Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Cell Phone Option

The latest prepaid cell phone developed by Walmart is the Straight Talk phone. The Straight Talk has no 3G coverage and runs the same as EDGE or less. The phone is powered through America Movil's TracFone Wireless and provides nationwide coverage.

The phone does not require a contract, provides 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text messages and 30MB of data starting at $30 per month. The cost of the phones start at $30 and go up to $45 a month for unlimited minutes, text messages and unlimited data. A great feature is that 411 calls are free. The phones run on the Verizon network.

The Straight Talk phone will provide competition for other prepaid phone providers such as MetroPCS that offers unlimited minutes, text messages for $45 per month. Cricket offers the same for $40 a month. PlatinumTel offers unlimited minutes, text messages for $50 per month and includes roaming. Page Plus offers $30 monthly plan with 1200 minutes, 1200 text messages and 50MB of data - for unlimited minutes, unlimited text and 20MB data you pay $39.95, you can roam but have to pay roaming fees. Virgin Mobile offers unlimited minutes for $49.99 per month but charges another $10 for unlimited text messages.

Since prepaid phones are so inexpensive you may not have some of the same luxuries as the traditional cell phones such as loss coverage and insurance, so if you loss or damage your phone you will have to purchase another one. Here are 4 tips to help when you shopping for a prepaid cell phone.

1. Selection. Cell phone selection is limited for prepaid cell phones so if you want a fancy cell phone you will have to go with one of the big cell phone providers.

2. Research. Do your homework before purchasing a prepaid cell phone. All plans are not the same, some plans require you to renew your minutes every month and you lose minutes that are not used.

3. Know what you want. Before you go shopping write down all the features you would like for your phone. Look at your old cell phones bills for the past 2 months to see how many calls you made and/or received, and how much data you used and how many text messages you made and/or received to help you determine which prepaid plan is right for you.

4. Read. Make sure you read the fine print and the cell phone agreement in full before leaving the store.

If you only need basic cell phone service and a phone in case or emergencies a prepaid cell phone is definitely the right option for you.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I use Straight Talk and it's the best cell phone I have ever had. Watch this video for another opinion on it.