to worry about. Service starts at $30 per month and customers get access to the full T-Mobile network. It sounds like a solid deal if you can get past the contrived marketing lingo that would insult the intelligence of a third-grader.
Like other pre-paid brands, you can plug in a compatible phone that you already own, or buy one from GoSmart. There is a $49 Alcatel dumbphone, and a $99 ZTE device running an ancient version of Android. Read More
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting. The Galaxy S II is definitely getting long in the tooth, but it's also not a bad phone by any stretch of the imagination. The really exciting part is that once you buy it, for $30 a month you can get a prepaid T-Mobile plan that gives you 5GB of 4G data, unlimited texting, and 100 minutes of voice (come on, who uses minutes?). Read More