Three new budget phones are headed to the carriers of the New T-Mobile — two of them with styluses. You'll be able to get a couple of them from Metro by T-Mobile starting today and from Sprint and T-Mobile starting later this week.
One of the many concessions T-Mobile promised if it were allowed to merge with Sprint was that it would offer super-cheap wireless plans starting at $15 per month. Since then, however, the novel coronavirus has forced many customers out of work. While ISPs are accepting deferred payments for monthly bills, that may not be enough for people whose budgets continue to shrink. So, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile have decided to roll out those new rate plans starting this Wednesday, March 25.
Back in September, the T-Mobile-owned MetroPCS was rebranded to 'Metro by T-Mobile.' Along with the name change, the carrier refreshed its available plans, which looked great on paper; $60/month gets you unlimited LTE data, 100GB of Google Drive storage, Amazon Prime, and other goodies. However, there's a new catch if you plan on switching — you'll have to pay $15 any time you put your SIM card in a new device.
It was announced that MetroPCS would become Metro by T-Mobile a couple of weeks ago, the re-branding coming with some enticing perks like free Amazon Prime membership. The shift took place today — and apparently award-winning actor and producer Keegan-Michael Key is the new service's first customer.
The last several months have been busy for T-Mobile. There are the ongoing merger machinations with Sprint, a new customer support model, and some 5G announcements thrown in for good measure, too. But the carrier has more up its magenta sleeves: it announced today that sub-brand MetroPCS is becoming Metro by T-Mobile, and gaining some new plans. The refreshed offerings include unlimited data and, at the $60 tier, Google One and Amazon Prime.
There aren't very many good budget phones in the United States. There are a few standouts, like the Nokia 6.1 and Moto G6, but most pale in comparison to budget devices sold in Asia and parts of Europe.
Alcatel, a sub-brand of TCL, is somewhat well known in the United States thanks to the hordes of inexpensive phones it sells through prepaid carriers (like MetroPCS and Cricket). The company's phones usually aren't anythingspecial, but the recently-announced Alcatel 7 piqued my interest.
The Alcatel 7 has a 6-inch 2160x1080 2.5D display, a 4,000mAh battery, and USB Type-C. At a retail price of $179.99, it seems like good value on paper, even though it's a MetroPCS exclusive.
Securus Technologies is a Texas-based company, specializing in providing and monitoring calls to prison inmates. Securus came into the spotlight earlier this month, when a former Missouri sheriff was found using the company's service to repeatedly track people without a warrant. The New York Times reports that between 2014 and 2017, former sheriff Cory Hutcheson used the service at least 11 times, allegedly tracking a judge and members of the State Highway Patrol.
Securus obtains tracking information through a company called LocationSmart, which in turn has agreements with most U.S. carriers. Earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter to various carriers asking them to independently verify that these requests are made lawfully.
The holiday season is upon us, and that means it's time for big deals on this year's crop of smartphones. T-Mobile has an attractive offer starting tomorrow (November 17th) on multiple phones. Just buy one phone, and you can get another from the same manufacturer free. Well, free after rebate.
A couple of months back, MetroPCS offered two unlimited LTE lines for $75. That was already a pretty great deal, but today Metro announced an even better one: four unlimited lines for a stunningly low $100. And for every line you port in, Metro will give you a free phone.