Well FreedomPop is offering completely free phone service… So what’s the catch? Well there are a few, but don’t worry this isn’t one of those “click here and just take part in one of these offers” kind of free, you do either have to pay for a device or a SIM card to get started, and then switch to a free plan before your “trial” of free a premium account runs out, but if you do switch to the free plan it is truly free.
So what do you get for free?
Right now if you get a SIM card the plan is:
200 minutes of talk
200 mb of data
They call this the “global 200” because it works here in the US, UK, and most of Europe, with plans to add more countries soon. A device will give you a similar plan but with 500mb of data available only in the US. Neither plan has roaming charges.
Now you will need an unlocked device for the SIM card to work, and a compatible phone AT&T or T-Mobile, the devices they sell run on Sprint however.
I do have a few things to add, you will need their app installed as it uses VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) so it is sending voice as data rather than actually using the cellular network. So your phones native dialer or texting app will not work (but iMessage to iMessage will still work on iPhones). So that means call quality can have issues in some areas, but mine has been rather good.
The other thing to add is I would highly recommend not making the same mistake I did, and create separate FreedomPop accounts for each device. FreedomPop currently allows the same credit card to be used for up to 5 different accounts, so no problem there. The reason is two fold ONE if there is any problems on your account it only affects that device (more on that in a bit) and TWO something called FreedomPop friends, you can actually get free extra data (currently up to 1gb) by adding people using FreedomPop as friends on your account, and it works well, and you can actually give unused data to friends as well as request that friends give you their left over data, so it’s very useful to add your other accounts to your friends list.
So what’s the down side?
I did have a few hiccups along the way, but mostly related to not using a separate account for each of my devices. The first few people I contacted at customer service where no help at all however Pamela A, and Claribel M, where amazing and got me sorted out. Side note… If you have multiple devices on one account be sure to log in to the FreedomPop app with your phone number not your email address btw… Anyway they responded to my emails quickly and got me fixed up.
A lot of people also complain about how much battery the app used, some people have said it dramatically decreased the life of their phone battery, I’ve seen reviews that say “my phone used to last me all day now it’s dead by 2pm” I haven’t seen that much of a loss of available power but I’ll keep you posted.
So what are my final thoughts?
I mean this is truly free, yes you have the initial costs involved but for the $5 I paid for the SIM card on sale what more could I ask for?
The data is faster than my home internet and I get good service in a rural area so all in all I’m very pleased.
Now I could see how this would not be for everyone, and if you don’t switch to the free plan it will cost you about $20 a month, but that’s still cheaper than just about anything else out there. And if you need voicemail it’s less than $4 a month to add to the free plan or it comes included in the initial plan.
For what it is I think it’s pretty amazing and I’m a fan of FreedomPop.
P.S… Normally I would include a link, but I actually have a tip instead, don’t go to FreedomPop.com directly, instead google FreedomPop and then click on the first link given, they will have specials available in your area and sometimes these are pretty amazing.