Monday, February 16, 2009

Got a deal for you...

If you've been reading this blog, you probably know by now that I periodically work with a few prepaid airtime sellers online. One of them has come to me with the following deal. I'll be putting it permanently on here so everyone knows about it..."permanently" meaning until the deal runs out...

Special Offer: Use promo code 70003 at PrepaidWireless to save $3 on your first Tracfone order + cash discounts, Reward Points and pay no sales tax. Just great savings!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Three Tracfones Show Up On Activation Site

Looks like I was wrong and The Turk (from the forums) was right...the Samsung t101g, t201g and t301g have now shown up on Tracfone's (and Net10's) activation pages. The pictures are somewhat low-res, however here's the scoop so far, from what I can gather...which is pretty much exactly what The Turk predicted:
  • t101g - basic candybar with a color screen
  • t201g - basic flip phone with an external display but no camera
  • t301g - slider phone with Bluetooth...and a camera?
This will be Tracfone's fifth phone brand for recent history. Looks like companies are offering them cheap phones that are right down the alley of their customers, while pushing the envelope just a bit to deliver more features to low-use coverage-sensitive customers that Tracfone is great for. Aside from being the first Samsung phones available, the t301g is Tracfone's first slider.

Let's hope things keep getting more interesting at this rate...

More Boost Mobile Phone Details

Another hit from the forums: Boost Mobile's upcoming lineup:
  • Motorola Mako (replacement for the i335), $90, coming October 1...probably Bluetooth and a camera for that money
  • Motorola i465 (aforementioned texting phone), $110, coming June 15...looks a bit better than I thought
  • Motorola Banfi (slider with ?WiFi? to ameliorate subpar iDEN data speeds), $140, coming August 2...quite nice, and WiFi on an iDEN phone is an interesting concept
Granted, the launch date for the i290 was a few months off, but that just means that the above handsets will be released sooner. In any case, Boost is building a strong phone selection with these items. That's a good thing when you want to get people signed up for unlimited service on a data-poor network. Or, for that matter, pay-per-minute service.

Virgin Mobile Leaks X-tc

Once again, the forums are abuzz with the most cutting-edge of phone news, this time about the Kyocera VMM200. What does the "VM" stand for? Why, Virgin Mobile of course! Who, by the way, prefers to call this Qwertyphone the "X-tc".

The spec list is relatively impressive for a prepaid phone:
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Bluetooth (not sure about stereo Bluetooth but it's likely)
  • Media player
  • MicroUSB port (data transfer only, no charging)
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
I'm asuming this phone, like the Shuttle, will have EvDO but I'm not sure on that one. It does however have the distinction of being unusable for typing in phone numbers unless it is slid out in horizontal mode. Fine on a touch-screen device, somewhat baffling on something that doesn't fit the profile.

Still, the phone looks to be a quite nice model, and a worthy successor to the Wild Card and the Switch_Back, for about the same price: $99.99. Or at least that's what Virgin Mobile had up on their website before they took pricing info down.

Boost Intros Motorola i9 "Stature"

On first glance, the Motorola i9 Stature, press-released a few days ago for a cool $300 if bought on Boost Mobile ($200 if bought with a Sprint contract), could be confused at first glance with a portly Motorola Razr2. However, a contract-length after the introduction of the Razr2, you're looking at a better phone. Much better. If a bit inhibited data-wise by the iDEN network it runs on.

First off, you've got push-to-talk...of course, since you're looking at an iDEN phone. Second, a 3.1 megapixel camera with flash and video recording puts even the iPhone to shame. Third, there are more touch-sensitive multimedia controls on the front of this baby than you can shake a stick at. Fourth, GPS...but that's again standard on iDEN phones.

The bottom line: high-end, high-dollar Boost Mobile phones are back, with features untouchable by even most contract-bound "dumb phones" and even some smartphones. Plus, with iDEN thin is now in and this flip is no exception.

One more thing: I got some PR pix of the phone, hence the first pictures on this blog in...I dunno...forever?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tracfone: New on Samsung, Old on Page Plus

Looks like Tracfone is getting some Samsung handsets, all GSM. The model numbers: t101g, t201g and t301g...

No details on the t101g at the moment, though it showed up on the FCC's website in October. Probably will be a low-end flip phone, judging by similarly-named models (like the T-Mobile-branded t109).

The t201g is only slightly less mysterious. According to some very basic FCC documents, the phone looks to be a rounded flip style reminescent of the m300 on CDMA. Anything more than that, and SAR ratings, are veiled by a 180-day NDA. Since the FCC filing was in October, the phone will likely come out before the FCC shows internal and external drawings of the phone.

The t301g, submitted to the FCC in November, is the least mysterious of the three phones Tracfone is about to introduce, though a search only reveals three disclosed documents related to the phone. This squarish flip phone will have a 3.7V, 500 mAh battery and, more importantly feature-wise, Bluetooth. Beyond that it's anyone (well, anyone except FCC and Samsung peeps') guess.

In other news, looks as though you may be able to take Tracofnes and put them on Page Plus, if said Tracfones are CDMA models. Specifically, the Kyocera K126c has made it to the Verizon-based low cost provider with a bit of coaxing, see here:

Boost To Intro iDEN Razr and Keyboard Phone

Want to get Boost Mobile? Don't like the rather lackluster phone selection currently available? Soon, there will be a solution...

The "iDEN Razr" i9 is comparable to a Razr2 on other networks, however it'll be a bit thicker due to the iDEN technology. But it's nice to have a high-end thin phone n a network that was made for near-isntant communications. On the other hand, iDEN internet is slow...very slow...

Additionally, it looks as though Motorola iDEN engineering has hired on the folks that brought you the "iPod chubby", to bring a functional but ugly-duckling Qwertyphone to Boost Mobile: the i465...

It's nice to have a phone with a keybard on Boost Mobile other than the iDEN BlackBerries, even if it looks rather "meh".

AT&T Intros 100MB plan for the price of "unlimited"

According to the link in the title of this post, AT&T is replacing their "unlimited" $20 per month prepaid internet plan (which they discontinued a few months ago) with a 100MB plan. Also, no more $10's $5 for 1 MB or $20 for 100. 1MB is hardly enough for anything...and 100MB is not enough if you're using a smartphone for more than light activity. Plus, no more $20 aircards. Ah well, c'est la vie when it comes to telecom advancements as dictated by telcos.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yay 18!

Yep, I'm officially an adult...
Now, back to the news...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Boost Mobile Intros i290

Along with an unlimited plan, Boost introduced a new phone today, albeit a basic one. The price: $40. The features: text, web, MMS, GPS, walkie talkie, color screen, phone calls and a slim profile. The name: i290. The brand: predictably, Motorola. The network: iDEN. Nothing to shout about, but for people looking for a less angular phone than the rather long-and-wide i425, this may be just the ticket. Then again, the i335 is even shorter and has a slightly larger feature portfolio.

Any way you look at it, Boost needs all the phone choice they can get. The spec page for the i290 is here, by the way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Forums Down

Sorry for the inconvenience, folks. There seems to be a problem with ZetaBoards (the platfrm on which the Go4Prepaid forums are hosted), and our forums have fallen victim to said problem. I'll updatehere when the forum is up. At any rate, comment here if ya wanna talk.

UPDATE: Five hours later, we're up. Not too horrible. Business as usual, I suppose :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Motorola em326g on snaps, it slides, it plays music!

Again thanks to the forums, specifically The Sweeper, I got a tip about a new phone coming down the pike to Net10 (and maybe Tracfone?). This is the biggest thing to happen to Net10 since the introduction of the camera-toting, web-enabled Motorola c261. Slightly bigger than the introduction of the Bluetooth-equipped Motorola w376g.

Theough the Boy Genius Report pooh-poohs the phone, we prepaid peeps know better; this will be the first Net10 phone with a
  • Slider formfactor
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Focus on music
    • MP3 player
    • MicroSD slot
    • Full-sized headphone jack
It's also nice to see that Tracfone isn't totally ditching Motorola for their higher-end phones, in favor of LG. I'd guess the pricing of this phone would be around $100. Nice price for a nice phone on a nice network with a nice plan...with no contract required. If the phone comes out with a decent-ish price I'll probably pick it up for personal use; I don't want to take my super-expensive PDA phone everywhere.

Virgin Mobile Ups Text Pricing...Again...

Thanks to the folks over at the forums, I've been made aware that Virgin Mobile will soon up text message prices, for a la carte usage, by another five cents apiece. Granted, this is actually a little behind the rest of the wireless industry, who has already jacked message prices up to 15 or even 20 cents per message, but it's a sad thing to see, for people who just want to text once in awhile and not break the bank for that feature.

Granted, you can get a $2-for-30-messages-per-month pack from Virgin Mobile for light texters, which is nice. Still, considering the audience, this is sad but expected.

If you're currently on Virgin Mobile and have a la carte texts, you may well be "grandfathered in" under the new rate structure, keeping your texts at 10 cents per message. Similar happenings have been observed with the switch from 5 cent to 10 cent messages, from the old 25/10 pricing scheme, and from Virgin Mobile's 18-cent to their 20-cent "pay as you go" minute pricing. Then again, things may change for the worse here as far as keeping your old texting rate are concerned.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Kajeet Offers $70 Plan/Phone Rebate

As pointed out by forum member offthegrid here, Kajeet is offering a $70 rebate to anyone who buys a phone in the next few days, activates it before the month is half gone, and sticks to their $20, 150-minute-per-month plan for three months. Net effect? Either three months of free service and $10 off your phone, or $70 off your phone with a three-month contract, depending on hw you look at it.

If you're calling it a $70 phone rebate, that takes the LG Rumors down to $100, the Sanyo Katana II's down to $30, the original Katana and Samsung m300 down to $0, and the refurbished phones of various types (as well as the LG LX160) down to better-than-free.

Pretty good deal if you want a Kajeet phone.

More Cell phone Deal Info

Click the title of this post. The result: a Digg-like site where the latest prepaid cell phone deals are aggregated. Nothing to do with Go4Prepaid, but it does provide a nice, quick look at the latest prepaid phone deals...though it appears to be an incomplete list. I'd say it's a perfect complement to the forums.

Again, check it out here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

T-Mobile and TuYo updates

On the T-Mobile front, a few things have changed on the phone lineups. The Samsung t109, a basic phone, is $50. The nokia 1680, a camera bar phone, is the same price. Currently T-Mobile has a promotion, however, that'll give you an extra $10 at activation, $10 after a month of service and $10 after another month of service, presumably in addition to the usual $15 in activation credit you get with a t-Mobile To Go phone, though I might be wrong about that last bit.

On TuYo, the largest t-Mobile reseller, you've got a Sony Ericsson z310a (review coming sometime in the future) for $90 (ech), the Motorola w220 for $50 (meh) and the Nokia 1208 (review coming eventually) for $30 (hmm). Rates are good, though; text messaging is a scant five cents per message at this point. You can also, for $5, get no-extra-charge calling to Mexico, Hondouras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Finally, Club MAX is out, a loyalty program that is at least halfway decent. $50 in refills gets you a $5 bonus, another $50 gets you another 45, another $100 gets you another $10 and a final $100 gets you $20 additional added onto your account.

At that point, you're a TuYo VIP. Problem is, I'm not quite sure what that means. The website isn't set up to tell you, either. What I did find out though is that, for $3 per month, you can get 100 text messages per month, a decent discount from the already-cheap 5 cents per message on pay-per-use texting.

Gophone Loyalty Program Shrinks

In these troubled economic times (drink) AT&T is lowering the value of its Gophone program for people who have been on the service for awhile. This comes on the heels of turnig their "unlimited" $20/month data plan into a 100 MB/month plan, which is only enough for non-smartphones...just like AT&T likes it.

The change: after your first $100 refill 9where you'll get $5 as a bonus) you'll get $10 per $100 added. This is in contrast to the current program, which steps up to $15 and eventually $20, depending on how much money you give AT&T.

Of course, not many people knew about this loyalty program, but dumbing it down doesn't help AT&T's case, especially if Verizon decides to keep Alltel's U Prepaid system around after the impending merger.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tracfone Sweepstakes!

Nope, I'm not dead. Just have been very busy, and there hasn't been too much prepaid news lately. I think I'll do some phone reviews over the break...which will be starting in a little over 18 hours for me...but until then


Thanks to The Turk, it has been brought to my attention that Tracfone is giving five winners per month, for the next twelve months, Visa gift cards of various values: $500, $250, $100, $75 and $30. Nothing to sneeze at, especially 1st through 3rd prizes.

You don't have to have a Tracfone to enter the drawing, though you do have to fill out a short questionnaire about the phone plan you're on right now (oddly enough, Sprint isn't listed in the carrier selection dropdown, so I had to select Other). You can enter once per day, and anyone 13 or older can join the fun.

Nothing to lose, so far as I can tell. I'd say enter early, enter often!