Should you buy an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S from Straight Talk?
Many of you may be wondering if you should buy your iPhone, Samsung, or other smartphone directly from Straight Talk Wireless or from some other retailer. The answer is it depends on what is important to you. I wrote this article to help you understand the what you need to know before buying your iPhone or Samsung phone directly from Straight Talk,
While I am a big fan of Bring Your Own Phone plans and unlocked phones, some people need to buy a phone to use with Straight Talk. Sometimes you can get a great deal when you buy an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy directly from straighttalk.com.
Price & Convenience
Sometimes you can get a great deal if you buy your phone from Straight Talk. You get the best deal when Straight Talk is selling the phone for less than you pay if you bought your phone from another retailer and you can combine the that discount with an additional promotion. Straight Talk often offers 15% to 40% off the price of your phone when you buy a phone and plan bundle. These deals change from month to month, to check the latest deals see Latest Straight Talk Deals.
For iPhone, compare price of the iPhone you are interested with the price it sells for on apple.com. You want to look at the price of the Buy without a carrier.
SIM-free. Activate with any carrier later. carrier option. If Straight Talk’s price is hundreds of dollars less, you are getting a deal. Be sure to check my Straight Talk deals page to see if you can combine a phone and plan discount to save even more money.
For Samsung Galaxy, shop carefully. Compare the price of the Galaxy phone to the price on price of the same unlocked Galaxy on both samsung.com and bestbuy.com. If you are shopping on bestbuy.com, make sure you are looking at the Activate Later price. For both samsung.com and bestbuy.com check to see if there are any free items included, as sometimes Samsung retailers include some expensive free Samsung products with a phone purchase. Also note that phone prices on these sites change from week to week as there are often discounts.
Second, some people simply prefer the convenience of buying their smartphone directly from their wireless carrier. In fact most people in the US buy their phones from their wireless carrier. You know the phone is going to work with their service and there is no need to visit another retailer.
When you buy an iPhone, Samsung, or other Android phone from Straight Talk, the phone is locked. This means you will not be able to use the phone with another wireless carrier other than Straight Talk. Straight Talk will unlock the phone for free after you meet the terms and conditions of their unlocking policy. Their unlocking policy states that after you use the phone on their network for 12 months they will unlock the phone. See their Unlocking Policy here.. Note that after even after they unlock the phone you may be able to use the phone with GSM/LTE carriers that use the AT&T or T-Mobile network, you will still have to check your phone’s IMEI/MEID (serial number) to see if it is eligible for use with any wireless carrier that use the CMDA/LTE carriers that use the Verizon or Sprint networks.
Next, when you buy your phone directly from Straight Talk, they decide if the phone will use their AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint towers rather than you. So for example they may sell you an iPhone that will use their Verizon towers but it may be the case that the AT&T or T-Mobile networks have better coverage in your area. You can find out which towers the phone will use before you buy. The easier way to do this is to contact customer service by online chat. Give them you Zip code and tell they which phone you want to buy and ask which towers it uses.
Next, you may find that Straight Talk does not offer the specific iPhone or Galaxy model that you want at a given time. So for example, if you were looking for an iPhone 7 Plus or Galaxy S7 those models might not be available. And even if you find the model you are interested in, they may only offer the model with the smallest storage capacity. For example, while Straight Talk does offer the iPhone X, they only have the 64GB model and not the 256GB model. Finally, they may not have the full choice of color options that the phone is available in.
When you buy a locked smartphone from Straight Talk, you are making a commitment to stick with the company for a year assuming you want to be able to use that phone with another service. One of the biggest benefits of prepaid wireless service is that there are no contracts or lock-in. You can leave the service at any time. If you buy one of their phones you are giving up that benefit. But on the other hand, you may be getting a great discount, a discount that will cover the cost of months of wireless service. You need to decide if this is worth it for you. Many people stick with the same prepaid wireless carrier for years without needing to change. So in that case it might be worth it for you.