First Time Visiting smartphonematters.com, Start Here

Hi, I’m Bob and I’m here to help you learn about about using prepaid wireless service with smartphones.

With prepaid wireless service you may be able to save hundreds of dollars per year on your phone bill, avoid long term service contracts, and use a smartphone you already own with a number of different prepaid wireless services. However, if you are new to prepaid wireless, understanding how it works, and navigating the different services can be a bit overwhelming,

I created this this site to help you understand it all. Since 2012, I’ve helped tens of thousands of people get started with prepaid wireless and resolved problems they have had along the way. I’ve written hundreds of articles and videos and answered thousands of reader and viewer questions. I’ve tried to organize the information into a half a dozen or so sections to help you find the information you are looking for.

Start Here…

On this page, I share what you need to know to make best use of smartphonematters.com and a little bit about how I started this site.

APN Settings

Many people come here looking for the Access Point Name (APN) Settings for their prepaid wireless service. If you are having problems getting your cellular data, MMS picture messages, or group texts working, you may need to set these values to get your service working. You can check out the APN settings here…

Prepaid Wireless Reviews

Every so often, I do a full review of a prepaid wireless service. If you are interested in seeing what I thought about a particular service, see the latest Prepaid Wireless Reviews here…

Plans and Features

More frequently I take a look at the latest plans and features for a number of different prepaid wireless services. I usually write both an article and create a video taking a look at the website to see what plans and features are included at what prices. I do this to stay up to date with the latest offerings from these companies as well as to help people learn how to navigate prepaid wireless plans

Note, that these are not full reviews. Sometimes I may have previously reviewed a service and sometimes I haven’t gotten to it yet.

See the latest Plans and Features Here…

Deals

Each month I update my prepaid wireless deals and promotions pages. You can find the latest deals and special promotions on phones and plans from a number or prepaid wireless companies, See the latest deals here…

Search

If you are unable to find what you are looking for using the menus mentioned above, try the Google Custom Search option on the top of the page on your phone or on the right side on your computer or laptop’s browser.

Read the Comments too…

Finally, please note that if you don’t find the information you are looking for in a particular article you are reading, make sure to look through the comments too. Many of my readers have shared solutions to problems and their overall experiences with prepaid wireless service.

About smartphonematters.com

In 2012 the company I worked for stopped paying my cell phone bill. At the time, the company gave me the iPhone 4s I had been using, but they would no longer pay my phone bill. I had the option to keep my phone number but I needed to set up my own wireless account and pay the bill myself each month. Even though I was pretty familiar with computer, intenet, and electronics I really didn’t know much about setting up cellular service and about how much it actually cost. At the time I was using AT&T postpaid service, and they wanted over $100 per month to use their service with my iPhone! I decided that was too expensive, so I learned about prepaid wireless service. When I switched to prepaid I was able to cut my bill in half, but I had trouble getting my cellular data, picture messages, and group texts to work properly on my iPhone. I had to read through a number of online forum posts to find out how to work around the problem. I spent hours finding the information and then trying to get it to work. I decided to share that information to help others with the same problem. I wrote up a detailed step by step set of instructions and created smartphonematters.com.

But it didn’t stop there. Pretty soon I started receiving and answering many comments about getting the iPhone to work with Net10 Wireless and Straight Talk. I kept improving the guides based on feedback from readers. People started asking me different questions, so I’d try to answer them. I started writing more articles about prepaid wireless. Friends and family asked me to help them switch to prepaid. At some point, I thought it would be fun to try and make some videos, so I created a YouTube channel too!

As my own needs for prepaid changed, I decided to start trying out and reviewing other prepaid wireless carriers. Over the last seven years, I’ve answered thousands of questions and have helped many people save money with prepaid wireless.

Disclosure

While I run smartphonematters.com as a hobby, it does incur expenses. To offset those cost, I added both ads to smartphonematters.com and affiliate links to the site. When you use one those affiliate links, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You are under no obligation to use any of the links on the site when you buy a phone or sign up for a prepaid wireless service, but if you do you’ll help support the site and YouTube channel.

10 Comments

  1. Makayiah Glover | | Reply

    I haven’t received my phone and I’m being billed for it please call me asap XXXXXXXXXX

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I think you have confused smartphonematters.com with some other company. We don’t sell phones, you should contact whoever you bought your phone from.

  2. Paul Constantine | | Reply

    Kinda new to this, trying to help out a disabled friend in another state. She has a new iPhone 6s and has used Straight Talk unlimited cards for a long time. Straight Talk DOES say they support “wifi calling (in point of fact, the ONLY concern is that we can FaceTalk!) on certain carriers,” which I suspect is where the rub lies. Correct? I THINK that all the possible carries ST uses DO support “wifi calling” although not as sure with t-mobile. Is there any way I can find out for sure exactly which network is being used where she lives (southern GA)?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      FaceTime on the iPhone and Apple devices is not, and does not require Wifi Calling. FaceTime uses your Wi-Fi or cellular data internet connection. Wi-Fi calling is a carrier feature that lets you make and receive phone calls and text messages using your Wi-Fi connection rather then the cellular network. It good for places where you have little or no cellular coverage but do have Wi-Fi.
      Straight Talk service uses either the AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint towers. While all those carriers offer Wi-Fi calling it appears that Straight Talk only officially offers the feauture on their T-Mobile network with select phones. They do a poor job of pointing out which phones offer the features. IF you use the link in the article to check if Wi-Fi calling is supported on your phone , I think they have a link to phones that will support wi-fi calling.

      If you need Wi-Fi calling, check out Simple Mobile (uses T-Mobile, owned by same company as Straight Talk). Also AT&T, Verizon, Cricket, and Metro prepaid services all offer Wi-Fi calling and should work in most areas.

      • Paul Constantine | | Reply

        Thanks so much for responding! Can’t remember where, but I thought I read that one must enable wifi calling for Facetime to work, so I was looking for that being possible. There is no specific need for wifi calling. Can/do carriers support or not support Facetime calling separately/specifically? She got hung on the “Waiting for activation” when trying to launch Facetime. I got a screen shot, upper left corner shows a 5 bar WiFi connection symbol and “No service.” Any idea what that means? Do you think I can find something definite on their site?

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          FaceTime only uses an internet connection which can be either Wi-Fi or cellular data. From your description, it sounds like you have two problems. If the phone says “no service” then it appears your friend doesn’t have any cellular service meaning she can’t make any calls, send text, or use the internet without WiFi. The second issue, waiting for activation, is a problem with here iCloud account, Apple can’t complete the activation. I suspect the problem is caused by fact that here phone number is used for iCloud and apple uses “text messages” to complete the activation under the covers.

          1. First you need to the problem with “No service” . If the phone says no service, something isn’t right and the phone shouldn’t be working at all. If she has been a Straight Talk customer for a long time, this should not happen? Did something change recently? Phone upgrade.? something else?
          When WiFi is off, the phone should show TFW in the left and LTE on the right. At the very least, try reseating the SIM in the phone and do a network reset. (look for my video on it). She will need to reenter wifi passwords afterwards.

          • Paul Constantine | |

            Really appreciate your help here, unfortunately the phone is essentially stolen now (she had a blackout at a fast food place, her stepfather took her home but they left the phone there… went back, it was gone). She had transitioned from a 5S to this phone, swapped the sim several days ago. We had been communicating mostly via iMessage, but I know we had talked on the new phone, so no service is a mystery, and there isn’t much to even try now. In trying to learn more about this stuff (I only have a dumb cell that I almost never ever use except for getting SMS).

          • Bob Thompson | |

            If you are able to set up your own domain for email, none of this should be two complicated. Sorry to hear the phone was stolen.

  3. Geoffrey Patrissi | | Reply

    I want to add days to my tracphone.
    The menu asks for my pin.
    Where do I find it?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      If you didn’t purchase a card in the store I think you want to choose “Buy” not “Add”…

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