Top 10 Phones Available on the Straight Talk Network

Top 10 Phones Available on the Straight Talk Network
I hate to break the news to Diana, but sadly, none of these phones seem to be available on the Straight Talk network. Image: Pirillo Vlog 308: The Electric Company

We’ve written about prepaid cellular services on occasion, most recently showcasing a provider that allows consumers with unlocked GSM devices to simply insert a subscriber identity module (more commonly referred to as a SIM card) in order to take advantage of its inexpensive talk, text, and data mobile services. The freedom for consumers to be able to use a wider variety of devices with a prepaid carrier while potentially saving money is an attractive trend that is growing within the cellular services business, particularly among no-contract providers such as SIMPLE Mobile and Straight Talk.

Many prepaid providers also offer their own devices, and today we’ll list, in no particular order of preference (aside from the very first item on the list), the top 10 phones that are available for Straight Talk. Though nearly all of the these devices are available directly from StraightTalk.com, the availability of some of these smart phones depends on where you are located. Plugging various ZIP codes into Straight Talk’s phone search form will return different results. So depending on where you live or where you intend to use the device, you may not immediately find the phone you’re looking for. A couple of the smart phones may be more easily discovered at other stores offering Straight Talk services, such as Amazon or Walmart. I am basing my list on the devices I’ve discovered through both Straight Talk and Walmart’s websites, but keep in mind that there may be other devices available for Straight Talk that slipped by my radar (and if you know of any, please add them to the list by commenting)!

iPhone 5 for Straight Talk

I’ll be kicking off this list with my own current favorite smart phone, but after this first item, I won’t be listing the phones in a preferential order. Straight Talk offers all three of the same versions of the iPhone 5 that are also sold directly from Apple at the same prices: $650, $750, and $850 (depending on whether you opt for the 16 GB, 32 GB, or the 64 GB model). The iPhone 5 comes in two colors, black or white, making a total of six available varieties available through Straight Talk. Every iPhone 5 model comes with a 4″ Retina display, an 8 megapixel (MP) iSight camera with panoramic capabilities, a front-facing camera (good for FaceTime and other video calling), and runs on Apple’s own A6 chip. These models are also unlocked (as are the ones sold directly from Apple).

iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S for Straight Talk

Using StraightTalk.com’s shop-by-ZIP-code form, I discovered Straight Talk listing the iPhone 4 is available in my area, but not the iPhone 4S. I discovered that you can purchase the 4S for Straight Talk at Walmart, however. So again, when you’re searching Straight Talk’s website, make sure to try different ZIP codes. Also use Google if you have a specific phone in mind. For example, search Google using the following search phrase (exactly as presented below):

site:straighttalk.com "iphone 4s"

Using that search phrase, you’ll discover that StraightTalk.com has its own subdomain dedicated to the Apple iPhone, iPhone.StraightTalk.com. All of Apple’s current iPhones are available on that subdomain (though it appears that the subdomain is simply a portal to Walmart.com, where you can purchase the device). In any case, The iPhone 4S is available for $550, in white or black, and is available in a 16 GB version (as it is when purchased directly from Apple). The iPhone 4S runs iOS 6 (the most recent version of iOS), has a 3.5″ Retina display, an 8 MP camera, a front-facing camera (especially good for FaceTime video calls), and runs on the A5 CPU Apple itself developed.

The iPhone 4, on the other hand, may be an aging phone, but at $450 it’s still a very capable device, and in my opinion still beats many of the other devices on this list. The phone is available in black or white, and as with buying directly from Apple, available in only an 8 GB model. Now 8 gigs may not seem like much, but remember that Apple offers iCloud storage, which covers the needs of many users (perhaps most). The iPhone 4 is also capable of running the latest version of iOS (version 6). The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ Retina display, a 5 MP iSight camera, a front-facing camera (again, good for FaceTime), and runs on Apple’s A4 processor.

Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III for Straight Talk

Depending on the ZIP code you enter, it may take you a while to locate a Samsung Galaxy S series smart phone on Straight Talk’s website. Walmart’s website, on the other hand, offers a quick and easy way to locate an S2 that is made to work on the Straight Talk network. $350 will get you the popular Galaxy S series smart phone, which comes with a 4.3″ WVGA Super AMOLED touch display, 12 GBs of storage (with a microSD card slot for up to 32 GB memory cards), and a 1.2 GHz dual core processor running the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) mobile operating system. Gingerbread is not the latest version of Android, which is now up to 4.2, but keep in mind that there wasn’t a version 3 of Android developed for smart phones, only tablets.

When I checked StraightTalk.com Friday, no Galaxy S series smart phones were brought up when using my ZIP code to shop for a phone. Today I find the Galaxy S III listed, right up at the top of the site. Either my eyes have deceived me or the S III was made available to my area over the weekend. So if you’re not finding the device you desire on the site today, perhaps it’ll show up tomorrow. I recommend contacting Straight Talk if you’re unable to find a device on its website or on Walmart’s (or elsewhere). In any case, the popular Samsung Galaxy S III is now available for $440, boasting a 4.8″ hi-def Super AMOLED screen, 16 GBs of storage (including a microSD slot to expand storage to 64 GB), and a 1.5 GHz dual core processor running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). It also features an 8 MP camera and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera. Though there is a newer version of the Galaxy S series available, it doesn’t appear that Straight Talk offers it at this time.

Optimus SHOWTIME for Straight Talk

On the Android side of things, everyone’s got their own opinion about which smart phone is best. Unfortunately, most people’s opinion of the best current Android phone available is probably not going to be found on this list, because Straight Talk probably isn’t offering it for sale. What it does have to offer, however, is the $250 LG Optimus SHOWTIME, an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) smart phone that sports a 4.3″ touch screen, a 5 MP camera with flash, a front-facing camera (great for Google Hangouts and other video conferencing), and a 1 GHz processor. The Optimus SHOWTIME comes with a 4 GB microSD card, but unlike Apple’s iPhones, can be expanded to 32 GB.

Optimus Black for Straight Talk

Straight Talk also offers the LG Optimus Black, priced the same as the SHOWTIME but running on the older Android 2.3 operating system. Now, that may sound like a very old phone, but there was never a version of Android 3 for smart phones, as the OS was exclusively developed for tablet devices. Though I’ve used versions of Android 4 on an Android phone, I’m currently using Android 2.3 and finding it to be fitting my purposes well enough. The Optimus Black has 4″ WVGA NOVA touch screen, a 5 MP camera with flash, and a 1 GHz processor. As with the SHOWTIME, the device comes with a 4 GB microSD card that can be swapped out for a larger card.

Optimus Zip for Straight Talk

Coming in at number 7 on our list is the Optimus Zip, a phone that most power users aren’t going to be happy with but would be suitable enough for a user such as myself (as it’s comparable to the phone I’m currently using). As with the Optimus Black, the OS (Android 2.3) isn’t the latest version, the display (3.2″) isn’t the largest nor is it the greatest, the storage is a meager 4 GB, the camera is 3 MP (and doesn’t have a front-facing camera), and runs on an 800 MHz processor. Yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and sometimes functionality is what makes a phone beautiful. This phone has a slider — that is, a QWERTY keypad that slides out — and for some users, the tactile experience of a physical keypad is preferable to a touch screen (at least, when it comes to typing). Until recently, I preferred physical keypads to the touch screen ones (yet once I got used to using the touch screen, I realized that typing wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected it would be).

The phones on this list vary widely in functionality and popularity, but there’s something for everyone’s price range and needs. Again, plug different ZIP codes into the phone search form on Straight Talk to see if different phones are available for your area (or, more important, wherever it is you plan on using the device). Dig around or use Google to search the StraightTalk.com and you’ll find areas of the website that list different devices, including this section, which includes a Samsung Galaxy S II and some Nokia phones.

Also keep in mind that as with a similar service, SIMPLE Mobile, you can bring your own unlocked GSM phone (such as a Google/LG Nexus 4 or Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone), purchase a SIM card from Straight Talk, and start using your phone for less than most contract carriers! Which brings us to the #10 phone on our list: your own.

Anyone in our community who has used Straight Talk recently: what has been your experience with the carrier? Are you satisfied? What smart phones have you used with the network?

Are You Wasting Money On Unnecessary Cell Phone Contracts?

A recent study of UK users shows that most consumers are wasting money on cell phone plans that provide more than they use. The study also concludes that consumers are over spending by hundreds of dollars every year and could save big bucks by changing plans. If you’re one of those who is over spending for services that you are not fully using, my question to you is: why?

Pre-paid cell plans abound and they may not be right to for you; they can be an alternative for some of us. During the past few years, cell phone companies offering pre-paid plans have surfaced that offer reasonable rates without signing up for a two-year contract. The pre-paid plans allow the consumer to pick which plan is right for them. But there is one ‘gotcha’ about pre-paid plans. Services from pre-paid subscriptions vary widely and service may not be available where you live.

The key to finding a pre-paid service is to know which of the major carriers the company uses. As an example, Straight Talk uses both Verizon and AT&T to carry its services. Prices range from $30 a month for limited usage [1,000 talk, 100 text, and 50 MB data] and $45 a month for unlimited service. Where I live, Verizon works the best so I went with a Straight Talk limited plan and it works great for me.

Walmart recently introduced a mobile cell service plan with reasonable rates: three phones for as little as $95 a month. The service offered by Walmart uses the T-Mobile network, which unfortunately does not work well where I live. But for those who live in an area that is serviced by T-Mobile, this is an extremely attractive offering.

Another pre-paid service is from the folks at Common Cents. The company rounds down your minutes and not up, which is typically done by most other carriers. Common Cents is a part of Virgin Mobile and is associated with Sprint. Neither provides services in my area, but may where you live. I would recommend you check with family or friends who are using Virgin Mobile or Sprint and see how the service works where you reside.

If you do your homework, you may be able to get a pre-paid service that will meet your needs at a lower price.

Comments welcome.

Source – MobileCrunch

Has Google Solved The Speech Recognition Problem?

Speech recognition software has been in development for several decades, but the results have been anything but stellar when it comes to performance. I have tried speech recognition software from Microsoft and also Dragon Speaking with mixed result. Usually the software must first be trained and then you must speak in a slow, pronounced manner. Errors are common and once you correct the errors, many of us feel that typing is actually faster than speaking into a microphone.

On the Samsung phone I have using the Straight Talk network, I use the speech recognition software to dial numbers for me. I would estimate that the process works about 75% of the time without issues. But sometimes if I speak quickly or there is surrounding background noises, the system balks at calling a phone number for me. What is even more frustrating is that I sometimes call the wrong number when the speech software improperly identifies someone in my contact list.

If you own an Android phone, you can try the built-in speech recognition software by clicking on the microphone phone and asking a question. There is no need to speak slowing nor do you have to use an over pronunciation when you speak. You can ask the system mathematical problems, directions and more in a normal voice and the system will respond quickly according to a recent article I read. In addition your microphone can be used to send email messages that are typed while you speak. There are other features available that also support Google speech recognition as well.

However, there are some privacy concerns that may impact the speech recognition feature that some may not like. It seems that every time you use the system, a voice recoding is stored somewhere on Google’s massive server farms. Though the company says that no personal identifying information is associated with the voice recording, I am sure some will disagree. This mountain of data is what makes this speech recognition software work, by matching up voices to what you are saying and it is done instantly.

If you own an Android phone and you have tried the speech recognition, share your thoughts on how well or how not so well the speech recognition software has worked or hasn’t worked for you.

Comments welcome.

Source – Slate

Are You Posting Comments As A Troll Or A Coward?

The Internet has made a great impact on all of our lives, allowing us to either identify ourselves for who we are, or allowing us to hide our identity or remain anonymous. Some are now challenging those who hide themselves by using fake names or by posting anonymous comments and are requiring they ID themselves. TechCrunch is experimenting with having comments posted using a Facebook ID before people post comments. TechCrunch states that comments are down since it employed what it describes as its ‘troll-slaying’ test.

According to the folks at TechCrunch, the numbers of comments is about one-half of what it once was. It also has come up with some evidence that supports its use of a Facebook log-on system to ID those who chose to comment. The TC people have stated that most of the anonymous comments were pure nonsense and had nothing to do with the discussion. The comments now appear to border on kindness and intelligence, which has surprised the staff.

But this one statement best describes what has happened:

‘Of course, neither is ideal. But nausea-inducing kindness is certainly better than rage-inducing assholeishness.’ I am continually criticized for my problems involving English grammar, so I am not sure of the word ‘assholeishness’ as a part of the English language. However, the word needs no Merriam-Webster definition to be fully understood.

Not everyone on the Internet supports nor condones this approach. Some are using the argument that those who comment will not be truthful having to log-on using their Facebook identity since their parents, friends, grandma, and others will see what they post. They believe that these family members and friends could do a Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search and see what they have said.

Robert Scobleizer claims that those who post comments hiding their identity are nothing but ‘cowards.’ He is attacking what he describes as the ‘authenticity’ crowd missing the benefits. He describes that the benefits of having more intelligent comments far outweighs the nonsense that previously was being posted in comments. The biggest benefit is that TechCrunch has not suffered from lower site views since requiring a Facebook ID before accepting a comment.

So here is my biased opinion. Having two blog sites here at LockerGnome is challenging and requires a good deal of time attempting to write articles that I feel may be of interest to you, our loyal readers. First we have to fight the spammers who never cease trying to get their shady products advertised in the comments section. Next we have those who hide their faces and make derogatory comments challenging me personally. One such comment posted last week mentioned that everyone knows that I work for Straight Talk.

Let me state that I do not, nor have I ever, worked for Straight Talk. My wife and I have Straight Talk phones that we purchased ourselves and we pay a service fee every month to use the it. I have received no credits, free products, nor other considerations from Straight Talk, nor will I seek any of these in the future. I just believe that Straight Talk provides a good service at a reasonable price.

I do not see any problem with having people identifying themselves before posting a comment. I believe it will eliminate the time-consuming process of having to manually deleting the trolls and cowards who do write idiotic comments.

So what do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – TechCrunch

Source – Scobleizer

The Number You Call For Technical Support Really Does Matter

When you call technical support or for information about any company, the number you call really does matter. For the past few months I have written articles about my experience with Straight Talk. Yet when I have needed support from Straight Talk, I have found that either email support for a simple problem, or calling its corporate office, resulted in better customer service than calling the standard technical support phone number. FYI – the Straight Talk corporate phone number is 800-876-5753.

I also discovered that when you call DIRECTV, if you call 800-531-500 and press 0 0 quickly, you can usually cut down on your wait time. I received this tip from a DIRECTV representative when I called before. It seems to work, but like any tip, your mileage may vary.

So if you can stand listening to music for countless minutes on end, or just sit holding a phone to your ear, how do you find the best number to call?

My first step is to do a Google and find out what others are using. You would be surprised at how many recommendations you will find.

There is another trick you can try. When you are prompted to push a number, do nothing. Remember those old rotary phones? The system may be fooled into thinking you have an oldie but a goodie and connect you to a real person. Remember, your mileage will vary depending on which company or business you call.

Give GETHUMAN [link below] a try. This website has a listing of phone numbers for a wide assortment of companies and businesses that others have found useful. They even offer a listing of phone numbers for some elusive companies like Google and Facebook.

What tips do you have? Share your experiences with us.

Comments welcome.

Source – Gethuman

Boost Mobile Offers ‘Shrinkage’ To Lower Your Monthly Bill

The prepaid plan wars are starting and we consumers are going to benefit. As Straight Talk and their prepaid plans continue to attract customers, other providers are now trying to stem the tide of losing clients.Boost Mobile, an off shoot from Sprint has added what they describe is ‘shrinkage’ to their offering. Here is how it works. Every six months that you pay your bill on time, your monthly fee is reduced by $5. If you pay every month on time for 18 months, your plan fee drops to only $35 a month for unlimited talk, text and surfing. Below is a graph that shows how the ‘shrinkage’ system works:

How Shrinkage works

Monthly Payment Amount
Initial
MonthlyTotal 12 On-
Payment6 On-TimeTimeTotal 18 On-
AmountPaymentsPaymentsTime Payments
Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage$50$45$40$35
BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage$60$55$50$45

In addition a recent article also stated that:

Shrinkage is available with Boost Mobile Monthly Unlimited and BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited plans. As of Oct. 14, existing Boost Mobile customers simply go to www.boostmobile.com or call 1-888-BOOST-4U to sign up for Shrinkage. New customers coming to Boost on the $50 or the $60 BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited plans as of Oct. 14 will automatically be part of Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage.

A customer’s on-time monthly payment date is the same day each month and each on-time payment moves the customer’s monthly cost toward the lower amounts. Consumers who miss their monthly payment date will not be penalized; they will not lose any on-time payments accrued toward the next Shrinkage payment milestone or lose any reduced monthly payment already achieved.

If you are a Boost Mobile customer, I would give them a call and sign up for this offer.

Tracefone, which owns Straight Talk, Net 10 and Safelink now claims 15 million US subscribers. But this one statement came as a surprise to me:

TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V. (“AMX”) (BMV: AMX; NYSE: AMX; Nasdaq: AMOV; LATIBEX: XAMXL), the fourth largest cell phone company in the world and the largest in all of the Americas with more than 200 million cell phone subscribers.

Comments welcome.

Source – Tracefone

Source – ion

Straight Talk Now Offering Smartphones – Unlimited Plan Only

Reader Mystii G commented on one of my Straight Talk articles stating two new smartphones were being introduced. The new models have one limitation. They can not be used with the $30 a month plan. Users must purchase the $45 a month unlimited plan to use either of the two new phones. The new models are:

Nokia E71 Smart Phone + Unlimited Plan $244.99

    • This phone will only work with the $45 Unlimited Plan
    • Full QWERTY Keyboard
    • IM Instant Messaging
    • Multiple Email Accounts
    • Free Voice-guide navigation
    • 3.2 Megapixel Camera and Video Recorder
    • 4GB microSD Card Included
    • Music Player (cable not included)
    • Mobile Web Services
    • Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
    • Includes a 30 Day Service Plan card to get you started which provides: Unlimited Talk & Unlimited Text Nationwide, Unlimited Data and Unlimited Calls to 411.

Nokia 6790 Smart Phone + Unlimited Plan $244.99


    • This phone will only work with the $45 Unlimited Plan
    • Slider QWERTY Keyboard
    • IM Instant Messaging
    • Multiple Email Accounts
    • Free Voice-guide Navigation
    • 2.0 Megapixel Camera and Video Recorder
    • 4GB microSD Card Included
    • Music Player (cable not included)
    • Mobile Web Services
    • Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
    • Includes a 30 Day Service Plan card to get you started which provides: Unlimited Talk & Unlimited Text Nationwide, Unlimited Data and Unlimited Calls to 411.

Both of these phones come with one month of unlimited service so the phones cost $200 out of pocket.When you go to the Straight Talk site, go to Shop, Phones to view these two models. Over at another site I found a comment in which someone stated that these phones use the ATT network and run at 3.5G. If this is true, this would make the phones very fast. I looked for these new models online at Walmart and they were not available.

Comments welcome.

Need assistance with a Straight Talk phone or account? Try ST on Facebook.

Source – Straight Talk

Source – intomobile

PagePlus Cell Service – Is Anyone Using It?

Reader Robert brought up some interesting facts, regarding different levels of service provided by Verizon. Here is what he said:

Tier One: Verizon full contract postpaid and a few mvnos (Blackdog, Lucky /Myway)

Tier Two: Verizon prepaid with optional roaming. Requires additional payment (Page Plus, Verizon prepaid)

Tier Three: Verizon prepaid native network with no roaming option (least coverage of the three): Straight Talk

Regarding the SIM: That phone (SGH-T401G) is a GSM phone, so must have a SIM.

Verizon coverage (compare red (contract) vs. purple (prepaid) maps:

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController?requesttype=NEWREQUEST&lid=//global//plans//coverage+maps

It appears that if you want inexpensive Verizon and are willing to sacrifice service in the roaming areas, ST is the way to go. Although PagePlus offers a 1200min/1200txt/50mb plan for the same $30 pricetag. It appears you can even use your own CDMA phone and PagePlus is Tier 2.

What do you think about ST vs. PagePlus?

I was not familiar with PagePlus so I took a look at their website. Cost is the same as Straight Talk but you get an additional 200 minutes and 200 texts for $29.95 per month. In addition you do get a higher tier of service. The phones also appear to be of equal quality as to what Straight Talk is offering.

What PagePlus also offers are lower cost plans as well. On their site you can purchase as little as $10 for 100 minutes that last for 120 days. For those who only need a phone in case of emergencies, this seems to be a great deal.

If you currently are using PagePlus let us know what you think of the service.

Comments welcome.

Phone Scoop Offers Cell Phone Reviews, Info., News, Community & Deals

Thanks to reader Michael who passed along the website called Phone Scoop. I stopped over at Phone Scoop to take a look at what they had to offer those who want or need information concerning specific cell phone models or carriers.

The website is very easy to navigate. You can find information about cell phones by carrier or by specific model. I did notice that not every model was listed, because Phone Scoop was missing some prepaid carriers. Noticeable MIA were Straight Talk, Net10 and Common Sense. Since these carriers were not listed, the cell phones specific to those plans, likewise were not listed.

Here is how the folks at Phone Scoop describe themselves and their site:

Phone Scoop is a comprehensive resource for mobile phone shoppers, users, enthusiasts, and professionals, focusing on the U.S. market.

Our flagship feature is the most comprehensive, detailed database of mobile phone information on the web. The database includes specifications, feature lists, photos, links, and user reviews. Our database is fully searchable, down to the finest detail, using our exclusive Phone Finder, the most powerful search-and-compare tool for mobile phones on the web. Users can also choose specific phones in a variety of ways and view detailed side-by-side comparisons.

We provide up-to-the-minute market and industry news. We continuously monitor numerous sources from around the web and beyond, and feature only the most relevant news for our target audience.

We regularly publish in-depth phone reviews and special reports, covering various topics, including event reports and technology guides.

With that being said, if you are looking for information about companies that offer contract plans and cell phones specific to those companies, Phone Scoop is worth taking a look at. They have included a glossary of terms page as well as links to sites that can also help in understanding which cell phone to purchase or which carrier to use.

Phone Scoop also has a forum in which general questions or those specific to a carrier or phone can be asked.

So I have a question? Which site would you recommend or use to find cell phone and cell phone carrier information?

Share your thoughts.

Comments – Phone Scoop

Straight Talk – No BlackBerry Support And AT&T Now Available

During the past few weeks I have received quite a few comments to the three articles I have written concerning Straight Talk. For some of the questions that were asked, I did not have an answer. So I contacted Straight Talk Customer Service and this is its response to two of the issues I was asked about:

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your interest in Straight Talk Wireless. We are responding to your recent inquiry.

We understand that you would like to inquire if a BlackBerry phone can be used with Straight Talk. We also believe that you want to inquire when AT&T service will begin.

We regret to inform you that you cannot use a BlackBerry phone with Straight Talk since we are only able to activate handsets manufactured specifically for Straight Talk Wireless.

With regards to your concern about the service with AT&T, we are happy to inform you that we have already started the service. You can buy phones which has the SIM card since these are the phones that are utilizing AT&T towers to have its service. However, we cannot assure that every area will have the coverage of the service. In order for us to check the availability of the service in a specific area, we need to have its ZIP code.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-877-430-2355.  For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.

Thank you for being a Straight Talk Wireless customer.  We appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Straight Talk Wireless

I hope this answers some of the questions that were asked.

Comments welcome.

Walmart To Expand Straight Talk Phone Offerings To Include AT&T

Walmart may have stumbled upon a gold mine when it first introduced Straight Talk cell phone service via the Verizon network. Straight Talk cell service has become more popular as consumers opt out of the two year contract agreements and services which most consumers never use. Walmart has added 896,000 new users to the Verizon network and now plans to expand the Straight Talk services to include cell phones from AT&T.

In a recent news article from the WSJ it also stated the following:

AT&T confirmed that phones compatible with its network will be available to Straight Talk, which is a prepaid service exclusive to Wal-Mart. Previously, phones using the service could only run on Verizon Wireless’s network. BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk first reported the use of AT&T-compatible phones on Straight Talk.

I became a Straight Talk convert about a month ago. I purchased two Samsung R355C phones from Walmart which came with a $30 a month prepaid card for the Straight Talk network. For $30 a month you get 1,000 minutes of talk time, 1,000 text messages and 30MB of data service for email and surfing the Internet. If a user needs more services Straight Talk offers a $45 a month prepaid card which offers unlimited talk time, texting and Internet access.

By Walmart adding the AT&T network to the Straight Talk service, this will provide service for those who may not be able to access Verizon.

Comments welcome.

Source – WSJ

Which Cell Phone Companies Offer The Best And Worst Coverage?

You are in the market to buy a cell phone and want service from a company that offers the best coverage where you live. How do you know which company to use? The first thing you may wish to do is ask family members and friends which company they use and how the coverage is. But if you are like I am, you also want to do some checking on your own to get other folks’ opinion about the service they are receiving as well in your area.

There are two sites that you can try to find out just how good a company’s cell service is where you live. One is DeadCell Zones, which provides an interactive map à la Google to zoom in and out of locations and also offers the ability to select from the four major carriers: Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Another site to check to see if you live in a black hole is CellReception. This site offers what it describes as a database of over:

142,822 cell phone tower locations registered with the FCC, and over 55,300 cell phone carrier comments submitted voluntarily from real customers using their service all over the U.S.

I found CellReception very useful since it was easy to find which company offered the best coverage for my neighborhood. The comments from consumers were very helpful and I would highly recommend this site.

The importance of coverage for those of us who have dropped our landline and have gone completely to cell can not be over stated. I found my phone from AT&T had a very poor signal reception inside my home, whereas my Straight Talk phone, which uses Verizon, is great. I also believe that the phone model itself will dictate how good your signal will be.

Is there a site that you would recommend? Let us know.

Comments welcome.

Source – DeadCellZones

Source – CellReception

Straight Talk Cell Phone Service – Customer Service Reviewed

I had the opportunity to contact customer service at Straight Talk for two issues I was having. I had read reviews and comments from other Straight Talk users, had nothing but complaints about the service they had received. So when I dialed ST for help, I braced myself for a hard time and possible non reconciliation of my problems.

The first issue I had was with a new ST cell phone I had bought for my wife. When I activated the ST cell phone for myself, I had no issues and the phone activated immediately. But I wasn’t able to activate my wife’s phone and contacted ST. They tried a number of things, but the bottom line was that their servers were overwhelmed and it could take 24 hours to get the phone activated. No problem.

So I brought up another problem to the agent concerning my ST phone. I had signed up for auto refill and some how I lost 3 weeks of talk time. Long story short, I hit the wrong button when I signed up and accidentally added more minutes to my phone. The support person was able to credit me with a full refund and correctly signed me up for auto refill. No muss, no fuss. I was impressed.

Thus far ST has been great.  Phone calls and text messaging are received and sent without issue. Browsing though is not so hot. It is sooooo slow that to me it is useless. But at $30 a month per phone, I still believe it is a deal.

Update: This morning I activated my wife’s phone and it now works.

Comments welcome.

Straight Talk – Samsung R355C Cell Phone – Reviewed

First of all I wanted to thank everyone who provided me with information concerning Straight Talk and for their phone recommendations.

I did my homework and took the recommendation about buying a Straight Talk phone directly from Walmart. Some of you recommended using Walmart because of their liberal return policy and in the fact that some were skeptical of the customer service that Straight Talk provides.

Here is what I learned. I went to our local Walmart store and found that if I bought the Straight Talk Samsung R355C cell phone for $128.88, I had to purchase a separate $30 phone card, which brought the total cost to $158.88. The same package directly from Straight Talk was $159.99 with free shipping.

As I was viewing the Samsung phone, I looked down below the product description, and to my surprise they had both the phone and a $30 phone card for $128.88. I have linked the page below and I hope that it works for you, as it did for me. I also opted for home delivery which was free as well. The delivery was quick and took only two days via Fedex.

So here are some of my first thoughts about the phone and Straight Talk as well. This is based on only having the service and phone for four days.

The good points:

Activation was simple and uneventful. I completed everything online at the Straight Talk site. The phone is simple to use and setup, with easy to use menu’s. There is also a tutorial online at the Straight Talk site which walks you through every step you you need to complete any task. The cell screen is clear and easy to read. I also enjoy the voice command software that makes dialing a call easy by just saying the persons name you wish to call, ‘call John’ and confirm with a simple ‘yes’ command. Signal strength where I live is strong and better than the AT&T phone I replaced.

The not so good points:

The keys on the keyboard are small. Camera resolution could be better but is OK.

I’ll be using the phone for the next few weeks and report back my findings in a follow up review.

Comments welcome.

Walmart – Samsung R355C Cell Phone + $30 Phone Card

Is Anyone Using The Samsung R451C With A Straight Talk Plan?

My wife is considering changing over her cell service to Straight Talk. She has been looking at several of the phones that Straight Talk offers including the Samsung R451C. She likes the slide out QWERTY keyboard feature that she believes would make texting easier. Since neither of us have used Straight Talk service or this particular cell phone, I wanted to get the opinions of others before she took the plunge.

She also believes that buying the phone and Straight Talk package from Walmart is a better deal, since the package is on sale for $99.88 and includes a $30 phone card. My opinion is that if the phone is not what she wants, Walmart has a fairly liberal return policy and she would not have to deal with Straight Talk directly. From some of the forums about Straight Talk, there seems to be a lack of customer service.

This is the package that Walmart is offering for $99.88 which includes a $30 phone card.

If you have used the Samsung R451C cell phone, either with or without service from Straight Talk, I would appreciate your opinion.

Comments welcome.

Source – Walmart