Wednesday, April 30, 2008

T-Mobile Deals and Amazon Steals

First off, thanks for your support in visiting this site and the sites of my sponsors. If you're new here (a majority of people are) then welcome. If not, then welcome back. Glad to have you.

Second, T-Mobile has put their $25-refill-with-purchase-of-a-prepaid-phone promotion into full swing again. Well, I take that back; the three Samsung phones recently introduced don't include the card. However, the brand-new-to-the-prepaid-site Samsung t429 slider does! The phone, which gets you Bluetooth and a camera, as well as that $25 refill, is $100...and in case anyone is wondering, yes, this means you can get the Nokia 2610 for free if you count in the airtime that's already on the phone, plus the airtime that's on the card. Sounds like a sweet deal to me...check it out here...

Third, Amazon looks to have some decent deals on various phones, mostly by way of rebates. For example, if you want to pick up the LG Aloha for $2 after rebate, you can...just pick up some other stuff to net yourself free shipping. Find out more here.

Thanks to the folks at the forum who dug this stuff up!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tracfone Mother's Day Special - LG 225 On The Cheap

The Sweeper has found another Tracfone deal, though it's pretty easy to catch. Browse to the Tracfone website and type in your zip code to order. If AT&T provides service in your area, you'll see at the top of the page (well, after the banner announcing free shipping for orders above $35) a $49 deal: the LG 225, complete with the usual Double Minutes For Life, plus a car charger, headset and phone case...all for a mere $50, $30 less than the phone has been going for alone! It even looks like the phone is new, with no mention of being refurbished anywhere on the site. I'm not sure on the quality of the phone, as Tracfone doesn't like me (if someone could loan me the unit for review that'd be great!) but it costs the same as the Motorola w370, which has less features and no accessories. I'd call this one a win...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

T-Mobile's Pay Per Day plan is out!

Looks like the T-Mobile Pay Per Day prepaid plan is out! No Gold Rewards, but true to the preliminary news it has 7 p.m. night calling and mobile-to-mobile for $1 per day (only on days you use the phone) and 10-cent calling otherwise. Not sure about airtime expiration, but the plan seems to be a good one for people who talk more than less, and the old plan is still available if you want that. Again, choice is good, and now that all four carrier-brand prepaids (INPulse, Virgin Mobile, GoPhone, T-Mobile To Go) have an unlimited M2M\Night&Weekend option available, the real competition can begin. Wait...I think so far T-Mobile wins vs. Verizon and AT&T, and ties with Virgin Mobile. Sound familiar? That's sort of what's happening on the unlimited (contract) side of things, except there Sprint is better than everyone else.

T-Mobile Sidekick for $150 on prepaid

Thanks to the folks over at HowardForums, I've found a sweet deal at BestBuy's website for the T-Mobile Sidekick ID. Someone may have mentioned this before on my own forums, but anyhow the phone is $150 and includes $30 in airtime, enough for a month of Sidekick service. Granted, the ID doesn't have a camera, but $150 is a decent price to pay for T-Mobile's only phone that allows unfettered data and messaging (well, except for any other Sidekick)...

T-Mobile To Go Gets More Phones

Looks like there's some more phone choice on T-Mobile To Go. Okay, if you want to split hairs you could say that, with the activation kit, you could put the service on any of these phones anyway (or on the iPhone, if you wanted...that's what I'm doing right now) but now you can get a few more (slightly older) phones preloaded with prepaid T-Mobile goodness at a decent price...

Samsung t319 (camera flip) - $40
Samsung t619 (1.3 megapixel camera music Bluetooth flip, with MyFaves if you ever need that) - $50
Samsung Trace (take the t619 and turn it into a thin bar phone) - $50

This nearly doubles the lineup of T-Mobile To Go phones, at least ones available on their website (which speaks more to To Go's lousy lineup than anything else, what oh well), and more selection is always a good thing. The prices are decent. I'd say it's all good...and yes, I'll eventually review those phones, though at present I have no fewer than FIVE phones to review (Aloha, Super Slice, Shorty, Samsung m300, Pantech c300) and after that I want to grab the cheap stuff (AT&T GoPhones) so the new T-Mo To Go phones may have to wait until summer.

Then again, if I get enough sponsor revenue I'll go ahead and order 'em.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tracfone News & Phone Reviews

Sorry for not updating as often as I'd like. I'll probably not be updating until this weekend in any large way, by the way. Then starting Friday I'll probably be gone until the Wednesday after that...and sporadic until Sunday following because of school winding down, tests, the realization that I need to focus heavily on school and actually get things done, etc.

But there are a few news items that are pretty important...thanks to BabbleBug (check 'em out via the link on the righthand side of this page) for one piece of news and to the folks at the forum for the other.

But before I get to the news, (from whom I get the odd visitor every day or two) has a podcast up. It's monthly, and production value is what I'd like to call "meh" but the guy did score interviews with higher-ups at both Page Plus Cellular and CricKet's data team. He also talks a bit about T-Mobile's FlexPay service, which is basically what you'd call a "hybrid" on any other carrier...except T-Mobile charges you full price for the phones and contract price for the plans.

But the news...first, Tracfone...

1. They now have a 70-minute card for $19. The reason it's more minutes and slightly cheaper than the 60-minute 90-day card? It lasts a mere 60 days. The card seems poised to replace the $20 60-minute card (I don't see a reason why Tracfone would keep both of them around, though I hope they would) with a rate that's actually lower than the rate on the $25 90-minute card (27.1 cents per minute versus 27.8) but higher than the $30 card (27.1 vs. 25). Of the four cards in its price vicinity, it falls in the middle as far as minute usage per month, though its cost per month is toward the higher end...

$19 - 35 min/month - $9.50/month
$20 - 20 min/month - $6.67/month
$25 - 30 min/month - $8.33/month
$30 - 40 min/month - $10/month

On the other hand, if you are just running low on minutes and just need more minutes rather than expiration, and would rather spend less money than more, the $19 card works well. Especially with the double minute card.

2. The Tracfone w175g is now out. Hopefully it will replace the c139's a much better phone from what I can see. Then again, at the same price ($15) you're not going to get a ton of quality no matter what. On the other hand (spoken like the guy from Fiddler on the Roof) it's a much nicer phone than its CDMA counterpart, the Kyocrap...Kyocera K126c. Likewise, though in lesser measure, the upcoming Motorola w260 on GSM (price: $30) looks a bit better than the LG 200c that is its CDMA price counterpart, though the 200c's price has tumbled recently.

That's the Tracfone news. Now on to the stuff from BabbleBug. though I have to mention in passing that the LG Aloha is now available in purple (slightly less girly?) as well as the original white. I promise, I'll review the darned thing soon, and I'll send out the LG Flare to its winner soon. Sorry about both things...

So about BabbleBug: they've sent me two phones (thanks guys!) from two different prepaid carriers. One has a lot of on-box branding but no on-phone branding, the other has no on-box branding (or even box in my case) but a little on-phone branding. The former is the ridiculously small Pantech c300 from Wireless (Locus Mobile). Once you take the phone out of its O2-branded packaging (which is much easier to get into than the typical blister pack) it looks like they just grabbed a bunch of Cingular phones and resold them...the phone comes complete with Cingular menu options, the ringtone and the big "jack" on the center button. The other phone is from Total Call Mobile, and it's a little bigger but still nice and slim: the Samsung m300. It's quite an achievement for a small prepaid provider to get a phone on their network while the parent carrier is it, so props to Total Call for that. Then again, both of these phones are priced pretty high, though for their feature sets and age I'm not complaining.

I'll be reviewing the phones soon (possibly sooner than the three Virgin Mobile units I have sitting on my desk right now) I hope, and my thanks goes out to this site's primary sponsor, BabbleBug, for letting me use 'em. Stay tuned for a boatload of reviews...and I gotta sign off now lest my productivity takes another dive :/

P.S. Support this site so I can get even more phones to review, so this place can become THE prepaid phone review source...and so I can give away even more phones, even some higher-end ones. Like, seriously high-end ones.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tracfone Bundles...They're Near You!

Thanks to The Sweeper and the Turk, another news bit for Tracfone has come floating in. At your local Wal-Mart may well be sitting a bundle of fun that includes a Tracfone (Motorola v170 or LG 200c, depending on whether you're in a GSM or CDMA area), a car charger, a headset and a case for the phone. The price? The same as the phone itself would normally cost.

This is a good deal for everyone I'm thinking. The idea behind it on Tracfone's end is probably to give out $10-$15 worth of accessories that would get people to use their phones more, so they could get the money back several times over when it comes time to buy a refill. Sly business model but if it works they'll keep it, and people will get free stuff with their phones. Not a bad deal in my opinion :)

T-Mobile To Go Anew?

It seems that the guys over at (learned about the site via The Sweeper) have bug up a new T-Mobile "hybrid" plan that's coming in a week or so, April 30th to be precise. It actually sounds a lot like the lower in Verizon INPulse or AT&T's $1 a day GoPhone, and is a better deal than both, though data still isn't to be found. They're also intro'ing two basic Nokia phones.

The new plan will be $1 a day on days you use your phone. What you get for that dollar is unlimited nights (no weekends) starting at 7 p.m. (better than INPulse's 9 p.m.) and mobile-to-mobile (similar to GoPhone and Verizon, just with a smaller mobile-to-mobile base by about 60%). Anytime minutes that aren't to T-Mobile customers will run you 10 cents apiece. Text messaging pricing won't change...I believe it's 10 cents to send a message and 5 cents to receive at the moment.

The new phones are the Nokia 1208, a very basic bar phone, and the Nokia 2760, a rather low-end cameraphone flip. I'm sure they'll be inexpensive and I'll probably even take the 2760 over the Alcatel Oxygen Wireless will be rolling out soon. Then again, neither phone is impressive, unless the 1208 is free with an airtime card and all you do is talk, with a text or two mixed in.

I don't think T-Mobile will discontinue their old (good) prepaid plan, and I hope they don't. This is no replacement for a regular prepaid plan but it's a definite addition to their lineup, and more hybrid variety is always good!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Do You Want Me To Review?

Welcome to the 666th Go4Prepaid post. No, I'm not evil, just making an observation.

Anyway, please comment on this post on what phones you want me to review soon. It looks as though ads are going to generate about $80-$90 this month, though with your support of BabbleBug and whoever-puts-their-Google-ads-up-top it could be more. With that budget in mind, what does eveeryone here want reviewed? Specific models please. I'm thinking of grabbing a phone or three from T-Mobile To Go or AT&T GoPhone this time around unless people really want otherwise.

By the way, sorry to the winner of the LG Flare for my not having shipped the phone out to you already. I'll try and do it tomorrow. Things have been rather busy for me lately.

EDIT: Looks like AT&T's pricing gives me plenty of models to review. How's this sound for a lineup? Refurbs would be bought when available.

Nokia 2610
LG CG180
Samsung a117
Pantech c3b
Pantech c120

Whew, that's a lot of phones to review. Then again, I have to review three now.

Locus' O2 Wireless In The News for Intro'ing Alcatel Phones

They sell you 1000 minutes a month for $40. Their website isn't quite set up yet to reflect this. Their phone selection makes you think you're in a third-world country. They're O2 Wireless (aka Oxygen, powered by Locus Telecom, no relation to O2-by-Telefonica in Europe and such), and they're now selling Alcatel phones.

These guys somehow made it onto the front page of PhoneScoop today with the E206a, which actually has a decent set of features, ranging from EDGE to Bluetooth to a camera. I doubt that most of these features will be useable in the near future though; Locus' agreement with AT&T, on whch the O2 service runs, has so far been voice-and-text-only. Then again, things could change. On the other hand, Page Plus cellular still hasn't rolled out data, and they said they'd do that a year ago.

So please don't excited about this handset, whose screen and keypad are reminiscent of the Nokia 1600, but with a lesser-quality user experience (but without the call answering bug, see my review). I'm pretty sure Alcatel is a no-name for a reason, though that probably means the E206a will be quite cheap for someone...if not for the consumer then for Locus, which would help them to keep the 1000-for-$40 plan running.

As for me, I'll take a Nokia phone any day of the week. Or a Moto c168i. Or a Pantech. Or an Alcatel review unit to dissuade me of their inadequacy (hint, hint).

Movida: Not So Dead After All

Looks like Movida got purchased by the cell phone supply chain company APC Wireless. That means they aren't going out of business, and I don't even think anyone noticed any service interruption. The word from APC is that customer service will improve and other things will stay constant. I tend to think though that APC, leveraging its relationships with phone makers, will eventually intro newer phones into Movida's lineup, which is good unless they're Kyoceras. Even then let's hope that Kyocera has learned something from Sanyo, from whom they recently purchased the mobile phone division.

No Slash For You

Looks like Virgin Mobile cancelled my order for the Slash. Looks like it won't be out for awhile then. Sorry everyone...guess I'll be reviewing the three phones I said I'd review in the near future. I'll order some GoPhones and such to review when I get back to Texas, where AT&T will actually send me stuff rather than saying "you haz a PO box you cant play". Grr.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shout-Outs and A Suggestion Box, Plus a Net10 Deal

Sorry for not posting recently. It's been busy. To update on the purchase of the Virgin Mobile Slash, I've got nothing. The order is "submitted" but that's it.

A few things to tide people over between now and when I release either something more newsworthy or a review of one of the three phones sitting on my desk right now (Aloha, Shorty, Super Slice)...

1. Net10 is having another nice sale on one of their phones. This time they're giving away a Motorola v176, complete with 300 minutes of "starter time" when you buy their $60 600-minute 120-day airtime card. Seems like a good enough deal. It can be found here (thanks to The Sweeper for the tip!):

2. Want something covered here that has to do with prepaid service (like maybe a review of some T-Mobile To Go phone or AT&T GoPhone...or information on some weird prepaid service?) Comment on this post and I'll see what I can do. I'm slightly "better connected" than the average Joe on these things, thanks to my working with a few of the companies that sell the various providers' airtime and phones, so I may be able to get an inside scoop on something. Plus, thanks to your visiting sponsors' sites, I can buy phones to review and such!

3. Most of my traffic here comes from Google, with the second-biggest traffic source being direct hits from a bunch of loyal viewers (thanks!). The remaining 7.31% (over the last month, as of this writing...I have Google Analytics embedded in every page, and no, I'm not maliciously tracking your every move, don't worry) are non-search, non-direct hits. Here's a shout-out to a few of the people who give me a visitor or two per day...and yes, Google search makes up well over 90% of the search-driven hits to this site, in case anyone wants to know:
  • HowardForums - The largest cell phone forum on the 'net as far as I know...I'm a proud member, my username is iansltx
  • PrepaidPhone - Powered by and a little bit of Yours Truly, you've got various info on prepaid phones and breaking news, with little news overlap between it (mainsteam) and myself (less in, no news snippets or press releases)
  • Cell Guru - The home of the prepaid and hybrid comparison charts for cell phone service, as well as various bits of information about phones, providers and cellular news in general. If you like this site, you'll like the Cell Guru's.
  • PrepaidReviews - Probably the biggest prepaid-focused site on the 'net, with seventy thousand unique visitors per month (wish I had that!), with a nice amount of reviews by various people on prepaid cell phone service from just over two dozen providers. They also have a comparison tool, a (mainstream-ish) blog and a few articles on prepaid service in general.
  • PrepaidWireless - I've done some work for these folks, who, like this site's main sponsor, sell prepaid phones and airtime.
Moral of the above story: there are some very informative sites on prepaid phones and service out there in addition to mine (heh) and if they link to me I'll probably mention them at some point or other :). Seriously, check out their sites...they're quite useful and complement this site well.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Net10 Intros 450-minute card, Tracfone to carry Motorola w260g

Looks like there's a little news on the Tracfone front today. First, Net10 now has an online special on an interesting airtime card. Their new, online-only, 450-minute card lasts 90 days, providing a denomination between the 300-minute, 60-day and 600-minute, 120-day cards. On the Tracfone side of things, you've now got the 90-minute 90-day, $25 (as seen in Wal-Mart) card online.

In bigger news, Tracfone is queuing up another phone for their lineup: the Motorola w260g. Okay, it isn't that big news...aside from being a tad thinner and shorter than the Motorola w370, and coming in black instead of silver, and costing $30 instead of $50 (with double minutes for life thrown in) there's nothing different between this phone and the Motorola w370. Maybe this is a slight downgrade, sort of like the LG 200c vs. the LG 3280.

As a side note, the suggested retail price for the Motorola c261 is now $30, a far cry from the $80 where it started...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Few Updates\We have A Winna

First off, apologies for the long wait to announce contest winners. Have been busy lately, and will continue to be busy for the next several days, meaning I probably won't be able to ship the phone 'til sometime next week. That said, the winner is Danamark!

Before everyone beheads me for his not posting on the forum, he did leave the nice comment that follows, which is a really good tip that nobody brought up so far as I know:
Tip for buying "pay as you go phones" from local store.
All those Electronic, et al., ads that you find in the Sunday paper can be found on-line at:

Here are this weeks Sunday ads for Virginia for prepaid phones..

Not cheap enough for you? Just wait for next weeks ads. :)

Also, while looking at the newer phones at Virgin Mobile,
looks like they are offering new Pay As You Go Plans?

Great job, man. Check your Private message box on the forums. I need info on where to send the phone to...

If you didn't win this time around don't worry about it. I've got three other phones I need to review (Super Slice, Aloha, Nokia Shorty), all from Virgin Mobile..though if someone wants to make a bid on the Shorty (including charger and case) I may sell that phone instead of giving it away. Also, I have to talk with MyMinutes about the Aloha, as to whether I can do a giveaway there. At any rate, the giveaways will not cease and there will be at least three phone reviews up here in the relatively near future. Not this week much to do. Maybe next week, or the week after. Check back here, and don't forget to support this site's sponsors! Especially since Babblebug (this site's biggest sponsor currently) may let me borrow some of their stuff for review. Thanks guys!

Guess that's about it news-wise. Now let me check my mail to see what the heck is happening with the Slash I ordered...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

AirVoice Ramps It Up

Looks like AirVoic Wireless has upped the ante on long-term prepaid CDMA (Verizon) service by just a bit. Their $50 refill now lasts a whole year. This wouldn't be as big of a deal if it weren't for the fact that Page Plus Cellular's $50 refill lasts a mere 120 days (the closest competitor) with the same amount of airtime...and the fact that Airvoice doesn't look to charge a 50 cent per month service fee that Page Plus does. Granted, off-network roaming is a rather shocking 11x the price of regular talk, but if you are in Verizon's service area and find that the biggest refill you're getting is $50 on page Plus, you may need to take a look at AirVoice Express.

EDIT: Looks like the monthly fee is $1. Nevermind.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Virgin Mobile Deal Update

A few more deals for everyone...

  1. Target has the Aloha for $10 now.
  2. Target has the Wild Card for $79 now (not too bad...though just 99 cents off the previous price).
  3. RadioShack has the Super Slice for $39 now.
  4. Circuit City has the Super Slice for $37 now.
  5. Circuit City has the Cyclops for $37 now.
That's it for now. Got a lot of non-phone-related stuff to do today :). As always support this site's sponsors!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Wild Card and Super Slice Reviews at CellGuru

The Cell Guru has reviewed (in a nutshell) a few of the phones he has, namely the Virgin Mobile Wild Card (Kyocera) and the Super Slice (UTStarCom). You can check out his reviews below...

Another Prepaid Bites The Dust: Movida!?!

Yep, looks like the folks at Movida, after cycling through a few plan options, have gone bankrupt. They said that Sprint was charging them too much to use the network. I think the more likely case is that Wal-Mart was taking too much money on the front end out of the phone purchases, but either way they're dead. Guess the Hispanic audience wasn't large enough, or some other such problem. I'm just surprised that a company with such a large retail presence (read: Wal-Mart) would fail after only a few short years of being out there. Oh, right...we're in a recession or something...

...though I've been talking with the folks at BabbleBug and they said they can work something out for former Movida customers to switch over to Total Call Mobile (same network, 10 cents per minute, 5 cents per text, 90 day expiration on airtime, cheap international calling) at prices that are really, really nice. Click on over to BabbleBug if you're a victim of Movida's bankruptcy...the info on this concilliatory promotion should be up pretty soon.

Virgin Mobile News and Deals

Todays news bits are all about Virgin Mobile.

First, they've revised their phone lineup. They've phased out some of their older phones and done a discount deal on others that aren't quite so old, but are going to be phased out soon enough...

In the phase-outs department, the Oystr is gone (good riddance) as is the Switch_Back (see Oystr).

In the deals department, there are three phones available for "free" with airtime now. There's the Kyocera K10 Royale that has been there for awhile now, with $$9.99 in airtime. Now there's the LG Aloha (didn't they just introduce that phone?) with $14.99 in airtime. Last, there's the Slice (the original one) free with $20 in airtime. Out of the three I would definitely go for the Slice, but it's neat to see the stairstep offerings there. What's weird though is that the Marbl is still $14.99 with the usual $2.50 in airtime included.

But wait...the news ain't over yet...

According to some quick work by The_Sweeper over on the forums (thanks!) Virgin Mobile is intro'ing a Samsung phone, and a slider no less, in the quite near future. I had actually heard of this awhile back on HowardForums in some capacity or other, but ow it's semi-official, though the pictures on the website have been taken down (though The_Sweeper grabbed them so they remain). The m310 "Slash", sporting the new, more subdued, Virgin Mobile look (as opposed to the utterly twelveyear-old-girly LG Aloha) gets you a camera, Bluetooth and a decently slim 0.7" thickness, as well as the usual VMo stuff like web and applications. At $79.99 the camera had better be 1.3 megapixels, but the fact that it's a more name-brand affair than the other $80 phone, the Kyocera Slider Sonic (which has been out a little this side of forever), is a point on the pro side of things.

In even more news, though this pertains more to this site than otherwise, the LG Flare giveaway ends this Sunday, so post a tip or comment or question on the forums to enter yourself! Remember, this phone comes with more airtime than you'd get if you bought it regularly, and it comes activated and ready to enter now!

Also, I will be getting the Super Slice in for review in a few days, as well as that old, beloved Nokia Shorty, courtesy the Cell Guru (paid for by ad revenue from this blog's sponsors, and whoever-uses-Google-AdWords).

LAST NEWS FLASH: I just bought the Samsung m310. If Virgin Mobile doesn't just cancel the order due to the phone being a bit of a pre-release marketing-wise right now, I should be getting it around the time I get the Super Slice and the Shorty. It's a rather expensive phone for the likes of poor blogger-me so if you wouldn't mind supporting the folks who support this site, I'd really appreciate it. Might even be able to give the phone away, if I don't become too attached to it ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Aloha Everyone!

The folks from the UPS dropped something else off at my dorm today: the LG Aloha from Virgin Mobile, provided for me by the generous folks at, who sell that sort of thing. I just did some quick comparisons between it and the LG Flare that  got last Monday (battery still isn't dead yet!) and a review will be coming shortly. Probably in the next day or two. To start off though, I must say that this phone is, as expected, practically identical to the LG 200c on Tracfone, though the software is a bit different, as is (to a small extent) the styling. One thing's for sure though, and that's the striking resemblance between this l'il guy and the Tracfone LG 200c that I reviewed awhile back...they're the same model of phone and it shows.

By the way, the main sponsor of this site is still BabbleBug, so check out their selection of airtime, phones, calling cards, SIM kits and other such goods by clicking the banner to your lower-right. Though I must say that they don't sell Virgin Mobile, Buzz Mobile or AT&T GoPhones quite yet, and MyMinutes does, hence the source of the Aloha for review. Thanks to both of them for supporting this site, especially BabbleBug, who has sent me phones for review in the past, and is paying for the ad banner you see on the site right now.