If you read smartphonematters.com , you may already know that I am a big fan of Tracfone’s Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) plans, but many of my readers would like to buy their Apple iPhone, Samsung, Galaxy or other Android smartphone directly from Tracfone. In many cases you can get a great deal buying that iPhone or Galaxy phone from Tracfone, and in this article I’ll explain what you need to know to make an informed choice.
First, lets take a look at the positive side of buying your iPhone or Galaxy S phone from Tracfone.
Getting The Best Deals
To get the best deal on buying an iPhone or Galaxy directly fromTracfone try to combine one or more discounts. Sometimes Tracfone sells smartphones for less than what you’d pay buying the phone directly from Apple, Samsung, or other retailer such as Best Buy. Also Tracfone usually offers discounts when you buy a phone and plan bundles. These deals change from month to month buy typically range from 10 to 30% off. When you can combine both savings you’ll get the best deal. Here are two examples.
In April 2018, you can buy the Apple iPhone 6s from Tracfone for $299. Apple sells the same phone for $449, so you’ll save $150 immediately. And if you bundle that phone with a plan and use the 20% discount code for April you’ll save even more. If you combine that iPhone 6s with a $125 one year plan the subtotal is $424 for the phone and plan combo. That’s $25 less than buying the phone only directly from Apple. When you use the 20% code the price drops to $339.20. That’s 20% off, an additional $84.80. That is a good deal.
Also for April 2018, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 for $429.99. Tracfone says that’s $100 off the regular price of $529. But if you check samsung.com or bestbuy.com that phone is currently selling for $469.99, so your saving $40 compared to buying the phone from another retailer. Combine the Tracfone S7 with the $125 plan and the subtotal is $554.99. When you use the 20% off discount code the price drops to $454.99, an additional $100 savings. Tracfone’s discount codes are usually up to a maximum of $100 off. So in this case you getting the phone with the 1 Year service plan for $15 less than buying the Galaxy S7 from samsung.com or bestbuy.com.
In both cases, this is a pretty good deal. For the latest Tracfone Deals and Promotions, See Tracfone Wireless Deals and Promotions
Most people in the United States, buy their phone directly from their wireless carrier or an authorized retailer. Even the Apple store is a authorized retailer for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. For many people it’s simpler to buy their phone from Tracfone as they know the phone will work with their service.
Now that I’ve covered the positives of buying your phone directly from Tracfone, let’s take a look at the downsides.
Tracfone iPhone and Galaxy Phones are Locked
When you buy your phone directly from Tracfone, the phone is locked and it cannot be activated or used with any other wireless service. Tracfone sold you the phone at a discount to get you to use their service, they are not in the business of selling phones for use with other wireless carriers. Tracfone does have an unlocking policy and it states that after you use your phone with their service for 12 months they will unlock the phone for use with other services. Note that if you want to use that phone with Verizon, or another prepaid wireless network that uses the Verizon towers, you’ll still need to check the MEID (serial number) of your phone with the new carrier to make sure it can be registered on their network, and you may find the phone is not eligible. You can see Tracfone’s unlocking policy here.
Your Tracfone iPhone or Galaxy may not use the towers or network you want
Tracfone uses either the AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile networks. When you sign up for BYOP you can choose which network you use as long as it’s compatible with your phone. When you buy your phone from Tracfone, they choose which network it uses. So you may want to use that Tracfone iPhone with their AT&T towers, but the phone they sent you uses the Verizon towers.
You may not find the iPhone or Galaxy Model, Storage Capacity, or Color You Want
While Tracfone does sell the iPhone, you may not find the model you want. For example at the time I am writing this they only sell the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE. For Samsung Galaxy, they only currently have the Galaxy S7. The models and availability change all the time. Even if you can find the phone you want, you may not find the model with the storage option you want. Tracfone typically sells the smartphonematters with the least amount of storage. So if you want a phone with 64GB or 128GB of storage you my find they only have the 16GB or 32GB options. And finally if may have a limited choice of what color phone you can buy.
For iPhone, all software updates come directly from Apple so Tracfone iPhones get the same updates as iPhones directly from Apple or any other wireless carrier. For Samsung or other Android phones, software updates come from your wireless carrier, and Tracfone does not have a good history or track record of updating their phones. For Samsung phones, even Samsung themselves do not have a good record of updating unlocked Galaxy S phones that they sell directly. This includes both security updates and system updates that fix detects and add features.
I hope this article helps you understand the benefits and drawbacks of buying your smartphone directly from Tracfone. Are you going to buy your phone from Tracfone or go the BYOP route? Leave a reply below and share.